June 2012

Stoked to visit ONEOK

6-24-12

Tulsa Drillers vs the Springfield Cardinals.

Had I put a little more research into my road trip we probably could have caught the Rockies and Rangers game but instead we were able to catch a Tulsa Drillers game on the way home from our family reunion.

Shot of a trailer on fire, did I mention it was hot?

While in Tulsa we hooked up with Mike the Rox Addict and Amy the Blake Street Babe who were in Tulsa as well for their first game of an extremely cool road trip.

 I’ve always wanted to check the Drillers new stadium ONEOK field. The Drillers are the Rockies AA team and have a cool little stadium nestled in downtown Tulsa.

The promotional gift today was a Hornsby(the Drillers mascot) cereal bowl…For kids only.

Bummer I like cereal too.

ONEOK Field was designed by architect firm Populous(formerly HOK Sport Venue Event) of Kansas City, Missouri and constructed by Manhattan Construction Company. The stadium has an official capacity of 7,833, but is capable of holding up to 9,000 for special events.

It has 23 suites and a playing field recessed about 13 feet below street level. With a construction cost of $39.2 million, the project also included the purchase of adjacent land for complementary development, for a total project budget of $60 million.

The new ballpark was intended to be more directly connected to its urban surroundings than was the old stadium at the fairgrounds, and also to have many of the same kinds of luxury amenities available in a major-league ballpark, both for fans and for the players and coaches.
ONEOK is much nicer than Security Service Field where the Rockies AAA Sky Sox play. This little stadium is layed out like a lot of  the spring training ballparks in Arizona.

We didn’t catch batting practice as the stadium opened one hour early and BP was finished by the time we rolled in. As far as the temperature goes, it was also 99 degrees today with at least as much humidity…Yuck!

Gotta love a U-Haul truck on a roof that rotates 360 degrees.

Helluva view of the skyline from home plate.

Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis has his own pole here.

Mylee going for a slide.

Hornsby’s entrance.

Pink fire truck?

In the top of the sixth inning Oscar Taveras hit a foul ball that landed a few rows behind me.

It’s extremely cool when you snag a game ball your first time in a new stadium.

Next pitch Oscar hit the first and only home run of the game.

Mylee showing off here new mohawk.

Mylee was lucky and got tossed a ball that was good for a free ice cream helmet.

3816 folks showed up to witness the Drillers lose this one to the Cardinals 5-3.

I’m “D” The Ranter…Glad to be home…Check another one-off the list.

Scorpions still… “Bring the Sting”

6-12-12

Scorpions and Tesla at Red Rocks  

Any chance you get to visit Red Rocks amphitheater you take it.

 I wasn’t so sure I was going to make this show. The night before I started having some severe abdominal  cramps and the next morning I found myself in the emergency room. After about six hours of some procedures I don’t care to mention I was released feel’n a whole lot of woozy but determined to see the Scorpions and Tesla at Red Rocks as this could be the last time the Scorpions tour…Unless they do like the Eagles do and have a never ending farewell tour.

Truth be told I’d have been there with a fregg’n IV hang’n out of me.

 The last time I saw the Scorpions perform was when they played Red Rocks back in 1991.

The opening acts were Great White and Mr Big and my young happy ass was glad to be there. It rained for most of the Scorpions set and they played right through it despite some electrical issues. At one point Klaus Meine asked the crowd if he sounded all ok because he said his earpiece hadn’t worked all night. 

I remember lightning striking in the back sky as the Scorpions played “Rock you like a hurricane”, and images of scorpions crawling on those big old red rocks. I’m an old skool Great White fan too and Jack Russell and the boys didn’t disappoint either. 

I’ve been waiting a long time to see the Scorpions play Red Rocks again. 

 This time I kicked those heart attack inducing stairs in the ass because I’m a non-smoker and having lung power is a good thing.

 After a brief “feeling up” by the event staff I entered the amphitheater.

Sporting a “Frozen Dead Guy Days” T-Shirt and my trademark Ranter hat I found myself surrounded by a sea of balding long hairs(myself included), men too old to be wearing tribal print shirts and women trying to squeeze into the same outfit they wore the last time they saw the Scorpions.

Not that I really care what folks wear, realize I’m an observationist and I’m trying to describe the vibe here. My seat was in the third row and that’s the closest I’ve ever been to the stage before with a ticket and my good camera in hand.

As far as distance goes I was maybe fifteen feet from the stage…Choice real estate. 

My advice for catching a show at Red Rocks is arrive at least two hours early. Bring some food and beverage, park at the very top parking lot and just chill. I say that because that’s what I usually do and there is no traffic and no waiting behind a mass mob to get inside.  Today I entered the actual park at 7:00 pm and with all the traffic it was 7:25 before I was parked and 7::50 before I was standing in front of Tesla.

I’ve never seen Tesla before and I dig a lot of their music so this was a good line-up for me.

 

I can’t say for sure and I know he kinda acts like that anyway, but I swear the lead singer Jeff Keith was on something.

I realize that’s not a major sin in his profession but what comes to mind is …Really..Still?

 Anyway, drunk wired or whatever he got through it and they didn’t sound that bad. They performed “Coming atcha live”, “Signs”, “Modern Day Cowboy”, pretty much everything I wanted to hear.

I tried to shoot video in the third row but the security guard kept busting me. For some reason he didn’t have an issue with the 450 lb guy sitting in front of me who was filming entire songs, he just had an issue with me. I had no interest in filming the whole show, I  just wanted one full song.

Here’s a little bit of Tesla.

 

 The same security that kept busting me hooked me up later by doing a great job of removing random drunk folks who wandered into my seating area trying to block my view of the stage. 

Right now Colorado is on fire and the smell of smoke is everywhere. At Red Rocks there’s a different kind of smoke and it doesn’t smell like campfire. No way around it…Red Rocks smells like weed. Again I’m just making an observation. Like it or love it, marijuana is the incense of Red Rocks.

After about a 40 minute  reset, the Scorpions took the stage.

Klaus mentioned it had been a while since they played “The most beautiful venue in the world” and thanked everyone for supporting the Scorpions for all these years.

 Rudolf and Klaus are the only members to appear on every Scorpions album.

Rudolf Shenker is the only original member from of the Scorpions. Rudolf formed the band in 1965 when he was 17. He’s 63 and to watch him on stage you’d never know it.

Shot of the crowd, complete with three alien spaceships checking out the show.

Here’s a little video of “Big City Nights”.

If you’ve never seen the Scorpions do it because this could be your last chance and there’s still a little “Sting” left in them.

Just don’t expect them to “Rock you like a Hurricane”, be prepared for more of a Tropical Storm. 

I’m “D” the Ranter…If it’s too loud, just use earplugs…”D”

Regular Fan…Not This Man

6-8-12

Rockies vs Angels Game 1

I tried to be just a regular fan.

 I went to two games without my camera. As much as I liked the fact that my backpack was lighter and I had two free hands,.. I felt like a space traveller without a spaceship. Even back before I had a decent camera I wandered Coors Field holding my crappy camera snapping pictures of everything.

 I guess after time it just become part of you or in my case me.

I fregg’n love inter league play, especially at Coors.

Teams that don’t visit Coors Field often really soak in the experience of the mile high ballpark and that equates to a good time at batting practice. Today was a perfect example. Albert Pujols was enjoying himself so much today that he took an extra round of BP. That worked out well for Jersey Geoff and I. We were well aware that fact Albert had been up to bat for a long time and we figured eventually the big guy would have to hit one our way. Not long after that conversation Albert hit one right to me. Nice easy catch right on the pavilion wall. 

Shortly after Jersey Geoff got his.

Anyone that knows me knows that this is why I do BP. How many people in the world can say they’ve caught a home run ball right off the bat of Albert fregg’n Pujols?

 If you think about it, not even pro ballplayers catch home run balls. They catch them before they’re home run balls. I suppose every now and then a player is robbed of a home run so I guess that’s catching a home run ball but you see my point.

The chance of me ever getting Albert to sign that ball is slim, but this ball gets a special spot in my collection. The Pujols ball was my third catch of the day. The first was a straight up catch given to a little girl behind me and the second was a ground rule double I gave to my friend Ruth who was attending her first Rockies game of the year.

Today was the hottest game of the season for me. Temperature was 88 but felt like 100.

First pitch of the game.

Trout seconds after he was caught…By a pitch. He seemed to be ok…Scary though!

Trying to get a peek.

Todd Helton toss-up.

 

Hunter knocks one onto the concourse.  That was one of two of his homers for the evening.

WOW

Huge Rockies fans…Ruth and Scott.

As much as I detest “The Wave” at least Rockies fans were doing it at the appropriate time.

As usual it didn’t work.

Rockies lose to the Angels 7-2.

For some reason the Angels are crazy good during Inter league play.

Baseball isn’t always Cracker Jacks and home runs. Sometimes it’s just plain ugly. On that note here’s the…

Coors Field Crack of the Game

 

I’m “D” the Ranter and I think I just Vurped a little :)

Ride Along with Ranter #1…Gross Dam and Reservoir

6-4-12

 This is the beginning of a series I”m going to call “Ride along with Ranter”.

Today’s ride along brings us to a beautiful spot within an hours drive of Denver and about 15 minutes from where I habitate.

GROSS DAM AND RESERVOIR

Named for Denver Water former Chief Engineer Dwight D. Gross, the reservoir was completed in 1954. It serves as a combination storage and regulating facility for water that flows under the Continental Divide through the Moffat Tunnel.

Gross Dam has been around since 1954. Check out the stats.

This reservoir is huge.

The banks are a bit steep and rocky, but nothing too outrageous.

The water looks tempting but don’t plan on going for a swim, its way too cold.

Gross reservoir is the perfect place to take pictures, go for a walk or jog, go fishing, or go for scenic bike ride.

There are even tables set up so you can have a picnic with the family.

How do I get  here?

From Denver metro area:

  • Take Highway 93 north from Golden to Highway 72
  • Turn left (west) on Highway 72 toward Pinecliffe to County Road 77/Gross Dam Road
  • Gross Dam Road will take you to both the north and south access points

To reach the dam from Boulder:

  • Take Flagstaff Road west until it turns into eastern Gross Dam Road

Seasonal Information

  • Open year round.
  • Boating season starts on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and ends Sept. 30.
  • Kokanee snagging runs from Sept. 1 – Jan. 31.
  • West site U.S. Forest Service closes from late fall to early spring: check with the U.S. Forest Service Boulder district for specific closure dates.

Operating Hours

Half hour before sunrise to half hour after sunset.

I’m “D” the Ranter, thanks for tagg’n along.

 

OK…This weeks been fun…So here’s one

June 1, 2012

Dodgers vs Rockies Game 1

Yes I said that I was taking a break.

 Funny how as soon as I said that the Rockies step up and start playing.

Today during batting practice I was witness to one of the scariest things that can happen during BP.  Dodgers were up and I was backing up positioning myself for what I though would be a sweet catch. At the last-minute I realized that this ball was going to land at least six feet behind me and I had no shot at it. I turned around to see where the ball was going to land and I heard a young boy scream.

 That BP homer landed smack on top of a little boys head.

I got that sick feeling in my stomach whenever I see a child tagged at BP. Shortly after the little boy got hit, Jamey Wright former Rockie now a Dodger, climbed the outfield wall to check on him.

 Then he gave the little boy his glove.

Photo by Joy

I couldn’t take pictures because I was still in shock from seeing the little guy take one to the head. What Jamey did was turn this childs horrific memory into a positive one. Now when he thinks of Coors Field and the time he got hit in the head with a baseball he’ll have a good memory instead of a painful one.

Classy as classy can be Jamey…Wow!!

UPDATE !!

I received a comment from Mike father of the little boy(Ryan) who was hit with the ball.

Thank you for your blog Ranter. That little boy is my son, Ryan. He went there with a friend of his and well, you know the rest of the story. My wife and I met him at the hospital after and were wondering who gave him the glove and thanks to your blog we now know.

Mike thanks for letting us know…”D”

I’ve only seen a player give a kid a glove one time before. It was back in 2009. Manny Corpas was leaving the field after BP was finished. He turned to toss the last ball up. He tossed the ball to my son Hunter. Hunter misjudged the toss and it hit him in the chest. It knocked the wind out of him but he was fine.

The next day Manny was signing autographs during Autograph Sunday. Hunter was in Manny’s line and when he reached Manny told him that he was the one hit by the ball the day. Hunter just wanted to let Manny know he was ok.

Manny told Hunter to meet him over by the dugout when he was finished signing..

Below is what happened.

Joy and Keelan

Pacheco

Second pitch of the game to the always dangerous Tony Gwynn Jr.

I didn’t get a picture this time but “Dante” the squirrel made another appearance.

x

I’ve got to give props to Dan’s daughter Emily who snagged her first live home run ball in the 8th inning. She snagged Chris Nelson’s first home run of the season.

That’s just too cool…Now Coors Field has another ballhawk with a better home run record than me :)

Rockies take Game 1 over the Dodgers 13-3.

It’s been a great week for Rockies baseball…Rockies, I like what I’m seeing. I guess I never realized how much luv is out there for the Rockpile Rant…Thank you everyone for your support!

I’m “D” the Ranter

There’s nothing like some good baseball a little competition to get my ass back blogg’n…Go Rockies!!

 

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