Category Archives: A2 Ballparks

THE SOUNDS OF BASEBALL

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SOUNDSOFBASEBALL.COM

There’s a new kid on the block, the result of a terrific website that literally outgrew itself.  Jam-packed with over 400 audio clips and several thousand photo’s its popularity as an online baseball library continues to grow.

Sounds of Baseball” is the dream of Steve Contursi, a teacher and non-apologetic baseball aficionado from Catskill, New York, and is the culmination of years of work on an archaic system of programming known as “coding”.   It involved the ideas around what it could, should, and would be, and eventually ended up as an informative website that was like no other.

Most of the data on the website could be found somewhere else in the blogosphere, but it would have been a real challenge to find a website that contained all of this specific type of data in the same place.

This was and this is exactly what he did. Over time and with much patience, “Sounds” reached the level of top-rated baseball websites by the top search engines.

However, change was occurring fast in the internet world and with that came many challenges.  A call was put out to the baseball community for someone to help with a transition to a more user-friendly website.

Along came Ronni Redmond of Santa Cruz, CA, a baseball blogger with a small amount of baseball knowledge, and not a lot of computer experience.  But she wrote a decent blog, had an insatiable appetite for anything baseball and lots of chutzpah and opinions.

This is the new “Sounds of Baseball”.  Its foundation is the original “Sounds” with a few little ditties thrown in and published in a Word Press format that’s much easier to maintain.  The Site will be evolving as new material becomes available.  Goodbye to coding and hello to the formation of an unlikely pairing of a fan of the New 39. Morning CoffeeYork Yankees and a fan of the SF Giants and all teams in-between.

We hope you’ll visit the site.  So please grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and turn up the volume.  

This one’s for you!

                                        “SOUNDSOFBASEBALL.COM

 Sounds of Baseball, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) Non Profit Corporation.

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Baltimore Follies Forgiven ….. For Now

An Empty Oriole Stadium

An Empty Oriole Stadium

It took a  Seamheads.Com post by Terry Keshner this morning to get me back in the saddle.  I really miss posting, but have a lot on my plate for at least another week and my favorite thing to do has had to take a backseat.

Seamheads is a great baseball site, one of my favorites, so I sat up and took notice when the Baltimore Orioles/Chicago White Sox games took center stage when the games were closed to the fans these past few days.  “It had to be that way” the article said.

“It had to be that way”?  When the Europeans closed their stadiums it was directly related to the players and the fans. They were getting killed on game day at those stadiums.

This didn’t have to be that way. What did the attempt of some high school kids and community organizers trying to usurp the authority of legally empowered law enforcement officers have to do with closing the stadium?  Does the system need to be overhauled? Probably.  But by closing the stadium they denied workers, vendors, and fans their legal rights so now you don’t just have the kids and their enablers affected you’re also affecting 40,000 individuals who had nothing to do with the mess.

Maybe the regular security measures that accompany most stadiums on game day, along with National Guardsmen strategically placed around the stadium, inside and out, might have been a better alternative. Just one suggestion. And I’m sure there are many others that are better than the decision to close the stadium on game day.

But this is something we’ve not had to deal with in our country before and hopefully it will be the last, but don’t count on it.  The times-they-are-a-changing folks  and now’s the time to get our smarts in order so that decisions  for better strategies can be made in the future.

In my humble opinion, of course.

Atlanta and Texas get the Bird and Turner Field gets Garbage.

Congratulations to the Cardinals and Orioles for winning the Wild Card Games and advancing to Divisional Play in the postseason.   As usual, I don’t comment on play-by-play.  You can read about the particulars on every sports page, but I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to comment on our wonderful baseball fans.    Take those at Atlanta’s Turner Field for example.

Okay let’s admit that there was a rather unorthodox call out there in the field in the 8th inning, with bases loaded no less. I mean how many times have you seen an infield fly rule called in the outfield?   You can see some of the takes on it below, but in the end the play called by the umpire stood over protest and the Cardinals ended up winning the game 6-3.

Umpire Joyce & Galarraga “after the call”.

No doubt this was a huge disappointment for the Braves fans, but this has happened before and guaranteed it will happen again ~ questionable calls by the umpires I mean.  One call in particular that comes to mind was the Jim Joyce call on an otherwise perfect  Armando Galarraga game in Detroit.  If ever fans had reason to throw something, anything, it would have been during that game.  But they didn’t.  Those Tiger fans had class.

Turner Field Trash

I always enjoyed watching the fans at Turner Field,  especially during those 2010 playoffs. That tomahawk “chop” was an awesome display of fan support and the constant chant from the stadium was like a war dance or something and it was deafening.  And that’s what fans do in support of their team and that’s what they did tonight at Turner Field in Atlanta.   But that’s when the nice Atlanta Braves fans story takes a different turn.   They started throwing things.  I mean bottles and things onto the field.  It was so bad that the St Louis Cardinals, who had  every right and reason to celebrate, for safety reasons, had to take their celebration off the field and  into the clubhouse.

Chipper Jones Final At-Bat

All season long during every game I watched the Braves play in, it was all about Chipper Jones.  Chipper’s last season, Chipper’s last at-home game, Chipper’s last hit.  Well this was sure a grand way to send Chipper out the door.  Good job Braves fans.   I somehow wonder if Chipper isn’t just a little bit glad to be going.   I know I would be.

Rating the Best Baseball Ballparks.

Here’s a great read courtesy of Dan Lindsey’s “Diamond Baseball Tours” Facebook page and reprinted from the New York Times “Five Thirty Eight” Column by Nate Silver.  My home park is AT&T in San Francisco and it’s without a doubt one of the very best.  

“Classic Primanti Bros Sandwich” includes salad and french fries piled inside”

However, I can understand the PNC Pittsburgh #1 ranking.  I was there in 2010 and the first clue was the accessible parking.  We were on a tour bus and the bus parked less than a 5 minute walk away from the main entrance.  Ordinary tour buses dropped us off and then we walked a marathon to get back to the bus, if we could even find it!   Second great thing about the park was the food.  “Primanti Bros.” may sound familiar.   They’re on a “100 Things To Do Before you die” list.  It’s a beautiful park with friendly staff. 

“Fenway’s Wooden Scoreboard”

The #2 Ranking to Boston’s Fenway Park is also understandable.  I’ve been there twice and both times it was an emotional experience.  Probably the park’s history, and I don’t know why, but the “Sweet Caroline” and “MTA” songs that were played both times brought the house down with everyone singing at the top of their lungs.  I can’t explain it ~ neither song has anything to do with baseball.  It’s just one of those things.   It’s an old and beautiful wooden park with a lot of class and truly devoted fans, where they still post the daily baseball scores on a wooden board by hand. 

So it was easy to acquiesce those two parks to my beloved AT&T.  Good read and a great job Nate Silver, bringing us right up to the 2012 playoffs.  

Worst Ballpark Food? You Decide ~

Last month ESPN held a contest to decide the “Best Ballpark” in the major leagues.  Miller Park in Milwaukee won the contest while AT&T Park in San Francisco came in a distant second.  You can read about it in the “Related Articles” section below.  But when I read this I couldn’t help wonder if the ballpark food entered into this, because everyone knows AT&T Park is hands-down the winner in that category.  Here’s a sampling of the food at Miller Park I found this morning at “My Boyfriend Fatty’s Blog“.    I would categorize these as  “Worst #1 and Worst #2.  See what you think.

Worst Ballpark Food #1.   This is called the “Crazy Meatloaf Sandwich” from the Comet Cafe, near the Milwaukee Brewers Miller Park.  It may not be the worst, but it sure looks like it!

Worst Ballpark Food #2.  This didn’t actually look too bad until I realized what’s in it.  It’s called a “Pulled Pork Parfait” and I can only begin to wonder what the cream-colored filling is made of.   This little gem is available at a concession stand at the Brewers Miller Park.

Peanuts and crackerjacks anyone?

“Giants Garlic Fest” or Garlic Fries and Baseball at AT&T Park!

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 “First Annual Giants Garlic Fest”

What a hoot!  When I first found out about the Garlic Festival to be held at AT&T Park I knew I had to be there.  I mean how many blogs are out there about this very subject?  And a book entitled “Garlic Fries and Baseball” no less.  To be perfectly honest it wasn’t about the garlic fries so much ~ I’ve eaten plates full.

“Herbie at home on my bookshelf”!

I’ve been to the Gilroy Garlic Festival many times and to tell you the truth, when I found out they were going to have “Herbie” the bobble head, I had to have one.  So I dragged my dear husband to the ballpark today and we got in line at the Will Call, and again at the Main Gate and the food court and finally at the bobble head give-away table.  And I got my bobble head.

Special Pungent Garlic Fries!

There’s something really special about being out in the warm sunshine, on the waterfront at AT&T Park, well any ballpark really, but especially at AT&T.   We met some really nice people, talked a little baseball and talked a lot of garlic. Smiles were abundant and today the smell of that yummy garlic was everywhere.  Garlic fries were the best of course, but the garlic bread and incredible sauce slathered all over the tender tasty pieces of calamari was to die for.   I knew my husband would share his calamari with me (he thinks it tastes like rubber bands) and that I’d have to give up a little bread and fries in the trade, but it was okay.  It was all good.  I love this stuff.

2012 Gilroy Garlic Festival, July 27, 28, 29th

I understand they’re planning on making this an annual event.  I sure hope so.  We’ll definitely be back next year.  We didn’t stay for the game; instead headed back on Caltrain around 5:30 and arrived home just in time for the first pitch on the telly.

The first pitch this time turned out to be a home run for Cincinnati.  I was rather relieved for Matt Cain.  The way I look at it ~ the prospect of a no-hitter, one-hitter, and perfect game were no longer issues and he could relax and enjoy the game with the rest of us.   Final score was Cincinnati 5,  Giants 1, but you know what?  It was okay.  After these past few weeks, the Giants have treated us to some really special moments and right now, at least for today, they’re standing alone in 1st place in the National League West.

Life is really, really good.  Don’t you just love it?   Garlic fries and baseball I mean.

“Safeco Field” ~ Who Does the Mow Job?

I just returned from an Alaska cruise and was perusing the photos I took.  One of those special shots that really stood out had nothing to do with the cruise.  In fact, it was a photo of  Safeco Field, taken on Friday night, May 25, 2012, before the cruise and during a game between the Mariners and the Angels.

The Seattle Mariners Safeco Field

Take a look at this picture.  What prompted me to even take this shot was the unusual designs all over the field.  In just this one picture, you can count over seven different diagonal directions the field was mowed.  What I really want to know is how long does it take the groundskeeper to mow the darn field, all of it, and what kind of equipment does he use to mow it with?

Okay, I know, it’s a pretty lame question, but I just thought the field looked really great and wanted to share it before I fall into bed fast asleep.  It’s been a rough week, having spent a good part of it tossing around my cabin with patches on my ears, bands on my wrists, and frothing at the mouth from being sea-sick.  Our poor captain had to face headwinds of 42 knots while sailing at 20 knots.  I hope I got that right.   Knowing about knots is not my forte.  Alaska’s a beautiful state but next time I might try the Trans-Alaska Highway just to be safe.

As for Safeco Field and the Mariners ~ they played a great game and were ahead until the ninth.  I don’t know, maybe they took just a little too long to admire the field instead of focusing on the game and old Albert what’s-his-name.  I know that’s what I was doing.