Results tagged ‘ Rockies ’
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
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.
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.
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
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.
”Why Baseball is Still the Greatest Sport of all Time”
The first entry in the RANTER’S PHOTO CONTEST is from Michael Sacs.
Props to Michael for getting the ball rolling with a great picture.
The next photo entry is from “Pretty in Purple” attached with this note…
This photo was taken August 1, 2011 vs the Phillies featuring, you guessed it, a loss.
I’ve titled it “The Promise of Next Spring”.
This is just one of the reasons I think baseball is the greatest sport of all time. No matter how awful and disappointing today is, there’s always tomorrow, or next Spring. It is a game that makes us optimists and dreamers with each new scoreboard or calendar change.
I snapped this pic walking up to the park. It reminded me of that promise. Then after watching the game, I realized I would indeed have to wait for the promise of Spring.
I hope you enjoy it!
Katerina a.k.a. “prettyinpurple”
Thanks Katerina, that’s an amazing shot…WOW
The third photo entry is the first Blogger to enter. It’s Matthew Jackson and he writes the MLBlog http://bloggingboutbaseball.mlblogs.com/
Here’s what Matt had to say:
This photo is one I took at Angel Stadium… I just love the sunset and being able to see the whole stadium.
I hope you like it!
Beautuful shot Matt thanks for sharing and Good Luck!
The next entry is from Jim. Here’s what Jim had to say about his picture.
Thanks for sharing your picture Jim.
The next picture is from Amy in Colorado.
Here’s Amy’s quote for the picture..
Vegas baby! Sky Sox Vs. Las Vegas 51′s…. It’s not a purse, it’s a satchel…. Indiana Jones wears one!”
Nice pic Amy, looks like a good time. I’d ask you what happened but it’s Vegas and you probably wouldn’t tell me. Thanks for entering.
The next picture entry is from Andrew. Here’s Andrew’s quote for this picture..
Andrew sent another picture that is not entered in the contest but was worth sharing.
Check out Deal’n Doug’s Bling
Wow…Glad he’s on our side….Andrew’s caption for this picture was.
Next is Joy aka LUVMYROX’s entry…This is a photo of Hunter and Mylee at Batting Practice a while back.
Thanks for your entry Joy and Good Luck.
This next picture is from Nicolle and it’s a sweet picture. Here’s what Nicolle had to say about her picture.
Thank you Nicolle and good luck to you!
The final entry is from Dominic. Here’s what Dominic had to say about his picture.
Hurry up…Send your photo to THEROCKPILERANTER@YAHOO.COM
I was really impressed with the number of Essays that were submitted for the Essay Contest on the Rant earlier this year. All of the Essays were great but some of you seriously put some time and energy into those essays and I appreciate that.
So…I’m going to make this next Contest a lot easier. This one’s a…
Seems only right with the Rant being all about photos…
“The theme for The Rant’s Photo Contest is…”Why Baseball is Still the Greatest Sport of all Time”
Show me what you got, send me your best…This Photo contest is open to EVERYONE.
Except Mike the Rox Addict..Sorry Mike, you’ve got a figurine already and you’re too good brotha.
Use your imagination. You don’t need a fancy camera to participate. The judging isn’t on picture quality it’s on picture content. The judge for this contest will be none other than ROOT SPORTSown Tom Helmer who graciously agreed to be the judge.
The Rant’s Photo Contest winner will be announced September 21st 2011 via this Blog.
You may only submit one picture for consideration. Now, I realize that a person could send in a picture and then a few games later wind up taking what they think is the picture of a lifetime so I’m going to allow one substitution per person because I’m cool like that.
SO YOU’RE WONDERING….WHAT WILL THE WINNER RECEIVE?
I happen to have one extra Numbered Carlos Gonzalez Figurine. Cargo is holding a silver bat and wearing a golden glove. These figurines have a limited run of 1000 only.
This one is #850. I’d love to show you what Cargo looks like but I wont pull it apart to assemble it. The winner can do that.
Not many folks were able to attend that game so these figurines are EXTREMELY collectible. Just ask Gary X who managed to snag 001 out of 1000.
Second place is a Colorado Rockies card with Jason Giambi’s autograph.
Third place is a Carlos Gonzalez autographed card.
Both cards were donated by Gary X..Thank you G!
Send your picture ASAP to THEROCKPILERANTER@YAHOO.COM
The cutoff for emailing your picture is Sept 20th, 2011.
I’m the Ranter…What are you waiting for?
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.
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
I need to get him ready for Broncos Tailgating and Spring Training 2012.
Brewers vs Rockies Game 3
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 :).
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
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.
Dodgers vs Rockies Game 3
Weather: 79 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 1 mph, Out to LF.
Hunter and I were the first in Line at Gate E. We let our out-of-town guest Zack Hample go in front of us because that’s the right thing to do. We figured we’d beat him to the pavilion anyway because of his ankle boot but he made it there first.
I snagged two balls on the fly today and was first to touch a toss-up that I handed to the intended recipient. Hunter managed to snag one toss-up.
Zack snagged his 400th ball of the season within just a few minutes.
Here’s a few game shots.
Tulo gett’n his rub on.
Nettie, Zack and Danny.
Remember folks, when at a baseball game “Just Say No” to the Wave.
Marianne, Hunter and I watched from the front row of the pavilion and listened to two drunk Rockies fans heckle Tony Gwynn for most of the game. Tony didn’t respond at all until the 9th inning. Here’s video of Tony finally acknowledging the hecklers.
Shortly after Tony made a stellar flying leap to catch a bases loaded hit from Charlie Blackmon to the left field to end the game. Tony stood up, looked at the hecklers, smiled an “In your face” smile and headed off the field…Classy.
Below is a link to video of Tony’s catch:
Rockies lose Game 3 to the Dodgers with a final score of 11-7.
In the end Tony got his and I gained some respect for a Dodger despite a Rockies loss…“D”
DODGERS VS ROCKIES GAME 2
Weather: 75 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 9 mph, Out to CF.
When you wake up and you’re still amped from the previous night’s game I consider that a call to action.
Lots of things going on today. Rockies are up in this four game series by one game, I’m hang’n with the kids, and Zack Hample(The Professor of Snag) is in town for the four game Dodgers series.
The kids and I were third to get in line at the gate and as we were waiting in the hot sun I noticed Zack hobbling up to our gate sport’n crutches and a huge ankle boot. Immediately I felt sorry for him as I myself had spent a good 10 days getting to know the boot and I’m still wearing an ankle brace.
We chatted a bit, and I offered him a place in line but Zack had pre-arranged to have someone hold him a spot. Smart, I had no idea? Anyways I’ll spare you the story of the Coors Field regular who cut in front of us then tried to play like he didn’t. After a brief exchange of words it’s my guess is he wont ever cut in front of the kids and I again :). I’ll spare you a picture of him as he’s an ugly SOB.
Zack signed a few books before we entered the gates and he and I arranged to meet up after BP so he could sign my book too. Here’s my copy of Zack’s new book. Fantastic read, with two Coors Field Rantics actually in-between the covers.
Here’s Zack’s inscription along with his current ball count at the time of the inscription.
Batting practice today was a good time for the kids and I. Each of them snagged two baseballs which is a good thing because then there’s no argument over who has more :)..Photo by LUVMYROX.
Me, I really only had play on one ball. It was hit directly to me and I realized it was going to land slightly short of the outfield wall. I leaned over and down as far as I could and as the ball landed perfectly in my glove, until…. Ramon Troncoso slapped his glove down and knocked it out of my hand.
In past experiences most players at this point will pick up the ball and toss it back to the bucket cause there’s no luv for the guy who loses a ball right?
Not this time, guess he felt sorry for me and he tossed it up to me, that kind gesture from a Dodger made my day.
Ramon Troncoso, nice guy.
Here’s my picture show from this game starting with the first pitch of the game.
All pictures were taken from the Rockpile. This one of the kids and I and my buddy Scott was taken by LUVMYROX.
Rockies newbie Charlie Blackmon.
The Tulo home run picture series.
Tom Helmer giving the Rantic kids some post-game Luv along with…..
some of the bigger Rantics, Gary X and Mike the Rox Addict.
Just as the game was ending it started to rain. Dodgers gave it a good run in the 9th but Rockies get their second win of this four game series with a final score of 6-5.
I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter.
I may not be… “King of the Blogosphere”.
But I’m King here:)…D
D-Backs vs Rockies Game 4
Weather: 65 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 7 mph, Out to CF.
Rockies fans look at the month of May as a test. Instead of starting the season off from behind and playing catch up the Rockies changed things up this season. We started off with a bang, and now it seems were out of ammo and just chuck’n water balloons.
Rantics in attendance today were, Robert, Dan, Emily, Amy, Jersey Geoff and Mike The Rox Addict.
Those of us who really like Ubaldo can feel his pain. I need to see the old “Nasty Fasty” back in action.
A few game shots for you.
We did get to see Bruce Billings Major League Debut.
Here’s his first pitch. He threw for two innings. His ERA is now 4.5
For me the highlight of this game was seeing Eric Young Jr back.
Here’s another familiar face. Holliday didn’t even get to take a swing.
Robert showed up for the game today. Was good to see him. Robert has reduced the number of games he’s attending. He’s not happy with the Rockies organization at the moment. If you’ve got some time ask him he’ll tell you about it.
Mike the Rox Addict and I hung out beside the ROOT SPORTS desk post-game to show our support despite this third loss at home to the D-Backs of all teams. You can see the final embarassing final score in the background.
Something’s wrong. The Rockies don’t feel like the Rockies to me. I’ll blame part of it on the lack of fan love they’ve been showing.
Remember fellas the same fans you diss pre-game are the same ones showing up supporting this half-as-sed team as we painfully watch you try and get it together.
Respect your fans and they’ll always support you and always remember where you came from.
Colorado Springs is only an hour away
Rockies fan but not standing nearly as tall as I used to.