Royalty Tours USA

Monday, April 7, 2014

Royalty sees the 2014 MLB season officially open in Sydney, Australia!

Tickets to 2014 MLB Opening Series Game 1 at Sydney Cricket Ground
After enjoying an overwhelming welcoming gathering, the King & I as well as other people we met including Martyn Bailey all walked over to the Sydney Cricket Ground to see the Arizona Diamondbacks who were designated as the "home" team for the 2014 MLB Opening Series Games. They played host to their division rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers. We arrived there shortly after the gates opened at 5PM so we could take a walk around the inside of the venue, snap pictures & watch batting practice as we prepared for the official start of the new baseball season Down Under. In the process, we got to meet up with fellow ballpark chaser, David Schaffer who hung out with us before the game as we took in the pre game festivities & atmosphere together. We then proceeded to go upstairs to our seats in the upper deck which were right behind home plate the way we like it.
King & I at Tokyo Dome on March 29, 2000
The last time the King & I left North America to see the baseball season open up in a different country & continent was back on March 29, 2000 when we saw our beloved New York Mets host the Chicago Cubs at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. The Mets lost the first game they played there but thankfully they won the second one. They did so in dramatic fashion as Benny Agbayani hit a grand slam in the tenth inning to to send us back home very happy to say the least. What a thrill that was.
 King & I along with David Schaffer at Sydney Cricket Ground
Now turn the clock ahead almost 14 years to the day & this time we were in a new country & continent doing the same. For those of you back in the Northeast, the first pitch was scheduled to come at 4:15AM which was 7:15PM local time in Sydney live on Saturday, March 22nd. Thanks to mother nature, the season was delayed an additional 45 minutes as we had to wait out a rain delay. Finally at 8PM local time, Wade Miley of the Diamondbacks delivered the season's first pitch to Dodgers' right fielder Yusiel Puig & just like that baseball was back for real.
View from Bay 446 row W at Sydney Cricket Ground
As for the rest of the game, the Dodgers drew first blood on the young season as they scored the game's first run in the second inning as center fielder Andre Ethier grounded out to second base but it was good enough to score first baseman Adrian Gonzalez who lead off the inning with a walk. He advanced to third base on a double by leftfielder Scott Van Slyke. The Dodgers added two more runs in the fourth inning when Scott Van Slyke hit a two run homer to right field to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. The Diamondbacks broke the shutout in the sixth inning when they got a ground out to second base by newcomer & former Angel Mark Trumbo who they traded for in the off season. He made an impact instantly as he drove in the first run of the season for his new team. Unfortunately for the rest of the Diamondbacks, they couldn't figure out how to beat arguably the game's best pitcher, Clayton Kershaw who pitched well for the first six & two thirds innings of the game. He allowed just the one run, he walked one & he struck out seven in the process. The Dodgers' bullpen shut it down the rest of the way as they were victorious in their first game to start the new season.
Dodgers win, 3-1!
After the game, the King & I wandered around the ballpark. When we finally got back down to the lower level, we ran into Stacey Flores, another ballpark chaser who was looking around for her friend, Evan Bates who she made the trip with. Needless to say, she was disappointed that her Diamondbacks failed to come away with a win. I told her hopefully they'll get even tomorrow. She smiled & thanked me.
After we parted ways, the real fun began for the King & I. We needed to find out our way back to the DeVere Hotel we were staying at in Potts Point. Since we stopped off at the Light Brigade first we didn't know exactly which way we needed to go. Luckily we walked a short distance & we saw a bus stop. We asked a guy who was waiting which bus goes towards our hotel. He kindly told us to get on the bus that showed up shortly thereafter. We took it down Oxford Street. He told us where to get off. He said to walk back a few blocks then make a left. He said it's about a 15 minute walk to our hotel from there.
Ironically, we wandered down the block in the opposite direction when we got off the bus. All of a sudden, Gavin who was Ken Liu's host in Sydney noticed us lost souls on the street right outside a restaurant they were eating at right at that time. He told us to come in. So we sat down & we spoke to them for a little while. He went on his smartphone & he googled our hotel when I told him the exact address. He confirmed that we were told the right way to get there. Since we were new to the country, we wanted to make sure we were going in the right direction. After we finishing speaking to them, we walked the way we were told. Thankfully we did indeed get to the hotel eventually. It turned out to be an interesting walk as we passed through Kings Cross, which is the red light district in the City. It was an interesting area to say the least.
Once we finally got to the hotel, we went up to our room & we got some much needed sleep after a very long day.
Stay tuned for another special post that will recap the way we spent our Sunday in Sydney.
Thank you for reading & following along.
Yours truly,
Gary Herman

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