Results tagged ‘ bleachers ’
Well, it was finally here. Opening Day.
What would this season bring following such an amazing World Series run?
Who knows, but I was very anxious to find out!
Dirk and I attended this game and we were joined by our friends Shawn and Kendall. For reasons that are beyond me, I cannot get my photos to upload from this game so you’re just going to have to imagine what I’m describing.
Game time was 3:05 and the gates were scheduled to open at 12:00. Since Dirk and I purchased a 20 game mini plan for this season we were given season ticket holder i.d. cards that get us in 30 minutes before everyone else for most games. I say for most games because we were unsure if they would apply to this game.
At 11:30 the gates opened, our tickets scanned and bags checked, and we made our way around to the left-centerfield bleachers. The cages were up, bu the only action on the field at this point were two Rangers on the first base side stretching.
We figured that we had at least 15-20 minutes or so before they started hitting, so I asked Shawn if he wanted to have a catch while we were waiting and he agreed. What proceded to happen was a three-way (easy now!) catch that included Shawn, myself, and I guy who’s name I don’t know but he was on the opposite side of the centerfield hill from us.
That’s right, we played catch over Green’s Hill in center.
Let me tell you, that’s a longer throw than you would think. Everything was cool until Shawn tried to push it and heaved one a lot farther than he should have and the ball ricocheted to a spot that was out of our reach. Game over. Thanks Shawn.
It didn’t matter because a few minutes later the Rangers were hitting.
Yes! It seemed like a year had gone by since I had taken in batting practice. I’m sure that’s how all the ballhawks feel during the first BP of the season. Anyways, it was great to finally be back at it.
Things got off to a slow start for me. I had picked the corner of the bleachers in left-center that was right next to the hill in centerfield which is where I spent a lot of time last season. I didn’t have any action until later in the session when there was a little boy on my right and Colby Lewis had fielded a ball at the wall just in front of me. I got Colby’s attention, held up my glove and pointed at the boy next to me, and he threw it right into the pocket of my glove. I then turned and opened my glove and let the boy take it out himself. He couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 years old and was wearing a glove and was so excited. His dad was behind him (without a glove) and was just as happy as his son. I asked if that was his son’s first ball and he said yes. That made it even better for me.
Just the thought of giving a ball to young kid that is eager to get one, wearing a glove, being courteous, yet maybe a little unschooled in ballhawking 101, is enough to make me grin from ear to ear. Add to that the fact that sometimes it just so happens to be their first one ever?! Well, it just doesn’t get any better than that for me.
Anyways, BP was still pretty slow for me, though I was able to pull two different balls out of the gap in front of me that other kids had dropped. I was good with three balls. Especially since the Red Sox were in town and batting practice was crowded. I would’ve been content with one ball, so three was great to me. Dirk ended up with five so I’ll have to wait to outsnag him in 2011.
Our seats for the game were in the upper deck on the first base side towards the outfield. Section 340, row 14. Not the best place to watch a game from, but hey, we were there.
We watched the game from there until around the fourth inning when we went down to the gift shop in centerfield to look around for something that Dirk could get his kids. After a short spell in the a/c we made our way over to left field where Shawn and Kendall were sitting. They had told us that there were a couple open seats in the row in front of them, so we filled them.
The seats were directly behind the foul pole in left field, so viewing the game wasn’t great but it was better than where we were sitting earlier. An inning or so prior to us getting there, Kendall had a homerun slip off his fingers and land in the hands of the guy behind him. Mike Napoli hit a go ahead three run homer that just wrapped around the foul pole and skimmed off Kendall’s bare fingers. He had his glove, but had taken it off to do something else and didn’t have time to get it back on before it was already on him.
The game itself was good. The Rangers were down at first then came back to win it 9-5 in the bottom of the 8th inning. Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, and Mike Napoli all went deep for the Rangers. David Murphy hit a pinch hit, go ahead double down the 3rd base line in the bottom of the 8th that got a rally going.
The atmosphere was awesome out there at this game, which is how it usually is on opening day but this one was better. Probably because of the way they finished last season, who knows. Nonetheless, it sure it cool not having so many Boston fans in the stands nowadays. What a beating that got to be in the past.
We fought the madness after the game, but didn’t mind since we witnessed a win and took some all around great baseball.
Time of Game: 3 hrs. 28 mins.
Next Game: Saturday 4/2 (Probably BP only)
It’s getting harder and harder for me to attend weekday games because I can’t always leave work as early as I’d like, and if I can’t make it for all of batting practice part of me doesn’t want to go at all. Call me weird, but that’s how I feel.
As it turns out, I figured out that even if I leave work just 30 minutes early (5:00 instead of 5:30) we can still make it to the ballpark by 5:30 and catch the last 30-40 minutes of the visiting team’s BP. Not bad, but still not as good as getting in 30 minutes earlier than everybody else.
This game was one of the times we got there at around 5:30 and there was a pretty decent crowd in the left centerfield bleachers so we hung back a few rows until some of the younger fans started to wander off and we claimed a couple spots in the corner next to the A’s bullpen.
My first ball of the day came within the first 5 minutes of us being there when a kid muffed a toss up and it landed in the gap. He was about 5-6 feet to my left and I was all over it. I took the ball over to where I was standing previously and handed it to a little boy around 5 years old who was wearing a glove but had not yet gotten a ball. He and his father were very thankful and that made it all worth it.
As I was reeling that ball up, Dirk was getting his one and only ball of the day out of the bullpen so we were both now on the board!
The A’s weren’t hitting many our way today and the ones that were in our direction weren’t even close to hitting the seats. Right field on the other hand was getting peppered with balls, but there’s always SO many kids over there that it’s just not worth it.
At one point a ball had to come to rest on the grass edge of the warning track directly in front of me. The only problem was I completely surrounded by kids, so I knew that if that ball were to reach the seats I would not be the one to snag it.
Well, I was wrong.
There was one pitcher in particular that was having fun with the crowd today during BP. He’s a former Texas Tech Red Raider so I guess he felt like he was “at home” this series. He came over and stood right next to the ball that was right in front of me and wouldn’t pick it up. Every 30 seconds or so he would bend down like he was going to pick it up and once the chorus of “Here!, Here!s” started he would stand back up and leave the ball on the ground. After the first couple of times I caught on to what he was doing but the younger ones weren’t as quick. That’s when I started to think that he would just flip the ball backwards without looking and I figured that would be my one and only shot at it.
I was right.
After about a minute or two of messing with the kids, he leaned over to pick the ball up with his glove and just sort of flung it directly off of the grass. Kind of cool if you ask me because it was going to be a win win for me either way. I would either get to reel in another ball out of the gap or I would just catch it and hand it over to someone. Turns out it was the latter. The ball was about a foot over my head on my left so I reached up with my glove and caught it in the pocket. I didn’t even touch the ball, I just opened my glove and let the boy on my left take it out.
“Who was the pitcher?”, you may be asking. Well, it was none other than Mr. Perfecto himself, Dallas Braden.
Not too shabby if I say so myself.
That would be it for me during batting practice although I can finally say that I outsnagged Dirk! That made it all worth it!
Wednesdays are Dollar Dog nights at the Ballpark in Arlington so after getting our free drink coupons from the designated driver booth we got some dogs and found a place to stuff our faces.
This game was exciting from a baseball fan standpoint but frustrating from a ballhawk standpoint. There were so many people at this game that we couldn’t find a spot to move to like we usually do. Actually, we did find a spot to move to but we did it too early and were asked for our tickets. Oh well. Rules are rules right?
So for a good majority of the game we stood against the wall out in left field. If you haven’t seen it, it looks like this….
If you click on the photo and enlarge it the wall is red and had Lucas Oil on it.
I don’t mind it over there, it has great home run potential, I would just rather be able to sit somewhere out there instead of standing but oh well.
Turns out it didn’t matter anyways since we didn’t have even one close call. As Rangers’ manager Ron Washington says,”that’s the way baseball go!”
The Rangers would go on to lose this game by the score of 3-1. I don’t like watching them lose, especially in person since this is only the 2nd loss I’ve witnessed in 19 games attended this season.
I originally was going to use this game to gain some ground in the myGameBalls.com photo scavenger hunt but after taking about three pictures I realized they weren’t correct, so I will have to try again another day.
Here’s a couple that I got during the game….
…. of Fox Sports Southwest reporter Jim Knox on the left and TV analyst and former MLB player Steve Busby on the right.
Even though my team lost it’s always fun to be at the ballpark. I truly feel at home there.
Time of game: 2 hrs. 40 mins.
Next Game: Tues. 8/10 vs. the Stankees (I’ll explain why later….)
This entry is going to be relatively short and sweet because I didn’t take very many photos this time, and the photos I did take are all player photos.
My friend Dirk and I had very high hopes for this game, being the first home game for the Rangers after the All Star break, our first game to attend in nearly two weeks, and the outside shot at an All Star game ball (like I mentioned in my previous entry). All of these things combined made for a higher than usual level of anticipation.
When we reached the stands at around 4:30 we noticed that the cage was up for batting practice but the Rangers weren’t hitting. No big deal really, it’s kind of hit and miss for them to have BP anyway. By the time it reached 5:15 there were still no players on the field. For either team. To make matters worse, someone had set an empty bucket out in centerfield for the ball return.
This is when Dirk and I got very antsy.
Finally at 5:25 or so the Angels came out to throw and stretch so I went over behind their dugout not thinking they would hit. While I was there I took some photos.
Here’s the best one I could get of Bobby Abreu….
…. and here’s a couple of Hideki Matsui….
…. and how about Torii Hunter ….
…. and speaking of Hunter, he would go on to hit me my one and only ball during batting practice that just happened to be my very first home run to catch on the fly! That may not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but after a couple years of snagging balls and reading about other guys catching multiple homers during BP, I have really been trying for one of my own. Man what a feeling!
So, I guess you can tell by now that the Angels did in fact start to hit. The bleachers that we normally set up in got reasonably crowded today so I knew that my range was going to be limited. Within the first 5 minutes or so a ball landed in the gap about two sections to our left and Dirk was all over it for his one and only ball of the game.
The Hunter homer was actually pretty cool, to me anyway, because I’ve read numerous times of balls being hit “straight to someone”. Well that’s never happened to me, at least not until today. Dirk was to my right and we were both in the first row of the left centerfield bleachers right next to the bullpen. Hunter hit one that started out towards the bullpen but quickly started to tail in our direction, actually towards me. I just wasn’t sure about the distance, but I prepared anyway. I leaned over the belt-high railing a little to make sure I could reach it and I noticed Dirk’s glove slowly coming into my view.
Let me back up a little….
Dirk is fully aware of my need to catch a homer on the fly. He has told me numerous times that he would back off to let me catch one and I have taken his word on it.
Okay, back to the story….
Once I noticed Dirk’s glove getting closer and closer I had to give the old “I got it!’, and once I did he pulled his glove back and within seconds “Smack!”. I had it.
Finally! What a cool feeling!
I have to say that it’s just as I hoped it would be.
After high-fiving Dirk he admitted that he had gotten caught up in the moment in trying to catch it himself and if I hadn’t said anything he may have fought me for it. Now that I got my first one out of the way I can tell I’m on my own from here on out.
Our seats for this game were in section 50 row 1. For those of you that may not know where that is, it’s directly between the hill in centerfield and the Rangers’ bullpen in right-center.
Here’s an idea of where they were….
…. under the red arrow (don’t forget that you can click on the photos to enlarge them).
These seats gave us a great view to watch our starting pitcher warm up….
…. Mr. Cliff Lee.
What a stud! This was our first time to see him pitch in person and he did not disappoint. He went 8-1/3 innings, striking out 4, giving up 2 runs (both earned), and walking none.
Not only was this our first time to see Lee pitch in person, but it was also Lee’s first win as a Ranger so that was pretty cool too.
What an electric atmosphere at the ballpark this game. I don’t know if it was Lee, the fact that the Rangers hadn’t played at home in over two weeks when they were swept in four games by Baltimore (Baltimore?!), or both but it was great. Especially when Neftali Feliz came in to get the final two outs of the game and also record his 27th save of the season. I truly hope the Rangers win the division and make the playoffs. Man that would be awesome!
Speaking of Feliz, here he is earlier in the game sitting in the bullpen….
…. on this end of the bullpen.
The Rangers would go on to win 3-2. Michael Young hit another home run.
The closest we would come to a ball this game was around the 4th inning when Nelson Cruz hit a double off the wall directly below me, and Angels’ centerfielder Torii Hunter threw a 3rd out ball about 10 feet to our right. That was it.
But we had a great time.
Time of Game: 2 hrs. 44mins.
Next Game: Wed. 7/28 vs. Oakland
Well, I actually missed a game entry. I went to the 5/12 game against the A’s, took a few pictures, saw some good baseball, didn’t snag any balls, but had a fun time at the ballpark.
There. That’s got to be the shortest game summary on mlblogs.
I also went to the Thursday 5/20 game against the Orioles. I left work at 5:30 so batting practice wasn’t going to happen, but my friend Dirk and I figured that seeing as there was no promotional giveaway this game, and they were playing the Orioles, the odds were pretty good that the crowd would be pretty small. It was.
Tonight was all about the foul ball.
Even with leaving work much later than I normally do on game day, we still walked through the gate at around 6:15. It was a 7:05 start so we had some time to kill.
We went back into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame like we did at this game and thankfully there was more stuff to look at this time. They had the second floor open so we went up there to check it out and I took some photos with my phone looking out toward the field….
This next photo is actually an old pic that I wanted to use as an example to show where the above photos were taken from….
If you click on the last photo you’ll have a better look at the two red arrows in right field numbered 1 and 2. The location of the #1 arrow is where I took the first two pictures above. The location of the #2 arrow is where I took the photo looking out to the sports park behind centerfield. It actually looks to be tied into the centerfield offices (the white part of the stadium from left center to right center), but you get to that point through the second level of the hall of fame which I never knew before. After figuring that last part out when we went back out to the field level, Dirk and I started in with the “so this where the “other half” watches the game from” jokes. What can I say, we are easily amused.
Our seats for this game were in the third row of the bleachers in left centerfield, which we only stayed in for an inning or two. They were in this vicinity….
Click the photo and you’ll notice the red arrow just to the left of Green’s Hill, that’s the best visual I can give of where our seats were.
By the end of the second inning we had already moved around to the third base side to go for foul balls. Usually, we will wait until the end of the third at the absolute earliest, but there were just so many empty seats that we had to give it a shot. Thankfully it worked.
We were treated to 35 total hits, 20 by Texas and 15 by Baltimore. The Rangers hit three home runs (1 each by Nelson Cruz, Vladimir Guerrero, and Matt Treanor) on their way to a 13-7 victory. It was a welcome change from the 3-2 and 4-3 games that we have become accustomed to so far this season.
As for the foul balls, they would elude us once again. The closest we came at this game was one that was caught about 10-12 rows in front of us. Oh well, we’ll get one eventually.
That’s about it for this game, nothing else to report. The Cubs are coming in this weekend for a three game set and we are trying to make the Saturday tilt. It’s a 6:05 start with a post-game concert so there’s no telling how crowded it will be. I’ve heard on local talk radio that the ballpark is anticipating 110,000 people over this three game weekend. That comes out to around 37,000 a game. I hope they’re wrong, I really don’t want to fight all that madness.
Time of game: 3hrs. 34mins.
Attendance: 17,304 (That I can handle!)
Next game: Possibly, Sat. 5/22 vs. the Cubs
Well, this is going to be short & sweet, because once again I didn’t have my camera (forgot it).
My friend, Dirk, and I decided to go to this game mainly for the fact that this would be the last home game for the Rangers before the All Star break. So, we cleared it with our wives and we were off. It was such a quick decision that 1: I forgot my camera, and 2: I forgot to print a roster for the Rays.
Oh well, I was soon to find out it wouldn’t matter anyway.
We got to the stadium and bought 2 bleacher tickets for $8.00 each, got to the gate & through the bag check, and to the left field seats at around 5:10 or so. Which normally, is 5 minutes into BP.
No cages, no players on the field at all.
Granted, it was a little cloudy, but they’ve taken BP in worse conditions before.
I can’t explain it, I don’t know what was up, and quite frankly I didn’t want to know. The night before was a normal, 9 inning game. Tonight was a 7:05 start, and no BP. To say that I was upset would be an understatement.
We roamed around for a little while, and during our wandering we spotted a ball in the visitors’ bullpen. It was about 4-5 feet down, and about 3-4 feet out from the wall. Now, I’ve used the glove trick twice now and haven’t had any problems with security, but I still went and asked the nearest usher if I could go for it. Call me crazy, but better safe than sorry I always say.
The usher gave us his blessing (which I figured he would), and we went for it. I let Dirk go for it, since I can do it whenever I want really. He had to knock the ball about a foot closer first, and when he had it just right I set up the trick and he got it on the 2nd try.
Let me back up a little bit.
Before we went and asked for permission from the usher, we noticed that there seemed to be some sort of extra logo on the ball. Commemorative? Odd stamping? We didn’t know for sure, but that made getting the ball much more of a priority.
When Dirk raised the glove for the 2nd time, I put my hand underneath it to support the ball when it came in reach. As we lifted the glove over the railing, I pulled the ball out to look at it and almost puked.
It was a Little League ball!
Are you kidding me?!?!
How in the world it got down there, we had no idea, until a guy came over out of nowhere and asked if we would give it to him, because apparently it was “So and So’s” ball and he threw it down there. Dirk hadn’t seen that it was a little league ball, so he said no at first, but upon further inspection we let him have it.
What a downer. I considered (very briefly) counting it in my glove trick totals, but decided against it. It wasn’t an official MLB ball, so it doesn’t count. Although it was pretty cool getting to snag a ball without BP!
We stayed in the bleachers until the end of the 2nd inning, when we couldn’t take those metal seats any longer, and started roaming for a foul ball spot.
There was suprisingly a lot of people in attendance tonight, so it wasn’t easy to find a good spot. So, we spent a couple innings in the upper deck to see if anything cleared out.
At around the 4th or 5th inning we found a spot on the third base side on the 2nd level, and stayed there until the end of the 7th. No balls there.
We used the top of the 8th to go down behind home plate, and a very nice female usher gave us two seats in the back of a section directly behind home. Great spot, great usher!
The final batter of the game, Pat Burrell, fouled his first pitch one section over to our right, and it was a missile! The next pitch was a rocket over by the Rangers’ dugout. I looked at Dirk, and we knew if one was going to come our way, we would have to be quick.
The next to last pitch was a screamer a few feet to my right. I was on the aisle, and I’m right-handed, so I had a split second to reach across my body with my glove hand while ranging to my right, only to miss it by what seemed like a foot or less. In all reality it may have been 2 feet, but in the heat of the moment it seemed really close.
The ball shot up the tunnel behind me, and I raced to track it down, but by the time I got to the concourse, someone walking by had already gotten it. That’s the closest I’ve ever come to snagging a foul ball.
The very next pitch was a swinging strike three. Rangers win 5-2 and complete a three game sweep of the Rays to remain tied for the division lead with the Angels.
Time of game: 3 hrs.
Next game: 7/17 vs. the Twins