PHILADELPHIA — I guess have to update my “ballparks I have never been to” page because I just went to one of them.
The trip to Philly for the first ever Washington Nationals game was a wonderful time. Congratulations go out to Ombudsman , who drew first blood in the series. Like I said, all the way back on October 2, 2004, this was personal. Thankfully, there are another 17 or so games between the two franchises. You may have won this round, Clifford, but there will be more and next time you and I face off, it will be in southeast D.C.
Here are my thoughts on the experience, in no particular order:
I didn’t get booed. No one yelled, “Nats suck,” before the game or anything like that yesterday. I will admit I was a little disappointed. I was all ready to yell back, “how do you know?” Just about everyone cheering for the home team was friendly before and during the game. There were some jeers walking back to the car, but that was no big deal.
Citizens Bank Park is a great place to watch a baseball game, I really liked this venue. From the outside it looks like most other parks, but inside it and looking out, it is unique. The concourses are well designed and pretty wide. The seats are slightly angled to face the infield, something that Baltimore forgot to do. I also liked that all the structural steel was painted maroon and the seats were blue instead of green like every other park since Camden Yards.
We are a long way off from having this become an intense rivalry, the Philly fans were kind of dismissive towards the Nats. In time, it can happen.
The view of the skyline would be perfect if they moved the big Phillies sign that faces I-76/Schuykill Expressway a block east.
I had my first cheesesteak from Geno’s Steaks at the park. It was okay, but not nearly as good as Jim’s Steaks. Geno’s are slices, while Jim’s are chopped up steak. Geno’s are fattier too. The upside is that the cost was comparable to one at the real Geno’s. Next time I am in Philly, I will have to try Pat’s, which is on the opposite corner from the real Geno’s.
The wind kept a lot of homers in the park. It also hurt Brian Schneider’s throw to second in the second inning.
Brad Wilkerson got the first hit, which did not surprise me. Sadly, he was one of over a dozen runners left on base.
¡LIVAN! got his bell rung with 7 runs in less than 5 innings. He will probably/hopefully rebound on Saturday. If he has an outing like that next time, he loses his nickname.
Termel Slege’s HR was great, but hitting into a double play with the bases loaded and 1 out late in the game, ended the Nats chances.
Nick Johnson turned a really nice double play and hit well.
Parking was pretty good. It might have taken us 30 minutes to get onto I-95 from our spot. We moved the whole time too. Of course in that amount of time, I would have been home from RFK. If/when I go back, I want to try taking mass transit.
Having ’71 Senator and former Phillie Del Unser throw out the first ball was classy.
They had excellent condiment stations.
I had a jumbo grilled hot dog. It was quite tasty and not as salty as most balllpark dogs.
Just about every Phillies fan had some merch on. We saw a lot of throwback, baby-blue road jerseys. Those things were ugly, why did any teams ever wear baby-blue again?
The nachos did not look too good and the cheese appeared to of “Waring Commons quality,” i.e. watered down.
The area by the shipyard along I-95 does not smell nearly as bad as it did in the past.
This is good daytrip for a ballgame, I recommend it highly.