The Tenth Inning
 The Tenth Inning Blog
Periodically, I will post new entries about current baseball topics.  The posts will typically be a mixture of commentary, history, facts, and stats.  Hopefully, they will provoke some  of your thoughts or emotions. Clicking on the word "Comments" associated with each post below will open a new dialog box to enter or retrieve any feedback.
Annual father-son baseball trip a casualty of COVID-19

Major League Baseball is talking about starting up it season as early as May with all thirty teams playing its games in Arizona at ten baseball diamonds in the Phoenix area.  With the effects of COVID-19 still expected to be around, part of the proposed plan would entail quarantining all the players in the area and playing the games without fans in attendance.

 

I’ll be glad to see the season start, although it seems like May would be a very optimistic timeframe.  COVID-19 has taken its toll on the entire sports world, with baseball being no exception.  While I’m sad for not being able to enjoy games this season, the situation has rightfully taken a back seat to all the heath and economic issues wrought by the pandemic.  One of the casualties of the pandemic has included my annual baseball trip with my son Lee.  A road trip to a major-league park doesn’t appear to be in store this year.

 

For the past dozen years, Lee and I have been able to schedule a baseball weekend, usually in the May-June timeframe, to attend baseball games in major-league cities.  Our past trips have taken us to Pittsburgh, Miami, Dallas, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Chicago, Kansas City, San Diego, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Houston, Toronto, and Baltimore.  We’ve also been fortunate to see spring training games (seven games in five days) in Florida, the World Series in Houston, the World Baseball Classic in Orlando, and the College World Series in Omaha.  An MLB All-Star Game is still on our bucket list though.

 

The first professional game we saw together was a pre-season exhibition game between the Yankees and Rangers in the Louisiana Superdome, when Lee was about six years old.  Since then, we’ve shared a passion for the game, and attending games together has been a huge part of that.

 

We’d like to eventually catch games at all the current major-league ballparks.  Realizing we still have a long way to go, on a few occasions we’ve taken in games in nearby cities over a long weekend in order to accelerate our pursuit.  For example, one year it was a game at the new Yankee Stadium on Thursday, a train ride to Philadelphia for games on Friday and Saturday, and then another train ride to DC to watch the Nationals on Sunday.

 

We usually plan out the details of our trips while watching MLB games on TV the entire day on Opening Day.  We’ll lock in the location and dates, purchase the game tickets, and make the airline and hotel reservations before the last out of the day.  Everything is set except picking the Italian restaurants we want to visit at our destination city, since we like to try some of the best Italian cuisine on our trips.  One year, while wearing baseball caps, shorts, and tennis shoes, we managed to talk our way into a lunch seating at a highly rated fine-dining Italian restaurant in the Chicago business district that featured home-made pasta dishes.

 

This year we were preliminarily thinking about marking off San Francisco and Oakland from our outstanding cities list this year.  But then Opening Day got postponed, and it appeared useless to make any detailed plans.  At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if we are unable to see a major-league game in person anywhere this season.  The pandemic hasn’t helped our cause, and that’s too bad because we have a bunch more cities on our list.

 

Besides the two Bay Area cities, current parks that remain outstanding are in Seattle, Phoenix, Tampa, Cleveland, Detroit, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Atlanta (Sun Trust Park), Dallas (new Globe Life Field), New York (CitiField) and Denver.

 

Over the years, I’ve been to almost as many decommissioned major-league ballparks as I have gone to currently active stadiums. They include Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis, Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and Turner Field in Atlanta, the Astrodome in Houston, Arlington Stadium and the original Globe Life Park in Arlington, the original Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium in New York, Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, the second Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and Pro Player Stadium in Miami.  I guess I’m showing my age with a few of these older stadiums.

 

Lee’s a die-hard Red Sox fan, and I’m an equally die-hard Yankees fan.  We haven’t been to a series yet where they faced each other.  That would make for an interesting trip.  One time at Yankee Stadium, Lee bought a ladies’ “I Love Derek Jeter” cap and made me wear it the entire game just to embarrass me.  I’m waiting for the right time to somehow get revenge.

 

Our father-son tradition may be interrupted this year, but once baseball gets back on track, we’ll will be anxious to knock the next stadium off our list.

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