Results tagged ‘ Ian Kinsler ’
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)
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
This is an entry that was posted on the mygameballs.com website. I have a column entitled “BP Out in Left Field” that is posted monthly. (FYI- BP are my initials, you like how I did that?) Here’s a screenshot….
On Saturday, January 30th, I took my daughter Sarah to FanFest at the Ballpark in Arlington. I don’t know if other parks/teams do this, but for those who may not know, FanFest is a big festival put on by the team that gives fans a chance to run the bases, catch pop flies in the outfield, tour the clubhouse, and pretty much just wander around the ballpark.
We went last year and it happened to fall on the first weekend of January, and we froze. It was almost too cold to have fun. This year, with it being at the end of the month, we thought we were golden, especially since the previous weekend’s high was in the 50s. Wrong. We froze again!
When I say that it was almost too cold to have fun, by that I mean when you can’t feel your legs rounding the bases, you probably shouldn’t be running in that weather. It was COLD!
On the plus side, Sarah got to see Ian Kinsler in the clubhouse sitting around talking to the Rangers’ future infielder Justin Smoak. We couldn’t get to them of course, but it was cool to see some big league players just being guys.
I realize that the Rangers have a very tight window to schedule this event, but January is cold everywhere. Sure, some activities are inside which make it better, but the draw to most fans is being on the field, and when you lose feeling in your extremities participating, it sure takes a lot of the fun out of things.
Yes, I’m exaggerating a tad, but I think you get my point. What can be done to change it? There’s no other time of year to reschedule it. They can’t do it in February, that would be too close to leaving for Spring Training.
So what’s the fix?
Should I just be quiet and enjoy the opportunity I have to be there in the first place? Probably, but I really want to know what your thoughts are, especially from those of you that have a similar event. What does your team do? When do they have it?
There more than likely is no real fix, other than getting some help with the weather!
Needless to say, we had a ball. I forgot to mention earlier that there are also Q & A sessions throughout the day with various players and coaches. Those are pretty cool, from the standpoint that you feel like you are part of an inner circle or something. An invitation only party with a player. At least that’s how I feel about it!
So back to my original question, is January too cold for baseball? Could you go for year round ball? Are you fine with things as they are? Just curious.
Speaking for myself, I could go for year round baseball, as long as I could watch it on television.
January is just too cold for baseball!
Well, the 2009 All Star break is upon us, and as I write this, the State Farm Homerun Derby is this evening. Wow! Where did the first half go?
I wanted to stop and take a second to look back on the season so far, to see what stands out to me. Now, as a Texas Rangers fan, my thoughts and views will probably be somewhat biased.
I never would have thought that at the A.S. break, we would see Manny Ramirez have more homeruns than Josh Hamilton, since Manny was suspended 50 games, but it’s true. To date, Manny has 9, and Josh has 6. Now, in Josh’s defense, he’s missed some games due to injuries (which were also unexpected).
Also, where did the homerun stroke from Nelson Cruz come from? 22 HRs so far, after hitting 7 all of last year!? Granted, he has seen a lot more playing time this year, but I don’t think anyone expected this kind of performance from him.
You can also turn to Chris Davis and his unbelievable defense at first base, but as you then look at his offensive numbers, they leave much to be desired. So much so, that Chris finds himself down in the minors. Hopefully it’s only temporary. He’s shown that he can hit major league pitching, though not consistently. The talent’s there, now the mental aspect of the game needs to catch up.
I know there’s more that would come to mind if I kept going (like Ian Kinsler getting snubbed in the voting, Michael Young making his 6th straight A.S. game, Hank Blalock, Andruw Jones, Elvis Andrus, and many more), but I want to know what your thoughts/memories are.
What stands out to you? Who has impressed you? Who has disappointed you?
I’d like to know, and not just about the Rangers, I want to know about all teams.
On a day that all of baseball wears the #42 in remembrance of the great Jackie Robinson, perhaps all Texas Rangers fans should wear #5 in recognition of the awesome game turned in by the potentially great Ian Kinsler. Yes, he hit for the cycle, but even more than that, he went 6-6 & scored 5 runs. Unbelieveable!
He became only the 4th Ranger in team history to hit for the cycle, joining Gary Matthews Jr.(2006), Mark Texiera (2004), & Oddibe McDowell (1985). Kinsler also became the 1st in team history to go 6-6 in a 9 inning game.
I’m sure I am sounding like a “homer” here, and maybe I am, but you can’t deny that what transpired on the night of April 15, 2008 was nothing short of remarkable.
For us baseball purists out there, it’s good to see this sort of thing happen, because through all of this (post-game analysis & break-down) you don’t hear 1 thing about “juice”, or steroids, or anything of that sort. It’s the way the game should be.
I think Mr. Robinson would want it that way.
Oh by the way, Nelson hit a grand slam in the 4th & just missed his 2nd grand slam in the 8th by about 2-3 feet!
Final score: Rangers 19 Orioles 6.
Yep. More details