Christopher and I love baseball. He is a Padres fan, of course, having grown up here in San Diego, and I�ve been a Braves fan for years. However, since I�m now a resident of America�s Finest City, I�ll be supporting the Padres�except when they play my team, of course.
This year, the Padres are expected to not entirely suck for the first time in years (but the Braves probably will�damn you AOL). While some of this is due to the trades of the off-season and the healing of some injured players, I think the team will do better because of their new ballpark�PetCo Park.
We�ve been watching as construction continues on the park. Every time we�re anywhere near the Gaslamp District downtown, we walk over to the site to see what new bits have been added. Though we never broke into the construction site (unlike back in Columbus with Nationwide Arena�3 forays there, thankyouverymuch), we�ve been sorely tempted.
Finally, on 06 March, we got the chance to see inside. The park was opened that day (and the day before) for the general public. Free. Well, you were asked to bring donations to animal charities or food for the (human) Food Bank (we did the latter), but that was it. We went (with out guest Paul) and walked all over the place. It�s pretty cool.
On Wednesday, Christopher sent me an email asking if I was busy Thursday evening. I said �no� and he said not to make plans�he was taking me on a date. That date turned out to be going to the first ever baseball game in PetCo Park! It was the SDSU Aztecs against the University of Houston Cougars�game one of the 2004 Aztec Invitational Baseball Tournament. Cool! The very first game!
One of the issues about PetCo Park is that, being downtown, there is not enough parking. However, there are 3 trolley stops within easy walk of the park so the city has been suggesting taking the trolley to any game there. This was the first game, so it was the first try for the trolley system to handle the increased ridership. We followed the suggestion, and drove to Jack Murphy Stadium where we could park for free for the trolley (the Murph is where the Chargers play [don�t call it Qualcomm, please]�funny that we went to the football stadium to go to a baseball game).
Seems that almost everyone who went to the game had the same idea�take the trolley. The ride took an HOUR (normally less than 30 minutes) because of all the stops between stations due to too many trolleys on the line, but it was still pleasant and everyone was excited about getting to see the park in action.
Got to the park, and climbed up to our seats, in far right field. The view was still great, even in the �cheap seats.�
And right after we got there, the Aztecs got a hit. �Tink!� Ugh�aluminum bats. That is so wrong. By the time you get to college you should switch to the wood, damn it. But besides that it was really cool. The hotdogs were fine and the beer tasted like ballpark beer (weak and over-priced), we were park of a record-setting crowd for a college baseball game (over 40K!) and the underdog Aztecs won.
The trip back, however, was more eventful. We were waiting for the trolley, and next to us on the platform was a covey of elderly ladies. These were true baseball fans of the first order, and there was not one of them under 65�most were over 70 at least�and just cute as could be. As the trolley pulled up to the platform, a door aligned almost directly in front of us and the ladies. There was a huge crowd waiting to get on, of course, but most were polite. The door opened, and as the ladies started forward this young guy (probably about 23-25) tried to jump in front of me and then them. Well, that pissed me off so I grabbed the guy�s arm and told him to show some respect and let the ladies get on first. He got very ugly and started calling me names in that obnoxious pseudo-ghetto speak that suburban white boys use way too much these days (and Blondie couldn�t have gotten much whiter). �Bee-yatch! Who the fuck do you think you are?! Let go of me bee-yatch! Don�t disrespect me��
Christopher, who is about as non-violent as you can get, looked like he was going to beat this kid. And actually he had a hand on him for a moment (and C was at least 6 inches taller, btw). I got between them and told C it wasn�t worth it. We got on the trolley (after the ladies), and when the kid got on he kept up the verbal abuse calling me �nasty old hag� and the like. I just kept distracting C so that he wouldn�t pulverize the kid. That worked�he missed the �nasty old hag� comment. When I told him about it later he said it was a good thing he didn�t catch that or he would have beaten that kid no matter how much I protested.
Kind of sweet, in that cro-magnon sort of way that guys occasionally show. Frankly, I would have loved for him to deck the kid, but the kid would have probably sued or something (especially since I think C would have knocked him cold or at least knocked out some teeth–with one punch). Darn.
The elderly ladies were really funny on the train. They had seen everything of course, so they were making comments like, �Let him come down this way�we�ll show him what old ladies can do!� and one of them stuck out a leg into the aisle. Unfortunately, the obnoxious kid exited from some other door. Too bad.