Saturday, June 28, 2008

My New Hero.

Jim Baumbach is my new hero.

A close friend of mine pointed this article out to me, and I couldn't agree more. This IS something that I would do. In fact, I only pray for a rain out next year, so that I can have the excuse to do the same thing that he did.

And what did he do exactly?

Yesterday afternoon in New York was a baseball lover's day. Interleague play is going on in the Major Leagues this weekend, and as such the Yankees were in town to play the Mets at Shea this weekend. Last night's game was forgettable if you're a Mets fan like me, but the Yankees and the Mets played 2 games. The 7pm game was at Shea indeed, but there was another game at 2pm, which was played at Yankee Stadium. The reason of which was to make up for a rainout that took place the last time these two mediocre teams faced one another a few weeks back. And before I get to the gist of this tale let me say that Carlos Delgado had a flash of brilliance in that game. His 9 RBIs was a Mets single game record, beating Dave "King Kong" Kingman from a game in which he had 8 RBI's back in '76 (and I saw that game on TV!!!)

However, there was another flash of brilliance yesterday, which came from a local sportswriter who writes for the New York Newsday, by the name of James Baumbach. Deciding to be the first ever spectator desiring to curtail his expensive caloric intake at both Yankee & Shea stadiums, Jim decided to do something that even I didn't think of (but wished I had).

He ran from Yankee Stadium to Shea Stadium in between games.

With permission and utmost respect I present to you his article and link below:

If you're ever planning to run from Yankee Stadium to Shea Stadium, as I
did between games Friday, here's the first thing you need to know: You better
not be wary of heights.

On the very top of the Triborough Bridge, the only thing keeping you from going for a swim is a 3 1/2-foot fence. That's it.

When I saw that for the first time Friday on my jaunt between parks, I admit that for a millisecond I thought about throwing my arms in the air, yelling 'Game Over!' and hailing a cab.

Almost on cue, in the distance I heard the faint sound of sirens, and within seconds there was a row of police motorcycles and cars moving traffic away so three coach buses could breeze by.

Turns out the buses were carrying the Yankees on their way to Shea ... in air-conditioned luxury, I might add. And here I was on the side of the bridge, doing my 9.8-mile course between stadiums on foot. I had to laugh.

So why did I do this, you ask? Good question.

This is the third time the Mets and Yankees played a day-night, two-stadium doubleheader, and the first time they held it on a Friday. With the first game ending just in the middle of rush hour, driving and taking the subway sure didn't seem too appetizing. So why not run?

(Plus think of all the money I saved in gas! Not to mention tolls -- but I
carried $6 in my sock, just in case.)

Most people I mentioned this to thought I was nuts, but let the record show Mets general manager Omar Minaya was all for it. Standing outside Yankee Stadium before the first game began, he said he would have thought about doing the run, too, if only I gave him some advance notice.

"I would have thought about it," Minaya said, "but I don't think I would have made it."

Here's how it worked: I watched the final pitch of the first game live, and once Mets rightfielder Trot Nixon caught Alberto Gonzalez's flyout to end the Mets' 15-6 win, I was off.

Originally I just wanted to see how long it would take me, and I had no fear of making it in time for the first pitch of the second game. But when the first game took forever, ending just before 6 p.m., I had only two hours to get to Shea. The race was on.

As I left Yankee Stadium and headed toward Macombs Dam Bridge, I took note of the major traffic jam on the Deegan and chuckled. Yes, it was hot, humid and I was breathing in exhaust, but at least I wasn't sitting in one those idling cars ...I breezed through Harlem and reached the Triborough entrance on 125th Street in just over a half-hour. The first pedestrian gate to the bridge was closed, causing me angst, but the entrance across the street was open.

Randalls Island is bigger than you'd think, and the Triborough is longer
than you'd think. The construction taking place all over the bridge was an
issue; I must have followed 10 detour signs and never thought I'd be so happy to
see the words: "Pedestrian Ramp to Queens Entrance."

After the Triborough it was a straight shot down Astoria Boulevard, a road that never seemed to end.

I saw Shea for the first time at 7:38 and would have been there in 10 minutes if not for mistakenly running onto the Whitestone Expressway. I thought about crossing the highway, like a game of Frogger, but then thought better of it and turned around.

Finally, I arrived at the press gate at 7:57, a run of 1 hour and 55 minutes. I was tired, sweaty and thirsty, but I made it before the first pitch. And you know what? I'd do it again.

That was a great article. In fact, it has inspired me to create a MapMyRun out of it. I called it the Jimmy Baumbach Ballpark Run (say that 3 times fast!).

I ran this morning with the group this morning. It was a low turnout. Bonnie, Carol, Tom, Andy and myself ran, while Barbara and Stella walked. Then again with 80 degrees and 82% humidity, I don't blame anyone for not showing up. Bonnie had already run 5 miles through Forest Hills Gardens and the West Side Tennis Stadium. She's training for the Nike NYC Half. Well, she went on and did another 5 miles. You go girl. As for me, I sucked. I wanted to do 10 + today, but half way in Forest Hills, I pulled a Clark Kent into Sweatyman routine and removed my tank top. Yep, I graced everyone with my pale carcass. There goes the neighborhood.

What a disgusting day. The sweltering sufferous sulfacious salacious scathing run today was shit. In other words it sssssssucked. Those were my words exactly on my virtual running club (the best goddamm virtual running club on Earth, bar nada), .

Last week I had hit the milestone of being the first in my group to reach 1000 miles. Of course, there are many who didn't even sign up to that group, that have done close to 2000 miles (sick, right?). I have bidded farewell. But here's a little ego picture to stoke myself (disgusting shameless pride):

Kids are in tow this weekend. And right after this entry, I am showering (cause I am stinking the joint up), and taking the kids to see WALL-E. There will be a review.

May head to Long Beach a/o Jones Beach after 5 today (cheapskate-no tolls). If I do, perhaps I'll try and get another 3 miles in on the boardwalk at Long Beach. After all, I do have a boardwalk race next week on this country's birthday. Just imagine what my outfits going to be for that run. lol.

Lastly, I've had numerous complaints about my poll. It does not work. I've reached out to the Blogger folks and am waiting for a response. Either way, the picture's going to get changed soon. Headlines around here don't last for too long anyway.

I'm finally out of words (everybody can rest now)..... It's time to say hello to the soap.

1 comment:

Laura said...

That is such a cool idea! I hate baseball games b/c I feel like I always get sucked into drinking a ton of beer and lots of bad-for-you food, but running between the stadiums might be just the way to make up for it!