Several weeks ago I ran an idea by my good friend Tony Terentieff to go on a baseball trip. The idea was to go on a four day baseball trip where we would go to Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincinnati. Tieff was certainly up for it, so much so that one day he called me at work and told me our itinerary. As I wrote it down, he rattled off six games in six days.
June 28 - Washington vs. Baltimore - Camden Yards
June 29 - Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh - PNC
June 30 - Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland - Progressive Field (Jacobs)
July 1 - Arizona vs. Cincinatti - Great American Ballpark
July 2- NY Mets vs. Pittsburgh - PNC
July 3 - Atlanta vs. Washington - Nats Park D.C.
First, I was stunned. Anthony Terentieff, Mr. Late Planner, planning out an expansive itinerary? I was shocked. When I told my wife, she was shocked. But the trip was on. I added a second game to July 2 in Hagerstown, Maryland which is right near the Pennsylvania border, where we are staying Thursday night (the Pirates - Mets game is a 12:35 start, Hagerstown plays at home at 7:00 pm).
First Day - Baltimore, Maryland
So the day was here. Sunday, June 28. Tony and I headed out for our seven baseball games in six days in trip. We’ve named our trip “Cheap Motels, Cheap Food and Baseball.” I had all my things packed – my clothes, my laptop, a case of Poland Spring Water and, wait for it, a twelve pack of assorted Mike’s Hard Lemonades in my cooler. We left about 7:30 in the morning from my house in
We drove non-stop south on the Jersey Turnpike to the last rest area, the Clara Barton rest stop, before the Delaware Bridge. Why? Cheap
When we got to
So, we finally made our way to our seats, Section 27, Terrace Box behind home plate. Good seats. But what Tieff didn’t know is that the terrace box seats are completely underneath the overhang. No issues about sun. So Tieff put on the sunblock for nothing.
As for the game itself, the Orioles took on the Nationals. John Lannan pitched for the Nats while rookie David Hernandez took the hill for the O’s. They had a barber shop quartet, the Glen Echoes, sing the national anthem (as well as God Bless
The Orioles were missing leadoff hitter Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora and it showed. Lannan kept the Orioles in check for seven plus innings. The O’s got off to a 1-0 lead on a few hits in the third inning but ran themselves out of the inning. Meanwhile, the Nats scrapped for a few funs off Hernandez, including an absolute SHOT by Adam Dunn that went on to Eutaw Street for a two run homer that put the Nats up 2-1.
Orioles’ rookie catcher Matt Wieters has struggled at the plate but acquitted himself in the field nicely. He gunned out one runner and nearly threw out Willie Harris at second after Harris got a great jump off Hernandez. However he made two critical mistakes later in the game. He dropped a great one bounce throw by Adam Jones that resulted in the Nats third run. Then in the ninth inning after a Josh Willingham double, Willingham tried to steal third. Wieters, trying to gun out Willingham, threw the ball in left field, resulting in Willingham scoring. The Nats’ Mike MacDougal closed out the game as the Nats won 5-3.
There were a lot of empty seats at
So, after the game, we went to the
After a big seafood meal and waiting seemingly 30 minutes to digest that and have dessert, we walked around Inner Harbor. After we walked around for a while, we headed off back to our car in the Sheraton Parking Lot and drove out to Pittsburgh. One interesting note; when heading on I-70 from Baltimore to Pittsburgh, there is one point where the I-70 highway ends briefly and becomes the main street of Breezewood, PA. It's really surreal seeing an interstate end at a stop light and having to drive to main street of a town to get back on to I-70/I-76 Penn Turnpike to get to Pittsburgh. Almost seems like the townspeople made a deal with the governor way back when. :-)
Finally, we got to our motel, a Comfort Inn in Pittsburgh East. It's a little out of the way and you might miss it if you are not careful. More about that and Day 2, in my next posting.