Updated for 1999!
After accomplishing the primary objective of my 1998 trip - attending a game in all 30
Major League ballparks, I soon decided that I would have to make an ongoing commitment to keep
my record intact as existing stadiums are replaced by new ones.
The first such ballpark to be retired turned out to be the Seattle Kingdome, which hosted its
last Mariners game on June 27th. The grand opening of the new Safeco Field took place on
Thursday, July 15th, right after the '99 All-Star break. On July 20th, we
attended the sixth game ever played at Safeco Field and, as luck would have it, were treated to
a special occasion to boot - former ace Randy Johnson's first game in Seattle as the opposition.
The Mariners' new home sports an interesting design to combat Seattle's notoriously rainy
climes. While there are two other retractable roof stadiums in the league (Skydome in Toronto
and BOB in Phoenix), Safeco Field sports a roof that is practically a separate structure and can
be rolled out over the ballpark when needed. In fact, even when the roof is "closed", there are
still openings around the top of the upper deck. The field itself is reminiscent of Camden Yards
and the other irregularly shaped, baseball-only fields that are becoming necessities for teams
that want to compete financially in baseball today.
The Game & Photos
The 2000 season is scheduled to be a banner year for new ballparks. Despite construction delays
that may push back one opening, it looks like I'll be putting quite a few more miles on my
trusty Rodeo next summer, visiting the new homes of the Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers,
Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants (although San Fran may have to wait until 2001). See you