So here’s the deal: April 14, 2013 was awesome. April 14, 2013 was really, REALLY awesome. And it all started on April 13th. Our buddy from Baltimore, Avi Miller, arrived at our house in Pennsylvania around 1:00 p.m. We packed up the car and then Tim, Kellan, Avi and I hit the road en route for Rhode Island:
We passed over the George Washington Bridge in NYC, and eventually made it to Warwick, RI around 8:00 p.m. I gotta say that the low light of the drive was when the entire side of the boys’ bag of chex mix ripped off and the entire bag of snacks dumped onto the floor of my car. After checking into our hotel, we all headed to Bertucci’s for dinner, where Avi promptly spilled a big iced-water all over the place.
The following morning, Kellan woke up bright and early at 6:00 a.m. We hit the pool for a bit and then we hit the road north toward Boston.
We parked in the lot on the corner of Ispwich and Landsdowne and hit the street:
As the picture in the center above shows, we had a big day on tap: at 1:35 p.m. we would see the Rays face off against the Red Sox here at Fenway. Then at 8:05 p.m., we planned to be down in New York to see the Orioles battle the Yankees.
We started off our Fenway experience with a walk around the exterior of the ballpark. It was 10:00 a.m. and we had an hour to kill before the early gates would open for members of Red Sox Nation (that includes us). We got some photos of Tim and Kellan posing with some signs and logos on Yawkey Way:
Around the corner on Van Ness, we got a shot of Tim and Avi with a big Fenway Park sign behind them:
Down at the other end of Van Ness, Tim and Kellan posed with a statue of Ted Williams and a little boy:
As you can see, two sailors and a girl were hanging out in front of the statue of Williams, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky and Dom Dimaggio. I thought they’d probably clear out if I offered to take a picture for them. But no dice. After I took their picture with the statue, they just kept standing there. So I just snapped a picture of the statues with them in front of it.
Around the corner (I guess that would be back on Ipswich), the Rays were all piling out of the team bus and heading into the ballpark. The only guy I recognized in civilian wear was Fernando Rodney:
We headed back down Landsdowne so Avi could check out the Bleacher Bar:
As shown above to the right, I noticed something really interesting: there is a head level window above the urinals in the little boys’ room so the gents can keep an eye on the bar and CF from the john.
Around 10:30, we jumped in line with the Red Sox Nation folks. We ended up standing next to a guy who is hands down the biggest Matt Albers fan in all of New Englands. While the boys snacked on all sorts of goodies, Avi chatted up the Albers fan.
At 11:05, we headed into the ballpark and ran up to the top of the Green Monster. This was Avi’s first game at Fenway Park! Tim, Kellan and I have been to Fenway before, but none of us had ever been out in the seating area up on the Monster. It was pretty cool. Check out the view from Monster Section 4:
And Check out this merry band of baseball fans:
There wasn’t going to be any BP at this game, but I still wanted to try to get at least one baseball. I had a master plan to get it done: find amazingly nice Rays bullpen catcher Scott Cursi. When we were up top on the Monster, I spotted Scott and another Rays coach walking out of the Rays dugout and heading toward the visitors bullpen in RF. So Tim, Kellan and I quickly headed off to the bullpen. We made it there by the time Cursi arrived.
As Scott entered the bullpen, I said hi and struck up a little conversation. I explained to him that the boys and I were doing both Fenway and Yankee Stadium TODAY and we were hoping that we could get a souvenir baseball at both games. I asked if there was any way Cursi could help us out. “Sure,” Cursi responded, “I can help you out with that”:
In fact, Cursi said he’d give us one dirty baseball and one clean baseball. The dirty baseball that he tossed to me and Kellan was actually a beautiful game-rubbed up ball. He then looked at Tim and asked if he had his glove. Unfortunately, it was still packed in my backpack. I tried to hand Tim my glove, but Tim told Cursi that he didn’t need one. And he was right. As show above, Cursi flipped the second ball up to Tim and he made a nice bare-handed catch.
Cursi then asked us more about our day. “Are you flying? Taking a train?” “Driving,” I responded. Then he told us about 10 times in a row to “be careful, guys!” I thought that was pretty funny because last year at Safeco Field Cursi warned us a bunch to be careful about foul balls hit during BP.
Cursi is really awesome. Everyone should be this cool.
While Avi chatted some more with Cursi, Tim, Kellan and I headed up to our seats in section 38, row 19. When we were up there, we took our Fenway Park bonus baseball picture for the MyGameBalls.com photo scavenger hunt:
Then we headed over to the Ted Williams red seat homerun marker…
…and Avi met us up there to get a picture of his own with the red seat.
Nothing was going on yet, so we headed into the concourse under the bleachers. Avi was loving Fenway Park. It’s really unlike any other ballpark, even Wrigley. I got a cool shot of Avi and Tim under a bunch of support beams with painted concession signs:
Then we headed back into the bleachers and Tim and Avi got another posed photo:
And then we noticed something awesome. Remember the no BP thing? Well, the reason for no BP was because it was photo day at Fenway Park. And the “something awesome” we noticed was that they had just opened the big garage door in CF and were letting the small crowd of fans down onto the warning track. We darted out to CF, and then head over to the bullpens.
Avi demonstrated his homerun robbing skills:
On the other side of the bullpen wall, Cursi was getting ready to catch Matt Moore. Tim and I each took a photo of Cursi behind the bullpen plates:
My picture is to the left: he is posing for a close up. Tim’s picture is to the right: Cursi had just caught a throw from Moore.
Here is my absolute favorite action photo of the day:
If you cannot tell, that is Matt Moore throwing a ball right at us (well, a little to our left) as we peaked over the bullpen wall from the warning track. If you look closely, you can see the ball in the air. How awesome is that, huh?
I was holding both boys to look over the bullpen wall. Then I did a big spin around and Avi photo’d us looking in four different directions (with four cool backgrounds). First, the visitors bullpen:
Second, home plate:
Third, the CF bleachers:
Fourth, the glorious Green Monster:
We headed out to CF where I got a great panorama featuring Avi:
All four of us were absolutely loving being out on the field at Fenway. We approached the “Monstah”:
An usher took a strategically posed photo of us…
…between the “BAL” and “SEA” signs.
Avi needed a closer look at his O’s “BAL” sign:
And I needed a close up of the boys in front of the Outs and “H” indicator lights.
Tim had the great idea of taking photos looking straight up the Monster:
In the photo above to the right, check out the awesome dent in the green “HIT” light. I love it! I wonder who peppered balls off of that light to contribute to that dent.
Of course we needed some pictures in the LF corner:
I had to get into one myself too:
Down the LF line, we used one of the baseballs from Cursi to get an action photo of Kellan:
And then came the mascots. Wally the Green Monster obviously likes Mariners fans more than Orioles fans:
How funny is it that the Celtics have a real-guy as a mascot:
You can’t tell in that last photo, but the Bruins mascot had hijacked Tim’s Mariners cap. See how Tim is taking a self-photo of himself and the Patriot? He did that a bunch of times. I was pretty bummed because Tim deleted all of his self-photos before I could see them. He said none of them were any good, but I bet they would have been great. Oh, well.
We could go anywhere on the warning track except in front of the Red Sox dugout. The hilarious part was that the Rays had to walk through the crowd of people to get from the dugout to the field and back. We had some great up-close access to the Rays dugout:
And then the Red Sox started circling the field. Kellan didn’t want to get off of my shoulders so almost all of the pictures are only of Tim. Tim got his picture with 11 different Red Sox including Daniel Nava and Alex Wilson…
…Andrew Bailey and Pedro Ciriaco…
…former Mariner, Mike Carp…
…former Oriole Koji Uehara (who liked Avi’s Joneys jersey) and Will Middlebrooks…
…Joel Hanrahan (who gave Avi some grief about his O’s attire) and Jonny Gomes…
…and Alredo Aceves and Clayton Mortensen:
Mortensen also commented about Avi’s O’s jersey, but then he told Tim that he couldn’t knock a Mariners jersey because he is from the Northwest.
We forgot to bring a water bottle and Tim was getting thirsty so we left Avi on the field and headed into the concourse to grab some water. When we bought our water, the cash register lady told us to be sure to get some free food for Tim and Kellan and the nearby concession stand – kids eat free in April at Fenway!
We grabbed two free kids meals…
…and headed to the seats so the boys could chow down. I’m happy to report that neither of the little guys spilled ketchup or mustard on their white M’s shirts! Success!!!
And then it was back down to the field for us. We circled the outfield in reverse…
…and headed over to the famous Pesky Pole:
And then they started to usher the fans off of the field. We met up with Avi again in LF and the four of us dragged our feet as much as we could and ended up being the very last fans to leave the playing field!
Then we headed behind home plate:
Check out this great photo:
I think that photo really puts into perspective how tiny Fenway Park is. Mentally compare that photo to any other ballpark…the others will look a whole lot bigger.
We took Avi out to the LF foul concourse to see the big lego Fenway…
…and we checked out a big picture of Teddy “Ballgame.”
And then it was out onto Yawkey Way with us (Yawkey Way is both outside and *inside* the stadium. We ran into Big League Brian…
…and listed to some great music by a local band.
Tim and Kellan both tried their hand at the speed pitch:
And then we back inside and upstairs:
It was Wally the Green Monster’s birthday and he had a little party on the field with his buddies:
We hung out for a while behind section 9:
While doing so, an usher repeated told us that there were extra seats so we should sit down. I told her we didn’t have seats anywhere near there and we were just roaming around taking pictures…but she insisted. Ultimately, we relented and begrudgingly grabbed some $90 seats:
Where this was our view:
We didn’t even stay there until first pitch. Speaking of first pitch, here is it:
It was Clay Buchholz vs. Desmond Jennings. Buchholz was on fire during this game. Neither Jennings nor Evan Longoria…
…got hits in the first. Neither did anyone else in a Rays uniform for a long time.
We headed out to our seats via the in CF via the cross aisle behind the grandstand.
Oh, yeah, that reminds me of a funny story. On our way down the elevator (actually, this might have been later in the game), I asked the elevator operator, “We want to go to the level that is at the top-back of the grandstand, what’s that level called?” She had no clue what I meant and took us all the way down to level 1 (the lower concourse). I peaked out of the elevator and said, “No, one up from here.” She hit “2’ and when the elevator door opened again, she announce, “Grandstand level.”
Oh, I guess that’s what the level at the top-back of the grandstand is called, the grandstand level.
Anyway, walking across the back of the grandstand, Kellan (wearing his knit frog hat) did his best Green Monster impression…
…and then we got some ice cream helmets (on Avi…thanks, Avi!).
After the ice cream, Kellan was a little grumpy, he was starting to get a bit tired (nap time). I took him to the restroom. While we were out there, the Red Sox scored four runs (Kellan and I missed all of them!). During the scoring frenzy, Tim took a great action photo (unfortunately, his camera doesn’t have a very big zoom):
That is Pedroia getting thrown out at home while the Rays pitcher, Alex Cobb, lays on his back flaying his legs.
Instead of heading back up to the seats, Tim and Avi came down and met up with me and Kellan. And then we all headed back to LF to look at the lego Fenway again. While we were looking at the lego Fenway, a lady (who was with her daughter) asked us if we got our “welcome kit” from guest services (which was right behind us). Avi went over and asked for a welcome kit and they gave him 4 of them, one for each of us. They are just little plastic baggies with a couple things in them. The highlight by far is that they each had a packet of real Fenway Park dirt!
Next, we headed up to the foul corner of the Monster. You can get up there onto the Monster in foul territory without tickets, but you need Monster tickets to get into fair territory.
Here’s a sorta-panorama from up there:
And here is Dustin Pedroia a split second before grounding out:
Here’s a picture with no story, I just liked the angle:
While up on the Monster, we got pictures of the parking garage across the street behind the Monster…
…and down a hallway leading to the suites on the second level (or maybe the third level…not the “grandstand” level).
I’d never known how to get up top down the LF line. From the foul corner of the monster, we saw another set of stairs leading upward so we followed it. And check this out…
…that beautiful view is from section 18.
Kellan got all huffy-puffy while I was taking that panorama.
He wanted down off my shoulders. And when I put him down, he bolted down and around the corner behind section 18. I ran after him, and there is where he was running:
He had apparently noticed Mickey on our way up to section 18 and he needed some Mickey Mouse!
Here’s a little patio area behind section 18 (and some other sections)…
…, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me because you can’t see the field from this patio, whatsoever.
We circled back toward RF. On our way, here is a view from the aisle way between sections 12 (left) and 10 (right):
Avi and the boys were having fun checking the place out:
Here’s another view from between section 10 (left) and 8 (right):
Then (after running back-and-forth a bit because I forgot my backpack in section 10) we made our way back to section 9 where we chatted with the same lady who had forced us to sit in the expensive seats before the game. She explained how we could get out to the upper deck porch out in RF.
Here is a party porch area where you need special tickets to get into it:
And here is what it looks like in the SRO area down there behind section 27’ish…
…and behind section 37’ish:
A lady took our picture. I’m not sure why Avi didn’t jump into the picture…
…maybe because that random other guy jumped in into Avi’s spot??
Then we headed down to the bar area all the way out in the RF corner…
…until we decided to settle in again in the SRO area in section 37.
It was the seventh inning by this point and the score was still 4-0 Red Sox. Our plan was to leave at 4:00 (regardless of whether the game was over) so we could get on the road to New York. It was fast approaching 4:00.
And then Avi realized something important: Clay Buchholz was pitching a no hitter!
We decided we couldn’t leave during a no hitter. Avi started to actively root for a Rays hit…I was fine hanging out longer if it meant we got to see a no-hitter.
We decided to head out to the tunnel way out in CF so we would be close to our car. If the Rays got a hit, we would bolt. We made this decision with 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th. The Rays pulled Cobb and put in Jamie Wright who, without throwing a single pitch, picked Shane Victorino off first base to end the inning.
Kelly Johnson came up first in the top of the 8th inning and promptly broke up the no hitter. We were still heading out to CF and we promptly changed our focus toward the exit in the RF corner. Before we reached the exit, Sam Fuld hit into a double play. And then we slipped out of the stadium and hightailed it over to the parking garage where we had to wait for one of the valet guys to get my car off of the top of one of these elevator machines:
And then we were on the road for New York. The traffic was terrible getting to the freeway, it probably took us 10-15 minutes, during which time the Red Sox scored one more run.
Final score of game 1: 5-0 Red Sox over the Rays.
Once we got to the freeway (aside from one quick wrong turn), the trip down to New York was all smooth sailing.
Check out my passengers:
Avi actually only slept for about 10 minutes. Two funny things happened during the drive. Both Tim and Kellan slept the entire way from Boston to New York. About midway in the drive, Tim woke up briefly, looked around and said, “Is it another day now?”
While Avi was asleep, he said to me, “That’s not a real state!”
The Orioles vs. Yankees game started at 8:05. We pulled into the parking garage just a few minutes before game time. Avi ran ahead and made it into the field for first pitch. I had to change Kellan’s diaper (he’s only 2, you know), but we still made it into the field in time to watch the first pitch to the second batter of the game.
Here is the most ridiculous part of our entire day: although I was carrying all sorts of stuff, the Yankees usher made me put everything down and get out my tickets to prove to him that Tim, Kellan and I were entitled to enter section 239…
…hands down the worst section of seating in all of MLB (probably the worst section in all of professional sports).
Here’s what our view looked like from our seats in the third row of section 239:
Notice that even in the third row, you cannot see any of RF.
Want to see a little trick that the Yankees’ architect played on the fans sitting in section 239? Check this out:
Pretty neat huh? It looks like you can see right through the glass of the Mohegan Sun sports bar and you can see all of RF. But that’s not the case. That is actually a reflection of LF (you can see Vernon Wells out in LF and again in the reflection in the window). They really did an amazing job lining up that glass. Check out how the reflection of the upper deck exactly matches up with the real upper deck all the way across the stadium and the field level exactly matches up with the field left on the 1B side.
Shortly after arriving, it was time for a second round of hot dogs for the day…
…, but we had to pay for these ones.
We also had a second helping of hot chocolate…
…, which I didn’t mention but we also got at Fenway. In the background, Avi is giving his assessment of Yankee Stadium. We also got a second helping of ice cream:
When I got the boys their ice cream and hot chocolate, I got myself a pretezel:
It was hands down the worst pretzel that I’ve ever had. I told Avi that I thought it was left over from last season. He got a kick out of the comment, but it wasn’t far off.
The match-up for this game was Hiroki Kuroda for the Yankees against Wei-Yin Chen for the Orioles:
In the fifth inning (with the game still scoreless), we decided to take a walk and explore around a bit. We were in the SRO area behind section 104…
…ended up scoring 3 runs, including a second deck homerun by Brett Gardner. That homer made the score 3-0 Yankees.
We headed over to the “Great Hall,” which I prefer to call Bronx Central Stadium because it looks more like a train station than a ballpark:
After the people at Fenway being so incredibly nice, Avi was not feeling the customer service policies at Yankee Stadium, particularly the constant instructions for me to take Kellan off of my shoulders.
Avi also was not very happy about this highly obstructed SRO view in the 200 level:
When we got back to our seats (actually, we went one section over into section 238), Tim and Avi had a little fun with Avi’s iPhone camera:
The front row cleared out so the boys were able to stand right above planters at the front of the section:
Unfortunately, Kuroda ended up pitching a complete game shutout.
After the game, Orioles bullpen coach Rudy Arias tried to toss a baseball to Tim, but it feel short. An usher saw it all happened and made sure the ball was thrown back to Tim.
Thanks, Arias and Usher!
Both boys posed with the ball and the Yankee Stadium sign for the MyGameBalls.com photo scavenger hunt:
Before leaving our section, we got a group shot in the bleachers:
And then we headed over to section 102 (or so) to meet up with Zack Hample. And this picture with Zack (who has snagged more baseballs at Yankee Stadium than anyone else on MyGameBalls.com) earned us a couple more bonus points in the scavenger hunt:
Each time we see Zack, he gets a picture fist bumping Tim. But after our long day, Kellan wasn’t interested in fist bumping and Tim was took excited to stand still:
We ended up giving Zack a ride home from the game:
It was pretty amazing that he fit in there because there is almost no room whatsoever between Tim’s and Kellan’s car seats.
Before we left Zack’s place in Manhattan, Zack took a parting shot photo of me and Avi:
And then it was more driving. We got back to our place after 2:00 a.m. Avi had class in a few hours. I invited him to stay the night, but he hopped into his car and headed home.
Long, long day. But more importantly, an awesome day:
2013 C&S Fan Stats
|6 Teams – Royals, Phillies, Red Sox, Rays, Orioles, Yankees|
|5 Ice Cream Helmets – Phillies (jumbo) 1, Red Sox 2, Yankees 2|
|10 Baseballs – Royals 4, Phillies 3, Rays 2, Orioles 1|
|3 Stadiums – Citizens Bank Park, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium|
|11 Player Pictures – Daniel Nava, Alex Wilson, Andrew Bailey, Pedro Ciriaco, Mike Carp, Koji Uehara, Will Middlebrooks, Joel Hanrahan, Jonny Gomes, Alfredo Aceves, Clayton Mortensen|
The offseason and January 1st are for remembering the past and looking forward to the future.
As far as remembering our baseball past goes, here’s a video that I made in 2010 that I absolutely love:
I really need to put together Volume 2 soon.
That’s all for now. Go Mariners!
I am way behind in writing our game entries — 4 games to be exact. But, in the meantime, I wanted to share a photo compilation I completed today. This past weekend, we attended two games at Marlins Park in Miami. Tim and I have now been to every current MLB stadium, plus several closed stadiums. Here is a photo six years in the making:
As of today, Tim has been to 139 MLB games, with Safeco Field, Camden Yards and Citizens Bank Park topping the “most games” list. But here is a list of the first (or only) game Tim attended at each of his 34 MLB stadiums:
- Safeco Field (9/12/06)
- Citizens Bank Park (6/30/07)
- Camden Yards (8/9/07)
- Yankee Stadium (’23) (9/3/07)
- PNC Park (9/29/07)
- Great American Ball Park (8/15/08)
- Progressive Field (8/17/08)
- Shea Stadium (9/7/08)
- Chase Field (9/12/08)
- Citi Field (4/25/09)
- Nationals Park (5/17/09)
- Yankee Stadium (’09) (7/2/09)
- Fenway Park (7/3/09)
- Wrigley Field (8/14/09)
- H.H.H. Metrodome (8/15/09)
- Miller Park (8/16/09)
- U.S. Cellular Field (8/17/09)
- Rogers Centre (9/26/09)
- Oakland Coliseum (6/9/10)
- Dodger Stadium (6/11/10)
- Petco Park (6/12/10)
- Angel Stadium of Anaheim (6/14/10)
- AT&T Park (6/15/10)
- Minute Maid Park (5/27/11)
- Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (5/28/11)
- Comerica Park (7/3/11)
- Sun Life Stadium (8/13/11)
- Turner Field (8/15/11)
- Tropicana Field (8/19/11)
- Target Field (5/12/12)
- Busch Stadium (5/14/12)
- Kauffman Stadium (5/16/12)
- Coors Field (5/18/12)
- Marlins Park (8/31/12)
We were supposed to go to Bronx to see the Mariners on Monday, July 25, 2011. But then we had to cancel and reschedule for Wednesday, July 27, 2011. Finally, after a series of crazy and annoying circumstances, we ended up going to see the Mariners on Tuesday, July 26, 2011. This, of course, if the story of that game – Kellan’s first in the Bronx
(his fourth stadium overall).
Usually, we always park in Manhattan and take the subway to either of the New York ballparks. But at this game, we decided to drive right to the stadium and pay a small fortune (almost as much as our game tickets) to park in an official team parking garage.
As a result, it was our first time ever entering the ballpark at Gate 8 (behind CF):
While we were in line, we met some nice Washington-based Mariners fans. Always good to meet some good guys at an opposition ballpark. While we waited the last couple minutes for the gates to open, I noticed that right next to our line there was an employee check point:
What do they think employees are going to bring into the ballpark?
When we entered the ballpark, the batting cages were set up, the home team with the white pin-striped pajama outfits was stretching in RF, and there were no Mariners in
sight. So we headed over to the Mariners dugout on the 3B side.
Moments after a guy who reads our blog (I’m embarrassed to say, I’m not 100% of his name anymore. I’m pretty sure it was Jonathan…but Andrew also seems right too. Hmmm….), Colleen snapped this picture of me and the boys:
Moments later, the first two Mariners of the day popped out of the dugout and headed toward the LF foul line:
This next picture is blurry but cute. As we watched Michael Pineda and Chris Ray head down the LF foul line…
…a few more Mariners joined them on the field.
We followed the Mariners a little bit down the line, but stayed behind the big protective nets that they put up during batting practice. There were two Mariners pitchers playing catch right in front of us (well, way down there in front of us…we were trapped behind the Legends Suite seats), but I had no clue at all who the closer of the two Mariners was. He was obviously a pitcher, but he did not look familiar at all from the distance.
Just then, the same two Mariners fans who we chatted with in line wandered by and took a family photo of us:
I asked the guy if he had any clue who the Mariners pitcher down below us on the foul line was. He guessed it was Josh Lueke.
Here is a panorama that I took a bit later, but it shows the scene:
We were hanging out in the empty aisle all the way to the right of that panorama. Lueke was standing on the foul line between the second and third protective netting poles.
We were just chilling and passing time in the shade…
…and then Lueke and his partner finished throwing and Lueke (holding the baseball) started to turn to walk away. I called out, “Hey, Josh!” He turned around (hey, the
Mariners fan was right, it was Lueke!) and I flashed my glove at him. He reared back and lobbed a high ball over the protective netting. With Kellan strapped to my chest…
…it was anything but a routine catch. I had to reach up and back as far as I could and I just barely got enough glove on the ball to reel it in. But I got it. The catch garnered some cheers by nearby fans.
I knew that the ushers would check tickets soon and start asking people to head to their own seating areas. So I asked Colleen if it was okay for her to keep the boys so I could run out to LF for a few minutes. She agreed. But there was absolutely no action out there. I wasn’t there long, but in that time not a single homerun was hit into the LF seats.
Consequently, the only thing I got out there was this picture of my cute little family chilling in the seats in foul territory:
Nothing was going on out there, so I headed back to my peeps in foul territory. We watched the Mariners pitchers finish their throwing routines:
The timing of BP seemed totally wrong. The ushers still had not checked tickets when the home team cleared the field. But before the Mariners batters started warming up, the grounds crew removed the batting cages. WHAT!? We got cheated out of Mariners BP! No fun.
So, we decided to take a circuitous walk in the concourses in search of food. We ended up at a SRO counter in the LF corner on the second deck with nachos, hot dogs, and garlic knots. After chowing down, I decided to take Colleen to “Bronx Central Station” a/k/a the least baseball-stadiumesque concourse in all of Major League Baseball.
But on the way, we stopped off to take this picture that fairly well illustrates our feelings about the team that calls this ballpark home:
I suggested the thumbs down, but the priceless expression on his face is all Tim’s doing.
And then we continued on our journey. At the top of the stairs down to the aforementioned train-station-looking outer concourse, I got this picture of Tim and Colleen:
When we reached the far end of the station, we posed for another picture and Kellan showed us his true feelings about this *magnificent* ballpark:
Two seconds after that picture, we ducked into the nearby team store for some much needed air conditioning. Ah, that felt good. But it was almost game time, so we had to
re-enter the heat and humidity and make our way to our seats in LCF. We had planned to get ice cream on our way, but we cut it too close and we would have missed the Mariners at bats in the top of the first, so we headed right to our seats.
We arrived just as someone-or-other sang the National Anthem:
This was our view from section 239, row 4, seats 1-4 (actually, it was my view from seat 1):
Note the police officer stationed at the bottom of the aisle just in front of us. There is an armed police officer in every section in the bleachers. You know, you gotta keep the people in the cheap seats in line, we can’t be trusted to police ourselves.
As he always does, Ichiro led off for the Mariners, and he was facing the perennially dominant C.C. Sabbathia:
Unfortunately, Sabbathia (who is almost always on his game) was extra on his game tonight. It wasn’t going to be pretty.
By the way, I think that Tim and Kellan could use Sabbathia’s game pants as a sleeping back – one boy per pant leg. Those are some huge – seemingly flared at the thighs – pant legs.
As the bleacher creatures out in RF did the roll call, I go this picture of former-Athletic great (now mediocre) Eric Chavez acknowledging the fans:
After Sabbathia sat our Mariners down 1-2-3, we procured two twist ice cream helmets and one twist cone and headed back to our seats. I think this might be Kellan’s first ever taste of ice cream:
He liked it. So did Tim.
Here is something odd. Between innings, instead of playing catch with Jason Phillips, Greg Halman played catch with the third base line ballboy:
Here’s a random photo just for kicks:
Doug Fister (sadly, now a member of the Tigers) was on the mound for the Mariners and he was solid as usual. Through the first three innings, the score was 0-0. When Derek Jeter led off the bottom of the fourth, I figured I ought to get a picture of him hitting, you know, since he’s in the 3,000 hit club now and all. And he didn’t disappoint:
Boom! Weak ground out, scored 5-3.
Unfortunately, Curtis Granderson followed Jeter with a solo homerun. In the bottom of the fifth, the bad guys added two more runs on an RBI single by Eric Chavez and another ground out by Derek Jeter. That put the Mariners in a 3-0 hole. Even worse was the fact that Sabbathia was, through six innings, pitching a perfect game. Not good.
I sent a strategic text to twitter designed specifically to jinx Sabbathia’s perfect game. Sure, it would be amazing to witness a perfect game, but not a perfect game *against* our Mariners. That would be terrible.
And guess what, I think the jinx text worked. No, the Mariners didn’t start hitting, walking or reaching base on errors. Instead, it started raining!
We retreated to the upper deck where there was more room to hide from the rain. All throughout the ballpark, fans were finding shelter from the rain wherever they could:
Here is some more of the same:
And we also used the opportunity to get our Bronx NY bonus picture for the myGameBalls.com photo scavenger hunt:
Once the rain stopped and the grounds crew started pulling off the tarp, and I got this panorama:
The concourses were a packed, sticky hot mess:
We grabbed an open spot and passed the time with some snacks:
Before too long, it was time for baseball once again. The nice thing about a good rain delay is that a lot of the fans leave and a lot of seats open up. So, instead of going back
to row 4 of section 239, we headed to the first row of section 238.
As we waited for the tarp to be rolled up and carted off, Kellan reclined in my arms and just chilled out:
And then I got a panorama from section 238…
…the tarp still had not moved much.
Before the game started up again, I finally got a photo of something I noticed at the beginning of the game, a new elevated bench in the bullpen:
When the top of the seventh finally rolled around, Sabbathia was right back out there ready to go for his perfect game. Ichiro struck out for Sabbathia’s nineteenth consecutive out. But that is as far was this sad little experiment in perfection would go. With the raining falling again our hero for the night, Brendan Ryan stepped to the plate and laced a line drive single into LF. Here is actually photographic evidence (albeit quite blurry) that the Mariners had a baserunner at this game:
That was a relief. Now it was time to try to win the game. We were only down 3-0. The game was still in our reach. Oh yeah, how did I forget to mention, the Mariners were trying to break a then-club record 16-game losing streak.
After the Ryan hit, the Mariner couldn’t advance him past second base and we squandered our first scoring opportunity.
Fister was still solid in the bottom of the seventh. Then, in the top of the eighth, Sabbathia fell apart. He walked the first three batters of the inning and was pulled from the
game. Sadly, once David Robertson entered the game, the Mariners could only score one run in the eighth – on a Chone Figgins fielder’s choice to third base.
I was longing for a grandslam. But it just wasn’t in the cards. And the 3-1 score was as close as the M’s could get it. In fact, in the bottom of the eighth, the Mariners gave that run back when Mark Teixeira solo homerun.
There was one more rain delay during the game, and we ended up spending a lot of time running up the section 237/238 stairs to high from the rain, and then running back down the stairs to watch more of the game once the rain would stop again.
While Tim worked on his water on cement art skills…
…Kellan spent a lot of time waving at the 20-something girls sitting about 2 rows and ten feet behind us. What can I say, the ladies love
Big special thanks to my lovely wife, Colleen, for letting us stick it out until the bitter end in hopes that we would finally see Kellan’s first Mariners win. Sadly, his inaugural win will have to wait for another day…hopefully at Safeco Field later this season. For now, his lifetime Mariners record dropped to 0-4.
He fell asleep on my shoulder on the walk to the car:
After a sitting through a big traffic jam getting out of the immediate area of the ballpark, we had an easy drive home…plenty of time to sit and lament the Mariners historic
seventeenth straight loss.
Luckily, there would be no eighteenth loss.
|2011 C&S Fan Stats|
|19/3 Games (Tim/Kellan)|
|17/6 Teams [Tim – Mariners, Orioles, Rangers, Brewers, Nationals, Phillies, Mets, Rays, Braves, Diamondbacks, Astros, Royals, Cubs, Angels, Indians, Reds, Giants, Tigers Yankees; Kellan – Mariners, Orioles, Angels, Mets, Indians, Yankees]|
|14 Ice Cream Helmet(s) (Orioles (2), Nationals, Phillies (2), Rangers (2), Mets (1), Reds (1), Tigers (1))|
|55 Baseballs (7 Mariners, 7 Rangers, 4 Orioles, 3 Umpires, 2 Nationals, 2 Brewers, 5 Phillies, 2 Mets, 1 Rays, 2 Braves, 2 Diamondbacks, 1 MLB Authenticator, 1 Easter Egg, 1 Glove Trick, 2 Royals, 2 Cubs, 5 Angels, 4 Indians, 1 Giants, 1 Tigers)|
|9/3 Stadiums [Tim – Camden Yards, Nationals Park, Citizens Bank Park, Minute Maid Park, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Citi Field, Great American Ball Park, Comerica Park, Yankee Stadium; Kellan – Camden Yards, Citi Field, Yankee Stadium]|
|13/9 Player Photos* [Tim – Felix Hernandez, Adam Moore, Garrett Olson, Chris Seddon, David Aarsdma, Michael Pineda, Miguel Olivo, Ryan Langerhans, Greg Zuan, Mark Lowe, Michael Saunders, Chad Durbin, Russell Branyan; Kellan – Luke French, Milton Bradley, Franklin Gutierrez, Justin Smoak, Matt Tuiasosopo, Ryan Langerhans, Michael Saunders, Tony Sipp, Chad Durbin]|
|3/1 Management Photos* [Tim – Howard Lincoln, Jack Zduriencik, Eric Wedge; Kellan – Jack Zduriencik]|
|5 Autograph(s) (Michael Pineda, Michael Saunders, Mark Lowe, Felipe Paulino, Aroldis Chapman)|
|1 Bat* (Milton Bradley)|
|6/2 Mascot Photos* [Tim – Mariner Moose, Teddy Roosevelt, The O’s Bird, Mr. Redlegs, Gapper, Slider; Kellan – Mariner Moose, The O’s Bird]|
|1/0 Divisions Closed Out** [Tim – A.L. West (Safeco Field, Oakland Coliseum, Angel Stadium & Rangers Ballpark in Arlington); Kellan – N/A]|
|2 Line-up Cards (Royals vs. Rangers; Indians vs. Orioles)|
|*includes Spring Training**divisions where we have seen each team play a home game.|