• Several trees in front of a large, grey concrete tower with text overlaying the image that says "My night with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows."
    ballparks,  Japan,  Tokyo

    My night with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows – August 24, 2019

    The Tokyo Yakult Swallows play in one of the oldest professional baseball stadiums in Japan.  Although Meiji Jingu Stadium lacks many of the modern amenities fans expect from a ballpark, fans regularly pack the park.  The ballpark is part of Meiji Jingu Gaien, which is a large athletics complex with a futsal court, an indoor skating rink, tennis courts, and more. Arriving at the ballpark As with many ballparks in Japan, Meiji Jingu Stadium has multiple public transit stations nearby.  Sendagaya and Shinanomachi stations, which are both on the Chūō-Sōbu Line, are the two closest train stations to the ballpark.  It is a 13-minute walk (about 0.6 miles/1 kilometer) from…

  • View from behind plate during a baseball game with text overlaying the image that says "My night with the Seattle Mariners."
    ballparks,  Washington state

    My night with the Seattle Mariners – August 6, 2019

    In the days of corporate naming rights, ballpark names come and go.  Whether you still call the Seattle Mariners home ballpark Safeco Field or whether you’ve adapted to calling it T-Mobile Park, the team has played its home games at the same stadium since 1999.  Areas of the ballpark have been remodeled or renovated since its opening, but overall the park has remained the same. Arriving at the ballpark There are multiple parking garages and privately-operated parking lots near T-Mobile Park.  Prices at the garages and lots vary typically depending on proximity to the ballpark.  Sound Transit’s Central Link light rail line offers service via the Stadium Station, which is…

  • View of a baseball stadium showing a pitcher on the mound with a grandstand behind him and Mount Rainier in the distance. Text overlaying the image says "My night with the Tacoma Rainiers."
    ballparks,  Washington state

    My night with the Tacoma Rainiers – August 3, 2019

    The Tacoma Rainiers play in a ballpark that was originally built in 100 days prior to the 1960 season.  Fifty years later Cheney Stadium underwent a major renovation and stands as a South Sound staple.  The ballpark also affords fans the opportunity to see the highest mountain in Washington state, Mount Rainier. Arriving at the ballpark Cheney Stadium is approximately six miles from downtown Tacoma.  It is close to the I-5 and Washington State Route 16 interchange, which makes it easy to access from several nearby cities.  Parking in an adjoining lot to the stadium costs $5.  Pierce Transit Route #2 runs from downtown to 19th Street and South Stevens…

  • Overview of a baseball field from behind home plate with text overlaying it that says "My night with the Everett AquaSox."
    ballparks,  Washington state

    My night with the Everett AquaSox – August 2, 2019

    The Everett AquaSox play in the oldest ballpark in the Northwest League.  However, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium has undergone several renovations and looks good for a facility that opened in 1949.  A naming-rights deal between the Everett School District and local toy maker Funko signed before the 2019 has brought new life to the park, too. Arriving at the ballpark Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium is less than a mile from downtown Everett.  The ballpark is also under a mile from an interchange with I-5.  So, it is incredibly easy to reach the stadium from anywhere in the area.  Limited parking near the team’s front office at…

  • Overview of a baseball stadium with a text box that says "My night with the Eugene Emeralds."
    ballparks,  Oregon

    My night with the Eugene Emeralds – July 25, 2019

    College baseball teams and short-season Minor League clubs sharing a ballpark have become commonplace over the last decade.  The University of Oregon Ducks and Eugene Emeralds are one of the first partnerships between a collegiate team and a Minor League club.  The university built PK Park for a reborn Ducks baseball program, but the Emeralds have made their mark on the ballpark, too. Arriving at the ballpark PK Park is northeast of Autzen Stadium, home of the University of Oregon football team.  The park is about a 10-minute drive from downtown Eugene.  The parking lot is off Leo Harris Parkway.  Parking costs $5 per vehicle, but pre-paid parking is available…

  • Overview of a baseball stadium from the outfield facing the grandstand with text overlaying the image that says "My night with the Hillsboro Hops."
    ballparks,  Oregon

    My night with the Hillsboro Hops – July 23, 2019

    The Hillsboro Hops came into existence in 2013, and quickly connected the franchise to Portland’s craft brewing industry.  The team’s name honors Portland as one of America’s craft beer epicenters.  For the uninitiated, hops are a plant used to brew beer.  More specifically, hops are a flower that provide aroma and bitterness to beer.  For people who love baseball and craft beer Hillsboro may be the hoppiest place on earth. Arriving at the ballpark Ron Tonkin Field, home of the Hillsboro Hops, is located on the western edge of metropolitan Portland.  It is approximately 15 miles from downtown, which takes 25 to 40 minutes by car depending on traffic.  The…

  • Aerial overview of a baseball field with an interstate in the background and text overlaying the image that says "My night with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes."
    ballparks,  Oregon

    My night with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes – July 19, 2019

    Like many Minor League teams the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are the center of a development plan.  For years Keizer mayor Dennis Koho and community leaders sought to boost their local economy.  Ultimately they began looking for a Minor League team to anchor a shopping complex on the edge of town.  The plan came to fruition when the owners of the Bellingham Giants agreed to relocate their franchise, which gave birth to the Volcanoes in 1997. Arriving at the ballpark Although Volcanoes Stadium is visible from I-5, it is not as easy to reach as it appears.  Fans turn onto Stadium Drive and then navigate through Keizer Station shopping center before arriving…

  • Map of Oregon and Washington State with multiple baseball team logos and text overlaying that says "Pacific Northwest Baseball Road Trip."
    ballparks,  craft beer,  travel

    Pacific Northwest baseball road trip preview

    With my wife Katie enrolled in a graduate certificate program, we knew that our summer travels would take us to the Pacific Northwest.  Naturally this meant I got to plan a Pacific Northwest baseball road trip!  Katie will spend a month in Portland, Oregon, before I meet her there.  We will spend a week together in Portland before traveling to Seattle, Washington.  In Seattle, we will work together at a sports camp, and she will do more work to complete her certification.  So our Pacific Northwest baseball road trip will span two states and four weeks. Baseball games Our travels in Oregon and Washington are built around my wife’s academic/work…

  • Overview of a baseball field with text saying "My night with the Gwinnett Stripers" overlaying the image.
    ballparks,  Georgia

    My night with the Gwinnett Stripers – June 19, 2019

    There are a lot of reasons to revisit a ballpark.  A fan may return regularly to a stadium because its his favorite team.  Another fan may return regularly because its the closest ballpark to her house.  I returned to Coolray Field recently because I wanted to see the re-branded Gwinnett Stripers.  Before the 2018 season, the Gwinnett Braves ditched their parent club’s moniker in favor of a more unique identity as the Stripers.  I previously wrote about attending a G-Braves game in 2014 (read it here), but felt like I needed to revisit Coolray Field to see what changed following the team’s re-branding. Arriving at the ballpark Like many places…

  • Overview of a baseball field with the Indianapolis skyline behind it. Text overlays the image that says "My night with the Indianapolis Indians."
    ballparks,  Indiana

    My night with the Indianapolis Indians – June 11, 2019

    There are a lot of award-winning baseball stadiums across the United States.  One of these ballparks is Victory Field, which has been home to the Indianapolis Indians since 1996.  Although the ballpark may be considered “old,” it still offers fans a great setting on the western edge of downtown Indianapolis to watch a baseball game. Arriving at the ballpark Victory Field has several parking garages and a few surface lots nearby.  Options closest to the ballpark tend to be more expensive.  The team’s website provides details on some of the closest parking options.  The stadium is close to several downtown hotels with many options only a ten-minute walk from the…