Reporting Rob Long
The 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star game was special for many reasons. If you’re a Baltimore Orioles’ fan, it was special because four of the five players who represented your team played and made contributions. Chris Davis singled, Adam Jones doubled and scored, J.J. Hardy had a fielder’s choice RBI and Manny Machado flashed the leather over at third base.
In addition, if you believe the O’s truly have a chance to go to the World Series, the American League gave Baltimore a good chance to play more games in the Charm City than in the city represented by the National League.
The All-Star Game also provided me with a 26 hour period that I’ll never forget. I arrived at Baltimore’s Penn Station at 4 a.m. Tuesday morning to head to New York City. I boarded the train, courtesy of Amtrak, at about 5 a.m. and arrived in the Big Apple at approximately 7:25. The race was on at that time.
Now, I’ve been to the big city several times but it was always either Time Square, or Madison Square Garden or some tourist attraction. I’ve never been in the position of having to find my way around. I’m very thankful for good ole GPS. It made my 2 mile walk to WFAN easier. I chose to walk because I really wanted to see parts of the city that I’ve never witnessed before.
After doing my show, I hopped into a cab for an experience of a lifetime. I’ve always heard about “The New York cab ride”, but I’ve never experienced it. Let’s just say I’m thankful to be here today to type this blog. There were several times when it was doubtful, at best.
FanFest was held at a place called the Javits Center which was all the way on the other side of New York in relationship to Citi Field. I spent an hour there before hoping back into a cab toward Time Square.
I, of course asked the driver to drop me off a block from the train because I had to get a New York slice. So good. I’ve had Chicago pizza and I’ve had a New York slice before. In my opinion, there is no pizza like the slice.
I walked the the subway steps and it hit me. I’ve never been on the subway in New York. It was 97 degrees outside but it was 120 degrees walking down the steps to get to the train.
I took in all of the sites while taking the ride to the stadium. I heard conversations and saw things that just don’t happen on Baltimore’s subway. I heard a girl who looked 13 cuss some grown man out for taking her seat. I saw a band actually playing on the subway platform. They were good too.
I finally arrived at the stadium around 5:00 and there was a sea of humanity walking toward Citi Field. After being misdirected three times, I figured out how to obtain my credentials to get into the stadium. It took me another 30 minutes to figure out where I was suppose to be.
As I went onto the field, I have to admit, I wasn’t that impressed. Citi Field looks like a minor league ballpark that was stretched into a big league ballpark. It’s pretty, just not breathtaking.
I got the chance to talk to a lot of the American League All-Stars including the players who represented the O’s. Everyone seemed so excited to be there. For instance, Justin Verlander was not able to play because he pitched for the Detroit Tigers Sunday but he still showed up in uniform. I thought that was awesome.
After the game I took the subway ride back to Time Square to head back to Baltimore. I stopped there to take in the sites. It was awesome. New York City is unbelievable at night. I hung around for a couple of hours and got a hotdog and did a little shopping.
I boarded the train at 4 am heading back home. After a few hours nap on the train I arrived at Penn Station at about 6:30. What a trip. As exhausted as I was, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.