Baseball 2011 Wrap Up

So, as the temps start to drop, and the leaves on the trees here in the northeast begin to vary in shades of green, it’s time to look back over the 2011 baseball season and see where we’ve been.

This year, it started out pretty early for us – February 28th to be exact!  In what seems like a lifetime ago, (reality being it was only seven short months ago) we added a ‘new’ stadium to the list by attending the New York Mets spring training game at Digital Domain Park in St. Lucie, Florida.  A perfect day for baseball if I remember correctly, good bit of sun, perfect game time temp.  Digital Domain reminded us of our ‘home’ ballpark in Binghamton, and with the Mets on the field it had a very familiar feel to it for sure.

Digital Domain Park would prove to be one of only four new stadiums for us this year.  Situations and schedules be what they may, our ballpark travel schedule wasn’t as kind to us in 2011 as it had been the previous two years.

The next park checked off the list is one I went to somewhat on my own, as the other half of the ‘arenas and stadiums’ crew was home in Binghamton.  Coolray Field, home of the Gwinnett Braves, was stadium number two of 2011.  An adequate facility for baseball (always love the wrap around concourses!), I’m just not a Braves fan.

Number three on the ‘new’ list was a pleasant surprise for us – U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois.  After all of the ‘negative’ we had read about the replacement for venerable Comisky Park, what we found on the ‘South Side’ was not what we expected.  Lots of concessions, wide concourse (and wrap around!), fans that were into the game – someplace we will love to get back to.

Our fourth, and final, new stadium of 2011 was Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg, PA, which over the last couple of years went through a multi-million dollar face lift.  What they have now is a real gem, and was worth the drive for us to watch a game.  Wrap around concourse (see a theme here?), lots of concessions (and a great beer selection!), great scoreboard, and a packed house all contributed to an enjoyable night for us.  Unfortunately, the one thing that ruined it was our Binghamton  Mets losing the game, but a good trip none the less.

We were able to visit MLB’s two remaining ‘classic’ parks this year as well, both a revisit for us, with a trip to the Friendly Confines in July, and Fenway Pahk a few weeks later.  We made our (now) traditional trip to CitiField in May for the Mets Mothers Day game, but this would be our only trip to Flushing this season.  The Mets haven’t been productive enough on the field for us to want to make a day of it to watch them lose.  In all, only three MLB games found their way onto our itinerary this year, hopefully a number that will increase a bit in 2012.

In AAA ball, a return trip to Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse, coupled with the game at Coolray Field, would encompass the two senior circuit games in 2011.  With nine games attended at NYSEG Stadium, it seems as though our baseball ‘time’ was spent at home this year, which isn’t such a bad thing as old Binghamton Municipal is still one of our favorite ballparks.  The trip to Harrisburg was the only other AA game we saw.  Two games in Brooklyn, and one in Auburn, round out the NY-Penn League games we attended this year.  No Indy ball for us in 2011, but hopefully we’ll get to Rockland County early in 2012 to see the stadium they opened there this season.




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