Results tagged ‘ Best Blog ever ’

Rain and Hail…Next Stop…Maryvale

3-18-12

Part of this Spring Training adventure was spent camping at Lake Pleasant. This is a beautiful lake, with lots camping sites and more importantly showers and electricity.

Mike and I each had our own tents and the combination of 50 mph winds and torrential rains that started on Saturday night really put a kink in our Arizona camping experience.

 Saturday night was a nightmare weather-wise and everything Mike and I had in our tents got drenched.

Props to my buddy Dan(thank  you) for hooking us up with a coupon for a room at the Talking Stick Resort near Salt River Fields. This was a really nice hotel and after our bout with the rain this was a little slice of heaven. We spent Sunday and Monday night at the Hotel and by doing that we avoided the snow and hail that visited our campsite.

 Brewers vs Rangers

Maryvale Baseball Park holds a special place for me. It was here I snagged my first live game home run ball.

Here’s a link to that blog entry back in 2009:

Snagged my Holy Grail at Maryvale

This would be my first time back to Maryvale since 2009 and I had visions of another home run snag, however this time I wanted to catch it on the fly. The weather was sketchy at best with the sky clear in some areas and pouring rain in other.

I hardly took any pictures at this game as my focus was a home run ball.

If you want to see some game pictures check out the Rox Addicts blog entry on this game.

I did try to get a good one of Brad Hawpe for Queen Geri..Here’s the best I could do Queen, just know I was think’n of ya :)

Although not in the best neighborhood Maryvale Baseball Park is my favorite little spring training stadium. I love the vibe here. Nobody messes with you, the food is reasonably priced and this park has a fantastic berm.

Here’s a few shots of this little gem.

Look at the flags in the above picture. The wind was blowing and it wasn’t one of those warm desert winds. This was a chill you to the bone cold wind.

This park is Happy Youngster stomping grounds and I was on the lookout for that bright yellow shirt. Unfortunately I didn’t run into my friend Nick.

Due to the rain this game was called before it got to the 5th inning, so in the end this game really wasn’t a game.

I’m “D” The Ranter and I’ll be back Maryvale, my ticket is good for two years.

Thirteen Games…Kick’n Ass n’ Tak’n Names

3-10-12

Ranter and Rox Addict’s 2012 Spring Training schedule.

Two Colorado Rockies Bloggers, one mission.

March 14th-D-Backs vs Rockies (Salt River Fields) Evening Game

March 15th-A’s vs Rangers (Surprise) Day Game

March 15th-Giants vs Mariners (Peoria) Night Game

March 16th-Indians vs Angels (Tempe Stadium) Day Game

March16th-Rockies vs Reds (Goodyear) Night Game

March 17th-Dodgers vs Rockies (Salt River Fields) Day Game

March 18th-Rangers vs Brewers (Maryvale) Day Game

March 19th-Reds vs White Sox (Glendale) Day Game

March 20th-Rangers vs Cubs (Hohokum) Day Game

March 20th-Rockies vs Padres (Peoria) Night Game

March 21st- Off Day

March 22nd-Giants vs Rockies (Salt River Fields) Night Game

March 23rd-Dodgers vs Brewers (Maryvale) Day Game

March 24th-Rockies vs Giants (Scottsdale) Day Game..Head home…

How’s that for a Spring Training trip?

 Thirteen games in eleven days. If all goes as planned the Addict and I should see every team and get to wander around almost every Stadium.

Planning on attending one of these games? Leave a comment or shoot me an email and we’ll try and meet up, shoot the shit and take a photo for the blog.

If you’re a Phoenix area local and you have any tips on any of these stadiums(parking, best spot for autographs, anything useful).

PLEASE…

 The Rox Addict and I will gladly return the favor when you’re in Colorado :)

I’m “D” the Ranter and I’m more than ready to hug a cactus.

This trip is gonna be epic…“D”

Rockies Fest 4…Now There’s More

1/19/2012

It’s almost that time of the year again.

That day towards the end of January where hardcore Rockies fans get to walk around the innards of Coors Field like they bought and paid for the place. In years past tickets to this event were cherished and have been difficult to obtain. I mean seriously how often does the average Joe get the opportunity to poke his head inside the humidor or meander through the Rockies locker room and see how messy the Deuce’s locker is?

My thing is I like to covertly toss my Ranter cards into the players lockers . No players have ever contacted me from that move,  but it’s fun and kind of a ritual now for me.

Is this your first time going? Check out the previous Rockies Fests.

Here’s last years 2011 Rockies Fest blog entry…. Rockies Fest 3

Heres the 2010 Rockies Fest blog entry…. Rockies Fest 2

And I was at the first one too but WordPress lost that blog entry for me.

Anyways, the Rockies have broadened what Rockies Fest is this year. For the past three years Rockies Fest was a season ticket holder only event.  This year being what the Rockies call “The Year of the Fan” the powers who be added an extra day to the event and now non-season ticket holders can enjoy the experience for only…

Here I am blessing Coors Field in 2011

RPR Blessing Coors Field 2.jpg

Here I am Blessing Coors Field in 2010

RPR at Rockies Fest.jpg

I’ve decided not to Bless Coors Field this year.

I’m not mad or anything it’s just that it hasn’t worked. I will however be Tebowing from that exact spot. You ask why? Well I Tebowed in a bottle suit in the north end zone at Mile High Stadium and the Broncos advanced to the playoffs.

I figure it can’t hurt right?

I’m “D” The Ranter and I’d like to welcome Jamie Moyer and thank him for making a middle aged guy feel young :)

See you at Rockies Fest on Saturday…“D”

Doing My Part to Inspire Art

1-17-12

It’s one thing to admire someone’s artwork. What takes that to a new level is when that person admires your work and they take it and they add their own touch to it.

Here’s a picture I recently took at the Steelers vs Broncos game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Here’s that same picture after Kyle Banister got ahold of it :)

Thanks Kyle, I’m honored and I think you did a fantastic job. If you’d like to see what’s next on Kyle’s drawing board  become his friend on FACEBOOK. He’s working on a Giambi piece next :)

Kyle Banister Baseball Art

I’m “D” The Ranter and this is some cool stuff…”D”

Ranter’s Photo Contest Winners 2011

9/20/11

First off let me thank all of you who took the time to submit pictures for my Photo Contest, in my eyes you’re all winners.

 Secondly I couldn’t in all fairness judge the photo entries myself so a huge Thank You goes out to Tom Helmer of ROOT SPORTS for taking time out of his busy schedule to judge the photos for this contest.

These are your first, second and third place photos as judged by Tom Helmer along with his comments.

KATERINA

 

The double rainbow over Coors field. “It’s a double rainbow man!, Maybe it will double the number of wins at Coors Field next year.

NICOLLE

3 Amigos. “I know it’s not intimidating to see your bullpen with pink backpacks and holding hands but it makes for a heck of a photo”.

MICHAEL

Fist Bump “I don’t care if it’s the Reds or any other team rolling through. A fist bump from a player to a little fan is always cool”.

Katerina, Nicolle and Michael Congratulations!!!!

Katerina wins the Carlos Gonzalez figurine.

 

Nicolle wins the Jason Giambi autographed Rockies Card

Michael wins the Carlos Gonzalez autographed baseball card.

Winners please email me so I can arrange to get your prizes delivered.

Thanks again to Gary X for donating the Giambi and Cargo autographed cards.

I’m the Ranter and I think I’ll roll with this Photo Contest next year.

Nice and Slow…That’s the Way to Go

9-7-11

The Birth of Vanny Castilla…The Mobile Blogging Unit

Love em or hate em, it’s almost  always a conversation starter when you see VW bus roll by. 

I’ve been fascinated by all types of vans since I was a kid. My admiration for the VW bus in particular hit me in my late 20’s. At the time I was single and I dreamed of owning a bus because to me a bus represented independence and adventure and it meant never being stuck without a place to sleep.

The innovative idea of the Mobile Blogging Unit was brought to life in my second year of MLBlogging. The original MBU was a 28 foot camper which was my father-in-laws. He graciously let a buddy and I (Andy from Spring Training), use it for the nine days we were in Tucson in 2009.

It worked great for our time down there and the built-in shower was handy to have, but when the trip was all over I realized I didn’t need anything nearly that big.

(Not so funny story, the original MBU burned to the ground from a refrigerator fire last year..On the plus side, nobody was injured. This is not the actual fire it’s a prop used for dramatic effect).

That’s when I started to ponder a VW Camper bus as my MBU. I used to have a 1973 VW bus(transporter) back in the day before I met my wife Krista. I owned it for about a year and it was my daily driver. When it started to go have major engine troubles I had to let it go and get something more reliable as I had a rather long commute to work.

This time around the bus would not be a daily driver. The purpose of this bus would be for family road trips, Rockies games, Broncos tailgating and for the most looked forward to of all baseball events….Spring Training.

See folks when your gig is taking pictures it’s not about how fast you can get to where you’re going. It’s ALL about what I mentioned earlier, the adventure and having fun along the way. If speed is your thing believe me you don’t want  any part of a VW bus.

Vanny Castilla will have a built-in computer for blogging , internet connection and cable. I removed the pop-top because I think a Rag-top is the only way to go. When he’s totally finished Vanny will be a tribute to Colorado Sports.(That will be a work in progress).

A little background on Vanny..I had purchased another VW bus about four years ago from a friend. The plan was to restore it but it never happened and I wound up trading it to another friend for a running Toyota 4-Runner(which by the way still runs). Great trade but a big loss to the family.

Early this Spring I started searching for my new MBU. My search led me to a little town in northern Wyoming. After a couple weeks of emailing and exchanging pictures with the owner I knew I had my found my bus. Mike…The Rox Addict used his truck and I rented a car trailer and we both made the voyage north to pick up the future MBU.

A 1969 VW Campmobile…Here’s the bus about a week after I got it home and its first snow in Colorado.

At that point the bus had no name…Just an extremely proud  new owner with a dream.

The previous owner of the bus is the X-husband of a local Denver TV celebrity…I won’t mention who she is on here but if you ask me in person I’ll tell you. The previous owner sharing that little bit of information with me left me driving home with a good feeling about my new bus. Props to Mike for making the trek with me.

The road trip was spur of the moment and he’s a great traveling buddy.

 Here’s a little VW blast from the past for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And my personal favorite.

I really like this VW Commercial.

This is a clip from “That 70’s Show” when Kelso’s vintage VW bus gets destroyed.

My wife thought the bus should be called Ivy. There was a slightly heated discussion about this because I wanted to call the bus Vinny Castilla as this bus is most definitely a dude.

In the end my man Gary X suggested Vanny Castilla and it was such a cool name it stuck. 

With the help my friend Robert Harmon for the engine stuff the MBU will be mobile Spring Training 2012. Vanny will be the same color until summer 2012 when he’ll be painted none other than OD Green baby. With personalized RANTER plates Vanny Castilla will be the most recognized VW bus in America.

My goal is to get a picture of Vinny Castilla in front of Vanny Castilla or if I’m lucky get Vinny doing the Running Man pose for the Rox Addict.

Rockies postseason or not…MLBlogs look out…I’m on the way back up…I know you missed me. Sometimes you’ve gotta put things on the back-burner to make your dreams come true…and besides..

You can’t keep the Original F’kn Ranter down :)

You’re running out of time to send in your picture for the Photo Contest. Get off your duff and send me your best.

Got a VW story…I’d love to hear it…D

Vertical Lift isn’t my Gift

8-23-11

ASTROS vs ROCKIES GAME 2

I had a dream I caught a home run ball from Todd Helton the night before this game.

I had front row seats for this game.

I clean caught the first BP home run ball of the day within seconds of reaching the pavilion.

I was in the perfect seat to snag Carlos Lee’s home run in the first inning.

Here’s a link to the video of Lee’s homer and my still ongoing quest to catch a live game home run.

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=18360453&topic_id=&c_id=hou&tcid=vpp_copy_18360453&v=3

I heard the crack of Carlos’s bat and I knew immediately that this ball was launched close to where I was sitting. Never taking my eyes off of the ball I got up out of my seat and tracked the ball about ten feet to my left. I found myself pressed against the railing behind me. It all happened so quick, as the ball sailed closer I realized it was going to land slightly over my head. I jumped up as high as my body would let me. I’m still not sure if the ball bounced off of my glove or the dude behind me hit my glove with his, but something touched my glove.

I missed it, the perfect opportunity blown.

I sat back down after this and told Amy who was sitting  beside me with her dad,  “I might as well go home cause nothing else is even going to come close, that’s it for tonight”.

 I stayed of course but I was right…Great game, the Rockies take two straight from the Astros with a final score of 8-6.

My quest continues….

Robert recently took his VW bus “Jim Morrison” on his final journey. Robert and Jim headed up to Seattle to catch a couple Mariner games and to get a shot of Jim in front of the space needle. Apparently Robert had tried to get the same picture years back and the weather didn’t cooperate.

Here’s Jim in front of the Space Needle after almost a half a million miles…

 

Happy Trails Jim…Jim’s replacment…Janice.

My VW bus..aka..Vanny Castilla is coming along too.

I’m the Ranter and right now I’m wishing I was one of those guys who had the “Gift of Lift”.

Props to the Rockies who continue to play better as the season winds down.

Feel the Rain…Taste the Pain.

8-19-11

Dodgers vs Rockies Game One

Ran into this “flash from the past” struggling to take a hard right while parking  today close to Coors Field. Cool horses, terrible beer.

I know the dude pushing the shopping cart is wondering if all those cases if beer are full?

Colorado  is a microbrew state..Coors beer isn’t much better but at least it’s a Banquet beer whatever that is? Life is short people. I don’t always drink beer,… but when I do I prefer good beer :)

No big entry for this game. Batting practice started off slow and was uneventful for the Rockies portion of it. The Dodgers gave some luv to right field and the extreme left side of left field. By the end of BP I had managed to snag two. The first was a ground rule double which I gave to a little boy who was there with his dad.

The second was a toss up that was not thrown hard enough to reach it’s intended recipient and it ended up in my glove.  Shortly thereafter it was nestled into the glove of a young Rockies fan. 

It was really cool to see Joy and Jim again at Coors and for the first time this season I ran into Queen Geri. Great to see you all. Nice hang’n with Douglas, Amy and her pops in line.

I’d like to get a group picture of as many Rantics as possible one game before the end of this season.Maybe the fireworks game in September??

Oh yeah..They gave away a Giambi T-Shirt today.

 Here are a few pictures I thought were worth sharing from this Rockies loss.

First pitch of the game.

Mark Ellis airborne

Duck

Long time Rockies Usher “Beard” giving the all clear.

These couple pictures are from when Kemp got tagged in the helmet with the ball. It deflects off the glove then hits his helmet and he drops like a rock.

Seemed like Kemp was ok after a bit.

Helton gets a double.

Jim and Joy feeling about like I was during this game.

The Rockies couldn’t seem to put anything together this evening. When it started to rain I was tired and done and I headed for my truck.

The Rockies lose this one to the Blue 8-2. A big thank you to Jersey Geoff for the ticket to this game. I’m glad I didn’t pay for an expensive seat to watch this snoozer.

Don’t forget to send in your picture for the “Ranter’s Photo Contest” to win that ultra cool Carlos Gonzalez figurine.

I’m the Ranter, tomorrow is “The Duece’s” bobblehead day. I’ll be there standing in line along with half of Colorado.

ranter hat.jpg

Five to Zero…Look’n for a Hero

8-2-11

PHILLIES VS ROCKIES GAME TWO

 Notice the temperature? July was a record breaking month in Colorado as far as the heat goes but today was overcast and drizzling at times. The cooler weather was a nice change.

Here are your Starting Lineups

Even with the drizzle the cages were up and BP was roll’n. I kind of felt like a ball magnet today as I had a lot of play during BP. I was hoping that would work to my advantage during the game as I had a front row pavilion seat today.

(I’m Still buck’n for that first Game Homer)…Thanks Mister Ticket Mister :).

I’ll spare you the suspense…It didn’t happen.

The first two BP balls I snagged were toss-ups from Phillies players that were bobbled by Phillies fans. I made sure those two balls found homes with Rockies fans. My next snag was a ground rule double that hit fast and bounced off of my glove.  A few quick steps later and I scooped up my own bobble.

I didn’t want BP to end without actually catching one. There was a break in the clouds and the baseball gods shined briefly enough for me to catch one on the fly from an unknown Phillies player shortly before the players left the field. Props to Mike the Rox Addict for snagging a ground rule double ball that tipped off my glove while surrounded by Phillies fans eager for that ball.

I believe Amy snagged four balls and Jersey Geoff , Dan and Ken had a few nice snags too.

    Here are your Rockies warming up.

Chris Iannetta flashing me the Ranter sign.

The only Rockies player that I saw walk up to the wall and sign was Mark Ellis.

Props to you Mark, shame on the rest of you.

Guess “The Duece”  has been teaching classes on how to avoid signing autographs.

Other than catching baseballs my second favorite thing to do at the ballpark is take action pictures. However there was a severe lack of action from the Rockies so here are a few Phillies pictures. 

I feel ya EY.

I don’t get the Rockies. If I didn’t have so much fun hang’n with my friends at Coors Field I doubt I attend many more games this season.

The Coors Field late innings two out magic is all but dead. This game was uneventful, unexciting, unfulfilling and unfun.

WTF happened?

Keep ignoring your fans Rockies and nothing good will come of it.

I also want to wish Ubaldo Jiminez the best of luck with the Indians. Nasty Fasty was a class act and was the nicest most approachable Rockies player I have ever met. I’m not happy with the decision to Trade Ubaldo or the manner in which it was executed, but we all knew the Rockies were do to make a pitching blunder of some sort.

At least he can’t come back and haunt us in the American League? unless…Nah

I’m the Ranter…I’m thinking I picked the right season to back off the baseball games a bit and work hard on my Mobile Blogging Unit…AKA

VANNY CASTILLA

I need to get him ready for Broncos Tailgating and Spring Training 2012. ranter hat.jpg 

Iannetta Knew It…The Kid Blew It

7-16-11                                                                       

Brewers vs Rockies Game 3

and

Our first Rockies Photo Day..For some reason we always seem to have something going when this day rolls around.

Our little roped off section of Coors field was filled with Rantics. The Rockies who were posing for pictures were all friendly and approachable other than “The Duece”,  who once again lived up to his number. I made a comment that out of the group of eight of us who were doing this round robin with the picture and camera switch during the photo session,   I bet that Tulo would diss four of us.

I was wrong, Tulo dissed six of us and left Hunter standing there just waiting for his picture as he moved past us as quick as he could.

Tulo, c’mon man…Most folks in this state look up to you…Hunter used to. I respect your athletic abilities brotha, but you need lessons on how to treat your loyal fans.

Believe me I’m not ripp’n Tulo for this just this “ONE” time. You don’t earn the nickname “The Duece” overnight :).

Anyways….

Way too many pictures today of players and Rantics to post em all but I’ll share a few.

 Skipper Jim Tracy 

Jim and I

Rox Addict and his famous “Running Man” Pose

Must be contagious, here’s Dan striking a pose.

Me, I’m not really a running man, I’m more of a glider.

Tom Helmer sport’n a mustache?…Guess I have been gone a while :)

Gary and Alanna X and the Coaches

Mike and Chris Iannetta “aka Spongebob” holding Spongebob…Perfect!!

Me n Wiggy

Hunter and Ian Stewart 

Ryan Spilborghs

Aaron Cook and the Rantic Red Beards

Cha-Ching on the mound, first pitch of the game after a brief  rain delay was a strike.

Best hat of the game.

 

I was a little late to the action but I got some pretty good pics.

 

 

 It was different watching Chris Iannetta getting gett’n all fired up as he’s usually quiet and reserved. I guess watching  Chris pop his cork got Jim Tracy all fired up.

Usually stuff like this jump starts a team… But this was not the case today.

I’m the “Ranter” and despite the loss I had a great time hang’n with the Crew.

ranter hat.jpg 

 

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