Not quite a road trip, but I did make it out to Citi Field earlier this season, a feat that required a lot of up-front logistics, but paid off by resulting in my picking off my 26th current MLB stadium. It happened on a day which had rained just about up until game time before a midweek game, a circumstance which left Citi Field more abandoned than normal. (It was a virtually a ghost town.) But that did little to dampen my excitement to see another field and take it all in.
As I said earlier, the weather was shitty, so I expected this baseball trip (solo--but don't say I didn't try, Fred's Brim!) to be on the sedate side. Walking off the 7 train at Mets-Willets Point was uncrowded (I was there just about the time of first pitch), and I walked up to Citi Field past the old Shea Stadium top-hat-with-apple thingy, which they've gloriously memorialized by plopping it in the surrounding parking lot.
I went up to the ticket window and bought a ticket, aiming for about $20 even though I knew I could get a seat anywhere. But wait, because it was Citi Tuesdays, as a Citi card holder I get a 10% discount! And wait, there's more--plenty of discounts within Citi Field itself, on food, merchandise--even a free $10 card just for showing your citi card at a specific booth. And this card could be redeemed for BEER! Whoo hoo!
First stop of course, was the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, the most stately and cool place inside the entire stadium. It's a real testament to a stereotype-smashing, color-barrier-breaking legend...who never played for the Mets. In fact, looking at all the pictures on the wall, the video screen above, and the famous "a life is not important..." quote etched into the wall--it was easy for a Dodger fan to feel right at home.
After basking in this glory for a while, I went upstairs to do a lap around the stadium (you see, in this stadium, you're allowed to walk all over, thanks to ushers stationed at the top of each aisle. Even for the cheap seat aisles way on the top deck!).
I went around to the right (as if I was running the bases). As I walked around the stadium, it was clearly new and pretty and everything, but it felt a little...sterile. I talked to SoSG DelinO about it afterward and he described Citi Field as "inorganic". It's almost like it's trying so hard to emulate some of the other great parks (namely Camden Yards in the seating and colors), that it missed an opportunity to do anything distinct for itself.
The food item I was told to try (by three ushers, no less), was the Shake Shack burger. So I walked all the way around to the left-field corner and stood in the longest line I experienced all night, in order to get this burger. And it was...okay. I mean, it was a better-than-average burger but nothing like Lazy Ox Cantina or 25 Degrees or DB Bistro in NYC or anything. It was just a burger. It didn't even satisfy my hunger. But luckily, there was a hidden culinary treat nearby...
The game itself (May 15, 2012) was pretty quiet, probably because Zach Greinke was dealing (en route to a 8-0 victory) and Travis Ishikawa hit two HR (including a three-run bomb) to keep the crowd quiet.
At this point, I went up to the top deck where I was supposed to have been seated. There's a super-tall escalator to get the peons up there, so I ascended.
As I took in the game, I noticed the organ sounded like a carousel organ, very tinny in tone. The organist did play Green Day's Holiday as Dillon Gee got chased, and then segued into the Who's Pinball Wizard. That was pretty cool. I also saw Ryan Braun get plunked which got the Mets pitcher tossed; organist broke into "Good Lovin'".
I sat there for two or three innings, not even moving--because the beer guy comes and serves you in your seats! Brilliant!
And it wouldn't be a SoSG photo-essay without...a picture of the urinals. And it's nice to know that the Mets go water-free as well:
I did see a guy with a Piazza jersey on the subway home. I didn't take his picture, though. I didn't want to get killed.
All in all, a nice stadium, but I'm not itching to get back to Citi Field anytime soon (I actually have one or two shots at it later this year, but I'm sure I'll refrain). 26 down. Four to go!