January 2011

A Look Ahead…In My Head

 1-28-11                          Blogging in the Year 2015

The Year is 2015. Mark the father of MLBlogs has just taken a position as an assistant to Bud Selig. The powers that be decided that my ideas for the Blogosphere were so cutting edge that I should succeed Mark.

I accepted the job as Top Dog of MLBlogs.com under the condition that I be allowed to stay in Colorado and work from home as often as possible.

They agreed and I devoted myself full-time to changing the way the MLBlogosphere operates.

              Some of my new ideas for the MLBlogosphere include:


MLB press pass 1.gifMLB Media passes for MLBlogs who have reached a certain pre-established level. I believe once you’ve earned it you should be able to step up your game. A MLB Media pass would certainly give a blogger the ability to do that. Promote from within just like the Rockies.

I believe the front page of MLBlogs.com should change frequently. In 2015 a new blogger is featured daily. I remember seeing myself as the “Featured Blog” for the first time and it blew me away. I swear I told everyone on the planet I knew and had them check it out.

Little inspirational stuff like that can spark interest in your blog and really gets your creative juices flowing when you realize you have new readers. 

I would change the “Latest Leaders List” and split it into two categories, American and National League.

Every January there would be an online MLBlogs awards ceremony in which winners for the previous year awards would be announced.

                                       There would be awards for:


best trophy.JPG 
Blog of the Year“… One for the National League and one for the American League as voted on by MLBloggers.

 Best Creative use of a Blog

Most improved blogger.

Best Pictures

Best Writing

Best Family Blog

Best Blogger under Eighteen

 I believe in rewarding hard work and I believe supporting the blogging community. Giving MLBloggers some recognition and inspiration is an investment in the future of sports writing/blogging.

                Since we’re visiting the year 2015, here are some highlights.


zack Hample baseballs.JPGZack Hample has become the first person to construct a home built entirely of baseballs. When asked about retiring Zack laughed and said “Are you kidding I still need a garage”.

The Happy Youngster had to switch careers because he was recruited by Major League Baseball as an official Baseball Authenticator.

The Ray Renegade moves from Florida to Cooperstown and fulfills his lifelong dream to be the “Director of Storytelling” at the Baseball Hall of Fame. He couldn’t be happier.
Bye Bye wave.jpg 
Anyone caught trying to incite “The Wave” is arrested, removed from the stadium and fined $1000.00 .


dinger the dinasaur.jpg          Rockies mascot Dinger’s suit is destroyed in an “accidental” fire.

 Shortly thereafter “REX” the new Rockies mascot is born. Yep he’s a dinosaur like Dinger…only cool.


Rex the new Rockies Mascot.JPGCoors Field becomes home to the first medical marijuana dispensary in Major League Baseball.
baseball marijuana.jpgThe “Purple Row Mile High Seats” inside Coors are now more popular than ever :)

There are lots more changes in 2015.

 I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter…Just giving you a peek inside my crystal balls.
ranter hat1
 

Go ahead and shake ‘em…Just don’t break ‘em

1/25/11                   Rockies Bobbleheads are back.


Rockies 2010 promotions.jpgI think baseball bobbleheads are a one of a kind collectable. There are a lot of different baseball bobbleheads out there but as far as the Rockies are concerned it’s quite possible to collect all of them.

                Here’s a little bobblehead history for you.

  Bobbleheads are thought to date back at least 150 years. The earliest known reference to anything “bobblehead like” is from the 1842 short story “The Overcoat” by Nikolai Gogol. There was a character in this story described as having a neck which was “like the neck of plaster cats which wag their heads”.

Several years later ceramic figures of animals, ranging in size from about 6 to 8 inches, were produced in Germany. The heads of these German toys were spring-connected heads and were referred to as “nodders” or “bobbers”.

In the 1920s, a New York Knicks basketball player bobblehead was created and this sparked a renewed interest in bobbleheads. However, by the 1930s interest had waned. From 1930- 1950s bobbleheads were only produced in very small numbers as novelty items.

WillieMays1960sBobblehead-100.jpg
RogerMarisBobblehead-100.jpgBeginning 1960 Major League Baseball decided to create a series of paper-mache bobblehead dolls for every baseball team.

Unfortunately the bobbleheads were all made with the same angel-like face. Player-specific dolls for Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente and Roger Maris were produced for the first time and sold to fans during the 1960 World Series.

Their uniforms were different but just as before the bobbleheads had identical faces. These bobbleheads were made from flimsy paper-mache construction not very many of them still exist in good shape. Most suffer from major chipping and cracking.

In the 1970′s they started using ceramic materials to make the bobble heads. The popularity of bobbleheads began to spread to other sports as well as musicians.

The original Beatles bobblehead set is one of the most famous and rare of all time and is quite a valuable collectible today.


original beatles bobbleheads.jpg By the mid-1970s, bobble head popularity again began to fizzle and bobblehead production nearly ceased.

Almost twenty years would pass before the bobblehead would make another comeback.In the 1990s manufacturing processes allowed bobbleheads to be made from plastic instead of ceramic. This material dramatically reducing the expense and difficulty of creating quality bobblehead products.  


Willie_Mays_Bobblehead_1998-100.jpgIn 1999 the San Francisco Giants handed out 35,000 free Willie Mays bobbleheads during one of their games.
These bobble heads were a huge hit among fans and collectors.

This giveaway and a decrease in manufacturing costs sparked the resurgence of the bobblehead.

There are even companies out there who offer customized bobbleheads.

Bobbleheads come in all shapes and sizes now. My favorites are the ones that get handed out as promotional items at the stadium.                           

                Here are some examples of those. 

Check out what the SFGiants did. In August 2010 they had a Grateful Dead Night..and gave away Jerry Garcia singing bobbleheads.

                          Mini Jerry sings “Suger Magnolia”


Jerry Garcia bobblehead.jpgSame park..September Carlos Santana Night…The mini Carlos sings “Oye Coma Va”. I want one of these but they’re not cheap. If you find one make sure
 it has a working battery.

                     Santana threw out the first pitch of that game.


carlos(12).jpgThere are even controversial bobbleheads. Again this next one is from the Giants.

                     The Barry Bonds homerun tracking bobblehead.


Barry Bonds Home Run counter bobblehead.jpg              Over the years the Rockies have dabbled in bobbleheads.

Here are all of the Rockies bobbleheads that I have or have found pictures for..I know there are a couple I’m missing but I couldn’t find them.

I believe there was an Rockies announcer bobblehead that was handed out around 2000. 

                    Here’s the Larry Walker bobblehead from 2002.  
Larry Walker Rockies bobblehead.jpg                    Here’s the Matt Holliday bobble head from 2008.Matt Holliday Bobblehead.jpg                       Troy Tulowitzki’s bobblehead from 2008.
Tulowitzki Rockies bobblehead.jpgHeres another Troy Tulowitzki bobblehead . The Modesto Nuts gave this one away when Tulo did his rehab there on August 9, 2009.
Tulowitzki Modesto Nuts bobblehead.jpg
The Todd Helton 2001 Golden Glove bobbleheads were given to Coors Field patrons in 2002. Dan gave me this one a few years back. It’s my favorite.Todd Helton 2001 Golden Glove bobblhead.jpg

Here’s a Todd Helton bobblehead that wasn’t given away at Coors Field. This bobblehead was given away by the Salem Avalanche on May 3rd 2002.
Todd Helton bobblhead salem avalanche.jpg
   Here’s Todd striking a pose for his bobblehead handed out in 2008.


Todd Helton Bobblehead 2008.jpg   
                   Jim Tracy had a bobblehead back in the day.
Jim Tracy Bobblhead.jpg Even Rockies mascot Dinger is forever cast in ceramic. There were 10,000 of these handed out on July 21, 2002.Dinger Bobblehead.jpg

I found two non-Rockies Huston Street bobbleheads. It appears that these two bobbleheads were issued within a month of each other.

                                This one on April 16, 2006.
Huston Street Bobblehead 4-16-06.jpg                                 This one on May 19, 2006.
Huston Street Bobblehead 5-19-06.jpg Here’s a couple Jason Giambi bobbleheads. The first one was for his 400th homerun on May 21, 2009. It was given out on August 21, 2009.
Jason Giambi 8-21-09 400th home run.jpgThis bobblehead was handed out by the Columbus Clippers on August 18, 2002.

Giambi bobblehead columbus clippers 8-18-02.jpg Bobbleheads are fun
 from a collector’s point of view because the ones handed out at baseball stadiums are of limited number. Interesting because they are a unique piece of baseball art and just plain cool because kids and adults alike dig ‘em.

You can bet I’ll be standing in at Coors Field onApril 17th, June 10th and August 20th.  

I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter and no matter how you shake yours… Bobbleheads are a fan favorite.
ranter hat1

Tag Along With Me at Rockies Fest Three

1-22-11

                             Rockies Fest…Go there once you’ll be there twice.

Rockies Fest mag.jpg

For me Rockies Fest symbolizes the very beginning of the baseball season. It’s my first exposure to the players since the end of the previous season and I get to wander Coors Field, take pictures, get autographs and hang out with other extreme Rockies fans.

                                     What could be better?

I also was able to hand out Rockies Fest tickets to the Rockpile Rant’s “Rockies Essay” winners, Ken, Dave and Johnny.

                                          Here’s Ken and his son.RPR and Ken and son RF.jpg

                                     Here’s Dave and his girlfriend.Essay Dave RF.jpg

                                                 Here’s Johnny.Johnny RF.jpg

I just want to thank everyone who took the time to submit an essay. I really enjoyed reading them and getting to know a little bit about you.

     Leave a comment and let us know how your Rockies Fest went?

                      Here’s R-Luv..Just as excited as she could be.

RPR and R-LUV RF.jpg

                                                    Blake and his buddy.


RPR and Blake RF.jpg             After all the tickets were handed out the kids and I got in line.

                                        Here’s Gary and Alannah X
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The first thing on the agenda was the players/coaches interview at 10:30. So with an hour to kill we headed over to the ROOT SPORTS desk to see if Tom Helmer was around.

When we arrived at the interview area Tom came up and gave us a big friendly welcome. Hunter and Mylee decided that they wanted to get interviewed by Tom and Tracy Ringolsby. Usually there’s a line but at this point the only one in front of us was Ken(essay winner) and his son….So we got in line.

This was the first time I was able to shake hands with Tracy Ringolsby. I was really nervous but Tracy’s such a cool guy I wasn’t nervous for long.

           Here’s Tom and Tracy interviewing Hunter and Mylee.

     

I’d like to thank Tom Helmer for taking the time to introduce me to a few very nice people from ROOT SPORTS. I have to say ROOT SPORTS has really nailed it.

From what I’m told and can see ROOT SPORTS is about the fan and I like that because the Rockpile Rant is about the fan.

As soon as the kids were done with their interview we were escorted over to where ROOT SPORTS was filming the Rockies commericals. The kids went first. I’m not quite sure if they ever got their timing right but they sure had fun sitting up there.Hunter and Mylee commercial RF.jpg

I was up next and I noticed how quiet and reserved everyone was being so I wanted to bump thing up a bit. I was reading a card that said “You’re watching ROOT SPORTS” and I did my best to represent the Rockpile Rant and the Rantics. Loud and proud baby. 

                    It seemed like they liked it but who knows?

I also was given the chance to talk about Ubaldo’s no-hitter. I didn’t think I did so good but each time I do something like this I get a little bit less nervous. Thank you ROOT SPORTS for this extremely unique opportunity. It was a great experience and the kids and I loved it.

Apparently next season the Rockies are going to put pictures of their fans on the season tickets. How cool is that? You can bet our smiling mugs took the time to pose for those shots. How fun would that be attending the actual game in which your face is on the ticket?

At this point we needed to get to our player/coach interview. This interview session was hosted by Drew Goodman and Alanna Rizzo.

                                                           Check it out.coaches and players interview.jpg

Rich Dauer and Ian Stewart RF.jpg

 New Rockies RF.jpg

Alanna Rizzo RF.jpg

                                           Here’s video from the session.

       

We had to leave the interview a few minutes early as it was time to get in line for our first autograph session. Rumor had it that the guy who signed right before we got there was Todd Helton. As we were standing in line Douglas walked by and told us that he was pretty sure Tulo would be signing for us.

                               As luck would have it Douglas was right.

Tulo RF2.jpg

Here’s a shot of Tulo signing for Mylee sport’n a fresh haircut. Tulo’s usually upbeat but today he seemed like he didn’t want to be there.

 I wished “the duece” a good season and we were off explore Coors Field before  the next session.

Tulo signing for Mylee RF.jpg

Mylee and Helton RF.jpgWhile wandering around we bumped into catcher Wilin Rosario and he signed for Mylee and Hunter.Willen Signing for Hunter RF.jpg

Kids n Tulo cutout RF.jpgCole Garner RF.jpgHunter and Mylee rope thing RF.jpgConference Room RPR Hunter mylee.jpg                                                             Mylee picking a winner.Mylee and Tulo finger in nose RF.jpg

                                        Ian Stewart getting his Rockband on.


Ian Stewart Rockband RF.jpg             Time to get in line for Autograph session two….Dexter FowlerDexter Fowler Baseball.jpg

Dexter Fowler signing for Hunter.jpg

 Dexter was all smiles and was talking with everyone. I really hope Dexter has a breakout year. He’s one of my favorite Rockies.

            With more time to kill we headed into the bowels of Coors Field.

It’s become almost a tradition for me to leave my Ranter card in the Rockies lockers. With a quick flick of the wrist you can usually get the cards close.

This year I took a few pictures. Here’s the Ranter card next to the left of  Dexter Fowlers gym bag.

Dexter Fowler Ranter card.jpg

                  Aaron Cooks locker sporting a Ranter card in the right corner.

Aaron Cooks locker RF.jpg

         Todd Helton’s locker. I missed this year and my card landed on the floor.

Todd Helton's locker RF.jpg

                        Tulo’s locker, unfortunately the card landed upside down.

Tulo's locker RF.jpg 







Mylee and Mickey RF.jpg











              Yoda…He was perched on top of a television in the Rockies locker room.









Yoda in the Locker Room RF.jpg
Coors Field snow RF.jpg

             Here’s Ubaldo’s entire uniform and then some from his no-hitter in Atlanta last season.

Ubaldos stuff on display sign.jpg..Ubaldos no hitter uniform.jpg

Ubaldos pants and picture no hitter RF.jpg                                      Even his dirty socks.

Ubaldo's belt and base.jpg

                                               The original Dinger suit. I still think Dinger should be a black and silver T-Rex but whatcha gonna do?

Original Dinger RF.jpg

                                            Coors Field groundbreaking.

Coors field Groundbreaking.jpg

                                       Memorabilia from 2007.NLDS 2007.jpg

The last autograph sesssion of the day was Glenallen Hill and Chris Nelson. Here’s Glenallen signing for Hunter.

Hunter and Glenallen Hill.jpg

 Both of these guys were in a great mood and were chatting up the folks in line.

                                                Here’s Mylee’s dog.

Mylee's Rockies bear RF.jpg

                        Here’s what I managed to get autographed today.

Glenallen, Tulo and Chris.jpg                                        On our way out of Coors Field.

Hunter and Mylee Coors Field RF.jpg

As I was getting ready to post this entry I received an email from essay winner Dave. He sent me a couple pictures and informed me he was able to snag thirty two autographs. Ten minor leaguers, four coaches and eighteen current major leaguers.

                                Check out Dave’s Coors Field sign…WOW!


 

Daves Coors Field sign.jpg                            Dave got lucky and ran into Jason Giambi.


Dave and Giambi RF.jpg I was on the hunt for Giambi all day. Thanks to Geoff for sending me texts as to Jason’s whereabouts
but for some reason I kept missing the slugger.

        That my friends is how you do it. Props to you Dave you worked it brotha.

A lot of baseball teams do something similiar to Rockies Fest but not all of them. Rockies fans are lucky we get this day to wander the entirety of Coors field, visit and chat with players and get to see precious baseball memorabila from historic Rockies games.

I feel privledged every time I’ve attended this event and honored to be a Colorado Rockies fan and their # 1 MLBlogger.

Thanks to all the Rockies fans who walked up to me and introduced themelves. I really enjoy meeting the baseball fans who read the Rockpile Rant. Thanks to ROOT SPORTS I think this year is going to be the “Year of the Fan”.

                   Make no mistake we Rockies fans embrace that concept.

RPR Blessing Coors Field 2.jpg

          A huge thanks goes out to Dan because we all know “He’s the Man”. I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter.

                                    Baseball season has officially begun…DThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Green Floppy Ha

RANTICS…Give FSN your Best at Rockies Fest

1/18/11

Ranter Television.JPGNormally I don’t get too excited when opening my email. That wasn’t the case today. After finishing my physical therapy in Boulder (props to my Physical Therapist Erin), I headed home to Nederland, logged in and checked my Yahoo account. Sitting there in my inbox was an email from Tom Helmer of FSN Rocky Mountain/Root Sports with a header that said “Want to be on TV?”

That email header not only made me smile but it got my full attention. Here’s what’s going on. During the Rockies Fest FSN/Root Sports will be shooting a Rockies promotional commericial.

Tom asked that I round up the Rantics that will be attending Rockies Fest and we all head over to the FSN/Root Sports booth. What will happen then is you will read a few lines and then you’ll be asked you to comment on some of your favorite Rockies moments and what it’s like to be a Rockies fan.

                                              Simple right? Maybe but… 

You can bet they’re only going to use the best ones so I suggest really putting some thought into this. How cool would it be to be in a commercial plugging the Rockies?

I don’t know about you but I’ve yet to tire seeing myself on TV. To date that consists of a couple of quick flashes on TV while I was chasing a home run balls, the FSN Top of the Rockies Fan Choice show and hanging out at Coors Field for the post game show so I can make sure the Rockpile Ranter jersey gets some TV luv.

The Rantics are the most loyal, hardcore and supportive group of baseball fans out there. I anticipate we’re going to do a great job on Saturday for FSN/Root Sports.

          Rantics… Be ready and have fun with this I know the kids and I will.

  Get your best Rockies gear together and I’ll see you at Rockies Fest on Saturday morning.

 I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter…Just doing more of that cool stuff with the Rantics I keep telling you about…

                                                       Go Rockies…D 

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I’m Impressed…Have Fun at Rockies Fest

1/15/11

and-the-winner-is.jpg

                                 CLICK HERE TO READ THE ESSAYS

This is it. This is where I announce the three winners of the “Rockies Fest Essay Contest”.

The response to this was incredible. A total of fourteen essays were submitted (essays were accepted up until midnight last night). I wish it were possible to send all of you to Rockies Fest but unfortunately there were only so many tickets. 

                                         In my book you are all winners..

This was not an easy decision. Dan and I had many sleepless nights trying to decide who should get these sought after Rockies Fest tickets. It was so hard that we decided next time we’ll let the people who submit essays actually vote on the winners.

In the end we had to pick three so if you didn’t win I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to share your feelings/story about the Rockies here on the Rockpile Rant.

Baseball touches everyone in a different way. You can tell that by reading these Rockies fans essays.

                               Here are the three winners in no particular order.

Ken

Johnny

Dave

congratulations way to go11.jpg Each of you has won a pair of Rockies Fest tickets for Saturday January 22nd, 2011 at Coors Field. 

 Tickets can be picked up from me at 9am on the corner of 20th and Blake Saturday thirty minutes before Coors Field opens.

                    Please be on time as I myself would like to get a good spot in line.

                        At that time I’d like to shake your hand and take your picture.Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Green Floppy Ha 

Ready for Spring So We Can Do This Thing

1-14-10


rockies st facility.jpg

                                                                 Photo from MLB.com

Wow, when you’re not working you have a LOT of time to think. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes it’s counterproductive. Despite back surgery and the fact that I’m still not back to work I’m in good spirits. Baseball it seems isn’t just during the season it’s year round when you’re a Rantic.

I’ve been thinking about what drives me to keep the Rant going. I think I know what it is. The thing I miss most from my days in the Army are the friendships and camaraderie that you build in a short time. I’m still in touch with several of my Army buds.

The Rockpile Rant has evolved. Over the last three seasons what was only to be a picture diary of the games the kids and I attend has transformed into a tight community of Rockies fans that is growing steadily. I’ve found out by blogging that I’m not alone.  

The Rantics are a group of super-Rockies fans and as I said earlier baseball is year round for these folks.

 For most of the Rantics it starts with batting practice. I personally won’t go to a game unless I have time to attend batting practice. For me it’s part of the game and I know I’m always going to see a familiar face hang’n in the pavilion.

 What other sport can you show up early for and actually participate in their warm-up? I don’t care who you are you haven’t lived until you’ve shown up for your team’s batting practice with your glove. Yeah it may take you a couple of games but eventually someone will hit a ball to you or one will bounce your way.

As soon as you snag that ball, you’re adrenaline is pumping, folks cheer and clap for you. You look quick to see if you can figure out who hit you the homerun ball.  Right then the seed is planted and the addiction begins to grow.

Each catch is different. Each one is special. I know if I catch a ball I’ll be able to make a Rockies fans day by handing them that ball. Two memories created from one little baseball.

I hang out at Coors Field because it’s comfortable. I’m surrounded by people who love and support the Rockies more than I do. There’s a camaraderie there that fills the void left from the military. I know if something happens the Rantics have my back and they know I’ve got theirs. 

Some folks don’t understand and that’s ok. I don’t blog for them, I blog for the ones who do.

I can’t mention everyone but I have to mention these Rockies Fans/Rantics who have been there from the beginning.

Dan-Thanks for teaching me the ropes and for always being there with support and a good idea. I always appreciate your input and have the greatest respect for what  you do for so many Rockies fans. You sir are a selfless Rockies fan who goes above and beyond the call of duty.  

R-LUV and LUVMYROX-Thanks for always being there. Both of your comments throughout the years have inspired me to keep blogging. Even when I wasn’t getting a lot of page hits I always felt like I was blogging for you both. Thank you both for being so supportive of the Rant and for being my friends.

Robert-Robert is my road trip buddy. We’re a lot alike except I have more hair and he has a better camera. I just hope I can do what he does at his age. Robert and I talk Rockies baseball all year long and I’m getting his seat when he retires.

                         There are many more Rantics but I have to start somewhere.

                                                                  Thank you!

                     I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter..One of many Super Rockies fans.

                                                         See you at Rockies Fest…DThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Green Floppy Ha

Minus the snow…We’ll give it another go.

1/4/11

                                           Happy New Year Rantics!

Tom Helmer111.jpg

 

The Tom Helmer of FSN Rocky Mountain interview/Rantic get together is back on. It will be held at Champps at 8325 Park Meadows Center Drive in Littleton at 5-6pm on Saturday January 8th.

 

Thumbnail image for champps.jpgIt’s on the weekend this time and the weather will be decent so hopefully those of you who couldn’t make it before will be able to attend.

Remember folks this is all non-formal. Tom’s interview might take ten minutes and the rest of the time you can ask Tom questions, have a drink, eat some dinner if you want (I am), or just hang out and drink a hot chocolate.

                             Krista and I will be there, I really hope to see you there.

                                                      Rockies Newscargo111 (2).jpg

I gotta say I’m glad the Rockies were able to sign Carlos Gonzalez. I know it’s a lot of money, but seven years for 80 million is a bargain for Cargo. I figure Cargo took this deal is because he’s happy here and he’s extremely well liked by the Rockies fans. 

                                       A total win/win situation for the Rockies.  

From everything I’ve witnessed this season Cargo is well on his way to becoming a superstar and it’s nice to know he’ll call Colorado home for the next seven years.

      So we’ve got Cargo and Tulo to build a team around. That my friends is a great start :)

Thumbnail image for Hatless Brad Hawpe 8-13-10.jpg

 

 

 I also read that former Rockie Brad Hawpe is soon to be a Padre.

That ought to make Queen Geri happy as she’ll at least get to see him several times a season. 

I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter and it’s gonna be a good year.

 ranter hat1 

 

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