A Baseball Tour of America

Alex-2016 Sports, Viterbi Summer 0 Comments

Baseball, America’s pastime, and my first love. I have always been a big baseball fan and played baseball until the start of high school. I still remember my first Major League Baseball game. My Bubbie (Yiddish for grandmother) brought me to a Baltimore Orioles game. We sat in the upper deck along the left field line, bought hot dogs, and left in the seventh inning because five-year-old me was too antsy to sit through the entire game. Since that game, I have been an avid Oriole fan and baseball addict.

So, when my family suggested we go on a baseball road trip over the Fourth of July week, it was a no-brainer. My younger brother, Evan, is also a baseball fan and has always wanted to see all 30 Major League Baseball parks. Prior to the vacation, my family had seen 26 ballparks, and we decided to see three of the four remaining stadiums on a road trip through the Ohio River Valley.The Coco family vacation started with a flight to Pittsburgh and a baseball game at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. We took the Pittsburgh subway to the Tuesday night game versus the Philadelphia Phillies (a match-up known as the Battle of the Commonwealth) and bought Pittsburgh Pirates tee-shirts to blend in with the home crowd. The Phillies ended up winning 4 to 2, doubling up the Buccos. Despite the loss, seeing a game in PNC Park was a neat experience. The stadium was located on the junction of the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela, and I loved dancing along with the Pirates’ beloved neon green mascot, the Pirate Parrot.

Next stop? Cincinnati, Ohio. After a long car ride, my family arrived at the Great American Ballpark on the Fourth of July. Wearing an American flag hat and tank top, I was ready to celebrate America’s birthday with America’s pastime. However, a thunderstorm postponed the game and Fourth of July festivities. My family had to wait until the next evening, when the Cincinnati Reds took on the Seattle Mariners. I enjoyed walking around the stadium, which had an old-fashioned steamboat built into the seats in deep center field. Even though the Reds lost, I had a great time and almost caught a foul ball (the guy sitting next to me got it). At the end of the game, a brilliant fireworks show capped off a July fifth that made up for a rainy July fourth.

The next day, my family was back at the ballpark, this time four hours to the northeast in Cleveland, Ohio. We made it just in time to see the Cleveland Indians take on the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field. Whenever the Cleveland Indians would hit a homerun, a SUV on a rotating platform in deep centerfield would rotate toward the crowd, firing tee-shirts into the stands. My mother actually caught one of the shirts! But yet again, the home team lost. I am convinced my family was bad luck for the teams!

Outside of baseball, the vacation allowed me to see a section of America that I normally would not travel to. I loved the opportunity to immerse myself in the laid-back, homely culture of Pennsylvania and Ohio. From the Football Hall of Fame to the Andy Warhol Museum, I saw tourist attractions unique to the Ohio River Valley. A neat stop on the road trip was at Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. While OSU will never compare to SC, I enjoyed seeing the school spirit at the university when I went on a college tour with Evan. Later in the trip, I even saw some family history! My parents took my brother and me to where they had their first date at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

While I had an amazing time on vacation, I am very excited to return to SC. In less than a month, I’ll be back in Los Angeles and attending Dodgers games. But for the time being, I’ll be working! Several weeks after my last blog post, which chronicled my summer plans in lieu of an internship (See No Internship, No Problem), I got an internship working at RSA Corporation, a chemical plant. So far, I have shadowed several employees, in both the research labs and plant. I have been learning the complex processes and equipment involved in creating active pharmaceutical ingredients. Currently, much of my time is spent in the quality control lab doing pH, percent solids, and other tests. Expect another blog post soon concerning my internship!

When I am not working, I am still practicing Solidworks and C programming language. As a member of my fraternity’s social committee, I have also begun to plan the fall semester’s social calendar, brainstorming themes and contacting DJ’s. With fall semester quickly approaching, I cannot wait to meet all the new USC freshmen, and I hope you all had a great time at orientation. If you have any questions about USC, be sure to ask me or any other Viterbi Student Ambassador. Have a great summer, and see you in the fall!

 Night Game in Pittsburgh!  The Pirate Parrot  Progressive Field and Cleveland!

Night Game in Pittsburgh!

The Pirate Parrot

Progressive Field and Cleveland!

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