April 23, 2010URBAN ARCHIVECAL PAGE STANFORD PAGE
If you dont want to haggle with scalpers at AT&T Park or subject yourself to a stunning lack of intimacy in Oakland this weekend, but still need to satisfy an unquenchable thirst for baseball, do yourself -- and your family, if you have young children -- a favor and head to Sunken Diamond.Stanford Universitys perennial powerhouse of a baseball program has one of the greatest home parks in the country, and the name says it all. Its not a stadium. Its a diamond.Its baseball boiled down to the reason we fell in love with it in the first place: green grass, brown dirt and the game unencumbered by contracts or free agency -- or anything else thats soured so many people on big-league ball.Its a great weekend to introduce yourself -- or get reacquainted with -- Sunken Diamond, too. Currently ranked No. 22 in the country, Stanford is hosting rival Cal, which is ranked No. 15. Fridays game is an evening affair (5:30 p.m.), Saturday and Sundays first pitches are scheduled for 1 p.m. It's a vital series in the Pac-10, with Stanford (18-13, 7-5) in a tie for third place in the conference, trailing the second-place Bears (22-11, 8-4) by a game.And if two top-25 teams with a raging rivalry werent enough to entice you, both teams are playing some of their best baseball of the year. The Cardinal has won its past five games, the Bears their past four.But unless you have serious ties to either school, a trip to Sunken Diamond isnt as much about watching baseball as it is about feeling baseball, and the best way for you and your family to feel the college game is to sit on one of the grassy hills on either side of the diamond. Bring a blanket, spread it out, plop little Jimmy or Joan in your lap, crack open a peanut and grab your scorebook. Talk about the game. Stay until the final out. On your way home, stop off for some ice cream. Its how the game is meant to be passed down, Sunken Diamond is the perfect place to do it. --Mychael Urban
What's on your mind? Email Mychael and let him know. He may use it in his weekly Mailbag.