Results tagged ‘ cap night ’
This game wasn’t decided upon until the day before (Saturday), when Dirk wasn’t able to go to Saturday’s game with his wife. We got some cheap bleacher tickets and we were off.
It was going to be a 2:05 start, the weather was great. It had the makings of a really good day.
Except for this….
Yeah, it was cap day.
This cap giveaway was to commemorate Ian Kinsler’s 30/30 season last year.
I have to admit, most cap giveaways I’ve been to, the caps haven’t been that great, but these were pretty cool. You can see Kinsler’s embroidered signature on the bill, and it also has his #5 on the right side which you can barely see.
Not bad for a freebie.
Although, as is the case with most promotions, it brought a lot people to the ballpark. Besides the weather of course.
For Saturday and Sunday games the gates open 1-1/2 hours early, unlike the usual 2 hours for weekday games. Which means the gates would open at 12:35 today for the general public, for Dirk and I it was 12:05. Heehee.
We made it through the bag check, got our ticket scanned, and grabbed our free cap and hurried out to the left field seats and noticed there wasn’t many people out there. Cool!
We also noticed this….
That was a good sign, but we weren’t sure if the Rangers had already hit or not.
As we killed the next few minutes checking the gaps and bullpens I snapped this photo to show the competition for the first 30 minutes….
My thoughts were along this line, “Oh man, please start hitting soon!”
But, it never happened.
For either team.
We soon found out that the main reason for no batting practice was the Girl Scouts were going to parade around the warning track during pregame. I fought to keep all of the selfish remarks in my head, and had to admit what a cool experience it would be for them.
So, now that we had even more time to kill, we wandered. I took these next two at the visitors’ bullpen….
This was as close as I would get to snagging any balls today….
It’s like they were taunting us.
We made our way around behind homeplate in the concourse area and got some food and drinks, and then went to our seats in left-center to just take it easy for once. It was nice, but I have to admit that I would’ve rather been snagging.
Here’s a photo I took of the right field area from our seats….
….which we only stayed in for the first two innings thanks to the two drunk, wannabe announcers behind us.
So, in the top of the 3rd we went over to the third base side to try for foul balls like we usually do, and this was our view….
It seems like every time the Mariners are in town I find myself taking pictures of the guy in the above photo. Future Hall of Famer….
As for the game itself, it was good. The Rangers finally got some offense going, and displayed some really good defense also. They came away with the win 9-2, and also took the series two games to three.
I didn’t take many more pictures except for in the top of the ninth inning when we had moved around behind homeplate. I really wanted to try and get some photos of Griffey at the plate. You never know when your last chance to see someone of his caliber at bat will be. This is the best I could do….
I’d like to say that the last photo culminated in a homer, but it didn’t. I can’t really remember now, but he either hit a flyout or he struck out. Oh well, at least I got to see that sweet swing.
Hopefully I get to see him in person again this season, if this turns out to be his last year.
Time of game: 3hrs. 3mins.
Next Game: Sunday, 4/25 vs. Detroit
Since the last two games that I attended were minor league games, I was WAY overdo for some Major League Baseball.
We arrived at the gate at around 4:40 or so, and waited as patiently as we could for 5:00 to get here. When it finally did, we raced to the LF stands just in time to see this….
The Mariners were just coming out to stretch.
So, that gave Dirk and I time to check the gaps and stands for balls, which we found none. The Rangers must not have come out for BP today. Oh well, they’ve done that before.
Once the Mariners started hitting, we weren’t sure how it was going to go for us. We had been to a BP earlier in the year where the M’s hardly hit anything into the LF seats. Griffey and Ichiro have no problem supplying the people in the RF seats with balls, but we were skeptical of the righties on the team. After the first 10 minutes or so, that skepticism would soon fade away.
Dirk and I positioned ourselves on the railing, one section over from the visitors’ bullpen. Like I mentioned, there wasn’t much action for the first 10-15 minutes, but after that we had some shots at balls. At one point we were as close as 2-3 feet apart, and at that point some high school-aged kid thought that would be a perfect place for him to stand.
“Do you REALLY think you have ANY shot at a ball, standing between two adults with gloves?” That’s what I thought, not said.
I usually let a lot of things go, mainly to avoid any potential confrontations, but this kid was making it especially difficult for me to keep my mouth shut. All that came out of his mouth was negative. Some examples:
“Hey how ’bout a ball?” And when they would throw the ball in to the bucket, “Oh nice, real good. Way to appreciate the fans.”
Or when a player would go to retrieve a ball on the warning track, “I got jipped out of a ball earlier.”
Not to mention, he was responsible for Dirk and I both dropping a homerun ball. He bumped into Dirk and the ball fell in the gap, but Dirk was able to get it anyway. He bumped into me, and the ball skipped off the end of my glove and into the glove of a guy behind me.
First, don’t force your way into a space you shouldn’t be in, and then act like a (insert your own word here) while you’re there.
Second, no one gets jipped out of a ball. You either snag it, or you don’t. Plain and simple. Yes, I hold him responsible for missing a HR ball, but I blame myself also. I could’ve been more assertive, but that’s not who I am. I also don’t think that “entitles” me to whine to the players on the field like they owe me a ball.
Sorry for that rant, that guy just really got on my nerves.
Back to batting practice….
As I mentioned earlier, the skepticism in the M’s righties was short-lived. There were a lot more balls hit into the LF seats than we expected. Of course, there was a fairly decent crowd on hand, I guess because of it being cap night. So, our range was limited, leaving us to helplessly watch numerous balls fall into the gloves/hands of others.
At one point, a ball fell in the gap and Dirk gave me the heads up to go and get it. We take turns with gap balls, it’s kind of a routine between the two of us. So without any hesitation, I was on it.
I got to the spot where I figured the ball would be, looked down and scanned the area, and noticed the ball was in an odd spot. Here’s a photo I took a little while later to show the ball’s position….
This angle is actually looking down and to my left. The point of the arrow is in the exact spot that the ball was in.
The first plan of action was to get the ball out of that spot and into a position more directly underneath me. To do that, I had to lower my device (I decided to lower the device instead of my glove because it’s smaller, and I thought it would fit in that small space better) and swing it left to right approximately 6 feet. It was a little awkward at first, so it took me a few tries, and on the third or fourth swing I was interrupted by this guy….
Seattle pitcher David Aardsma.
He walked over and picked the ball up, and my first thought was “Cool, this guy’s gonna save me the trouble and just toss it to me!”
Turns out I was wrong.
Mr. Aardsma proceded to walk back up the stairs that lead into the visitors’ bullpen and throw the ball as hard as he could back toward the bucket.
There were so many thoughts going through my head at that point, that I didn’t say a word. What could I say? He didn’t have to give it to me. I had no legal right to that ball. To say I was mad though would be an understatement.
Partly for the fact that I was wearing a Mariners hat!
Oh well, there’s nothing left for me to say, except….
You have now been given a Zack Hample-esque “Powell Jinx”.
Consider this your official notification.
As numb as I was by this point, and as disinterested in BP as I became, I still managed to get 1 ball out of the gap. It helped, but there was still some pent up bitterness inside.
This ball turned out to be my 6th of the season, and 10th lifetime.
Batting practice ended with no more balls and no more incidents to report. It honestly couldn’t end fast enough.
We went and got our free drink vouchers after signing up to be designated drivers, cashed them in, and then got food. I had my usual cheese fries and Dr. Pepper, and felt much better!
We got to our seats with our food just in time for starting lineups and the national anthem. This was the awesome view I had from my seat….
I really can’t complain since Dirk bought my ticket, but still, how about a little “obstructed view” notice or something? Come on, Rangers!
The view of the game wasn’t really that bad, especially since the Rangers hit two homers on either side of us while we were out there.
We stayed in those seats until the top of the 5th, when we decided to go for ice cream.
A little back-story….
The last time I was at a Rangers game, I made my own ice cream helmet sundae in a roundabout way, and I fully intended to do the same thing this time, until we walked up to the ice cream booth and saw an amazing sight. They were using these….
I had no idea that a little piece of plastic could change my whole attitude!
After getting our ice cream, the next mission was to find a spot to eat it. Well, we found one. Section 15, on the lower level third base side, just past the infield. Here’s the view…
One odd thing that happened while we there….
A foul ball was hit about one section over to our left, and a guy in an aisle seat stood up and put his glove up, and let the ball bounce right off of his palm. Nothing special, right? It happens all of the time. Well, just keep reading….
A little while later, with a different pitcher on the mound and a different batter at the plate, another foul ball found its way to the exact same guy, and once again he muffed it! It hit off of his palm just like the first one did, and someone else got it just like the first one.
How weird is that? I heard about a guy in Oakland that had a similar experience in 2006, but he had a better turnout.
I thought that was worth sharing.
As the game wound down, instead of going behind homeplate like we usually do, I wanted to go over by the visitors’ bullpen to try and get a ball from the bullpen catcher. When we got over there, we saw this….
See the two pink backpacks? One is on the left end of the bench, and the other one is on the ground behind the white chair. That is “Seattle Mariner Rookie Initiation” at its finest.
I also saw this….
You see the ledge next to Phillips #62? Just in front of him, to the right? Knight helmets. I have no idea what those are for. More initiations? Maybe Mr. Todd Cook will leave a comment on this. He’s the biggest M’s fan that I know of. I’m curious to know what’s up with those.
The game was exciting from a Rangers fan point of view. Derek Holland pitched a perfect game into the 5th inning when he gave up the only Mariner hit until the top of the 9th.
Michael Young hit two homeruns, and Hank Blalock, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Marlon Byrd each hit one out to give the Rangers a 7-0 lead.
Holland retired the first two batters in the top of the 9th, then walked one and gave up his second hit of the game. Rangers manager Ron Washington made a pitching change with 2 outs in the 9th.
Warner Madrigal came in, walked one to load the bases, gave up an RBI single, then finally got the 3rd out.
Holland struckout 10 batters on the night. Rangers win 7-1.
Here’s a photo of the ball I got, and also one of some tickets I found after the game….
Next game: Mon. 8/17 vs. the Twins
And for the record – I didn’t get a ball from the Mariners’ bullpen catcher like I had hoped.
One parting shot of the Mariners’ bullpen guys walking off the field. Sorry for the blur, but I zoomed in as far as I could….
Well, just like 8/23/08, I brought my daughter Sarah to this game. And, also just like that game, it was cap night….
We arrived at the park in time for batting practice like we always do. I’m so glad I have a daughter that will go for autographs & balls too!
We made our way to the spot we like on the 3rd base side, halfway into the outfield. I set my bag down to get our gloves out & noticed Zack Greinke walking by. For those of you that may not know who that is, you may in the future. He pitched Sat. night 4/18 against the Rangers & struck out 10, gave up 7 hits & got the win. He has AMAZING stuff. No kidding.
Anyway, so I gave Sarah her ticket & a sharpie & sent her over to him. By this time a few people had gathered around, so it took a little bit but she got it.
A little while later, we noticed Josh Hamilton across the field signing autographs on the 1st base side. Of course there was a pretty good little crowd gathered around him, so I didn’t think it was worth the effort to go over there. 20 minutes later, Hamilton is still over there, so I gave Sarah a sharpie & had run through the seats to get his autograph. By the time she made it over there, Hamilton was gone & there was a new crowd gathered around Derek Holland, who the Rangers had just called up the day before…
Sarah’s above the arrow. When she came back around, she was beaming. She had no idea that Josh didn’t sign her hat. When I explained it to her, she was disappointed, but she still enjoyed the fact that she got another autograph.
There was a guy standing by me that was trying to get Jamie Wright’s attention to sign his picture. Jamie was a pitcher for the Rangers up until last year, so he has somewhat of following here. Jamie finally came over & here’s the photo I got….
Sorry about the grainy picture, but I had to crop it to get it to fit. Still, I thought it was a good shot anyways.
Here’s Sarah with her autographs…
We hung around that spot for a little while longer & got some photos of the 2 teams warming up…
I gotta tell you, I love the red jerseys!
Anyways, once the game started, we were in our seats & enjoying ourselves. At the bottom of the 2nd, we were starting to get a little hot sitting in the sun, so we got up to walk around & cool off. We went out to left field, straight down the 3rd base line. We watched Elvis Andrus bat & took this pic…
Back to this photo in a moment.
We walked over behind the visitor’s bullpen & for whatever reason I took this pic…
Maybe it was the “T”, I don’t know.
Back to the photo above from left field, as I was taking this photo of the bullpen, the next batter after Andrus was Ian Kinsler who proceded to hit a homerun to the exact spot we were standing when I took that picture! UUGGGHHH!! Oh well, it wasn’t meant to be.
We roamed a little more, took some more pics & also spent some time in the centerfield gift shop….
We wandered a little bit longer & I got one more pretty cool shot from the upper deck….
The game itself went back & forth, until the bottom of the 9th, when Michael Young hit his 1st walk off homerun(solo shot) to win the game for the Rangers 6-5!
No balls at this game, but I got a cool picture of Sarah on the way out…..
That’s the new Cowboys stadium behind her by the way.
Here’s another photo of the autographs & also one of the extra tickets we found after the game.
P.S. — Notice the holes in the tickets? That’s the Rangers’ way of keeping track of who gets a free promotion item & who doesn’t. Nice. What if it was a no-hitter or some other sort of milestone, & you wanted to preserve your ticket? I guess from their perspective, that’s the best way to do it. Who knows?
Saturday, August 23, 2008 I decided to take my daughter, Sarah, to a Rangers game. Well, we actually decided a few days before, but that was the date of the game. Anyways, we got to the ballpark before the gates opened so we could run in & get a good spot for batting practice.
Here’s Sarah outside the park waiting with me to get in….
It was also cap night….
When the gates opened, we made our way to the 3rd base side, 1/2 way into the outfield. There is a section that starts with 2 seats on the first row, then 3 & so on. We got into the 1st row & set my backpack down to get our gloves out.
The Rangers were taking BP & the Indians were in the outfield warming up.
I had barely gotten Sarah’s glove out of the bag & handed it to her when, WHACK!, a Cleveland player (wish I knew who) threw her a ball (at least she was able to get her glove on in time).
Now, she’s no Michael Young, so the ball bounced out of her glove & onto the stairs, but there was no one else around us so we got it. 1st ball ever!
We were set up a section away from a guy who Rangers fans have come to know as “Net Man”. He’s a guy who wears a Hoss Cartwright outfit (complete with hat) & brings a fishing net. David Delucci, who plays for the Indians, played for the Rangers until 2007, and apparently he must have gotten to know “Net Man” pretty well, because he came over & started talking to him. Here’s the photo I got….
I think you can tell who Net Man is. It didn’t take long for a decent little crowd to gather around, so I gave Sarah the ball she had just gotten & a Sharpie I brought to use in the glove trick (thanks Zack Hample !). A few minutes later, she comes back over….
1st autograph for Sarah!
Now, for you perceptive ones out there, you can see that we are not on the 1st level in this picture. I took this one in our seats later on in the evening, because when she did walk back over, we were still in “ballhawk” mode. And it’s a good thing too, because shortly after, Net Man had gotten the attention of another Indians player (still don’t know who) that was long tossing in the outfield & started pointing at Sarah. The player threw one to Net Man but it fell short & went back onto the field. NOOO!!! Thankfully, there was a security guard right there that saw what was going on, and after he made Sarah hold up her glove, he tossed it to her. Of course she missed this one too, but there was no one else around, so we got it too. Ball # 2!
We didn’t get anything else during BP, so we made our way to the centerfield gift shop. After spending tons of time (not money), we went to our seats on the 2nd level, 3rd base side.
There was a chance of rain all day, & about 30 minutes prior to the 1st pitch, it became a reality. We took shelter in the concourse & after about a 30-45 minute rain delay, we went back to our seats just in time to see the grounds crew removing the tarp…
By the time the game finally started, we were both ready to see some baseball. But with the rain delay pushing back the start time, Sarah was fading fast. She usually starts getting sleepy around 8:30 or 9, so we’re talking the 4th inning. She got a good wake up call in the middle of the 6th ….
Dot race! It’s something the Rangers do every home game. They have a 3 lap race with the first 2 laps on the video board showing 3 colored circles racing around a warning track styled raceway, and the final lap the dots are live out of the left field gate. Kind of cool, the kids love it. Sometimes they fight or push each other which makes the adults like it more.
As for the game itself, it was close all the way through. The Indians ended up winning 8-7. I made Sarah stay to the end, because I just can’t leave a game early. No matter what the score, there’s always that part of me that says “you never know what could happen”. Call me a bad parent, call me whatever you want, Sarah had fun regardless. She grabbed some short naps leaning on my shoulder throughout the game, so she made it.
Now I can’t wait to take her to another one this year!
P.S. — Here’s one last photo of the two balls we got that day….