When the plane landed in Phoenix we headed immediately to the car rental joint, picked up a snazzy Ford Focus, then drove straight to Talking Stick. We rolled up about 9:30 and the facility couldn’t have been prettier. The sun was shining with temperature in the mid 60’s. Being the first fan to ever attend a game here I have a special affiliation with Salt River Fields at Talking Stick even if there’s only a handful of fans that know of my accomplishment.
We meandered the backfields in search of anyone partaking in a little batting practice. It was eerily quiet on the Rockies side. ‘cept for a wee bit of minor league action going on so I hung out on the side lines and it paid off. I managed to snag two foul balls in a 10 minute time frame. Back in the game!
The goal was to see Team USA warm-up and we learned that they wouldn’t be out till this afternoon. At that point we figured it was time to take a visit to the local In and Out Burger and then check into our room. On the way back to the car I spotted my third ball of the day.
My first Easter egg of the season!
Food and hotel taken care of it was back to Salt River Fields where Mike and I ran into Eric B. After a quick hello I took off as I noticed Team USA was beginning to take BP on the D-backs side (bonus)!
There were probably 20 other ballhawks out in left field all salivating at the chance to snag a USA World Baseball. I hung out there for 45 minutes and had play on three balls. One I managed to snag as it bounced off of the gravel. I looked at it and unfortunately it was just a regular old MLB baseball.
Not long after that I witnessed the Rox Addict snag one on the fly. His was a plain old MLB ball too. I’ll give him big props as it was a sweet catch in the tip of his glove and he was surrounded by greedy ballhawks.
Tonight’s game was the Rockies vs Team USA. I had a seat in the front row along the Rockies side so I used the opportunity to snag a few autographs. I managed to get Todd Helton, Tyler Colvin, Dante Bichette, Jordan Pacheco and Eric Young Jr.
I have a great picture of Tulo in the Snow I’d love autographed, but as is usually the case “The Deuce” took the low road and exited the field ignoring his fans.
The redeye flight and no sleep was catching up with me so I took just a couple of pictures during the game and spent the last part of the game hang’n with Jersey Geoff, his buddy Mike, and the Rox Addict.
Rockies made it interesting in the 9th after trailing the entire game and actually pulled out a win. Funny though, Rockies did Team USA no favors when they actually had to loan them a few pitchers.
The four of us ended up in the outfield with absolutely no competition for home run balls and wouldn’t you know it, diddly squat came our way. You have no idea how funny it would have been had a home run been hit in our general direction. The scramble for that ball by the four of us would have been hilarious.
I’m “D” the Ranter and today was an excellent first day! My only goals for the first day were to bust out some shorts for the first time in 6 months and get a nice sunburn started.
Spring training is more than just pre-season baseball for me.
It’s a fresh start each year with new strategies, new people and new attitudes.
Living in the mountains makes the baseball off-season seriously drag. Don’t get me wrong I love my snow (and my Broncos). Truthfully, for me winter is just the space between the end of one baseball season and the start of another one.
I crave variety. The Cactus League is full just that.
Each little Spring Training facility is a small taste of another team. I love the Rockies, but baseball is history and I’m a sponge when I’m down in Cactus League Country. Only true baseball fans make the yearly trek to Spring Training each year to watch and support their team.
Yes the games are meaningless, but these are fans that need this little dose of baseball to get them through till Opening Day. I for one am guilty as charged. I feel if I didn’t have my yearly trip to Phoenix to bask in the sun, chase baseballs, harass players, eat a years worth of In n Out burgers in a week, act like a fool and bump into Rantics I’d implode.
As sure as the brown hairs in my beard are being replaced by white ones, the Rox Addict and I will be wandering the Phoenix area in search of baseball history, memories and souvenirs one short week from now.
Next entry for me will be Wednesday March 6th when the Rox Addict and I land in Phoenix.
I’m “D” the Ranter…It’s almost time to shine.
If you read the Rant on any kind of regular basis you know who Dan and Emily are.
Dan is a regular in the front row of the Pavilion and usually by his side is his daughter Emily and the last couple of years his son Ryan.
Emily is 9 years old has been to 455 Rockies games in her lifetime. With that number of games under her belt she’s allowed to talk(or sing) a little Rockies smack.
Emily is entering a video contest sponsored by Woody Paige. Here’s a link to the contest:
Here is Emily’s parody video about the Rockies pitching. It’s so good it’s worth sharing :)
Call Me Maybe
Rockies fans…Let Emily and Woody know what you think of her video by sharing it or leaving a comment.
Good Luck Emily!!
I’m “D” the Ranter and 11 days left till the Rox Addict and I report for Spring Training.
Pete Rose or his likeness has not appeared on his own Topps card since Major League Baseball banned him in 1989.
Topps who holds the exclusive rights to produce MLB-licensed trading cards, has removed all references to Pete Rose on their cards starting with the release of 2013 Topps Series One.
The cards feature a “career chase” blurb on the back, indicating how far away players are from certain career milestones.
This is AJ Pierzynski’s card. No mention that Rose holds that record.
Look on Parnell’s card, Jesse Orosco is mentioned as the record holder for games pitched??
No mention of Charlie Hustle.. It’s not an error on Pierzynski’s card, as every other card where hits are mentioned in the Career Chase features no mention of Rose.
Topps said the omission was a “simple decision”.
Something I thought interesting… Rose is not be cited as the all-time hits king, however..Steriod monster Barry Bonds is referenced on the cards as the all-time home run king…Doesn’t seem fair to me.
Pete’s 71 now..and goes out multiple times a week to sign autographs to support his family. You don’t make a living by signing your autograph if folks dont love you.
It’s obvious that some folks in baseball don’t care for Pete…But it’s not hard to tell Pete still loves baseball.
I’m “D” the Ranter…
Hunter and I met Pete Rose at an Office Depot in Westminster Colorado about 10 years ago and we both got to shake his hand. To this day it’s still one of my favorite memories.
Sorry Pete…The noose is a whole lot looser if you were a juicer…”D”
Spring Training in Arizona.
For some of us, there is no regular season without a trip south just to check things out.
Knowing that sometime in March I’ll be traipsing through the backfield at some team’s facility scouring for baseballs or innocently(wink wink) wandering into a restricted area fill my winter time thoughts.
I know it will be warm and I’ll be wearing shorts, sunglasses and sport’n my trademark Ranter hat.
Plus Arizona has In and Out Burger joints :)…Yeah!
Daydreaming about spring training is what gets me through the Colorado winter. I know for a fact I’m not the only one who daydreams about the southwest sun and cacti.
Rantics, I see your FACEBOOK posts :)
Spring Training for the players is intense at times but for me it’s how I decompress from life. I’ve stopped setting goals for myself and I plan to focus on having a good time. Setting goals creates pressure and as I just mentioned that’s not what I’m shooting for. The goal if any is to relax, have fun, hang with baseball friends, make some new friends, catch some baseballs, watch 3 World Baseball Classic games, wander the back fields of random spring training facilities, and take LOTS of pictures.
Then tell you all about it because that’s what the Number #1 Rockies MLBlogger for the last 6 years does :)
As far as autographs go I plan to bring some of my pictures along and hopefully get a few of my favorites signed. I have no idea of what to get autographed at the WBC??
Maybe a WBC bat or jersey?
I feel like I crank out some of my best blogs during Spring Training. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m relaxed or because I’m more focused by not being distracted by my normal routine?
I guess stuff is just more fun to write about when you had a blast doing it.
Same as last year I’ll be hang’n with my partner in crime the Rox Addict and there’s usually never a dull moment with us two exploring a ballpark or a restricted area :)
We’re sort of a Dynamic Rockies Blogging Duo of sorts.
This year will be my 6th year attending Spring Training in Arizona. So in tribute to that here are some links and a few pictures from my Spring Training adventures in years past.
The Mobile Blogging Unit and Hi Corbett Field. I loved that place.(2009).
Rockies win that first game in the new stadium 8-7.
Next Time Put Up a Sign (2012)
Mike the Rox Addicts first game ball: (2012)…He Snagged the ball Green hat and all
I figured out why I chase baseballs.
As a kid some of my fondest memories were going to hockey games with my pops. We had a local farm team and my thing was I liked to try and snag a puck or two when I was there. This was way before they used nets and pucks would often fly into the stands and kids would scramble for them. I guess chasing baseballs takes me back to a happy place in my childhood.
We all need something like that.
I’m “D” the Ranter
Spring Training brings out the kid in me. Six weeks till I get to play.
See you kids down there :)
Alternative title was:
Whadaya Know…Joe Can Throw
Layers food and adrenaline are how you deal with extended periods of cold when tail-gat’n.
Some might say booze helps. We all know it doesn’t really, but it does make being out in the cold a whole lot more tolerable. Plus if ever there was a right time and right place..Today qualified.
COLD..I like my cold with snow. No snow today. I heard a rumor this was the coldest Broncos home game since 1972. I believe it, I’ve never been cold at any sporting event like I was cold at this game. During the game unless you had club level seats there was nowhere to go to warm up.
By halftime my Coke was frozen in my cup…No joke!
Sitt’n here writing this blog entry a day later, I’m in shock, my head hurts, my bones are still cold from 7 hours in the elements and I can’t for the life of me wrap my head around this season being over.
Where was my man Champ Baily? I figured he’d be money this game.
Why did the Broncos take a knee with time on the clock?
Why did Moore let Jacoby Jones get in front of him? (Worst Play Ever)
Was it something I did or didn’t do. Was it my new Jersey?
What happened to this being Peyton’s house? Denver Defense?
I felt like I did my part.
It just didn’t seem like the same team I watched win 11 straight games before today. For sure the Broncos didn’t look like a SuperBowl bound team.
I’m totally kerfuffled.
I start to wonder does Manning have a post-season jinx?(He’s now 9-11) Was it the combination of the pressure and the weather? Was his neck bugg’n him? I know when it’s cold out my back just plain hurts.
Begrudgingly…Props to the Baltimore Ravens! What a game plan on both sides. That’s all I’m gonna say about that. Best of luck to ya Ray Lewis(Snitch).
K and I showed up about 3 hours early each with about 5 layers of clothes and multiple hand and foot warmers. Underneath everything I was wearing my new Broncos jersey.
It’s the one I won for the winning the Bud Light Bottle Race back in December of 2011. Long story short they it took them 11 months to send the first jersey and it was a size 56 XXXL. I had requested a 52 XXL.
It was returned back to the Broncos and just in time for this game I received my customized size 52 XXL Players Jersey. Thank you Broncos!!
I was extremely pleased with my Nikon camera for holding up in the single digit temps.
Here’s the game from a fans point of view sitting there freezing his ass off.
5th level front row.
Quick look…No worries.
That’s how you start a game!
A fired up Champ Baily..Before the cold set in.
Champ about to get beat bad.
I feel ya Champ…Gett’n old sucks.
What’s up with the Broncos fan wearing a Manning jersey cheering the Ravens extra point?
Tight end Joel Dreesson, starting to turn a nice pink color.
This gets ugly.
Decker gett’n manhandled.
Hit hard and the ball is loose.
Graham eyes it.
At this point in the game my stomach started to feel a lil queezy.
The Ravens kept changing the momentum of this game. As much as Broncos fans were cheering and making noise, it was in vain. This bird soared into the end zone.
Stomach still queezy now my toes were gett’n cold.
Manning with a sweet pass to Stokley.
Stokley with a sweet catch for a TD!
Ray Lewis giving Stokley some luv.
Manning to Moreno.
Von pressuring Flacco. I wanted to see more of this.
Unfortunately that pissed Flacco off.
This is seconds before Broncos fans Superbowl dreams get crushed. Flacco worms his way into position.
Throws a Hail-Mary.
Why Moore is where he is…Is beyond me?
One helluva catch.
The rest explains itself.
The extra point was good and so were K and I.
I hadn’t felt my toes in about an hour and my fingers couldn’t work my camera anymore. K and I decided it was time to go.
We missed nothing.
There will be NO Superbowl for Denver this year.
If Manning is gonna make (sometimes extremely cold)Denver his home for the next couple of years, the folks that can may wanna consider putt’n a retractable lid on ‘ole Mile High.
This way we can keep Manning’s hands warm and his head in the game.
Manning’s play was obviously affected by the weather. I get that, but how do you fix that? 78,000 of us witnessed first hand Manning rapidly degrade as the temperature went from damn cold to nut shriveling.
This is a sad day for Broncos fans.
Let me just say…You gotta be hardcore to be a Colorado Sports fan.
I’m “D” the Ranter…Still in Shocko from Flacco.
Chiefs vs Broncos…Game 16
The last regular season game of the year. There were only two things Krista and I wanted to see happen today. A Broncos win, and news of the #1 seed in the AFC.
I love this feeling. Being a hardcore Rockies fan winning is a strange concept to me. Winning 11 in a row is way more than anyone anticipated at the beginning of this season.
After almost 15 years of the Broncos owning a lollipop factory, finally they don’t suck anymore.
Folks..Hold your head high…Being a Broncos fan carries some weight again. Even the Rockies Rally Squirrel jumped ship and now lives near Sports Authority Field.
I figure since Rockies fans don’t tail-gate the scraps here must be plentiful. Krista and I did a little Hill-Gating with Mike the Rox Addict before the game. We shared a few of Colorado’s finest and started making plans for our Spring Training trip in 2 months :)
Hill-Gating is partying on a hill next to where other folks are Tail-Gating. Admittedly not a great word but it’s my word. How many words do you have?
Leslie with his own brand of Chop.
This Superbowl run is for you Champ.
Love the broncos Toque that Champ is wearing.
Don’t know what a toque is? Let me help you.
In Canada, toque, or tuque (pron.: /’tu:k/), is the common name for a knitted winter hat, or beanie. The Canadian English term was assimilated from Canadian French tuque. Toque first appeared in writing around 1870.
The fashion is said to have originated with the coureurs de bois, French and Métis fur traders, who kept their woollen nightcaps on for warmth during cold winter days. Such hats are known in other English-speaking countries by a variety of names, including beanie (American), watch cap or stocking cap; the terms tuque and toque are unique to Canada and northern areas of the United States, close to the Canadian border.
Now you know.
First play Quinn hands off to Charles.
Quinn gets a taste of some Mile High grass :)
With Manning at the Helm…
Broncos straight up kick the Chiefs ass 38-3..Total Domination!
On a final Broncos note..Six years ago on Jan 1 2007 cornerback Darrent Williams was shot and killed on New Years Day, at 24 years of age…Sad
Here’s a video tribute to Darrent.
It’s been a year folks. Lots of ups and down in our Colorado Sports world. Blogging gained absolutely no credibility in 2012 and as such a lot of sporting events are trying to restrict what type of cameras can be brought into a Stadium or Arena. They are shying away from anything with a detachable lens.
Anyone that knows me knows I don’t sell my pictures. They are online for all to view and enjoy. There’s not a lot of people out there that do what I do quite like I do it. If you know me you know….I’m not “in it” for the money.
Shit… Being “in it” costs me money.
I rarely watch sports on TV because I love being there. That feeling of being a small part of something bigger, camera in hand waiting to catch that “perfect picture” whatever it may be that day.
Props to Coors Field and the Rockies and Sports Authority Field and the Broncos for not restricting my camera usage. I’m glad they realize I’m on their side. The Nuggets and the Pepsi Center are a different story.
Spring Training Road Trip will be early March 2013 for the Rox Addict and I.
My Spring training trip is shorter this year because we purchased a mountain ranch a month ago..
You’d think the perfect name for the ranch would be the Rockpile Ranch right? For some reason my wife doesn’t share my enthusiasm for that name. Since we’re at 9200 feet elevation the wife decided we’re gonna call it the…
“HIGH C RANCH”.
I’m “D” the Ranter.
Press Pass for the Ranter in 2013
From Krista, Hunter, Mylee , Elway, Nugget, Bronco, Karma Kitty and I…
Happy New Year and a prosperous 2013 to you…”D“
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 110,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Nuggets vs Hornets
Pepsi Center 6pm
Our first Nuggets game of the season. Wasn’t sure what to expect.
Jersey Geoff and his family must have been think’n the same thing as my family because we ran into him up in the thin-air section (300 section). This was their first Nuggets game of the season as well.
Gold Medalist Missy Franklin was at the game. (Denver resident but not Colorado native).
Pre-Game the Nuggets recognized Andre Iguodala for helping Team USA win the Olympic gold medal. Andre scored 23 points, 6 assists and had 2 rebounds tonight!
Nuggets also recognized center Timofey Mozgov for winning a bronze medal while playing for his native Russia.
The face of the Nuggets have changed so I’ll hit you with some player names.
Kenneth Faried..14 points and 12 rebounds tonight.
Nuggets 102..Hornets 84
.Nugget’s are now 8-6 on the season and the win tonight was their 4th in a row. I must say at first I didn’t like the new uniforms, but they’re starting to grow on me.
Love that Old Skool logo.
I’m “D” the Ranter…Doing my best to be a well-rounded sports blogger :)