US Cellular Field – Chicago

7 09 2009
  • 333 W. 35th Street
  • Chicago, IL 60616
  • (312) 674-1000
  • Website
US Cellular Field on W. 35th Street in Chicago.

US Cellular Field on W. 35th Street in Chicago.

Most guys use their bachelor party as an excuse to go to a strip club.  Most of my friends fit into that generalization as well.  Strip clubs aren’t really my thing, so when my brother asked what I wanted to do for my bachelor party, I didn’t hesitate and said I wanted to go to a White Sox game. 

US Celluar Field is on West 35th Street on Chicago’s south side.  No one I know actually calls the place US Celluar Field.  Most people refer to it simply as “The Cell.”  The old timers still call it “Comiskey” (the original name was Comiskey Park named after the old park and owner Charles Comiskey).  The Chicago media likes to use the name “US Comiskular” (combining US Cellular and Comiksey).

The “new” Comiskey Park was opened in 1991.  They were a year too early.  New Comiskey was built as the ball park of the future.  It had clean lines.  A symmetrical shape and it was quite sterile.  There was really no character.  One year later, when Camden Yards opened, Comiskey’s futuristic styling was already a thing of the past.  The retro look is what actually took off and every ballpark since then has been designed after the success of Camden….not Comiskey. Read the rest of this entry »


Silver Cross Field – Joliet, IL

20 06 2009
  • 1 Mayor Art Schultz Drive
  • Joliet, IL 60432
  • (815) 726-2255
  • Website
Silver Cross Field in downtown Joliet.

Silver Cross Field in downtown Joliet.

I think I’ve already mentioned, I really like baseball.  Most guys spend all year getting ready for their fantasy football draft….I look forward to April because baseball’s starting.  I’ve been very lucky the last seven years having a Midwest League team in the city I’ve lived in.  Trust me, I’ve taken advantage of that. 

For my first two years of college, I played baseball at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL.  We played our home games on a pretty nice field at Joliet Catholic Academy (high school).  Since I went to a small high school, this field was a huge step up, but for most of the guys I played with, it was a step down.  In 2003, USF got a huge opportunity to play it’s home games at the newly built Silver Cross Field in downtown Joliet.  I never got to play there or even see it before I left school, but the park’s main tenant is the Joliet Jackhammers of the Northern League. 

J and I were at my parents house and it’s always nice to be able to get my dad out of the house.  He likes baseball like I like baseball so I suggested the hour drive north to Joliet.  Once we figured out the rain might actually hold off, my mom and aunt also wanted in, so we loaded up the van an headed to Joliet. Read the rest of this entry »

Ray Fisher Stadium

11 04 2009
  • 1114 S. State Street
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 647-2583
  • Website
The entrance to Ray Fisher Stadium on the campus of the University of Michigan

The entrance to Ray Fisher Stadium on the campus of the University of Michigan

Being a former college baseball player, I’ve always been jealous of the guys who get to play in the Big Ten.  When I was a Senior in high school, I went down to Champaign to pitch my case to “Itch” Jones.  I wanted to play Big Ten baseball.  Coach Jones told me in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t good enough to play in the Big Ten.  He suggested junior college and see if I got better. 

I didn’t take his advice.  I went to a NAIA Division I school, played a year and a half and got cut halfway through my sophomore season.  I could have went back to juco, but I gave up on a baseball and focused on my education and getting out of college as fast as possible. 

Even though we were one of the top NAIA teams in the country, we shared our field with one of the local high schools.  It was our field, but it was on their property.  The field was ok, but it doesn’t compare to the minor league ballpark the team plays in now. 

I tell you all this because I get chills every time I walk on the grass at Ray Fisher Stadium in Ann Arbor.  The field is part of the Wilpon Baseball/Softball complex.  It sits in the middle of the athletic complex on State Street.  The field is surrounded by Yost, Schembechler Hall, the track and field complex and Alumni Field.  Read the rest of this entry »

Illinois Field – Champaign, IL

27 03 2009
  • 1605 S. Wright Street
  • Champaign, IL 61820
  • (217) 333-3630
  • Website
The view from the press box at Illinois Field in Champaign, IL

The view from the press box at Illinois Field in Champaign, IL

I freakin love baseball.  I played growing up.  I played a couple years in college.  I can’t get enough of it.  I’ve never been much of a football person, but I love when baseball season comes around.  I know…that’s weird.

Now that I work in broadcasting, spring is my favorite time.  I love it when I get a call to shoot a baseball game.  Yes, chances are it’s going to be cold and rainy, but that’s ok with me.  I got a last minute call to make the trek to Illinois for three games in three days.  The first two days were U of I vs. Michigan State University baseball.

Illinois Field in located on Wright Street right at the boundry for the cities of Champaign and Urbana.  It’s just down the street from Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium.  The grassy lot next to the field is actually used for overflow parking during football season. Read the rest of this entry »

Comerica Park

27 07 2008
  • 2100 Woodward Ave.
  • Detroit, MI 48201
  • (313) 962-4000
  • Website
The view from our seats at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit.

The view from our seats at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit.

I don’t even know what to say.  WOW!  I cannot tell you how impressed I was with Comerica Park.  I don’t have a lot of experience when it comes to Major League ballparks.  Comiskey Park, US Cellular Field, Wrigley Field, Yankee Stadium, and Busch Stadium are the only ballparks I’ve been to.  Comerica makes The Cell look like that sh*thole where the Cubs play. 

When my girlfriend and I first moved to Lansing, one of the first thing we did was check the Tigers schedule to see when our White Sox were in town.  Luck has it, they were here the first weekend we were.  Since we were still working out moving expenses, going to Detroit our first weekend here probably wouldn’t have been a good idea.  A few weeks ago, I noticed the Sox were in town again.  I got on StubHub to see what I could get for tickets and picked up two right field bleacher seats.  Since I bought the tickets two weeks ago, we’ve both been jacked about going to the game.

We parked near Greektown and walked to the park.  We ended up between Comerica and Ford Field which was a good spot since our seats were in the outfield.  We handed over our tickets and walked in and immediately both of us were in awe.  What a beautiful park.  I snapped a few pictures from left field then we went to make a lap around and see what else CoPa had to offer. Read the rest of this entry »

Oldsmobile Park

19 04 2008
  • 505 E. Michigan Ave.Oldsmobile Park
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 485-4500
  • Website

Nothing beats a Saturday afternoon at the ballpark, so that’s what my girlfriend and I decided to do.  The Lugnuts were home and the weather was beautiful.  I had been to many games at O’Brien Field in Peoria where the the Chiefs play.  Once at the ballpark, nothing beats ballpark food.

The reason I chose to write a review on Oldsmobile Park is because of the selection of food available.  Of course they’ve got the standard hot dogs and cotton candy, but the first thing I noticed when I walked in was a push cart where a vendor was cooking pulled pork on a flat top.  We go down a little bit farther and there’s another guy doing Philly Cheesesteaks the same way. 

Oldsmobile ParkWe stopped at the pulled pork guy’s stand but all we got were a Pepsi and a Diet Pepsi.  We had just eaten so it wasn’t time for lunch just yet.  Vendors were constantly going up and down the aisles….almost to the point of annoying.  I missed a few hits because I had three vendors following each other down the aisle.  When we finally did grab something to eat, my girlfriend just got an ice cream sandwich from one of those annoying vendors.

I’ve been to a couple different minor league ballparks and it’s usually the same ol’ same ol’ when it comes to food.  More and more places are trying new things and I was pretty impressed with the way the items were set up.  For the most part, all the vendors had their backs to the field, so you could actually watch the game while waiting in line.   Oldsmobile park didn’t have the atmosphere that I’ve grown used to at Midwest League games, but that probably won’t be enough to keep me from going back.  It’s still baseball.