Thursday, August 7, 2008


It was Wednesday and football practice has not started for Rio Mesa while our son Mike had a day off from his work as a transporter at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks...

Part 1 - Major League Baseball

The Dodgers were in St. Louis but the Giants were hosting the Atlanta Braves in a 12:45 p.m. National League baseball game. Neither one of us had attended a game in the Giants new AT&T Park so it was GAME ON!

We left Casa Contreras at 5:40 a.m. for the 375 mile drive up the El Camino Real Highway 101 to San Francisco. After a couple of pit stops, we arrived at the Park at 11:30 a.m. and were greeted by a girl with extra parking passes who gave us one for no apparent reason other than being at the right place at the right time thus saving us untold millions in potential parking fees.

On the drive to San Francisco I started to think about all the major league baseball stadiums I have seen games in and upon returning home I have come up with the following list of 23 stadiums in 15 major league cities:

Anaheim - The Big A
Baltimore - Memorial Stadium
Boston - Fenway Park
Chicago - Old Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field
Cleveland - Jacobs Field

Denver - Coors Field
Detroit - Tiger Stadium
Los Angeles - Wrigley Field, Los Angeles Coliseum and Dodger Stadium
New York - Shea Stadium and Yankee Stadium
Oakland - Oakland Coliseum

Philadelphia - Veterans Stadium
Phoenix - Bank One Ballpark
San Diego - Jack Murphy Stadium and Petco Park
San Francisco - Candlestick Park and AT&T Park
Seattle - Sicks Stadium, Kingdome and Safeco Field

AT&T Park looked very inviting from the outside.

I liked the way they tied in their history in New York as well as their time in San Francisco. 

McCovey Cove

Located right behind the right field wall, any home runs that land in the Cove are called "Splash Hits". We didn't see one yesterday but they have a scoreboard on the right field wall telling everyone that there have been 45 Splash Hits so far this year.

The statue of Willy McCovey is located across the Cove from AT&T Park


We were down the right field line, five rows from the Atlanta Braves bullpen.

A sunny day inside AT&T Park

Tim Linecum, #55, pitching for the Giants

With no small level of pride, Mark Johnson has informed me that Tim Linecum was a record setting pitcher at the University of Washington before being picked #1 (10th overall) by the Giants in the 2006 draft! I've been out of the country and am somewhat out of the loop still.

He went 8 innings, struck out 8 batters, scattered 5 hits while running his record to 12-3 on the season. Aaron Rowland drove in all three runs as the Giants won for the 48th time in 2008, by a score of 3-2.

Good game that lasted a quick 2 hours and 14 minutes, beautiful day and a great setting for a ball game!

Part 2 - Major College Football

Because the game ended just before 3:00 p.m., we decided to take a chance and pull off the highway about an hour into our trip home to see if the San Jose State University Spartan's football team was practicing, THEY WERE!

Why not stop at Stanford or California instead? Easy, the Spartan's Head Coach is Dick Tomey who was Jason's Head Coach at the University of Arizona for three years. Also, three former Rio Mesa H.S. play for the Spartan's.

Dick Tomey

What a class act, I first saw him in action when he was an assistant coach at UCLA in the 1970's. Besides Arizona and San Jose State, he was also the Head Coach at the University of Hawaii.

I mentioned Jason and the great season he had in Catania and Dick got a big smile on his face and proceeded to tell me what a great guy Jason was at Arizona and how much he enjoyed coaching him!

It was also nice when he mentioned how much he likes players from Rio Mesa H.S.!!!

Jared Strubeck, Rio Mesa H.S., Class of 2005

Jared is a Senior Place Kicker, #10 kicking a Field Goal above

He is a 4 year starter at SJSU as a kicker and has enjoyed a great career. His kicks were booming over the net behind the goal posts.

Josh Harrison, Rio Mesa H.S., Class of 2007

Josh is a redshirt Freshman Wide Receiver, #1 running a pass route above

Josh is battling for a starting position and had a great practice! He caught a 40 yard pass over a defender, shook him and raced another 30 yards with the ball for a 70 yard TD play, the only score of their 20 minute scrimmage.

Ina Liaina, Rio Mesa H.S., Class of 2008

Ina is a true Freshman Linebacker, in his stance in the middle above

Ina missed most of his Senior season in 2007 due to a broken foot. Like most true Freshmen, he is going through an adjustment period at this point and will have to work much harder to move up the depth chart to avoid red shirting.

Mike, on the left, and I evaluating the Spartans and our ex-players

San Jose State has a VERY positive coaching staff and they are really stressing that the players must learn to compete at a high level every day in every practice!

They open at home on August 39th vs. U.C. Davis and then travel to play Nebraska on September 6th.

We finally arrived back in Camarillo at about midnight after stopping for dinner in Pismo Beach at a very good Italian restaurant, Giuseppe's Cucina Italiana.



Brandon said...

You got to see a ballgame in old Sicks Stadium, huh? That's a ballpark I would've loved to see when the Rainiers were the only thing in town. If you ever make it up to Vancouver, BC, they have Nat Bailey Stadium which I'm told is very similar to what Sicks used to be.

You're not a UW grad, are you?

DPLassen said...

I would have liked to have seen a game at L.A.'s Wrigley Field, myself. But I think I was 3 when the Angels played their only season there.

The ballpark in San Francisco is great ... I rate it second to Pittsburgh among the new retro-style parks.

I'm at 40 major-league parks and counting. They keep building them faster than I can visit.

George said...


My wife and I, we weren't married yet, attended opening day at Sicks Stadium when the Seattle Pilots beat the Chicago White Sox.

It was one and done as the Pilots moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers the next season.

And yes, University of Washington, Class of 1969!

George said...


40 major league stadiums!!!!

What a world traveler you are!

Sarah said...

Right in my back yard and nobody called me!!! John & I went to the Giant vs. Dodgers game Friday night at AT&T. Of course the Giants lost. Your room & board is always free with us!! :-)

~ Sarah Gardner

George said...


It was a quick turnaround trip, no time to visit but we should have called.


Brandon said...

I knew I liked you and your blog for a reason other than the awesome pictures of Italy.

I'm not a UW grad, but my wife is a UW med school grad and since I grew up in Olympia, I've been a Husky fan all my life. Go Dawgs!

I'm sad that I moved back to Seattle just before you got back to California. I would've liked to meet you and check out one of Rio Mesa's football games. If you're ever in Seattle, drop me a line.