Results tagged ‘ minnesota twins ’
As I stated in this entry I have set a goal of snagging a Target Field ball (at least one) when the Twins come to town in August.
Since it’s the All Star break and I have nothing else to do but think of the next game I’m going to, I’ve come up with another goal.
After reading many blogs over the past couple years of ballhawks that snag commemorative balls at the weirdest moments (like snagging a World Series ball the next season at a BP of a team that wasn’t even in the Series the prior season), I began to think of the All Star game ball.
The A.S. game is being held in Anaheim, who’s in the same division as the Rangers. What are the chances that some of those A.S. balls will find their way into the Angels’ batting practice bags/buckets?
It’s possible right? It has to be possible.
So there you have it. My goal is to be at the first game when the Angels come to town next week. They will be in for a four game set from Thursday 7/22 until Sunday 7/25 and I will be at the Thursday tilt with the sole purpose of potentially snagging an All Star game ball.
As you all probably know by now, the Minnesota Twins are using commemorative baseballs this year for the inaugural year of Target Field.
The Twins are coming to Arlington for a four game set August 23-26.
My goal is to attend at least two of those games and snag at least one of those balls.
If you haven’t seen them yet they look like this….
I must have one. Well, maybe more than one, but at least one.
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….
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