The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip
I received an email about a week ago from Josh Pahigian, co-author of The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip: A Fan’s Guide to Major League Stadiums.
He wrote to tell me that his great selling book has been updated to include Citi Field and will be released later this month on March 27th.
In it he lists Mets Merized Online as one of the top three Mets sites on the web.
Here is a little more about the book:
They’ve done it again! Years ago two baseball fanatics set out to create a comprehensive guide to all the diverse and fascinating ballparks throughout the country. What they created—part travel manual, part ballpark atlas, part baseball history book, part restaurant and city guide—is every baseball fan’s epic adventure. On this, their second Ultimate Baseball Road Trip, the authors updated their information on every venue from Boston to L.A., and they wrote brand new chapters for the brand new parks—the new Yankee Stadium, Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis, the Mets’ Citi Field, San Diego’s Petco Park, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., the Twins’ Target Field, and Miami’s Marlins Ballpark.
Plus, they’ve added loads of information on how new technology has enhanced the fan experience and changed the game. And they’ve recorded their very own colorful real-time stories and dialogue at the parks, among the local fans, and hanging out in the Big League cities. It’s like you’re right there with Josh and Kevin watching the game and yucking it up!
Ticket and travel information • The best and worst seats in each park • Folklore and statistics on each park • Each park’s trademark foods • Profiles of nearby sports bars and baseball attractions • All the information you need to navigate Major League Baseball on the Internet!
Funny, irreverent, and loaded with more than 100 photos, The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip is the go-to guide for every fan’s armchair or real-life baseball road trip.
Josh was also kind enough to answer a couple of questions for our readers:
1. What were the things you liked most about Citi Field?
I thought the food was excellent and I really liked that they had a food court on the upstairs level with nearly all the same premium offerings as down at the food court on the first level. At a lot of parks you have to walk all the way downstairs to get the good stuff. My favorites were The Shack Burger, Cascarino’s Pizza, the Premio Sausages, and the Blue Smoke Barbecue stand. All were excellent.
I thought the Shea Bridge in rightfield was pretty cool. It’s a unique ballpark fixture that reflects the local geography.
I liked the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum, though as a Red Sox fan I thought there was maybe a bit too much stuff related to the 1986 World Series. I really didn’t need to see the ball go through Buckner’s legs again on that endless loop video of the Game 6 comeback! There were a lot of neat artifacts in the Museum though, like the plaques honoring favorite Mets like Tug McGraw, Gary Carter, Doc Gooden, Daryl Strawberry, etc. And yes, I posed for a picture beside the Mr. Met statue!
I liked the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, though I can appreciate why some Mets fans think it’s a little weird for the team to be celebrating so profusely a player that never wore the orange and blue.
2. Compared to other baseball parks how would you rank the visibility/views of the playing field and sight-lines?
I thought sight-lines were excellent on most of the first level. I thought the view from the first level concourse was great too. I was disappointed though, that they have a bar/restaurant area directly behind home plate, preventing fans strolling the concourse from being able to enjoy the view from right behind the dish. Upstairs on the 500 level, it was a different story. As you head from either first or third base toward the nearest foul pole, there is a pronounced loss of visibility of the nearest outfield corner due to the underhang of the deck below your feet. Other new parks have managed this architectural challenge a lot better.
3. Besides a sense of history or tradition, is there anything fans will miss from Shea Stadium?
I miss the old plane races on the JumboTron. They didn’t do them on the day I visited.
Where’s the crowd? I know I visited during a down season for the Mets, but I remember the crowd being a lot larger and more vocal at Shea. I think the declining Mets’ attendance figures (since Citi’s opening) say something about the state of the team, but also something about the fan base not quite feeling quite as at home in the new park as they did at Shea–but you’d be better able to attest to (or refute) that theory than me.
I want to thank Josh for taking some time out to answer a few questions for me. You can pre-order his newly updated version of The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip at Amazon.com. It’s priced right and is a great resource for any baseball fan, and is especially handy if you’re planning on making any treks to other ballparks this season.