Ah, the smell of garlic fries is already wafting through the air.
Just the thought of buying some of those tasty and fattening fries has my mouth watering as the days start to dwindle before making a return trip to AT&T Park in San Francisco.
The last time I was there, the year it opened in 2000, it was called Pac Bell Park but I still talk about how good those garlic fries were as if I had them last night.
I’m heading back to catch a game on the last day before the All-Star Game and will get a chance to see the Diamondbacks take on the Giants.
If Tim Lincecum happens to be pitching I fully expect a three-hit day by Paul Goldschmidt before the latter heads to Minnesota for the All-Star Game.
I’m excited to return to the ballpark I consider the best in the country other than Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. Those parks get grandfathered in as 1A and 1B as long as they remain home to the Cubs and Red Sox, respectively.
Anyway, I’ve been to 26 major league ballparks – some like Cleveland, Detroit and Yankee stadiums are no longer around – and AT&T is good as it gets with PNC Park a close second.
The statue of Willie Mays (and they’ve added several since I’ve been there last), the cove, the views, splash down hits, the atmosphere (the Giants have had at least 3 million fans every year) and sight lines are just great.
The only time I’ve been there before we sat in the leftfield bleachers by the big glove and this time I am in the upper deck behind home plate to fully take advantage of the views of the Bay.
The question is do I and my cohort – we will just call him Chia – try and push it and make it to an A’s game later in the week.
We are on family vacations, spending some time at national parks, sightseeing in one of the great cities in our country and getting some beach time in cooler temps.
Our wives are nice enough to let us go to a game while we are there, but pushing for a second one might be a bit much.
But here is the thing: My wife hooked me in college on our first date partially because she said she wanted to see every ballpark in America (she did her homework) knowing it was something I wanted as well.
So she should understand my need to go to a game at a park I've never been to and may never get that chance again.
Who knows how much longer the A’s will be playing in their current home? They keep winning and there will be continued groundswell to get a new baseball friendly park.
And this could be my last chance to attend a game there and pushing my total to 27 major league parks.
So I am torn.
I know I should stay with the family on our vacation, but I haven’t seen a ballpark for the first time since I went to Petco Park in San Diego in 2006.
Then again the smell of sewage isn’t exactly the same as garlic fries.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.