Here's a recap of the highlights:
It all started at Yankee Stadium on the first of the month. The Yankees wound up losing to the Rays, 2-1 that night. Hiroki Kuroda pitched eight great innings but he was the tough luck loser. After a rain out in Brooklyn the next night followed by a night off, I went to Citi Field for ten straight days starting on the Fourth of July as the Mets opened a ten game home stand against the Rangers, Braves & Marlins. The Mets wound up winning eight of those games to finish strong at the All-Star break.
It should noted that on Saturday, July 5th I got to see ballpark chaser Paul Nieuwland who came down from Toronto. He was at Citi Field that night. I met for the first time at Wrigley Field the week before. In fact, I got him a ticket for that game along with ones for Yankee Stadium that Thursday afternoon. Since I was working, I couldn't go. Paul came to visit NYC with his wife who had never been here before along with their son. They joined him for the Yankee game but they decided to pass on the Met game since they don't really like baseball. Paul wasn't really alone since he got to join the King & I up in the Royal Court in section 515. He came prepared with his MLB Pass-Port book which he got stamped. It was nice to talk with him throughout the game. Hopefully our paths will cross again soon.
|Huey Lewis & the News at Citi Field|
|Huey Lewis and the News Live|
On July 12th after the Mets beat the Marlins, the King & I stayed after the game for the post game concert which was Huey Lewis and the News. They were popular back in the 80's. They played a number of familiar songs that I recognized. They included Heart of Rock N Roll which started the show & they finished with Workin for a Livin'. In between, they played Heart & Soul, l Want A New Drug, Jacob's Ladder, Back in Time & Power of Love. In addition, they also included a new song that was released in 2012 called While We're Young. All in all, I was glad we stayed.
On Friday, July 19th, Major League Baseball returned from its break. I went to the Bronx to see the Yankees host the Cincinnati Reds for the three game series. Unfortunately none of the good people I know from Cincinnati were able to make it. The way that weekend turned for the Reds, I'm glad they didn't come. I tried my best to get them a win but my luck ran out. The Yankees swept the series.
|View from section 226 at Red Bull Arena|
However that Saturday night I went out to Harrison, NJ where I met my pal David Sack who joined me for a soccer match at Red Bull Arena, home of the Red Bulls of the MLS. They played the San Jose Earthquakes that night. We stopped off at Five Guys for dinner. While we were there, we met up with our buddy Steve Tepperman aka Princeton Steve who was going to the game too. When we got inside, David & I sit at midfield in section 226. At halftime, my friend Blair Long who was there with his Paula got my attention. They were sitting lower down in the section. They had a few empty seats next to them so we were able to join them for the second half. It was Blair's first ever soccer game. He was inspired by the World Cup.
As for the match we saw, the Red Bulls scored first in the 33rd minute. They continued to control the play but they couldn't score again. In the 85th minute, the Earthquakes got even. After having a few extra minutes of extra time, the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Regardless of the outcome, we all had a nice time & the game lasted only two hours which was nice for a change.
On Monday, July 21st, the Yankees opened a four game series with the Rangers. That night I got a visit from fellow ballpark chaser Roy Spierer who stopped by to say hello before the game started. It was nice to see him again. As for the game that night, the Yankees lost to the Rangers, 4-2. The next night they played a marathon in the Bronx as the Yankees outlasted the Rangers, 2-1 in 14 innings. That game took 4 hours & 51 minutes.
Wednesday night luckily they got an official game with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning as the Yankees were up 2-1 at the time. Then the rain came. Somehow the Yankees' grounds crew did an awful job covering the field. The King & I thought they purposely made the field unplayable because they ran out of pitchers from the long game the night before. They rolled the tarp back to left field not once but twice instead of making sure the infield was covered properly. They were ahead so they didn't care. The Rangers should have protested the game but they didn't. After waiting a few hours they called the game & awarded the Yankees the victory. They were supposed to resume at 10:05PM but they just stood around talking for 20 more minutes before they sent everybody home. That Thursday afternoon was the finale of the series but since I was working, I had to miss it.
Friday July 25th after work I returned to the Bronx as the Yankees opened a three game series with the Toronto Blue Jays. When I got up to my seat in section 420B row 7 I was greeted by the Narry family who came to visit from the Bay area. This game was included in a package deal they bought for the weekend because they wanted to see the Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in Cooperstown. As a result, the King & I got to see these special people again. It got too crowded by us when the game started so Tike's wife Dawn & their son Patrick decided to go down to their seats on the 200 level with the rest of their group. Tike stayed with us for 5 innings. It was great to see them all again.
|Kim Ellis & I in section 420B at Yankee Stadium|
Shortly after Tike left us I got a visit from a lady named Kim Ellis who was on a similar tour with a different travel company. She's a St. Louis Cardinal fan. She used to live in St. Louis but she now lives in Los Angeles. She was going to Fenway Park after Cooperstown. She was in the process of finishing up seeing all the current MLB parks. She said she was going to Baltimore & Miami in August then she would be up to date. I thanked her for coming up to say hello. I wished her well. Hopefully our paths will cross again.
As for the game we saw, the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 6-4 to extend their winning streak over the Blue Jays to 17 at the new Stadium.
That Saturday morning I went to Avis to rent a car for the day. I drove back home & I picked up the King. We went to Yankee Stadium together. When I got upstairs I met up with my pal Greg Venuto who drove down from Norwalk, Connecticut for the game. He came with his son, Jason. He was also accompanied by his brother Paul who came up from Sarasota, Florida to visit along with his son, Parker. It was a full family gathering as they brought their father with them.
|Venuto Family - Jason, Parker, Greg, Paul & their father|
As for the game we saw, it didn't turn out to their liking. The Yankees wound up losing to the Blue Jays, 6-4 which ended their home dominance.
After the game, the King & I went down to Philadelphia to see the Phillies play the Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park that night. We took our pals Frank Anichiarico aka Duck & Rich Wolber aka Staten Island Rich with us. As for the game we saw, it was another marathon. The Diamondbacks beat the Phillies, 7-6 in ten innings. The game took four hours & 20 minutes.
Sunday morning I woke up early so I could return the car I rented to Avis. After that, I took public transportation back to Yankee Stadium. I barely got their on time due to a delay on the subway. As for the game we saw, the Blue Jays made it two in a row as they beat the Yankees, 5-4.
Monday night July 28th, the Mets returned home to play the Phillies at Citi Field. That night the Mets won, 7-1. Tuesday night I got to see the Narry family again as they returned to the area. They joined us in the Royal Court in section 515. They told us what a wonderful time they had over the weekend in Cooperstown. We were happy to hear the stories. As for the game we saw that night, the Mets laid an egg as they lost, 6-0.
Wednesday afternoon I arranged to get the Narry family tickets on the field level. Since I was working, I couldn't attend. In my absence, Patrick in particular had a ball. After Ryan Howard had flew out to Juan Lagares in center field to end an inning, Lagares threw the ball into the stands & Patrick caught it. He was so happy. I was thrilled when I heard the news.
After work that day I wound up going to MCU Park to see the Brooklyn Cyclones play the Auburn Doubledays. Just before the game started, I saw my pal Charlie O'Reilly who was there too. We wound up watching the game together. The Cyclones won, 9-4.
That Thursday night I ended the month of July in Staten Island. After work I took a Ferry ride to Richmond County Bank Ballpark where the Baby Bombers hosted the Lowell Spinners. The Spinners tossed the Yankees a beating by a score of 11-4.
Stay tuned for some special posts that will highlight my adventures in the month of August.
Thank you for reading & following along.