Monday, May 3, 2010

Busch Stadium

I apologize it has taken me a few days to detail you on my trip to Busch Stadium, but I had spotty internet connection in St. Louis and took my first wedding and engagement hiatus on Friday and Saturday.  Congrats to Ernst and Elise on their engagement and Bailey and Simon on their beautiful wedding.

Also, big big thank you to Ryan Giggs, who hosted me in St. Louis amidst two looming law school finals.  The games really have proven to be much better with company.

Now to Busch...

Location:  The new Busch Stadium is located downtown (I think), right next to the Gateway Arch and the Dred Scott courthouse that I thought I had shown in a previous post.  The internet connection must have been REALLY bad.  Anyway, it was really easy to get there from Clayton, MO, where Wash U is located.  Ryan and I drove to campus, hopped on their light rail, and were across from the stadium in 15 minutes.  Since it's downtown, most of the surrounding location is business.  It's not a bad area at all.

The Gateway Arch and the courthouse where the Dred Scott case was tried

Behind-the-plate shot

Ballpark:  Solid park.  Nothing too flashy, just a solid game experience.  The building itself is dark red brick, and since it's pretty much solely red brick, it actually looks pretty dark.  Weirdly enough, the actual field inside the stadium was absolutely FILTHY.  Maybe it's because it was a windy day, but there was a lot of trash all over the field the entire game.  Even the grass looked cut kind of poorly.  It's got a pretty simple layout - I don't think there are too many nooks and crannies like Tal's Hill at The Juice Box, but I could be wrong.  I was in the right field bleachers keeping a pretty good eye on Jason Heyward.  He's gonna be good. Real good.

Always loved Ozzie and Barry Larkin

View from my bleachers seat

Food: Their food didn't have too much variety - your typical pizza, dogs, hamburgers, chicken strips, nachos bar - and it was only OK.  My chicken strips were average and expensive.  The SCPI was pretty steep at $13.50 ($8.75 for the beer and $4.75 for the dog).  Now that I think about it, Busch's Stadium's food was pretty lame and overpriced.  I'd like to say the beer tasted better because we were in Busch Stadium, but I'm just not so sure anymore...

Game: It really helps to have a winning ball club.  Those Cards sure are a good team.  This is the second time I've seen them play, and they were dominant both times.  On Thursday at Busch I saw Jair Jurrjens of the Braves take on Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals.  Wainwright had a REALLY impressive season last year and kind of flies under the radar as one of the game's premier pitchers because he's their #2 behind Chris Carpenter.  Jurrjens is highly touted, and a good pitcher.  Anyway, Jair got the hook after the 1st inning, a three-run home run to David Freese, and some sort of oblique injury.  Hopefully he gets better soon because my fantasy team really needs it.

The stadium was really crowded, especially for a day game on a weekday.  Continuing what I started at Milwaukee, I picked up a t-shirt jersey, this one of Albert Pujols.

Dave Duncan (pitching coach), Wainwright, and Yadier Molina walking from the 'pen

Future Hall of Famer? I wish I had his rookie card...

Summary: I admire the Cardinals team, but the stadium was pretty much as bland as Miller Park was.  I am beginning to notice that the more average the stadium, the more average my review.  This whole write-up is really poor.  Maybe it's something about NL Central teams or the central United States in general.  I don't know.  Or maybe it's because Pujols didn't even play. The view was pretty cool, the beer was overpriced for it being in a stadium named after a brewing company, and the food was average.  The Cardinals are damn good, and the team has some great history, but that's about it.

Let's hope I have a better experience at Wrigley.

Location: 7
Ballpark: 7
Food: 6
Game: 6
Overall: 6.5

Record: 5-4
Giveaways: Still one A's Snuggie and Padres sticky calendar

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