Toronto Blue Jays – August 11, 2010

A day after our first visit of the season to Toronto, we took the train to Rogers Centre for a second straight game against the Red Sox. Once again, we were visiting to take notes and photos for my website, TheBallparkGuide.com.

Toronto’s traffic is ridiculous, but getting to Rogers Centre is pretty easy if you use public transportation. We took the GO Train from the suburbs again, and it couldn’t be easier. You get off the train at the downtown Union Station, which is at the foot of the CN Tower and a couple minutes’ walk from the stadium. Here’s the view when you come out of the Union Station walkway:
rogers-centre-cn-tower.jpg
That’s the stadium, the foot of the tower and a little garden area.
Today, we bought 500 Level tickets for $14 each, which is a bit expensive considering how far you are from the action. Like many MLB teams, Toronto jacks up its prices for “premium” games, which mean you pay more when a good team is in town. Once we entered the stadium, we saw the batting practice screens were up again, so I’d renew my attempt to get a BP ball. My wife, as you can read here, got one ball in our first Jays game and I was shut out.
Though she got her ball in the 100 Level above Toronto’s left field bullpen, there was a lot more action in the left field corner, so we headed there early enough that the stadium’s fanatic guards weren’t deterring people from entering the good sections. I managed to secure a spot along the fence and patiently began waiting for balls to come my way:
rogers-centre-ballhawking-me.jpg
My wife retreated about a dozen rows up into the second to avoid balls coming her way. When a line drive flew into her general area, she retreated up a few more rows. Before long, a roller came toward me and stopped pretty much below where I was standing. It was a few feet away from the wall, so I had to precariously hang my entire body below the wall and strettttcccchhhh until I could roll the ball toward me with my outstretched middle finger. Finally, I got it into my hand … ball #1!
A minute later, another line drive flew toward my wife, who quickly closed her eyes and covered her face with her hands. It bounced off a seat near her, and as three or four male ballhawks dove to the ground at her feet, she calmly bent down and emerged with her second ball of the series! We didn’t have long to celebrate, as a couple batters later, a screamer flew into our section, bounced off a seat and flew back toward the field. Somehow, I managed to barehand it, giving me my second ball. BP ended soon afterward, and we finished with four balls between us in two games!
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Before we left the section in the left field corner, we noticed a total seating fail. Imagine buying a ticket for this seat?
rogers-centre-seating-fail.jpg
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We toured the concourse a bit, then began the long climb up to the 500 Level. Unlike Cleveland, which has steps, Rogers Centre is one ramp after another. Are they are dark and dreary as they appear below? Yes:
rogers-centre-walkway-ramp.jpg
Once we climbed into our nosebleed seats, I took my first in-stadium ticket shot:
rogers-centre-500-level-ticket.jpg
Below is a look at the different styles of seats behind home plate. From left to right (in other words, from closest to farthest from the plate) you’ve got plush red seats, then blue padded backs and seats, then non-padded plastic seats. The dark blue seats in the second deck have foam seats, but don’t have padded seat backs:
rogers-centre-seating-options.jpg
Rogers Centre’s upper deck is railing hell:
rogers-centre-500-level-railings.jpg
It’s also dizzyingly high:
rogers-centre-500-level.jpg
But it’s got a nice view, as evidenced by this panorama:
rogers-centre-panorama6.jpg
From our seats, we could see the TV broadcast booth. That’s former Jay Pat Tabler and former Jay Buck Martinez:
toronto-blue-jays-broadcasters.jpg
Because Rogers Centre suffers from poor attendance, a lot of the upper deck is closed to fans. You can st
ill wander around the concourse, but it’s pretty much a ghost town:
rogers-centre-upper-concourse.jpg
I did, however, sneak close enough to the Jumbotron to be able to spy on the rich people watching in their private dining area:
rogers-centre-suites.jpg
Here’s a panorama from about as close to dead center as I could get:
rogers-centre-panorama7.jpg
Remember yesterday’s entry and the mention about the amazing nachos we saw advertised? Here they are in all their glory:
rogers-centre-nachos-food.jpg
We went back down to the 100 Level to buy the nachos and decided to watch the rest of the game from down there. The ushers won’t let you near any of the sections, yet there are empty chairs along the rail directly behind each section, so we pulled up two chairs and watched the rest of the game from here:
rogers-centre-behind-railing-view.jpg
The photo doesn’t do the view justice; it wasn’t bad at all, and you could stretch your legs.
As for the game? Total snoozefest. The Red Sox won 10-1, led by Bill Hall’s two home runs. The conclusion of this game concluded our six-day, six-game roadtrip for TheBallparkGuide.com. Visit my website to read guides to every stadium I’ve visited thus far. They’re not all there just yet, but they will be!
Two more 2010 games left to recap … AA New Hampshire and A- Tri-City. Check back soon for details about my exciting visits to each of those ballparks.
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