Results tagged ‘ cleveland indians ’
Well once again I skipped a game. This makes twice just this season that I have done that. I don’t know why, I just get busy I guess.
The game I missed was Monday 7/5 against Cleveland. I snagged two in batting practice both via the toss up, one from Darren O’Day (who tried to hit the bullseye and just about got the bullseye below the belt, on purpose I’m sure) and the other by Neftali Feliz. Rangers lost 9-3. Bleh.
Okay, on to today. I had taken 1/2 a day off of work today because there was going to be a special guest at this game and I wanted to make sure that I had plenty of time to hang out before the game. So I left work at noon, got home and waited impatiently for 2:00 when my friend Dirk would pick me up and we would head to the ballpark. We went over to the home plate gate and picked up the special guest and his friend, and we went to Pappasito’s for some mexican food. Man I love that place!
We chatted and stuffed our faces and arrived at the season ticket holder gate at around 4:10ish. We got our bags checked and tickets scanned and booked it on over to left field for batting practice. Our guest and his friend stayed in left field while Dirk and I went over to the bleachers in left-center.
Within a few minutes I had my first ball. One fell in the gap right in front of a boy to my left, so I reeled it up and handed it to him. He was excited and his father was grateful which made the whole thing good. My second ball would come the exact same way not too long after and as I tried to hand the ball to the same boy (he was the only kid in the area) he told me to save it and give it to another kid who didn’t have one yet. What a great kid! So, I did as he asked and as I was putting my retriever in my backpack I heard Dirk yell “BRIAN!” Then a split second later I hear “BANG!”. A ball had sailed through the front row railing and clanged off the bleacher bottom right beside me. I picked the ball up off the ground, gave Dirk a puzzled look, and put the ball in my bag. Within the first 30 minutes or so I had matched my single game record of three, and I have to admit that I began to get a little giddy at the thought of there still being about another full hour of BP left.
Oh the possibilities….
You may have noticed by now that I haven’t posted any pictures yet. Well, I didn’t take any during BP, don’t ask me why. I guess everything was happening so fast at the beginning that I didn’t even think about it. I took a couple later on though so be patient.
All of those possibilities that I referred to a second ago, well they didn’t last long, as I got nothing during the Indians’ portion of batting practice. Actually, I shouldn’t say “nothing” because I did get one ball, and I must say it’s the weirdest way I’ve snagged a ball yet.
As I said earlier, Dirk and I were in the left-center bleachers which is the same place we’ve gone the last four games or so. He’s on one end and I’m on the other. I’ve developed a habit of looking in his direction every now and then, I guess to see if he happens to be snagging one when I look or something who knows, but with about 10 minutes or so left of batting practice I look over and see a ball on the ground rolling towards me.
What?! I know that I had kept track of every ball hit, so where did this one come from?
That was just so you know what I immediately thought. Naturally, I walked over and picked the ball up and I asked Dirk if it was his, and he said no. I asked the little boy behind Dirk that he had just given a ball to, and he too said no. There was another boy a couple rows back that said he thought it had come out of the Indians’ bullpen after a pitcher had deflected a throw from his catcher and the ball went into the bleachers. As odd as it may sound, I found that to be the only viable explanation and accepted it. I then handed it to that same boy.
So, I ended up with four balls. As anti-climatic as it was, I had beaten my previous single game record of three by one ball. I guess I just had higher hopes, oh well, it was still cool.
Once batting practice had concluded Dirk and I decided to get a photo with our special guest and his friend, and here it is….
From left to right: Dirk, Kenny from Milwaukee, Nick “The Happy Youngster” Yohanek, yours truly, and my other friend Shawn who arrived as BP was ending.
That’s right, Happy was in Arlington. I was so stoked when he told me he was coming down that I could hardly wait for this day to arrive, and I wasn’t disappointed. Nick is one of the coolest dudes I’ve met, so laid back and easy to talk to. I don’t what I was expecting, if anything, I think I just had a couple of reservations about meeting someone in person that before today I had only emailed. Is that weird? Probably.
Anyways, we had a blast. After BP we just kind of wandered the stadium. Nick and Kenny had gone to the previous night’s game, so he had already done his picture taking. We took him over to the Rangers Hall of Fame for a little bit, and he seemed to enjoy seeing some of the history of the team.
As for the game, our seats weren’t together. Dirk and I had our mini plan seats that were up in the third level, and Nick and Kenny had seats next to the hill in centerfield.
While we were in our seats I tried to zoom in on Nick and Kenny….
…. who you can see just to the left of the cameraman’s black umbrella. Nick is in the yellow shirt with his glove in front of his face. Funny, I didn’t know Nick was camera shy?!
Oh! I forgot to mention something that happened after the group photo above. I had brought my official “Happy Youngster” t-shirt to this game with the intention of having Nick sign it.
Here’s a shot as it went down….
I told Nick after the game that I would send him a picture of it hanging on my wall, so after he sees it, you’ll see it here.
Anyways, I tried to get more used to the camera Dirk had given me by taking some zoomed in game pics.
Here’s Josh Hamilton after his first hit of the game….
Here’s a couple more of Hamilton leading away from first….
I took more game pics of Hamilton at the plate, guys in the field, but they were all blurry so I deleted them. I guess I need more work with the image stabilizer.
I met someone else at the game tonight, Jeremy Hyman and Alex (I’m not sure if Alex is his brother or a friend). If you don’t recognize the name they are the ones from the blog: 30 Stadiums in 60 Days. Jeremy is a recent college graduate that decided to load up his car and tour all 30 MLB stadiums in two months. Can you believe that! I would love to do that and told him so, to which he said that he has heard that from everyone he’s talked to. He and Alex are both great guys, really taking in and enjoying every moment of their journey. After talking with them for about 10 minutes or so I bid them farewell and told them we’d stay in touch via the blogs.
Dirk and Shawn and I spent the rest of the game in left field. We didn’t get anything out there, in fact the closest we came to a homer was in the top of the fourth when Jayson Nix hit a solo shot two sections to our left that a guy in the front row bobbled and dropped into the gap. Now, I didn’t get a picture of where the ball actually came to rest because I’m a dork and didn’t think about it, but to save time trying to type out an explanation I’m gonna give you an idea from an old picture I have….
Now I must say that it doesn’t look like that any more. This picture is from two seasons ago when there was a manual scoreboard in left field. Now it’s a digital video board that is air cooled so most of the walkway back there is taken up, but the outfield side of the wall is still the same and the arrow is pointing to where the ball landed. It’s not completely flat, it’s recessed about a half inch or so, so the ball had a fairly good resting place.
The guy that dropped it was sick, he couldn’t believe he missed it (he would’ve had it if he were wearing a glove), and he stared at it for the rest of the game.
At that point, our minds were racing with ideas of how we could get that ball. We figured the quickest and easiest way was to throw our retriever at it and hope we hit it on the first try. We decided to wait until after the game so as not to draw any unwanted attention to ourselves but it wouldn’t matter. Somewhere around the seventh inning we noticed some comotion over there where the guy was sitting and a few minutes later Shawn went to look and said the ball was gone. Someone must have climbed up the wall from down below and gotten it.
Oh well. That’s okay.
The rest of the game was good, the Rangers came back to win 4-3.
After the game we all walked out of the park, said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
Jeremy and Alex: It was great to meet the both of you, I hope to live vicariously through you for the next few weeks!
Nick and Kenny: You two are a couple of studs. You are more than welcome down here anytime (next time don’t stay in Dallas!). Nick, I’m glad I finally got to meet you bro. You truly are a class act.
Time of Game: 2hrs. 56mins.
Next Game: Wed. 7/28 vs. Oakland
This past weekend I spent Easter Sunday at my mother’s house, hanging out with the family like always. At some point in the day, a conversation had turned to cities/places in the U.S. to visit. I happened to mention to my aunt Lori that I wanted to go to Ohio, which is something she and I say every year but never do.
Until this year.
This year we actually went to the computer and looked up dates, checked flights, and called my uncle MIke in Ohio to make sure he wasn’t going anywhere this year. After checking airline prices, and also checking the Indians’ website to see when they were having home games, we decided on the weekend of August 26-30. My birthday weekend.
I don’t know yet which game we’ll be going to, but at this point I’m doubly stoked. First, to see some of my family that I haven’t seen in years, and second to finally see Progressive Field. I am really excited!
So that’s my news, it probably doesn’t do anything for anyone else, but oh well. I’m looking forward to experiencing a new ballpark and writing all about it.
Come on August!
For those of you that may be too lazy to click, or maybe you did and you still don’t know what I mean, he has analyzed a few old, not used anymore, stadiums from a ballhawking standpoint.
I love this idea! Even though ballhawking, or snagging, or whatever you want to call it is relatively a new phenomenon, I like to think about what it may have been like to get a shot at snagging at some of those places.
I’ve given Zack a few suggestions, as I know others may have too, but with his schedule and all he has going on, I decided to take a shot at a couple myself.
Before I tell you which one I’m going to start with, I must clarify a couple of things up front. I know this is a predominantly Rangers-only blog, but for those who don’t know, I was born in Ohio. Even though my team is the Rangers, I follow the Indians as close as I can in Texas.
With all of that being said, I present to you Cleveland Municipal Stadium….
Well, I guess it served it’s purpose, but it’s not eye candy by any means.
Let’s start with a look at some homerun opportunities….
The bleachers in the above photo are in centerfield. The Marlboro scoreboard is in straightaway center.
You see the grass behind the centerfield wall? And behind that are some empty rows of bleachers? Those are there because the original outfield wall extended to where those empty bleachers are. To give you a little visual, here’s some field dimensions before and after the reconfiguration.
You see what I mean? The 463, 475, and 463 would be where those empty bleachers are in the photo of centerfield. Could you imagine sitting in dead centerfield and waiting on a homerun? I wonder how many (if any) actually made it out there?
The foul lines being at 320 (or 322 depending on what reference you use) would provide a good spot in right or left field. But as you’ll see in a moment, the opportunity for lateral movement was almost nonexistent.
Next, on to foul ball opportunities, Cross aisles….?
Yes and no.
Do you see the numbers 1,2, and 3 in the above photo? Let’s start by going through those numerically.
1) — This looks like the largest cross-aisle in the place. If you click the photo to enlarge it, you can see how wide it actually is. I’d say at least 6 feet wide, maybe 7. That’s not bad for a ballpark that old. The real question would have to be “how accessible is it?”. Right? That’s what I would like to know. How strict were the ushers? Could anyone walk around down there? That also looks like a good spot for 3rd out balls.
2) — From other pictures I looked at on yahoo images, this looks to be the same size as number 1. The obvious question would be “do foul balls actually reach that aisle?” Maybe. Another question would be, “can you get down to the first row of the 2nd level?” Probably. This photo was taken somewhere between 1991 and 1993 (the final year of the stadium), and I would guess that this would be around a normal sized crowd, so seat switching wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
3) — There’s a question mark by this one, because from what I’ve seen in other photos (that I couldn’t copy), this is barely an aisle at all. Meaning, I don’t know how you could walk between the seats without turning sideways. So, it seems rather insignificant.
Here’s a look from the opposite side of the stadium from the above photo….
That second deck really overhangs the first.
That’s about it. There’s really not much more to this place. I can see now why they wanted a new ballpark. Since I was only 6 years old the one and only time I went to a game there, I don’t remember anything about it.
Well, I do remember this….
It seemed like you could see that sign from a mile away. I didn’t get to see many games from inside, but whenever I saw the Chief, I knew I was close to something cool.
Sometime in the next month or so, I want to revisit the old Arlington Stadium, the original home of the Texas Rangers. So stay tuned, maybe I’ll do some others as well.
By the way, if you have about 7 minutes to kill, and you are interested in watching someone’s home video from a final season game against the Rangers (ironic?), click here. You might get a kick out of Nolan Ryan stretching before the game. I know I did, since he’s our club president and everything.
Thanks for stopping by!
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….