Wednesday night after I returned to work I took the Staten Island Ferry to see the Baby Bombers at Richmond County Ballpark at St. George. The Staten Island Yankees were hosting the Batavia Muckdogs. During the day, I got an e-mail from fellow roadtripper, Jim Wood who I met back in May at Citi Field. He told me he was going to be at the game. I told him I'll see him there. It turned out to be a festive occasion for him that night because he was seeing his 100th ballpark. I was thrilled to be part of his personal milestone. There was a small crowd on hand so we had plenty of room to enjoy each other's company as well as the game. We got to catch up on our whereabouts since we met in May. It's always fun to hear someone else's point of view from their travel experiences. Jim said he was working near Philadelphia the day before. When he got done with work, he went to see the Camden Riversharks play in an independent league game before he drove up to Staten Island. After the game he saw with me, he said he was driving to Aberdeen, Maryland to spent the night before he finished driving back home to Raleigh, North Carolina where he now lives.
As for the game we saw, the Muckdogs hung on to beat the Yankees, 8-6. They lead 8-1 after seven innings. They gave up four runs in the eighth and another one in the ninth on a home run by right fielder Yeicok Calderon before they got the next three Yankees out to escape with the victory.
After the game ended, Jim & I said our goodbyes. He went on his way and I was able to catch the 10:30PM boat back to Lower Manhattan.
Thursday night after work I went out to Coney Island on the D train to see the Brooklyn Cyclones play the Mahoning Valley Scrappers at MCU Park. Before I got to the ballpark, I stopped off at Subway for a pre game meal. When I got outside the park I ran into my pals Vincent Ascanio & Michael Abrams who were also there. When we got inside, we saw our buddy Domish who was present & accounted for.
Upon entry, I went right to the team store so I could get my new minor league 25 game passport book stamped & validated to prove I was officially there.
As for the game we saw, the Cyclones fell behind, 1-0 in the second inning. The Scrappers added another one in the top of the fifth inning to go up 2-0. The Cyclones broke the shutout with a run in the bottom of the fifth as they trailed, 2-1. The Scrappers responded with three more runs in the top of the sixth as they went on to beat the Cyclones, 6-2.
Friday night after work I returned to Citi Field now that the All-Star break was officially over. I stopped off at Taste of Dolly's for a few slices of pizza before I was greeted by my pal, Sam Citron at the Rotunda gate as the Mets opened a three game series with division rival, the Philadelphia Phillies who were in town for the weekend.
I proceeded to go up to the Fan Assistance booth behind home plate so I could get my Major League Ballpark Passport book stamped & validated. It was number 6 out of 30 for me as I continue to make the rounds to see all 30 current parks again.
When I finally got upstairs to section 516, I was joined by the King who was back from his latest road trip & his brother Henry who was visiting from Florida. Bryan Gilligan, Vinny Ascanio, David Sack, Alan Gimpel & Michael Carson were also on hand. It was a late arriving crowd mainly because of the post game concert they were having as they announced a gathering of 35,021. The performer was Nas, a rapper from Queens.
As for the game we saw, it was over fast for all intent and purposes as the Phillies scored early and often off Met starter Jeremy Hefner who got beat up. He allowed eight runs in two plus innings as the Phillies lead, 11-0 after three innings. The Mets made an attempt to comeback but they dug too big of a hole for themselves as they wound up losing the game, 13-8.
After the game, the King, his brother Henry, Bryan Gilligan & I went to Donovan's Pub for a post game meal. We wound up meeting up with Charlie Casiano & Frank Anichiarico there as well. We were one big happy family. It was a great way to forgot about the awful game we saw.
Saturday morning I got up early so I could do my laundry before I returned to Citi Field for game two of the three game series with the Phillies.
This time I got a visit from a special guest who I met the Saturday before in Pittsburgh at PNC Park. I'm talking about Blair Long who decided to spend his afternoon at the ballpark. His wife Paula was going to join him but it was too hot for her so she wisely decided to stay home. It was nice to see him again.
In addition, Manny Morales, Marc Beck, Pat Gorman, Phil Butleman, David Sack & Al Linderman were also present & accounted for that day.
Furthermore, I got a surprise visit from my pal Eddie Pelle, his girlfriend Bethany & his brother John who came up during the game.
As for the game we saw, the Phillies took an early 1-0 lead as shortstop Jimmy Rollins lead off the game with a home run to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The Mets answered back with three runs off Phillies' starter Cole Hamels. The Phillies got a run back in the top of the fifth to get within a run at 3-2. The Mets matched them as David Wright drove in a run to give the Mets a 4-2 cushion. They tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning which proved to be huge as the Phillies got a two run homer in the ninth inning from Chase Utley to get within a run again at 5-4 with two out. The Mets were able to get the final out to escape with the win.
After the game, Bryan Gilligan drove the King, Vincent Ascanio & I to Coney Island where we went to see another baseball game as the Brooklyn Cyclones were hosting the Batavia Muckdogs at MCU Park.
We were joined by our friends Beth & William Frank Guthrie who also spent the night at the ballpark.
As for the game we saw, the Cyclones jumped on the Muckdogs early as they scored the game's only runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Cyclones wound up scoring three times as they survived two rain delays as they defeated the Muckdogs, 3-0.
Sunday afternoon I returned to Citi Field for the rubber match of the three game set between the Mets & Phillies. It was also Dwight Gooden Bobblehead Doll day and Matt Harvey was starting for the Mets against Cliff Lee and the Phillies.
When I got upstairs to section 516, I was joined by Steve Tepperman, Phil Butleman, David Sack, Al Linderman, Alan Gimpel, Michael Carson, Rich Wolber, Frank Anichiarico, Pat Gorman as well as Mike & Joe Klein who were there too.
As for the game we saw, Matt Harvey was on. He threw seven shutout innings & he struck out ten Phillies as the Mets used the long ball to beat Cliff Lee, 5-0. David Wright & Marlon Byrd hit back to back solo homers in the first inning & Juan Lagares added a three run blast in the fourth inning to carry the Mets to the victory.
After the game, I went back home for a little while. I then went out and I met up with my parents who came in from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to visit for dinner. I also got to see my adorable niece Taylor and my handsome nephew Jeremy who they brought with them. It was nice to spend some quality time with the family.
Stay tuned for my w/o 7/22 in review when I find some free time to play catch up.
Thank you for reading & following along.