This was a BIG day for me — my entire reason for traveling halfway across the world. Game 1 of Major League Baseball’s Opening Series at the Sydney Cricket Ground was scheduled to begin at 7:15pm, but of course I wanted to get there much earlier. The stadium was going to open at 5pm, and I decided to arrive by 2:30. I figured I didn’t have enough time to do anything interesting beforehand, but my Australian friend Ray Burton wasn’t about to let me waste a perfectly good morning. He and his family planned a Sydney Harbour Cruise, and it started here in Darling Harbour.


In the photo above, do you see all those flags along the water’s edge? The blue ones featured Dodgers players, and the red ones featured Diamondbacks — and check this out:


No, I’m not talking about the Sydney Convention Centre being demolished in the background. I’m talking about those gigantic baseballs floating in the water! I wasn’t the only one psyched about these games; the whole city seemed to be embracing it.

Here are the Burtons:


In the photo above, Ray is wearing the yellow shirt, and his wife, Donna, is rockin’ the stripes. The other three folks are their children — Nick on the left, Emily in the middle, and Alex on the right.

The cruise tickets weren’t cheap:


They cost $55 apiece, but it was worth it. Look how beautiful it was once we got out on the water:


I was glad to finally see the much-hyped Sydney Harbour Bridge, but I was even more excited to get a good look at the famous opera house:


I’m not a fan of opera, nor am I an architecture aficionado, but c’mon, that’s a pretty cool building.

Our boat was one of those “hop on/hop off” things, so we rode it a nearby harbour called Circular Quay. That’s the closest stop to the opera house. Here’s what it looked like as we walked toward it:


Here’s what I saw as we got closer:


Take another look at the bridge:


Did you notice those little specks on the very top?

Those were people . . .


. . . who had paid hundreds of dollars apiece for an official bridge climb. I would’ve loved to do that, but (a) the timing didn’t work out, and (b) hundreds of dollars? Really?! I went skydiving for hundreds of dollars. I bought an Arkanoid machine for hundreds of dollars. The bridge climb looked cool, but not THAT cool.

Here I am “imitating the opera house” with the Burtons:


(That stupid photo was my idea.)

Everywhere we went, I saw people decked out in Dodgers and Diamondbacks gear. Here’s some photographic evidence from the boat:


Look at this sign on the boat:


I have mixed emotions about what the drinking age should be, but it was interesting to be in a place where it was different from home.

Our boat made several other stops (including Taronga Zoo), but we didn’t get off. Instead we rode it back to Darling Harbor . . .


. . . and got ready for the game. Look what Ray wore:



On our way out of the hotel, I noticed this in the lobby:


Sydney was going baseball-crazy.

That’s the end of my Day 4 blog entry. Click here for a separate entry (with 87 photos) about my experience at the game.


  1. bloggingboutbaseball

    Z Ham… c’mon! How often can you legally climb a bridge over a harbor like that?!? I’d do it in a heartbeat. ;-) But, hey, you had more important things to do. Seeing all your pics makes me want to visit again. I’m glad you seem to be having a total blast!
    -M Jack

  2. Ray Burton

    We were very lucky with the weather for the whole of Zack’s trip.. It was a beautiful autumn day on the harbour. Not too hot- about 75 degrees , and no wind. Right after Zack left we had 2 weeks of solid rain. The weekend after the Opening series was a total disaster – it rained heavily and no games would have been possible. MLB and Australia were very lucky that baseball was played on the 22 / 23 March weekend. I don’t know what they would have done if it rained that weekend. Certainly not a double header during the week. Years of planning and all that travel organisation for the fans and players and all the re- structuring of the SCG for nothing. I know it would have been insured but…… Doesn’t bear thinking about. Anyway , as it turned out , the weather was fantastic and good times were had. Great memories.

  3. Zack Hample

    So true. I feel so lucky to have been there.

    When you put it like that, it does seem worth it. But eh. Like I said, it just didn’t work out. This whole trip cost thousands of dollars, and eventually I got to the point were I didn’t want to spend much more.

    Just answered your email. OMG.

    That’s a beautiful way to look at it.

    That’s kinda scary. I really wonder how everything would’ve played out had there been rain, rain, and more rain. I didn’t even bring an umbrella on this trip.

  4. kslo69

    Considering the photos I’ve seen of hot dogs selling at the stadium for $40, $55 for a harbor cruise doesn’t seem too bad!

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