Kara and I took a road trip to the West Coast. The first stop was Oakland. An absolutely beautiful California afternoon. As soon as we got out of the car in the stadium lot we noticed quite a few Red Sox fans. When we got inside it was very noticeable, but the Oakland folks were friendly.
The only run in the game was a David Ortiz solo home run in the first inning. Lots of cheers on that one.
Curt Schilling threw a one-hitter. When he came out for the 9th with a no-hitter on the line there was a standing ovation. The only Oakland baserunner to that point was on a room-service grounder to short in the 6th that Julio Lugo booted (the runner never got past 1st). The one hit came with two outs in the 9th inning when Schilling shook Varitek off and Shannon Stewart singled to right on the next pitch. If Lugo hadn’t booted that grounder – and everything else was exactly the same – Stewart would never have gotten up in the 9th and Schilling would have had a perfect game. Final score, 1-0 Red Sox.
I’ve enjoyed every visit to a Major League ballpark, and this was a really nice day and a very good game. At least for visiting Red Sox fans. Oakland, however, is probably the third worst one that I’ve been to. Way too much foul territory, they don’t even open the top deck. They’re covered with green tarps and only used for Oakland Raiders games.
The next day at the airport, we saw some Red Sox fans boarding the same flight from Oakland to Phoenix. We chatted. They also had been to the game the day before and I commented on the large number of Red Sox fans there. One of them smiled and said, “That’s nothing. Wait till you get to Phoenix!”