The Week In Sports #8: Baseball Roadtrip, Michael Vick, Surfing, and more

Back in the summer of 2002, my friends and I took a road trip to see some Major League Baseball games. It’s one of my favorite summer memories of my life.

We started our journey in Western New York and drove through Niagara Falls into Canada. There were seven of us, on a mission to see three games in three different cities in the same week. Not a monumentally difficult task, but we were depending on teams that were near sort of near each other to have all have home games during the same week.

We lucked out that Toronto, Montreal and Boston were all home that week. One of the members of our group, Pete, is a big Toronto fan, and it’s the closest team to where we lived, so it made sense to start there.

On August third we saw the Orioles beat the Blue Jays 8-4, led by sixteen Baltimore hits and a home run from Chris Singleton. We hopped in our cars (we took two due to the large group) and drove (a little over the speed limit) to Montreal. After missing our exit and getting lost in a tiny town where nobody spoke English, we finally found our hotel and settled down for the night. The next day, after visiting Casino De Montreal for a little gambling, we drove to Stade De Olympique and watched the Astros beat the Expos 5-4 on Gary Carter bobblehead day.

After the game, we drove through Vermont to Boston to visit our friend Greg’s brother in Cambridge Massachusetts and to go to the most sacred cathedral in all of baseball, Fenway Park. It was the first and only time I’ve ever been to Fenway, and even though the Sox got stomped by the A’s 9-1, it was still an Amazing experience that I’ll never forget.

One of the highlights of the entire trip was getting the chance to see Rickey Henderson play left field for Boston. It’s extra special that I got to see Henderson play now that he’s been enshrined in Cooperstown. He went 0-3 with two walks, but it doesn’t really matter. Congratulations Rickey, you deserve it.

Extra congratulations to Jim Rice, who finally got voted into the hall. Obviously I never got a chance to see him play, but I’ve heard that he’s a class act and I’m always happy to see Red Sox players inducted.

MLB: The trade-deadline has come and gone, and I know I’m going to miss the big news since this is getting published before that. The Phillies picked up last year’s Cy Young award winner Cliff Lee for a bunch of minor leaguers that I’ve never heard of. Their rotation has an average ERA in the high fours and he’ll instantly become their ace. The Pirates are continuing hint to baseball that they’d like to be relegated to AAA. I’m not even sure that they even have any players left. They’ve traded Adam LaRoche (Boston), Ian Snell (Seattle), Freddy Sanchez (San Francisco), Jack Wilson (Seattle), John Grabow (Cubs),and Tom Gorzelanny (Cubs) in the last week.

NFL: Mike Vick is back. He’s been conditionally reinstated into the NFL by Commissioner Roger Goodell, and he’s now free to sign with a team. Word on the street is that he’s about ready to sign with a team; I guess we’ll find out in the next few days. He’ll be allowed to participate in training camp, all preseason games and will return by week six at the latest

MLS: The MLS All Star game was played last night at Rio Tinto stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. The team of MLS All Stars, led by Landon Donovan, lost to English club Everton on penalty kicks. The teams were tied 1-1 after regulation. Everton Keeper and US national team starter Tim Howard took on former US national team goalie Kasey Keller of the expansion Seattle Sounders in the shootout. The premiership side won 4-3 on penalties and became the first foreign team to beat an MLS All Star team. Previously the MLS squad had beaten Scottish club Celtic and fellow premier league team West Ham United. It was a great game and I hope at least a handful of Americans watched it.

Surfing: Brett Simpson won the US Open of surfing in front of his hometown crowd in Hunting Beach. California. He beat out former champion Mick Fanning of Australia to take home the $100,000 purse. He won by a fairly wide margin as far as surfing scores go. He finished with 16.93 after receiving scores of 6.83, 7.83 and 9.10 in the three rounds. Second place Fanning finished with a 12.50 overall. My buddy, DJ (who lives in Los Angeles) surfs, and I’ve always wanted to try it, but my overall lack of coordination and the fact that I was apparently born without an equilibrium makes it impossible. I also can’t snowboard without ending up concussed.

*Are you a fan of a sport that you want me to cover next week or do you have any sports stories you want me to mention? This is your article, not mine. Have at it. Throw me an email

Image credit: Kriss Szkurlatowski

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