Results tagged ‘ zack hample ’
For those of you that may be too lazy to click, or maybe you did and you still don’t know what I mean, he has analyzed a few old, not used anymore, stadiums from a ballhawking standpoint.
I love this idea! Even though ballhawking, or snagging, or whatever you want to call it is relatively a new phenomenon, I like to think about what it may have been like to get a shot at snagging at some of those places.
I’ve given Zack a few suggestions, as I know others may have too, but with his schedule and all he has going on, I decided to take a shot at a couple myself.
Before I tell you which one I’m going to start with, I must clarify a couple of things up front. I know this is a predominantly Rangers-only blog, but for those who don’t know, I was born in Ohio. Even though my team is the Rangers, I follow the Indians as close as I can in Texas.
With all of that being said, I present to you Cleveland Municipal Stadium….
Well, I guess it served it’s purpose, but it’s not eye candy by any means.
Let’s start with a look at some homerun opportunities….
The bleachers in the above photo are in centerfield. The Marlboro scoreboard is in straightaway center.
You see the grass behind the centerfield wall? And behind that are some empty rows of bleachers? Those are there because the original outfield wall extended to where those empty bleachers are. To give you a little visual, here’s some field dimensions before and after the reconfiguration.
You see what I mean? The 463, 475, and 463 would be where those empty bleachers are in the photo of centerfield. Could you imagine sitting in dead centerfield and waiting on a homerun? I wonder how many (if any) actually made it out there?
The foul lines being at 320 (or 322 depending on what reference you use) would provide a good spot in right or left field. But as you’ll see in a moment, the opportunity for lateral movement was almost nonexistent.
Next, on to foul ball opportunities, Cross aisles….?
Yes and no.
Do you see the numbers 1,2, and 3 in the above photo? Let’s start by going through those numerically.
1) — This looks like the largest cross-aisle in the place. If you click the photo to enlarge it, you can see how wide it actually is. I’d say at least 6 feet wide, maybe 7. That’s not bad for a ballpark that old. The real question would have to be “how accessible is it?”. Right? That’s what I would like to know. How strict were the ushers? Could anyone walk around down there? That also looks like a good spot for 3rd out balls.
2) — From other pictures I looked at on yahoo images, this looks to be the same size as number 1. The obvious question would be “do foul balls actually reach that aisle?” Maybe. Another question would be, “can you get down to the first row of the 2nd level?” Probably. This photo was taken somewhere between 1991 and 1993 (the final year of the stadium), and I would guess that this would be around a normal sized crowd, so seat switching wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
3) — There’s a question mark by this one, because from what I’ve seen in other photos (that I couldn’t copy), this is barely an aisle at all. Meaning, I don’t know how you could walk between the seats without turning sideways. So, it seems rather insignificant.
Here’s a look from the opposite side of the stadium from the above photo….
That second deck really overhangs the first.
That’s about it. There’s really not much more to this place. I can see now why they wanted a new ballpark. Since I was only 6 years old the one and only time I went to a game there, I don’t remember anything about it.
Well, I do remember this….
It seemed like you could see that sign from a mile away. I didn’t get to see many games from inside, but whenever I saw the Chief, I knew I was close to something cool.
Sometime in the next month or so, I want to revisit the old Arlington Stadium, the original home of the Texas Rangers. So stay tuned, maybe I’ll do some others as well.
By the way, if you have about 7 minutes to kill, and you are interested in watching someone’s home video from a final season game against the Rangers (ironic?), click here. You might get a kick out of Nolan Ryan stretching before the game. I know I did, since he’s our club president and everything.
Thanks for stopping by!
Well, the 2009 season is over for my Texas Rangers. I thought they might pull it out in the end and make the post season, but to no avail. A friend of mine had pre-purchased tickets to the first Rangers home game of the ALDS, so I was really pumped up about it.
“Oh well, there’s always next year!”
It’s funny, as old and tired and cliche as that statement is, it’s the only thing you’re left with at the end of what has been an awesome season.
Sure there’s been things to complain about along the way, but who doesn’t have that? Even perrenial champion team’s fans can find something to complain about during their dynasty.
That’s the joy of competition. What’s more, that’s the joy of baseball.
I like football. I have a fantasy football team. But I don’t find myself talking about it as much as I do baseball. There’s just something about baseball that has always drawn me to it.
Ever since I was a little boy, if I started talking to my grandpa about sports in general, it would always come back to baseball. Every time, without fail. The same goes for my dad. He took me to my very first baseball game when I was 6 years old. A doubleheader between the Cleveland Indians and Oakland A’s at the old Cleveland stadium in 1980. The trouble is, I don’t remember anything from that game, except I think we left early, because I heard some fireworks and cheering as we walked to the car.
Now I’m a father myself, and thanks to this blog, I won’t forget any games that my daughter Sarah and I go to. As well as the other games I attend with my wife, my aunt, my best friends, and anyone else I happen to see a game with. My goal is to see at least one more game with my dad, who lives in Arizona, before it’s too late. If not more (I don’t want to limit myself!). That would be awesome for me, I don’t know how else to explain it.
So now, as we look forward to February 2010 when the pitchers and catchers report to spring training, let me end this last 2009 season entry with some of my favorite photographic memories from my games this year. I intend to keep blogging through the offseason, so stop by periodically, because I know I can’t keep my mouth shut until 2010!
Take care, and God bless!
Sarah with Zack Greinke’s and Derek Holland’s autographs.
The running theme throughout the year.
See, I told you.
Meeting Zack Hample.
My friends, Dirk on the left in the camo hat, and Shawn, in the Hamilton jersey.
Myself, Sam, Dirk, Shawn, & Donnie before taking off for Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Who could ask for a better baseball buddy?!
Most balls snagged in one game this year, Thurs. 6/11 vs. the Blue Jays. Don’t laugh, I’m still a rookie.
Heath Bell being himself.
Baseball with our daughters!
Myself & my aunt Lori.
See you next season!
Since the last two games that I attended were minor league games, I was WAY overdo for some Major League Baseball.
We arrived at the gate at around 4:40 or so, and waited as patiently as we could for 5:00 to get here. When it finally did, we raced to the LF stands just in time to see this….
The Mariners were just coming out to stretch.
So, that gave Dirk and I time to check the gaps and stands for balls, which we found none. The Rangers must not have come out for BP today. Oh well, they’ve done that before.
Once the Mariners started hitting, we weren’t sure how it was going to go for us. We had been to a BP earlier in the year where the M’s hardly hit anything into the LF seats. Griffey and Ichiro have no problem supplying the people in the RF seats with balls, but we were skeptical of the righties on the team. After the first 10 minutes or so, that skepticism would soon fade away.
Dirk and I positioned ourselves on the railing, one section over from the visitors’ bullpen. Like I mentioned, there wasn’t much action for the first 10-15 minutes, but after that we had some shots at balls. At one point we were as close as 2-3 feet apart, and at that point some high school-aged kid thought that would be a perfect place for him to stand.
“Do you REALLY think you have ANY shot at a ball, standing between two adults with gloves?” That’s what I thought, not said.
I usually let a lot of things go, mainly to avoid any potential confrontations, but this kid was making it especially difficult for me to keep my mouth shut. All that came out of his mouth was negative. Some examples:
“Hey how ’bout a ball?” And when they would throw the ball in to the bucket, “Oh nice, real good. Way to appreciate the fans.”
Or when a player would go to retrieve a ball on the warning track, “I got jipped out of a ball earlier.”
Not to mention, he was responsible for Dirk and I both dropping a homerun ball. He bumped into Dirk and the ball fell in the gap, but Dirk was able to get it anyway. He bumped into me, and the ball skipped off the end of my glove and into the glove of a guy behind me.
First, don’t force your way into a space you shouldn’t be in, and then act like a (insert your own word here) while you’re there.
Second, no one gets jipped out of a ball. You either snag it, or you don’t. Plain and simple. Yes, I hold him responsible for missing a HR ball, but I blame myself also. I could’ve been more assertive, but that’s not who I am. I also don’t think that “entitles” me to whine to the players on the field like they owe me a ball.
Sorry for that rant, that guy just really got on my nerves.
Back to batting practice….
As I mentioned earlier, the skepticism in the M’s righties was short-lived. There were a lot more balls hit into the LF seats than we expected. Of course, there was a fairly decent crowd on hand, I guess because of it being cap night. So, our range was limited, leaving us to helplessly watch numerous balls fall into the gloves/hands of others.
At one point, a ball fell in the gap and Dirk gave me the heads up to go and get it. We take turns with gap balls, it’s kind of a routine between the two of us. So without any hesitation, I was on it.
I got to the spot where I figured the ball would be, looked down and scanned the area, and noticed the ball was in an odd spot. Here’s a photo I took a little while later to show the ball’s position….
This angle is actually looking down and to my left. The point of the arrow is in the exact spot that the ball was in.
The first plan of action was to get the ball out of that spot and into a position more directly underneath me. To do that, I had to lower my device (I decided to lower the device instead of my glove because it’s smaller, and I thought it would fit in that small space better) and swing it left to right approximately 6 feet. It was a little awkward at first, so it took me a few tries, and on the third or fourth swing I was interrupted by this guy….
Seattle pitcher David Aardsma.
He walked over and picked the ball up, and my first thought was “Cool, this guy’s gonna save me the trouble and just toss it to me!”
Turns out I was wrong.
Mr. Aardsma proceded to walk back up the stairs that lead into the visitors’ bullpen and throw the ball as hard as he could back toward the bucket.
There were so many thoughts going through my head at that point, that I didn’t say a word. What could I say? He didn’t have to give it to me. I had no legal right to that ball. To say I was mad though would be an understatement.
Partly for the fact that I was wearing a Mariners hat!
Oh well, there’s nothing left for me to say, except….
You have now been given a Zack Hample-esque “Powell Jinx”.
Consider this your official notification.
As numb as I was by this point, and as disinterested in BP as I became, I still managed to get 1 ball out of the gap. It helped, but there was still some pent up bitterness inside.
This ball turned out to be my 6th of the season, and 10th lifetime.
Batting practice ended with no more balls and no more incidents to report. It honestly couldn’t end fast enough.
We went and got our free drink vouchers after signing up to be designated drivers, cashed them in, and then got food. I had my usual cheese fries and Dr. Pepper, and felt much better!
We got to our seats with our food just in time for starting lineups and the national anthem. This was the awesome view I had from my seat….
I really can’t complain since Dirk bought my ticket, but still, how about a little “obstructed view” notice or something? Come on, Rangers!
The view of the game wasn’t really that bad, especially since the Rangers hit two homers on either side of us while we were out there.
We stayed in those seats until the top of the 5th, when we decided to go for ice cream.
A little back-story….
The last time I was at a Rangers game, I made my own ice cream helmet sundae in a roundabout way, and I fully intended to do the same thing this time, until we walked up to the ice cream booth and saw an amazing sight. They were using these….
I had no idea that a little piece of plastic could change my whole attitude!
After getting our ice cream, the next mission was to find a spot to eat it. Well, we found one. Section 15, on the lower level third base side, just past the infield. Here’s the view…
One odd thing that happened while we there….
A foul ball was hit about one section over to our left, and a guy in an aisle seat stood up and put his glove up, and let the ball bounce right off of his palm. Nothing special, right? It happens all of the time. Well, just keep reading….
A little while later, with a different pitcher on the mound and a different batter at the plate, another foul ball found its way to the exact same guy, and once again he muffed it! It hit off of his palm just like the first one did, and someone else got it just like the first one.
How weird is that? I heard about a guy in Oakland that had a similar experience in 2006, but he had a better turnout.
I thought that was worth sharing.
As the game wound down, instead of going behind homeplate like we usually do, I wanted to go over by the visitors’ bullpen to try and get a ball from the bullpen catcher. When we got over there, we saw this….
See the two pink backpacks? One is on the left end of the bench, and the other one is on the ground behind the white chair. That is “Seattle Mariner Rookie Initiation” at its finest.
I also saw this….
You see the ledge next to Phillips #62? Just in front of him, to the right? Knight helmets. I have no idea what those are for. More initiations? Maybe Mr. Todd Cook will leave a comment on this. He’s the biggest M’s fan that I know of. I’m curious to know what’s up with those.
The game was exciting from a Rangers fan point of view. Derek Holland pitched a perfect game into the 5th inning when he gave up the only Mariner hit until the top of the 9th.
Michael Young hit two homeruns, and Hank Blalock, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Marlon Byrd each hit one out to give the Rangers a 7-0 lead.
Holland retired the first two batters in the top of the 9th, then walked one and gave up his second hit of the game. Rangers manager Ron Washington made a pitching change with 2 outs in the 9th.
Warner Madrigal came in, walked one to load the bases, gave up an RBI single, then finally got the 3rd out.
Holland struckout 10 batters on the night. Rangers win 7-1.
Here’s a photo of the ball I got, and also one of some tickets I found after the game….
Next game: Mon. 8/17 vs. the Twins
And for the record – I didn’t get a ball from the Mariners’ bullpen catcher like I had hoped.
One parting shot of the Mariners’ bullpen guys walking off the field. Sorry for the blur, but I zoomed in as far as I could….
My daughter , Sarah, is a member of the Junior Rangers Club, and with that membership she was given 8 free ticket vouchers for this season. If I want to purchase additional tickets with her voucher, they are $12.50, instead of the normal $25 price. The vouchers are for specific dates, and the next date was this one. Sunday, June 28 against the Padres.
They are section specific also. We can use them for sections 201-210 on the second level, which 201 is the first section in straight away left field, then it goes progressively around toward the LF foul pole & 210 is just inside the foul line. Our seats for this game were in 206 row 1, straight down the 3B line.
It was a 7:05 start, so that means the gates would open at 5:05, which also means that batting practice would be going on right in the heat of the day. Great. I can handle it, but Sarah can’t take it that well, and I was also there with my friend Dirk & his daughter Kaitlyn, who is 7, and she doesn’t need that much heat either.
The weather in Texas has been between 99-101 for the last week or so, & I thought about skipping this game, but I’m not sure when I’ll be able to go again (for financial reasons), so we went anyway.
We got inside the stadium and over to the left field seats just minutes after the gates opened, and saw this….
What you can’t tell from this photo, is that no one was hitting. And, these were the only players on the field. I don’t know why, surely it wasn’t too hot for them!
Thankfully, when I got to the LF seats and looked down into the gap, I saw this….
What a beautiful sight!
Now, to be honest, that photo is actually of a ball that Dirk got a little while later, but since I was clueless and didn’t get a pic of mine, I’ll use his instead.
When I looked down, the ball was actually up against the base of a wall, so I had to fling my glove down there to try and knock it out into the open to get a clear shot for the glove trick. (Thanks Zack Hample!)
It took me a few tries (more than a few actually), but I finally got the ball where I needed it. Here’s a photo I took afterwards to show where the ball was….
Remember: You can click the photos in the entries to get a closer look. In case you can’t read the text in the photo, the top one says “where ball was originally” and the bottom one says “where I nudged it to”. The drain actually made a good resting spot for the ball.
This ball took me a lot longer to get than it really should have, mainly because I am a true glove trick rookie. I’ve known about the trick since last summer, but haven’t had a good opportunity to try it until now. Once I had the ball in a good spot, it was just a matter of reeling her in. A couple different times, I had the ball in the glove and was pulling it up, only to have the ball fall out about 2 feet from my hand. After one of those drops, I noticed that something didn’t look right, so I raised the glove up to realize the Sharpie had fallen out. Good thing I had extras with me. Finally, after about 20 minutes or so, I had it. 1st glove trick ball ever!
There really wasn’t that much fanfare, except for all of the elation I felt inside.
After the glove trick conquest, Sarah and I ran over to the visitors’ dugout to get a close up of this….
That’s Padres closer Heath Bell, and if you look just in front of his left foot, you’ll see his glove that he stood up on the tips and is getting ready to kick it like a football through the uprights. Cool! He did that a few times. The first was toward a security guard in front of the dugout. The guard held his arms straight up, and Heath kicked it through. The 2nd (pictured above), is toward a fan about four rows behind the dugout. Heath would kick it, and the fan would throw it back. Great stuff!
We weren’t able to get his autograph, which is what I really wanted, so after I took this photo of Sarah….
…. we started to make our way back around to Dirk in LF.
Along the way, Sarah did get an autograph….
Padres pitcher Luis Pedromo.
I had never heard of him before this, but others were gathered around getting his autograph, so naturally Sarah wanted one too.
Here’s the only shot I was able to get of Sarah getting the autograph….
You can just see Pedromo’s head above the kid in the gray shirt’s right shoulder, and Sarah is in the center in the red shirt. He’s actually looking down to sign Sarah’s ticket when I snapped this photo.
While we were getting this autograph, Dirk called me & asked where I put my Sharpie & rubber band for the glove trick, because apparrently a Padres pitcher (I believe it was Cla Meredith, and yes that’s how he spells his name) had thrown a ball to a guy in LF and he dropped it in the gap. Now, my backpack is not real practical. Yes, it holds my glove and other things I may need during a game, but it also has about 12 zippers, which makes it real difficult to explain to someone over the phone where something is.
I got over to him as quickly as I could, and set up the glove for him. He said he wanted to give it a shot, so I let him. While he was going for the ball, I was trying to get Sarah cooled off. Her face was as red as her shirt, and she was looking drained, so I basically forced her to drink a bottle of water and got her out of the sun. We walked up the stairs and went into a tunnel behind us, where I had her sit so I could go back & get my stuff.
As I was going back down to get everything together, I saw Kaitlyn walking back over with a ball in her hand. It had only been about 2-3 minutes, so I was really surprised when Dirk told me that was the ball from the gap. Apparently, he was able to get his on the first try. One drop of the glove, boom, he had it. It was his first glove trick attempt, let alone ball. I was happy for both of us at that point.
We got everything packed back into our bags, and went up to where Sarah was sitting. By this time, she was in the shade for only about 2 minutes or so, and she already looked better. So, we wanted to make sure that whatever we did next was in the shade!
Sundays at the Ballpark in Arlington are $1 ice cream days, so we all got $1 drumsticks and popsicles to cool us off, and man did they hit the spot!
By this time, it’s only around 5:45 or so, and the reason there was no BP for the Padres was that today was dog day at the ballpark. So they had to clear the field for the pre-game dog parade around the warning track. Yippee. Oh well, what can you do?
After the ice cream break, we (slowly) made our way to the second level where our seats were, but before that we got some food and drinks. Cheese fries & Dr. Pepper, I’m not sure that there’s a ballpark combo I like more. Here’s a couple photos from our break time….
That sun was a lot more brutal than it looks in this photo.
And this was the view to my left….
That’s the centerfield sports park off in the distance, and I walked over to the last section and got a photo of that too….
All kinds of stuff for the kids to do there. Like hit a wiffle ball off of a tee….
Or use a giant sling-shot….
There’s other games too, but those are the only ones the girls wanted to do. We found some much needed refuge under some misting fans while we were out there as well.
As for the game itself, we didn’t really miss much. The Rangers were held to just one hit for the first time in the history of the ballpark. Since 1994, they have had at least 2 hits in every home game, until tonight. I like being there for history, just not that kind of history.
We decided to leave at around the bottom of the 7th, since everyone was pretty much drained.
Padres 2, Dirk/Kaitlyn 1 & Brian/Sarah 1, Rangers 0.
Here’s some other photos from during the game and while we were leaving….
Here’s a photo of the ball we got with the glove trick….
And here’s Sarah’s autograph….
Time of game: 2 hrs. 26 mins.
Attendance: 27,000 humans (I’ve never seen an even number like that), & 300 dogs
Next game: Fri. 7/17 vs. the Twins
PLUS — Here’s a photo I had someone take of all of us on our way to the truck….
I 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.
This game was a toss up. The weather was horrible almost all week, and it culminated in what turned out to be a VERY bad storm. Batting practice was not meant to be, but we still had to make the decision whether to go or not. By we, I mean my friend Dirk and I. Well, at first it was the two of us, and then it turned into the two of us, my daugher Sarah, his son Ryan and daugher Kaitlyn.
So we decided to go anyway.
As we made our way from the parking lot to the ballpark, it started raining. We went to the box office on the 3rd base side to get our tickets for the night, and made our way to the 3B gate, and it was raining. By the time we got in line at the gate it was 4:35, and there was a fairly long line (well, long by our standards) and it was raining. The promotion for the night was a Nolan Ryan statuette to commemorate the 18th anniversary of his 7th no-hitter. It was a pretty cool figurine, but it brought a lot of people out to the ballpark that may not have been there on an ordinary night.
Here’s what it looks like….
The gates actually opened about 15 minutes early, because it was raining. Not just raining, but absolutely POURING. So, we got an early jump on….. nothing.
See, this is what nothing looks like….
Nice. Did I mention it was raining?
That’s the reason we almost didn’t come. But, it gave us time to wander around, take pictures, and meet up with someone I’ve wanted to meet for a while, Zack Hample.
I know, it looks like I just ran a marathon, but it’s rain. I promise. No really, I mean it!
After some more wandering, we decided to head down to get a good spot on the 3rd base side, and when we got there, we were just in time to see them remove the tarp. The 1st of 3 times that evening. Our grounds crew is OUTSTANDING.
Once the tarp was off the field, some of the White Sox were in left field warming up. And I got the chance to take a picture of Zack in action….
Zack’s the one with the backpack and the White Sox costume.
Actually, I took more pics & followed Zack around for a while (with his permission of course), and if you want to see more of that, you’ll have to check out HIS BLOG.
Anyway, so the game was going good until the end of the 4th, when the skies opened up…again.
By this time it was about 9:30 or so, and we really didn’t want to wait it out, since we had 2 little girls with us, and they needed to get to bed. So we made our way to the parking lot, and I took this rainy/blurry picture before climbing into Dirk’s truck….
Rangers won 9-6 (at around midnight). Actual time of game – 2 hrs. 37 mins. Total rain delayed time – 2 hrs. 27 mins. Attendance – 26,673 (yeah right!).
I know rain serves a purpose, but tonight was just too much for me. Hopefully next time, Mr. Sun will make an appearance.
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….