Tuesday, April 15, 2008


First of all, an extended thank you to a few friends.

Many thanks to Jamaal Bailey, Andre McFadden and Kwame Baird for the company, vehicle, additional pictures and consistent flow of jokes throughout our trek this past weekend. My hopes are that these gents will add their thoughts and pictures to this blog as they not only had a better camera, but have several interesting observations to add to Scribe.

Secondly, what you see below are pictures of our visit to the City of Brotherly Love for Sunday's Chicago Cubs-Philadelphia Phillies finale. After our trip to the nation's capital in September, we decided to take a few more excursions for a mini-baseball park tour. Until the major league teams in New York finally join the new ballpark party (at least a decade too late, in my opinion), the only new venues that you could visit east of Philadelphia are the minor league parks in Brooklyn and Staten Island or fuel up the gas tank for a road trip.

Citizens' Bank Park is a wonderful place to watch a game. In some ways, you may think of it as a extremely large minor league park; the field of play is visible from all angles and the seating arrangements are no frills. The luxury boxes don't scream affluence and the cheap seats don't feel very cheap. The sightlines of the park give the intimate feel for fans that team owners have clamored for with their new venues. Most of all, the Phillies (and the taxpayers) built a park that would be open in the literal and figurative sense.

The team sacrificed much of the indoor space of a traditional ballpark for an atmosphere that may remind you of a county fair or carnival. Once you leave your seat, there are tons of food and drink options in front of you at all levels. Even with the ever-rising ballpark prices, the options between a traditional hot dog, a hometown Philly Cheesesteak or Chickie and Pete's crab fries give you more bang for your buck.

While online waiting for a cheesesteak, we spoke with one of the fans - who was kind enough to offer us some of those fries (seeming not Philly-like) about the park itself. He made a great point about all of the park's amenities being available to everyone, regardless of income. Essentially, it may cost you something to get to a game, but once you are inside, you get a grander experience than just watching the game. At any spot in the stadium, you can see an unobstructed view of the field, mostly because of the open outfield. You can check out some of the team's history through Ashburn Alley or you can participate in a few of the games created for fans. There's even a ginormous barbeque grill on one end of the stadium.

You're waiting for "all of this and so much more", aren't you?

Well, go check it out.

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