Chasing Bonds (and Sosa)
Three days ago at Shea, I did something I hardly ever do: I bought semi-fancy tickets to future games.
Normally, I buy the cheapest possible tickets right before the gates open, but normally, Barry Bonds doesn’t come to town on the verge of breaking one of the most cherished records in all of sports.
There’s no chance that Bonds will hit 10 more homers in the next 12 days, but I still need to be there. This will be his lone trip to Shea in 2007.
If you go to Hit Tracker and click Bonds’ name, you’ll find a “Scatter Plot” of the home runs he’s hit this season:
As you can see, most of them went to right-center, but he HAS hit four of them just inside the right field foul pole. Thus, I bought tickets that will provide a view similar to this:
“What about Sammy Sosa?” you ask. Entering last night’s action, Sosa had homered in a major league record 44 different ballparks. Of course, his Rangers happen to be playing the Devil Rays, and the Devil Rays happen to be playing the three-game series at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, and Sosa happened to hit a home run. So now he’s homered in 45 different ballparks. Why does this matter? Because I’ve snagged at least one ball at 41 different major league ballparks. Assuming I get at least one ball next week at Busch Stadium, that’ll make it 42. Next year, I’ll push my number to 43 when the Nationals open their new stadium. Then, in 2009, the Mets and Yankees will both open new ballparks. That’ll give me 45, a number which should’ve pushed me past Sosa, but instead I’ll only tie him. That means I’ll have to wait for the Twins to open their new ballpark in 2010! And God forbid Sosa should find a way to add to his record between now and then. The good news, at least, if Sosa plays a few more years is that he’ll break Reggie Jackson’s all-time strikeout record. Haha.