Results tagged ‘ homerun ’
Well the day had finally arrived, Opening Day.
It started to feel like it had been forever since the last regular season home game I got to attend at the grand ‘ol ballpark, but it was here and I was happy.
The game was a 1:05 start and the gates were set to open at 10:00, so there was not much time to rest and enjoy the off-day in the morning. I had to get moving!
I was attending this game with my friend Dirk and he came and picked me up at my house at 9:00. We stopped at Taco Bell on the way and grabbed some burritos to take in to the park with us, went to will call and got the tickets, and made it to the left field seats at around 10:15.
Too bad batting practice wasn’t going to start until 10:30. Meh.
We found a spot we felt was going to work for us, so we put our bags down and got out our gloves and cameras.
Here’s a picture I had Dirk take of me before batting practice started….
….and here’s one of the centerfield offices….
Once batting practice got underway, this was the view to my right….
The view to my left was so much worse I didn’t even want to take a picture of it.
While the Rangers were hitting the Blue Jays came out into the outfield to start throwing, and I took a picture of my favorite Jay, Scott Downs….
For those that may not know, my daughter Sarah and I had a pretty cool encounter with Mr. Downs at a game last season.
You can read that entry here.
The Rangers took BP from 10:30 to 11:10, then the Jays hit from 11:20 to 12:00. During the Rangers’ portion there were not many homeruns hit our way, nor were there players tossing balls into the crowd that had found there way to the warning track.
The Blue Jays’ portion was completely different. It seemed like every other ball was a homerun that came to left field. It was so much fun, the only problem was how crowded it was. Moving was nearly impossible, and Dirk and I were on the first row. But Dirk had some more device opportunities in the visitors’ bullpen, and I was able to pull one up myself. It would turn out to be my only ball of the day and #2 on the season.
After batting practice concluded we made our way to our seats to get ready for the pregame festivities. This was the view from our seats….
Once the pregame activities started this was displayed on the video board….
I wanted to take photos of some of the players during the introductions, but my camera doesn’t zoom too far, so I waited until both teams had been announced and took this one….
I usually stand pretty still during the national anthem, but I couldn’t control myself and took this picture before it ended….
** One observation: At least they felt it important enough to turn the lights on for a 1:05 start. It was rather cloudy, but still, lights? **
I also snapped a photo of the flyover by some F-16s….
Then there was a paraplegic veteran that parachuted out of a helicopter and delivered the ceremonial first pitch ball to Roger Staubach….
That’s Roger in the jeans and Nolan Ryan in the suit. Ian Kinsler caught for Staubach who threw a chest high (standing up) strike.
Finally, the moment had arrived. The first pitch….
…. that was taken for a strike, which we all know means the Rangers are going all the way this year. No? Maybe it’s just me then.
The game was great from the start if you’re a Blue Jays fan, if not, it was brutal.
Scott Feldman gave up a two-run homer in the first to Vernon Wells, and a solo shot in the third to Aaron HIll which put Toronto up 3-0. Meanwhile, the Rangers didn’t even have a hit until the bottom of the seventh.
As for the bottom of the seventh, that’s when new Ranger Vladimir Guerrero stepped up to the plate to lead off the inning. Now, you’ll have to forgive me because I don’t remember the exact count, but a couple of pitches before Vlad got the Rangers their first hit, he hit a mammoth foul ball. By mammoth I mean, third level, even with the top of the foul pole mammoth.
Yeah, it was amazing.
To top it off, it looked like he barely even swung the bat!
Once Vlad got the first hit, it seemed like they just kept coming after that. Nelson Cruz stepped up with two men on and proceded to hit a three-run homer to tie the game at 3-3.
In the top of the eighth young Ranger reliever Neftali Feliz gave up the go ahead run to put the Rangers behind 4-3.
By the bottom of the ninth Dirk and I had already found different seats along the first base side, where we got to see Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit the game-winnng RBI single, and watch the players rush the field….
What a great way to end a great day, Rangers win 4-3.
Now if only the rest of the season could be like this!
Time of game: 2hrs. 36mins.
Next Game: Not 100% sure, but probably Sun. 4/25 vs. Detroit
This was the fourth game of the series between the Rangers and Twins, and the second of the series that I attended. I went to game one and they won 8-5. Games two and three they lost after blowing the lead in both games. With the division on the line as well as the wild card, I was really hoping that the Rangers could pull it together tonight and start making up some ground.
Needless to say I was very excited about the game tonight.
I went to this game with my aunt Lori. We have gone to many games together over the years, and this was our second this year. We also went to the 6/12 game against the Dodgers.
We got to the park, and inside the stadium at around 6:15. I couldn’t leave work early for BP this time, because my manager was off and I had to stay until I got off at 5:30. Oh well, turns out that the Rangers didn’t hit at all, and the Twins didn’t hit for very long anyway. So, I wasn’t too upset over missing BP after finding that out.
The first thing we did after watching the grounds crew remove the cage was get food. Cheese fries and Dr. Pepper. Mmmmmmmm.
We found some empty seats in right-center field, and sat and ate our food. The temperature was around 96 degrees and it was humid. Eating scalding hot fries and sweating everywhere is not cool at all. We couldn’t finish our food fast enough.
When we finally did finish, we headed over to the centerfield gift shop to take advantage of the A/C. While we were in there, my aunt said that she would buy me a jersey since my birthday is next week.
I’ve often thought which jersey I would get if given the chance, and after much deliberation, I knew I wanted a red one (the Rangers brought red back into the fold this year, in case you didn’t know), but I decided that I wanted a blank one.
I love Josh Hamilton (not in that way though). I have both of his All-Star shirts, but I just find it hard to make that kind of monetary commitment to any current player. My fear is, I’ll get a certain player’s jersey and then they’ll get traded or suffer some sort of career-ending injury or something along those lines.
Is that weird of me to think that way?
Anyways, I got a blank red one off of the rack, and my aunt wanted to put my name on the back, so I grabbed the number 2 (my favorite number) and the letters P-O-W-E-L-L (my last name) and we went and paid for them. Then I had to wait in line to have the letters and number put on.
Without getting into too much detail and dragging this out more than I already have, I’ll just say that I wasn’t able to get those letters and number put on. The guy working the heat press said that it was an MLB thing. The letters are in the font they used last year, and the red jersey is brand new this year, so for whatever reason they couldn’t mix the two. Whatever, I’ll just go back and buy the letters another day and then go home and put them on myself.
Oh yeah, there was a baseball game.
We got to our seats out in left field just after the first pitch, and this was our view….
The sun was going down, but it was still miserably hot.
A friend that I work with was also at this game. Her husband’s company has season tickets on the first base side on the second row. She told me ahead of time to call her to see if there were any available seats around her, so we could all sit together. I called in the first inning and there were some empty seats, but I wanted to wait an inning or two to make sure no one was going to come in later.
I decided to kill some time, and went and got us both some ice cream. I went to the same stand I had gone to Monday night, and they still had various team helmets. I picked Seattle and Toronto and headed back to our seats and enjoyed all of the ice creamy goodness!
In around the 5th inning, she called me and said there were two open seats in her row, so we made our way over there and our view of the game changed to this….
Much better! I told my co-worker she was my new best friend!
Of course, those would be our seats for the remainder of the game. Here’s a couple shots I took of some of the players….
Here’s one of my aunt and I, along with her prized kettle corn….
Unfortunately, we didn’t even come close to any foul balls over there. A guy a few seats to our left caught one right before we walked down the stairs to sit there. Figures.
The Rangers had better control over this game, hitting four homeruns, including Julio Borbon’s first of his career, and two by Marlon Byrd. They would go on to win by the score of 11-1. That’s more like it!
11 runs on 17 hits helped give Derek Holland his 7th win of the year. The Twins had 10 hits, but could only manage 1 run.
Time of game: 2 hrs. 48 mins.
Next game: Tues. 9/1 vs. Toronto (Doubleheader!)
Here’s the helmets that I came away with from this game….
The Rangers had just finished up a long 10 game road trip with a 3-game series at home against Boston, and now the Twins were in town for a 4-game series. This was a Monday night game, Boston’s gone, so my friend Dirk and I figured this would be the perfect game to get us back in the groove.
We got to the park at around 4:40 or so, then waited for the gates to open at 5:00. When they finally did, we hurried through the bag check and raced to the LF seats to see that the Rangers were hitting.
They need to make up their minds. Sometimes they hit, and sometimes they don’t. With all of the rumors and so-called “reports” that I hear about the team needing to save money, not wanting to spend it on baseballs, and then coming to the park and seeing them hit really causes confusion. At least for me anyway.
Do they feel that they are saving money by only taking BP on the field every other game, or every few games?
They were hitting today, and that was really cool to see.
When we got to the LF seats, we checked the gaps and the visitors’ bullpen like we usually do, but they were empty. The stands in left were surprisingly bare also. Sweet! We were borderline giddy with anticipation because of all the possibilities!
The Rangers only hit for about 10-15 more minutes when we got there, and we didn’t get anything. The few homeruns that were hit to left field were nowhere near us, and all of the balls that went to the track or into the outfield in general, were all thrown in to the bucket. I didn’t see a single ball get thrown into the stands by the Rangers.
That I can understand. If a ball gets hit into the stands that’s one thing, but don’t throw any into the stands because that’s unnecessary spending. If that’s their thinking, I can’t argue with that.
The sun was brutal again today, thankfully we stopped and got some water bottles on the way to the park, because I don’t think I could have made it without them. If I had been getting some chances at some balls, I may not have noticed the heat as much, but standing in the same spot for any length of time sure made it hard to think about anything else but the heat.
We had about a 10 minute break before the Twins started hitting, and we used it to sit and cool off. Once they began to hit, we had a pretty good portion of the stands to ourselves. It didn’t really matter though, since we hardly had any action the whole time. Halfway through the Twins’ BP, a ball went into the visitors’ bullpen and Dirk set off after it. I didn’t watch him try for it, I was too concerned with trying to get a homerun ball. After a few minutes, he came over with the ball, and that would turn out to be the only one either of us would get.
Dirk had a close call with a homerun ball that was coming his way, but he gave way to allow a younger kid to catch it. Can’t say that I blame him, there’s not too many guys at the Ballpark in Arlington that do that unfortunately.
Once batting practice had concluded, we got our designated driver coupons, and got some pizza, cajun fries (big mistake), and a couple sodas.
Our seats were in left field for this game, and we only stayed there for maybe two batters. I love sitting there most of the time, just not when the sun is beating down on us.
We moved over to the third base side, which has recently become our favorite foul ball spot. There was one section in particular that was surprisingly empty, so we found a couple seats towards the back of that section, and those would be our seats for almost the whole game.
There was more action around us than normal. Most games we come within one section of a foul ball once during a game. This game, we had at least two or three balls that came within four or five rows of us! As well as a few more that were a section or two over.
The first half of the game, we had about 10-12 rows to ourselves. No balls were hit our way then. Gradually, people started to creep in around us and constricted our range. In around the 7th inning, we moved over almost a full section to our right, where we would have more room, but it didn’t matter. Nothing.
Backing up a little bit….
Around the top of the 6th inning, we decided to get some ice cream. The last game we attended we found out that the Ballpark in Arlington was using ice cream helmets once again (much to my delight!), so we were going for one of those for sure.
As we made our way to the ice cream stand, we noticed this….
Notice the helmets? That’s just a part of the selection they had that you could choose from. When they asked you what kind of ice cream you wanted, the next question was “What team?”. The particular stand that we were at did not have any Rangers helmets. WHAT?! Oh well, it was pretty cool to get a helmet of another team. It’s almost like I went to different stadium. Almost. Not really.
I went for the A’s, and Dirk got the Giants, then it was back to “our seats”.
When I finished with my ice cream, I realized that the above photo was the only one I had taken so far. So, I decided to take a few photos from where we were sitting….
I love that hill!
The above photo is one of my favorite views of the ballpark.
Don’t ask me why I took that last photo. Just wanted to, I guess.
The Rangers ended up winning this game 8-5, but it got a little sketchy at times.
Joe Mauer hit a solo shot to left center in the top of the 1st. That guy’s a stud! I know, I’m a Rangers’ fan, but have you noticed what kind of offensive numbers this guy is putting up? As of this morning (8/19), ESPN radio reported that he is batting .380 with 25 homeruns!
Don’t think that’s too impressive?
If he finishes the season with those same numbers, he’ll become only the fifth player in MLB history to do that. You may have heard of the other four:
Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, and Ted Williams.
Unbelievable. You go Joe!
The Rangers ended up using five pitchers out of the bullpen, but got the win anyways.
Time of game: 3 hrs. 20 mins.
Next game: Thurs. 8/20 also vs. the Twins
Here’s a photo of the two helmets I came away with….
The A’s I bought, and the SF Dirk gave to me because he had two. We were looking for some in the stands after the game, but I didn’t find any and Dirk found four.
Here’s the extra tickets I found also….
The Blue Jays were in town for a 4-game series, the first two went to our neighbors from the north, and the third was postponed due to rain (sound familiar anyone?). Although, it was not moved to the next day for a double-header, instead, it was moved to September 1st for a double-header. Oh well, it didn’t matter to me, I just wanted the rain to hold off enough so we could have just one game.
Due to the previous night’s rain-out, they pushed back the start of Kevin Millwood to this evening. Cool! He’s been pitching really well lately, & the Rangers need to stop this 2-game losing streak they’ve started.
I attended this game with my friend Dirk, and my daughter Sarah, and was without my camera once again. I mentioned in a previous entry that I felt naked going to a game without a camera, and after I wrote that, I thought it was a little odd myself, but after my 2nd game without it, I must say I stand by that statement. There’s just too many photo opportunities at a game to be there without one. But I was, and life must go on.
We got a late jump on this game, because I was not able to leave work as early as I needed to in order to make it when the gates opened. It was a 7:05 start, so the 1st and 3rd base gates would open at 5:05. We got to the stadium at around 5:20ish, and made our way to the ticket window, got 3 seats on the 2nd level behind the 3B foul pole (that we never sat in), and went to the nearest gate (home plate). The home plate and centerfield gates open 30 minutes later than 1st & 3rd. We got in line at about 5:25, so we only waited about 5 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. We could hear batting practice going on inside the stadium, so I was getting restless.
The gate finally opened, and after having my bag checked, we raced to the left field seats while the Blue Jays were in the middle of BP.
Thankfully, the Stankees were gone so the crowd was back to normal. The competition in the LF stands for batting practice was minimal, which was good because we would have more room to maneuver. Sarah and I didn’t get any HRs on the fly, but when an unknown pitcher tossed a ball to a little boy next to me, he bobbled and dropped it into the gap between the stands and the field. I was going to attempt the glove trick, until I noticed that the ball was in a precarious position.
A little back story….
In years past, the LF wall was a manual scoreboard, until this past offseason when it was changed to a digital video board, which you can see in some of my previous entries. The board is supported by a secondary wall of fans that are there to keep it from overheating, I assume. The wall of fans has 6-8 inches of dead space underneath it, and that is where the bobbled ball came to rest. (It was a long trip, but we finally made it to the point!)
I leaned over to the boy and told him to go over to the corner of the LF wall and the foul line wall, because that’s where the grounds crew enters the field, and I figured he could tell them that he dropped his ball & then ask them to get it for him. His eyes lit up, and he took off running in that direction, then passed it up & kept on running to the visitors’ dugout!
I told Sarah the same thing and she went over to the correct spot and gave me gesture to say no one was over there. I held up one finger and mouthed, “hold on”. In just a minute or so, a man appeared, and Sarah pled her case. He walked over, grabbed the ball, and tossed it up to Sarah. Ball # 1 on the day! Yeah baby!
During the Jays’ batting practice, everyone that was in the LF/3B foul line vicinity, was entertained by a specific pitcher….
This guy is my new favorite Blue Jay (not that I had a favorite Blue Jay to begin with, but you get the idea).
He was so fun to watch, and so giving with baseballs. If he threw one back to the bucket, the very next ball he got would go somewhere in the crowd. He would scan the crowd and pick out a specific person he wanted to throw one to, then he would go through all of his normal pitching motions. Set up, shaking off signs, wind up , pitch, everything. It was amazing, and if someone caught a ball that he didn’t intend to throw it to, he made them throw the ball back to him, so he could throw it to the person he meant to have it in the first place. Unbelieveable!
One kid in particular, a teenager I think, was on the railing on the foul line holding his glove down over the rail to get Downs to throw him one. Downs finally noticed him, and had him hold his glove steady over the railing. He was about 25 yards away, and on about 6 consecutive throws, he hit the wall just inches under the kid’s glove. Then he would walk over to the ball and motion like he messed up, back up and do it again. It was great to watch, of course he ended up giving it to him, but it was good for a few laughs.
I didn’t know his name at first, because his warmup jersey was covering his name and #, and I hate asking for balls and not knowing their name. I won’t do it. Finally, I asked a guy next to me if he knew his name, and thankfully he did. So, when everyone else was yelling, “Scott, Scott, hey pitch!”, I told Sarah to wait until they stopped, then call out “Mr. Downs”.
And she did, and when she called out, he responded with a playfully exasperated sounding “WHAT!!” He turned to face us, and I held up my glove and pointed to Sarah. Then, he proceded to go through his pitch routine and threw the ball right in my glove for ball # 2!
Awesome! What a guy, I fully believe that EVERY team needs a player like Scott Downs. If you ever have the chance to go to a game that the Blue Jays are in, you need to take advantage of it. If for no other reason, than to just see Downs in action during BP. You’re almost guaranteed a ball.
Those 2 balls would be the only ones we got for the rest of the game. Dirk was able to catch a homerun on the fly, so we all did good!
I mentioned earlier that we never sat in our ticketed seats, and we didn’t because the crowd was so small, we just stayed in left field until the top of the 6th, when we moved over into foul territory just foul of the 3B line pole.
We didn’t get close to one homerun or foul ball all night. It was a good game though, that is if you like pitchers duels. The one and only run came off the bat of Marlon Byrd of the Rangers, by way of a sacrifice fly in the second inning. That was it.
Brian & Sarah 2, USA 1, Canada 0.
Here’s a look at the 2 balls we got….
A look at the smudges….
And here’s the extra tickets we found after the game….
Time of game: 2 hrs. 41 minutes
Attendance: 16,073 (That’s more like it!)
Next game: Fri. 6/12 vs. The Dodgers….
I was looking forward to this game for two reasons: 1st-The Rangers were just getting back from a 7 game road trip, and 2nd-Josh Hamilton was going to make his first start after coming off the 15-day DL.
My friend Dirk & I got to the ballpark right at 5:00, and made it into the left field seats at about 5:10, so there were already people in the stands since the gates open at 5:05. Oh well, it wasn’t that crowded, so I still felt pretty good about our chances.
The Rangers were already hitting when we walked in, so we ran down to the front row, but out of about 12 hitters, 2 of them were righties (and we were in LF). We thought about moving to RF, but it was too crowded, so we decided to stick it out in left.
During the Rangers portion of BP, I think only one or two homers were hit in our direction, and the closest I could get was about 5 feet away. Blah. I got C.J. Wilson’s attention once when a ball rolled to the wall & he came over to get it. I called his name and held up my glove, and he looked right at me, and then threw the ball back in. Nice.
During the Mariners portion of BP, I still thought we had a good chance, because I had printed out their roster, coach list, & even made a cheat sheet of about 7-8 players with their photo, last name, & jersey #.
It came in handy only from the standpoint that I was the only one around shouting out first names, while everyone else was forced to shout #s since their warmup jerseys didn’t have their names on them. A few guys turned to look when I called their name, but I think it was because they were surprised that anyone actually knew them.
The Mariners’ BP was different for me, because the first 15-20 minutes or so was all of the lefties. Some would try to go opposite field, but they never reached the seats.
Then finally, the righties came up. Yay! It was short lived. Not only do their right handed hitters not have big time power, but I don’t think 1 of their balls hit the seats. As opposed to the lefties, which includes Ichiro, AND Griffey. (I was starting to think that we probably should have fought the crowd in RF).
Watching Griffey hit was pretty cool. I can’t remember, but in all the years that I have gone to baseball games, I think this may have been my first time to watch him take BP. And boy did he put on a show! He still has it, that’s for sure.
Batting practice came and went, and I was left empty-handed. I guess I had gotten a little spoiled, since the last two games I went to that had BP, I was able to come away with a ball each time. Oh well, there’s always next game!
Just in case you haven’t noticed, I didn’t take any pictures at this game. My wife needed the camera this same night, so I had to do without. Maybe that’s why I was shutout, I felt awkward even being there without a camera. Is that weird?
Our seats were in left field, and we stayed there until the 4th inning, when we decided to move to the 2nd level behind home plate to go for foul balls. Didn’t get any, but I still like going up there.
In the bottom of the 8th, we moved down to the 1st level behind home plate on the 1st base side. Nothing there either, but you can’t beat that view!
The game itself was good. Scott Feldman pitched 6-1/3 innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits, with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts, and getting a no-decision. Derek Holland picked up his 1st win in his young major league career, and Eddie Guardado got the save.
Rangers win 7-1, Hamilton hit a 2-run homer in the seventh to break a 1-1 tie, and opened up a six-run rally.
Time of game – 2 hrs. 50 mins.
Attendance – 16,564.
Next game – 5/23 in Houston.
I didn’t originally plan on going to this game. I WANTED to go, I want to go to every game, but I hadn’t planned on it.
Thankfully, it was a 7:05 start due to it being the Sunday night ESPN game, so it gave me a little extra time to see if I could make it or not.
I was given a voucher for (1) free ticket to any home game, and I knew there would be batting practice today, and I also knew that this would be my last chance to see Zack Hample in action during BP. The next thing I know, I’m talking to my friend Dirk on the phone and we’re trying to make arrangements to get out there. After he talked with his awesome wife (that day was actually her birthday!), and I talked to my awesome/beautiful/understanding/amazing wife, it was settled. Sunday night baseball was in our sights!
We stopped and picked up our friend Shawn along the way, got to the ticket office, and made it inside the gate at around 5:10. The gates opened at 5:05, so there was already a fairly decent crowd for BP….
Shawn is in the center with the Hamilton jersey, and Dirk is on the very left with the blue shirt, camo hat, and glove. It doesn’t look like a lot of people in that photo, and it really isn’t, but that was taken right after we got there. It didn’t take long for the place to get crowded (well, crowded by our standards at least). There wasn’t any special giveaways or promotions, just ESPN, I guess that was enough to get some extra people out of the house on Sunday night.
For whatever reason, the Rangers did not take BP today. I overheard others say that it was because of the long game the previous night. Whatever! It ended at midnight, yes, but it’s not like this was a noon game, or a 3:00 game for that matter. It was a 7:05 game! Give me a break, I truly hope that was not the reason.
My one and only ball of the day came off of a deflection by Shawn. He was two rows behind me to my right, and a ball was hit right to him. I think he misjudged it or something, because it hit off his forearm on his glove side (yes, he was wearing a glove) and fell into the row between us, and right into my waiting hand! Just for the record, I beat Zack by about a second. Also for the record, I listened to Shawn say at least 3-4 times that day that the ball was really his. Like I told him, if it was his, he would have caught it. Right? Right.
Here’s another photo I took toward the end of BP….
I found out later, on Zack’s blog, that the guy in the gray shirt & red shorts in the previous pic, is another seasoned ballhawk named Dan, and apparently he’s local. Great. Just what I need, more competition. (Dan, if you’re reading this, I’m only kidding).
After BP was over, I wandered around and took some pictures….
The next two photos are of the glorious outfield gap….
This one is from the last row behind home plate, in the upper deck….
This is my photographic proof that Jerry Jones/ the Dallas Cowboys, or football in general, is not bigger than baseball….
The next group is my amateur attempt at a four-way….
I think I still need some practice, but not bad, I guess.
Right before the 1st pitch, I decided to get some cheese fries & a Dr. Pepper (my favorite ballpark meal!), so I could get it out of the way early. And, I was hungary, so it served two purposes.
Our actual ticketed seats were in section 10, which is in the lower level on the 3B side, just shy of the foul pole. The only photo I took from that spot was of the ESPN camera crew that was not too far away….
We stayed in those seats until the 3rd inning or so, and made our way to the 2nd level behind home plate on the 3B side, to go for foul balls. Here’s Shawn telling Dirk how he missed that BP ball (or so I assume)….
We were in that location until around the 7th inning, when we left to go down behind home plate. Our level 2 spot was okay, except for the fact that most of the batters that night were righties, so all of their foul-backs went to the opposite side of the field. Figures. Oh well, it was still pretty cool seeing everything from up there.
Our view from behind home plate was, of course, great….
That’s the great Michael Young in the above picture.
No foul balls back there either, although while we were down there, one was hit to the section we were in on the 2nd level. Of course. Doesn’t it always work like that?
The Rangers won 5-1, behind a strong showing by Matt Harrison (2-2), and a game lead-off homerun by Ian Kinsler (9). Time of game 2:53, attendance 20,132.
Here’s a photo of the ball I got during BP….
Next game….who knows.
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….