I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit some of the greatest stadiums in baseball.
Several years ago, before I got married and had kids, a group of friends and I set out on a MLB stadium tour, that was the last year of the original Yankee Stadium. We figured, one last chance to see one of the greatest parks in the history of the game, and knock out a few more along the way.
So we sat down and mapped out a date that we could travel the east coast and see as many teams as possible. My favorite of course was Fenway Park. Having called ahead I set up a full guided tour of the stadium, that included getting to watch the Sox play from the press box, behind home plate, the green monster and behind Pesky’s Poll.
Since baseball is starting to get cranked back up, and I got to sing “Dirty Water” already a few times this season I thought I’d give you my list of my 5 favorite baseball game day traditions.
5: While it’s a fairly new tradition, I fell in love with it almost 20 years ago. The tradition that I am talking about it the Los Angeles Angles “rally monkey”. Since 2000, the Angels have relied in part on the tiny shoulders of a crazy white-haired capuchin monkey. If you make noise, he will come, and help the Angels score runs. The way the Angels stadium people have integrated the monkey into popular movies on its jumbotron is brilliant. Plus the numbers of stuffed monkeys that have been sold in stores have made a lot of people a lot of money.
4: New York New York. I must first start out with the fact that Frank Sinatra is my most favorite singer of all time. Then I must state the fact, if you don’t know, I am a very big Boston Red Sox fan. So, with that being said, I am a little torn on this. Having been in Yankee Stadium and seeing the Yanks win, it’s pretty awesome watching 40K people all bellow in joyous unison one of the greatest songs ever written after a victory
3: The Braves tomahawk chop chant. I really shouldn’t have included it in this list, but the 90s made it “a thing” across America. While they and Deon Sanders stole it from Florida State the Braves took it national. It is without a doubt the most annoying thing in any sport stadium to hear. I take that back, it is second to the Roll Tide you hear at Bryant Denny Stadium. Heck, this isn’t even the Braves best tradition… that would be choking in October.
2: The list would be incomplete without “Take me out to the Ballgame”. Now, this doesn’t include EVERY stadium, just one. There is no better tradition than in Chicago at Wrigley Field then to sing that ever so delightful summer day song. Some of the biggest names in American history has cranked up the vocals for that very performance. Of course, that white Cubs win flag with the blue ‘W’ was a big time hit last year after generations of frustration ended with a World Series title.
1: Again, as I stated in number 4 above, I am a big Boston Red Sox fan. So this may be a little biased. In the middle of the 8th inning when the game hangs in the balance, an entire nation of Red Sox fans stands, and belts out Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’. Of course hearing the Standells ‘Dirty Water’ after a Boston victory is pretty awesome as well.
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