Three Rivers Stadium
My Baseball Dream
by Ray Bergman

Game 21 - Pirates vs Braves at Three Rivers Stadium

August 29, 1996

Back in the U.S.A. There is no country quite like it. Canada was beautiful, the people I met were wonderful and friendly, the food was tasty, the dollar was declining, but the United States of America is where my heart is and that is where the greatest players in the world ply their trade, playing the greatest game in the world: baseball!

An interesting event occured while I was on my way to Pittsburgh that shows there are other baseball dreamers like me traveling the highways and byways of the U.S.A. and Canada this summer fulfilling their national pastime dream also. I was in Ontario on the #401 highway, just before the I-81 interchange, when I passed a bus that had a plaque on the side that read "Jay Buckley's Baseball Tours." Well! When I saw that sign I had to investigate, so I dropped back behind the bus and followed my fellow dreamers to the next service area, where we had a meeting of the minds and exchanged baseball stories and details about our travels.

It seems Mr. Buckley puts together about 16 baseball tours a year. This one is a nine day, eight stadium tour including Cooperstown to visit the Hall of Fame. Their tour had just left Montreal, as I had, and they were heading for Toronto and a game at SkyDome. It was a real treat to find some other people dreaming and following their dream as I am.

As I continued on down I-81 it brought back memories of twenty years ago, when I was a network planner for the New York Telephone Company. I was responsible for 120 offices in central New York hubbed around Syracuse.

Three Rivers Stadium is of the likes of Riverfront in Cincinnati and Fulton County in Atlanta, they are all circular with symmetrical dimensions. Fulton County has a slight edge, as it has real grass, as opposed to the phoney green stuff that covers almost all the playing surfaces of the other two.

The Game.

Tonights game had an extra treat in store for me, as possibly the best pitcher in baseball the last couple of years was pitching for the Braves. Greg Maddox started for the Braves and did he ever pitch. He went seven full innings and gave up no runs on only four hits and didn't walk a batter. The only threat the Pirates had against him was in the seventh when they had two runners on with one out. In true Maddox style, he slammed the door by striking out the next two batters to end the threat and the inning. You knew it was a Greg Maddox game when it took only one and a half hours to complete seven innings. As you can guess by now, the Braves won this game easily, 5-1. Pirates starter Don Leiber was over matched by Maddox and the only run for the Buckos came in the ninth when the game was out of reach.

Notes:

  • Final Score: Atlanta 5 - Pittsburgh 1.
  • Winner: Maddox.
  • Loser: Leiber.
  • Home Runs: For Atlanta, Jermain Dye and Chipper Jones.
  • Attendance: 12,101 (smallest crowd thus far).
  • Time: 2:12 (shortest game thus far).
  • Temperature: 80.
  • Gas Prices: $1.19/gal.
And now I'm off to Philadelphia for a night game with the Phillies and the Dodgers.

To Game Twenty Two
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© 1996 by Ray Bergman. Reproduction of all or any part of "My Baseball Dream" without the written permission of Ray Bergman is prohibited.

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