Baseball Stadium trip Games 3 & 4- Detroit Tigers Stadium Toronto Blue Jays Stadium

The next day we arrived for an early Detroit Tigers game, we sat upper deck, left field. The field was far, but it was a good time. We sat near some real funny guys, local dudes. Everyone had two seats essentially as they put their feet on the armrests of the chairs below them.

 

One even shouted to the pitcher, ‘Your mutha wears combat boots! Ha!

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Of all the things to remember, that is what stuck with me. I guess it was the extreme distance in which this guy tried to razz the pitcher with a very unfunny insult to boot. I am pretty sure the Tigers won. I think all the home teams won, except Toronto, sorry. The stadium was large and open, but otherwise not too remarkable, it was new so it didn’t have that lived in feel a stadium needs. Fairly generic stadium I’d say.

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The night before, my friend had figured out that it was only a very short finger-thumb distance between Detroit and Toronto. Canada, eh, let’s make this one an international trip why not? This Tigers game was early, noonish, so we watched the game until it was in the bag by the 8th inning. Hopped in the car and headed to the border, Canada. It was a four hour drive and a 7pm game time. Barely enough time to drive nonstop and we had a boarder to cross, too.

They usually require a passport to enter Canada so I guess we got a day pass. I’ve since realized our excursion was pretty bold idea, they could’ve turned us away. We would have probably partied in Detroit then. How far was Cooperstown?! All we knew was we had to be back by Wednesday. Cubs were the only game we bought tickets for in advance, so we would be guaranteed to sit in the bleachers. We heard the bleachers sold out early and didn’t want to take any chances. Our eyes were on Wrigley!

We were randomly stopped the border for a car inspection. We sat in a waiting room and gave them our driver’s licenses. We didn’t have birth certificates or any other official docs they asked for. It sure didn’t help when we said the nature of our trip to Canada was to see a Toronto Blue Jays game. Baseball game, really? No one goes to Canada to see a baseball game. You come up to see hockey! They went away and few moments came back smiling.

‘Nice road signs yeah! One of the agents said has he handed over our licenses. Found the stadium and again arrived right on time. At the ticket booth we asked for cheapest tickets and they offered,

 

Hey do you guys want to be in the action? We have seats in the action.’ the ticket guy excitedly told us!

 

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It sounded like a scripted term by the Jays. Of course we wanted in the action seats! It was under $10 Canadian dollars for the right field bleachers, above one of the bullpens, too. This would come into play later during the game. We nearly were kicked out after the 4th inning I’d say. A security guy came out and reminded us to be nice, you know you are doing wrong. Our friend Matt is hilarious and had been perfectly imitating a local drunk who was in dire need of a belt or better fitting pants. Plummer’s crack does not go far enough; his pants were nearly down, mooning every one.

Matt gives it back to the security guy, Hey look there, he did it first! Tell him to pull up his pants, too!

So amazing and we stayed for most of the game after a brief talking to with the guard and promise we wouldn’t cause another scene.

Opening ceremony began with a rendition of “Oh Canada,” which we decided not to remove our hats, it wasn’t our anthem. The 7th inning stretch was an occasion for break dancing on top of the dugouts. Mascots and a pro dance team spun all over the place. This occurred in 2003, fully 20+ years after breakdancing swept the US. It was insanely fun! There was also a kid seated in front of us for a bit who would yell out about every 5 minutes, ‘let’s go you Blue Jays!’

We retreated to a nearby Hooters for beer and wings after the game. I don t think this place was too busy, it wasn’t a big party night in Toronto, likely a Sunday night. It took a long time to get a waitress over and then a long time to get food, drinks. We were one or less than five tables in the whole joint. My friend calls out our waitress as she delivers our bill and says, I know I’m not from this country but this service is horrible. You’ve been ignoring us all night, hanging with your friends over there (motions to a table she pretty much sat at the whole time).I hoped you’d want to show us a good time as we are visitors. It was easily one of the most awkward, uncomfortable moments in my young years. 

We didn’t leave a tip and got out of town quick, had to put some miles between us and Toronto. Found a small hotel outside of Toronto and stayed the night. We’d cross the border in the morning in a better mood.

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Baseball Stadium trip Game 2- Chicago White Sox Stadium

Chicago White Sox were the closest option to Milwaukee and had an afternoon game the next day. It was a short drive and at some point along the way we decided to make signs. Of course being in our early 20’s, they were all crude and crass. Phrases such as: show us your boobs, honk if you’re horny, and just Honk! It was the person riding shotgun or backseat’s job to display these signs upon determining the attractiveness of the person we were passing. Usually the 18 wheelers automatically got the ‘honk if you’re horny,’ option. Not too many female long haul drivers out there, much less any whose boobs you’d want to see. The reaction was mostly positive from the 18 wheelers drivers as they were likely just as bored as we were. Some just smirked and did not pull their horn. Those are truly lame people. No one flashed their boobs, but it was worth a try.

Upon entering Chicago, we made a point to drive around Solider Field where da Bears played. It is a cool area, one way streets so I am sure we did a loop or two to ensure everyone got a view. It was that or we were lost, we were using dang paper maps that were updated during the Reagan administration! We arrived to the stadium and I finally understood why they always said South Side. This wasn’t a totally safe area at night I’d bet but it was ok during the game. So far it’s the only place I’ve seen playgrounds covered in a dome of chain link, not sure if that is to keep kids in or bad guys out but it is there.

The fans were noticeably different, too, and not in a good way. Openly hostile to anything Cubs, perhaps even the color blue. There were always vendors in the parking lot, but these souvenirs were homemade and proudly proclaimed,

‘it’s always bear hunting season; kill the Cubs; death to Cubs,’that sort of sentiment.

I for sure would not wear anything Cubs near this stadium. I got the impression that they would physically remove any Cubs article of clothing forcibly; they’d just rip ‘em off. I am all for a bit of rivalry, but not violence. Just because you are a fan of a team does not make you my enemy. In fact, fans have very little to do with the game, you just show up and watch, cheer. People are way too serious, it is a game.

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The stadium is open and has grass field. It was a hot, afternoon game so I procured a hat, nothing special. We sat in the outfield bleachers. We always tried to get down to the bleachers, but some places had better security than others. The Sox played Detroit and I am fairly sure this was a walk off homer or a grand slam, a rare event game ender is for sure. At some point we decided during the game to head over to Detroit Rock City after the game. It must have been when we saw who was playing, ‘Detroit is close right?’

I remarked once we were passing through Gary, IN that it was the home of the Jackson 5, the only thing I knew about the city. First time in Indiana, too. We located our hotel and hunkered down for a night in Detroit.

 

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