Monday, June 7, 2010

Citizens Bank Park

Time to officially catch up.  I went to the Washington Nationals game on Sunday with Alex Weaver, Ryan Atlas, David Sawyer, and David Terry, but I won't be posting about their park until after I go to Stephen Strasburg's MLB debut on Tuesday.  He's supposed to be a pitching prodigy and is making one of the most highly anticipated debuts in MLB history this week.

But, to catch up, I have to give my review of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.  I was down here for the World Series as a Yankees fan and didn't give the team or the park that much credit.  The fans in Philly are still despicable, as you have seen in the news recently, but after watching a game there by myself I have come to realize they may be a little misunderstood.  To have fans that passionate is something of which the city of Houston can only dream. They love the Phillies and have a great team and a beautiful park.

A big thank you to Joe Wolf, a friend from the Yanks and resident Philadelphian, and Sam Gross, with whom I met up at the game and grabbed a beer afterwards.

Location:  I think the park is located south of the stadium, and it was an easy metro trip on the Broad Street Line from my hotel in downtown Philly.  The NHL was setting up shop at my hotel for the Stanley Cup Finals, so I knew it was legit.  When I arrived in Philly early Sunday, I headed to the Reading Street Market where I had some AWESOME gumbo, but they have a ton of other shops and the most crowded always seemed to be the ones run by Quakers.

The coolest thing about the stadium's location is that Lincoln Financial Field (the Link, home of the Eagles), and the Flyers Stadium are all on the same plot of land.  It's all real easy to get to, so Phillies fans can heckle as much as possible.

Outside view

Ballpark:  The ballpark is definitely in my top tier.  It was crowded as hell, and has a lot of the red brick aesthetic I like so much in a lot of the other parks.  It's easy to navigate, even when crowded. They have a Phillies history section in center field which I enjoy and wish more parks had with regards to their own team.  It seems pretty cozy, which I always like.  Can't really say there's much wrong with the park at all, except that it's full of Phillies fans.

Behind the plate

View from left field, where my seats were during the World Series

Shot from right

Shot from dead center rooftop

Another shot from center


Bell that moves and cracks when the Phillies score/hit a HR

History of the Phillies
Phillies Hall of Fame

Centennial Team

Food: The food here was great.  I had a Tony something's cheesesteak which was OK (the best cheesesteak I've had still resides in NYC), and some crab fries from this place called Chickie and Peete's.  They also had a vegan hot dog, ices, tenders, garlic fries, and a South Philly dog that had broccoli rabe, provolone, and spicy roasted peppers on it.  Should have tried it but I didn't really want any more food. They had a place called Bull's BBQ as well, pictures of the pit below.  The SCPI was $10.50 ($3.75 dog and $6.75 beer).

Game:  I missed Roy Halladay by a game, but the Phillies actually hit the game I went to and won 6-2 against the Padres.  I didn't see much of the game and never even sat in my seat in the upper deck, I had too much fun walking around the lower concourse.  I also met up with a friend from the Yankees, Sam Gross, who is from Philadelphia and was conveniently at the game. I got back to 10 games over .500 with this trip, so I was glad to have gone.  I saw a fan's shirt that said "Got drunk, got high, got tasered..just another day at the ballpark."  Certainly not classy, but that's what I've come to expect from my experiences at Citizens Bank.

Summary:  Beautiful park, great food, raucous fans, and a winning baseball team.  What else could a baseball fan ask for?  I had a great time in Philly and this is one of the parks I would definitely go back to.  If you're planning on going, make sure you get a ticket in advance because they have sold out some insane number of games in a row.

Location: 9
Ballpark: 9
Food: 9
Game: 9
Overall: 9

Record: 16-5
Giveaways: Still 6

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