Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field

A 1000-bat chandelier hangs from the ceiling just inside of the southwest entry gate.

A 1000-bat chandelier hangs from the ceiling just inside of the southwest entry gate.

Fans unsuccessfully try to catch a batting practice home run. 

Fans unsuccessfully try to catch a batting practice home run. 

Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison signs autographs before the game. 

Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison signs autographs before the game. 

Stefanie took Jackson, left, and Eli to their first Mariners game.  

Stefanie took Jackson, left, and Eli to their first Mariners game.  

A statue of longtime Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus is located in the right-centerfield concourse. 

A statue of longtime Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus is located in the right-centerfield concourse. 

Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano blows a bubble during the game. 

Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano blows a bubble during the game. 

Nick, left, and Zak hang out in the upper deck. 

Nick, left, and Zak hang out in the upper deck. 

The stadium features a wall that contains team logos crafted with license plate fragments.

The stadium features a wall that contains team logos crafted with license plate fragments.

In the lower concourse, there is a mock outfield wall where fans can pretend to rob a home run. 

In the lower concourse, there is a mock outfield wall where fans can pretend to rob a home run. 

The Bullpen Market offers fans an open area to mingle just beyond the center field wall. 

The Bullpen Market offers fans an open area to mingle just beyond the center field wall. 

White Sox reliever Zach Putnam interacts with a fan. The distance between players in the bullpen and fans is minimal. 

White Sox reliever Zach Putnam interacts with a fan. The distance between players in the bullpen and fans is minimal. 

The scoreboard in left field is operated by hand, an homage to the century-old ballparks. 

The scoreboard in left field is operated by hand, an homage to the century-old ballparks. 

Portland Trail Blazers center Robin Lopez leaves the stadium.

Portland Trail Blazers center Robin Lopez leaves the stadium.

Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim

The home plate gate entrance at Angels Stadium features a full-size brick infield and pitcher's mound. 

The home plate gate entrance at Angels Stadium features a full-size brick infield and pitcher's mound. 

Roy, right, and his grandson Mathew wait outside the stadium before the game. Roy is an Angels fan and Mathew is a Dodgers fan. They say they don't let their competing team affiliations affect their relationship, however. 

Roy, right, and his grandson Mathew wait outside the stadium before the game. Roy is an Angels fan and Mathew is a Dodgers fan. They say they don't let their competing team affiliations affect their relationship, however. 

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Fans prepare to catch an incoming home run ball during batting practice. 

Fans prepare to catch an incoming home run ball during batting practice. 

Dodgers pitcher Kevin Correia signs an autograph. 

Dodgers pitcher Kevin Correia signs an autograph. 

Mike wears a straw hat with pins affixed to it. "Every pin has meaning to me," he said. 

Mike wears a straw hat with pins affixed to it. "Every pin has meaning to me," he said

From right, Christian, Max, Cole and Anthony hold up signs during the game. It was Christian's birthday and his dad David (not pictured) took him and his friends to the game. 

From right, Christian, Max, Cole and Anthony hold up signs during the game. It was Christian's birthday and his dad David (not pictured) took him and his friends to the game. 

One the wall is a poster with photos of when current Angels Mike Trout and Chris Iannetta played in little league.

One the wall is a poster with photos of when current Angels Mike Trout and Chris Iannetta played in little league.

A fan wears a foam hat attachment in the shape a trout, a show of support for Angels outfielder Mike Trout.

A fan wears a foam hat attachment in the shape a trout, a show of support for Angels outfielder Mike Trout.

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Nathan took his son Tim to his first game. 

Nathan took his son Tim to his first game. 

Beyond the left-centerfield wall is the "Outfield Extravaganza," which contains a rock formation similar to those found on some California beaches. 

Beyond the left-centerfield wall is the "Outfield Extravaganza," which contains a rock formation similar to those found on some California beaches. 

Tom, an usher, smiles while dancing with a stuffed Rally Monkey doll in his hand. The Rally Monkey is a superstitious object that the Angels incorporate into their late inning cheers. If the Angels are losing by fewer than three runs after the seventh inning, the scoreboard will say "If you make noise, he will come." If the fans cheer, videos of Katie the white-haired capuchin monkey displaying comedic and aggressive behavior play on the video screen.

Tom, an usher, smiles while dancing with a stuffed Rally Monkey doll in his hand. The Rally Monkey is a superstitious object that the Angels incorporate into their late inning cheers. If the Angels are losing by fewer than three runs after the seventh inning, the scoreboard will say "If you make noise, he will come." If the fans cheer, videos of Katie the white-haired capuchin monkey displaying comedic and aggressive behavior play on the video screen.

The Dodgers celebrate their victory over the Angels. 

The Dodgers celebrate their victory over the Angels. 

Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium

Dodger Stadium is repainted during every off-season. 

Dodger Stadium is repainted during every off-season. 

The Lomeli and Diaz families converse before the game. 

The Lomeli and Diaz families converse before the game. 

Fans meet former Dodgers catcher Mickey Hatcher during an autograph signing session. 

Fans meet former Dodgers catcher Mickey Hatcher during an autograph signing session. 

Angels outfielders Mike Trout, left, and Josh Hamilton, right, sign autographs. 

Angels outfielders Mike Trout, left, and Josh Hamilton, right, sign autographs. 

Dodger Stadium is tiered so that fans can enter on different levels depending on where they're sitting. 

Dodger Stadium is tiered so that fans can enter on different levels depending on where they're sitting. 

Fans encourage a player to throw them a ball during batting practice. 

Fans encourage a player to throw them a ball during batting practice. 

Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels players converse before the game. 

Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels players converse before the game. 

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A memorabilia shop inside the stadium features items from multiple Los Angeles sports teams. 

A memorabilia shop inside the stadium features items from multiple Los Angeles sports teams. 

Dodgers fan Sotheara, left, and Jeff, an Angels fan, have been best friends for 15 years. 

Dodgers fan Sotheara, left, and Jeff, an Angels fan, have been best friends for 15 years. 

A mural on the wall in Dodger Stadium pays homage to the team's roots in Brooklyn, where they played until moving to Los Angeles in 1957.

A mural on the wall in Dodger Stadium pays homage to the team's roots in Brooklyn, where they played until moving to Los Angeles in 1957.

Relief pitcher J.P. Howell warms up. 

Relief pitcher J.P. Howell warms up. 

Rachelle and her daughter Isabella, 1, spend time away from the game on the outfield concourse. It was Isabella's first game. 

Rachelle and her daughter Isabella, 1, spend time away from the game on the outfield concourse. It was Isabella's first game. 

Dodger stadium has the highest capacity of any MLB stadium. 

Dodger stadium has the highest capacity of any MLB stadium. 

Michael, right, his sister Lacy, center, and her co-worker Kaytee react after the Dodgers kept the Angels from scoring. 

Michael, right, his sister Lacy, center, and her co-worker Kaytee react after the Dodgers kept the Angels from scoring. 

San Diego Padres at Petco Park

Outfielder Carlos Quentin puts a fan on his shoulder before the game. On select Sundays, the Padres invite fans to take pictures with the players. 

Outfielder Carlos Quentin puts a fan on his shoulder before the game. On select Sundays, the Padres invite fans to take pictures with the players. 

Recruits and graduates of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego stand at attention before the game. At each home Sunday game, the Padres honor members of the military. 

Recruits and graduates of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego stand at attention before the game. At each home Sunday game, the Padres honor members of the military. 

The Western Metal Supply Company was built in 1909 as a warehouse for manufactured metal goods. Declared a historic landmark, the building was incorporated into the rest of the stadium design. The majority of the brick, wood and foundation remain intact and one corner of the building is now the left field foul pole. 

The Western Metal Supply Company was built in 1909 as a warehouse for manufactured metal goods. Declared a historic landmark, the building was incorporated into the rest of the stadium design. The majority of the brick, wood and foundation remain intact and one corner of the building is now the left field foul pole. 

A photo of Rickey Henderson, the all-time stolen base leader, hangs on the wall in Petco Park. 

A photo of Rickey Henderson, the all-time stolen base leader, hangs on the wall in Petco Park. 

Friar Blue encourages fans to cheer in the right field bleachers. The Friar is the team mascot and a small group of fans in the bleachers dress up as friars each game.

Friar Blue encourages fans to cheer in the right field bleachers. The Friar is the team mascot and a small group of fans in the bleachers dress up as friars each game.

The Park at the Park is an area in the right-centerfield concourse when fans can relax. 

The Park at the Park is an area in the right-centerfield concourse when fans can relax. 

Alexi Amarista shakes hands with a service member before the game as part of U.S. Army & Army National Guard Appreciation Day. Every Sunday home game, the Padres honor service members before the game and wear camouflage uniforms. 

Alexi Amarista shakes hands with a service member before the game as part of U.S. Army & Army National Guard Appreciation Day. Every Sunday home game, the Padres honor service members before the game and wear camouflage uniforms. 

Sitting in his customary left field seat, Harry the Heckler is one of the most prominent and dedicated hecklers in all of baseball. He attended his first game in 1961 and hasn't missed more than "a couple" games since 1996. 

Sitting in his customary left field seat, Harry the Heckler is one of the most prominent and dedicated hecklers in all of baseball. He attended his first game in 1961 and hasn't missed more than "a couple" games since 1996. 

Mike Bowman is a hobbyist card collector. He arrives early to most games with a book full of cards of former and current Padres players and coaches. The majority of the cards he gets signed will never have much value but he said he enjoys collecting the cards and often gives cards and balls away to fans. 

Mike Bowman is a hobbyist card collector. He arrives early to most games with a book full of cards of former and current Padres players and coaches. The majority of the cards he gets signed will never have much value but he said he enjoys collecting the cards and often gives cards and balls away to fans. 

Rene Rivera points to a fan that he wants to throw a ball to. 

Rene Rivera points to a fan that he wants to throw a ball to. 

Shortstop Everth Cabrera raises his hands after hitting the game-winning single in the 10th inning to beat the Braves. 

Shortstop Everth Cabrera raises his hands after hitting the game-winning single in the 10th inning to beat the Braves. 

From left, Des, Nathaniel, Nate and Havana celebrate. 

From left, Des, Nathaniel, Nate and Havana celebrate. 

Inside Club 19, a bar and restaurant named after "Mr. Padre," Tony Gwynn, eight silver bats line the wall. The bats represent the number of times Gwynn won the batting title. 

Inside Club 19, a bar and restaurant named after "Mr. Padre," Tony Gwynn, eight silver bats line the wall. The bats represent the number of times Gwynn won the batting title. 

After Tony Gwynn's death on June 16, the statue of Gwynn in the Park at the Park has become an unofficial memorial where fans bring flowers and memorabilia in his honor. 

After Tony Gwynn's death on June 16, the statue of Gwynn in the Park at the Park has become an unofficial memorial where fans bring flowers and memorabilia in his honor. 

Edgar and Caryl have been married for 47 years and have attended games together since then. Edgar used to come to Lane Field, a stadium made suitable for baseball by WPA workers in 1936, in the 1940s. 

Edgar and Caryl have been married for 47 years and have attended games together since then. Edgar used to come to Lane Field, a stadium made suitable for baseball by WPA workers in 1936, in the 1940s. 

Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field

Fans watch highlights from the final game of the 2001 World Series in which the Diamondbacks clinched the World Series on a tv just above the World Series trophy. 

Fans watch highlights from the final game of the 2001 World Series in which the Diamondbacks clinched the World Series on a tv just above the World Series trophy. 

Pat, left, and Rich are brothers from Pittsburgh who now live in the Phoenix area. 

Pat, left, and Rich are brothers from Pittsburgh who now live in the Phoenix area. 

A man dressed as superman walks around Chase Field giving fans high fives and taking pictures. 

A man dressed as superman walks around Chase Field giving fans high fives and taking pictures. 

From left, Michael, Nick and Matt cheer on the Pirates.

From left, Michael, Nick and Matt cheer on the Pirates.

Cindy McBride, better known as "Flag Lady," has cheered on the Diamondbacks at every home game since 2002, two games excepted. She sews and designs flags for each Diamondback regular and waves them in the upper deck whenever they bat or make a good play. She said the umpires said they were feeling left out so she made the umpires flags too.  

Cindy McBride, better known as "Flag Lady," has cheered on the Diamondbacks at every home game since 2002, two games excepted. She sews and designs flags for each Diamondback regular and waves them in the upper deck whenever they bat or make a good play. She said the umpires said they were feeling left out so she made the umpires flags too.  

Bud Nielson took his granddaughter Mackenzie to her first game. She's 6 months old.

Bud Nielson took his granddaughter Mackenzie to her first game. She's 6 months old.

Christina dives into the pool located just past the right-center field wall after a home run ball fell in it.

Christina dives into the pool located just past the right-center field wall after a home run ball fell in it.

Bobby Freeman is the Diamondbacks organist. He wears number 88 for the number of keys on a keyboard. He started playing accordion in 4th grade and hasn't stopped playing music since. 

Bobby Freeman is the Diamondbacks organist. He wears number 88 for the number of keys on a keyboard. He started playing accordion in 4th grade and hasn't stopped playing music since. 

A Diamondbacks pitcher warms up in the bullpen. 

A Diamondbacks pitcher warms up in the bullpen. 

Fans look at an exhibit showing the process of making a bat from a piece of lumber. 

Fans look at an exhibit showing the process of making a bat from a piece of lumber. 

From left, Frank, Adrienne, their son Aiden and his cousin Favian share a light moment during the game. 

From left, Frank, Adrienne, their son Aiden and his cousin Favian share a light moment during the game. 

Fans wait for players to return to the dugout to try and get autographs. 

Fans wait for players to return to the dugout to try and get autographs. 

Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park

Fans walk to the game. 

Fans walk to the game. 

Bullpen coach Andy Hawkins signs a ball. The Rangers host autograph sessions with players and coaches on most Wednesday home games. 

Bullpen coach Andy Hawkins signs a ball. The Rangers host autograph sessions with players and coaches on most Wednesday home games. 

A food service employee prepares a "Boomstick," a 2-foot-long, one-pound hot dog topped with nacho cheese, jalapeños, chili and onions. The hot dog gets its name from the nickname Nelson Cruz gave to his bat. 

A food service employee prepares a "Boomstick," a 2-foot-long, one-pound hot dog topped with nacho cheese, jalapeños, chili and onions. The hot dog gets its name from the nickname Nelson Cruz gave to his bat. 

Marek Piekarski, left, and Jeter Mariano climb on a fence before entering the game. Marek's father said the name Marek comes from combining Yankees great Mickey Mantle's last name with Yankees great Derek Jeter's first name. 

Marek Piekarski, left, and Jeter Mariano climb on a fence before entering the game. Marek's father said the name Marek comes from combining Yankees great Mickey Mantle's last name with Yankees great Derek Jeter's first name. 

Andrew looks out onto the field.

Andrew looks out onto the field.

A cameraman uses cardboard to shield the sun from his monitor. 

A cameraman uses cardboard to shield the sun from his monitor. 

Christian plays with a mini baseball bat on the upper deck concourse behind home plate. He and his brother Andrew (not pictured) traveled with their parents to see a Rangers game. They plan to see all 30 stadiums by the time Christian graduates high school. 

Christian plays with a mini baseball bat on the upper deck concourse behind home plate. He and his brother Andrew (not pictured) traveled with their parents to see a Rangers game. They plan to see all 30 stadiums by the time Christian graduates high school. 

Fans stand for Derek Jeter's last ever at-bat against the Rangers. 

Fans stand for Derek Jeter's last ever at-bat against the Rangers. 

Alejandro plays la guira and Misael plays el tambor at the game, They said the culture of playing music in support of a team is much more common at baseball stadiums in other countries but they want to encourage the practice in the U.S. 

Alejandro plays la guira and Misael plays el tambor at the game, They said the culture of playing music in support of a team is much more common at baseball stadiums in other countries but they want to encourage the practice in the U.S. 

From left, Jessica, Tom, Linda, Turtle and Ray share a laugh on the outfield concourse. 

From left, Jessica, Tom, Linda, Turtle and Ray share a laugh on the outfield concourse. 

The foul poles at Globe Life Park are the same ones used at Arlington Stadium, the former baseball stadium where the Rangers played from 1971 to 1993.

The foul poles at Globe Life Park are the same ones used at Arlington Stadium, the former baseball stadium where the Rangers played from 1971 to 1993.

Braxton waits for Colby Lewis to finish his interview to see if he could get an autograph.  

Braxton waits for Colby Lewis to finish his interview to see if he could get an autograph.  

Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park

Robert Brandon shields a statue of former Astros second baseman Craig Biggio from the rain with his umbrella.

Robert Brandon shields a statue of former Astros second baseman Craig Biggio from the rain with his umbrella.

The main entrance to Minute Maid Park is through the building that once was Houston's Union Station.

The main entrance to Minute Maid Park is through the building that once was Houston's Union Station.

Tony Solis wears a chain with a medallion in the shape of the Astros logo that his dad purchased for his birthday.  

Tony Solis wears a chain with a medallion in the shape of the Astros logo that his dad purchased for his birthday.  

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A's first base coach Tye Waller throws a ball to a fan. 

A's first base coach Tye Waller throws a ball to a fan. 

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve holds a ball with a split finger grip as he walks off the field. 

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve holds a ball with a split finger grip as he walks off the field. 

Asher, 7, ordered shaved ice at the game. 

Asher, 7, ordered shaved ice at the game. 

Urijah, left, Patricia and Elijah sing the Star-Spangled Banner.

Urijah, left, Patricia and Elijah sing the Star-Spangled Banner.

An old-school Route 66 gas pump in the left-centerfield concourse keeps track of all Astros home runs hit at Minute Maid Park. 

An old-school Route 66 gas pump in the left-centerfield concourse keeps track of all Astros home runs hit at Minute Maid Park. 

Samantha and Cooper, 2, share a laugh after singing "Deep In the Heart of Texas."

Samantha and Cooper, 2, share a laugh after singing "Deep In the Heart of Texas."

Minute Maid Park is the only ballpark with an inclined hill in the outfield. It's a tribute to Navin Field, an old baseball field in Detroit that also had a hill. On the hill, there is a padded flag pole that is in play. No other stadium is designed this way.

Minute Maid Park is the only ballpark with an inclined hill in the outfield. It's a tribute to Navin Field, an old baseball field in Detroit that also had a hill. On the hill, there is a padded flag pole that is in play. No other stadium is designed this way.

April reacts after the Astros relinquish the lead to the A's. 

April reacts after the Astros relinquish the lead to the A's. 

A train conductor encourages the fans to get loud and support the Astros in the ninth inning. The conductor drives the train on a track from center field to left field whenever an Astros player hits a home run and whenever the Astros win. The train is an homage to Houston's historical importance as a train transportation hub in the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

A train conductor encourages the fans to get loud and support the Astros in the ninth inning. The conductor drives the train on a track from center field to left field whenever an Astros player hits a home run and whenever the Astros win. The train is an homage to Houston's historical importance as a train transportation hub in the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Colorado Rockies at Coors Field

A statue of Branch Rickey stands in front of the Coors Field home plate entrance. A quote inscribed on the statue reads, "It is not honor that you take with you but the heritage you leave behind."

A statue of Branch Rickey stands in front of the Coors Field home plate entrance. A quote inscribed on the statue reads, "It is not honor that you take with you but the heritage you leave behind."

Sue O'Brien, 64, has attended Rockies games for 20 years. She made the hat she's wearing by herself.

Sue O'Brien, 64, has attended Rockies games for 20 years. She made the hat she's wearing by herself.

Ushers walk the seats just after the gates open.

Ushers walk the seats just after the gates open.

Gary is a long-time ticket scalper who also designed the shirt he wore to the game. His sales pitch for selling the very good seats he was holding up: "Who wants to see the Rockies lose up close?" He said he loves the Rockies, but in rough years like this, "you've got to keep it light." 

Gary is a long-time ticket scalper who also designed the shirt he wore to the game. His sales pitch for selling the very good seats he was holding up: "Who wants to see the Rockies lose up close?" He said he loves the Rockies, but in rough years like this, "you've got to keep it light." 

Coors Field is the only MLB stadium to house a working brewery. It's called the Sandlot.

Coors Field is the only MLB stadium to house a working brewery. It's called the Sandlot.

The waterfall, fountains, rocks and pine trees just past the center field wall are an homage to the open space in Colorado. 

The waterfall, fountains, rocks and pine trees just past the center field wall are an homage to the open space in Colorado. 

Rockies pitcher Christian Bergman hands a fan a bat after signing it. On home Sundays, the Rockies host autograph sessions. 

Rockies pitcher Christian Bergman hands a fan a bat after signing it. On home Sundays, the Rockies host autograph sessions. 

Doug and his grandson Caleb head to a restaurant before the game. Doug carried a broom because if the Rockies won on Sunday, they would sweep the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Doug and his grandson Caleb head to a restaurant before the game. Doug carried a broom because if the Rockies won on Sunday, they would sweep the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. 

A mural in the center field concourse.

A mural in the center field concourse.

Gael, 1, and Susano watch an on-field kickball game.

Gael, 1, and Susano watch an on-field kickball game.

Two television broadcast cameramen opened their umbrellas in anticipation of rain while one left his closed. 

Two television broadcast cameramen opened their umbrellas in anticipation of rain while one left his closed. 

Brody hits a wiffle ball off a tee. 

Brody hits a wiffle ball off a tee. 

San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park

AT&T Park is a flat-out beautiful place to watch a baseball game. Looking out from the upper deck stands behind home plate, you see the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge beyond the left field wall and the San Francisco Bay water all around the outfield. A small portion of the bay just beyond the right field wall is called McCovey Cove. It's named after one of the Giants' most prodigious power hitters, Willie McCovey, who, as a lefty, would have hit many home runs into the cove had this stadium been open when he played. During batting practice and games, fans in kayaks wait for home run balls to come rocketing out of the stadium. One man, Joe, comes to almost every home game with a fishing pole and net to catch any "splash hits," the term for home runs landing in the cove. The outfield seats are situated below the outfield concourse, leaving views of the bay fairly uncluttered. 

From my observations, every seat, infield and outfield, upper deck and lower, offers a great view of the game. The stadium design is quite similar to the retro modern style of Camden Yards. The green steel and red brick construction combined with the accessible downtown location and aforementioned water views make this stadium one of the most picturesque in baseball. 

In this in-state competition between the Dodgers of Los Angeles and the Giants of San Francisco, the Dodgers came out ahead. Yasiel Puig hit three triples, a feat only achieved 15 times since 1950, and the Dodgers rolled to an easy victory. 

Final Score: Dodgers 8, Giants 1. 

Joe Dirt has snared 26 splash hit home runs in McCovey Cove with a fishing rod and net, including Barry Bonds' 725th homer.

Joe Dirt has snared 26 splash hit home runs in McCovey Cove with a fishing rod and net, including Barry Bonds' 725th homer.

A trolley once used to transport San Francisco residents sits in the right-centerfield concourse for fans to relax on and eat during the game. From left, Dave, Nina, Kaiden and Kylie, hang out on the trolley before the game. It was Kaiden's first MLB game. Kylie, who plays catcher in softball, said her favorite player is Buster Posey.

A trolley once used to transport San Francisco residents sits in the right-centerfield concourse for fans to relax on and eat during the game. From left, Dave, Nina, Kaiden and Kylie, hang out on the trolley before the game. It was Kaiden's first MLB game. Kylie, who plays catcher in softball, said her favorite player is Buster Posey.

Abel and Gloria have been married for 17 years. On one of their first dates, they went to a Dodgers-Giants game. 

Abel and Gloria have been married for 17 years. On one of their first dates, they went to a Dodgers-Giants game. 

Zack Greinke warms up before his scheduled start that night. 

Zack Greinke warms up before his scheduled start that night. 

Clowns Hiccups, left, and Hoppers, right, cross the street before the game. 

Clowns Hiccups, left, and Hoppers, right, cross the street before the game. 

Fans try to get a ball from outfielder Hunter Pence before the start of the game. 

Fans try to get a ball from outfielder Hunter Pence before the start of the game. 

McCovey Cove Dave, left, has corralled 22 of the home runs hit into McCovey Cove. He's paddled out to almost all home games since 2005. Another home run-seeking kayaker on his right brings bread for seagulls and they sit on his kayak. 

McCovey Cove Dave, left, has corralled 22 of the home runs hit into McCovey Cove. He's paddled out to almost all home games since 2005. Another home run-seeking kayaker on his right brings bread for seagulls and they sit on his kayak. 

A fan, center in orange, reenacts a recent play in which a fan interfered with a ball hit by Yasiel Puig.

A fan, center in orange, reenacts a recent play in which a fan interfered with a ball hit by Yasiel Puig.

John is a fourth-generation San Franciscan. He trims trees for the city and has been dressing up and carrying a flag at games since 2010. 

John is a fourth-generation San Franciscan. He trims trees for the city and has been dressing up and carrying a flag at games since 2010. 

Jamie, right, held her bachelorette party at the game with 40 of her friends. A man came up to her with a violin and said "Can I play you a song?" She said yes, and she did an Irish dance with her friend Tracey, center.

Jamie, right, held her bachelorette party at the game with 40 of her friends. A man came up to her with a violin and said "Can I play you a song?" She said yes, and she did an Irish dance with her friend Tracey, center.

Paul is an usher from San Francisco. He's in his first season with the Giants and said he's really loving it. His last job was working at McDonald's.

Paul is an usher from San Francisco. He's in his first season with the Giants and said he's really loving it. His last job was working at McDonald's.

Outfielder Yasiel Puig balances a ball on his hand in between innings. 

Outfielder Yasiel Puig balances a ball on his hand in between innings. 

Rumaldo shows his son, Rumaldo Jr., how many more outs the Dodgers needed to secure the win. 

Rumaldo shows his son, Rumaldo Jr., how many more outs the Dodgers needed to secure the win. 

Max, right, sold 50 cups of hot chocolate at the game. He said he didn't sell as much as he usually does because the Giants were losing.

Max, right, sold 50 cups of hot chocolate at the game. He said he didn't sell as much as he usually does because the Giants were losing.

Oakland A's at O.co Coliseum

From building materials to field dimensions, the O.co Coliseum is not quite like any other stadium I've seen. In part, this is because the coliseum is the only venue in America to currently host both NFL and MLB games. The Oakland Raiders play their games north to south, perpendicular to the direction of play for baseball, east to west. Given the field width (160 feet plus room for benches) needed to fit a football field into a baseball stadium, there is more foul territory in Oakland than in any other stadium. According to Park Factors, the foul territory makes O.co an "extreme pitcher's park," producing 78 home runs for every 100 hit at an average major league stadium. The liberal use of concrete, much of which is painted green and off-white, gives this stadium a funky, throw-back look few other stadiums have. In terms of building materials, the closest comparable stadium to O.co is probably Tropicana Field. 

The game I shot was on a Thursday at 12:35 p.m. In general, weekday games played during the day are less well-attended because many fans work a traditional 9-5 schedule. This generality held true at the A's game and many of the fans I met were diehards who maneuvered their schedules to be at most or all of the A's home games. These fans' commitment to the A's was impressive. Below, along with shots of the stadiums, are images of some of the diehards I met at the game. 

The A's dominated the Astros, never trailing in the game. Newly acquired pitcher Jeff Samardzija threw a gem of eight innings and one-run ball. 

Final Score: A's 13, Astros 1.

Ticket window. 

Ticket window. 

Walter, an usher in section 238, is a former aircraft electrician. The planes he worked on include the Ea6b, P3 and A3.

Walter, an usher in section 238, is a former aircraft electrician. The planes he worked on include the Ea6b, P3 and A3.

Fans wave flags in the left field bleachers. 

Fans wave flags in the left field bleachers. 

The ramp walls at the O.co Coliseum are concrete with a green painted stripe going through the middle. 

The ramp walls at the O.co Coliseum are concrete with a green painted stripe going through the middle. 

Season ticket holder Coco Fingers plays drums at A's games. He derives his game name from the combination of Rollie Fingers' mustache and Coco Crisp's hair. 

Season ticket holder Coco Fingers plays drums at A's games. He derives his game name from the combination of Rollie Fingers' mustache and Coco Crisp's hair. 

Paul Vossen of Santa Rosa and Richard Gawel of Adelaide, Australia drink wine before the game. It was Gawel's first game. 

Paul Vossen of Santa Rosa and Richard Gawel of Adelaide, Australia drink wine before the game. It was Gawel's first game. 

With the hills that lead to Redwood Regional Park in the background, a fan adjusts his cap.

With the hills that lead to Redwood Regional Park in the background, a fan adjusts his cap.

Evelyn Smith has been coming to games since 1972. She says that any day she is alive and gets to see a baseball game is a great day. All the players are her "sons," even opposing players.   

Evelyn Smith has been coming to games since 1972. She says that any day she is alive and gets to see a baseball game is a great day. All the players are her "sons," even opposing players.   

Lance Malone and his 7-year-old son Patrick, a catcher in little league, watch the game.

Lance Malone and his 7-year-old son Patrick, a catcher in little league, watch the game.

Jim, a season ticket holder, rests and watches the game on a television inside a large enclosed area on the plaza level behind home plate. Pictures of former A's greats hang on the walls. 

Jim, a season ticket holder, rests and watches the game on a television inside a large enclosed area on the plaza level behind home plate. Pictures of former A's greats hang on the walls. 

Larry has been coming to A's games since 1968, when the team moved to Oakland. He's built a contraption that latches onto a piece of the bleachers and keeps an umbrella above his head.  "I love the sun, but you bake," he said. "I used to hold an umbrella but I said there's got to be a better way." He remembers the 1970s fondly, recalling the "Hot Pants Day" promotion in which you were granted free entry to the game if you wore hot pants. 

Larry has been coming to A's games since 1968, when the team moved to Oakland. He's built a contraption that latches onto a piece of the bleachers and keeps an umbrella above his head.  "I love the sun, but you bake," he said. "I used to hold an umbrella but I said there's got to be a better way." He remembers the 1970s fondly, recalling the "Hot Pants Day" promotion in which you were granted free entry to the game if you wore hot pants. 

Pete, left, keeps score at all A's home games and in this game was posting a K on the railing for each strikeout recorded by an A's pitcher. He said he shares the "K" duty with other season ticket holders in Section 115. A manufacturing engineer for semiconductor company, Pete calls the scorecards a "nice souvenir" from the game. He brought along his friend Chuck, seated to his right. 

Pete, left, keeps score at all A's home games and in this game was posting a K on the railing for each strikeout recorded by an A's pitcher. He said he shares the "K" duty with other season ticket holders in Section 115. A manufacturing engineer for semiconductor company, Pete calls the scorecards a "nice souvenir" from the game. He brought along his friend Chuck, seated to his right. 

New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium

In a word, Yankee Stadium is majestic. The lattice, arches, white stone, tall ceilings and humongous banners combine to create the feeling of being inside a baseball cathedral . The Yankees have more than double the number of World Series wins of any other team (27 to the Cardinals' 11) and it is fitting that the stadium design reflects their dominance on the field. Though the stadium is relatively new, it contains so many historical references to the great players who won those 27 championships that it would be easy for someone to confuse the age of the stadium. The dimensions are the same as the Yankees' previous stadium, also called Yankee Stadium, and while there have been significant upgrades to stadium accessibility, the design and location is largely the same. 

This is Derek Jeter's last season and in this trip I will get to see him play four times (Chicago, Kansas City, Texas and New York). Seeing him at home, however, was truly special. As Jeter stepped into in the batter's box, a recording of longtime Yankee public address announcer Bob Sheppard introducing Derek Jeter played through the stadium speakers and the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Jeter has used the recorded introduction in all his home at-bats since Sheppard passed away in 2010. There are a million different ways to define "best," but I think Derek Jeter is the best all-around player of my generation, and his well-deserved reputation as a winner and leader both on and off the field qualifies him as one of baseball's sure-fire first ballot Hall of Fame greats.

Final Score: Yankees 2, Rangers 1 (14).

 

Gate 4. Yankee Stadium.

Gate 4. Yankee Stadium.

Leon and Lina have been married for 7 years. Leon was in a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed in 2009. 

Leon and Lina have been married for 7 years. Leon was in a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed in 2009. 

Tyler Clarke throws batting practice to Jamel (not pictured) on a field across the street from Yankee Stadium. Yostin and Elmer (not pictured) shagged batted balls in the outfield. 

Tyler Clarke throws batting practice to Jamel (not pictured) on a field across the street from Yankee Stadium. Yostin and Elmer (not pictured) shagged batted balls in the outfield. 

A merchandise store on the lower level concourse sells Yankee jerseys from players of different eras. 

A merchandise store on the lower level concourse sells Yankee jerseys from players of different eras. 

A policeman stands on the field before the game.

A policeman stands on the field before the game.

Just beyond the center field wall, Monument Park commemorates Yankee greats. Number 3 belongs to Babe Ruth, one of the greatest players of all time. 

Just beyond the center field wall, Monument Park commemorates Yankee greats. Number 3 belongs to Babe Ruth, one of the greatest players of all time. 

Fans walk past a photo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

Fans walk past a photo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

A cotton candy vendor walks through the upper concourse while balancing the candy on his head with no hands. 

A cotton candy vendor walks through the upper concourse while balancing the candy on his head with no hands. 

Carlos Beltran hits during the game.

Carlos Beltran hits during the game.

From left, Diego, his son Diego Andres and nephew Albert watch the trajectory of a Rangers player's home run. Diego and Diego Andres live in the Dominican Republic and had never before attended an MLB game. 

From left, Diego, his son Diego Andres and nephew Albert watch the trajectory of a Rangers player's home run. Diego and Diego Andres live in the Dominican Republic and had never before attended an MLB game. 

Fans cheer in the bleachers. 

Fans cheer in the bleachers. 

Chase Headley gets doused in Gatorade after hitting a walk-off single to defeat the Rangers in the 14th inning. 

Chase Headley gets doused in Gatorade after hitting a walk-off single to defeat the Rangers in the 14th inning. 

Atlanta Braves at Turner Field

Used for the opening and closing ceremony of 1996 Olympics, Turner Field was converted into a baseball stadium for the Braves in 1997. It is one of only two MLB stadiums (the other, Dodger Stadium, was used solely for baseball in 1984) to house Olympic events. 

The stadium the Braves played in until 1996, County Stadium, stood adjacent to Turner Field. It's now a parking lot, save for one remnant from the old County Stadium: the segment of the left-centerfield wall that Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run cleared. The wall surely remains preserved both as an homage to Henry Aaron's achievements and legacy and to highlight the impact his record had on American culture in the era of the 1970s.

While exploring the stadium, I met two people who were in the stands on the night Aaron broke the career home run record. One, Jere, was an infant on April 8, 1974. According to her parents, two amazing things happened that night: Aaron hit his record-breaking homer and she walked for the first time. Usher Walter Banks, who has worked for the Braves for 49 years, was working as an usher that night. He cites Aaron's homer as one of the defining moments of his career as a Braves usher. Photos of both Jere and Walter are below.

Final Score: Braves 8, Phillies 2.

 

The Hank Aaron entrance of Turner Field.

The Hank Aaron entrance of Turner Field.

Phillies fans sit before the game. 

Phillies fans sit before the game. 

Jordan, right, and Peyton, second to the right, play with a Stomp Rocket in the Braves parking lot. 

Jordan, right, and Peyton, second to the right, play with a Stomp Rocket in the Braves parking lot. 

Robert has missed only 14 games at Turner Field since 1994. He wears indian garb to all the games and uses Atlanta's public transportation system to get to games. He's unsure of how he'll get to games at the new Braves stadium because of the lack of public transportation.  

Robert has missed only 14 games at Turner Field since 1994. He wears indian garb to all the games and uses Atlanta's public transportation system to get to games. He's unsure of how he'll get to games at the new Braves stadium because of the lack of public transportation.

 

The section of the fence from the Braves' old stadium where Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to surpass Babe Ruth for most career home runs still stands next door to Turner Field.

The section of the fence from the Braves' old stadium where Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to surpass Babe Ruth for most career home runs still stands next door to Turner Field.

Jere, left and Tsui Mei, right, took 6-month-old Jax to his first game. 

Jere, left and Tsui Mei, right, took 6-month-old Jax to his first game. 

David has been an usher for 16 years. He works in Aisle 116. He collects pins, including those from the U.S. Armed Services, and displays them on his uniform. He served in the Army, his brother served in the Navy and his son is a Marine. 

David has been an usher for 16 years. He works in Aisle 116. He collects pins, including those from the U.S. Armed Services, and displays them on his uniform. He served in the Army, his brother served in the Navy and his son is a Marine. 

Till has been a beer vendor for five years. 

Till has been a beer vendor for five years. 

Brothers Luke, 3, Jack, 6, and Will, 8, share a bowl of ice cream. 

Brothers Luke, 3, Jack, 6, and Will, 8, share a bowl of ice cream. 

Members of the ground crew move water off the tarp during a rain delay. 

Members of the ground crew move water off the tarp during a rain delay. 

Brothers B.J. and Justin Upton play catch in the outfield. They are currently the only brothers playing on the same team in M.L.B. Before playing for the Braves, they had never played on the same team. 

Brothers B.J. and Justin Upton play catch in the outfield. They are currently the only brothers playing on the same team in M.L.B. Before playing for the Braves, they had never played on the same team. 

Walter Banks has been an usher for the Braves for 49 years. "Gas is what keeps your car moving and great fans are what keep me moving," he said. The first game he worked was on April 12, 1966. Baseball "brings people together," he said. "All races, all classes, all salaries."

Walter Banks has been an usher for the Braves for 49 years. "Gas is what keeps your car moving and great fans are what keep me moving," he said. The first game he worked was on April 12, 1966. Baseball "brings people together," he said. "All races, all classes, all salaries."

A Phillies bullpen catcher moves chairs out of the rain. 

A Phillies bullpen catcher moves chairs out of the rain. 

Miami Marlins at Marlins Park

Marlins Park is the newest stadium in Major League Baseball. The stadium design is a departure from the retro stadium style of the past 20 years. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is a modern art collector and the stadium design reflects his taste. Around the stadium, there are various modern art pieces from Joan Miro, Roy Lichtenstein, Kenny Scharf and Red Grooms. The Red Grooms piece is the most prominent, a gigantic colorful piece in center field that spins whenever a Marlin hits a home run (photos below). 

While there has been strong criticism of the stadium, I think it will grow on fans as its modernness becomes more common. 

Final Score: Giants 9, Marlins 1.

Jawaan, a roasted nut usher in his first season, looks on during batting practice. 

Jawaan, a roasted nut usher in his first season, looks on during batting practice. 

A reproduction of Roy Lichtenstein's "The Manager" from 1963 hangs in the stadium. Marlins owner Loria is a modern art dealer and the stadiums has several modern art pieces displayed around the stadium.    

A reproduction of Roy Lichtenstein's "The Manager" from 1963 hangs in the stadium. Marlins owner Loria is a modern art dealer and the stadiums has several modern art pieces displayed around the stadium.  

 

Members of the Aces 10U baseball team from Puerto Rico play hand games before the Marlins game.

Members of the Aces 10U baseball team from Puerto Rico play hand games before the Marlins game.

Angel the crab and Spike the Red Sea dragon pose for photographs.  

Angel the crab and Spike the Red Sea dragon pose for photographs.

 

In the concourse behind home plate, there is a bobble head doll museum that contains 588 dolls from all 30 teams.

In the concourse behind home plate, there is a bobble head doll museum that contains 588 dolls from all 30 teams.

Red Grooms designed the home run sculpture in Center Field. 

Red Grooms designed the home run sculpture in Center Field. 

Alfred Smith sells beer during a t-shirt toss.

Alfred Smith sells beer during a t-shirt toss.

Balls hit by Giancarlo Stanton in batting practice left dents in the metal wall of the bar in left-center field.

Balls hit by Giancarlo Stanton in batting practice left dents in the metal wall of the bar in left-center field.

Carolina, right, Jonathan and his son Johan watch the game.   

Carolina, right, Jonathan and his son Johan watch the game. 

 

The Marlins bullpen. 

The Marlins bullpen. 

A man jumps in the air after catching a foul ball.

A man jumps in the air after catching a foul ball.

The Miami Marlins Energy Team.

The Miami Marlins Energy Team.

Lydia and Tony Jimenez kiss for the "kiss cam" on the jumbotron. They are frequently featured as the last couple and draw ravenous cheers from fans. Last year they attended all 81 games. They met in Puerto Rico and have been married 61 years.  

Lydia and Tony Jimenez kiss for the "kiss cam" on the jumbotron. They are frequently featured as the last couple and draw ravenous cheers from fans. Last year they attended all 81 games. They met in Puerto Rico and have been married 61 years.

 

Post-game fireworks.

Post-game fireworks.

Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field

With a low-hanging and non-retractable roof, there is not another MLB stadium like Tropicana Field. The roof is occasionally hit by batted balls and so there are special ground rules determining the outcome of the play. Pared with the low roof, the largely concrete construction inside the stadium creates a reverberating echo that I haven't heard anywhere else. As All-Star David Price delivered a great pitching performance the day before the All-Star break, I could hear the fans' cheers again and again as the sound waves bounced around the stadium. 

In the center field concourse, there is a water tank with sting rays in it that fans can pet for free. Tropicana Field employees give a mandatory tutorial on where to touch the rays so as not to be stung. For a small fee, you can feed the rays too! 

If you're a cigar smoker or enjoy the smell, Tropicana has the only in-stadium cigar shop in all of Major League Baseball. This is largely because of the historical connections that the city of Tampa, specifically the Ybor City neighborhood, has with Cigar Making. 

Final Score: Rays 3, Blue Jays 0. 

Ricky, right, and Conner play catch before the game. 

Ricky, right, and Conner play catch before the game. 

David Price warms up before the game. 

David Price warms up before the game. 

Fans wait for autographs,

Fans wait for autographs,

Outfielder Matt Joyce signs autographs.

Outfielder Matt Joyce signs autographs.

Fans can get a free Topps baseball card with a photo of themselves on it. 

Fans can get a free Topps baseball card with a photo of themselves on it. 

First baseman James Loney high fives a fan before the start of the game. 

First baseman James Loney high fives a fan before the start of the game. 

Carol and John watch the game. 

Carol and John watch the game. 

Jane and her 4-year-old grandson Evan take in the pre-game festivities. Evan was named after Rays third baseman Evan Longoria. 

Jane and her 4-year-old grandson Evan take in the pre-game festivities. Evan was named after Rays third baseman Evan Longoria. 

Dave Clarke holds his cigar at the Cuesta Rey Cigar Bar. 

Dave Clarke holds his cigar at the Cuesta Rey Cigar Bar. 

Elijah and Rachel take in the game. 

Elijah and Rachel take in the game. 

The Tropicana Field facade.

The Tropicana Field facade.

Feeding the rays. 

Feeding the rays. 

Fans leave the game. 

Fans leave the game. 

Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park

Citizens Bank Park offers fans a comfortable experience to watch a ballgame with a great, yet distant view of downtown Philadelphia. The scoreboard in left field, the largest video screen in the National League and 20th biggest in the world, frames the city well. 

The stadium, both inside and out, is spacious, built as part of a sports complex in a less populous area of southern Philadelphia that also hosts football, hockey and basketball. Ashburn Alley, a street similar to Yawkey Way in Boston or Eutaw in Baltimore, opens before the rest of the stadium and offers fans a chance to learn about former Phillies greats as well as partake in a wide variety of food options, including Bull's BBQ, a restaurant co-owned by former Philly Greg "The Bull" Luzinski (photo below). 

In the game, Jimmy Rollins homered twice and AJ Burnett pitched very well. The Phillies beat the Nationals 6-2. It was their fifth victory in a row but came after losing 10 of their previous 11 games. The Phillies have been unable to find consistency this year and I was lucky enough to see one of the games in which they were able to find success at the plate and in the field. 

Final Score: Phillies 6, Nationals 2

A ten-foot tall statue of Phillies great Mike Schmidt stands in front of the third base gate. 

A ten-foot tall statue of Phillies great Mike Schmidt stands in front of the third base gate. 

Ted Schearer, far left, goes early to batting practice to catch balls for his grandkids. 

Ted Schearer, far left, goes early to batting practice to catch balls for his grandkids. 

The team store. 

The team store. 

Greg "The Bull" Luzinski, two-time MVP runner-up and longtime Phillies outfielder, spends time near his restaurant to sign autographs for fans at Bull's BBQ in right field. 

Greg "The Bull" Luzinski, two-time MVP runner-up and longtime Phillies outfielder, spends time near his restaurant to sign autographs for fans at Bull's BBQ in right field. 

Ephraim went to the game with his mom Jenna and dad Ed. They plan to visit all the MLB stadiums by the time Ephraim finishes high school. 

Ephraim went to the game with his mom Jenna and dad Ed. They plan to visit all the MLB stadiums by the time Ephraim finishes high school. 

Beer vendor Nick. 

Beer vendor Nick. 

Jay watches the game in the upper deck. He came to the game with his dad Wes. 

Jay watches the game in the upper deck. He came to the game with his dad Wes. 

Cash, left, and Jaden get a caricature drawing at the game. 

Cash, left, and Jaden get a caricature drawing at the game. 

Ryan Howard bats while the Phillie Phanatic tries to distract the pitcher. 

Ryan Howard bats while the Phillie Phanatic tries to distract the pitcher. 

Fans do the wave. 

Fans do the wave. 

Wayne, a 23-year Marine veteran, attended his second ball game ever and his nephew Dashon attended his first. "It's the only place that you can act like a kid and nobody will care," Wayne said. 

Wayne, a 23-year Marine veteran, attended his second ball game ever and his nephew Dashon attended his first. "It's the only place that you can act like a kid and nobody will care," Wayne said. 

Post-game train back to downtown Philadelphia. 

Post-game train back to downtown Philadelphia. 

Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park

Opened before World War I and the Great Depression, Fenway Park has unique architectural and design features that are no longer used in modern baseball stadiums. The two that most readily come to mind are The Green Monster, a tall and gigantic green-painted wall in left field that houses a manual scoreboard, and the precariously curved outfield wall near the right field foul pole, known as Pesky's Pole. Other aspects of the stadium, especially the exposed brick and green steel beams, have been copied many times.

The stadium, the oldest in the majors, gives fans an intimate view of the game. A first row view in this stadium feels closer than a first row view in most other stadiums. Additionally, Fenway has the smallest capacity of any MLB stadium. 

It's hard to walk into this stadium and see the field without thinking about many of the players who played there. From Babe Ruth, who was famously traded from the Red Sox to the Yankees, to Ted Williams, this stadiums has played host to a great many stars over the years. 

Final Score: Red Sox 5, White Sox 4

Sly sells Yawkey Way Report before the game. 

Sly sells Yawkey Way Report before the game. 

The scoreboard is run manually. During innings, Red Sox employees come out to change the numbers. 

The scoreboard is run manually. During innings, Red Sox employees come out to change the numbers. 

Aaron claps after the singing of the National Anthem. 

Aaron claps after the singing of the National Anthem. 

An autograph seeker. 

An autograph seeker. 

The Green Monster. 

The Green Monster. 

Fenway Franks are a staple at Fenway. More than a million are sold at the ballpark each year. 

Fenway Franks are a staple at Fenway. More than a million are sold at the ballpark each year. 

Red Sox relief pitcher Felix Doubront warms up. 

Red Sox relief pitcher Felix Doubront warms up. 

The base of Pesky's Pole. 

The base of Pesky's Pole. 

The winning run rounds third. 

The winning run rounds third. 

New York Mets at Citi Field

Opened in 2009, Citi Field is tied with Yankee Stadium for being the third-newest stadium. One of the most unique parts of the stadium is the color of the foul poles. The Mets are the only franchise in baseball to paint their poles a color other than yellow. You can see my photo below to figure out what color they paint it. Additionally, a giant retractable apple sits just behind the center field wall, an homage to a similar-looking retractable apple at the Mets' previous ballpark, Shea Stadium. The main entrance to the stadium is a rotunda that serves as a beautiful tribune to Jackie Robinson.

In Monday night's game, Mets pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka threw a gem, allowing no runs in 7 innings. The bullpen, as has frequently been the case for the Mets this year, gave up the lead the following inning. Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson boomed a home run to tie it at three in the bottom of the eighth. Neither team scored in the ninth the game went into extra innings, a first in my trip. In the 11th, Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada singled home Juan Lagares to win it.

Final Score: Mets 4, Braves 3

Fans enter the stadium through the Jackie Robinson rotunda. 

Fans enter the stadium through the Jackie Robinson rotunda. 

Jay holds his son Luca up on his shoulders.  

Jay holds his son Luca up on his shoulders.  

Nick Giampietro, known better as "Pin Man," wears a jersey with more than 100 pins on it whenever he goes to a game. He has season tickets and comes to almost every Mets home game. He works in a deli as his daytime job. 

Nick Giampietro, known better as "Pin Man," wears a jersey with more than 100 pins on it whenever he goes to a game. He has season tickets and comes to almost every Mets home game. He works in a deli as his daytime job. 

Some of the walls at Citi Field have photo collages of former Mets players on them.

Some of the walls at Citi Field have photo collages of former Mets players on them.

Sol Gibbons and his daughter Fran Nuchims watch the game. They've been coming to games together since she was a kid.

Sol Gibbons and his daughter Fran Nuchims watch the game. They've been coming to games together since she was a kid.

The Mets are the only team in baseball to have foul poles that aren't yellow. Here, Eric Young Jr. looks out before the start of an inning. 

The Mets are the only team in baseball to have foul poles that aren't yellow. Here, Eric Young Jr. looks out before the start of an inning. 

Speed pitch in the left field concourse. 

Speed pitch in the left field concourse. 

Vendor Peter Tehomillic sells cotton candy and cracker jacks in the upper deck. 

Vendor Peter Tehomillic sells cotton candy and cracker jacks in the upper deck. 

Former volunteer fireman Vernon Gibson is know at Citi Field as the New York Mets Fireman Koooler. You can usually find him on the Shea Stadium bridge. In some ways, he's like the Mets version of the New York Jets' Fireman Ed.

Former volunteer fireman Vernon Gibson is know at Citi Field as the New York Mets Fireman Koooler. You can usually find him on the Shea Stadium bridge. In some ways, he's like the Mets version of the New York Jets' Fireman Ed.

Anita Bess and her husband Freddie are lifelong Mets fans from Brooklyn. It was Military Monday, a Mets initiative to honor servicemen and women on home Mondays. Freddie, a former Marine who served in 1968, and all his fellow service members were acknowledged during the game. 

Anita Bess and her husband Freddie are lifelong Mets fans from Brooklyn. It was Military Monday, a Mets initiative to honor servicemen and women on home Mondays. Freddie, a former Marine who served in 1968, and all his fellow service members were acknowledged during the game. 

Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada singles home the winning run in the 11th inning. 

Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada singles home the winning run in the 11th inning. 

Braves fan Sara looks on as the Mets threaten to score. 

Braves fan Sara looks on as the Mets threaten to score. 

Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson who tied the game in the eighth inning with a solo home run high fives with teammates after the win. 

Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson who tied the game in the eighth inning with a solo home run high fives with teammates after the win. 

Washington Nationals at Nationals Park

The Nationals are only 9 years old as a franchise in Washington, D.C. but they seem to firmly established themselves as part of the community. In walking around the stadium, I found the fan base to be much younger than that of most teams. Some fans said that the older generations of baseball fans who live in the D.C. area have maintained their allegiances to other nearby MLB teams, specifically the Orioles.

Architecturally, Nationals Park has rejected much of the retro ballpark movement I mentioned in my Baltimore Orioles post. This stadium incorporates much more glass and concrete than those designed in the retro style. 

The Nationals annihilated the Cubs 13-0. After the game, I heard a police officer refer to the result as a "football score." 

Final Score: Nationals 13, Cubs 0

There can be up to 25 games of bags going on at once across the street from the stadium at Fairgrounds, an area constructed with old shipping containers that's open before and after Nationals games. 

There can be up to 25 games of bags going on at once across the street from the stadium at Fairgrounds, an area constructed with old shipping containers that's open before and after Nationals games. 

Seymour Clarke took his 3-year-old son Shemari to his first game. 

Seymour Clarke took his 3-year-old son Shemari to his first game. 

Tara Harmeson teaches sixth grade math and has been a vendor for five years. 

Tara Harmeson teaches sixth grade math and has been a vendor for five years. 

Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche throws a ball into the stands.

Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche throws a ball into the stands.

James "Jimmy O" Williams is an assistant coach for Prince George's Community College and a former professional baseball player. He played in the Orioles, Dodgers and Giants organizations, getting a major league contract from the Giants in 1973. During the summer, he coaches the DC Grays, a team in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. 

James "Jimmy O" Williams is an assistant coach for Prince George's Community College and a former professional baseball player. He played in the Orioles, Dodgers and Giants organizations, getting a major league contract from the Giants in 1973. During the summer, he coaches the DC Grays, a team in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. 

Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez throws a pitch. 

Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez throws a pitch. 

The Nationals parking garage.

The Nationals parking garage.

The presidential mascot race got feisty. 

The presidential mascot race got feisty. 

Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards

Growing up a Cubs fan, my idea of a beautiful baseball stadium was Wrigley Field. With a retro warehouse, green-painted steel beams, brick arches and old-school streets passing through the stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards shares quite a few similarities with Wrigley. The retro architecture and atmosphere at Camden make it one of my favorite stadiums.

The retro ballpark design began in Baltimore and has been copied many times in the past 22 years to the point it has become cliché and "more derivative than it already was" as Reeves Wiedeman at The New Yorker puts it. While I can somewhat identify with such an assessment, Camden largely stands above the claims of being cliché and derivative because it was the trendsetter, the leader of the movement. 

The Oriole offense was largely absent against the Rangers until the sixth inning when they scored three to tie the game at four. The Orioles scored another two in the following frame and a trio of Orioles relievers shut down the Rangers offense for a combined 3.1 innings. The game was delayed by rain for 98 minutes and it gave me my first opportunity in this project to document how people reacted to the delay. I had a blast and met some great fans. 

Final Score: Orioles 6, Rangers 4

Fans enter on Eutaw street before the game. 

Fans enter on Eutaw street before the game. 

Former Orioles first baseman John Wesley "Boog" Powell, right, shares a light moment with Kenny Murell near Powell's barbecue restaurant in the outfield concourse.

Former Orioles first baseman John Wesley "Boog" Powell, right, shares a light moment with Kenny Murell near Powell's barbecue restaurant in the outfield concourse.

Those in both bullpens stand for the National Anthem.

Those in both bullpens stand for the National Anthem.

BJ got Rangers pitcher Ben Rowen to sign a ball. 

BJ got Rangers pitcher Ben Rowen to sign a ball. 

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Social worker Joy Aisha Bell laughs with Joann Wilson, who was attending her first baseball game ever.   

Social worker Joy Aisha Bell laughs with Joann Wilson, who was attending her first baseball game ever. 

 

From left, Kevin and Mike watch the game in the bleachers. 

From left, Kevin and Mike watch the game in the bleachers. 

Clarence “Fancy Clancy” Haskett gives a fan a free coozie. He has been vending for 40 years. "After 40 years you done got close with a lot of people," he said. "And it's not just here at the ballpark." Over the years he said he's been to Oriole fans' weddings.  

Clarence “Fancy Clancy” Haskett gives a fan a free coozie. He has been vending for 40 years. "After 40 years you done got close with a lot of people," he said. "And it's not just here at the ballpark." Over the years he said he's been to Oriole fans' weddings.

 

From left, Linda Sprenkle, Marcia Talley, Joseph and Thomas cheer during a pitching change. 

From left, Linda Sprenkle, Marcia Talley, Joseph and Thomas cheer during a pitching change. 

Gregory hands out baseball cards to fans he interacts with as an usher.

Gregory hands out baseball cards to fans he interacts with as an usher.

Members of the Orioles field crew pull the tarp over the infield during a rain storm. 

Members of the Orioles field crew pull the tarp over the infield during a rain storm. 

John Turpin and his four-year-old son Dylan sit in the bleachers during the rain delay. 

John Turpin and his four-year-old son Dylan sit in the bleachers during the rain delay. 

Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park

With all due respect to the other ballparks I've visited, PNC Park's sight lines are by far the best I've seen. The Roberto Clemente Bridge, a yellow suspension bridge that crosses the Allegheny River, serves as a transport for fans walking from downtown to the stadium and as a visual anchor to the picturesque views of downtown Pittsburgh afforded to those sitting in a southeasterly direction. Furthermore, the stadium feels like it's accentuating downtown as opposed to overpowering it. 

The game was a thriller, with Arizona Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley taking a perfect game into the fifth inning and taking a two-hit shutout into the ninth inning. Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth, the Pirates finally broke through and scored three to win in walk-off fashion. 

Final Score: Pirates 3, Diamondbacks 2

Fans walk over the Roberto Clemente Bridge towards PNC Park.

Fans walk over the Roberto Clemente Bridge towards PNC Park.

Beer Vendors. 

Beer Vendors. 

Former Pirates pitcher Oliver Perez signs autographs. 

Former Pirates pitcher Oliver Perez signs autographs. 

Connor, right, and Noah, left, watch the game as their dad points toward the field. 

Connor, right, and Noah, left, watch the game as their dad points toward the field. 

Former Pirates catcher and three-time All-Star Manny Sanguillen owns a barbecue stand in left field. He signs autographs and poses for pictures with fans during the games. 

Former Pirates catcher and three-time All-Star Manny Sanguillen owns a barbecue stand in left field. He signs autographs and poses for pictures with fans during the games. 

The Pirates Pierogies race at the end of the 5th inning.

The Pirates Pierogies race at the end of the 5th inning.

Monty and his son Amari talk during the game. 

Monty and his son Amari talk during the game. 

The PNC Park bullpen.

The PNC Park bullpen.

The Pirates win in walk-off fashion. 

The Pirates win in walk-off fashion.