It's Opening Day, which is proof positive that spring is here and the Lord is a loving God. But Baseball is nothing without nostalgia, and for some reason I was remembering Ball parks that I've been at - and had the realization that I've been to more Major League ball parks that are no more than I have been to ones that are currently active.
Candlestick Park, 1967. This was my first big league game, where we went to see the Giants and Willie Mays. I was 8 years old, and so while it was thrilling to go to a game, once the thrill wore off what I really noticed was just how cold it was. Some people there gave my brother and me their blanket because we were shivering and turning blue.
Memorial Stadium, 1980s. When I graduated from State U and moved to Maryland I found that it was pretty easy to head up the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to "toity-toid and toid" streets to see the Orioles play. I remember once walking up after the game had started and asking what they had - I think I got tickets for $8. I also remember seeing my (then) dream car, a Jaguar XJS convertible out front the park. Yes, I was young and foolish.
Turner Field, 1990s. The Ted was a fun place to go see a game. It's still there but the Braves are playing at their new stadium in Cobb county as of today.
Camden Yards and Fenway are still active (and the Queen Of The World and I will be seeing games at both this summer), but it's strange to think that I've been to more inactive parks than active ones.
But it's opening day, and so enough nostalgia. The grass is green, the infield is raked, and young men's fancy turns to thoughts of pine tar and resin. Play Ball!