Some pitchers have trouble finding the plate. Edwin Jackson of the Chicago Cubs had a much bigger problem: He couldn’t find the ballpark.
Jackson missed his spring training start Tuesday against the A’s when he drove to the wrong stadium. Fitting, too – he once walked eight batters in a no-hitter, and has never been known for great location.
Jackson took the blame for this errant wind-up. The 31-year-old veteran said he typed ”Oakland Athletics spring training complex” into the Google Maps app on his phone and it directed him to Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Too bad for Jackson, he didn’t realize Oakland no longer played there. Instead, the A’s moved out after last spring and now host games about 5 miles away at Hohokam Stadium.
”It was my fault for not looking to see where it was,” Jackson said.
Phoenix Muni, as the ballpark is called, is the current base for the Arizona State Sun Devils college team. So Jackson headed to Hohokam, which was the Cubs’ longtime spring home. He eventually got to the right place, not that it helped him.
He entered the game in the second inning and was tagged for eight runs and nine hits in only 1 2-3 innings of a 14-2 loss.
Jackson joins an ever-growing list of ballplayers to get lost.
A few years ago, a couple Cincinnati Reds went to Yankee Stadium when their game against the New York Mets was really at Citi Field. Roger Clemens once got mixed up trying to find Montreal’s spring stadium in West Palm Beach, Florida.
And perhaps Braves pitcher Pascual Perez faced the toughest jam. In 1982, after getting his driver’s license earlier in the day, he famously spent two hours on I-285 circling the city, unable to figure out how to exit to Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
Jackson said his late arrival didn’t cause his lousy results.
”I was already dressed and got here in time to get ready, but they didn’t want me to rush things,” he said. ”I came to the stadium with the mindset of being ready. It was a crazy way to start the day.”
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