Bus Leagues Road Trip: 2009 College World Series, part 2

Rosenblatt is a highly visible structure in Omaha, let me tell you. And it’s not because Omaha is flat, because the city sits on the Missouri River, and has plenty of leafy hillsides and such to gaze upon. One reason the venerable stadium is so easy to spot is that it sits on a bit of a rise just off the interstate. Another is its famous blue paint job.
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After getting the lay of the land, I went out into the parking lot to see some tailgating action.
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The next day, I interviewed the architect of the new CWS stadium that is being built (I’ll run that full text later this week), and walked past the site on my way downtown.
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Omaha is developing the area around the new site pretty aggressively. They call it NoDo, for northern downtown. The Qwest Center was built there recently, and owns the land that TD Ameritrade Ballpark will be built on as well. All of this is on the north side of the river, which is a nice place to visit, too.
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The downtown area is technically called the Old Market district. It has nice, brick roads and covered sidewalks. Let me tell you, the waiters and such know where their bread is buttered this time of year, too. Most are wearing mardi gras beads and chatting up the LSU fans, who are generally beloved in Omaha.
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I was on my way downtown to meet up with Minda Haas, who works for the Omaha Royals and writes a fine baseball blog (or four) herownself. As I neared the corner where I was supposed to meet her for lunch, I stepped off the sidewalk to cross and just kept on stepping, as the ground was not where I expected it to be.
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The top photo is what it looked like at a cursory glance from the sidewalk. The second is what was actually below my feet. Fortunately for me, Minda was facing the other way and did not witness my collapse. Though, of course, I had to explain why my knees were bleeding anyway once I got across the street.
It was great to talk to Minda. I’ve lived on the east coast for ten years now, and it’s been a long time since I had a chance to chat with someone who loves the Royals like I do, let alone someone with so much inside knowledge. She even gave me a couple of names to watch for on the Z-meter. And how do I repay her? By posting the overexposed photo I took. I didn’t do her justice.
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After lunch and conversation with Minda, I hurried down to catch the Virginia/Fullerton game. It was Virginia’s only win in the Series, and I was glad to get a chance to be there for it. I also met Brian Foley of The College Baseball Blog in the press box. It gave me another opportunity to show just how bad I am at taking photos of people, as I allowed the backlight from the field to turn Brian into a shadow. Ye Olde Photoshoppe helped a bit with that, but only a little bit.
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The whole thing was a great time, as I’m sure you can imagine. I’ll always be glad I went to Rosenblatt before it was torn down, but that won’t stop me from enjoying future Series in TD Ameritrade. All I can say is, if you find a way to get there next year, do it. Just do it.

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