Results tagged ‘ glove trick ’
Well, the All Star break was finally over and the Minnesota Twins were in town for the weekend. My friend Dirk and I had planned on going to this game for a couple of weeks, since this was the first game back for the Rangers.
Fridays at the Ballpark in Arlington are Big Bang Fireworks Fridays, which means you get $10 tickets, $5 parking, and a fireworks show after the game. Our tickets were normally $25 each and parking is normally $12, so it is a really cool deal.
The only downside to the whole thing is, obviously, it brings more people to the ballpark. Oh well, it’s still better than some other parks out there.
We got to the third base gate at around 4:45 or so, and there was already about 20 people in line. On top of the other promotions, they were also giving t-shirts away to the first 10,000 fans. I didn’t take a picture of it, but you’re not missing anything. It’s a plain white shirt with “TEXAS” on the front (it looks just like the “TEXAS” on the ticket above), and on the back is a huge “SPONGETECH” logo. In case you’ve somehow missed their giant ads at the ballparks, here’s a photo I found on the internet….
Just imagine that going from shoulder to shoulder and being about 3-4 inches tall on the back of the shirt. Not real cool, but you can’t beat the price!
Here’s a photo I got someone to take of Dirk and I waiting in line….
We were a little leary about the bag check this game, simply for the fact that Dirk had brought his version of a “cup trick” for the first time, altough there was no cup used in this contraption. The best way to describe it is, a rubber boot with a 3 inch long, 2 inch diameter pipe in the middle, wrapped in electrical tape and spray painted red. Don’t understand that, well that’s the best I can do.
Surprisingly, we made it through the bag check rather easily, got our free shirts and headed over to the left field seats, just in time to see the last batter for the Rangers finish up. Aww Man!
The Twins had just come out on the field to stretch, so I knew we would have a little time to spare before they started hitting, so we started checking the gaps for balls. Dirk spotted one toward the back of the visitors’ bullpen in left field. There was already someone over there working on it, but he was struggling, so we made our way over there anyway. Apparently, he had been there for a while and was willing to give up, because when Dirk asked if he could give it a try, the guy didn’t even hesitate to step aside. Sweet! We would finally get to try out our new trick. We had practiced with it some at our houses, but there’s nothing like the real thing. Here’s a shot of Dirk lowering it for the first time….
The wall that we are lowering from is approximately 20′ tall, just to give you some perspective. That red spot you see in the top right corner is the other guys’ trick that he’s raising up. His trick used a small helmet (like an ice cream helmet) and that’s all I could really tell, I don’t know what he used for a weight.
Anyways, here’s an action shot of Dirk….
You can kind of get a better idea of how tall that wall is in this shot.
The problem with using anything other than a glove trick is, when you have a ball (like this one) that is out 3-4 feet from the wall, it is very hard to knock the ball closer. Although we had a decent amount of weight, the surface area needed to maneuver the ball was minimal. After about 10 minutes and repeated attempts at dropping the cup from the railing, this happened….
The string broke.
We waited around for about 5 minutes until a security guard came and got it for Dirk. He gave him his cup back, but not the ball. Oh well, we couldn’t complain too much, at least he didn’t throw away his trick.
We came to the conclusion that the amount of weight used, the height of the wall, and the type of string used was not a very good combination. So, Dirk tied the two broken ends together and we went back around to left field to get ready for the Twins BP.
To say that we missed out on some balls would be an understatement. The crowd for BP was not real big, but it would’ve been nice to have a few less people to deal with. I know I myself missed at least 4 or 5. And when I say “missed”, I mean I either misjudged or got screwed out of. Dirk could’ve had at least that many also. It was frustrating because I wanted a Twins commemorative ball real bad!
Everyone around me was getting one, and they were pearls too. By pearl, I mean pristine, gently used, no smudges. It’s like they opened 2-3 boxes of brand new ones and dumped them in the bucket. After 20 minutes or so, Dirk ran around to the LF bleachers to try for one in the gap, but to no avail, someone got it before he could get over there.
I didn’t notice when he came back around because I was still trying to catch a BP homer, but when he got back to left field, he started going for one in our section. I don’t know how I missed that one, but Dirk was on it, and after a few minutes he pulled this out of the LF gap….
The green mark on the front of the ball is from the wall that it hit before falling into the gap.
The commemorative logo is smudged, but we didn’t care, we were just happy to get one. I asked him if I could borrow it to take this photo when I got home, and he told me to keep it. After going back and forth about it being his ball, I conceded, although it won’t be included in my ball totals. It is cool to have though!
That would be the only ball to be had for the rest of BP. We fought through the heat as long as we could, then went to the concourse with only a few minutes remaining in batting practice. We signed up to be designated drivers and got coupons for free sodas that we chugged in no time.
After eating a very dry chopped BBQ sandwich, we made our way to our seats in LF which we stayed in until the 5th inning or so, when we decided to look for a foul ball spot. Never found a good one, so we went for ice cream.
Now, the Ballpark in Arlington does not have ice cream helmets, but I had an idea that I wanted to try out to beat the system. The souvenir stands sell small, ice cream-sized helmets for $1 and I figured I could buy one and take it to the ice cream stand and have them fill it up instead, and it worked! Here she is….
I did have to pay the regular sundae price which is $6, so when you add the $1 for the helmet, I had a $7 sundae. It’s okay, I got some satisfaction out of the fact that I was the only one in the ballpark that had one! That one’s for you Todd Cook!
We walked around some more, mainly looking for a good foul ball spot, but the ones we wanted were full, so we kept wandering. I didn’t take any pictures, don’t ask me why, I just didn’t.
We made it behind home plate for the 9th inning, but got nothing. Even after the game when we normally look for tickets and stuff, it was rough because a lot of people were hanging around to see the fireworks.
I did manage to find a few tickets….
Rangers lost 5-3 and lost ground to the Angels in the division.
Time of game: 2hrs. 44mins.
Attendance: 34,662 (more than I’m used to)
Next game: Possibly Wed. 7/29 vs. the Mariners
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
My daughter , Sarah, is a member of the Junior Rangers Club, and with that membership she was given 8 free ticket vouchers for this season. If I want to purchase additional tickets with her voucher, they are $12.50, instead of the normal $25 price. The vouchers are for specific dates, and the next date was this one. Sunday, June 28 against the Padres.
They are section specific also. We can use them for sections 201-210 on the second level, which 201 is the first section in straight away left field, then it goes progressively around toward the LF foul pole & 210 is just inside the foul line. Our seats for this game were in 206 row 1, straight down the 3B line.
It was a 7:05 start, so that means the gates would open at 5:05, which also means that batting practice would be going on right in the heat of the day. Great. I can handle it, but Sarah can’t take it that well, and I was also there with my friend Dirk & his daughter Kaitlyn, who is 7, and she doesn’t need that much heat either.
The weather in Texas has been between 99-101 for the last week or so, & I thought about skipping this game, but I’m not sure when I’ll be able to go again (for financial reasons), so we went anyway.
We got inside the stadium and over to the left field seats just minutes after the gates opened, and saw this….
What you can’t tell from this photo, is that no one was hitting. And, these were the only players on the field. I don’t know why, surely it wasn’t too hot for them!
Thankfully, when I got to the LF seats and looked down into the gap, I saw this….
What a beautiful sight!
Now, to be honest, that photo is actually of a ball that Dirk got a little while later, but since I was clueless and didn’t get a pic of mine, I’ll use his instead.
When I looked down, the ball was actually up against the base of a wall, so I had to fling my glove down there to try and knock it out into the open to get a clear shot for the glove trick. (Thanks Zack Hample!)
It took me a few tries (more than a few actually), but I finally got the ball where I needed it. Here’s a photo I took afterwards to show where the ball was….
Remember: You can click the photos in the entries to get a closer look. In case you can’t read the text in the photo, the top one says “where ball was originally” and the bottom one says “where I nudged it to”. The drain actually made a good resting spot for the ball.
This ball took me a lot longer to get than it really should have, mainly because I am a true glove trick rookie. I’ve known about the trick since last summer, but haven’t had a good opportunity to try it until now. Once I had the ball in a good spot, it was just a matter of reeling her in. A couple different times, I had the ball in the glove and was pulling it up, only to have the ball fall out about 2 feet from my hand. After one of those drops, I noticed that something didn’t look right, so I raised the glove up to realize the Sharpie had fallen out. Good thing I had extras with me. Finally, after about 20 minutes or so, I had it. 1st glove trick ball ever!
There really wasn’t that much fanfare, except for all of the elation I felt inside.
After the glove trick conquest, Sarah and I ran over to the visitors’ dugout to get a close up of this….
That’s Padres closer Heath Bell, and if you look just in front of his left foot, you’ll see his glove that he stood up on the tips and is getting ready to kick it like a football through the uprights. Cool! He did that a few times. The first was toward a security guard in front of the dugout. The guard held his arms straight up, and Heath kicked it through. The 2nd (pictured above), is toward a fan about four rows behind the dugout. Heath would kick it, and the fan would throw it back. Great stuff!
We weren’t able to get his autograph, which is what I really wanted, so after I took this photo of Sarah….
…. we started to make our way back around to Dirk in LF.
Along the way, Sarah did get an autograph….
Padres pitcher Luis Pedromo.
I had never heard of him before this, but others were gathered around getting his autograph, so naturally Sarah wanted one too.
Here’s the only shot I was able to get of Sarah getting the autograph….
You can just see Pedromo’s head above the kid in the gray shirt’s right shoulder, and Sarah is in the center in the red shirt. He’s actually looking down to sign Sarah’s ticket when I snapped this photo.
While we were getting this autograph, Dirk called me & asked where I put my Sharpie & rubber band for the glove trick, because apparrently a Padres pitcher (I believe it was Cla Meredith, and yes that’s how he spells his name) had thrown a ball to a guy in LF and he dropped it in the gap. Now, my backpack is not real practical. Yes, it holds my glove and other things I may need during a game, but it also has about 12 zippers, which makes it real difficult to explain to someone over the phone where something is.
I got over to him as quickly as I could, and set up the glove for him. He said he wanted to give it a shot, so I let him. While he was going for the ball, I was trying to get Sarah cooled off. Her face was as red as her shirt, and she was looking drained, so I basically forced her to drink a bottle of water and got her out of the sun. We walked up the stairs and went into a tunnel behind us, where I had her sit so I could go back & get my stuff.
As I was going back down to get everything together, I saw Kaitlyn walking back over with a ball in her hand. It had only been about 2-3 minutes, so I was really surprised when Dirk told me that was the ball from the gap. Apparently, he was able to get his on the first try. One drop of the glove, boom, he had it. It was his first glove trick attempt, let alone ball. I was happy for both of us at that point.
We got everything packed back into our bags, and went up to where Sarah was sitting. By this time, she was in the shade for only about 2 minutes or so, and she already looked better. So, we wanted to make sure that whatever we did next was in the shade!
Sundays at the Ballpark in Arlington are $1 ice cream days, so we all got $1 drumsticks and popsicles to cool us off, and man did they hit the spot!
By this time, it’s only around 5:45 or so, and the reason there was no BP for the Padres was that today was dog day at the ballpark. So they had to clear the field for the pre-game dog parade around the warning track. Yippee. Oh well, what can you do?
After the ice cream break, we (slowly) made our way to the second level where our seats were, but before that we got some food and drinks. Cheese fries & Dr. Pepper, I’m not sure that there’s a ballpark combo I like more. Here’s a couple photos from our break time….
That sun was a lot more brutal than it looks in this photo.
And this was the view to my left….
That’s the centerfield sports park off in the distance, and I walked over to the last section and got a photo of that too….
All kinds of stuff for the kids to do there. Like hit a wiffle ball off of a tee….
Or use a giant sling-shot….
There’s other games too, but those are the only ones the girls wanted to do. We found some much needed refuge under some misting fans while we were out there as well.
As for the game itself, we didn’t really miss much. The Rangers were held to just one hit for the first time in the history of the ballpark. Since 1994, they have had at least 2 hits in every home game, until tonight. I like being there for history, just not that kind of history.
We decided to leave at around the bottom of the 7th, since everyone was pretty much drained.
Padres 2, Dirk/Kaitlyn 1 & Brian/Sarah 1, Rangers 0.
Here’s some other photos from during the game and while we were leaving….
Here’s a photo of the ball we got with the glove trick….
And here’s Sarah’s autograph….
Time of game: 2 hrs. 26 mins.
Attendance: 27,000 humans (I’ve never seen an even number like that), & 300 dogs
Next game: Fri. 7/17 vs. the Twins
PLUS — Here’s a photo I had someone take of all of us on our way to the truck….
I went to this game with my friend Dirk and we arrived early enough for batting practice. Unfortunately, the weather was a little sketchy all day, so we didn’t know if there would be BP (or a game for that matter!). So, we weren’t REAL surprised when we walked in through the 3B gate & saw this….
In case you can’t tell, the A’s are in left field & the Rangers are in right. As you can see in the 1st photo, the cage and screens are set up for BP, but they were only stretching (you can see tarps covering the mound & batter’s box). The sun was going in & out of the clouds for about the 1st 30 minutes or so, then they finally got under way.
But first, let me back up a little bit.
As we were standing in the left field stands, we noticed two balls on the warning track in straight away centerfield. We didn’t know if the Rangers started to hit & then stopped or what. So my mind starts to race & I’m thinking of all the potential balls that could have fallen in the gap between the field and the stands (the Ballpark in Arlington has a 3-4 foot gap all the way around the outfield wall, but only part of it is glove trick accessible). There weren’t any where we standing at that point, so the decision had to be made where the next/best place to go should be. I decided to take my camera & go to the bleachers in left-center & check that gap, while Dirk stayed with our stuff in left.
There were already two guys sitting in the front row of the section I was heading to, but I didn’t think they had a “ball-retrieving” device (& I was right). As I made my way down past the first few rows, I couldn’t help but look in the empty rows anyway. I knew those 2 guys had to have canvased that whole section, so I didn’t expect to find anything, but about 4-5 rows down, there was an “easter egg” laying there waiting on me! Ball #1!
For those that may not know the “ballhawk lingo”, an easter egg is a ball that is found in the stands somewhere (like an egg hunt except with baseballs!).
Needless to say, I was pretty happy! Especially when one of those guys noticed me pick it up & told his buddy & the ensuing look on his face was priceless.
Wouldn’t you know, I had my camera in my hand this whole time & I didn’t take one photo. I saw the ball & could’ve taken a photo, but that rush came all over me & I ran about 10 feet to get my hands on it. It may seem like I am making a big deal out of just one ball, but I am NOWHERE near Zack Hample status (or any of the other experienced guys for that matter), so ANY ball I get is a big deal.
So, after I got the ball & reality started to come back, I walked down to the railing anyways to check the gap for any potential balls. No luck. Oh well, I had one & I was happy anyway.
Shortly after my emotional roller coaster, I made my way back to Dirk & explained the whole thing to him. Wouldn’t you know, his 1st response was to see the photos! I’m still kicking myself for that!
Batting practice finally got underway, but the Rangers didn’t hit, just the A’s. It was okay, because I left my Rangers hat off & also had a roster that I had printed out to use for shouting out the players’ name instead of their #. What ended up happening, is I told a little kid next to me a certain player’s name, because he seemed real determined to get a ball from him but only yelled out his #. After I told him the guy’s name, he yelled it a thousand times (very loudly I might add), but it paid off for him since he got not 1 but 2 balls from him in BP. Brat. I shouldn’t have helped him. I’m just teasing, I loved it. I wish someone would have helped me like that when I was a kid. The coolest part, was the kid’s father was behind me the whole time. He tried to have his son give one of the balls to me, but I refused. He did the work, he keeps the rewards.
Dirk & I stayed in straight away left field all through BP trying to get a homerun on the fly. Only problem is the A’s only true long-ball hitter is Jason Giambi who’s a lefty. Oh well, I had one & I was happy!
We made our way to our seats before the lineup announcements & here’s the view we had….
Not bad, if I say so myself.
We stayed in our seats until the top of the 7th, when we couldn’t take the drunk guy next to us one more batter. Isn’t it amazing how one person can ruin your whole game watching experience?
So we made our way behind home plate to try for foul balls, which is what we had planned since the 1st inning, when it seemed like every batter hit one back there. Until WE got there, that is. We did have one close call, when a ball hit an empty seat about 2 rows in front of us to our left, then proceded to make a HARD 90 degree turn to our right & ended up 1 section over in the hands of a guy in the same row as us.
I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life.
The view was good though….
The game itself was good, the Rangers fought back from being down 3-1 & tied 4-4, to win it 5-4. No homeruns for the Rangers, but one big moment came in the bottom of the 6th, when Chris Davis was ejected for arguing a called 3rd strike.
Attendance was only 12,627, probably because of the weather. We found some stray tickets & programs (and 1 forgotten shirt), & made our way to the parking lot.
Here’s a photo of my “easter egg”….
And here’s the extra tickets we found after the game….
Next game — Sat. 5/2 vs. the White Sox….