Ballparks

Back in the summer of 1987 my buddy Frank Pazzanese and I decided that the very best vacation we could imagine would be a trip around the country watching baseball games!  We were just out of college, with a little pocket change and new wheels that would hold up under the miles we would travel … 

So we perused the MLB schedule, checked it against the driving distances and plotted out a trip that we have dubbed Baseballapalooza 1987.

Our trip took us to four stadiums that amazingly no longer exist … Yankee Stadium , Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, and  Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.  With a final stop in Atlantic City for some good luck casino hopping on the Fourth of July.

This video is the first episode in the four part installment recounting the adventures (and misadventures) of our two heroes and accompanying guests along the way.

Game one was a night game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees on June 27th, 1987.

If you have a story you would like to share, please visit our Upload page. We look forward to receiving it!

Check Part II of Baseballapalooza,  Next stop Philadelphia!

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The adventures of Frank and Joe have taken us through a game at Yankee Stadium, Veterans Stadium for a doubleheader game, out to the home of the Big Red Machine, Riverfront Stadium in Cincinatti and now on to the final leg Three Rivers Stadium.

My ticket stub, which is now embedded forever in my brother Kevin’s bar, tells me that the Pittsburgh Pirates were playing the Los Angeles Dodgers on that particular day. Baseball-Reference.com tells me that Rick Reuschel beat Fernando Valenzuela 6-0 with the help of Bobby Bonnilla’s 3 for 4, one homer, five RBI day.  The Pirates lead off hitter that day was none other than Barry Bonds.

However, I have no recollection whatsoever of that game or day.  I’m sorry, it was the tail end of a long intensive road trip that was a memory of a lifetime – except for this particular game.

We stopped off in Atlantic City on the final leg home to meet up with some other friends.  I was down to the last of my cash and ended up at a roulette table for the first time in my life, and started putting chips down on reds, blacks, odds, evens and any other table combination that seemed to work.  It allowed me to get back all of the money that I had spent that entire trip!

For a kid just out of college is there a better definition of heaven?  Beer, Baseball and winning back your money gambling!

It was a great experience that we had hoped to reproduce for many years to come.  Frank and I talked about a California swing, a Chicago midwest trip, and any other combination we could have dreamt up.  Alas, life gets in the way some times and we never made any more baseball road trips (we still had a few concert road trips in us though – Bruce!!).

The tale is the definition of a Baseballism … we know that there are tons of stories like this out there just waiting to be told.  How about sharing them here with us!?!  What better way to pass the winter doldrums waiting for pitchers and catchers than talking about how baseball has impacted your life.

If you have a story you would like to share, please visit our Upload page. We look forward to receiving it!

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The four part video post Baseballapalooza 1987 chronicled the journey of Frank, Joe and friends through New York, Philadelphia, Cincinatti and Pittsburgh on a whirlwind tour of ballparks and bars.

During the filming of my Baseballisms, I could hardly keep all of the information accurate due to reasons that become apparent.  As I mentioned in the introduction to the first video, Frank has a much better memory for the finer details of episodes like this.

As you will note in Part I of this exclusive audio podcast on Baseballisms.com, we were able to reconnect via the wonders of Facebook so that we could recount this historic trip.

During Part II we recall arriving in Cincinnati and Frank remembers that we were able to walk on the warning track of the field thanks to our friend Don.  One slight unfortunate element of Baseballapalooza 1987 is that most of the stadiums, Veterans, Riverfront and Three Rivers are all of the same ’70s vintage multipurpose Astroturf fields and were not the classic “retro” ballparks that have been built in their place… But we still had our share of adventure.

Don allowed us to stay over at his mother’s house across the river in Kentucky, and his hospitality lead to a very important aspect of our game “enjoyment” during the rain delay at Riverfront Stadium.  We give a special tip of the hat over 20 years later to the local EMT’s!

Baseballapalooza | Baseballisms.com

Unfortunately, in Part IV of the video podcast I admit to not having any recollection of the affair in Pittsburgh so Frank brings to light the American Beer promotion in the parking lot that preceeded the game, and my run-ins with the Pittburgh Parrot mascot.

pirates-parrot | Baseballisms.com

Down in Front!!

pirates-pennant | Baseballisms.com

At the end of the trip we end up in Atlantic City to meet the last of our crew on the adventure .. Not only do we make a requisite visit to the local White Castles, but I end up winning back all of my spending money to top of an excellent trip!

Pay attention at the end as the knuckleheads struggle to get back home from Atlantic City .. and ramble off into recollections for future podcasts such as our trip to Florida for the Notre Dame vs. Miami football game during Tim Brown’s Heisman season.  Or the Bruce Springsteen concert to Saratoga Springs, where due to downpours they let the fans in early for the soundcheck, and he famously played Who’ll Stop the Rain …. and the rains stopped!

And if you are really crazy and you can stand to listen all the way to the end of the podcast .. and are the first to tell us in the comments what Frank and I did for our first entreprenurial venture, we’ll send you a Baseballisms T-shirt!

If you have a story you would like to share, please visit our Upload page. We look forward to receiving it!

It’s what Baseballisms.com is all about .. Everyone has a story that connects them emotionally with baseball as the catalyst.  Whether it is a Little League game, meeting a famous big leaguer, or going to a ballgame with Grandad, these are stories that need to be preserved. Frank and I will always have this Baseballapalooza tour to fondly reminisce about and now fortunately some of the missing elements have been recollected :-)

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The four part video post Baseballapalooza 1987 chronicled the journey of Frank, Joe and friends through New York, Philadelphia, Cincinatti and Pittsburgh on a whirlwind tour of ballparks and bars.

During the filming of my Baseballisms, I could hardly keep all of the information accurate due to reasons that become apparent.  As I mentioned in the introduction to the first video, Frank has a much better memory for the finer details of episodes like this.

Frank and I haven’t been able to get together much since his career has taken him across the country and settled him into California, while I am in Atlanta …. but through the networking of Facebook, we have been able to get in touch again and relive some great memories.

It’s what Baseballisms.com is all about .. Everyone has a story that connects them emotionally with baseball as the catalyst.  Whether it is a Little League game, meeting a famous big leaguer, or going to a ballgame with Grandad, these are stories that need to be preserved. Frank and I will always have this Baseballapalooza tour to fondly reminisce about and now fortunately some of the missing elements have been recollected :-)

Listen to this podcast and you will get many of the details filled in that I just could not call up in the memory banks.  Starting with my mistake as to who attended our trip to NY.  Frank’s future wife Elizabeth (Sorry!) was the fifth on our misadventure to the Bronx.  Frank also recalls situations such as trying to hail a cab following the night game, and making a LaGuardia run to drop off our guests the following day.Yankee Pennant | Baseballisms.com

We also get into the finer details of our days in Philadelphia, including a free concert by Chuck Berry at Penn’s Landing, Frank’s description of our subway ride and the visit to the local pub since we arrived so early for the game.  He recalls a late night Irish bartender and finally trouble with check out times at the hotel before departing for our next leg of the trip.

Phillies Pennant | Baseballisms.comCheck back because as soon as our sides stop hurting from laughing so much, we will record the second part of our great Baseballapalooza adventure.

If you have a story you would like to share, please visit our Upload page. We look forward to receiving it!

Check back for part II of Frank Remembers Baseballapalooza when we take off for Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Atlantic City.

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Our night carousing the bars somewhere along Broad Street in Philadelphia, and closing the Irish Bar at our hotel unfortunately resulted in Frank’s inability to contribute to the driving efforts on our way to Cincinnati.

A quick check of Mapquest today estimates the 570 mile drive at a whopping 9 hours and 26 minutes total time.  That’s a heck of a driving day for one guy stuffed into a small car that was topping off with fast food wrappers while his buddy reclined in the passenger seat.  But we are on our third leg after visiting Yankee Stadium and Veterans Stadium.

We made it to Riverfront Stadium in time to see the Reds beat the Houston Astros 6 – 4. Some interesting tidbits from looking over the box score (and certainly not using the memory banks) .. is that a .208 hitter batted third and went 1 for 4 with an RBI named Terry Francona! And some famous Reds names like Dave Concepcion, Dave Parker, Barry Larkin, Rod Oester, Nick Esasky, Paul O’Neill and John Franco all appeared in that rain delayed game.

We ended up after the game visiting the press box for some sweets and seeing the most famous Reds player of all zooming out of the parking lot in his white porsche.

Check out the latest video entry in the Baseballapalooza saga:

If you have a story you would like to share, please visit our Upload page. We look forward to receiving it!

Check Part IV of Baseballapalooza .. Next stop Pittsburgh!

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