The Fastest 30 Ball Games Excerpt For ‘Citizens Bank Ball Park’ – July.06/2008
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Chuck Booth “I broke my old record of 24 days by being- The Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 23 days- from April 6th to 28th in 2012! If after you read all of these updates and you want to see the rest of the 63 Articles that were part of the trip (Including 30 Park Previews and 3o Park Experts) Please click here to take you to the table of contents at my own personal website.” Or if you just want to read about the game day journeys click here .
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
From time to time, I will post a book excerpt from my book “The Fastest 30 Ballgames.” The book chronicles my journey to all of the MLB Parks – in order to set a Guinness Book Of World Record in the summers of 2008 and 2009. I used the 2008 streak to talk about the parks themselves. MLB Parks are the best way to advertise the game of baseball. All of them are unique and have traditions. This excerpt happens for my first trip to Citizens Bank Ball Park (2nd time there overall). It was a game that should have lasted 3 hours, instead it lasted over 8. How you ask? I guess you will have to read it.
Game# 6 Day# 5
Citizens Bank Ball Park
On the drive back on the Hwy-76 W from the Philadelphia Airport (PHL) I started to become too confident about this whole trip to break the Record. My dream of all 30 MLB Ball Parks in 26 days was on track. This day upcoming I had scouted more than any other doubleheader scenario. It was 8 AM-and I was driving back to my brother Trent’s in N.J for a visit and breakfast, before returning to the Sports Complex Area. I planned to park at the 30th Street Amtrak Station station with my rental car – and then take a cab to Citizens Bank Ballpark afterwards.
From there I was going to see a game between the Mets and Phillies. Around 4:30 PM, after the first game ended, I was going to take a cab back to the ‘Amtrak Station’ on 30TH ST, before going to New York City.
I was slated to take a 5:10 PM train that would get me to ‘New York Penn Station’ at nearly 7 PM. From there I could take the subway to Yankee Stadium. It was a Sunday night game so the starting time on the New York game was 8:05pm. Using Amtrak was the way to go—the previous year my brother Trent and I did a doubleheader with ‘Shea Stadium’–and ‘CBP.’ You are able to skip the traffic and Tolls for a little more money- however it is way more convenient.
If I made this doubleheader – it would be 7 full MLB Parks in 5 days. I was stoked to have a chance to see Yankees vs. Red Sox as the second half of the doubleheader. As someone who is a Yankees fan, to see these 2 great teams duke it out on Sunday Night ESPN Baseball would most certainly be one of the best games of the trip. I did some laundry at my brother’s house in Sicklerville, NJ and left for the park to arrive around noon for a 1:35 PM start.
Citizens Bank Park is one of the best parks to watch a game now with the bustling crowds and hardcore fanatics that are Phillies fans. I was not happy to see rain clouds surfacing the sky when I arrived. The weather report had called only for clouds. I noticed when walking in for my 1st day game – that Citizens Bank Park is really accessible for everyone including special ramps for the handicapped. The park outlay is nice.
The ‘Tony Luke’s’ area surrounded by ‘Ashburn Alley’ is my favorite place to watch the games from.
I don’t like spending lots of money for any game — so “Standing Room Only” seats are perfect for me.
I walked around the park before the game and took some nice video. The ‘Sports Complex’ that CBP is part of with: “Lincoln Financial Field, The Wachovia Center and the ‘Old Spectrum’, make it a sports goers dream in solving any driving issues. The mere fact the airport is so close by really gives the park even that much more credibility.
Being at Phillies games – you must watch the ‘Phillie Phanatac,’ who is probably the most entertaining mascot in the Major Leagues today with apologies to ‘T.C. from Minnesota” and the ‘San Diego Chicken.’ This mascot loves to aggravate the umpires and opposing ball teams by all sorts of shenanigans.
I ate a Phllly Cheesesteak as soon as I got in the ballpark—again is the best singular food all time at any ballpark.
I was seeing the New York Mets for the 3rd time in a week. I had seen them play in Houston 3 days before that, and the previous Sunday before the streak had started. I was lucky enough to see a Yankees/Mets game at Shea Stadium. I have always hated the Mets—even more since they got rid of Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden. I had cheered for them in the 86 World Series only because they were playing the Red Sox.
I was happy in one way to see the game progressing along at 1-0 Mets in the eighth inning while I was keeping a watchful eye on the rain at all times. They were throwing pounds of sand on the field between every inning. It was only nearing 4 PM and the game was eight outs for being finished. I had talked to all of the security guys about signing my time log sheet and had the best route to hailing a cab directly after the game ended.
Ryan Howard was up to bat and the umpire was checking out the rains with his fellow crew and they huddled up. The motion was made for the tarp.
“Damn,” I said, knowing the rain was not going to let up. I could have taken about a 40 minute delay or so and attempted the 5:30 PM train to have a chance but it was not to be.
Not only that, but the rain was coming down even harder. Since the parks are a hundred miles apart I was thinking about a Cincinnati scenario where the Yanks/Red Sox could have been delayed in my favor.
It was now turning into me hoping they would call the game because it was 7 PM at night. I was with a lot of fellow fans that had been crammed into the covered areas of ‘CBP’. The Mets were up by one run—technically it was a game, although I did not really want an asterisk of a shortened game as part of the streak. I had come to the realization that I spent a lot of money just to miss that Yankees doubleheader on that Sunday. The worst was that the chain reaction of that missed game would mean the return game at Fenway Park, between those two clubs three weeks from that Sunday would be missed as well, –$300 in tickets completely eaten.
I was feeling really down until the ‘Phillie Phanatac’ stole the ATV from the grounds crew and peeled around the rain-soaked field with the field crew chasing him for ten minutes. It was an awesome release from the tension I was feeling. With only one game missed I could still turn in a 30-27 trip.
To add insult to the length of game, the Phillies tied it in the bottom of the Ninth at around 9 PM — and the game ended at 10:54 PM at night. The Yankees game actually ended about the same time as the Phillies. I took a cab back to my parked car at the ‘Amtrak Station’ and drove back to my brother’s house again. I needed to drive to Pittsburgh the next night before driving back the day after that to New York City. Things were just beginning to spiral downward.
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Chuck Booth- Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames: To learn more about my “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here . You can also follow my Guinness Book of World Record Successful Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 Days- click here. I am happy to be part of such an awesome Magazine-Style Baseball Website and am looking forward to talking to all of the fans of the MLB. You can reach me on Twitter here Follow @mlbreports
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Posted on January 12, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @chuckbooth3024 on twitter, Amtrak Train, ashburn alley, boston red sox, Chuck Booth. fastest 30 ballgames, Citizens Bank Ball Park, darryl strawberry, Dwight Gooden, florida, Lincoln Financial Field, new york mets, new york yankees, philadelphia phillies, phillie phanatic, ryan howard, Shea Stadium, sicklerville nj, Tampa Bay, Tony Luke's, Trent Booth, Wachovia Center, yankee stadium. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.