This entry provides a map through Kellan’s MLB adventures, featuring a picture from every regular season game he has attended along with the final score, date, location and a link to the relevant game report.
1. Athletics 9 defs. Mariners 0 (Safeco Field – Oct. 1, 2010)
2. Athletics 4 defs. Mariners 3 (Safeco Field – Oct. 3, 2010)
With Kellan’s due date falling in Mid-July, we did not plan to go to any baseball games in July. We actually did end up going to one game (for which an entry is still forthcoming). But for the most part, July was all about spending time at home with our new boy and lots of visiting family members.
But that didn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of baseball for us in July. Indeed, there was. Lots.
My mom came out to stay with us starting on July 2nd, so she would be here to take care of Tim while Colleen and I were at the hospital for Kellan’s birth. It ended up that she was with us almost all month (and was joined by my Dad the day after Kellan was born). My mom had never been to one of my softball games. However, being here for a month she was able to attend four of my games…
Finally, on July 16th, Kellan was born. By strategically wearing a spring training t-shirt to the hospital, I made sure that Kellan was introduced to the Seattle Mariners in (literally) the first minute of his life…
…the main picture there is the first picture of me holding Kellan, just shortly after his birth. The inset picture shows that I, indeed, am sporting a Mariners shirt. It was actually Colleen’s idea for me to wear this specific shirt for Kellan’s birth. Good call!
July 18th was a big day for baseball. Kellan and I posed for a special picture…
Next, my Dad and Tim hung out in the shop with me while I made Kellan’s first baseball bat:
Finally, with a lot of attention going to the new guy in town, Grandpa gave Tim a special big brother gift…
The next day, July 19th, I gave Kellan his finished 20-inch bat..
Now, one sad thing about July 2010 is the play of the Seattle Mariners. In fact, for Kellan’s first month of life, the Mariners tied the worst month in their history with 22 losses. Even though Felix Hernandez pitched the day Kellan was born, the Mariners could not earn Kellan the first-day-of-life victory that I wanted for my boy.
My mom and I watched pretty much every game this month. She got a taste of how difficult it is when your team’s games start at 10:05 p.m. almost every day.
On July 21st, I snapped this picture showing Kellan going crazy in the post-game celebration following the second Mariners win of his life:
Finally, during the weekend of July 24th-25th, the boys’ cousins, Gill and Kate, came to visit (along with Aunt Kimberly and Colleen’s cousin, Geralyn). I decided that I needed to do something big to ensure the kids would have a fun weekend.
I decided to bring back Mariners Park at Cook Yards:
- “Chalked” 25-foot baselines (actually spray paint);
- “Chalked” batters’ box;
- Homerun distance markers on the outfield walls (dimensions: LF – 41′, LF gap – 45′, LCF – 50′, Deep CF – 63′, RF gap – 51′, and RF – 40′);
- “Chalked” coaches boxes in 1B and 3B foul territory;
- “Chalked” on deck circle (Featuring C&S logo); and
- Two tiered outfield fan seating (on field and BBQ deck seating).
Here were the main participants…
The first batter in each round was Tim’s oldest cousin, Gill…
…who is a fan of the run-with-the-bat technique. Historically, Gill hasn’t been a baseball guy. But the last two visits to our house, he’s had a lot of fun playing ball with Tim. He was a big fan of hitting, running the bases, and scoring runs. Hey, why not? They’re all good stuff.
Gill is six years old and almost exactly two years older than Tim. His younger sister, Kate, is 3 and about 9 months younger than Tim. Kate isn’t quite ready to hit live pitching, but she can rip some liners off of the batting tee…
All kids love running the bases and being chased by a fielder (or chasing base runners with the ball), but no kids enjoy actually being tagged out:
So, it was a different month for us with only one MLB game, but it was a excellent month filled with great family time and lots of fun, and baseball.
We woke up in Pamona, California on the morning of Saturday, June 12, 2010, and were excited to venture further south through California, passed Angel Stadium in Anaheim (not Los Angeles), down the coast…
…to the city of San Diego, and then a little further south to our cabin waiting for us at the KOA in Chula Vista, California. But more than anything, we were excited because over the next two days we’d be watching our Mariners try to battle out of a slump and win some ball games.
After taking a dip in the pool at the KOA, we were off to Petco Park…
Tim loves a good sand box, so he was in sand box heaven. By the way, Tim was sporting a full Mariners uniform to this game — Ichiro jersey T-shirt, baseball pants, stirrup socks, and an M’s hat. I told him that maybe Ichiro would ask him to play with the team.
The CF gate opens half an hour earlier than the rest of the stadium and provides access to the bleachers and the beach. The “bleachers” are incredibly unique at Petco Park, check them out…
As Tim played with the dozens of buckets, shovels and other toys, the Padres were taking BP. Eventually, a ball rolled to the wall in the deepest center part of the beach and Luke Gregerson moseyed on over to pick it up right in front of me and my Dad.
As he picked up the ball, I asked him:
Todd – (Pointing at Tim) “Hey, could you please toss that ball over for my son over there in the Ichiro shirt?”
L.G. – “Ichiro shirt!?”
Todd – “Yeah, Ichiro shirt. But, hey, my Dad here works as an usher for Padres spring training games in Peoria!”
L.G. – Really?
Dad – Yep.
L.G. – (Tosses the ball)
Todd – Thanks!
I had no clue who the player was, but it said “57” on his back and my computer tells me that number 57 on the Padres is Luke Gregerson. So…
By the way, here is a panoramic view through the beach from a couple rows back in the bleachers…
Something funny happened when we were in the beach. The Padres pitchers, including team jester Heath Bell, were running sprints in RF when a baseball rolled to the middle of the warning track toward the RF side of the beach. When Health Bell finished up his work and started walking over to LF, a girl called out to him and asked for the baseball. He walked over and with his foot pushed the ball up against the wall (which is simply a chain link fence in the beach) and said, “there you go!” and then he ran off.
Then the girl, who was probably about 8-10 years old grabbed the ball through the fence and passed the ball back-and-forth from hand-to-hand as she went up the fence. When she got to head level, her dad picked her up so she could continue going up the fence passing the ball back-and-forth to herself. Finally, she was at the top of the fence and passed the baseball over the top to herself. I’ve never seen anything like that before at a game. Pretty cool.
Here is another view from the beach area — taken by my dad…
While we were hanging out in the Beach, a guy named Scott (who just commented on our last game) — Hi, Scott! — came up and introduced himself to me and said he enjoys reading our blog and checking out our pictures. Its always cool to meet someone who enjoys following along with our adventures on MLBlogs.
Soon, the rest of the stadium opened and we headed behind the batters eye toward the LF seats. On our way over there (as we passed a big concert stage), we ran into a mariachi band…
Anyway, we swung around to the field leve seats in LF where we hung out for just a few minutes…
…in that last picture that is Heath Bell crouched down like a catcher and a Padres player and ball boy looking kid were taking turns pitching to him. Later, Heath was practically wrestling the kid in the OF. Bell was having himself a good old time during BP.
To get from LF to the seats in foul territory down the 3B line, you have to go behind the Western Metal Supply Co. warehouse and up a couple flights of stairs. And that is what we did when we saw the Mariners come out and start stretching in front of their dugout.
Tim and I went down the 3B line and an usher informed us that we had to sit down to watch BP from foul territory. WHAT? That’s just weird. But whatever. This is the view from where we sat down:
As i was taking pictures, a nice guy who was probably in his sixties walked over and put a baseball in Tim’s hand and walked away before I could tell him he should give the ball to another little kid. I guess a lot of kids like it when some random fan gives them a baseball, but Tim has got a bunch of balls already in his life and the few times it has happened, I always tell the generous would-be ball giver that Tim has already got a ball and he should give the ball to another little kid. But this guy took off before I could say anything. “Hmmm…,” I was thinking, “what are we going to do with this random baseball?”
Meanwhile, the Mariners were jogging back-and-forth in front of their dugout…
…as they ran back toward 3B for the final time, Cook & Son Hall of Famer Ryan Rowland-Smith was at the front of the pack and he immediately noticed us sitting in the front row a couple sections passed 3B. He gave me a nod and I have him a wave with my glove.
Thirty seconds later, RRS was sitting on the wall chatting with me…
…and signing that ball the random fan had just given to Tim. We got RRS to sign baseball for us last season, so after he signed this ball, I gave it to my dad who has never got RRS’s signature.
Here’s the deal, RRS is awesome. He hung out sitting on that wall and chatting with me, my dad and Tim…
We talked about all sorts of cool stuff, but I am going to keep our conversation private becaues I didn’t ask RRS if he would mind if I shared our conversation on here. But I will note that one of the coolest parts was when RRS talked about the conversations he has on a daily basis with Cliff Lee as he tries to overcome his early season struggles. He got down in a catcher’s crouch and was showing us what locations he has been hitting and what locations he should be hitting. It was extremely cool to get a behind the scenes glimpse into the work that goes into being a professional pitcher.
By the way, did you notice that they stationed a security guard to stand behind RRS as he chatted with us? Not only that, the ushers actually let us stand during BP so we could chat with RRS. I guess that is one of the perks you get when a player comes over to chat with you at Petco Park.
Oh, yeah. I should also mention that I was wearing the jersey that RRS gave me!
Eventually, we went our separate ways.
We headed out to the LF corner. And right when we got there, Ian Snell tossed us a baseball. The Mariners were just starting to get into the cage by this point. So we decided to head over to the Padres dugout to watch Ichiro hit. On the way, I took this shot of the the concourse down the 3B line:
…Tim decided to tie himself in knots with the Padres scarf that they gave away to the fans at this game. After the first group of Mariners finished hitting they all ran out into the infield to pick up stray baseballs and return them to the basket at the pitchers mound. The pitcher was M’s batting coach Alonzo Powell. As he grabbed a ball just in front of the mound, I called out, “Hey, Alonzo!” He looked up and my Dad and I both flashed him some leather. He tossed the ball over to my Dad for his first baseball at Petco Park.
Next, we headed out to RF where this was our view:
The front row was shoulder to shoulder. A couple Mariners pitchers were in LF including the D.A., David Aardsma. Soon, a ball got over his head and rolled the wall in front of us. I shouted, “Hey, D.A.!” He looked up, made eye contact with me, and tossed me the ball on a weird angle as he walked back to his spot in LF.
And this is what I don’t like about a getting a toss up in a crowded area. The ball was plainly, 100% without a shadow of a doubt intended for me and Tim, and I caught it without moving my feet whatsoever. However, with the weird angle on which Aardsma threw us the ball, I ended up catching the ball 6 inches in front of a young (22’ish year old), moderately good looking girl. I don’t think anyone would have thought anything about it if I just handed the ball over to Tim, but to me it felt a little funny. Actually, it didn’t feel funny, because I knew the ball was intended for us. But it felt like it probably looked funny (does that make sense?). So instead of handing the ball to Tim, I just opened my glove, held it out for the girl (who was there with her boyfriend), and let her grab the ball out of my glove. And she did just that, without a “thank you” or the slightest hint of acknowledgement that I’d just done something nice for her, which was not very cool in my book.
The worst part is that the situation with the girl threw me off and I don’t think I even thanked the D.A.
So, thanks, D.A.!
BP wrapped up, we headed out to the Park in the Park. First, we checked out the Tony Gwynn statue:
I took another panorama from the beyond the CF wall of the Park in the Park in the Park…
Next, I took what very well may be the coolest panorama that I have ever taken…
Next, it was off to the other side of the seats right next to the warehouse, where I took this shot:
…then it was up to the second deck, which is some sort of special deck. It seemed like they don’t let you into these seats generally, but the usher said I could go in to take some pictures. Here is what it looked like from there:
Soon, I found myself right next to the warehouse. I wanted to get into the warehouse, but I didn’t know if I could. There was a sign in the concourse behind the warehouse that said there was a private party going on there. So, I went into the seating area and got this panorama right next to the warehouse…
…a stadium worker had just walked into the hallway. There was no rope and no one to say I couldn’t go in there, so I did. As I walked down the hallway, there were a couple open doors with soda fountains and random food prep paraphenalia strewn all about. At the other end of the hallway, there were two food server type stadium workers and neither of them said anything to me.
At the end of the hallway, I took a right and there was a narrow walkway that led out to the porch on the top of the warehouse. There was an usher standing in the middle of the walkway and two garbage cans blocking the way. I walked up and acted confused for the guy, “Are we on the warehouse? Am I not supposed to be here? Hey, can I go out there real quick to take a picture?” The guy looked a little confused right back at me and then said, “sure, okay.”
So, I made it out on top of the warehouse! And this was the view:
I headed back behind home plate and got this panorama:
I headed toward RF and got this picture…
Franklin Gutierrez walked on this pitch:
The Padres then intentionally walked Bradley…
It was time to head to our seats. I got this panorama on the way to our seats…
Tim played in the beach until they cleared out all of the non-bleacher ticketed fans. They made it to our seats shortly before I did. Tim was hungry so we got our customary nachos:
After the Mariners left three runners on base in the top of the first, the Padres showed them how to take advantage of scoring opportunties. David Eckstein led off with a single and was replaced on first after Chase Headley hit into a fielder’s choice. Adrian Gonzalez then blasted a two run bomb to put the Padres up 2-0. Unfortunately, that was all the offense the Padres would need.
Still, it was a good game and the Mariners were in it until the end thanks to a solid outing (despite the loss) by Cliff Lee — somehow I failed to take a single picture of Lee at this game.
In the second inning, the M’s cut the Padres lead in half. It started with Rob Johnson’s double down the RF line:
In the bottom of the second, I snapped this picture of Tony Gwynn, Jr. hitting a single on a swinging bunt:
I am not positive about this, but I think Gwynn (who I have probably seen play before) completes the third father-son set that I have seen play in the majors. Others include Ken Griffey-Ken Griffey, Jr. and Cecil Fielder-Prince Fielder. Maybe there have been others, but not that I can recall.
The next time Ichiro came to the plate, he grounded out. But check out the interesting stat that they put on the big screen during his at bat…
Soon, it was time for some ice cream. I walked all around the field level concourse looking for ice cream helmets. Here are some views from the concourse:
In that upper right picture, that big wall to the right is a slanted wall that runs from the upper deck all the way down to the ground outside the stadium. I finally found the “Kettle & Cone” stand where they have ice cream helmets. The tricky thing about finding it is that it is not on the main concourse. Rather, it is behind the concourse (if that makes sense) on the 3B side near home plate. Actually, in that upper right picture (with the slanted wall) if you click on it to view it full sized, you’ll see part of a red sign over a opening in the wall to the right. The red sign says “MERCADO” and the opening in the wall is a hall way that leads back behind the concourse to a big bar and a couple different food stands. That’s where the ice cream helmets can be found.
And this was my ice cream helmet’s view of the game from my seat in section 120, row 29, seat 1:
After showing you the Padres bullpen toward the beginning of this entry, I mentioned that I would show you the visitors’ bullpen at Petco Park a bit later. Well, in this picture of Figgy playing 2B, you can see the visitors’ bullpen in the background:
During this game, Tim fell in love with the all-star ballot. As shown here, with Grandpa’s assistance he kept busy…
Cliff Lee gave up his third and final run of the night in the fourth inning and then went on to pitch 7 innings, giving up 7 hits. Cliff actually went an inning deeper in the game than the Padres starter, Wade LeBlanc, who also gave up 7 hits in his six innings. The difference in the game was that LeBlanc and his relievers (including the baseball giving Luke Gregerson) kept the Mariners baserunner, just like Milton Bradley here in the sixth inning…
In the 7th or 8th inning, we decided to head out to the Park in the Park to see what the game looks like from out there. Before departing our seats in section 120, a nice fan took our picture…
…by the way, I bought some wet wipe before this game because I had forgot to bring any on the trip. I usually use them to wash down Tim’s chocolate covered face after he devours an ice cream helmet. Unfortunately, after buying the wipes, I misplaced them under the car seat and never took them to a single game on this trip. Therefore, like in this picture, Tim’s face was a bit chocolatey a lot during this trip.
We grabbed a spot on the hill in the PITP, and Tim stood in front of us and hit fake pitches and circled faked bases. Here he is standing at his fake home plate…
You know what, I took a video of Tim hitting a fake homerun, here it is:
Although it was only a two run game when Lee handed the ball off to the M’s bullpen in the 8th inning, the M’s relieves quickly put the game out of reach. Sean White got only one out in the 8th inning, but gave up 3 runs. Brandon League got the final two outs in the 8th and gave up one more run. Actually, to be more precise, I should mention that two of Sean White’s runs actually scored on a 3-run homerun that League gave up to pinch hittig Oscar Salazar.
Between the Salazar homerun and the victory, the batters’ eye was shooting blasts of fire into the air a lot in the evening hours at Petco Park:
We decided to hang out in the PITP for a bit to let the crowd thin out a bit, but then we realized the crowd was getting bigger. There was a post game concert in the PITP. So, we had another nice fan take our picture…
To book end the game, I took another picture of Petco Park from the parking lot…
In just about 12 hours, we would be back at Petco Park for a day game and hoping to see our second Mariners win of 2010.
2010 Fan Stats:
14 Teams (Mariners, Orioles, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Angels and Athletics; Phillies, Dodgers, Pirates, Braves, Mets, Brewers, Padres and Nationals)
11 Ice Cream Helmets (Orioles (3), Phillies, Pirates (2), Mets, Dodgers, Athletics & Nationals)
8 Stadiums (Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Nationals Park, Citi Field, PNC Park, Oakland-Alameda County Stadium, Dodgers Stadium, PETCO Park)
10 Player Photos (Ryan Rowland-Smith (2), Mike Cameron, Joel Piniero, Frank Catalanotto, Billy Wagner, Jeff Suppan, Tommy Hanson, Jeff Weaver and Scott Olsen)
7 Autographs (Ryan Rowland-Smith (2), Daisuke Matsuzaka, Joel Piniero, Frank Catalanotto (2), Billy Wagner (2), Jeff Suppan, Tommy Hanson, Jeff Weaver and Scott Olsen)
4 Kids Run The Bases (Citizens Bank Park, Nationals Park, Citi Field, PNC Park)
We record all of Tim’s MLB games in his Baseball Log, a book I made for him a couple months before he was born to record all of his MLB games. We started this blog to share our baseball stories and pictures from the ball park. Its all in the name of preserving Tim’s personal baseball history. This entry provides a map through Tim’s MLB adventures, featuring a picture from every regular season game he has attended along with the final score, date, location and a link to the relevant game report.
1. Mariners 4 def. Blue Jays 2 (Safeco Field – Sept. 12, 2006)
2. Mets 8 def. Phillies 3 (Citizens Bank Park- June 30, 2007)
3. Mariners 13 def. Orioles 8 (Camden Yards – August 9, 2007)
4. Twins 11 def. Mariners 3 (Safeco Field – August 14, 2007)
5. Twins 6 def. Mariners 1 (Safeco Field – August 15, 2007)
6. Mariners 7 def. Yankees 1 (Yankee Stadium – Sept. 3, 2007)
7. Phillies 8 def. Marlins 5 (Citizens Bank Park – Sept. 9, 2007)
8. Rockies 12 def. Phillies 0 (Citizens Bank Park – Sept. 12, 2007)
9. Cardinals 7 def. Pirates 3 (PNC Park – Sept. 27, 2007)
10. Orioles 3 def. Mariners 2 (Camden Yards – April 6, 2008)
11. Phillies 5 def. Cubs 3 (Citizens Bank Park – April 11, 2008)
12. Phillies 6 def. Giants 5 (Citizens Bank Park – May 2, 2008)
13. Phillies 5 def. Reds 4 (Citizens Bank Park – June 2, 2008)
14. Indians 9 def. Mariners 6 (Safeco Field – July 19, 2008)
15. Cardinals 5 def. Reds 3 (Great American Ball Park – August 15, 2008)
16. Indians 4 def. Angels 3 (Progressive Field – August 17, 2008)
17. Pirates 5 def. Mets 2 (PNC Park – August 18, 2008)
18. Phillies 5 def. Nationals 4 (Citizens Bank Park August 19, 2008)
19. Orioles 11 def. White Sox 3 (Camden Yards – August 27, 2008)
20. Phillies 6 def. Mets 2 (Shea Stadium – September 7, 2008)
21. Diamondbacks 3 def. Reds 2 (Chase Field – September 12, 2008)
22. Rays 11 def. Orioles 3 (Camden Yards – April 12, 2009)
23. Phillies 5 def. Padres 4 (Citizens Bank Park – April 19, 2009)
24. Mets 8 def. Nationals 2 (Citi Field – April 25, 2009)
25. Mariners 8 def. Athletics 7 (Safeco Field – May 1, 2009)
26. Athletics 3 def. Mariners 2 (Safeco Field – May 2, 2009)
27. Mariners 8 def. Athletics 7 (Safeco Field – May 3, 2009)
28. Rangers 6 def. Mariners 5 (Safeco Field – May 4, 2009)
29. Rangers 7 def. Mariners 2 (Safeco Field – May 5, 2009)
30. Phillies 10 def. Braves 6 (Citizens Bank Park – May 8, 2009)
31. Dodgers 9 def. Phillies 2 (Citizens Bank Park May 13, 2009)
32. Phillies 8 def. Nationals 6 (Nationals Park – May 17, 2009)
33. Tigers 3 def. Orioles 0 (Camden Yards – May 31, 2009)
34a. Giants vs. Nationals – postponed due to rain (Nationals Park – June 3, 2009)
34. Mariners 4 def. Orioles 1 (Camden Yards – June 10, 2009)
35. Nationals 5 def. Orioles 3 (Camden Yards – June 28, 2009)
36. Mariners 8 def. Yankees 4 (Yankee Stadium – July 2, 2009)
37. Mariners 7 def. Red Sox 6 (Fenway Park – July 3, 2009)
38. Mariners 3 def. Red Sox 2 (Fenway Park – July 4, 2009)
39. Red Sox 8 def. Mariners 4 (Fenway Park – July 5, 2009)
40. Cubs 11 def. Nationals 3 (Nationals Park – July 19, 2009)
41. Cardinals 8 def. Phillies 1 (Citizens Bank Park – July 24, 2009)
42. Marlins 12 def. Phillies 3 (Citizens Bank Park – August 9, 2009)
43. Cubs 17 def. Pirates 2 (Wrigley Field – August 14, 2009)
44. Indians 7 def. Twins 3 (H.H.H. Metrodome – August 15, 2009)
45. Astros 8 def. Brewers 5 (Miller Park – August 16, 2009)
46. White Sox 8 def. Royals 7 (U.S. Cellular Field – August 17, 2009)
47. Indians 4 def. Mariners 3 (Progressive Field – August 22, 2009)
48. Indians 6 def. Mariners 1 (Progressive Field – August 23, 2009)
49. Orioles 7 def. Yankees 3 (Yankee Stadium – September 12, 2009)
50. Mariners 4 def. White Sox 3 (Safeco Field – September 17, 2009)
51. Yankees 10 def. Mariners 1 (Safeco Field – September 19, 2009)
52. Blue Jays 5 def. Mariners 4 (Rogers Centre – September 26, 2009)
53. Mets 5 def. Astros 1 (Citi Field – October 3, 2009)
54. Orioles 4 def. Blue Jays 3 (Camden Yards – October 4, 2009)
55. Blue Jays 3 def. Orioles 0 (Camden Yards – April 10, 2010)
56. Brewers 11 def. Nationals 7 (Nationals Park – April 18, 2010)
57. Mets 3 def. Braves 1 (Citi Field – April 24, 2010)
58. Phillies 10 defs. Mets 0 (Citizens Bank Park – May 1, 2010)
59. Mariners 5 defs. Orioles 1 (Camden Yards – May 11, 2010)
60. Braves 4 defs. Pirates 2 (PNC Park – May 22, 2010)
61. Pirates 3 defs. Braves 2 (PNC Park – May 23, 2010)
62. Red Sox 8 defs. Orioles 2 (Camden Yards – June 5, 2010)
63. Angels 7 vs. Athletics 1 (Oakland Alameda County Coliseum – June 9, 2010)
66. Padres 7 defs. Mariners 1 (Petco Park – June 12, 2010)
67. Mariners 4 defs. Padres 2 (Petco Park – June 13, 2010)
68. Brewers 12 defs. Angels 2 (Angel Stadium of Anaheim – June 14, 2010)
69. Orioles 4 defs. Giants 1 (AT&T Park – June 15, 2010)
70. Twins 4 defs. Phillies 1 (Citizens Bank Park – June 20, 2010)
71. Blue Jays 5 defs. Phillies 1 (Citizens Bank Park – June 26, 2010)
72. Twins 5 defs. Orioles 0 (Camden Yards – July 22, 2010)
73. Orioles 4 defs. White Sox 3 (Camden Yards – Aug. 8, 2010)
74. Mariners 9 defs. Indians 3 (Progressive Field – Aug. 14, 2010)
75. Indians 9 defs. Mariners 1 (Progressive Field – Aug. 15, 2010)
76. Yankees 9 defs. Mariners 5 (Yankee Stadium – Aug. 21, 2010)
77. Nationals 13 defs. Mets 3 (Nationals Park – Sept. 6, 2010)
78. Phillies 7 defs. Marlins 4 (Citizens Bank Park – Sept. 6, 2010)
79. Marlins 6 at Nationals 5 (Nationals Park – Sept. 12, 2010)
80. Yankees 11 defs. Orioles 3 (Camden Yards – Sept. 18, 2010)
81. Athletics 8 defs. Mariners 1 (Safeco Field – Sept. 30, 2010)
82. Athletics 9 defs. Mariners 0 (Safeco Field – Oct. 1, 2010)
83. Athletics 4 defs. Mariners 3 (Safeco Field – Oct. 3, 2010)
Now, I realize that the title of this entry looks a little risque. But I assure you it it not. Read on and eventually you’ll see what its all about.
On October 4 – the final day of the regular season (for everyone except the Twins and Tigers), Tim and I headed down to Camden Yards for our final game of what has been an outstanding 2009 season.
It was sad to think it was all coming to an end, already. As we drove south, there was evidence of the end of baseball. The “This Is Birdland” billboard off of Route 83 in York, PA — gone. It has been there all season. Worse yet, the Birdland billboards in Baltimore itself were also gone. Finally, all season every street in downtown Baltimore had been adorned with numerous Orioles lamp-top signs. All gone. Sad.
So, here we were in Baltimore, closing out our in-person baseball season on the final Sunday of the season in the same place we had opened our in-person baseball season back in April on the first Sunday of the 2009 season.
Tim and I have seen a lot of great things and created a lot of great memories this season. I was ready for one more day of it, but wishing there would be more.
Our first peak down Eutaw Street revealed some stadium attendants readying this beautiful baseball venue for one more hoorah before the off-season:
We arrived early for batting practice. But when we arrived I figured out that I had mistakenly thought it was a 1:05 start. In fact, it was a 1:35 start and the stadium wasn’t even open yet. So we had some time to kill before the gates opened at 11:35.
No problem. Every time we’d visited Baltimore this season, I’d wanted to get a picture of Tim with the Babe Ruth statue. Now, we finally had some free time to do so:
Notice how there is no “8” in the bottom right picture? About a month or two ago, four teenagers decided it would be a great idea to steal Ripken’s “8.” It was all caught on camera and they were caught red-handed a short time after taking the “8.” I was surprised it still had not beeen restored to its normal spot.
In my pictures this season, I’ve shown a lot of views of the warehouse from the field area. It looks like a long brick building from there. But you can’t tell how deep of a building it is. So, I took this picture from outside the CF gate that shows the warehouse isn’t very wide:
When they finally let us into the stadium, we found there was no BP. I guess it wasn’t a huge shock. It was a Sunday day game and the last game of the season and both teams were long since eliminated. But, still, I thought they might hit just because it would make the fans happy. No dice.
Despite no BP, they still had the stadium closed off except for season ticket holders who were free to go into the stadium to not watch BP:
Finally, they opened the rest of the stadium. Tim hopped up on my shoulders and we walked the main field level aisle to take in the scenes of Camden Yards. Here is our view as we approached home plate:
…the guy closest to us in the picture above to the left is Brandon Leauge. Tim and I walked up to the railing and Tim yelled, “HI, ICHIRO! Can I have that baseball?” I explained that League wasn’t Ichiro. Tim asked where Ichiro was. Not here, unfortunately.
A few minutes later, Jeremy Accardo (pictured above to the right) walked by on his way to the dugout. He walked up to us and pulled a ball out of his back pocket and handed it to Tim.
Then he proceeded down the baseline and started signing autographs by the end of the Jays’ bullpen. With ball still in hand, Tim followed Accardo all the way down the line. I followed along and grabbed a sharpie out of my backpack. I told Tim to get up to the front of the group and ask Accardo to sign the ball he’d just given Tim. Tim got up to the front and set the ball and sharpie on the top of the fence and then he uttered one of his funniest lines of the season:
“Excuse me, can you scribble on my ball?”
Accardo and the entire group of autograph seekers broke into laugher. Accardo scribbled on Tim’s ball.
Then we headed to the kids’ play area. First, Tim heated up the gun on the kids’ speed pitch:
…usually the bouncy house is packed. But it was only Tim and that little girl for a while. No one was in line so they got to bounce for a long time. Eventually, the girl grabbed onto Tim’s leg and took him down like a freestyle wrestler. Tim fell to the ground and complained to his tormentor:
“Don’t play with me. I’m not a toy!”
As game time approached, we headed back to the field and watched the grounds crew chalk the batters box:
Finally, it was game time and we headed to our seats. We were right on the railing by the batters eye. Check out all of the grass they’ve transplanted from the batters eye area to fix grass on the field:
Wow — somehow I put this picture totally out of place. But check out how wide open and empty the concourse was behind 3B…
Back to our seats in CF, I took this action shot of Ricky Romero striking out (I think) Brian Roberts:
…see the red arrow? It is pointing to the seat I’d be sitting in to end our in-person baseball season. See the guy in the seat in front of the red arrowed-seat? After each pitch, he presses a button that flashes up on a little screen a description of the pitch (i.e., 92 M.P.H. fastball).
For the second weekend in a row, we were sitting behind Vernon Wells…
If you’ve been following this blog this season, you know that Camden Yards is the only stadium we’ve ever visited that doesn’t have ice cream helmets. Since early June I’d had an idea and I finally implimented it at this game…
I wanted to do this in late June when we saw the Nationals in Baltimore, but I forgot the helmet at home somehow.
It was pretty cool to be scraffing down a Seattle Mariners ice cream helmet in Baltimore. And, I’m pretty sure that Tim is the only person to have an ice cream helmet in Baltimore this season. That’s pretty cool to say. But, I hope that thousands of people get the joy of eating an ice cream helmet at this classic ballpark next season.
By the way, this was an excellent ice cream helmet. Real strawberry ice cream with chunks of strawberries and sprinkles. Delicious.
After his ice cream helmet, Tim asked to go to his favorite spot, the flag pavillion. On the way, he posed for this picture at the top of section 90:
Tim loves the flag pavillion…
This was our view from over the RF wall…
…we were out toward the CF side because the wall is lower on that side. Down by the RF foul pole, the fence is about a foot taller, it seems, and you have to stand right at the fence to see over it. In CF, you can stand back a little bit and still see the action.
Tim decided that the big diamond shaped pattern on the ground was a baseball field, and the dark corners were bases…
In the picture to the top left, Tim is sitting in the “dugout.” After a few seconds, he yelled “Now batting, Roehner” (fyi, Roehner is Tim’s imaginary pro-baseball player friend). Then he jumped up (top right) and ran toward the home plate corner of the pattern and said, “Yay, I’m up.” It was pretty cute.
I’ve taken a lot of pictures of this awesome park, but I realized I’d never taken a panaramic view of the Eutaw Street warehouse. Well, here you go:
Oh, yeah, my man Ken Griffey, Jr. can hit some BOMBS! The one on the left is the only ball to ever hit the warehouse on the fly. (Yes, I’ve included a picture of this before, but who cares, its worth a second, third, or fifteenth picture, so don’t count on this being the last).
Late in the game, we headed behind home plate and hung out in prime foul ball territory — above the main cross aisle. This was our view:
In this picture, Tim is looking down into the main aisle taking rapid fire pictures of people walking by:
Here are a few of my favorite shots Tim took toward the end of the game:
Top left, Tim’s view from his perch on my shoulders (you can see he is looking over my shoulders). Top right, Tim took a shot of some writers in the press box. Bottom right, this cute little fan waved up to Tim as he was taking his rapid fire fan shots (it was hilarious when this picture came up in the sequence of his fan shots). Bottom left, I’m filling up Tim’s travel water cup (actually a baby’s sippy cup) at the water fountain out beyond RF.
Back to our foul ball spot behind the plate, here is a panaramic view:
As the ninth inning approached, I asked Tim if he wanted to go down behind home plate and see if the umpire would give us a ball at the end of the game. Of course, he did. So, we found some great seats in the 8th row off of the umpires’ tunnel. Here was the view:
The game went into the bottom of the 11th inning still tied 3-3. The Blue Jays brought in Brandon League to try to shut down the O’s for one more inning. Big mistake. The first batter got a solid base hit. The second batter laid down a nice sacrifice bunt. League fielded it near 1B and *shot put* over the head of the first basemen for an E-1. With runners on first and second and no one out, the third batter laid down another sacrifice bunt. Again, League fielded it. Again, League threw it away. This time he spiked it into the dirt in front of 1B. It went by whoever was covering 1B and squibbed into shallow RF. The lead off batter scored easily from 2B. And that was it. Season over for the O’s and Jays.
And it was “go time” as far as trying to get our final umpire ball (and final ball period) of the 2009 season. One piece of background here. During the 9th or 10th inning, Tim yelled “Umpire can I have a ball?” during a break between half-innings. The umpire looked up at Tim, but had no expression on his face. Still, I thought he had heard Tim.
Now, back to the end of the game. We were in the 8th row on the 1B side of the umpire tunnel. We couldn’t get any lower because there were people in every other row — mostly adults, but a few kids at the very bottom. But right when the third out was recorded about 10,000 kids flooded the first row. I figured there was no chance for us to get an umpire ball in the 8th row.
Triple-A call-up umpire Todd Tichenor walked through the gate and emptied his baseball bags into his umpire’s mask. He had about 6 balls, it seemed. He stopped in the first row and gave them all out to screaming little kids. I figured the deal was done. No umpire ball.
Then Tichenor started walking into the tunnel. He walked directly below us. Tim and I were peering over the brick wall and I said, “Hey, do you have one more ball for my son?” Without looking up, Tichenor stopped directly in front of us. His right hand reached into the bag attached to his right hip and pulled out *the final umpire ball of Camden Yards 2009 season* and lofted it directly up to us.
“THANK YOU, BLUE!”
Tim got all excited when he looked at the baseball and saw the MLB batter logo on the ball. “Daddy, there is a Mariner on my ball!” A few minutes later he would add, “When I was a baby, I didn’t realize there were Mariners on the baseballs.” That gave me a chuckle.
Sadly, we started to make out way out of the stadium for the final time in 2009. Just then, we saw the Oriole’s Bird signing autographs down the 1B line. We made our way to the front of the line and got a high five and a very serious looking picture with the Bird:
As we approached CF, we looked back toward the field. The gates to the OF seats were locked up, and we could see the Bird heading into the umpire’s tunnel for the final time of the 2009 season…
We took one last picture on our way out of Camden Yards:
But wait, when we arrived home, I watched the Mariners beat the Rangers for finish with 85 wins and a grand celebration on the field after the game. It was an awesome end to the Mariners season.
Bring on 2010!
Season Fan Stats:
32 Games (plus one 5+ hour rain out with no game)
1 Ken Griffey, Jr. Homerun (Career Homerun No. 624, August 23, 2009 in Cleveland)
13 Stadiums (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field, Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, HHH Metrodome, Miller Park, U.S. Cellular, “Jacobs” Field, and Rogers Centre)
25 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Twins, Indians, Red Sox, Yankees, Royals, White Sox, Blue Jays, Phillies, Mets, Nationals, Cubs, Braves, Padres, Dodgers, Cardinals, Marlins, Pirates, Astros, and Brewers — and sort of the Giants)
27 Ice Cream Helmets (Mariners (5), Phillies (5), Mets, Nationals (3), Red Sox (3), Yankees (2), Twins, Cubs, Brewers, White Sox, Indians, and Blue Jays (and 1 Brewers Cheese Fries Helmet))
37 Baseballs (20 Mariners, 3 Umpire, 3 Astros, 2 Rangers, 1 Phillies, 1 Red Sox, 1 Nationals, 1 Pirates, 1 Twins, 1 Royals, 1 Indians, Yankees/Orioles 1, 1 Blue Jays)
MLB Closed Out (NL Closed out on 8/16/09, AL Closed out on 8/17/09)
6 Autographs (King Felix Hernandez, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Jason Phillips, Ronny Cedeno, Aaron Hill, Jeremy Guthrie, Ryan Perry, Jeremy Accardo)
5 Player/G.M. Photographs (King Felix Hernandez, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Jason Phillips, Jack Zduriencik, Ryan Perry)
10 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose, Orioles Bird, Slider (Indians), 3 Presidents (Nats), Screech (Nats), 4 Running Sausages (Brewers) — Honorable Mention: The Green Monster statue bench)
Up Next: Cook & Son’s 2009 Season-In-Review Wrap Up
Here is the main page as of this morning:
And here is the actual article:
MyGameBalls.com is a great page for anyone who, like me and Tim, enjoys recording his or her personal baseball history. It is a free tool for baseball fans to record facts about the baseballs they catch at Major League Baseball games. The site is new this year and currently it has (I believe) about 90 members ranging from novice ball catchers like me and Tim to the big time Ballhawks like Zack Hample and John Witt.
If you enjoy recording your own history and checking out others’ baseball collections, definitely check it out.
For the second day in a row, we woke up and had breakfast and played some baseball in Copley Square. On this day, however, we just played catch and did some base running (on four drains in front of the Church in the square).
Soon, it was time to head to Fenway Park for our final game of the weekend roadtrip. We were hoping for a Mariners sweep. But it wasn’t in the cards.
I’m going to break with my usual protocol and skip to the fourth inning. I’ll go back and cover the game from the beginning, but I don’t want to bury the most important part of this unfortunate Mariners loss in the middle of the entry.
You might have noticed by now that I am a big Mariners fan. And, by definition, that means I am a huge Ken Griffey, Jr. fan. Ken Griffey, Jr. means everything to Mariners fans (at least to real Mariners fans). I was 13 when Griff broke into the Mariners back in 1989.
The Mariners were a fairly unimportant team until 1989. Well, they were important to me and about 10,000 other people in the state of Washington. But they were sort of a minor league Major League team to everyone else. They had zero winning seasons in their history. There were constant rumors and threats that the team would move — most notably to Tampa, Florida. The Kingdome — as beautiful and perfect as it was — was largely empty. (By the way, that wasn’t sarcasm, the Kingdome was, indeed, beautiful and perfect).
And then, in April 1989, things changed. KEN GRIFFEY, JR. ARRIVED! All of a sudden, one of the most celebrated young ball players in baseball was a Seattle Mariner. People started to pay some attention to our club. People started showing up at the Kingdome.
In 1991, we had a WINNING SEASON!
In 1995, we WON THE WEST! We made the PLAYOFFS!! We were two games from the World Series.
The Mariners were no longer going to move away! Instead, they built Safeco Field. It was a golden era in Mariners baseball.
Long story short: Ken Griffey, Jr. changed baseball in Seattle, he saved baseball in Seattle, he IS baseball in Seattle.
Therefore, when my son was born in 2006 and we started going to baseball games together, I had a goal: Take Tim to see Griffey.
We have had incredibly bad luck in this respect. Prior to this weekend, we had gone to see him play more than 10 times, and Griff played in only three of those games. In those games, he has had gone hitless (but with a bunch of walks).
So we turn to this game. Shortly before game time, they announced the starting line-up. I was more saddened to learn that Mike Sweeney would be DH’ing and Griffey would have the day off.
I started thinking worst case scenario. This is very possibly our final Mariners game of the season. They don’t come back to the Northeast this season. In 30 years, would Tim have to tell his son, “Yeah, your grandpa took me to see the great Ken Griffey, Jr. when I was a boy. But I never saw him get a hit.” I hated the thought. But there was nothing I could do about it. The Mariners were facing a lefty, Jon Lester, and Mike Sweeney had to get his work in to stay sharp.
Then in the fourth inning (with no disrepect to Sweeney), something wonderful happened:
I was totally unprepared. (That notice was actually posted in the 5th or 6th inning).
Tim was sitting on my shoulders. We were at a food stand behind the grandstand behind the seats by the 1B dugout. I had just ordered a sausage with onions and peppers (for me), a hot dog (for Tim), a diet coke, and a bag of peanuts. There was no counter at the cash registered so I had to hold everything in one hand while finding my money and paying the cashier with the other hand (while still balancing Tim on my shoulders with no hands).
In the midst of all of this, I hear the following over the stadium P.A. system:
“Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, JUNIOR!”
Instantly, my thought was, “The Red Sox don’t have a Junior! AHHHHH!!!”
I jammed my wallet and change into my pocket, gathered up everything as best as I could and ran toward the field as fast as I could.
This picture shows our starting point and our route to the field:
When we ran into the back of the grandstand, I believe we were in Section 13 or 14.
I yelled up to Tim, “I THINK GRIFF IS UP!”
Right as we got in view of the field, we saw Lester start his wind up and deliver a pitch to Griffey. What happened next was possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen at a major league stadium: Griff drilled the pitch off of the Green Monster!
According to my DVR, it looked something like this:
I think that to everyone else in the stadium, it was just a random lead off hit in the top of the fourth inning. But to me, it was possibly the greatest baseball moment ever. For the first time in over ten years, I witnessed Ken Griffey, Jr. — my boyhood hero and favorite baseball player of all-time — get a hit for my Seattle Mariners and I witnessed it with my son sitting on my shoulders sharing the moment with me. And the fact that he hit the ball off the Green Monster, the most famous outfield wall in baseball, made it even more exciting.
This simple hit is easily the highlight of my season so far, and I plan to think and talk about it with Tim for years and years to come. I hope Tim and I get another chance to see Griffey play — this season and next. But, if that is not possible, this hit will keep me satisfied.
(By way of background and to clarify, *I* have seen Griffey get tons of hits, hit numerous homeruns, multiple grand slams, makes dozens of circus catches (including the one when he broke his arm in half) — but I’d never shared any of those moments with Tim. That’s what made this hit so special).
By the time I could get to a spot where I could put our food down and get to my camera, Franklin Gutierrez had advanced Griff to second with a single. Here is Griff leading off of second:
Okay, now lets back track to the beginning of the game.
We entered the stadium again through the CF gate on Lansdowne Street. It was a 1:35 start, but the teams still took BP. We arrived as the first group of Mariners were hitting, including Griffey and Ichiro.
We started out in the CF bleachers. Griffey was blasting bombs into the RF bleachers. I wanted to go over there, but there is no way I am going to try to catch a HR ball with Tim on my shoulders. Shortly after we arrived, Griff hit a ground rule double to straight away CF that bounced up into the stands and directly into my Dad’s glove.
My Dad has had great luck with Griffey this year. In addition to this BP ground rule double, on the first day of spring training, my Dad got Griff’s second BP homerun in his second tour of duty with the Mariners.
I decided to go up onto the Green Monster and see if Tim and I could get into the seating area. There is a staircase in the CF concourse that takes you up to the Green Monster. You can walk out to the edge of the seating area, but they won’t let you out into the seats without a Monster ticket. So Tim and I just stood around up there for a few minutes taking in the view before heading back down to the field level seats.
I had a thought in the back of my head that it would be neat to get a ball thrown up to us on the Green Monster. Tim and I stood in the closest spot to the seats that you can get to without a Monster ticket:
We stood in the spot under the red arrow where the guy in the red shirt is standing. I noticed Jason Vargas and Jason Phillips standing together below in LCF. (In the picture to the right, that is Jason Phillips after the two Jasons split up).
After a few minutes, someone hit a ball to Vargas. I yelled down from the Mondster, “Hey, Vargas!!!!” He heard me! He looked up! He turned around and he fired the ball to me. Unfortunately, it was too low and it clanked off a light and some bricks just below us — out of reach.
Jason Phillips stood and watched Vargas’s failed attempt. And just then, someone hit him a ball. “Hey, Jason!” Phillips looked back up at me. He turned around and he fired the ball to me. A perfect strike. It would have hit me directly in the chest. It was a very impressive throw, and much appreciated.
Here is a picture that illustrates the flight of the ball:
At the time Phillips threw the ball, he was even a little bit — maybe 10-15 feet — closer toward LF. He didn’t lob the ball up to me. He fired it on a line, just like the arrow in this picture. As I said, a very impressive throw.
Tim and I then went down to the CF bleachers and met up with my mom who was standing right where my Dad caught Griff’s ground rule double about 10 minutes earlier.
Felix Hernandez and Erik Bedard were standing below us. Felix runs all over the place trying to make high light reel catches during BP. At one point, he caught one near us. He looked up and made I contact with me (and Tim). There was a lady from Seattle shouting at him standing directly next to me to my left. Felix fired the ball up to us. He threw it to our right side so the shouting lady wouldn’t interfere. I could have caught it without moving at all — I just had to reach across my body and back hand it. However, as I started to go for the backhand, I realize there was a 8’ish year old boy wearning a Red Sox jersey and a glove standing next to me. If I didn’t catch the ball, he’d get it. I decided to let me have it since we already had the ball from Jason Phillips and we got Felix’s warm up ball the day before.
Soon thereafter, someone hit a ball into the OF corner by the end of the Red Sox bullpen. Here was the scene:
We were standing in the red circle. Erik Bedard was standing at the red “X”. There was a rope running along the warning track. (I think it was to keep people involved in the pre-game ceremonies off of the grass). The rope went down the warning track and around a big door in the outfield wall. The ball went in the corner behind the rope as shown above.
Bedard turned around and walked over and grabbed the ball. A whole bunch of people including a bunch of 10’ish year old kids, were standing by the bullpen directly above the ball. I figured Bedard would grab it and flip it up to them. While those people all yelled at Bedard for the ball, Erik picked it up and looked at them. He then walked as slowly as humanly possible back over to the yellow “X” in the picture above. Then he looked up and made eye contact with me (and Tim), and fired the ball to us. I had the feeling that Bedard had watched Felix throw us the ball when I let the kid catch it and he was trying to finish what Felix had started. The yelling lady was still next to me. Like Felix, Bedard threw the ball to my right so she wouldn’t get it.
Next, it was time to walk around. We checked out the RF corner and the Pesky Pole:
As RF corners go, this is one of the most interesting in baseball. Not very “corner-ish.” More like a RF curve.
We walked up through the old wooden grandstand seats:
We headed out to Yawkey Way and watched Tom Caron from NESN interview comedian Mike O’Malley:
Sean Casey was walking around the NESN set. I walked over to get a picture of him (or possibly with him), but he vanished into thin air.
It was getting close to game time, so we walked back into the stadium and went through the busy concourse behind home plate:
When we were down here, we got Tim a chocolate ice cream helmet and headed toward our seats in the grandstand behind home plate:
The seats were great. Here was our view:
The red arrow points to where Tim and I were standing when Griffey hit his single off of the Green Monster.
We watched te pre-game festivities such as the reading of the Fenway Park Code of Conduct…
…the carrying of the pink backpack to the Mariners bullpen by Christ Jakubauskas…
…the third ceremonial first pitch by Marky Mark Wahlberg (and his re-do third ceremonial first pitch due to his first third ceremonial first pitch sailing high over the catcher to the backstop):
Finally, it was game time. As always, future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki led off for the Mariners:
I like this picture for two reasons — (i) the ball is captured right above the plate (but low, it was called a ball) and (ii) Dustin Pedroia is, for some reason, floating in the air at second base (click on the picture to see it larger, Pedroia is totally off of the ground).
I got some more Red Sox pictures:
I wanted to get a shot of Big Papi clapping his hands before stepping into the box but I missed it. He hit the next pitch into the RF bleachers, the second Red Sox home run in the first inning.
By the time Griff was up for a second time, we were touring around in the grandstand out beyond the Pesky Pole. He walked. Here he is leading off first base:
We went out to the concourse in the RF corner and took this picture showing the Red Sox World Series and other banners:
FYI, see the guy wearing the red shirt above the blue 1967 banner in the middle of the picture? He is standing in the walkway behind the grandstand seats where Tim and I spent a lot of time over the course of the weekend.
The red arrow in that last picture is pointing to this:
I’m guessing this guy is called the “Green Monster.” We saw the real one of this guy running around on the field before each game, but we never saw him in the crowd. This was the best we could do with respect to getting a mascot picture.
See the red arrow in that last picture? It is pointing to a staircase that leads to the “Players Club.” I’m not sure what the Players Club is all about. It looked like it was for special events or people with special tickets. But we headed in to check it out and no one seemed to mind. Here is what it looked like:
…more players club…
…and we found something cool in the Players Club:
(From Left: 2004 World Series Trophy, Todd & Tim, 2007 World Series Trophy)
We walked out of the players club just in time to see this…
Through the break in the grandstand and bleachers, that is Jacoby Ellsbury hitting a home run to bring the score to 4-3 Mariners.
We met up with my folks and watched the game on a TV while we ate some food at the tables in the RF corner. From our table, you could see the Players Club above the food stands:
While we sat here, the Mariners brought in Miguel Batista. It was not Miguel’s day. He gave up a bunch of runs and the Mariners eventually lost the game 8-4.
Tim and I watched the last inning from our familiar RF corner by the Mariners bullpen. We were hoping Griff would get one more at bat, but it wasn’t in the cards. We settled for one more picture with the field before heading out:
This game, we switched things up and exited the stadium from the RF exit so I could get a picture of this:
Boston Red Sox
The greatest hitter who ever lived, an American patriot, and a pioneer in the development of the Jimmy Fund. Ted Williams will forever be one of the great heroes in the history of baseball, Boston and America. He amassed 521 home runs despite sacrificing five years in his prime to serve his country during World War II and the Korean War. He was a relentless champion of children, such as this child to whom he is offering his cap, in their battle against cancer, and helped make the Jimmy Fund at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute the world renowned center of research and care that it is today.
The memory of Ted Williams will forever be a point of pride for the Boston Red Sox, the people of Boston, New England, and the United States of America.
We took one more picture outside:
With that, we started our walk back to the hotel…
For so many reasons, it was such an awesome weekend shared with Tim and my folks.
Season Fan Stats:
18 Games (plus one 5+ hour rain out with no game)
7 Stadiums (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field, Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium, and Fenway Park)
13 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Mets, Nationals, Braves and Padres, Dodgers — and sort of the Giants)
14 Ice Cream Helmets (Mariners (4), Phillies (3), Mets, Nationals (2), Red Sox (3) and Yankees)
17 Baseballs (12 Mariners, 2 Rangers, 1 Phillies, 1 Red Sox, 1 Umpire)
4 Divisions Closed Out (So far in Tim’s Life — AL West, AL East, NL West, NL East)
3 Autographs (King Felix Hernandez, Jason Phillips, Ryan Perry)
2 Player/G.M. Photographs (King Felix Hernandez, Jack Zduriencik, Ryan Perry)
5 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose (2), Orioles Bird (2), 3 Presidents (Nats), Screech (Nats) — Honorable Mention: The Green Monster statue bench)
So I am behind in my entries because my folks, Tim and I are in the midst of an EXTREMELY AWESOME Fourth-of-July-Mariners-Rampage-on-the-A.L.-East-Leaders-Weekend Roadtrip. Right now, Tim is crashed out from another super-sweet Mariners victory at Fenway Park. So I guess it is time to use Tim’s pre-fireworks nap to begin my entry for our July 2, 2009 game at the new Yankee Stadium.
After the M’s schedule came out for this season, I noticed the M’s would be in Boston over the 4th of July weekend. So I asked my recently retired parents, Jim and Marilyn, if they wanted to meet up with me and Tim for some road M’s games. Then we realized that the day before the Boston series the M’s would be in the Bronx. So we incorporated this game into our trip.
My good friend from college, Davlynn, used to live at 84th & Amsterdam, so I always park there whenever I go to NYC. So that’s what we did. And we took the B and the D train up to the Stadium. The people on the subway were very nice. We were going the wrong way and several people pointed us in the right direction when they noticed we were wearing Mariners gear but heading the wrong way.
Once we arrived at 161st Street, this is what we saw:
Tim was a bit disoriented from just waking up from a nap. So he didn’t want his picture outside the stadium. But we got some a shot of me and my dad, and one of my folks:
Tim was pretty helpful, however, finding the tickets in my mom’s purse:
Once found, we entered the stadium through Gate 6:
The “Great Hall” is pretty Great. Its some pretty cool architecture. But it doesn’t look like a baseball stadium. More like a really cool train station — like 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.
Here is our first view of the field:
We went early for Mariners BP (and a few minutes of Yankees BP) so we had the *great honor* of visiting the exclusive field level of Yankee Stadium:
In the first picture, Tim is stuffing his face with a hot dog and pretzel. It really hit the stop and made it so he could start enjoying his Bronx experience. In the middle, my pa and I pose with the field before heading off to make our best efforts and snagging a BP homerun. On the right, I wanted to show you my silly Washington Nationals string backpack. I learned the hard way last season at the Yankees don’t allow real back packs. So, luckily, at the May 17th Phillies/Nationals game in D.C., the Nationals gave Tim this string backpack that we used at this game.
While the Yankees were still hitting, I went behind home plate to take a panaramic:
…and we saw Freddy Sez…who had a less than prophetic message on this sign:
Later, we jinxed the Yankees by having Tim — a true blue Mariners fan — ding Freddy’s pan — TAKE THAT YANKEES!
I watched the M’s prepare for BP:
You can’t tell in this picture, but King Felix was swinging a bat behind the cage. I noticed that it was Ronny Cedeno’s bat. Griff, on the other hand, was swinging a Ken Griffey, Jr. bat.
Griff and Ichi were in the first group of M’s hitters and they practiced their bunting:
A few minutes later, we were banished from the field level. We made our way to the less exclusive bleachers where my dad became the first Cook to snag a ball at Yankee Stadium. It was Mariners BP homerun. It bounced into the field level seats and my pappy reached out and grabbed it before it could fall back down to the field level seats. Here he is with his bounty:
Then my dad and Tim posed for a picture in the bleachers:
Tim asked my mom if she’d take a picture of him with his water bottle on his head. And she’s a grandma, so she said yes:
Soon, BP was finished and it was time to explore the stadium. We started by climbing the stairs in RF to the highest spot in RF where I took this picture:
That’s the number 4 train speeding by the outfield wall — which it did all night long. Tim loves trains. So it was cool to have one zooming by every couple of minutes. Our seats were in the third to last row right on the aisle under the big ball on the AT&T sign — and they cost me only $5/ticket.
While up there, I zoomed in on the new Monument Park…
…and this picture of Carsten Charles Sabbathia — who looked almost as big as Monument Park:
While Tim hung out with Grandpa, I got this picture with my mom:
And then we got a family picture (except for me wife who is home watching the puppy and relaxing):
Then we went to the highest spot in LF. I took this picture showing the bleachers and the bullpens, etc.:
Then we headed to our seats. Here is Tim standing on the row in front of our seats. Check it out, traditional “bleachers” with no seat backs:
By the way, for anyone interest in it, this picture was taking from Section 238, Row 22, Seat 2. From that spot, we watched Jason Vargas warm-up for the game:
From our seats, this is what you see if you look behind you over your right shoulder:
Here is what they mean: 4 – Lou Gehrig; 3 – Babe Ruth; 5 – Joe DiMaggio, 7 – Mickey Mantle, 37 – Casey Stengel; 8 – Yogi Berra & Bill Dickey (retired together in 1972); 16 – Whitey Ford; 15 – Thurmon Munson; 32 – Elston Howard; 9 – Roger Maris; 10 – Phil Rizzuto; 1 – Billy Martin; 44 – Reggie Jackson; 23 – Don Mattingly; 49 – Ron Guidry; and 42 – Jackie Robinson (in Dodger Blue instead of Yankee blue).
My main gripe with new Yankee Stadium is that it is sorta like a museum with tons of armed guards stationed everywhere to keep the museum safe from the riff-raff that trudge through it. There were armed police officers all over the place. Tons and tons of them. And one of the main goals of the place seems to be to keep the low paying customers out of the way of the high paying customers. However, I was very happy to learn that they don’t really care what you do in the concourse (other than carry your son on your shoulders). Specifically, in the outfield concourse directly on the back side of the retired numbers no one cared if Tim and I played catch. We didn’t just throw one or two balls. We full-on played catched for several innings at a time twice. Here we are having a lot of fun (and I could even see Ichiro score the first run of the game from here):
After our first catching session, Tim got an ice cream helmet for $6.50:
Hey, have you heard at all about some seats having an obstructed view in CF in Yankee Stadium? The rumors are true — how in the world did they failed to plan around this?
Eventually, my dad wanted to see the team store so we went exploring. Here is a panaramic from the second deck in LF foul territory:
Here is the main entrance to the Yankees front office:
They do have standing room in the open air concourse behind the field level where anyone can stand and watch the action. Here is a shot of Kenji Johima getting drilled by a pitch:
Here is another shot of the Great Hall — this time at night with the readboards lit up in blut lights:
When we got back to our seats, it seemed like some of the crowd had left. We were able to get some seats down in the first row above the Mariners bullpen.
Notice the armed guard right next to us.
We watched David Aardsma warm up:
The M’s bullpen is a colorful group of guys. They have a bunch of traditions that help them build a sense of family in the pen. One is a pink backpack that rookie reliever Chris Jakubauskas carries everywhere. Another is a bunch of warrior helmets the releivers take with them:
Here is 30-year-old rookie Jakubauskas sitting with one of the helmets:
Jak and M’s bullpen catcher, Jason Phillips — a heck of a good guy as I’ve come to learn — were having a great time in the bullpen. A bunch of Yankees fans were playfully heckling them and they were playing right along. Eventually, Jason Phillips rewarded me with a ball after I called out his name:
After Phillips threw us the ball (the second ball he’s thrown us this season), I got an idea. The M’s tote around all sorts of odd things in their pink backpack. I thought I’d try to give them something to add to the mix. I’ve had an A-Rod Mariners photo ball sitting around the house for years that I just can’t stand. I thought it might find a happier home in the pink backpack. So I wrote a message on it:
After Aardsma shut the Yankees down for the Mariners win, I tried to get Phillips’ attention again. I think I may be one of the only people who knows his name while at a Mariners game. So he has responded well to me calling his name. I yelled out again and showed him the ball and said I wanted to throw it to him. He yelled something that looked agreeable, but then he walked out of sight. He came back a minute or two later and waved a ball at me and yelled, “Its autographed already” and he threw it up to me. I thanked him for it but yelled back, “Thanks. But I want you to have *this ball*.” I threw it down to him. My mom yelled, “Read it!”
Phillips picked it up and read it. He gave me a big smile and a thumbs up and walked out of sight. By golly, I think it worked! (Stay tuned for future entries to see if it really worked!)
Interestingly, the autographed ball made it two balls from Phillips in about 10 minutes. Here they are with one of our tickets and Tim’s ice cream helmet:
After the game, we posed for pictures. Here are my folks:
Tim was too tired for our picture. The game ended at 11 o’clock due in part to a 30 minute “rain delay” despite absolultely no rain and the field ever being covered.
Here is Tim a few minutes later in the subway:
Now, its off to Boston!
Season Fan Stats:
15 Games (plus one 5+ hour rain out with no game)
6 Stadiums (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field and Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium)
13 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Yankees, Phillies, Mets, Nationals, Braves and Padres, Dodgers — and sort of the Giants)
11 Ice Cream Helmets (Mariners (4), Phillies (3), Mets, Nationals (2), and Yankees)
11 Baseballs (7 Mariners, 2 Rangers, 1 Phillies, 1 Umpire)
3 Divisions Closed Out (So far in Tim’s Life — AL West, NL East, NL West)
2 Autographs (Ryan Perry, Jason Phillips)
1 Player Photograph (Ryan Perry)
5 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose (2), Orioles Bird (2), 3 Presidents (Nats), Screech (Nats))