GNABRT Day 21 – Athletically inclined

GNABRT map - day 21The California part of the Great North American Baseball Road Trip is nearly over.  I say nearly, because it’s still going to be a long time before I leave the state when I take off tomorrow in the wee hours.

It’s been an interesting and informative visit to the left coast.  There is gorgeous scenery in this state to be sure, but it has a major malfunction with its thermostat.  Although it will not likely be much better until I get to Denver (believe it or not), I am happy to say goodbye to the cold ballgame weather.

The city:  Oakland, California is another of the former Spanish settlements that eventually became part of the U.S. through negotiation and war (or is that war and negotiation?).  One shouldn’t forget that all of these cities, from Florida to California, were first occupied by native Indians.  Just so you know who was here first.

Luis Maria Peralta was granted the East Bay area in the early 1800’s.  The land featured a long stretch of oak trees, thus earning the name “encinal” which translates to “oak grove”.  It was a short walk from there to the current name of Oakland.

As with much of California, gold and railroads led to swift growth in the city.  Soon other transportation methods added to the city’s history.  In 1928, Charles Kingsford Smith and crew successfully crossed the Pacific from Oakland to Australia.  In a reverse, Amelia Earhart became the first aviator to fly solo between Honolulu and Oakland in 1935.

WWII brought an influx of minority workers to help in the war effort, bringing with it a resultant stirring of racial tensions in the area.  These continued to simmer and occasionally bubble over in the ensuing decades.

The city’s relationship with its sports teams has been similarly bumpy.  The Raiders left town for Los Angeles for a while before returning.  The Athletics have tried to obtain a new stadium for years (with the last attempt failing) and the Golden State Warriors appear destined to move over to San Francisco in a couple of years.

The Game:  Oakland Athletics vs. San Diego Padres.  It’s been a terrible first half of the season for Oakland and not much better for San Diego.  Nevertheless, the two teams might be heading in opposite directions.  Oakland entered the game on a three-game win streak and San Diego fired their manager after the awful loss that put the first blemish on the GNABRT.

Oakland got us back on the winning track, using a three-run homer in the first to finish off a 4-run inning.  They added another 4-run inning later and then the wheels came off totally for San Diego when Oakland batted around against a young pitcher and scored 7 runs in the inning.

The poor pitcher was left out there to get pummeled but finally, even the Padres couldn’t let the inning go on.  Instead of sending out another pitcher, they moved their shortstop over to the mound to pitch and he managed to get the next batter to fly out.  Mercifully, the game ended a half-inning later with the final score 16-2.

The Tab:  Ticket, $28, Hot dog, $5.25; Root Beer, $4.75, BART, $8.10; Total – $46.10

Miscellany of Day 21:

– First thing this morning I went to the basement of the hotel to use their laundry machines.  One of the 4 washers had a “Do Not Use” sign.  I later found out what that meant when the service man came and opened the washer door, whereupon a flood ensued.  He closed it really quickly.

– The hotel is wonderfully located but it is an odd place.  It seems most like a co-op, in that there are no individual room climate controls.  I presume that’s because it’s an old SF building faithfully kept up.  My room has a tiny sink and a little ledge over the sink.  I believe if I were about 4′ tall, the bathroom would fit perfectly.

– Another odd bit I discovered last night is that this old building has pretty thin walls.  A new couple engaged the room next to me and, well, let’s say they were energetic.  Young, too, I presume, since their energy seemed to renew itself within the same night.  I’ve not seen them yet and it’s entirely possible they’ve never left their room.  Bully for them.

– I was doing some early research on my impending trip to Glacier National Park (this coming weekend).  Based upon what I read, there does not appear to be any trail I can walk on that I will not be attacked by a bear.  Should you not see a daily blog in a few days, assume the worst.

– Presuming I survive the natural wonders of Glacier, I’ll get to challenge my survival skills once more as my next stop will be Yellowstone.

Tomorrow, it’s off to Seattle.  No game that night so I should have a blog up that even you EST’ers can read the same day.

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