Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chicago White Sox 5, New York Yankees 8 – Sunday, August 2, 2009

Melvin and I buzzed down from Wisconsin, with a quick stop at the Mars Cheese Castle for provisions, for our first afternoon game since the start of the trip. The White Sox had won the first three games of the set, including by scores of 10-5 and 14-4, and the locals were giddy, especially with Mark Buehrle on the mound. However, U.S. Cellular Field was full of Yankee fans not shy about letting their affilation be known. Not subway series full or a day-trip down to Camden Yards full, but when they cheered, I saw Sox fans looking around, wondering how many there were.

Melvin’s trip ends with this game. We drove 3,747 miles from PGE Park in Portland to Chicago, where Mel and his girlfriend and I parked the car in favor of the El. U.S. Cellular Field, still known by many as Comiskey Park, is functional but not much more. We found it disappointing until we learned that the ballpark is older than we realized. The stadium opened in 1991 and was the last major league ballpark to be built before Oriole Park at Camden Yards (the full name) began a new wave of retro/classic parks the next year. Both, interestingly, were designed by HOK Sport (now Populous). Whatever the history of the stadium, which reportedly has undergone a series of upgrades, it is unacceptable that fans can visit only the deck on which their seats are located.

If U.S. Cellular Field is like most stadiums, the best food is on the main level, which of course we could not investigate. There was barbeque on the upper deck (although not when I ordered it), but that once rare treat is now fairly common at even minor league parks. I had instead a local delicacy, the “Chicago Dog,” a hot dog with mustard, chopped onions and sweet pickle relish, topped with a dill pickle spear and tomato wedges. The Chicago Dog is often also dressed with pickled sport peppers, but in this case (I think) the peppers were chopped and mixed in with the relish and there were sweet pickles as well as relish. [Editor's note: How did Rob miss the whole pickled peppers piled on his hot dog? I'm not sure. --Mel] Good beer was in short supply, although Mel’s gal-pal Watson found Oberon Ale, from Bell’s Brewery.

I saw a few brooms, but the ChiSox could not sweep as Buehrle, who pitched a perfect game two starts earlier, was not sharp. He was roughed up for seven runs and 12 hits in four and a third innings. The high point for the game was Yankee center fielder Melky Cabrera, who hit for the cycle. He was the 15th Yankee to do so and the first in almost 14 years, we learned later It was a good game but, to be honest, I was falling asleep during much of it. The road-trip has caught up with me. No game tomorrow, and I am looking forward to it. Mel is home, but I have three more games to go.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe Mel got whole pickled peppers on his "Comiskey Dog," as they call it at US Cellular Field, but they sure weren't on mine. I was exhausted, not oblivious!