Wednesday, July 16, 2008

All-Star Memories (Abridged)

I want to do a full post on my experiences at last night’s All Star Game but I need to wait until my pictures (225 of them!) are developed. In lieu of a full post I will give you a quickie recap of my thoughts:

-The atmosphere all around the ballpark was tremendous. For those that have never been to Yankee Stadium, you have to understand that one would never spend any time in that neighborhood for any reason other than to attend a ballgame. It’s not dangerous, per se, but it’s just run down and depressed. I’ve been going to Yankee games since I was 10 years old and I can’t remember a time when there was more life and excitement around the ballpark – and that includes the playoffs and World Series.

-The weather was absolutely perfect. It wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t chilly, and the humidity was virtually non-existent. The baseball gods were certainly wearing t-shirts and shorts and smiling down upon us last night.

-My favorite part of every All-Star Game is during player introductions. I love when the players come out onto the field wearing their individual team uniforms and tip their caps or wave to the crowd upon having their names called. Last night was no different. But when the Hall of Famers were brought out and introduced, I had goosebumps. Seeing Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Ernie Banks, Cal Ripken, Mike Schmidt, and all the other old-timers was awesome.

-For the most part, the game was well played until the 8th inning. After that point, the errors came in leaps and bounds and neither team could execute at the plate. The AL stranded the go-ahead run at third base in three consecutive innings. It looked like Little League out there for a while.

-My favorite moment of the night was when Jonathan Papelbon came into the game in the top of the 8th inning to the sound of throaty boos and alternating chants of “overrated” and “Mariano.” A partisan crowd at Yankee Stadium is one of those little things that make life worth living. Equally enjoyable was watching Billy “other Sandman” Wagner come in and blow the save in the bottom of the 8th inning. Two of the most annoying Rivera wannabes both eating shit from Yankee fans on national TV. It just doesn’t get better than that.

I’ll have pictures up this weekend!

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