I was fortunate enough to get to attend the opening game of the MLB season here in Sydney and figured I could share a few thoughts. I snapped a few photos on a phone, but Google will result in images far superior to my own.
On The Field
I was on the field for Diamondbacks batting practice. The transformation of the hallowed ground of the Sydney Cricket Ground was phenomenal. It felt like any ballpark in the United States, down to the Kentucky Bluegrass and terracotta of the infield.
While there, Mark Trumbo destroyed some baseballs. The Diamondbacks gave up way too much for the guy, but man he can definitely smash with the bat. I saw Didi taking ground balls from coach Turner Ward. Mark "I'm not Addison" Reed was feeding balls to Ward, which was not as exciting as seeing Addison Reed.
Mark Grace was there, watching the players' swings. I have fond memories of collecting thousands of his baseball cards when I was a kid.
On a final trip down, during the middle of the 9th, I saw Don Mattingly in the dugout, looking very Mattingly-y. Kenley Jansen is a beast of a man. I mean, he's huge.
During The Game
Clayton Kershaw's hitch in his windup is mesmerizing. As a lefty pitcher in high school, I appreciate watching great lefty pitchers, and Kershaw's one. Wade Miley isn't bad, either.
The fans were great. It was nice to see so many Aussies into the game. You could tell they weren't as well-versed in baseball though, as any crack of the bat elicited huge cheers. Sometimes a pop-up is just a pop-up. But not here.
Mark Trumbo's wall climb thrilled the crowd. The wind was blowing like crazy, so I don't blame him for misjudging it. It looked like a sure thing from behind home plate.
Scott "Yes, he's my Dad" Van Slyke's homerun was a GABP special. I'm pretty sure it was a bunt that the wind carried out.
The Diamondbacks were the underdogs, and as such were the team to root for as far as the Aussies were concerned. There were plenty of Dodgers fans there, too, though.
Living overseas most of the time means I don't see baseball most of the time. Listening to the radio feed online is great and all, but it was fantastic to get some live action. I've been fortunate enough to make it to two Opening Series overseas (I was at both games in Tokyo in 2008 for the Red Sox - As), and it's always heartening to see how universal baseball has become.
They had MGD at the game.