In our continuing effort to have Kellan see all 30 MLB teams play a game live, on July 13, 2013, we planned to attend the Phillies game vs. the Chicago White Sox. As American League teams go, the White Sox are right up at the top of the “Teams I Never Watch or Think About” list. So it was practically like we were all going to see them play for the first time.
The game started with a little confusion. It was scheduled as a 4:10 Saturday afternoon start. But the Friday night game the day before was rained out. So our game was turned into Game 1 of a Separate Admission Doubleheader (the worst kind of doubleheader). The problem was figuring out what time the game would start and the gates would open. Late Friday night, I pulled up an article about the rain out on the Phillies website. But what I didn’t realize at the time that the Phillies’ website linked me to the White Sox website, which is based in the Central Time zone. When I read the game was going to be played at 2:00 on Saturday, I didn’t realize it was 2:00 p.m. Central, or 3:00 p.m. Eastern. The Phillies twitter account was thoroughly unhelpful I might effort to figure the situation out. Harrison Tishler, however, had all of the answers (and once I realized I had read a Central time zone-based article, I finally believed all of Harrison’s answers).
Anyway, we met up with the Tishler men (no, Tami) outside of the LF gate. Unfortunately, due to the doubleheader, the gates only opened at 1:10…
…, normally they would open at 12:40 for a 3:10 game.
Because the gates opened later than normal, the entire stadium opened at once. So we wasted no time in heading over to our beloved pizza wedge:
When we set up in the pizza wedge, there were two groundskeepers working on the Phillies mound in the bullpen (which is pretty standard two hours before game time at Citizens Bank Park). Very soon, Harrison and Seth Tishler arrived on the scene. I asked Seth (and he agreed) to watch the boys for a minute while I ran up to the concourse to fill our water bottle at the drinking fountain. When I returned to the pizza wedge approximately 60 seconds later, Kellan had a baseball in hand.
Turns out that Kellan dropped his glove into the Phillies bullpen. One of the groundskeepers retrieved it and tossed it up to Tim. When Tim caught Kellan’s glove, this baseball was tucked inside Kellan’s glove.
At the time, not much was doing on the field. But there were signs of life. The White Sox were getting ready to take BP:
See number 17 in there? That is White Sox coach, Daryl Boston. Lemme tell you a little story about him…and about these two guys in the bright orange:
The Tishlers went off on their own as White Sox BP was set to get started. Shortly, Father and Son Orange Shirt showed up on the scene. See the empty seat in front of Kellan in the phone above? That’s seat number 3 in the pizza wedge. Tim, Kellan and I were taking up the corner spot plus seats 1-3 (our standard operating procedure at BP at CBP). There were zero other people in section 101. There was hardly anyone in all of RF. But these guys came in an camped out in seats 4-5.
They were nice enough folks. We chatted a bunch. But I was not a fan of getting crowded in the corner when the rest of RF was essentially empty. But the dad was gung-ho about getting his son a baseball from the bullpen (I explained that no one would be in the bullpen until around half hour before game time).
Anyway, eventually Daryl Boston wandered out to RF. He was in front of section 102 or 103 and he was hitting baseballs against the OF wall with a fungo bat. I could see his “17” on his back. Just then, the Dad in the Orange Shirt was flipping through one of the little booklets that lots of MLB teams give out that are full of info about the team and the current series, etc. It looked, to me, that he was looking at the White Sox roster. I looked over at the booklet (yeah, in an empty OF, the guy was so close that I could read the booklet in his hands) and scanned the “coaches” portion of the roster. There it was: No. 17 = Ron Wotus. [FYI, Ron Wotus is a coach for the San Francisco Giants, something I did not learn until much later].
As “Wotus” started walking toward LF, I called out, “Hey, Ron, Fungo!” and I flapped my glove. “Ron” immediately tossed a baseball into the air and tried to delicately fungo the ball to me. But it fell short. He tried again. It fell short again. Then he walked over and picked up one of the balls and tossed it up to us.
Thanks, Ron! (I mean Daryl!)
As you can imagine, Boston’s reaction to my “Hey, Ron, fungo!” request did nothing to dispel my thinking that Boston was Ron Wotus.
A few minutes later (while we were still waiting for BP to start), “Wotus” finished chatting with some White Sox in LF and headed over toward the “bucket.” For all the way across the OF, I once again yelled, “Hey, Ron, FUNGO!!!”
Once again “Ron” immediately looked over at us, tossed a baseball in the air, and blasted a pop fly high in the air toward us. But it was off line…and it was hit way too hard. There was a guy at the top of the bullpens along Ashburn Alley and I was certain it was going to plunk him in the head. I yelled, “HEAAADS UP!!!!!” (I yell that a lot at MLB games because lots of fans don’t pay attention). Anyway, the ball slammed off of the ball wall of the visitors (upper) bullpen, just below the guy on Ashburn Alley and it bounded down into the lower bullpen elevator. Sort of like this (minus this Tishlers and other people standing around):
Later, Matt Lindstrom walked by and I told him about “Ron” hitting the fungo into the elevator. He tried to get it for us, but the elevator was locked!
(By the way, you might be wondering why they have an elevator in the bullpen at a major league stadium, it’s because they put a bunch of the equipment into roller carts and then raise/lower them on the elevators. Otherwise, they would have to carry everything up and down the stairs.)
A little bit later, these two gentlemen played a part in our afternoon’s activities:
Number 40 is Ramon Troncoso. He was the only guy out in LCF not hiding his jersey with a pullover so he was the only person whose name I knew. The other guy? No clue who he is.
Eventually, I decided we should try to get a ball for the Kid in Orange. I ended up calling out “Ramon!” when he fielded a ball near us and, when he looked up at me, I pointed at the little guy. Ramon tried to toss the ball to the kid’s dad, but he tossed it too high. It sailed over him and I caught it and handled it over to the Orange Guys.
A few minutes later, the other guy in the picture above tried to toss a ball to us, but threw it over us and the Dad in Orange caught it and handed it to us. Then I proposed something that seemed quite logical to me: I caught the ball from Ramon Troncoso, the Guy in Orange caught the ball from the other guy, why don’t we switch balls so we have the ball I caught and the Orange Folks have the ball they caught? He thought my logical was sound. And so we switch balls. And we ended up with the ball I’d previously caught from Ramon.
So, thanks, Ramon…and other guy.
The Phillies ultimately came out and started playing catch in RF while the White Sox were hitting. We decided to take a break from BP. We headed to the concourse to play some “Games of Baseball”:
When we returned to the pizza wedge, the Tishler were there:
We hung out for a bit and then went and played some more “Games of Baseball.” When I figured the pitchers were starting to warm up, we headed back to the pizza wedge again. Turns out, we were too late. Warm ups were in full swing and our buddy, Jesus Tiamo, had already tossed out a bunch of baseballs. We headed to the end of the second row…
…and Tiamo couldn’t resist those two Mariners fans’ cute little faces. He went and grabbed another baseball and tossed it to Tim.
Wanna see something cool? Check this out:
That’s White Sox catcher Josh Phegley standing at the top of the stairs in the visitors’ bullpen. Right after Jesus tossed the ball to Tim, Phegley headed down the stairs from the visitors bullpen to the Phillies bullpen. When he hit the landing at the Phillies bullpen, he called out to us, and he tossed us a baseball. In the picture above, you can see this baseball in Phegley’s right hand!
Before the game started, we headed off to get some ice cream. On our way, we stopped by this misting contraption:
This is the only game we’ve ever seen this thing at in Philadelphia. It’s a good idea. The kids loved it. Not sure why it wasn’t there more often.
We decided to go with a banana split, because bananas are healthy, you know? I addition to two full bananas, our banana split featured ice cream, caramel sauce, white cream and maraschino cherries. When I said I wanted cherries, Tim protested – he doesn’t like them. I said, “Don’t worry, they’ll just put 1-2 on it and I’ll get them out of there quick for you.”
Well, I was wrong. Our banana split featured TWENTY-ONE cherries!
Check out this beauty of a sundae…
…and our long walk two the place where the boys wanted to eat the sundae:
The game started while we were out in the RCF concourse eating ice cream and then playing more Games of Baseball. The Phils jumped on the White Sox early, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning.
While the boys were playing the games, I realized that “Bull’s BBQ,” which is between the running game and the trivia game is named after Greg “The Bull” Luzinski. One of the MyGameBalls.com photo scavenger hunt photos for this season is a picture of you eating a food item named after a player. I’d been looking for such a food item all season and I’d never thought about Bull’s BBQ. I’d never been there before. So I checked out the menu. Almost every item is named after The Bull! So before we grabbed some food for the boys and headed to our seats, I grabbed a “Bull’s Pulled Pork Sandwich”
Check out Tim (top left below), eating a big bite of the Bull’s Pulled Pork Sandwich in our seats:
And check out those great seats! I should note that this game was our last game before Kellan turned 3-years-old. It was his last *free* game at Citizens Bank Park. I scooped up these two aisle seats in section 102 on stubhub for cheap the morning of the game. And it ended up that the people with seats 3-6 were missing a seat mate who had to skip the game. So they didn’t mind having one of us sit in seat 3. Kellan wanted to hang out in the aisle the whole time, and watch the players in the bullpen. Section 101 and 102 are Citizens Bank Park are some of the coolest seats around.
Here’s a random action shot of Alexi Ramirez:
And here is our view of Citizens Bank Park from our seats in section 102:
In the bottom of the third inning, Jimmy Rollins ripped a single to LF:
It was the second Phillies hit of the inning, but the White Sox wiggled out of the jam.
In the fourth inning, we headed over to the kids’ play area…
…and the kids did a whole lot of playing:
We were in the play area in the fifth inning when Alejandro De Aza hit a 2-run double to tie the game up at 2-2.
In the top of the sixth inning, we left the play area and , we decided to head up to the upper deck for a while. We walked there via Ashburn Alley. Just as we made it to the back corner of the bullpens, Conor Gillaspie hit a sacrifice fly…
…and Adam Dunn scored the go-ahead run for the White Sox.
So we headed up to the upper deck, and we ran into something odd on our way:
There were a whole bunch of nuns up there.
Here was our view from section 428:
Check out Dominic Brown’s curious positioning in LF:
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Darin “Babe” Ruf, blasted a solo homerun…
…to deeeeeeep CF. That tied the game up at 3-3.
While the Phillies fans were excited about their team tying up the score, Tim and Kellan were excited about something else:
See that red arrow up there? That’s pointing at one of the steel beams holding up the light towers along the 3B side of the stadium. When we are up in section 428, Tim and Kellan often spit seeds down the middle of the light towers. On this day, while doing so, Tim and Kellan found some animal tracks on the beam. We couldn’t tell what kind of animal it was. But the tracks looked like they were the size of maybe a cat or a raccoon. It was pretty odd finding the tracks and imaging animals climbing around inside the stadium.
With the score tied in the 8th inning, we decided to head back to our seats in section 102. But when we got there, there were a bunch of empty seats in section 101 (the best section in the ballpark). We grabbed some seats in the third row. When an usher standing at the bottom of the stairs saw us, he told us to move up to the front row.
If you insist, sir!
This was our view heading into the top of the ninth inning:
So we’ve been listening to a lot of classic Metallica on our game day drives this season – mostly Master of Puppets, some Ride the Lightning too. On the way to this game, we listened to Ride the Lightning. When Jonathan Papelbon headed to the mound in the top of the ninth inning, I was a proud father when Tim pointed out that his entrance song (For Whom The Bell Tolls) was one of the songs we listened to (and discussed) on our car ride down to this game.
During the top of the ninth inning, Kellan focused on making silly faces…
…and monkeying around with his bro:
After the final out of the top of the ninth inning, the Phillies cleared off the field, and then came the rain, and the tarp, and a rain delay.
Up in the concourse behind section 102, we met up with Harrison and Seth. Check out these colorfully dressed guys:
The Tishlers volunteered to help us earn some points for the MyGameBalls.com photo scavenger hunt. I had noticed that the upper deck in LF was almost completely empty, and there was absolutely no one in the three sections closest to CF. So we all headed up there in the rain for this scavenger hunt photo:
We all headed back to the pizza wedge as the rain let up. I always enjoy getting a photo of the infield tarp pulled out to the outfield wall. Like this one:
After a 41 minute rain delay, the game resumed, and Tim shook the rain off his wet hair like a dog (well, he might have used his hands a bit too):
The Phillies should have won the game in the bottom of the ninth. Kevin Frandsen lead off the inning with a single. He took second on a Darin Ruf’s follow-up single. Braves pitcher Nate Jones then balked Frandsen to 3B and Ruf to 2B with no outs. But the next three batters couldn’t get it done. Carlos “Chooooooch” Ruiz flew out to shallow LF. Lance Nix struck out swinging. And Ben Revere ended regulation play with a line-out to RF.
So we got some free baseball. Remember, this was the first game of a separate-admission doubleheader. After a 41 minute rain delay, fans were already lining up at the gates for game 2 when our game headed into extra innings.
J.C. Ramirez pitched the top of the 10th inning for the Phillies.
During the bottom of the ninth inning, Ramirez warmed up right behind us in the Phillies bullpen. At one point, Ramirez uncorked a wild pitch to Jesus Tiamo. It kicked off the back wall and ricocheted out into the grass in front of Tiamo. They grabbed a new ball to finish Ramirez’s warmup session.
After Ramirez was finished warming up, Tiamo tossed the ball up us:
The ball was so exciting and the game so long, that Kellan drifted off to sleep in the tenth inning with the ball snug in his glove.
Ramirez held the Pale Hose scoreless in the top of the tenth. But…
…not in the top of the eleventh.
After recording two quick outs in the top of the eleventh, Ramirez gave up a triple followed by an RBI double followed by an unearned run scoring grounder to short.
The Phillies mustered one run in the bottom of the frame, but that was all she wrote. The White Sox won 5-4 in 12.
After the game, we got a Cook Boys photo…
…before heading to the gates and pushing our way through the in-bound crowd.
We drove off into the sunset…
…on our way home while the Phillies began their second extra-innings game of the day!
2013 C&S Fan Stats
|18 Teams – Mariners, Royals, Phillies, Red Sox, Rays, Orioles, Yankees, Dodgers, Reds, Nationals, Marlins, Pirates, Blue Jays, Twins, Tigers, Mets, Brewers, White Sox|
|31 Ice Cream Helmets – Phillies (jumbo) 3, Phillies (normal) 2, Red Sox 2, Yankees 2, Orioles 4, Nationals 2, Pirates 2, Blue Jays 2, Tigers 6, Mets 2, Reds 4|
|82 Baseballs – Mariners 11, Royals 4, Phillies 14, Rays 2, Orioles 7, Dodgers 1, Umpires 7, Reds 9, Nationals 1, Marlins 4, Pirates 1, Blue Jays 2, Twins 3, Tigers 1, Mets 3, Yankees 2, Brewers 2, Red Sox 6, White Sox 3|
|10 Stadiums – Citizens Bank Park 2, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, Nationals Park, PNC Park, Rogers Centre, Comerica Park, Citi Field, Great American Ball Park|
|32 Player+ Photos – Oliver Perez, Lucas Luetge, Hisashi Iwakuma, Carter Capps, Daniel Nava, Alex Wilson, Andrew Bailey, Pedro Ciriaco, Mike Carp 2, Koji Uehara, Will Middlebrooks, Joel Hanrahan, Jonny Gomes, Alfredo Aceves, Clayton Mortensen, Rick Anderson, Tom Gorzelanny, Joe Savery, Jonathan Pettibone, Carlos Ruiz, Charlie Manuel, Justin DeFratus, Ryan Howard, Ben Revere, Larry Anderson, Gary “Sarge” Matthews Sr., Kyle Kendrick, Ryne “HOF 2005” Sandberg, Michael Stutes, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Rowland-Smith|
|10 Autograph – Hisashi Iwakuma 2 (English & Japanese), Carter Capps, Ryan Hanigan, Jesus Tiamo, Mike Carp 2, Ryan Rowland-Smith 2, Felix Hernandez|