RIP, Veterans Stadium

March 21, 2004

So you may be wondering what I’m doing awake at this hour on Sunday morning?

I attended my first Phillies game when I was six. I’ll never forget the feeling as we entered Veterans stadium. After scaling ramp after ramp of bland concrete and handing in your ticket, you finally caught a peek of the bright green Astroturf and the yellow and orange seats. I sat very still, afraid that if I leaned too far forward, I’d tumble down. To a small 6-year old girl, and to the 31 year old woman she had become, it was majestic and beautiful. It was our local Colosseum.

I attended games with family, friends, boyfriends, and a husband. I froze my butt off there during early spring games. I dumped water on my head during scalding hot summer days. I saw amazing July Fourth Fireworks displays. I only left a game early once. (Home opener a few years ago…MomandI up in the cheap seats…folks throwing full cups of beer)

Minutes ago, in the name of progress and competition and greed and keeping up with the Joneses, it tumbled to the ground section by section, like a baseball crowd sitting down after one final group wave. Naturally, the news media have been swarming around the area for weeks as they do for any execution.

Standing tall in its wake is the corporately-named Citizens Bank Park. A jewel of a park (which is what the Vet was when it opened I assume) with all the modern accouterments (for the “ADDers” who can’t sit through a freakin’ baseball game — what’s next, playgrounds in movie theaters?) and gourmet food. Oh, and fewer seats, so they can charge more for tickets, and so seats will sell out to the corporate cronies first, and the true fans will be left watching TV.

Now the Vet is gone, and the dust is blowing straight to NJ. So maybe I’ll have more memories to hold on to! 🙂

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