by Ray Bergman
Game 24 - Bonus "Cooperstown," plus Cardinals vs Padres at Busch Stadium
September 8, 1996Hi, baseball dreamers! I'm back and ready for the home stretch. Five games to go and I will, I believe, be the first and only person to have visited all 28 Major League stadiums by car in a two month period.
With a week off between games, I started to get symptoms of baseball withdrawal. You know, I would wake up in the morning and have no game to go to, and when I went shopping I missed the roar of the crowd. I had to find a cure. Since I was already in the state of New York, I knew of one baseball shrine that was open all year, and I couldn't resist. Cooperstown was calling, so off I drove to the hall of legends, "The Baseball Hall Of Fame." With my partner Judy at my side, we visted the field that was designed for all future baseball fields, "Doubleday Field." It is a very simple little field right in the heart of Cooperstown. It has bleacher type seating in all areas. The home plate area is covered with roofing and the outfield is open. There is an electronic scoreboard beyond the left field fence and it seemed out of place.
What a treat with the lifelike statues of Babe Ruth and Ted Williams as you enter. As stated by many before me, this is a fabulous place to visit. Somewhere off a rural road between Syracuse and Albany N.Y., you will find this tribute to baseball. Cooperstown and baseball is like a well fitted glove. If you ever have the chance, it is a must see for all baseball fans and Dreamers.
On to St. Louis for our date with the Cardinals and Padres, and as it so happened, also with the far reaches of hurricane Fran. We monitored its progress on the radio as rain threatened when we moved across the northern edges of the Appalachian Mountains. It was cool and cloudly most of the way, but not one drop of rain slowed down this dream.
Before arriving in St.Louis for the 24th game of this dream trip, we heard on the radio that Eddie Murray of the Baltimore Orioles had joined the likes of Willie Mays and Hank Aaron by hitting his 500th home run along with his 3000 hit. Last night, to help with my baseball withdrawal, I watched the return of Bret Butler to the Dodgers after his fight with throat cancer. He scored the winning run this night and suddenly my withdrawal symptoms vanished. So, here it is fellow dreamers after a week's layoff - A Baseball Game.
Busch Stadium is a three level stadium with sky boxes between the second and third levels. There are bleachers in left and right center field. The stadium is completely enclosed except for some openings in the outfield. You know, it dosen't look all that bad. They added real grass this season, all for the better, but they have all the seats painted red except for the first three rows in the lower level which are green Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
It was Jewish Community Day at the stadium, featuring some specialty foods with the added treat of piped in Jewish music. A few times during the action of the game, the fans were clapping and stamping their feet to Hava Negilah.
Today's game pitted the Padres' Fernando Valenzuela against Todd Stottlemyre of the Cardinals. Both pitchers were in total control for the first three innings. The Cards got to Fernando in the fourth for two runs, but the Padres came right back in the sixth with four runs including a three run job by Wally Joyner. Valenzuela lasted through the seventh but was lifted for Doug Bochtler in the eighth with the score 4-2 in the Padres favor. The San Diego crew got an insurance run in the ninth and then brought in closer Trevor Hoffman to close out the ninth, but not before giving up a two run blast to Gary Gaetti.
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© 1996 by Ray Bergman. Reproduction of all or any part of "My Baseball Dream" without the written permission of Ray Bergman is prohibited.
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