Results tagged ‘ third base ’
Well, this was going to be the last regular season home game for the Rangers. It was also Fan Appreciation Day, which means every half inning the video board would show a section, row, or specific seat that would win anything from autographed memorabilia to discounts at the gift shops. It’s always fun to wait and see if you win something. This will be my third consecutive year to go on this day, and I have yet to win anything (today included).
I attended this game with my daughter Sarah, my friend Dirk, and his daughter Kaitlyn and son Connor. I had purchased these tickets last weekend at the Angels game, and bought upper deck seats knowing we would be bringing the kids and expecting to be in the shade.
This is what it looked like from our seats….
Looks like I made the right choice!
Here’s our view of the action….
Yes they’re tiny, but we knew what was going on.
I was really hoping to add to our ice cream helmet collection today, being the last game of the season and everything, but today the Rangers decided to do away with using all the MLB teams as they have done recently and use only red Rangers helmets.
We already have some of those, but I noticed something different about these. Here’s a picture that I took later to show what I mean….
I have never seen an ice cream helmet with the MLB logo on it. I thought it was pretty cool, and worthy to be included in this entry.
The game was good. The Rangers jumped out to a 5-0 lead and held it most of the game.
Here’s some more shots from the upper deck….
I love that last one.
And here’s one of the kiddos….
At the end of the 7th inning we moved down to the third base side to try one last time for a foul ball, but got nothing. This was our view though….
The Rangers lead 5-0 until the top of the 8th when the Rays cut that lead down to 5-3. Marlon Byrd added a solo homer in the bottom of the inning, which brought out Frank Francisco to save the game in top of the 9th. Sounds easy enough right?
He allowed the tying run to score before Ron Washington pulled him with the bases still loaded and only one out. Rookie Neftali Feliz came in a got a ground-out, but the go ahead run scored on the play. The Rangers would go 3 up, 3 down in the bottom of the 9th and lose 7-6.
That one hurt.
It should have been a sweep, but instead they fell another game behind the Angels in the west.
Here’s a picture of a helmet I found after the game that I have absolutely no idea what it was used for, but I thought it was cool so I kept it….
Time of game: 3 hrs. 3 mins.
Next game: Playoffs? Or April 5, 2010. Opening Day vs. the Blue Jays
This game, just like the one I went to on Saturday, was attended strictly from a game watching standpoint only.
The weather was better this day, but not good enough to offer any batting practice. That makes at least three games in a row that I have been to that have not had BP.
Oh well, at least there was baseball!
Now that you know that, this entry is going to be shorter than normal. I took some photos at this game, but not of the stadium. This game I decided to take some photos of some of the players.
But first, a look at the field from our seats….
…. and the centerfield message board just prior to gametime….
“It’s baseball time in Texas!” Quoting the great Ballpark in Arlington announcer, Chuck Morgan.
The next one is of Rangers left fielder David Murphy….
Is it me, or does he look like he was just caught relieving himself on the grass? Probably just me.
Those are the only pictures I took from those seats. Our seats were pretty good, by the way, straight away left, first row. Not bad, but we moved after the third inning to our new favorite foul ball spot on the third base side.
Here’s Marlon Byrd at the plate….
I mainly took this one, because I was wearing his t-shirt at this game.
This next guy should not need any introduction….
…. but just in case you still don’t know who this is, it’s perennial gold-glover Omar Vizquel.
That guy is amazing in the field. I’ve personally seen him play three different infield positions this season and do superb at all of them. He’s awesome.
Speaking of awesome, what about this guy….
….come on, don’t tell me you don’t know who Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez is!?
10-time gold glove winning catcher. World Series winner. Definate first ballot hall of famer.
The pictures of Pudge were mainly so I could have proof that I watched him play in person.
By now you should be able to tell the camera angle has changed. We moved behind homeplate at the end of the eighth inning.
Here’s another that I like, it shows David Murphy at the plate with Nelson Cruz on deck….
We didn’t have any close calls in our original foul ball spot, and for the first couple batters, we didn’t have any behind homeplate either.
Until the top of the ninth.
Oakland A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki stepped into the batter’s box, batting right handed, and proceded to foul off the very first pitch. I was one seat over from the aisle seat and this foul ball came screaming back over the screen, and I had just enough time to jump out of my seat and reach across my body with my glove while jumping as high as I could (which isn’t very high I might add) only to miss the ball by mere inches. It didn’t touch my glove, but it came as close as it could without hitting it.
I turned around to see where the ball went, and it hit something; a step, wall edge, I’m not sure, all I know is that I had my back to the field and the ball hit whatever it hit and ricocheted over two sections to my right.
So close, so very close.
That was it for this game, Rangers lose 8-0. Two shutouts in a row.
Time of game; 2 hrs. 45 mins.
Next game: Fri. 9/18 vs. the Angels
BTW — There was ice cream to be had this game, and here are the helmets I came away with….
I only had one, the other two I found. I promise!
Originally, I was supposed to attend this game with my aunt Lori and daughter Sarah, but through unforeseen circumstances (rain/car issues) my aunt had to back out. We will instead go to the Fri. 9/18 game vs. the Angels.
So, the next plan was for just Sarah and I to go, then on Saturday morning, my friend Dirk decided to go with us. The next course of action was to see what the weather would do. It had been raining constantly since late Thursday night, moving Friday night’s game to a Sunday doubleheader, so we wrote off BP early in the day.
At around 3:00 or so that afternoon, we came up with a plan of action. We would leave at 6:00 and get to the ballpark at around 6:30, at which time we would decide if we would purchase tickets or turn around and go to Cabela’s. When we arrived at the ballpark, the rain had let up substantially, so we purchased some cheap tickets and made our way inside, after we received our free salsa bowls….
….”because people like to say salsa!”. (That’s a Seinfeld reference for those of you that may not know)
When we walked in through the homeplate gate, I went to the closest tunnel to take a photo of the field….
If you look at the video board on the upper right of the picture, you’ll see some text in gold. It says — #38 Ron Washington, Manager. They had just announced the starting lineups for both teams. Cool, we’re gonna have baseball after all!
This was the view to my left….
….and my right….
Oh my goodness! We had bought bleacher seats but had no intentions of sitting in them. Tonight was going to be all about the foul ball, and it was looking really good!
It was still about 15-20 minutes before first pitch, so we went to get food. While we were eating, I made my way over to a booth that was selling game-used items and took the following photo….
Don’t ask me why I took that, just felt like it I guess. I also took this one of the concourse….
I love how that looks!
Once the game started we found some empty seats on the third base side. Section 14, row 28ish on the aisle. That has slowly become our favorite foul ball spot.
Here’s what our view of the action was like….
Sorry, that’s the best I can get my camera to zoom. Can’t tell who’s at the plate? Let me help you out….
Future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr. I didn’t realize how old he is. Do you think he still goes by his old nickname “The Kid”? I wonder.
I don’t care what team he plays for, that guy is a stud. Plain and simple.
From a foul ball standpoint, the beginning of this game was kind of weird. There were foul balls hit the first few innings, but they were rolling grounders down the base lines. The first foul hit into the stands wasn’t until the third or fourth inning, and it went into the second level.
We started to get some fouls in our general direction in around the fifth inning, but all of those were a section or two over in either direction.
After the end of the fifth, we decided to go for ice cream. I had noticed a specific helmet before the game that I knew I wanted to get my hands on. You’ll see it on the right in the following picture….
If you’re wondering the importance of that helmet, it’s mainly because from what “The Ice Cream Helmet King” tells me, Baltimore doesn’t even offer ice cream helmets. So, it’s been somewhat of a mission to find one, and ta-da! Mission accomplished. Take that Todd!
By the time the game reached the 6th inning, we were officially wet. It had lightly/not-so lightly misted the entire game, but around the 6th it turned into light rain.
In the eighth inning we moved behind homeplate and this was our view….
See, I told you it was raining.
And just in case you need more proof, look at this photo of Sarah as we were leaving….
Yes, she was wearing a coat in the seats.
We had some closer foul ball action back there, but they were still a section over.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Rangers were down 8-3 and they got the first two batters on base, but the rain came down harder, and Don Wakamatsu, the Mariners’ manager, came out of the dugout to complain about the playing conditions. Within five minutes the game was called. Who knows what might have happened?!
Time of game: 3 hrs. 10 mins. (1 hr. 23 min. delay)
Attendance: 22,468 (Yeah right!)
Next game: Mon. 9/14 vs. Oakland
Here’s one more picture I took before we got in the truck to leave….
To say that I was excited about this day would be an understatement. I was pumped for this day. Partly for the fact that this would be my first doubleheader in 5 or 6 years, but also for the fact that in the month of August, the Rangers only had 10 home games and I only made a couple of them.
I was in serious need of some baseball!
With all of the anticipation and build-up I was feeling heading into today, I would soon find out that things would take a serious downturn.
I had taken off half of the day to get to the ballpark at around 1:30 or so, since the first game was scheduled to start at 4:05 I read online that the gates would open at 2:05, and my friend Dirk and I would run in for batting practice.
First sign of downturn: We got to the gate at around 1:45 and were told by the stadium employees that the gates weren’t going to open until 2:30. Great.
Second sign of downturn: While waiting in line, I realized that I had once again forgotten my camera.
Third sign of downturn: After running inside and heading to the left field seats, we noticed that the field was not set up for BP.
(Insert long, exasperated exhale here)
Well, there wasn’t anything to do. The Rangers pitchers were in RF stretching, and only a handfull of Blue Jays pitchers were in LF throwing. Dirk and I checked the gaps for balls, more out of habit than anything else. I put on my Jays hat and stood along the LF railing hoping to get a ball. Nope.
We had such high hopes heading to the ballpark. Weekday afternoon game, kids were back in school, it was almost a guarantee that we would have an awesome day. Add to that, the fact that we were the only two in the LF stands…..man!
Anyways, the Blue Jays pitchers didn’t stay on the field much longer, and almost everyone else in the stadium was crowded around the RF corner to watch the Rangers stretch, so we found our own ways to pass the time.
Dirk noticed a trash can in the visitors’ bullpen that was right below us as we looked over the railing. That may seem odd to point out, but when I looked closer, I noticed that the only thing in that trash can was the previous game’s visiting bullpen lineup card.
Oh man, we had to figure out a way to get that!
I quickly scanned the immediate vicinity, and there was no one. Literally, no one was around. The closest usher was five or six sections away, and he was busy talking to 3 other ushers.
Dirk decided to put gum on the bottom of his ball retriever and try to reel it in that way (because he thought it was laminated), and it would have worked except for the fact that there was still masking tape on the card and it was sticking to the trash bag. Plus the fact that the gum was smearing all over the lineup card, and since Dirk realized it wasn’t laminated after all, we soon abandoned that mission.
The next plan of action was to get food and drinks. That mission was easily accomplished.
Our seats were in the lower level of RF, and once the game started, we sat there for the first three innings. That’s when noticed how empty the stands were, and proceded to move to the third base side, about 20 rows behind third base.
That was our foul ball spot for the entire first game.
We had one close encounter in around the 5th inning. A left-handed batter for Toronto (don’t know who) hit a high foul in our direction. I saw it the whole way off of his bat, and it was coming in my general direction. I had to move to my right about 10 feet, but it didn’t take long for me to be in line with it. Right at the last second I noticed that it was falling short, so I leaned over the seat in front of me as far as I could, stuck my glove out, and still missed it by about a foot. The ball hit the concrete between the rows and bounced over my head and was caught by a bare-handed man about 4 rows back.
So close, yet still so far away.
We got to see some good baseball in both games. The Rangers won both by the score of 5-2.
The one negative of the evening was in the 3rd inning of the 2nd game, when Michael Young pulled a hamstring running to first. He left the game, and is set to have an MRI the following day (today 9/2). Hopefully, it’s not real bad. They need him on the field for this stretch run.
Sadly, I have nothing more to report other than the fact that I got a Diamondbacks ice cream helmet. Well, that and Josh Hamilton finally added to his homerun total. He hit two in the 2nd game to give him 10 on the season.
Time of game: (Game 1) — 2 hrs. 38 mins. (Game 2) — 2 hrs. 54 mins.
Next game: Sat. 9/12 vs. the Mariners
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, 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
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 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.