Results tagged ‘ Jason Giambi ’
I was pretty excited about the game today(surprise).
The Rockies had won game one the night before and the Rox Addict had informed me it was raining baseballs during batting practice in the pavilion on Monday. With my record so far I was ready for a downpour.
I was the first in the pavilion and worked my way down to the first row. The Rockies stayed out for most of the half hour we’re allowed to watch them hit. I had play on one ball before the Rockies called it quits. I didn’t bobble it, it just fell about six inches short of my glove as I was leaning over the wall.
I was hang’n with the Rox Addict and my buddy Scott today. After the Dodgers took the field Scott pointed out that Don Mattingly was walking around the field catching pop flys. At one point Don scooped down to pick up a ball that fell short and turned to toss it to the crowd. I called his name and was sure he was going to toss it to me. Instead he tossed it over my head and my buddy Scott snagged it…That’s pretty damn cool in my book and that’s why I show up early. You never know when you’ll make a lifetime memory.
I had play on a few more baseballs but again I pulled a goose egg. It’s starting to stress me a little because my vision isn’t quite what it used to be and I’m hoping that’s not what’s causing me to keep coming up a bit short. Gett’n old sucks, no doubt about it.
I took some pre-game pictures today.
My good buddy and former Rockie Mark Ellis. This guy is a helluva player, not sure why we let him go?
Tony is always dangerous.
Before I could choke down my dollar hot dog the Rockies were down 7-0 and Chacin was a memory.
In comes Roenicke.
That bat is history but on the plus side no stitches required.
Rockies played hard and got within one run.
Final Score…Dodgers 7 Rockies 6
I like Chacin but the dude is 0-3 this season with 7.03 ERA in 5 starts. This game was his worst with a career-high seven earned runs on 11 hits and four walks.
I’m “D” The Ranter and I’m wondering if the next time I see Chacin start it’ll be in Colorado Springs??
Next game…Saturday vs the Braves…Go Rockies!!
Rockies vs Giants Game 2
It may be the “Year of the Fan” but it’s damn sure not the “Year of the Ranter”.
Batting practice was so bad that I’m considering not going for a while because I’m struggling finding zen. The combination of the Usher who told me I can’t use the same gate I’ve been using for 4 years, the gates opening the late, and the Rockies skipping out early for BP, I can’t win here.
Props to Hunter for snagg’n his first toss-up of the season, from a Mets player…Sad
I decided to let the guy below pick tonight’s winner. Sucks for him though… He picked a little more than the Mets.
Here are my game pictures.
Scutaro leads off with a single, steals second and third.
Jon’s the man.
Guillermo Moscoso first MLB pitch.
Guillermo was brought up from AAA to replace Jeremy Guthrie who hurt himself in a bike accident.
Bob with a pep talk.
Dex and the Nacho guy.
Here’s where the Mets catcher takes one in the crotch. Look closely at his face.
The urge to vomit sets in.
A small group forms, all thankful it wasn’t them.
Missed that one.
Happy Camper…What’s up with that Rockies hat though??
Check the dude on the right.
A Facebook friend.
Tyler Colvin hits a triple.
Ninth inning, two out…In comes Giambi to pinch hit for Scutaro, Coors Field goes nuts.
With Colvin on third, with a chance to tie it up…Giambi pops out.
Nice try G…Final Score
Tiebreaker tomorrow with Moyer on the mound. I’m “D” the Ranter and I enjoyed this game, despite the loss.
Maybe it’s cause I was hang’n with my boy…”D”
ROCKIES SPRING TRAINING 2011
It’s 6am and we’re waiting to board the Frontier Airlines Fox. Salt River Fields here we come.
The flight was a success and as soon as we picked up our rental car we headed for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Within about 20 minutes us arriving at the training facility I ran into Rant favorite Tom Helmer.
Here’s a shot of the kids and I peeking through the fence looking for homers. Tom Helmer let me know that one of the batting practice homers I snagged was Giambi’s.
While the kids and I were snagg’n baseballs George Frazier and Drew Goodman walked by. George stopped and said “I remember you from Rockies Fan Fest” and shook my hand. George, that made my day..seriously thank you.
Drew said hi and then they went on their way.
The Team Store
The practice field with the green screen is made to the exact dimentions of Coors Field.
In between the Rockies practice fields.
At this point we had to take off for a quick visit with my sister-in-law and then head on down to Yuma so the kids could spend a few days with my parents.I’ll be getting up at 3am so I can drive three hours from Yuma and be at the new stadium by 7:30.
It’s been my plan for over a year to be the first fan inside the new stadium.
Rockies Fest…Go there once you’ll be there twice.
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.
Here’s Dave and his girlfriend.
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.
Blake and his buddy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While wandering around we bumped into catcher Wilin Rosario and he signed for Mylee and Hunter.
Mylee picking a winner.
Ian Stewart getting his Rockband on.
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.
Aaron Cooks locker sporting a Ranter card in the right corner.
Todd Helton’s locker. I missed this year and my card landed on the floor.
Tulo’s locker, unfortunately the card landed upside down.
Here’s Ubaldo’s entire uniform and then some from his no-hitter in Atlanta last season.
Even his dirty socks.
The original Dinger suit. I still think Dinger should be a black and silver T-Rex but whatcha gonna do?
Coors Field groundbreaking.
Memorabilia from 2007.
The last autograph sesssion of the day was Glenallen Hill and Chris Nelson. Here’s Glenallen signing for Hunter.
Both of these guys were in a great mood and were chatting up the folks in line.
Here’s Mylee’s dog.
Here’s what I managed to get autographed today.
On our way out of Coors Field.
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!
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.
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…D
The Rockpile Rant Salutes “Jason Giambi”
There is no athelete I have enjoyed photographing more the last two seasons than Jason Giambi. When I heard he was picked up by the Rockies I was one happy blogger.
I think the timing of Giambi becoming a Rockie was perfect. He was the right fix/fit at the moment and proved his worth right from the beginning.
Below is my favorite picture of Giambi that I have taken. It is one of only two things I’d love to get the slugger to autograph. I took this picture on 4/24/2010
Here’s the actual video of me doing the deed…I just had to.
If you’ve never seen it, during that game Brad Eldred and Jason Giambi both hit home runs into the batters eye. Long story short, I couldn’t leave a Giambi homerun ball just sitting there…
Here’s the video of me sucessfully acquiring both baseballs.
Most of the folks I know who were able to get Jason to sign for them managed to get it done while Jason was playing in Colorado Springs for the AAA Sky Sox. They all said he was totally cool and stopped and chatted with them and would sign almost anything.
When I tell you I like a player there is actually a lot that goes into my thought process. Statistics don’t mean a whole lot to me. I spend a lot of time at Coors Field and I get to see most all the players in different stages of the season or the day.
You know, goofing off having fun, taking hits during BP, warm-ups, the interactions with the fans just before the game starts.
So I watch how the players act around the other players and how they interact with the fans who so desperately just want them to come over and say hi, or sign a memento for them.
I feel so fortunate to have been able to see Giambi play here at Coors. There are only a few Rockies who can pump up Coors Field in seconds like seeing Giambi grab that bat.
Giambi could, he did it every time he walked up to the plate.
I’m not sure but for some reason Jim Tracy liked to put Giambi in the game right about the time I was in line for the facilities. Two of the all-time finest first basemen in baseball and we were lucky enough to watch these dudes live.
I bet just being his presence for an hour would be highly entertaining and extremely educational.
Although I can’t personally brag Giambi up for signing my stuff and I always watched to see if he would come out and warm-up pre-game. What really happened was I devoted many hours to a nobel cause (so I thought) and I just never happened.
BUT SURPRISE…At least for me there is a lesson in all this is. I’m realizing that in reality what I cherish more is the memory of seeing him hit that ball and me climbing down after it at game’s end.
I could possibly lose the Giambi baseball but I’ll never forget the memory. Especially not if there’s video proof.
Jason.. “Thanks for the good times, giving me the chance to see you play and making a brotha see something in a new light. Believe me that ain’t easy because I wear some dark sunglasses. Good Luck “G” wherever you may be.
I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter… GO ROCKIES!!
9/24/10 Giants vs Rockies Game One
Ok, I’m where I’m supposed to be at the time I’m supposed to be there.(Starbucks pre-game hav’n a coffee to wake up and blogg’n).
I was rock’n to the same music I always play on my drive to Coors.
You know…Mojo music.
My routine is exactly as it should be and I expect the same from the Rockies.
By that I mean, it’s a Friday home game at Coors Field and it’s fireworks night. There’s probably a sold out crowd or damn close.
Rockies…Do what you do best and pump us out a weekend of wins. Give us some glimmer of hope.
I know the D-Backs put a hurt’n on all of you the last three nights. I bet that’s still fresh in your heads.
Return the favor and lets show the Giants what we do at Coors Field to visitors with a whole lot to lose.
I wanna see some attitude. I know it’s there because I’ve seen it many times this season. That Rocky mountain swagger baby.
I refuse at this point to give up. Mathematically it’s possible and I believe we’ll all know the Rockies destiny tonight.
Let’s take the Giants down a few notches. Let tonight’s fireworks celebration be for a huge win instead of the beginning of the last week meaningless games. I love me some baseball but it not as much fun live when it’s for not.
Rockies don’t go out like chumps…
Never Surrender…Just become a season ender.
I’m head’n to Jackson’s Hole to meet up with a buddy. Then it’s time to go snag some baseballs and take some pictures.
I’m sitt’n at forty-fve baseballs for the season and I’ll be attending three more games. Wonder if I can hit fifty?
Today I was hang’n with my friend Dana and his girlfriend Kerri. We were third, fourth and fifth through the Rockpile gates but in reality we should have taken our time.
The batting cages were out on the field but the Rockies were not. Also at the game today was my friend Giant Todd and his family. They were doing their part and cheering on the Giants.
The Giants had the grassy part Coors Field all to themselves and took full advantage of it.
The first people I noticed as I arrived at my spot were super Rockies fans Gary X, his wife, and Alannah X. Also in attendance today was master photographer Mike(no relation to the X family although he and Gary X do have a slight beardy resemblance ).
The X-Family were set on gett’n some autographs today and headed over to the Rockies dugout as soon as that part of the stadium opened up.
As I was geting situated I looked over to my right and standing beside me was looong time Rant Regular Missy. It had been a long time since I had seen Missy and It was nice to see her at a Rockies game actually watching it instead of working it.
Missy my friend it was great to see you again and thank you for hang’n around the Rockpile Rant for as long as you have…I really appreciate it.
I tried to catch a BP ball for her but I was shutout…So much for reaching fifty.
Here’s your Colorado Rockies pre-game.
Eric Young Jr…Doing what he does best.
Props to EY..He delivered the hit that scored Seth Smith providing the Rockies only run of the evening.
It’s always exciting when Giambi is at bat. Check out this video.
Folks extremely amped up on the field gett’n ready for the Fireworks show.
Two-Stepp’n on Coors Field
More proof that white people can’t dance.
As always the Rockies put on a fantastic fireworks show..Thank you!!
Remember my nice email to the Rockies about Fantasy Camp?
I finally was able to get ahold of Jason Flemming. Jason works for the Rockies as the Director of Promotions & Special Events. Jason called me a few days ago and left a message about the email I had sent to the Rockies.
You know, my email asking the Rockies if they would consider sponsoring me at Rockies Fantasy camp so I could first hand blog about the experience.
I was politely informed that the Rockies don’t really do anything like that. That was a bit of a surprise.
I believe the total cost for five days of Rockies Fantasy Camp is $4300.00
The sad part is that for no cost to the Rockies whatsoever they could have offered to let me attend camp just as a blogger. I could blog about the whole experience by being there and talking to other fantasy campers not actually participating but documenting.
Shoot, I don’t even need the personalized jersey they have for made for you, I’ve got my own.
Allowing me to wander Hi-Corbett, take pictures and talk to people would in reality cost them nothing?
At the time I’ve posted this entry the Rockies season is officially over. I had tickets to the last two games but I’m dealing with back and leg issues and walking and standing for long periods isn’t a good thing right for me now. Catching baseballs just isn’t happening
It’s been fun and honor and privledge to blog for you…. “The Rant Regulars”
I’m not sure about next season…???
I guess I need to to sit back and look ponder some things aka…The Off Season.
From the bottom of my heart folks thank you for reading my Rockies blog and for helping the “Rockpile Rant” become the Rockies number one fan blog for the last three seasons.
I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter…
I absolutely love September baseball. If you’re a Rockies fan you have good reason to. I swear next season I’m going to skip a few games in July and August just so I can purchase tickets for all of the September games. September is when the Rockies come alive.
The Rockies train of thought must be to rest up as much as they can in the hot summer months. I figure they do this by hiding 5-8 games back staying low profile sneaking up just under the radar. All the while secretly healing up and saving their big energy for the September run.
That may not be exactly true but it makes for a hell of a good story.
I’ve always been a BelieveR but I did catch myself with a mild case of disbelief twice this season. Both times were after abysmal road trips. I questioned the heart of the Rockies. I was upset at some of the lackluster games that I had witnessed. I wanted to see more out of Aaron Cook and Jeff Francis. I thought this might be the year Franklin Morales gets control of his fastball. I was discouraged that Yorvit Torealba let money be the guiding factor in where played. (In the end Yorvit signed with the Padres for much less money than the Rockies offered him). I was also bummed that Brad Hawpe was traded.
But instead of dwelling on that stuff, I’ve spent this season watching Carlos Gonzalez mature and become a monster hitter and top notch fielder and since Miguel Olivo took over catching duties I’ve forgotten Yorvit even existed.
The face of this team may have changed a bit but its heart is still pumping purple baby.
Jim Tracy is in my opinion a genius. I could straight up listen to the guy talk for hours. Jim Tracy spews baseball wisdom in every sentence and his hungry team gobbles it up. It’s no fluke Tracy was voted the NL Manager of the Year.
Jim Tracy has a plan and I’m enjoying watching him get all his ducks in a row.
Quiet men who are in charge tend to be quiet because they’ve got an ace up their sleeve. Baylor knows what exactly what he’s doing. He fixed Tulowitzki and now Tulo’s as confident as I’ve ever seen him at the plate and his September batting average shows it.
Enjoy this Rockies fans, it hasn’t always been a given that the Rockies will be right in there till the end. I must say I like that fact that the Rockies demand and get respect now.
I’m proud and honored to be the Number One Fan MLBlogger for the Rockies for the last two seasons .
GO ROCKIES !!!
R-Luv was at the game today with her family and they were next to us while we were on the field getting autographs. I had planned to give her the prize for winning the “Pitch Your Team” Video contest and take advantage of the photo opportunity at Coors Field.
The problem was we spent the night in Broomfield and the prizes were up at the cabin in Nederland….My Bad.
So to not make her wait any longer I will be mailing the prizes along with something cool for her son. R-Luv send me a picture when it arrives please?…Thanks a bunch.
Gary X was at the game today with his daughter Alannah X. That’s Mike on the right. Gary X and Alannah X are Rant Regulars and Gary X has become quite the autograph hound of late. Gary said he needs only four more autographs to have every Rockies player.
Gary X told me I was his inspiration to start attending games and snagg’n autographs. I thought that was really cool thing to say…Thanks Brotha!
Gary shares his love of baseball with his daughter and I can relate.
Today was Autograph Sunday at Coors field and we were fortunate to be hang’n out behind home plate. There were four Rockies signing today.
Hunter and I managed to acquire all four of those players autographs.
Here’s Chris Nelson signing a little Rockies fan’s glove.
Here’s Edgmer Escalona. Jay Payton signing for Hunter
G and A talking with Alanna Rizzo.
In full force here’s “Banner Jack” I dig this guy! Bottom of the ninth, score tied 2-2; Jason Giambi steps up to the plate. I and every Rockies fan breathing knew what was going to happen next.
I told Hunter “Giambi’s gonna hit a homerun just you watch.”
Giambi blasts a homerun into the same row that Hunter and I are sitting in. Unfortunately for me the slugger smacked it to the other side of the pavilion. It didn’t matter, that homerun gave the Rockies their 10th win in a row, boosted a somewhat fragile Giambi ego, moved the Rockies to within a game and a half of their Division and proved AGAIN to the baseball world that this club owns f’kn Rocktember.
Look at these folks Rock’n the Ranter hat.
After all I live in Colorado and we don’t buy into that East Coast baseball hype because we’re BelieveRs…D
On a fun note..Here’s video of Dan nail’n the Frontier Flyball Frenzy and catching the last one behind his back. I’ve never seen anyone do that before.
PS..Nice chatt,n with you Queen Geri…Which player shall I start taking pictures of for you now that Bradley is a Tampa Bay Rays?
I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter…..Rockies fan and man with a plan
8/4/10 Giants vs Rockies Game Two
This game was my first day game of the season. Day games are difficult for me to attend because I’m usually working. However today’s day game happened to fall on my day off so Giant Todd and I (not being square)had no excuse but to be there.
I made it in time for batting practice and Giant Todd showed up just before the game started. The Rockies didn’t take outdoor batting practice today so it was just the Giants out in the sunshine taking swings.
I managed to snag one ball at today. It was a homer that I realized was heading for the tunnel so I was the first to duck in there and snagged the ball as it was bouncing around the cement walls.
About the time Robert realized where the ball was heading he looked over and I was already there. He didn’t like that and let me know it. I thought it was funny.
Check out Mustache Giambi and Spilborghs
Normally I poke fun of guys in skirts. But guys in skirts sport’n axes I have no beef with.
(It’s not really a Walk of Shame, but they sure make it seem like it.)
Today I was feeling lucky so I took a chance and stayed close to the field where the Rockies warm up. When Cargo was finished his routine he walked over and was kind enough to autograph my baseball on the sweet spot.
I call this picture Hopper watching Hawper
Starting catcher Chris Iannetta sharing some sharpie luv.
Then as quick as he arrived he was gone.
The game was beginning to start so Giant Todd and I headed over to our seats over in the Rockpile. As we were beginning to sit I looked down at Robert and Dan and it looked as if they were trying to tell us something.
We finally figured out they were trying to let GT and I know there were two seats in the front row of the pavilion we could use.
When we got down there Dan took my camera and I donned my glove.
From this point forward all the pictures in this entry were taken by Dan
I believe Dan was helping me free up my hands in the hopes of snagg’n a homerun ball so he took the pictures for most of the game.
His eye is a bit different than mine and it was really cool checking out the action pictures he took with my camera.
Here’s a shot of us all in our seats. Had a homerun been hit anywhere close to us I believe Dan may have backed off a bit and maybe let me go for it. I can tell you 100% for sure, even though Robert has snagged 50ish game homerun balls, he and I would have battled for it…That’s Robert.
I’ve mentioned this to Robert before and a few other people. Whether Robert realizes it or not I’m eventually his replacment
We both have VW busses, beards and the hair. We’re both super competitive when it comes to ballhawking. We both chug around cameras searching for the perfect action picture.
Shoot, even my middle name is Robert.
Think about it?
The game today had a totally different feel. Rockies fans have a bit of a swagger on a day we know Ubaldo’s on top of that sand. The opportunity to swagger is new to Rockies fans so excuse us as we get used to it and don’t get mad if we bump into you.
I believe before the start of this game Ubaldo had previously won eleven games this season pitching the day after a Rockies loss so that tidbit of information had me feeling confident.
After the game Giant Todd wasn’t hanging around for the celebration so Mike and I headed over to the Post Game show to cheer with the rest of the Rockies fans.
Tom of FSN told the crowd he wasn’t allowed to jump up on the ledge anymore so he took off out of his seat and came running around the corner and started Hi-5ing everyone in the crowd.
When I got home Joy had posted these pictures of Mike and I. These pictures are actual shots of her TV.
Thank you Joy !
No game homerun catch for me this time. The said baseball pursuit continues…
My next entry is for Goose Gossage Day in Colorado Springs..Look for it soon.
I’ll also announce the winner for the Rockpile Rant’s “Pitch Your Team” Video Contest.
var OB_Template = “mlbblogs”;
var OB_demoMode = false;
var OBITm = “1241712535489”;
var OB_langJS =’http://widgets.outbrain.com/lang_en.js’;
if ( typeof(OB_Script)!=’undefined’ )
var OB_Script = true;
var str = ”;
Game two of the Rockies vs the Mariners was today at noon and Isotopes Park was opening two hours early.
One of the things you learn when you attend Rockies batting practices(or most teams for that matter), is that when the previous game was an evening game and the next game is an early one, it’s rare for the batting cages to be out on the field. Usually In this case the players take batting practice inside.
Being that I’m nobody special the planets didn’t align for me and the playing field was empty. That’s ok, that gave me the opportunity to take some pictures and work on snagg’n some autographs.
After I scoped out the park it seemed the place to be for getting autographs was leaning against the rails along the tunnel that leads into the innards of the stadium.
As I waited leaning on the railing I watched Brad Hawpe and Todd Helton walk in and out of the tunnel several times barely looking up and never stopping to sign. Moments later I stood there and witnessed Tulowitzki do the same thing.
Jason Giambi walked out of the tunnel.
Then he stopped and signed for one lucky kid.
I refuse to pass judgement on what I witnessed because it’s early on in the season and as I’ve mentioned before the best time to get autographs is the early part of spring training.
Also I’ve seen those same guys stop and sign many times. Most of getting autographs is luck and it boils down to being a the right place on the right day at the right time.
But as always…. “I Calls ’em as I sees ’em”
The first player kind enough to stop and autograph a baseball for me was Tommy Everidge.
Tommy plays first base for the Mariners.
I mentioned to Clint at Rockies Fest I’d be at the game in Albuquerque and when he saw me he looked up, smiled and said “Hey”.
Don Bayler signed for everyone as well.
Left handed pitcher Greg Smith.
Chris Iannetta was kind enough to sign my Rockies magazine.
Ichiro Suzuki out warming up.
Jack and Kim enjoying the warm weather.
It was fun to relax with the wife and Jack and Kim and just watch the game.
Here’s a couple though.
Here’s a link to Giambi’s hit:–—> Jason Giambi’s homer in the 5th inning.
I think to myself…”Wow…there’s a Giambi homer just sitting there untouched” and I continue to watch the game.
In the 6th inning Brad Eldred blasts a homer into the batter’s eye and it lands almost exactly where Giambi’s homer did but rolled a few feet below it.
Here’s a link to Eldred’s hit: ——> Brad Eldred’s homer in the 6th inning.
I think to myself…”Holy crap, now there are two Rockies home run balls sitting in there untouched”.
From that moment forward with the Rockies comfortably in the lead the game was over for me. I found myself staring at the batter’s eye thinking about those two baseballs. I was talking to my buddy Jack and mentioned the baseballs and the fact that they were just sitting there untouched.
I realized at that point that I couldn’t leave Isotopes stadium without those two home run baseballs in my possession.
Jack and I got up and walked over to the batter’s eye and started to scope it out from all angles. We decided there were three possible ways into that pot of gold.
The first one would require me running along the front of the outfield in gravel with total exposure from the front.
The railing I would have to hop over and drop down from was to the right of Jack pictured here with hottie Marge Simpson.
The third possible way into the batter’s eye would be to come in from the left as the batter sees it. That required two fence hops in and two fence hops out and had a little more visibility than I was comfortable with.
Here’s another view of the batter’s eye and the good sized crowd sitting on the berm.
Anyways, I decided that hopping the fence next to Marge Simpson was the best way to go. My plan was to wait till the exact moment the game ended and make my move.
Krista had my camera so she was able to capture video of me snagging both game home run balls.
COWABUNGA DUDE…What a rush!
I was in and out of there in less than a minute and as far as I can tell I was smooth like butter because I strutted out of Isotopes Park with both of those baeballs in my possession.
Here are the two home run balls retreived from the batter’s eye just as the game finished with a Rockies win 10-4 over the Mariners.
I was the featured story on one of my favorite baseball websites, MYGAMEBALLS.COM
CLICK HERE to read the article written by Alan Schuster.
All I can say is had I not taken the chance and grabbed those two game homers it would have grinded on me for the rest of my life.
I’m afraid that with a haul like this I may have set the bar for my own personal season a bit high.
Do it and make damn sure your having fun while you’re doing it.
D..The Rockpile Ranter
I have to say Albuquerque is a fun city with nice people. I also really enjoyed Isotopes Park. I can say this because after this weekend I officially own this Park.
The whole drive down from Nederland Colorado to Albuquerque I had a good feeling. Good things tend to happen when I have that good feeling .
Isotopes Park is a cool little AAA stadium which is home to the Albuquerque Isotopes. If you’re a Simpsons fan you probably know the Simpsons live in Springfield and they have a baseball team named the Isotopes.
So Isotopes Park has a Simpsons theme.
The first game against the Mariners was on Friday at 5pm. I gave the Isotopes front office a jingle to find out what time they open the gates and I was told the park would open 2 1/2 hours early.
Opening that early would allow me to catch most of the Rockies and all of the Mariners batting practice and I like those odds. The extra BP time would end up being a good thing as I tied my own personal record for snagging baseballs in one game.
My total for the day was six baseballs. Of the six three were caught and three were snagged on the roll. The number of balls today wasn’t really important. What was important was who hit the balls.
BP homer number one was hit by Ian Stewart and snagged as it rolling down the berm and was given away to a little boy.
Ball number two was also snagged on a roll and was smoothly handed off to another lucky little boy. That ball was hit by Todd Helton and was the first of Helton’s BP homers I’ve ever been able to snag because I usually stand in left field.
Ball number three was caught on the bounce right by the outfield fence. Ryan Spilborghs hit this ball. Here’s the video.
Ball number four was a monster hit from Jason Giambi and I caught it straight up. That ball landed in my glove a bit off the mesh and believe me my hand felt it.
Ball number five was a Ken Griffey Jr home run that I caught and Krista managed to get on video. Griffey wasn’t out hitting for long and I didn’t get his autograph.
Catching Griffey’s BP homer was as cool as it gets for a ballhawk.
Here’s the Ken Griffey Jr ball. It’s perfect except for one bat mark. I have no idea who hit BP homer number six but it was snagged on the roll and given away to another lucky kid.
Here’s video of a ball I caught and the dude in the white Rockies jersey(not me) knocked it out of my hand. He did that to several people throughout BP.
Some inexperienced ballhawks have no class. No worries, I have no problem letting them know just that
Robert got to experience the end result of a careless ballhawk himself. Although this guy made a pretty good catch, he was holding a bat and when he caught the ball he turned and the bat clocked Robert in the head.
Let’s just say Robert wasn’t happy.
Here’s Robert and I as batting practice ended.
The Isotopes have their own beer and I thought it tasted pretty good.
Good size crowd on the berm, all of them trying to snag a baseball.
I was with a group of four people and the group concencious was it was too damn cold to finish watching this game so we left in the sixth inning and at that point the Rockies were losing.
After the game Robert called me and told me I f’ked up by not staying. The final score wound up being an 11-11 tie.
Yeah..I was a bit upset, but that cold weather was giving me post-season flashbacks.
I can tell you that Isotopes Park of Albuquerque has never seen anyone the likes of me.
I was running up and down that grassy berm chasing baseballs making the local ballhawks look like chumps.
I went in there my first day and owned that ballpark.
Stay tuned for game two…Believe it or not it folks it gets better.
D..The Rockpile Ranter