Tigers at Orioles (5/31/09)
Tim and I headed down to Baltimore for the second time this season to close out the month of May with a game between the Tigers and Orioles. It was Tim’s first time seeing the Tigers. We were joined on the trip by friends Mark and Brady Kelly. Several months ago when I planned out the 2009 season, I asked Mark if he and Brady would like to join us for this game because Mark is from Detroit and he and Brady are Tigers fans.
We drove down separately and we arrived a bit before Mark and Brady. It was by far the warmest and sunniest game we’d been to this year so far. We arrived around 12:00 for a 1:35 start. I was hoping we’d catch the end of batting practice. However, the teams didn’t take BP before this day game. Instead of BP, we were greeted by a parade of little leaguers marching around the warning track. You can see them ringing the stadium behind us in this picture:
We headed down the 3B line to watch the Tigers pitchers play long toss and do sprints. I was hoping that some Tiger would take pitty on us and throw us a ball because we were a father-son combo not included in the 13,000 kids who got to march around the field. But no such luck. However, we did get our first autograph and player picture of the season:
Ryan Perry is a rookie reliever for the Tigers. His stats make it seem like he’s having a nice first couple months of his career. He would not pitch in this game. Tim doesn’t look too excited to be in this picture. I’m guessing he was dissappointed the basebal player wasn’t Ichiro or Griffey.
After watching the Tigers pitchers warm up, he were blazing hot. The sun was beating down like nobody’s business. So we headed up to the last row of the upper deck to take some pictures for a panoramic — and stand in the shade:
Tim’s an Irishman. So the sun isn’t his best friend. After standing in the sun for half an hour watching the pitchers play catch, he was drained. Here he is on the verge of konking out on my shoulders once we made it to the shady and breezy upper deck:
We stayed up in the upper deck for a while so we could beat the heat. Tim was confused when we were up there because there were no bases on the field. They were still watering down and chalking the field. I took a series of photos of the crew chalking the field:
They traced that metal frame and then chalked over the tracing.
And that’s how you chalk home plate, folks.
While we were up hiding in the upper deck shade, we got a call from Mark. He and Brady had arrived and were out by our seats. We decided to meet up over by the bouncy house. So we started walking toward the RF corner. From the concourse behind the 1B foul territory, I took this interesting picture looking down toward the ground level:
I think this picture is pretty interesting. To the far right, is a long meandering walkway from the ground level up to the 300 leve. Next to it are two long escalators: one goes up to the suite level and one goes up to the 300 level. Straight ahead is the warehouse along Eutaw street. At the bottom is a sign that says “Home of the Orioles,” which hangs over a walk way through the bottom of the wearhouse. If you’re walking outside the stadium from the CF gate on the far side of Eutaw Street, this cut out is the first break in the long warehouse wall and it cuts through to the B Gate and a small ticket office. By the way, when the ticket line at the CF side of Eutaw Street is reaaaallly long, this one will most likely be about 2 people long. Finally, right in the middle of the picture is the bouncy house.
After bouncing in the bouncy house . . .
This is Section 96, Row D, Seat 23. Apparently, on September 6, 1996, Eddie Murray’s 500th career home run landed in this seat.
Anyway, Mark and Brady weren’t over here either.
We headed back to the kids area and Tim played on the play fort – its fairly unimpressive, so I won’t show you a picture. After a few minutes, we headed back to the seats once again. On the way, we stopped to get some chicken strips and french fries. While looking for napkins, we ran into Mark and Brady.
As I mentioned, Mark and Brady are Tigers fans. And they were decked out in Tigers gear. So lets just get it out of the way — THE BIG TIGERS “D” CONTROVERSY! Do you know the controversy? Interestingly, every single Tigers fan I’ve ever asked about THE BIG TIGERS “D” CONTROVERSY has been totally oblivious to its very existence. Apparently, the Tigers’ fans are not very observant.
So what is the controvery you ask? Here it is — the Old English script “D” on the Tigers hat is totally and completely different than the Old English script “D” their jerseys and no one seems to care or notice
Here is indisputable photographic evidence:
Let’s take a closer look:
1. The upper right corner of the Hat “D” has little fancy points and a concave diagonal edge while the same part of the Jersey “D” is rounded with no pionts and no concave edge.
2. The traditionally straight edge of the capital “D” is replace in the Jersey “D” with three vertical lines. The two inner lines are straight and the outide line is sort of shaped like a shark with two pointy fins on his back. Meanwhile, the straight edge of the Hat “D” has only two vertical lines. Neither are straight. Instead, they both look sort of like tall thin S’s. But congrats to the Tigers, the outside line on the Hat “D” also has the two shark like fins on it!
3. The Two S-like vertical lines on the Hat “D” have two little bars connecting them – one at the top and one at the bottom. The top bar is convex and the bottom bar is concave. The Jersey “D”? You got it, no connector bars at all between the roughly corresponding vertical lines.
4. But there are more connector discrepancies. The left and right side of the opening of the Hat “D” is connected with two little bars – the top bar is concave and the bottom bar is convex. How about the Jersey “D” — just the opposite. The top bar is convex and the bottom bar is concave.
5. Finally, the Hat “D” is cool and the Jersey “D” is not (this one is subjective).
So you say, “Come on, I never noticed this, but how can it be a controversy? All Tigers fans must know about this?” Nope. You’re wrong. In fact, Mark himself — a Michigander — was totally unaware of this last year before I asked him about it. Recently, Mark surveyed a bunch of Tigers fans at Comerica Park. None of them knew about this.
The big question: why is it that Tigers have two different D’s on their uniforms?
The answer: NO ONE KNOWS!!!
According to my limited internet research on this (limited because I don’t really care about it), the Tigers themselves have no clue why they have different D’s on their uniforms.
So there you have it: THE BIG TIGERS “D” CONTROVERSY!!!
Anyway, I ignored the crazy mix-matched D’s on Mark and Brady’s shirts and hats and went about our day. We headed over to our seats. We watched about one inning there. It was too hot and sunny for our pale little boys. I noticed that Section 306 (from the picture above) was essentially empty and totally shady. So we headed up there (after playing in the RF standing room flag area for a bit).
Here was our view up there:
That picture makes the seats seem higher than they really were. Actually, I really liked sitting up there. But before we get to that, here is a look back at the flag area and our seats in Section 96:
If you go straight up from the White Sox flag in the middle row and then look a little off-center to the right, you’ll see a guy wearing a neon yellow shirt with four empty seats behind him. Those are our empty seats.
We had a great time in the shade. Tim had chocoloate ice cream WITHOUT an ice cream helmet:
Can you believe the Baltimore Orioles STILL don’t offer ice cream helmets? Come on, Orioles? It is 2009! Get with the program! The fans demand ice cream helmets!
Look at the terrible mess caused because Tim had to eat his ice cream out of of an inferior little bowl. It was a chocolate covered disaster area by the end of this.
After Tim changed from his Griffey shirt into his Moose shirt, Tim pointed out the batter:
Next, it was time to try to catch a foul ball:
Of course, it would have taken a mammoth Ruthian foul ball blast to get a ball up to the little guys. So Tim and Brady discarded the gloves and did some dancing:
Despite these sweet moves, the Orioles managed to not put Tim and Brady on the jumbo screen. Can you believe it?
You know, there was also a game. It was a pitchers dual. Edwin Jackson pitched for the Tigers and had a no hitter into the 5th (I think). Curtis Granderson hit a home run. Here is he not hitting that home run:
Is it just me or is Granderson wearing clown shoes? His front foot looks disproportionately huge to me.
How about a bonus picture of former Mariner Adam Jones?
For the most part, the Tigers scored whenever Mark turned his back to the field. So, I guess he turned three times. With the Tigers up 3-0, Fernando Rodney entered the game in the bottom of the ninth:
Before heading to the car, Mark took our picture:
As we left the seats, Tim asked if we could go run around the flags. I told him we couldn’t because we had to go home so we could play baseball. Tim agreed.
As we walked onto Eutaw Street, I looked toward the field and notice something wonderful on the jumbo screen – a notice that the Mariners will be in town starting June 9th!
Tim and I will be back for one of those three games. And Griff will likely hit a monster bomb — like the one marked on the Warehouse wall as shown above. Well, he might not hit it that far. That’s the only ball in the history of Camden Yards to make it to the Warehouse in the air.
So with that, we walked to the cars. Mark and I tentatively planned to catch a Marlins vs. Phillies game at Citizen Bank Park in August. It will be Brady’s first Phillies game.
Tim slept for 1 hour and 50 minutes of the two hour drive home. As we pulled into our garage, Tim (still groggy from his nap) asked, “Can we play baseball now?” Well, I did promise we could instead of going to the flags again. So we played baseball in the yard for about an hour and a half before it started getting dark.
Another fine day of baseball in the books.
Season Fan Stats:
5 Stadiums (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field and Nationals Park)
12 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Phillies, Mets, Nationals, Braves and Padres, Dodgers)
9 Ice Cream Helmets (Mariners (4), Phillies (3), Mets and Nationals)
5 Baseballs (2 Mariners, 2 Rangers, 1 Phillies)
3 Divisions Closed Out (So far in Tim’s Life — AL West, NL East, AL West)
1 Player Autograph (Ryan Perry)
1 Player Photograph (Ryan Perry)
3,607 Miles driven/flown to games (season)
5 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose (2), The Bird (O’s), 3 Presidents (Nats))