Results tagged ‘ david murphy ’
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)
Friday, April 2, I attended an exhibition game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. It was the Texas Rangers (obviously) vs. the Kansas City Royals.
I was so excited for this game, (1) because it was an opportunity to go to a game, and (2) because I was taking my daughter Sarah. Dirk and his daughter Kaitlyn went also, but Sarah and I were really amped up to get back out the ballpark.
It was a 7:05 start which meant that the gates would open at 5:05. For everyone else.
We used this to get in at 4:35….
This was our first year to do anything like this, but like I mentioned in a previous entry, Dirk and I went in on two seats on this 16-game mini plan. As a bonus we got the season ticket holder ID cards.
When we made it through the gate and bag check, we found our way over to the left field seats like we usually do for batting practice.
For the first 30 minutes, this was the competition to our left….
…. and our right….
The only problem we faced was not very many Rangers were hitting homeruns our way. The lefties were peppering the right field seats, but the righties were only hitting a few.
There were other alternatives though.
For those that may not know, the visitors’ bullpen is in the outfield between the left field seats and the bleachers in left-center. That bullpen oftentimes becomes quite the BP homerun basket. Meaning, there are at least 2-3 ball retrieving device opportunites per session.
Enter Dirk and I.
Between the two of us, we were able to snag 5 balls out of the visitors’ bullpen. (Dirk 4, Brian 1). Since introducing Dirk to the whole ball snagging, ball retriever device world he has turned into an animal. I guess I’ve adopted a more mellow attitude toward snagging. If I can’t catch a BP homer, or if Sarah doesn’t get a toss up, I really don’t make much more of an effort. Call me crazy, but that’s just me.
Dirk on the other hand, has turned himself into Mr. Bullpen & Gap Master. If one lands in the gap anywhere in the park, or in either bullpen, he is all over it. That being the reason he outsnagged me 4-1. Anyways, on with the story….
As I mentioned earlier, Sarah and I were able to get one ball tonight. Our first of 2010 and here is Sarah with ball #1 after BP was over….
Here’s another photo of the ball that I took later to show the gashes that are on it. Beware, the photo is blurry, but it’s the best I could get it….
The bottom left gash is actually as deep as it looks. Pretty cool.
That was it for us during batting practice. The Royals didn’t do any better at getting homeruns out than the Rangers did. Oh well at least we got one.
As for the game, our seats were pretty good….
A little side story…
You see the guy on the bottom right of the above photo with the yellow/gray sunglasses? He was with a girl who was sitting to his left, and behind her was my daughter Sarah who proceded to get a pretty good sized glob of nacho cheese on the back of her shirt.
(Insert very long, very awkward 10-15 minutes here)
Anyways, exhibition games give the video department time to practice layouts, as well as giving ownership the chance to try out new team names as you’ll see in the next photo….
(It should be stated that when I went to opening day, the “Range” part was taken off)
The game was 0-0 going into the 7th inning until the Royals got a 2-out triple to go up 1-0. Then in the bottom of the inning, David Murphy hit a two-run homer to put the Rangers on top 2-1, and that would end up being the final score.
Around the 8th inning we decided to make our way behind home plate, and that’s where I took my favorite picture of the ballpark this year (so far!)….
I love that view.
I also got a shot of David Murphy fouling off a pitch….
Sorry, my camera’s not real good for action shots, but just to the left of Murphy’s left shoulder, that vertical white blur is the ball, I promise.
Here’s a couple shots of us behind home.
Me and Sarah….
Dirk and Kaitlyn….
That’s all for this game. Rangers win 2-1, and now it’s a waiting game until Monday.
Opening Day, ah yes!
Time of game: 2hrs. 11mins.
Next Game: Mon. 4/5 vs. Toronto
This game, just like the one I went to on Saturday, was attended strictly from a game watching standpoint only.
The weather was better this day, but not good enough to offer any batting practice. That makes at least three games in a row that I have been to that have not had BP.
Oh well, at least there was baseball!
Now that you know that, this entry is going to be shorter than normal. I took some photos at this game, but not of the stadium. This game I decided to take some photos of some of the players.
But first, a look at the field from our seats….
…. and the centerfield message board just prior to gametime….
“It’s baseball time in Texas!” Quoting the great Ballpark in Arlington announcer, Chuck Morgan.
The next one is of Rangers left fielder David Murphy….
Is it me, or does he look like he was just caught relieving himself on the grass? Probably just me.
Those are the only pictures I took from those seats. Our seats were pretty good, by the way, straight away left, first row. Not bad, but we moved after the third inning to our new favorite foul ball spot on the third base side.
Here’s Marlon Byrd at the plate….
I mainly took this one, because I was wearing his t-shirt at this game.
This next guy should not need any introduction….
…. but just in case you still don’t know who this is, it’s perennial gold-glover Omar Vizquel.
That guy is amazing in the field. I’ve personally seen him play three different infield positions this season and do superb at all of them. He’s awesome.
Speaking of awesome, what about this guy….
….come on, don’t tell me you don’t know who Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez is!?
10-time gold glove winning catcher. World Series winner. Definate first ballot hall of famer.
The pictures of Pudge were mainly so I could have proof that I watched him play in person.
By now you should be able to tell the camera angle has changed. We moved behind homeplate at the end of the eighth inning.
Here’s another that I like, it shows David Murphy at the plate with Nelson Cruz on deck….
We didn’t have any close calls in our original foul ball spot, and for the first couple batters, we didn’t have any behind homeplate either.
Until the top of the ninth.
Oakland A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki stepped into the batter’s box, batting right handed, and proceded to foul off the very first pitch. I was one seat over from the aisle seat and this foul ball came screaming back over the screen, and I had just enough time to jump out of my seat and reach across my body with my glove while jumping as high as I could (which isn’t very high I might add) only to miss the ball by mere inches. It didn’t touch my glove, but it came as close as it could without hitting it.
I turned around to see where the ball went, and it hit something; a step, wall edge, I’m not sure, all I know is that I had my back to the field and the ball hit whatever it hit and ricocheted over two sections to my right.
So close, so very close.
That was it for this game, Rangers lose 8-0. Two shutouts in a row.
Time of game; 2 hrs. 45 mins.
Next game: Fri. 9/18 vs. the Angels
BTW — There was ice cream to be had this game, and here are the helmets I came away with….
I only had one, the other two I found. I promise!