Baseball

A blog of all the baseball games I’ve been to. I’ve been lucky to catch quite a few epic games…

Stats are from baseball-reference.com

Baltimore Orioles vs. San Francisco Giants | June 13, 2004

Section 85, Row F, Seat 20

My first game! Surprisingly it was not a Red Sox game, but an Orioles/Giants interleague matchup at Camden Yards! It was a stop on my eighth grade class trip to Washington D.C. The most notable thing that happened in this game was seeing Barry Bonds hit a home run. Number 676 of his career. He went 2-3 for 3 RBIs in the Giants’ 7-3 win.

Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians | August 1, 2006

My first Red Sox game! The Sox lost, but that doesn’t matter. It was a memorable game for many reasons. CC Sabathia was pitching for the Indians, and he was fantastic. The Sox only had one run through the first eight, a solo home run from Mark Loretta, who was one of my favorite players at the time. They even had a mini-rally in the ninth when Alex Gonzales hit a two run shot to drive in himself and Gabe Kapler, but it wouldn’t be enough and the Sox lost 6-3. Still, it was wicked fun. The ’04/’05/’06 Sox had some really great players, and I got to see a bunch of them hit at this game. Manny had two hits. Youk and Mike Lowell each had a hit. And David Ortiz. The first time I ever saw Big Papi he did not disappoint. In his first at bat he worked a full count walk. I also got to see him hit a double and a single before flying out. It was my first introduction to the legendary Papi, whose number 34 will one day hang along side the numbers of Ted, Jim, Yaz and the others in Fenway.

This game was also memorable for the little blackbird that wandered onto the field for several innings. The Boston Globe joked the next day that the crowd was watching the bird more than the game, which was probably true. At one point the bird “stole” second, and the crowd went wild. They even played “Blackbird” by The Beatles over the PA system; I would later hear Paul McCartney play it live at Fenway in ’09 and ’13. Best of all, since this became known as “the blackbird game,” it’s memorable to many Sox fans, even though they lost. A few years after the game, I found out that my friend Kate was there. All in all, it was a perfect first Red Sox game.


Photo by Jim Davis of The Boston Globe.

Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays | August 16, 2008

I went to my second Sox game two years later, and they lost again. Although, for what it’s worth, it was a solid loss: A complete game near shutout by classic Roy Halladay. The only Sox run was a bottom of the ninth homer by Dustin Pedroia. Oh well. This was also the first time my entire family went together, so that was nice. If only they could win!

Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays | May 20, 2009

This one was fun. My brother and I somehow got two tickets to see the Sox about two months into their 2009 campaign. David Ortiz was struggling. He hadn’t hit a home run yet in the year, and people were saying he was done. There were even calls to release him. On this day however, he and the rest of the Sox unleashed a storm on the Blue Jays. Papi went deep in the fifth inning to a rousing ovation. He was joined in the HR club by Mike Lowell, Jason Bay, and two from the captain, Jason Varitek. The Sox wound up with 15 hits, including another deep double from Papi and a triple from Rocco Baldelli (remember him?!). They won the game 8-3, and it was my first Red Sox win.

Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Dodgers | June 19, 2010

It’s weird to think that at the end of their phenomenal careers, Joe Torre managed Manny Ramirez for the Dodgers. It did happen for a little while though, and I was there for Manny’s dramatic return to Fenway Park. Fans were split at the time about how to treat Manny. His departure from the Sox was acrimonious. There were beginnings of steroid suspicions. But when he came up to bat, I stood up and cheered. To thank him for ’04 and ’07. Much of Fenway joined me, although there were some boos.

The game was an instant classic. Tim Wakefield went into the seventh with strong pitching. Victor Martinez had a two run homer in the fourth. In the sixth, Manny hit a moonshot off of his former teammate Wake. A little thank you slash eff you to the Fenway Faithful. It was a tie game into the bottom of the ninth. Rookie Daniel Nava got himself to second. And Dustin Pedroia hit a big single to score Nava and win the game. My first walkoff was a Fenway frenzy!

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees | September 19, 2010

Section 354, Row 19, Seat 16

On a Sunday in September, my college loaded up two busses full of Yankee fans to go to Baltimore and root root root for the away team. My friend Ali and I were stowaways. Well, not really. We were allowed to ride in the bus with everyone else, but our allegiance did not lie with the Evil Empire.

At the game, it was cool to see the Core Four of Jeter, Posada, Pettitte, and Rivera. Pettitte started this game, Jeter and Posada got hits, and well, the Great Mariano Rivera blew the save! I’ll get to that in a bit; the entire game was wild. It started off normal, a 1-1 game through the first three. But in the top of the fourth inning, the Orioles just lost it. Chris Tillman was pitching for the Orioles. He walks Cano on four pitches. Struck out Swisher but then walked Posada. Granderson gets a single and scores Cano from second. A few batters later, with the bases loaded, Tillman walked Gardner to score Grando! A poorly pitched inning puts the Yankees up 3-1. Pettitte leaves the game after six, giving up only three hits and one run. This game should have been put away for the Yankees. Bottom 8. The O’s get a run back from a bunt and two singles. To the bottom of the ninth. Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer in the history of the game comes in to do what he does. Ali and I have our Red Sox hats on upside down. Rally time. Luke Scott, the lead off pinch hitter, takes Mo deep and the game is tied. Chaos ensues at Camden Yards.

Top 10. Enter… Koji?!?! Yup, Koji Uehara, the future Red Sox icon and 2013 ALCS MVP came in for the Orioles, and struck out the side! He got Swisher, Posada, and Granderson to all go down swinging! High five city! In the top of the eleventh, the Yankees put ARod in. He had been sitting for the game, probably letting his butt heal from the latest round of steroids. ARoid walked and they immediately lifted him. I don’t know why, but I instinctively jumped up and started booing the heck out of him. It was the first time I had ever booed a player in my life. They then put in the goon Mark Teixeria to hit. I booed him too. I was on a roll. So were the O’s who turned a double play. On to the bottom half of the eleventh. Ninth-inning hero Luke Scott leads off with a huge double. Ty Wigginton hit a single and it was over. Orioles win. After being down 3-1 in the eighth inning, they bring it back to within a run, tie it in the ninth off of Mo, and win it in the eleventh. Take that, Yanks. My second straight walkoff.

New York Mets vs. Milwaukee Brewers | September 28, 2010

Section 107, Row 12, Seat 19

The Mets and the Brewers had a tight game going all game. Bottom nine. Mets are down 3-2. Ike Davis hits a double to right field (WE LIKE IKE chants abound). Nick Evans strikes out. Josh Thole hits a single. Luis Castillo comes in as a pinch runner for the catcher Thole. Then Ruben Tejada, the 20 year old second baseman, hits a huge double scoring Evans and Castillo. Mets walk off– run off really. Citi Field goes crazy, and it’s my third straight walkoff!

New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals | April 8, 2011

Section 106, Row 13, Seat 6

For only the third Opening Day in Citi Field’s history, I was on hand cheering on my second-favorite team, the New York Mets. (I hold dual fan citizenship, although Red Sox Nation is listed first on my baseball visa.) The Mets lost badly, but it was still a great day in the park with my friend Kate. For the Nats, I got to see the legendary Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez in his 21st and final season. I saw him knock in one of his 2,844 career hits. The Big 3 of the Mets at the time (Jose Reyes, David Wright, & Carlos Beltran) all got hits, but R.A. Dickey and the rest of the Mets pitching staff couldn’t hold up against the former Expos, and they lost 6-2. But hey, it was still Opening Day! That’s pretty cool to be at.

New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles | April 14, 2011

Section 413, Row 10, Seat 11

I hate the Yankees. Always have always will. But I love baseball, and I did live in the Bronx for four years, so of course I went to Yankee Stadium every chance I got. For this Thursday night game, I went with my friends Zach, Adam, and Annie. Zach drove, and we parked at least a mile away from the Stadium. I think Zach did that on purpose so I could parade my Red Sox hat through the South Bronx at night. (I got a few heckles and catcalls, but it was mostly friendly.)

Whenever I went to a Yankees game in college, I really wanted to see the Core Four of Yankee legends. Andy didn’t start this game, and Jeter only went one for five, but the other half of the Core were pretty special.

It was a close game throughout the first 8 and a half innings. Phil Hughes started for the Yanks and gave up five runs. The genetically enhanced Bartolo Colon and Joba Chamberlain kept the game within reach for the Bombers. Bottom 9. Orioles are up 6 to 5. Jorge Posada steps up to the plate. First pitch. Gone. Tie game. Top 10. Mo comes in. He works around a single to Nick Markakis on a Derrek Lee double play ball, and gets Vlad Guerrero to ground out. We go to the bottom of the tenth. Still a tie game. For the first time in my life, I was rooting hard for the rallying Yankees. Teixeira (the goon) worked a full count walk. ARod hit a steroid double. Tex to third. Cano lined out. But then Nick Swisher knocked one way back to right. Teixeira scores on the sac fly. Yankees win. Walk off madness. I cheered like crazy in my Red Sox hat.

Oh, and this was my fourth walkoff in five games…

New York Mets vs. Arizona Diamondbacks | April 23, 2011

Section 107, Row 25, Seat 14

Easter weekend, 2011. My friend Maria and I essentially couch surf around New York in order to see a Lady Gaga show. (Read more about that here!) One of the many twists and turns of that chaotically wonderful weekend was going to a Mets game on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The Mets had a nice and clean 6-4 win over the DBacks, and I remember rooting for Arizona’s Stephen Drew, because I always thought his big brother J.D. was misunderstood. Who knew that Stephen would help the Sox win the ’13 World Series?

Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians | August 4, 2011

My game with the Carl Crawford/Adrian Gonzales soon-to-collapse Red Sox was, fittingly, pretty cruddy. Justin Masterson, who the Sox had foolishly traded to the Indians, got a little bit of revenge by allowing only 3 runs on 5 hits through six innings. Erik Bedard made his heavily-hyped first start for the Sox and gave up 3 runs over five innings. (He didn’t get the loss though– the bullpen gave up 4 more runs.) The entire offense was as such: Jacoby Ellsbury had two hits, Gonzalez had one, David Ortiz had a big two-out RBI, and Josh Reddick (remember him?) had a home run.

New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels | April 15, 2012

Section 406, Row 10, Seat 18

This one was cool. It was Jackie Robinson Day, and the 65th anniversary of Robinson’s debut. His widow and daughter were inside Yankee Stadium on this day to commemorate the icon. (Of course, the last player to ever wear Jackie’s Number 42 still played for the Yanks at this point, although Mo did not pitch today.) Robinson Cano, who was named for Jackie and wears 24 as a tribute, was part of the ceremony and went 2-3. Jeter had two hits including a home run on the way to an 11-5 routing of the Albert Pujols/Torii Hunter/Vernon Wells Halos.

New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins | April 18, 2012

Section 238, Row 8, Seat 22

To be honest, I don’t remember too much of this one. I have a ticket stub, so I was definitely there! Despite a Derek Jeter home run in the bottom of the ninth, the Twins beat the Yanks 6-5.

New York Yankees vs. Cincinnati Reds | May 19, 2012

Suite 7, Row BS, Seat 2

As part of Senior Week, my college purchased an entire suite of amazing seats at Yankee Stadium, on what was essentially the last day of college- the day before graduation. Most of the game was a blur, since we were only 24 hours away from the end of college. Nonetheless, it was a great game in every respect. The Reds beat the Yankees 6 to 5 (which made me happy) I got to see Derek Jeter get a hit (which also made me happy) and AFraud went 0 for 4 (which made me very happy). Being in the suite was wicked cool. We had lots of room to move around and tons of free food and drinks. They also gave out free Yankees hats, so I wore mine underneath my Sox one.

Boston Red Sox vs. Minnesota Twins | August 3, 2012

Well this was another stinker. The worst Red Sox team in fifty years lost 6-5 to the Twins in ten innings. However, there was a bright spot to this game: before the game, the Red Sox Hall of Fame inducted it’s 2012 class, including my all-time favorite pitcher, Curt Schilling. I never got to see Schill pitch during his career, but being able to see him throw out the ceremonial first pitch was a nice consolation prize.

Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros | April 25, 2013

Loge Box 106, Row LL, Seat 1

My first Red Sox game of their unlikely 2013 Championship season was a great one. I went with my friend Kim when my boss generously gave me his pair of season tickets for the night. The seats were incredible, and so were the Sox. Buchholz went into the eighth with only two runs, and the Sox’s bats were on fire. Napoli, Carp, Middlebrooks, and Ellsbury all had doubles, and David Ortiz hit one out of the park. The Sox won it 7-2. The best moment, however, came in the middle of the eighth inning. Now, before the season began, people wanted the Sox to stop playing “Sweet Caroline” during games. But after April 15th, everything changed. At this game, just ten days after the bombing and during the same homestand that Ortiz so memorably introduced, “Sweet Caroline” took on a whole new meaning. Everybody sang it with joy and pride. And with tears in their eyes. It was a really special moment.

Boston Red Sox vs. Arizona Diamondbacks | August 2, 2013

My second Sox game of the year was kind of a dud. Lester gave up six runs in less than five innings. Papi and Drew had home runs. Ells had a triple. My entire family was able to go, which was nice. That’s about it! DBacks won it  7-6.

Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers | ALCS Game 2 | October 13, 2013

RF Box 89, Row WW, Seat 2

My first playoff game was, well, one of the greatest games in the history of the Boston Red Sox, if not all of baseball. It started off awful. Max Scherzer no-hit the Sox into the sixth inning. Shane Victorino was up. I sent him positive vibes. Then he got a single. Then Pedroia knocked him in on a double. Good start. Of course, every Red Sox fan alive will remember the bottom of the eighth inning for the rest of their lives. With two outs, about to go down 0-2 to the Tigers in the series, David Ortiz steps to the plate. The hero of so many Octobers long ago. With two outs, boom. A GRAND SLAM INTO THE BULLPEN! Over the diving Torii Hunter and Officer Steve Horgan. The iconic image. If you could zoom out I was about 20 rows behind that. That moment shifted the momentum of the entire post-season, and the Sox (after Salty walking off in the ninth) would go on to win the 2013 World Series. I was there for this iconic game. This will probably be the best game I’ll ever go to. And I still can’t believe it. My one regret (not really) is that I missed Dave O’Brien’s now-famous call on WEEI: “David Ortiz! David Ortiz! David Ortiz!”


Photo by Stan Grossfeld of The Boston Globe

My win-loss record to date:

Red Sox are 4-4.

(1-0 in the postseason!)

Yankees are 2-3. (Good.)

The Mets are 2-1.

Back home.

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