In mid-June, my folks came to Pennsylvania for a quick visit. My mom had never been to Citizens Bank Park. So on June 10, 2011, we headed down to Philadelphia to see the Cubs vs. the Phillies.
My folks love Philadelphia, so before going to the game, we took a quick walk around the Rittenhouse Square area:
Then it was down to the stadium for us. On the way into the ballpark, Tim wanted to get his picture with this statute of Joe Brown…
…which he has been photographed multiple times in the past. My dad’s picture of me taking Tim’s picture actually came out looking much better than the picture I took.
A little further down the sidewalk, I gathered my folks together with Tim for this photo outside of the LF gate:
When we entered the ballpark, the Phillies were taking BP and LF was still the only part of the stadium that was open to the public. My dad hung out a few rows back in section 141 (the first section in homerun territory in left field), while Tim, my mom and I headed to the first row in section 140 (which is in foul territory and was in the shade).
A few minutes later, a ball was hit right down the line and it came to rest in foul territory. Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick was in LF and he slowly walked over to grab the ball. When he walked below us, he looked up at me and…
Kendrick: “Hey, is that a Mariners hat!?”
Kendrick: “And that’s a Mariners shirt!?”
(FYI, it was a t-shirt with an intentionally sorta faded original Mariners logo. Also, at some point during this exchange, Kendrick tossed us the baseball he had just grabbed off of the warning track. Thanks, Kyle!)
Kendrick: “Are you from Washington?”
Todd: “I live there for about 22 years, but live here now.”
Mom: “I live in Seattle!”
Kendrick: “I’m from Mount Vernon!”
Todd: “Cool. I used to play a lot of baseball in there when I played American Legion ball.”
Todd: “So, are you a Mariners fan!?”
Kendrick: (makes a wishy-washing, non-confirming/non-denying gesture)
Todd: “Well, were you a Mariners fan growing up?”
Kendrick: “Oh, definitely!”
My, Oh, My! Great to learn there is a Washingtonian and Mariners fan (I know he’s still a Mariners fan!) on the Phillies. I now have a newfound appreciation for Mr. Kendrick.
Here is a combination of the Kendrick hanging out in LF and the baseball that he tossed up to us:
After chatting with Kendrick, I headed out to CF to look around. My mom and Tim stayed put and my dad got this shot of Grandma reading to Tim the give-away book (Phillie Phanatic: The Philadelphia Story) that he received upon entry into the stadium:
On my way back to LF, I stopped in the front row just in front of my dad. Right then, someone hit a homerun directly in line with me. But it sailed over my head. I turned around sure that my dad would catch it. But he didn’t even see the ball coming and another guy caught the ball about one foot to my dad’s right.
I left the front row and met up with Tim and my mom again to watch the Cubs pitchers warm up along the LF line…
…and then my mom move over to section 141 and joined my dad in the front row.
Not much was going on, so Tim spent some quality time touching the foul pole:
When the Cubs pitchers’ finished throwing, a coach (who I think was Dave Keller)…
…tossed Tim a baseball.
When the rest of the stadium opened, we headed over to the “pizza slice” in RCF:
Kerry Wood (34) and Jeff “Fighting Irish” Samardzija (29) were both shagging balls in CF…
…I was thinking it would be nice if one of them tossed us a baseball, but James Russell (40) beat them to it. Russell tossed us a baseball from about 100 feet out into the grass. I was in the “pizza slice” where you cannot scoot back. I grabbed the railing and reached up as high as I could and just barely got it before it sailed over me into the bullpen.
Meanwhile, my dad was down 2-3 sections toward CF:
A Cub launched a homerun a couple rows back and he scampered up a couple rows and snagged the ball off of the stairs. My mom took this shot of my dad with is first baseball from Citizen Bank Park:
After BP, three generations of Cook boys tested their canons at the speed pitch…
…and there was no actual speed present. Actually, it should be noted that Tim heated it up to “28 miles for hour,” an improvement of 2 miles since his last effort.
Next, it was time for a brief play stop in the kids’ play area. Then, we headed up the ramp…
… for a little tour of the upper deck.
We entered the upper deck at section 312…
…and we thought it was a nice background for a group shot:
Next, Tim wanted to climb up to the very top row. So we headed to the section right behind home plate and climbed to the top. After taking in the scenery, we decided to go down a little lower to find an usher to take our picture. But a fan overheard us and offered to take our picture. Here is her camera handiwork:
And, what the heck, how about one more group shot from the bottom of the upper deck:
Tim decided to do a statue pose in that last shot.
It was game time. We reported to our seats in section 138 right as Roy Halladay was delivering the first pitch of the game.
I didn’t take this until late in the game, but here is a panorama from section 138, row 10, seat 8:
The Philadelphia International Airport is southwest of Citizens Bank Park and there is always a steady diet of airplanes traveling from right field toward home plate on their descent toward the airport. But all of a sudden at the beginning of this game, the airplanes all reversed course…
…Tim had a lot of fun watching airplanes traveling from home plate toward right field on their ascent from the airport.
We also had a lot of fun watching the Phanatic and his friends and family entertain people around the ballpark. Here is the Phanatic hanging out in the crowd down the third base line:
Note: it seems like the Phanatic always makes his first appearance during each game right around this same area down the 3B line.
We had never sat so close to a Phillies ballgirl. Between innings, Tim headed down and got this picture with Maureen:
Before getting Maureen’s autograph and photo, Tim reported to me that every ballgirl whose autograph he’d gotten in the past had signed her name with a little heart. He was sure that Maureen would adorn her baseball card with a heart too. But Maureen switched it up and signed her name with a little drawing of a baseball.
Those “friends and family” of the Phanatic included “Lady PhaPha”…
…who did a little dance with the second base umpire, Alan Porter.
Of course, in addition to the non-baseball entertainment, there was a game being played too. The Phillies took the lead early and led the whole way.
In the first inning, the Phillies scored a single run on a Ryan Howard groundout that scored Shane Victorino. In the second inning, they added two more on a two run homerun by Dominic Brown. I believe that this homerun makes Brown the first person whom Tim and I have seen hit a homerun in the minor and Major leagues.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, former-Mariner Raul Ibanez…
…hit a double down the right field line. But he was stranded on base and the score remained 3-0 Phillies.
Halladay was, as they say, dealing:
Yep, its official, he’s good.
By the way, here was our view of Raul out in left field:
It was official, we were having a good time and the ballpark and Tim highly approved of it:
Although the lead seemed insurmountable given Halladay’s dominance, the Phillies played a little tack-on in the bottom of the seventh…and it is a good thing that they did. After loading up the bases, Placido Polanco unloaded them with one swing:
Our new friend, James Russell, had to come in to finish off the seventh inning for starter Victor Zambrano:
And that put the Phillies up 7-0.
But then Uncle Charlie decided to that his relievers needed to get some work in. So Halladay’s day was done with a line of 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K.
The relief corps did not fare as well. Between Jose Contreras (4 runs) and J.C. Romero (1 run), the Phillies gave back 5 runs in the top of the 8th, and all of a sudden we had a ball game again. And the “boooooos” were raining down in Citizen Bank Park.
Late in the game, the Phanatic (1B dugout) enlisted the help of his mother (3B dugout) to get the crowd going again:
This has nothing to do with baseball, but I was quite happy with the zoom job my camera did on the moon:
At the end of the game, the Phanatic got some help from this guy in the green shirt and plaid shorts:
He was sitting just across the aisle from us and after a lot of hard work he got the wave going pretty good around the ballpark:
It must have worked because Michael Stutes got a hold and Antonio Bastardo got the save, which of course resulted in a win for both the Phillies and their ace, Roy Halladay.
|2011 C&S Fan Stats|
|12/1 Games (Tim/Kellan)|
|13/2 Teams [Tim – Mariners, Orioles, Rangers, Brewers, Nationals, Phillies, Mets, Rays, Braves, Diamondbacks, Astros, Royals and Cubs; Kellan – Mariners, Orioles]|
|7 Ice Cream Helmet(s) (Orioles (2), Nationals, Phillies (2), Rangers (2))|
|38 Baseballs (4 Mariners, 7 Rangers, 3 Orioles, 2 Umpire, 2 Nationals, 2 Brewers, 5 Phillies, 1 Mets, 1 Rays, 2 Braves, 2 Diamondbacks, 1 MLB Authenticator, 1 Easter Egg, 1 Glove
Trick, 2 Royals, 2 Cubs)
|5/1 Stadiums [Tim – Camden Yards, Nationals Park, Citizens Bank Park, Minute Maid Park, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington; Kellan – Camden Yards]|
|11/7 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; Kellan – Luke French, Milton Bradley, Franklin Gutierrez, Justin Smoak, Matt Tuiasosopo, Ryan Langerhans, Michael Saunders]|
|3/1 Management Photos* [Tim – Howard Lincoln, Jack Zduriencik, Eric Wedge; Kellan – Jack Zduriencik]|
|4 Autograph(s) (Michael Pineda, Michael Saunders, Mark Lowe, Felipe Paulino)|
|1 Bat* (Milton Bradley)|
|3/2 Mascot Photos* [Tim – Mariner Moose, Teddy Roosevelt, The O’s Bird; 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]|
|1 Line-up Card (Royals vs. Rangers)|
|*includes Spring Training**divisions where we have seen each team play a home game.|
I really wanted to go to a Twins game this season so we could try to get one of those fancy “Target Field” commemorative baseballs. We had tickets to the Friday, June 18th game, but it was too soon after our return from the roadtrip. Finally, I found $12/ticket SRO tickets on Stubhub to the Sunday, June 20, 2010 game.
I didn’t realize (I am generally terrible at tracking “holidays”), but June 20th was fathers’ day. What better way to spend fathers’ day than at a ballgame with your son, right?
Upon entering the stadium, we discovered there was no BP. The The quest for a Target Field baseball was not looking good. We headed to the LF foul corner in hopes of getting a toss up from one of the several Twins playing catch in LF.
The quest was looking a little better when we got the corner spot down the 3B line. Perfect. It looked like this:
It was already hot, and Tim hates the sun, so we took off and headed over to the kids’ play area.
When we got to the play area, Tim modeled the Phillies “sarge” hat give away:
Tim’s last MLB kids’ play area was at the Oakland Colesium where the play area is rather blah’ish. But there is no blah in Philadelphia. Check it out:
By the way, in the bottom right, Tim’s left hand is giving a thumbs up, but his right hand is actually pointing (with his thumb) at the little metal ball that he successfully maneuvered to the middle of the puzzle.
After some playtime, we headed out to RCF to watch Roy Halladay warm up…
As Tim likes to point out, Halladay made some funny faces while throwing in the outfield:
Soon, Halladay and Pavano reported to the tiered bullpens:
Pavano was looking good too on the upper tier:
We started out with nachos in the SRO area behind the seats in DEEEEEP RCF:
…off of Roy Halladay. Orlanda “O-Dog” Hudson had stolen second during this at bat and he scored easily on Mauer’s single to stake the Twins to a 1-0 lead. That score would hold up until the fifth inning.
After the first, we aimlessly walked back and forth a bit in the OF concourse. I took this random shot of the concourse…
Eventually, Tim and I headed up into the upper deck seats in section 301, the deepest part of the ballpark. This was the view from almost the very top of the stadium:
…and then one of the “Fan Photos” camera people took a picture of both of us. In that picture, I am wearing Tim’s hat on top of my hat. While we were eating nachos, Tim took off his hat and I put it on top of mine for safe keeping. However, after taking these pictures, I looked at Tim and became alarmed. “Oh, no! Where did your hat go, Tim,” I asked? “Its on top of your head, silly daddy,” Tim replied. I’m pretty sure I was wearing double hats for about 15-20 minutes.
Next, we decided to head to the lower level to cool off in the covered concourses and get an ice cream helmet. Here are some (out of order views) from our walk from RF to home plate and over to 3B in the concourse:
In the left picture, that big photo of Roy Halladay hangs in the concourse just inside of the 1B enterance from Pattison Avenue. The middle picture shows a John Deere mini-truck with flashing sirens, something we see wizzing through the concourse almost every time we visit Citizens Bank Park. To the right, the photo of Brad Lidge and Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz hangs in the concourse behind home plate.
Finally we made it to the Old City Creamery down the 3B line. If you are ever in Philadelphia and want the BIGGEST and most sprinkle covered ice cream helmet of all time, make sure that THIS LADY…
…around the side corner register at the 3B Old City Creamery makes your helmet. She always goes crazy with the ice cream and just as crazy with the sprinkles — here is Exhibit 1. And it was more of the same on this day:
Halladay was still looking good in the fifth…
After ice cream, we wandered down the 3B line and between innings ran down and Tim got his picture with Phillies ballgirl, Bridgette…
…who also gave Tim an autographed ballgirl baseball card. Tim was pretty bashful about getting his picture with the ballgirl, but after I pointed out how she’d run onto the field to get stray foul balls, he thought it was pretty awesome. Now, he wants to get his picture with the ballgirls all the time.
After his first ballgirl picture, Tim requested a trip back to the play area. While we were on our way through the concourse heading over to the play area, Phillies back-up short stop Wilson Valdez poked a solo homerun of his own:
The play area was PACKED:
Carl Pavano meanwhile…
In the top of the 8th, Justin Morneau hit a solo shot to take the score to 4-1 Twins.
That was the score when Shane Victorino grounded out weakly…
Its never a good thing for a team when the opposing starter gets an at bat in the 9th inning, and that is just what happened at this game. Halladay’s relief, Chad Durbin retired Pavano…
Now, earlier in the game while Tim was eating his ice cream helmet, we got to talking to three guys. A dad and his teenaged (or maybe young twenties) sons. It was the usual discussion, they were admiring our Mariners jerseys and telling us they love Griffey. Out of nowhere, a lady came up to us and handed over 4 tickets to the section immediately behind the 3B dugout. The lady’s father was in a wheelchair and couldn’t get down to the seats so they were going to hang out in the handicapped area.
The other guys took three of them and said thanks. I grabbed the fourth ticket knowing we’d never sit there. But the ticket came in handy in the ninth inning. They almost always check tickets in the fancy areas at Citizens Bank Park and this ticket would get us down there to try to get an umpire ball at the end of the game.
In the ninth inning, we headed down. They checked our ticket and waved us down into the fancy seats. We grabbed some seats in row 11 of section 130. This was our view for the bottom of the ninth inning:
Tim had fun laying down in our empty row of seats:
Ryan Howard came to bat for the possible final out…
On Werth’s swing, Tim and I scurried down to the first row as close to the umpires’ tunnel as we could get, but the home plate umpire never looked our way.
It was looking like a zero baseball day (and a zero Target Field baseball season) for us. But as the Twins players and coaches streamed into the dugout, we noticed a guy throwing ball after ball after ball into the crowd. It was Twins hitting coach Joe Vavra…
A few minutes later, Twins bullpen coach and thirty year coaching veteran, Rick Stelmaszek…
Here is Tim showing off both of our prizes:
It was time to head out. On the way to our car, Tim just had to get his picture (once again) with the statue of Steve Carlton:
On our way our of the parking lot, well, while waiting for the cars to finally get moving, I snapped a panorama of the sports complex parking lots:
Citizens Bank Park, obviously, is to the far left. In the middle (far in the back) is the Eagles’ home, Lincoln Fnancial Field. And to the far right is the Spectrum. You can’t see it, but behind the Spectrum is the Wachovia Center (I think they still call it that — it was formerly the Core States Center and First Union Center).
And that’s all she wrote. It was a good fathers’ day. We drove home and spent the rest of it with my lovely wife and Tim’s lovely mommy, Colleen.
2010 Fan Stats:
16 Teams (Mariners, Orioles, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Angels, Twins, and Athletics; Phillies, Dodgers, Pirates, Braves, Mets, Brewers, Padres, Giants, and Nationals)
13 Ice Cream Helmets (Orioles (3), Phillies (2), Padres (2), Pirates (2), Mets, Dodgers, Athletics & Nationals)
10 Stadiums (Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Nationals Park, Citi Field, PNC Park, Oakland-Alameda County Stadium, Dodgers Stadium, PETCO Park, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, AT&T Park)
11 Player Photos (Ryan Rowland-Smith (2), Chad Cordero, Mike Cameron, Joel Piniero, Frank Catalanotto, Billy Wagner, Jeff Suppan, Tommy Hanson, Jeff Weaver and Scott Olsen)
1 Umpire Photo (“Cowboy” Joe West)
8 Autographs (Ryan Rowland-Smith (2), Chad Cordero, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Joel Piniero, Frank Catalanotto (2), Billy Wagner (2), Jeff Suppan, Tommy Hanson, Jered Weaver and Scott Olsen)
5 Kids Run The Bases (Citizens Bank Park, Nationals Park, Citi Field, PNC Park, PETCO Park)