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Heading North, At Least for the Weekend

Isn't spring training ever going to end? Light the candle! (Reference in honor of Space Coast Stadium.) Oh, wait, today's the last game in Florida -- until Monday, anyway. How strange to make the boys come north and send them back again.

I'm hoping to go to Nats Park Friday for a media tour and a tasting of items from the new concessionaire, Levy Restaurants. If I make it, I'll have a report tomorrow afternoon. I'd also like to see the new statues of Josh Gibson, Walter Johnson and Frank Howard.

Other plans: Chico's not coming north. Zach Berman will head to Norfolk tomorrow and Dave Sheinin will be at Nats Park Saturday night. Boz will write for Monday's and Tuesday's papers then head to the Masters before coming back just in time for the home opener. Amy may join Chico in the box in Miami for a few games; we'll see. Dave's going to Baltimore on Opening Day to see Sabathia.

Speaking of Dave: I think I told you all some time ago that the MLB Sunday page is no more, but Dave is going to revive some of those items in weekly blog posts on the Baseball Insider. His current plan is to do "3 Up 3 Down" on Mondays, "The List" on Wednesdays and "When It Clicked" on Fridays.

Right now, please head over to Baseball Insider to see Dave's picks for 2009 (awards, postseason, etc.) and enter his picks contest.

My list is a little light today, but here goes.


Want to see a video that includes Tony Gwynn talking about Stephen Strasburg and Stephen Strasburg talking about Stephen Strasburg. I knew you did.

Troy Glaus is out till the All-Star break, says Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

If you're into stadiums, or you're from the KC area, you might be interested in this photo gallery featuring the renovations at Kauffman Stadium. I'm a little biased, of course, as one of my first ballpark visits -- but not my very first -- was here. My first was the brand-new Astrodome, followed by Busch Stadium, then the Royals. Growing up where I did, you really had to drive to see a little baseball. What was the first stadium you visited?

The Marlins acquire Ross Gload from the Royals; sounds like he'll play every position.

I really enjoyed this story about The Pink Pony on the Globe's website. I think you will, too.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 2, 2009; 10:15 AM ET
 
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Next: Today's Lineup

Comments

Knowing Dan Snyder, if he pulls off this alleged trade, he'll do it on Monday so that it can dominate the papers and sportscasts, completely bumping the start of the Nats season from all local media. Jerk.

Posted by: BGinVA | April 2, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

My first big league stadium was Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati in 1975 during the "Big Red Machine" days. Incredible. I have been hooked since.

I agree Tracee - crazy about the Nats last week of spring training on the road then an up and down trip. They are going to be exhuasted by the home opener from all of the traveling!

Posted by: baseballphotosbycheryl | April 2, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

"His current plan is to do "3 Up 3 Down" on Mondays, "The List" on Wednesdays and "When It Clicked" on Fridays."

IMHO those were the three weakest links in the MLB Sunday page. "3 Up 3 Down" is just a spot to stick the predictable anti-Nats dig of the week, and maybe if we're lucky some other marginally funny dig at someone. If you've read one "When It Clicked" you've read them all. And for the life of me I can't even remember what "The List" is. Why retain those things?

OTOH the main feature topic of the MLB Sunday page was always interesting. An in-depth look at a random concept or topic related to MLB. That one I'll miss. (Or is that what "The List" is, perhaps?)

Posted by: nunof1 | April 2, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"We'll get there, hopefully. Just might take a while. But I don't think we'll ever be a baseball-first town like NY or Boston or Chicago."

It depends. If the Nats get and stay good for a decade and Dan Snyder continues to exist, the Online-only Sports Page of 2020's The http://Washingtonpost.com could be all red and blue.

My first stadium was Prince William County Stadium, known to you carpetbaggers as "The Pfitz." I even met Mr. G. Richard Pfitzner, I'm told, though I don't remember that, and for different reasons than I now don't remember people I meet at ballparks.

First major league stadium was Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Unless we're counting RFK.

Posted by: Section506 | April 2, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

First major league ballpark for me was Griffith Stadium, May 30 1955 for a doubleheader against the Yankees.

Posted by: deMille_Ondefloss | April 2, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"I think I told you all some time ago that the MLB Sunday page is no more"

Peter Gammons died a little.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | April 2, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The first MLB stadium I ever visited was RFK in the late '60s. (Although sadly not on Pantyhose Night.) Then came Fenway in 1982, Memorial Stadium in Baltimore in the late '80s, OPCY in the mid-'90s, Fenway again in 1999 or so, RFK again from 2005-2007, then Nationals Park. Limited exposure, I know. But through that whole time I was getting the Washington Post on my doorstep every single day, which is maybe why I don't feel out of place discussing the decline of the paper here.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 2, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Tracee, I think I've known you long enough to say this without feeling awkward.

I love you!

Okay, now I feel awkward...

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 2, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

My first baseball game was at Riverfront stadium in 1977. Reds-Philles.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 2, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Memorial Stadium as a kid.

Watching Cal, Eddie, Fred, and the others.

Can we forfeit the Redskins football season, and just have the Nats play year round?

Posted by: Sec_319 | April 2, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

my first was Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, in the general admission section, near Chief Nokahoma's teepee.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 2, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The first stadium I ever visited was Griffith Stadium on April 26, 1959 as a present for my fourth birthday. The Senators beat the Red Sox 2-1 and Roy Sievers homered for Washington. I checked the box score and Ted Williams didn't play for Boston.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 2, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Snidely Owl, Snidely Owl trading all his men,
Snidely Owl, Snidely Owl wondering who to send?

Feared by Redskins fans.
Loved by Player Agents.

Snidely Owl, Snidely Owl, Snidely Owl.

Posted by: priestholmes | April 2, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

RFK - the Senators got off the floor in '64 (and finished in 9th place).

Posted by: Traveler8 | April 2, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

hmmm....Off the Floor in 09. Doesn't have the same ring to it.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 2, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

It's different this time in 2009!

Posted by: Section506 | April 2, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the reading, Tracee.

I'd forgotten about any mentions of the demise of the MLB Sunday page. Glad to know that it will live on, at least in part, on the Insider. FWIW, I loved three up and three down (well, the whole page, actually).

My first ballpark was RFK, at the start of the present Nats era. My family didn't have baseball outings when I was growing up, though my dad and brothers listened to (West Coast) games all the time. I still have a lot of ballparks to see, having visited only Nats Park, that one up the road (the boss gave us tix), Wrigley Field, AT&T Park, and a couple of minor league venues.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 2, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

How about, looking fine in 2009?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 2, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

... I attended my first MLB game at Fenway when I was about ten, and my family was visiting our ‘merican relatives, back in about 1957 or so.

... I saw the Kansas City Athletics beat the hometown Sox 10 – 4, but it wasn’t until we got back home to Marshfield that I learned the final score. Like a whole bunch of other people, we left early “to beat the traffic”. I might have been only ten, but I couldn’t believe it; they were unwilling to stay to the end. All I can remember about Fenway then was the tall wooden utility pole tat stood just inside the fence in centre field.

... I returned again to Fenway in 1974, and saw the Oakland Athletics beat Boston once again. My memories of that time can be summed up with the phrase ‘the place stunk’. It was dirty everywhere, the smell of garlic permeated everything, and although the home team was losing, and the crowd had left, my cousin and I had to outwit these ninety-something year-old men attendants to move to the empty seats closer to the field.

... next was Jarry Park in Montreal; a block party for every game. Small crowds, bleacher seating with no cover was all there was. But the whole crowd became one community every time. It was absolutely the best baseball experience I’ve ever had. I sat behind home, five rows from the fence and watched Hammerin’ Hank try to hit 755.

... finally it was the dozen or so Expos games during the eighties and nineties in Olympic Stadium. All I can say is the place reminded me of being inside a video game, as unreal a sporting experience as I could ever imagine. Totally useless.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | April 2, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

1986, Corey Snyder's MLB debut for the Cleveland Indians at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The Indians jacked the Twins that night.

Thanks for digging that memory up Tracee...I love this site: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE198606130.shtml

Posted by: MBUSA | April 2, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"It was dirty everywhere, the smell of garlic permeated everything"

Surprising that didn't turn you away from socialism forever! :-)

Posted by: nunof1 | April 2, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Griffith stadium as a cubscout after a paper drive netted us tickets. For the life of me...I can't remember who the Senators played...shame on me...this has been another senior moment almost revisted.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 2, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

First Stadium was Royals Stadium about 1987. I remember seeing the A's but that's about it. Nebraska native son Joba Chamberlain pitches in KC in early April, might have to check out the renovations then.

Posted by: tallbaby2121 | April 2, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Looks like i'll be dedicating all my time to the Nats if the deadskins aquirre Cutface(CUTLER) slowly but surely i am getting tired of the Danny and his antics.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 2, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

First ballpark visit was memorable, for the wrong reasons. Fenway, afternoon game, June 6, 1968. Moment of silence.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | April 2, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

1980, Municipal Stadium in Cleveland. Went with my grandfather, whose baseball claim to fame was that he had tickets to Game 5 of the 1954 World Series in which perhaps the greatest Indians team of all time got swept by the Giants in 4 (Willie Mays made "The Catch" in that series). Had my picture taken with Jorge Orta. Wanted to play center field like Rick Manning. An awful team in an awful stadium, but I was the happiest 9 year old in Ohio that day.

Posted by: Bethesdangit | April 2, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

June 22, 1970, the Vet in Philadelphia, a doubleheader against the Pirates--Clemente, Stargell. That's all I remember.

Posted by: chime1211 | April 2, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I found my program from my first game which I originally thought was 1967 or 1968 but turned out was when I went with the Cub Scouts at the age of 5 1/2 in 1966 at RFK.

I remember being in the extreme 500 seats (major nose bleeds) on the 3rd base side and Frank Howard hit a towering fly where the ball seemed higher than the stadium and traveled out to the warning track getting caught by the waiting outfielder who was standing and hovering as that white ball came out of its orbit.

A great memory.

Posted by: dmacman88 | April 2, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

That Pink Pony story was great! Thanks, Tracee.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 2, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

D.C. Stadium (RFK) was my first, sometime in the summer of '62.

My older brother and I were great fans of WTTG's "Countdown Carnival" with Bill Gormley.

During the summer, Gormley asked his viewers to have a "Carnival for M.D." To a six-year-old, I had no idea what Muscular Dystrophy was, but I wanted to host a carnival.

The package came in the mail, and we set up our carnival accordingly. Over three days, we raised something like $15, big money for 1962.

A few days after we sent the money in, we received 6 tickets to watch the Senators play the Boston Red Sox.

There was probably 4,000 people there and the Senators got clobbered.

Good fun nonetheless.

Posted by: rushfari | April 2, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

For a baseball game, I think it was Shea Stadium. Tommy John pitched for the Dodgers against the Mets. Cleon Jones won the game, with a two-out home run in the 9th. My father wanted to leave early to beat the crush, but I tore away and ran down the aisles, just in time to see the ball clear the fence.

I think I did see Yankee Stadium before that, but it was for a football game.

Posted by: fischy | April 2, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Griffith Stadium with my mom in 1953. We took the streetcar from Takoma Park - sat in the upper deck first base side (I think it was .25 or at the most .75 on Ladies Day) Saw the Yankees and have hated them ever since. Have been to 15 parks since and will add the D'Backs next week which will be exciting.

Agree on the comment about 3 up and 3 down being a vehicle for negativity towards the Nats. Don't think he has too many kind thoughts for our boys.

Posted by: sjm3091 | April 2, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Mine was Memorial stadium too, but I don't even remember who the O's were playing. I also visited Camden Yards at least once. I was a deprived child when it came to baseball. As an adult I've been to the stadium in Seattle, AT&T Park, and the Oakland Colliseum.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | April 2, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Me and buddy used some Tastycake discount tickets to sit in the bleachers at Griffith Stadium in '58. Sievers hit a homer over my head. Can't remember who won, but we spent streetcar fares on concessions and had to hitchhike home.

Posted by: nats24 | April 2, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

My first ever trip to a park was to see the Daryl Kyle pitch for the Houston Astros. It was a hot and humid day in Houston, and stepping into the Astrodome was not only a breathe of fresh (air-conditioned) air, but also a miraculous experience. I can't remember who they played, I just know that Daryl went yard in that game. Since, I've been to Yankee Stadium, Wrigley, Kominski, Mets stadium, Camden Yards, Petco Park, and my favorite; NATIONALS PARK BABY! Let's go NATS!

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | April 2, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

First ballgame(s):

Sunday, Sept. 10, 1961, at Yankee Stadium, the summer of Maris and Mantle, a double-header (the old kind, one ticket two games) against the Cleveland Indians. Mantle tripled in the first game and homered in the second game (# 53). Cleveland center fielder Jimmy Piersall was attacked in Center Field by two "fans," punched one of them out and chased the other one. Yankees swept both games. Been a fan ever since, of course.

Posted by: OutsideTheLaw | April 2, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

No San Jose Giants games for you, Patty? We took in a game there on a visit to the area. Interesting little ballpark (hadn't realized until I Googled just now that it was a WPA project) and the game was fun, too.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 2, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

LA Coliseum, with the 250-ft "Chinese screen" in LF, 1958. Saw lots of Pirates (best friend's home town) and Cards (my dad's childhood team), and a 1959 Series game against the White Sox.

Dodgers owner O'Malley broke Brooklyn's hearts, but thrilled me and started this lifetime baseball thing.
Geezer

Posted by: utec | April 2, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

MY first ballpark, my dad took me and my twin brother to the old Griffith Stadium right by Howard University 1959 they were playing the Yankees and i started yelling at Gene Woodling who was playing right field of course he ignored me!! i've been hooked ever since the smell of hot dogs,beer vendors yelling,crack of the bat, didn't go back until DC Stadium opened up in 1962(i think) went to the O's and the Senators on a Saturday in April Jim Gentile of the Orioles hit a home run Nats lost 4-1 if my memory serves me right.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 2, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

RFK - 1969 vs. the Seattle Pilots

Posted by: lowcountry | April 2, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. Don't know which ball park was my first. Either Memorial Stadium, some time in the 70s, or Four Mile Run Park (or whatever it's called), to see Your Alexandria Dukes (now better known as Your Carolina League Champion P-Nats). Went to both places several times a year -- a sure sign of good raisin'.

Posted by: Scooter_ | April 2, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Real Baseball Intelligence (RBI), a leading resource in the evaluation of amateur baseball talent and draft coverage, has ranked Stephen Strasburg the #1 prospect for the 2009 MLB Draft. View his free scouting report (with video) at withthefirstpick.net/stephen-strasburg

Posted by: bhyman1 | April 2, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

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