Fort Wayne – August 2018 – Tipcaps Baseball

Our day ended by watching a few innings of minor league baseball. The Fort Wayne Tincaps are a low minor leagues farm team for the San Diego Padres.

The name alludes to ‘Johnny Appleseed’, aka John Chapman. Born in Massachusetts Johnny Appleseed spent much of his life travelling the midwest planting orchards. The legend, perpetuated by a Disney movie, was that he wore a tin pot on his head for a cap.

Since he spent his last days in Fort Wayne, they adopted this look for their mascot.

The stadium itself, as with all stadiums in America, sold it’s naming rights to a local hospital and has commercialization throughout – including the Toyota Picnic area.

Since I like symmetry in photos, this was perfect (before the people arrived).

2018 08 31 492 Ft Wayne IN Parkview Field.jpg

 

 

Another baseball tradition that has been taken to extremes is the first pitch. Historically for important games a celebrity or politician would throw out the first pitch from the stands. Over the last 30 years it has become tradition to do it from the field.

Now instead of being a special event they do it every game, and end up with 8 ‘first pitches’ like this one.

2018 08 31 501 Ft Wayne IN Parkview Field.jpg

 

 

We were honored to be in the presence of Wonder Woman – at least that is what her shirt says.

2018 08 31 502 Ft Wayne IN Parkview Field.jpg

 

 

There actually was a game.

2018 08 31 516 Ft Wayne IN Parkview Field.jpg

 

 

But it was more fun checking out the crowd, including these two young ladies who managed to stand right next to the sign that says no standing.

2018 08 31 521 Ft Wayne IN Parkview Field.jpg

 

 

The crowd was fairly passive all game, despite some close plays.

2018 08 31 531 Ft Wayne IN Parkview Field.jpg

 

 

In the early years of baseball the stadiums were built into tight city lots, so they were asymmetrical. Starting in the 1950s they built them all the same with perfect symmetry, but after 1990 everyone wanted the ‘retro’ look and went back to quirky setups, even though they had the space to build a consistent field.

Baseball is the only sport where the playing field differs at each stadium (although obviously the infield is the same everywhere).

2018 08 31 548 Ft Wayne IN Parkview Field.jpg

 

 

Sunset , clouds and stadium lights – the ultimate in photo lighting.

2018 08 31 541 Ft Wayne IN Parkview Field.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pittsburgh – July 2018 – Views of the City

A weekend in Pittsburgh always gives us a chance to check out the sights – some familiar, some new.

First up – the historic Gulf Tower in the morning sun.

2018 07 08 6 Pittsburgh Strip District.jpg

 

 

The Strip District (the neighborhood got it’s name because it is a small ‘strip’ of land along the Allegheny River). Once industrial, then vacant, this area is going through a rebirth – including the refurbished Cork Factory – now apartments.

2018 07 08 2 Pittsburgh Strip District.jpg

 

 

A great ‘new-old’ sign on a building on Penn Avenue. In this part of the world ‘pop’ is what soda is known as.

2018 07 08 4 Pittsburgh Strip District.jpg

 

 

Artwork along the Allegheny. Note the houses on the high bluff across the river – Pittsburgh is a very hilly city.

2018 07 08 7 Pittsburgh Strip District.jpg

 

 

Instead of replacing the tracks they just filled them in with mulch to make a path.

2018 07 08 12 Pittsburgh Strip District.jpg

 

The view down Smallman Street towards downtown Pittsburgh.

2018 07 08 15 Pittsburgh Strip District.jpg

 

 

Our final stop in the Strip was a hipster flea market.

2018 07 08 16 Pittsburgh Strip District.jpg

 

 

 

The best views of the Point, Downtown and the Rivers are from West End Overlook.

2018 07 08 23 Pittsburgh West End Overlook.jpg

 

 

From here you get views of the entire valley.

2018 07 08 25 Pittsburgh West End Overlook.jpg

 

 

The pleasure boats were out on this Sunday morning.

2018 07 08 30 Pittsburgh West End Overlook.jpg

 

 

The bright morning sun made the photography challenging.

2018 07 08 36 Pittsburgh West End Overlook.jpg

 

 

A beautiful day for baseball.

2018 07 07 291 Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball.jpg

 

 

Where the give away for the the fans were fedora hats!

2018 07 07 305 Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball.jpg

 

 

 

 

Columbus – June 2018 – Hot Baseball

It’s literally 100 degrees (38c) and humid so what should we do, go to a baseball game. So some decisions are dumber than others, but we lasted about 2 hours and gave up (although we found seats in the shade).

It did provide enough time for some views of the game and the crowd.

2018 06 17 2 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

After some casual stretching.

2018 06 17 4 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

It was time to play.

2018 06 17 13 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

Dad is a great role model for the  little ones – what most people consider an insensitive hat and a shirt asking for beer with the baby on his lap – sitting in the sun on this hot day. The kid of the left’s face says it all.

2018 06 17 22 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

Swing and a miss.

2018 06 17 15 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

The play was sketchy at times, there were 4 credited errors in the first 3 innings.

2018 06 17 17 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

 

Although there were some good plays too.

2018 06 17 34 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

An Indianapolis player launched a massive home run into the bleachers, which the guy in the pink shirt clearly does not want to catch.

2018 06 17 26 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

Nor do the stunned little kids (or anyone around them)

2018 06 17 28 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

Jake the Wonder dog brought drinks to the umpires.

2018 06 17 30 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

While the manager is trying to figure out how to get through to his pitcher.

2018 06 17 35 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

What brings the crowd to their feet – free t shirt toss!

2018 06 17 37 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

Why is it when a pitcher is doing so poorly he gets pulled, yet they always pat them on the butt?

2018 06 17 44 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

The players look at the fans taking cover from a foul ball wondering why.

2018 06 17 45 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

Finally the 4th inning was over and we gave up and went to the air conditioned car.

2018 06 17 51 Columbus Clippers Minor League Baseball.jpg

 

 

Chicago – May 2017 – Scenes from around Wrigley Field

2017 05 24 63 Chicago.jpg

 

With a hotel in Wrigleyville, and a game scheduled, it was the perfect time to wander around the neighborhood while the crowd gathered. Without tickets, and being much too cold for late May, I skipped the game to focus on the outside scenes.

Th Addison El stop.

2017 05 24 38 Chicago.jpg

 

Knock off T Shirts across the street from the stadium grounds.

2017 05 24 42 Chicago.jpg

 

Pay homage to Cubs great Billy Williams.

2017 05 24 44 Chicago.jpg

 

Security was out in full force.

2017 05 24 48 Chicago.jpg

 

Some San Francisco Giants fans hanging out in front of the fire station.

2017 05 24 52 Chicago.jpg

 

Need a Cubs shirt?

2017 05 24 54 Chicago.jpg

 

Riding in style.

2017 05 24 60 Chicago.jpg

 

With parking a premium, the flaggers go all out to attract attention. His 10′ high PARKING sign was mounted in his backpack. Many are jammed under the El tracks, and throughout small lots in the neighborhood. Most cost $40 for a 3 hour game.

2017 05 24 64 Chicago.jpg

Columbus – April 2017 – Minor League Baseball

The Columbus Clippers are a AAA minor league team for the Cleveland Indians. As one of the larger cities in minor league baseball they tend to draw well, but on this warm, windy Sunday the crowd was somewhat sparse.

2017 04 30 102 Columbus Clippers.jpg

 

Still it was a beautiful day for baseball, and the action was exciting.

2017 04 30 120 Columbus Clippers.jpg

 

2017 04 30 110 Columbus Clippers.jpg

 

2017 04 30 133 Columbus Clippers.jpg

 

As with all minor league games the in between innings promotions were amusing – this one was a ‘human Wendy’s hamburger’ build.

2017 04 30 138 Columbus Clippers.jpg

 

The obligatory T-shirt toss.

2017 04 30 121 Columbus Clippers.jpg

 

As AAA players they are almost to the big leagues. The skill level was quite good, although there were a few mistakes in the play.

2017 04 30 140 Columbus Clippers.jpg

Pittsburgh- June 2016 – Weekend in the ‘Burgh

A quick weekend road trip to Pittsburgh was in store in late June, primarily to go to a Pittsburgh Pirates game. But first up was a stop at the University of Pittsburgh, specifically taking a self guided tour of the Cathedral of Learning. Built in the late 1920s, and finished in 1934, it is the tallest educational building in the Western hemisphere at 535 feet high, built in a gothic style.

2016 06 25 60 Pittsburgh.jpg

As you enter the building you come into the lobby, a massive 3 story high room. Around the perimeter of the first floor, and third floor are 30 Nationality Rooms designed by the various ethnic groups (mostly European) from throughout Pittsburgh.

When we arrived we immediately went to the 42nd floor, where we could look out small windows to the north, south and east, providing vistas across much of Pittsburgh, but unfortunately not a complete downtown view. Prior to the construction of Three Rivers Stadium on the north side in 1970 the Pirates played at Forbes Field, which was just to the south of the campus. A very famous photo shows fans watching the 1960 World Series from this vantage point.

2016 06 25 9 Pittsburgh.jpg

Returning back to the ground level we received a key from the attendant and wandered in and out of the various Nationality rooms for about an hour. Most of the rooms had a religious feel to them, but the furniture and artwork was very interesting, and dramatically different from room to room.

2016 06 25 20 Pittsburgh.jpg

We left Pitt to head downtown to park the car at our hotel, a Hilton Garden Inn near Market Square. Once downtown we found that numerous streets were closed or re-routed, or had changed course since I regularly drove them. Eventually we did make it to the hotel and into the garage. The Hilton Garden Inn had recently opened, and our room on the 10th floor had a decent view of the surrounding buildings.

We dropped the bags off and headed out on foot to find a couple of the Roadside America attractions previously missed. The one I really wanted to find most was the Lawrence Welk bubble making machine supposedly at the William Penn Hotel, a classic old hotel. The difference in the look and feel of the new, contemporary hotel we were staying and the William Penn were striking, but all we wanted was a bubble machine. After asking a couple of the workers we finally found a maintenance man who was familiar with it. He took us to an area that had a small museum of the hotel, and we look, and looked again, still not finding it. Finally I  went back upstairs where I found a display underneath a stairway that contained the famous bubble making machine.

2016 06 25 67 Pittsburgh.jpg

After a lengthy walk out to the Strip District and back down Penn Avenue through a jazz festival we headed to the game. A full house, beautiful weather and an exciting Pittsburgh Pirates game made for a great evening. The return trip the next day was uneventful with no interesting side trips.

2016 06 25 100 Pittsburgh.jpg