Hot!Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken

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The Travelin Man
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2009/06/11 12:30:49 (permalink)

Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken

It seems as though milestone posts are the time for self-aggrandizing pontifications - but, that ain't my gig.  I tend to focus more on the quality of what one has to say rather than the quantity - but, there is really no way to track that arbitrarily - so, we will continue to mark these milestones.  Rather than discuss the value of the friendships I have made, or be thankful for the gift of this web site - which I try to focus on more than just on celebratory posts, I will use my 2,500th post to lament a trip not taken.

This weekend kicks off the 2009 College World Series - which, as has been noted before, is my favorite sporting event of all-time.  I decided that my summer travel plans could not include Omaha this year about a month or so ago.  It wasn't until last weekend - as I watched my beloved Tar Heels secure their fourth consecutive berth (something NO other ACC team has ever done!) that I realized just how much I wanted to be "back home in Omaha" this weekend.  I am going to miss a lot of my familiar haunts.



I will miss "The Greatest Show on Dirt!"  (As an aside....the fact that the NCAA hasn't seen fit to license this for t-shirt sales may one of their biggest marketing blunders of all-time)



I will miss my (quasi-)annual trip to Johnny's Cafe at the stock yards for one of the great steak dinners known to man.



I will get choked up the first time I see one of ESPN's camera crews show one of the first-timer teams (UVA or Southern Miss) gather around this statue - or rub it for good luck.



I will miss Omaha's fantastic burger scene.



I will miss seeing the eight flags of the competing universities flying high against the Nebraska sky (even though they don't lower the eliminated teams' flags any more).



I will absolutely miss the deliciousness of Ted and Wally's Ice Cream!



I will miss how a $9 bleacher ticket can get you this close to the action (at least until someone asks you to remove yourself from their seat!)



I will miss the Henry Doorly Zoo.



I mean I am REALLY going to miss the zoo!



I am going to miss elimination games - like this one featuring two powerhouse teams last year - Miami and FSU.



I am going to miss taking wacky drives into rural Iowa to find tacky tourist photos!



I am going to miss just how close you can get to the future stars of professional baseball.  That is the #2 overall pick in the most recent draft, Dustin Ackley, who was taken by Seattle, playing first base; the pitcher is the New York Yankees fourth-round pick, Adam Warren.  And, if you want to see what a GOOD photographer can do with the same action sequence, check out my flickr page for what happened during this pick-off attempt.



I am going to miss the way that the whole city of Omaha embraces the College World Series as "their" event - exemplified here by the homemade cookies found in a convenience store a couple of miles from the stadium, near the Old Market area.



As stated above, I am going to miss seeing my beloved Tar Heels play for the fourth consecutive year at Rosenblatt.



I am going to miss the mutant variations of mascots that sometimes show up in Omaha! Which is to say nothing of the seemingly perpetual twi-light that rests over Omaha for most of the night games (6 pm local start time). 

I am going to miss the only-in-Omaha tradition of booing (or cheering) the ball girls when foul balls hit the ground after running up the backstop screen.  It is a simple system - if the ball is caught, the crowd cheers; if the ball touches the ground, the crowd boos - no matter how "catchable" the ball was.

I am going to miss trying to "bump into" Warren Buffet.  You'd think he'd be easier to find.

(Sorry, there is no photo available of me stalking Warren Buffet)



It's rickety, pieced-together, has no amenities of modern ballparks, etc., but I am still going to miss Omaha's Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium.  Rosenblatt is on its last legs and is soon to be replaced by a modern ballpark elsewhere in town - surely with less character and built-in appeal.

I am going to miss calling my (pseudo-)adopted Dad from the stands on Father's Day.  The first two times I went, that was a developing tradition.  He would enjoy hearing about the stadium - and looking for us to show up on television.  We never did.  It would have been fun to take Dad to Omaha - but, unfortunately, that will never come to pass.  Unfortunately, he passed away just a few weeks before the 2006 College World Series - and it was a different experience sitting there on Father's Day.

I can't believe that I don't have a picture of this, but I am going to miss the scene outside of Rosenblatt.  The local paper handing out freebies (usually with a free Slim Jim, too!), Baseball America handing out freebies of their current issue (which includes information on the draft!), one of the church groups handing out free Jesus water, Zesto's, the merchandise tents, etc.

You get the idea.

We Jews have a saying that I am going to take the liberty to paraphrase....

NEXT YEAR....IN OMAHA!
post edited by The Travelin Man - 2014/06/14 14:40:49
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/11 12:37:48 (permalink)
    Nice. Very nice. Thank you.
    #2
    Ahi Mpls.
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/11 13:25:30 (permalink)

      That's the best non-trip I've ever seen.... 'specially like the pic. of you with what appears to be the " Capital City Goofball " from the Simpsons!! 
    #3
    Mosca
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/11 14:10:34 (permalink)
    Thanks for the post, TTM. I feel really bad for you that you did miss this. I, for one, LOVE the women's fast pitch softball, and I would love to see the Women's College World Series. For now, I have the local pro team, the Philadelphia Rorce, who play in Allentown PA.

    The Travelin Man
    I am going to miss just how close you can get to the future stars of professional baseball.  That is the #2 overall pick in the most recent draft, Dustin Ackley, who was taken by Seattle, playing first base; the pitcher is the New York Yankees fourth-round pick, Adam Warren.  And, if you want to see what a GOOD photographer can do with the same action sequence, check out my flickr page for what happened during this pick-off attempt.


    Yeah, a good photographer with close $15000 worth of equipment. I'd guess about $6500 for a 400mm f/2.8 and $7000 for the camera body. Your shot is pretty damn good, too.


    #4
    mbrookes
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/11 15:01:10 (permalink)
    I'm not a big baseball fan, but you just made me an Omaha fan. I think I'll pay a bit more attention to college baseball now.

    Thanks for another interest. 
    #5
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/11 17:58:43 (permalink)
    Thanks, folks.  No need to feel bad....really.  I am fortunate for the time I get to spend traveling - and I CHOSE to do other things rather than go to Omaha.  It hit me hard last week when I saw all of the footage on TV just what I would be missing - and it is a trip I very much enjoy making. 

    For Mosca - The Women's College World Series is also on my short list of things to do.  Prior to going to Omaha the first time, our plan was to do Omaha one year and then go to Oklahoma City the following year.  We had such a good time in Omaha in 2003, we decided to go back in 2004 - and....well, OKC got put on the back burner.  I don't know if I can pull off the WCWS and the CWS in the same year - and my plan is to attend the CWS next year - as it is planned to be the last at Rosenblatt.  In that event, the earliest I would consider OKC is 2011 - and for all my mocking of wanderingjew's planning in advance, there is no way I could commit to that right now! 

    The other photographer is a friendly guy.  I think we exchanged a couple of emails/personal messages last summer.  I am sure that his equipment is substantially better than mine.  I just wish that I clicked one more time on my shot....I would have nailed the pickoff tag!  He has a College World Series photo blog where he shows off a few more of his fantastic shots.

    I gotta quit looking at this stuff....I'm apt to buy a last-minute plane ticket! 
    #6
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/11 19:21:09 (permalink)
    TTM,

    Thanks for the nice report about the road not taken.  Glad to see other Carolina fans on the RF site.  Maybe this will be the year that the Heels win the CWS.
    #7
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/11 19:26:29 (permalink)
    How can anyone be a fan of teams that wear such a sissy color. C'mon. Baby blue?
    #8
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/11 19:32:13 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    How can anyone be a fan of teams that wear such a sissy color. C'mon. Baby blue?


    We prefer the term "Carolina blue" and notice that the sky is the same color.  :)
    #9
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/11 20:47:11 (permalink)
    You have 2500 posts and I've never heard of you.  Who are you, again?
    #10
    ken8038
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/11 21:08:03 (permalink)
    Nice non-report, thanks. It brought back some memories.

    On a trip across the US I went to an Omaha Royals Minor League game at Rosenblatt Stadium in 1970. A few things I remember:

    The starting pitcher for the Royals was Galen Cisco, on the downside of his career (such as it was). He had been with my NY Mets several years eariler. 

    The game was stopped due to a tornado warning and we all had to take shelter under the stands. It was pretty scary for this (then) Brooklyn boy.
     
    We left when the game was called (no tornado, just downpours) and went to a bar nearby called the Riverside for a couple of beers.

    On the way back to the motel (which was across the river in Iowa) we stopped for a midnight snack and I had my first ever tenderloin sandwich. It wasn't very good.

    Omaha must be a great baseball town, I see the O Royals are still in business after all these years, and still affiliated with KC.
    #11
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/11 21:21:46 (permalink)
    Wow, you even made me sentimental
    #12
    Mosca
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/11 22:44:13 (permalink)
    Man, after reading this and looking at the pictures and visiting your flikr, I decided to take a trip to Allentown to watch the Philly Force next Thursday.
    #13
    mr chips
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/11 23:32:41 (permalink)
    TTM, you make me sorry I never got to Rosenblatt. I hope someday to visit Omaha with you and see the CWS
    #14
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/12 02:15:23 (permalink)
    ken8038
    The starting pitcher for the Royals was Galen Cisco, on the downside of his career (such as it was). He had been with my NY Mets several years eariler.


    Trust me - when Cisco pitched for the Mets, he was ALSO on the downside of his career.  Come to think of it, I am not sure that his career didn't peak until after he stopped playing and became a coach.

    Omaha is a great town - for this event.  The whole city embraces it - and when you walk into a local business during the tournament, the first question is just as likely to be regarding who won  "the early game" as it would be about anything you would want to purchase.  Outside of the CWS, Omaha doesn't do a very good of supporting the Royals any more.  It could be that anyone of any skill is already playing for the KANSAS CITY Royals.  It could be a cavernous, half-empty stadium....who knows?  It will be interesting to see what happens to the O-Royals after the CWS moves out of Rosenblatt.

    Buffalo Tarheel

    TTM,

    Thanks for the nice report about the road not taken.  Glad to see other Carolina fans on the RF site.  Maybe this will be the year that the Heels win the CWS.


    I thought last year was "their year."  I thought the lineup was much more potent last year (Flack, Fedroff, Fed-X), and I liked Rob Wooten as their closer.  Coincidentally, Wooten is the closer for our local minor league team - and is tearing up this season!

    I think we have something of an uphill battle this year.  On top of that, Texas and LSU both look tough.  I suspect that the two of them will be playing for the championship series.  If I was to predict a final four standing, it would be LSU-Cal State Fullerton on one half; and Texas and Carolina on the other half.

    Michael Hoffman

    How can anyone be a fan of teams that wear such a sissy color. C'mon. Baby blue?


    Your first comment on this thread was too nice.  I thought I got too sentimental on ya!  This is more like it.

    buffetbuster

    You have 2500 posts and I've never heard of you.  Who are you, again?


    Perhaps you know me better as my other "nom de Roadfood"...



    i95!
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    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/12 02:25:22 (permalink)
    mr chips

    TTM, you make me sorry I never got to Rosenblatt. I hope someday to visit Omaha with you and see the CWS


    Still one more chance.  2010.  I am going.  Consider this the public announcement - and the start of any planning thread for anyone else who would like to join me.  My plan is to arrive for the early round games on the first weekend and leave by Tuesday or Wednesday.  I don't care if my team is going - or which teams are going.  It is a great event regardless.

    wanderingjew

    Wow, you even made me sentimental


    Relax.  No need to get all mushy.  I know you didn't feel the same way about Omaha as I did - and I don't expect anyone else to, either.  *I* think this event is great.  If you see something that appeals to you, as well - then, come on along.  If it ain't your bag, well, I don't think anyone will criticize you for NOT taking your summer vacation to Omaha!  You won't get the looks I get, for sure!

    Mosca

    Man, after reading this and looking at the pictures and visiting your flikr, I decided to take a trip to Allentown to watch the Philly Force next Thursday.


    Enjoy.  I am quite jealous.  My baseball watching this week will be relegated to the tellie, but I have some travel upcoming that will find me inside a few stadiums in a short period.  I also found out today at work that I will have an August work obligation at a Trenton Thunder game! 

    I am glad that you all enjoyed this thread.  It was a little therapeutic for me, to say the least.
    #16
    i95
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/12 07:40:37 (permalink)
    The Travelin Man

    Perhaps you know me better as my other "nom de Roadfood"...



    i95!


    Who? Wait. What? 

    #17
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/12 10:25:52 (permalink)
    You did a really great job of showing and telling why you're sorry you're not there Steve.  :)
    #18
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/12 11:21:38 (permalink)
    Great post!!!

    If you can promise me a stop at Bohemian Cafe and a decent chance of an appearance by my Clemson Tigers, I think I am in for next year.
    #19
    tiki
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/12 11:58:11 (permalink)
    Wow--your NO TRIP has been the 2nd best baseball experience  of my year so far! ---Yankees-0 Sox-8!!!! is still #1----- Thanks---and who knows---maybe--next year in Omaha!!!---oh--LOVE THE TEE SHIRT!!!
    post edited by tiki - 2009/06/12 12:00:32
    #20
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/12 12:24:37 (permalink)
    tiki

    Wow--your NO TRIP has been the 2nd best baseball experience  of my year so far! ---Yankees-0 Sox-8!!!! is still #1----- Thanks---and who knows---maybe--next year in Omaha!!!---oh--LOVE THE TEE SHIRT!!!


    Tiki - That t-shirt is my favorite baseball t-shirt of all-time.  I only wear it a couple of times a year, but it always generates great response.

    buffetbuster

    Great post!!!

    If you can promise me a stop at Bohemian Cafe and a decent chance of an appearance by my Clemson Tigers, I think I am in for next year.


    I can surely do a meal at the Bo!  Last year, my camera battery drained at the zoo prior to dinner at the Bo.  Have I mentioned how much I love the zoo?  Yeah....didn't work out so well for photos of Czech food.  Thus, they were not represented in the above pictorial. 

    Clemson will have a shot next year.  I will root for the UC Irvine Anteaters to make it to the CWS, so that we can all seek out these shirts for all future Roadfood events...


    Flickr photo borrowed from here.


    #21
    Neesie
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/12 15:34:28 (permalink)
    The gorgeous steak would be reason enough to go!  Tell me, what flavor is the Ted & Wally's Ice Cream?  I've never heard of Ted & Wally's before but heck, I'd give 'em a try based on that wonderful picture!
    #22
    1bbqboy
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/12 19:19:18 (permalink)
    i95

    The Travelin Man

    Perhaps you know me better as my other "nom de Roadfood"...



    i95!


    Who? Wait. What? 

    how can you be in 2 places at once......
    when you're not anywhere at all?


    post edited by bill voss - 2009/06/13 08:36:56
    #23
    mr chips
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/13 09:39:27 (permalink)
    Welcome back, Mr. V.
    #24
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/13 11:57:47 (permalink)
    Neesie

    The gorgeous steak would be reason enough to go!  Tell me, what flavor is the Ted & Wally's Ice Cream?  I've never heard of Ted & Wally's before but heck, I'd give 'em a try based on that wonderful picture!


    The ice cream that you see is actually a two-scoop cone.  The top scoop (yellow) is - believe it or not - French toast flavor.  I was skeptical at first, but after a sample taste, I decided to go for it. The taste was EXACTLY like eating a plate Frech toast covered with a light layer of maple syrup.  The bottom scoop was butterscotch Oreo, which I also found to be fabulous.

    Ted and Wally's is the ice cream by which all other ice creams will be measured by me - at least for awhile!
    #25
    Curbside Grill
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/20 07:05:47 (permalink)
    TTM   Mr W. Buffet is easier to find than you think.
    Could even have dinner with the man.
    He will talk your ear off and if you did not recognize him, just another person  on the street.
    #26
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/20 10:39:24 (permalink)
    The Travelin Man
    I think we have something of an uphill battle this year.  On top of that, Texas and LSU both look tough.  I suspect that the two of them will be playing for the championship series.  If I was to predict a final four standing, it would be LSU-Cal State Fullerton on one half; and Texas and Carolina on the other half.


    Well, I had the final right!  Not too bad for a pre-CWS prediction.  And, honestly, my pick of Carolina in the final four was from the heart, not the head (stupid Arizona State).  I was shocked to see Cal State Fullerton fair so poorly.

    LSU-Texas should be a great final series (two-out-of-three).  I am not sure who I want to win, but I think LSU will come away as champions.  Either way, the businesses of Omaha should be grateful that they have two hugely suppportive - and spending - schools in town for a few more days!
    #27
    CajunKing
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/25 14:16:09 (permalink)
    LSU LSU LSU LSU

    Ok chanting over.  :-)

    Steve

    a great non trip report, Omaha will be ready and waiting for your return
    #28
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2009/06/25 15:07:39 (permalink)
    Well, the first game lived up to my "great final series" billing.  The other two games were snores.  Of course, with aluminum bats, even games that look like blowouts early can be deceiving.  In this case, I think LSU's coach's decision to hold back his #1 starting pitcher looks brilliant!

    I am looking forward to heading back to Omaha again next year.
    #29
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken 2010/06/02 10:40:13 (permalink)
    The Travelin Man
    Still one more chance.  2010.  I am going.  Consider this the public announcement - and the start of any planning thread for anyone else who would like to join me.  My plan is to arrive for the early round games on the first weekend and leave by Tuesday or Wednesday.  I don't care if my team is going - or which teams are going.  It is a great event regardless.


    I found this old thread while I was searching for another one.  Weird the way that works.

    It seems as though all of my potential traveling companions have other plans, and I have been waffling about whether or not I would attend.  Reading this thread made me realize that I MUST secure my traveling plans.  I am going.  Period. 

    I need one more game at Rosenblatt....and maybe even one more cone at Zesto's!
    #30
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