A View From the Cheap Seats

David Park

For those of you who grew up paying 75 cents for a baseball ticket and 10 cents for a hot dog at the game, the National Park experience must be rough, to say the least. For someone who was actually born in the 1970s, however, the ticket prices and cost of a good hot dog is no real surprise. But in the spirit of those who enjoyed the game during such "affordable" times, and not being a season ticket holder, I decided to get the most "affordable" seats by purchasing tickets in section 405 -- roughly a mile above sea level behind the third base line for $10 a pop.

Arriving about 20 minutes before the first pitch, I stopped by the Senators Sausages behind section 141 to grab a bite before climbing up, literally, to my seats. I waited 15 minutes for service and, once being a professional appreciator of processed meat, I ordered a kielbasa and bratwurst. Price was no concern, although they were $7 a piece. I was told that what I thought was a kielbasa was actually a Polish sausage, however. Being the agreeable person that I am with those who handle my food, I ordered whatever the gentlemen pointed to, only to be told by the cashier that they don't sell Polish sausages.

I ended up getting a Hebrew National 1/4 hot dog and a kielbasa instead. Being too hungry to argue, I inhaled them both with a serving of sauteed onions and peppers, which I found to be a little flavorless. As inaccurate as my service was, both the kielbasa and Hebrew National were moist, well-cooked and full of flavor.

Though I was stuffed, I had to try the Ben's Half Smoke -- even though I was not expecting much ,because I remembered not being too impressed with my experience at Ben's Chili Bowl off U Street to begin with.

To my surprise, the chili was meaty, not too greasy, the hot dog supple and juicy. An absolute home run. As I was finishing off my half smoke, Ronnie Belliard hit a home run to further enhance my experience.

After climbing up the nice escalator to the 400 level, I was looking for my section and got some great directions from a young gentleman working between sections 405 and 406. Leroy W. directed me toward the other entrance and saved me the grief of having to ask 25 people to get up so I could get to my seat. Oh, by the way, "Leroy" is pronounced, "luh-ROY."

But the true highlight of the evening was the presidents' race. What drama, what thrill. Teddy Roosevelt, who has never won a race, was the overwhelming crowd favorite, but Thomas Jefferson stole the show by beating out George Washington at the finish line by going completely horizontal and leaping head first. Someone sign that kid to a contract!

Until next time,

DP

By David Park  |  April 11, 2008; 4:30 PM ET  | Category:  David Park
Previous: My First Time | Next: Friday Night Slights

Comments

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How were the $10 seats? I'm thinking of trying them out. I know they're high, but how was your view and experience in them?

Posted by: CGR | April 12, 2008 7:27 AM

The seats and view were actually not too bad. I had a clear view of the batters box, could see all the projectile hits coming off the batters' bats. It was a little gusty up there but thats what I get for being three rows from the very last row.

And I must again reiterate how awesome the scoreboard is. I was able to see all replays as if I was in my living room watching highlights. Amazing. I wonder where I can sign up for one of those suckers.

Posted by: David Park | April 12, 2008 3:33 PM

Hey bro - proud to see you up there. You've come a long way since the days of GOAT. :)

Posted by: Kenny Kim | April 12, 2008 4:50 PM

How was the game? Maybe being far from the product on the field is a good thing

Posted by: kjundo | April 12, 2008 7:03 PM

Nice post! Looking forward to more postings!

Posted by: Fred Lee | April 12, 2008 10:10 PM

you sure leroy wasn't pronounced "luh-rah"?

was your picture taken after you had the hebrew national? you should photoshop the pic & add a hotdog. ...ok, maybe not.

you should do a post on a visit to coney island and write about a cyclones game, while comparing the dawgs of the hotdogs.

Posted by: dan | April 13, 2008 6:09 PM

i mean, compare nathan's to the others.

Posted by: dan | April 13, 2008 6:10 PM

I wonder if it's the same people who run in those presidents' race? For your next entry you should write about the "history" behind that race. Haha! Do it!

Posted by: Phil Lee | April 14, 2008 9:01 AM

I was at that same game, showed up in teh 3rd inning and was told all teh $10.00 seats were sold out. I bought a seat in the SECOND TO LAST row of section 406 and paid $18.00 for it!! Why was my seat more expensive than yours?

Posted by: M | April 14, 2008 10:27 AM

Thank goodness for Hebrew National, the greatest hot dog of all time.

Posted by: MP | April 14, 2008 1:43 PM

I bought my tickets for $10 online about two weeks before the game.

$18? Wow...

Posted by: David Park | April 14, 2008 3:15 PM

Honey, you one fly looking Asian brother. Can I get me a piece that?

Posted by: Caucasian Woman in Her 40's | April 14, 2008 4:28 PM

I thought the park was nice, esp. during the walk from the metro stop, but once inside, I felt like it was just a bunch of poured concrete. I wish they had used more "textures:" some fake fenceposts, some fake brick...

Do you think that red porch section is going to catch on? I mean, catch on in the same way that bleacher seats are cherished in other parks?

Posted by: Diesel | April 15, 2008 4:43 PM

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