I have not been writing about my in-person games much this year. I did want to write my impressions about Baltimore and Tampa before I forgot about them.
Baltimore is a great stadium. Activities are separated from the baseball area and located in the outfield. The outfield area has plaques set in the ground wherever a home run that cleared the stands landed. We attended a game where Valverde blew a save and lost the game so I won’t actually comment on that.
It was easy to take public transport from the airport to the stadium. We didn’t rent a car. The harbor area is very touristy. It is easy to find a chain bar or restaurant if you don’t want to try local fare. There are lots of chain hotels that are easy walks from the stadium. There is an aquarium that had a very high price. I would probably have liked it if I had not just visited a better one in Texas. You can tour lots of different ships and boats ranging from navy sail boats from the 19th Century to World War II submarines. All these attractions are fun the first time, but I couldn’t see visiting them every time. I think the locals probably view the Harbor area the way I viewed Fisherman’s Wharf when I lived in San Francisco.
For the Tampa series we stayed in Clearwater Beach. If there were hotels near Tropicana Field it didn’t seem like a great place to stay. Certainly staying on the Gulf and driving 30 minutes was the way to go. There did seem to be some bars just north of the stadium. The dome itself is not as horrible as it looks on TV. There are children’s activities behind the outfield sections. On kids day they have games that you can play for points to earn a prize. Friday before the game we fed the rays in the Ray tank. We saw a Scherzer win (his 12th) on Friday. On Sunday Cabrera hit a ball into the Ray tank. Unfortunately that was the only run the Tigers scored.
We parked at an art gallery just two blocks west of the stadium (1st Ave and 17th Street). TW Curtis was the artist. He was a great guy and let us park for $10. He only taunted us a little about being visiting fans.