Since we live about 75 miles from the closest MLB stadium, every game we go to is sort of like a mini-roadtrip. We like roadtrips!
With our first game still a couple weeks away, Tim and I took our first mini-roadtrip of the season this weekend. We had tickets to the Phillies’ April 4th “On-Deck Series” game. It is a pre-season exhibition game played at Citizens Bank Park. We attended an On Deck Series game once before — in 2008 (at the end of that entry). But this year it is on a Tuesday night and we can’t make it. On stubhub, the tickets were selling for next to nothing. So it was either exchange the tickets or waste them. I called the Phillies and they said I could exchange the tickets for a later date, but there were two catches (1) it had to be done in person at Citizens Bank Park and (2) it had to happen at least 48 hours before the game (which meant we had to do it on Saturday). I asked my wife if there were anything kid-friendly family events we could do on Saturday in Philadelphia, but she didn’t know of anything.
So Tim and I decided to make an afternoon of it. No big plans. Just drive to Philadelphia and exchange the tickets. But we found ways to have some fun along the way and the 5+hour trip ended up being a great time.
I lived in Center City Philadelphia for three years while I was in school. Instead of driving to Citizens Bank Park, we decided to drive to my old stomping ground. We parked next to one of my old pizza places, Lazaro’s Pizza on South Street by the Graduate Hospital, and got some lunch:
You gotta love Lazaro’s! We hit the pavement with our pizza in a box. We headed down South Street toward Board.
If you’ve never been to Philadelphia, you might not know that it is the number one spot in the country (who knows, maybe the world) for murals. They have thousands of really amazing murals all around town. Instead of old broken down buildings covered in graffiti, they have cover their broken down buildings with amazing pieces of art. Here is one building I used to walk by every day on my way to the subway — the Royal Theatre:
We passed the Royal and walked a couple more blocks to Broad Street where we hopped on the Broad Street subway line:
Tim loves trains and subways. Broad Street runs north-south throught he middle of Center City. I used to ride the Broad Street line north every day to my alma matre Temple University…
…and at the very last stop to the South, which is now called AT&T Station and was formerly the just called the Pattison Avenue stop, is all of Philadelphia’s major sports facilities: Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field, and the Wells Fargo Center (formerly the CoreStates Center, First Union Center, and Wachovia Center).
Tim loved the ride down. He sat in the very front seat and chowed down on his big and thin Lazaro’s pizza:
It is hard to tell from the pictures, but his seat had a window that looks out the front of the train:
Yep, he loved it.
When we exited the subway and walked up the stairs, we found ourselves just down the street from Citizens Bank Park:
There were lots of cars around because the Flyers were playing an afternoon game — at least that is what it seemed like. We walked through the Phillies main parking lot and stopped to get Tim’s picture with Connie Mack:
That statue has a bunch of information on it about the Philadelphia A’s.
Then Tim played catcher for Mike Schmidt:
And while I exchanged our “On Deck Series” tickets for some regular season tickets against the Rockies — hopefully, Jamie Moyer will pitch and get the win! — Tim inspected the Robin Roberts statue:
We decided to walk all the way around the stadium. In CF, we could see that Richie Ashburn was in mid-season form and looks excited to run right into the regular season:
Tim loves fire hydrants (for some reason), so he was excited to get a picture with this Citizens Bank Park fire hydrant:
In LF, the Phillies opening day line-up cards were telling a confusing story. I’m not sure if this is the remnants of the last game from 2011 or a partial listing of opening day 2012…
…, but i certainly can’t imagine that Joe Blanton will be the opening day pitcher this season.
Tim did his best “Lefty” pose with the Steve Carlton statue outside of the LF gate:
And we generally passed time by playing catch on our walk around the stadium:
Before heading out, Tim posed with some football statues…
…I have no clue who any of these football people are:
Then we grabbed the same front seat on the Broad Street line north…
Fun times. Next time, we’ll be sure to see a game too.