For this second installment of Phun Week, I thought I’d present to you my favorite baseball road trip.
It was last year, just after the Phillies swept the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Living in Connecticut, I don’t get a chance to the Phillies much during the season, but a trip to Philly over the weekend of September 15 presented an interesting idea. The Phils were in Shea Stadium that weekend. Hmm…
Of course, on Sept. 1, in the middle of a division championship race, the Mets still had seats available. I bought one for me, and two more for my older brothers. We were going to Shea.
I drove down to Shea and they drove up from Philly. After finally finding parking (Shea is the worst at parking), I met my brothers and made it to our seats in the left field mezzanine. And yes, the Phils fans were out in droves. We went nuts when Aaron Rowand put us up early with a single. But Pedro Martinez shut us down, and bad. He was vintage Pedro, like when I saw him at Fenway against the Yankees in 2003. I was worried, but having a hell of a time.
We were yelled at, teased at, pinched at … whatever. We embraced it. Phils fans sat next to us. We talked with them. The Mets were leading as Willie Randolph went to the bullpen. You know the story.
Jimmy Rollins’ triple sailed over a misplaying Carlos Beltran, opening the floodgates. The Phils would win, preserving it with a clutch Brett Myers save. As we filed out of Shea, Mets fans were sullen. Another bad loss to the Phillies. But us â€” and all we Phils fans â€” we were absolutely ecstatic. This was becoming a race. This was real. This was awesome. And what an end to the season.
I’d do that again in a heartbeat. And yes, my brothers and I are thinking of a new trip to Shea, maybe even in April during opening week at the old cruddy ball yard in Queens. I can’t wait.
(As a follow-up, I’d like to visit every ballpark in the United States, via one long road trip. But if I can’t, I’m thinking of a Midwest road trip very soon one summer [PNC Park, Jacobs Field, U.S. Cellular Field, Wrigley Field, Field of Dreams].)
What is your favorite baseball road trip?