The Final Day of My Adventure
Trip Start Apr 02, 2011
46Trip End Sep 29, 2011
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The Marlins have an interesting history. They won the World Series in 2003 and then dismantled the team. You Cubs fans remember 2003...the Bartman ball and all. The Marlins have a history putting together a good team and then having a fire sale for their players
We drove the two hours over from Ft. Myers to Miami along I-75 which is sometimes called "Alligator Alley" because it goes right through the Everglades. In fact, you go 50 miles with no services in one stretch. Not much traffic today.
Made our way to Sun Life Stadium to buy tickets and found they were having "fan appreciation day." All tickets were $10. The guy who sold them to me said they'd probably make more money today than most games. People stay away in droves from Marlins games. I think they had an attendance at one game this year of 750 people. Are you kidding me? And how lonely did they look in a stadium that seats 68,000 fans...the Miami Dolphins play football here. Later on I had a rum and coke at the Stadium...$10. Yep, tickets, $10...rum and coke, $10. Hmmmm.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. After getting the tickets we headed toward the ocean for some seafood. I was looking for a place called Billy's Stone Crab Restaurant. It was actually in Hollywood, FL. When we got there we found out they were closed for renovation. I turned into a parking lot to turn around. Turns out, I pulled into another restaurant parking lot called GG's Waterfront Bar and Grill
We headed to the game...4:05 start time. Got a great parking place thanks to Mom's handicapped pass. Found our seats, but they were in the hot sun (looks like the Albuquerque curse didn't come to pass!), so we sat a few rows back until the sun went down further and our seats were in the shade. Yea, they need a domed stadium. Saw the Goodyear Blimp overhead as well!!!
Funny, I headed to the main souvenir store...almost all Dolphins stuff. I asked a guy where I could get a baseball. He said they were selling them at the gates along with programs (which I wanted too!). I said, "We came in Gate G and I didn't see a vendor." He said, "Well, that's not really a gate...(say what?)...try gate H." (Interesting.) I took the elevator up to the main level, walked over to the circular ramp and down to Gate H
Eventually got everything I wanted and headed back to our seats which were now in the shade.
Sun Life Stadium is a great football venue, but very poor for baseball. It's not a ballpark, it's a stadium in every negative sense of the word. You could actually see the yard markers used for football on the outfield grass.
Since it was the last Marlin's game to be played in this stadium, they brought back the person who sang the National Anthem at the first ballgame in that stadium. She did a great job.
I got to see the Washington Nationals' fenom pitcher, Stephan Strasburg. He was the #1 pick of the Nationals in the 2009 draft, signing a $15M contract
At the end of the 4th inning the entire Marlins team went to left field to unveil the 0 on the left field wall, meaning the last game they would play in this stadium. Nice ovation.
The Nationals won...3-1. And I ended up 16-14 for the home team on my adventure.
Mom and Donna had a good time during the game, even though it was a little slow.
Interesting story, they sometimes come into the stands and tell you to get ready, this particular row is going to win a prize (this time an autographed baseball)...sorry to burst your bubble, but most of it is fixed. They did that for the row in front of us
We drove back to Fort Myers, stopping at a Mexican restaurant along the way.
I was content that I had succeeded in my quest to visit all 30 major league ballparks in one season.
During my adventure, I have traveled thousands of miles by both air and car. I have eaten some of the best food at some of the best restaurants in America. I have stayed in great hotels, fair hotels and a couple of bad hotels
It's been a tremendous life experience for me. One that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. And I want to thank you for letting me share it with you.
Next year...I don't know...I'm thinking maybe Presidential gravesites...what do you think?
Thanks for playing along and all the best to you and yours....Dave