I promised my younger daughter that I would take her to a Major League Baseball game this year. Since getting hold of tickets to a Yankee game at Fenway Park is virtually impossible, a trip to New York on Memorial Day weekend seemed to be the best idea. The game on Saturday had a 4:05 start time, which gave us plenty of time to drive down. We got an early start though, and actually detoured into Boston to drop off the older daughter at a dance studio for a day of classes, before heading out on the Mass Pike, to I-84, I-91, I-95 and onto the Major Deegan for the final leg to Yankee Stadium. There was a threat of rain showers, but we hit a major downpour while passing through Bridgeport, and the amount that fell convinced me that there was nothing left in the clouds to interfere with the game, which proved to be true.
I'd like to take this opportunity to mention that MapQuest directions suck, and so does the signage in downtown Boston when trying to get on the Pike, and the signage pretty much everywhere in The Bronx. I should point out that in all the times I've been to Yankee Stadium, I had never driven before, and so while I knew exactly where it was, actually navigating there by a reasonably direct route seemed to be something I should trust to directions. In retrospect, I think I might have done better by winging it on my own. My own common sense would have told me to take 95 to 287 to the Deegan instead of messing around with the Cross Bronx, and that probably would have been better for traffic as well as for avoiding wrong turns due to bad signage. Still, we did get there, with more than an hour to spare before game time.
The game was great, with Alex Rodriguez hitting two homers, and the bottom three in the Yankee order accounting for 10 RBIs. The Yanks put the game far enough out of reach early enough to live through a bit of pitching weakness in the middle innings. Starter Chien-Ming Wang was very strong through the first four, giving up just one hit, but he started giving up extra-base hits and let in two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth. The Yankee relief corps came in and settled things down -- something they've frequently had problems with this year -- leading to a final Yankee pounding of Kansas City by a score of 15 - 4. Derek Jeter had a quieter day at bat (1 for 5 with 1 RBI) than A-Rod (2 for 3, both hits home runs, with two walks, four runs scored, and 3 RBI), and he made a throwing error late in the game, but that didn't change my daughter's mind. He's still her favorite
She had a great time as far as I could see. She doesn't know the intricacies of the rules or strategy of baseball, but she learned some more during the game, and she knew enough to be excited when good things happened. And she was only a little bothered by the fact that we were way, way up in the nosebleed seats. She wasn't bothered at all by the view, which was great, but was a little bothered by the height above ground level and by the pitch of the steps. I've got to admit I find that a little daunting myself.
Having made several wrong turns on the trip to the Stadium, I decided not to get directly back on the Deegan after we got out of the parking garage. I wanted to prove my navigational skills to my daughter by finding my way from the Stadium to the Grand Concourse, and from there to Fordham Road, and from there to the apartment building where I lived until we moved out of The Bronx when I was tive years old. Although almost none of the landmarks along the way looked the same as I remembered from
4034 years ago, I got us there with no wrong turns at all. As a bonus, due to a detour sign that kept me from getting onto the Deegan at Fordham Road, I headed up Bailey Avenue and drove us past the public school where I went to kindergarten. The building is still there, looking more or less as I remember it, but I don't think it's PS 122 any more.
The game was over early enough that we actually could have driven home that night, probably arriving not too much after midnight; but that hadn't been the plan. We drove up to Stamford, CT, where there is a Marriott Hotel that is reliably good -- I've probably stayed there a dozen times and never had anything to complain about -- and more importantly as far as my daughter is concerned: it has a nice indoor/outdoor pool for a Sunday morning swim before heading for home.
All in all, a great weekend experience for the both of us -- well worth all the driving.