March 2010

Good Old-Fashioned Baseball Tickets

My wife and I love getting mail.  I’m not sure why.  We hardly ever get anything but junk mail.  But we always hold out hope that something wonderful will be waiting for us each aftenoon in our trusty mail box.

Well, the past couple weeks, something wondeful, indeed, has started arriving…in twos, and threes and fours.  Baseball tickets.  Tickets to Citizens Bank Park and to Petco Park and to Dodger Stadium and to Angel Stadium and to Citi Field and to Nationals Park, too.

I love good old-fashioned baseball tickets.  Printed from a ticket machine with perferated edges where your tickets used to be connect so someone else’s tickets.  You can’t beat it.

Personally, I am not a fan of print-at-home e-tickets.  A ticket is a souvenir.  Growing up (and really until Tim’s birth), I always kept my tickets in the inside band of my baseball caps.  At any given time (and for years at a time), I walked around with 30 baseball tickets in my cap.  They became wrinkled and faded and stained from sweat as I wore those tickets through softball games, and Mariners games, and high school, and college and life.

unidentifiable - Citz Bank Park.jpgWhen Tim was born and soon started going to game with me, I stopped putting my tickets in my cap because I wanted to keep them clean for him.

Does anyone save print-at-home e-tickets?  I doubt it.  They’re not very memorable.  Certainly, they don’t seem like an artifact of the game worthy of preservingetc., etc., etc., like a real old-fashioned baseball ticket.  And when tickets become unimportant (merely a key to the gate) and we stop saving them, we lose one of the easiest and best ways to track the games, players and history we have seen.

So, when given the options at the end of the online ordering process, don’t count on me selecting “print at home” any time soon (or, if not forced to (i.e., stubhub), ever).

So as Tim and I gear up for another fun filled campaign and our 2010 tickets continue to bring joy to the afternoon trip to the mailbox, I figured it would be fitting to reflect on our past with a look at some of our tickets.  Let’s start with the most important and memorable tickets.

My Top 10 (or so) Tickets

No. 1 – September 12, 2006, Blue Jays vs. Maniners at Safeco Field – Tim’s first game.  A truly great day.  I made this wooden home plate frame and this ticket hangs on Tim’s bedroom wall:


2006-9-12 - Safeco Field Suite 5.jpg

No. 2 - October 10, 1995, Indians vs. Mariners at the Kingdom: Game 1 of the 1995 ACLS in case you didn’t know.  A great game:


1995-10-10 - Kingdome - ALCS Game 1.jpg

No. 3 – August 23, 2009, Mariners vs. Indians at Progressive Field – Tim and I witness Ken Griffey, Jr. hit his 624th career home run – our first Ken Griffey, Jr. home run together (and Tim’s first period):

2009-8-23 - Progressive Field - Griff No624.jpgNo. 4 – Various dates and teams at the Kingdome – my only remaining Kingdome tickets (except for No. 1 above).  The Kingdome is the most important baseball venue of my life and a place I will always remember fondly.

1998-9-26 - Kingdome.jpg 
1999-4-6 - Kingdome.jpg 
1999-4-28 - Kingdome.jpg
1999-5-2 - Kingdome.jpg

No. 5 – August 15, 2008, Cardinals vs. Reds at Great American Ball Park – the first game of the first year of the now annual “Great Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Roadtrip.”  The start of a grand tradition.

2008-8-15 - Great American Ball Park.jpgNo. 6 – July 5, 2009, Mariners vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park – one of the (personally) most memorable baseball moments of my life.  Pinch-hitting for Mike Sweeney in the top of the 4th inning, Ken Griffey, Jr. lined a single off of the Green Monster.  Tim was sitting on my shoulders as we watched the beautiful flight of the ball.  It was the first time Tim ever saw Griffey get a hit in person.

2009-7-5 - Fenway Park.jpgNo. 7 – September 3, 2007, Mariners vs. Yankees at Yankee Stadium (1923).  Tim’s only game ever at the old Yankee Stadium.  A truly great game.  Felix Hernandez gets the win.  Ichiro hits a home run off of Roger Clemens for his 200th hit of the season for his seventh consecutive season.  Clemens notches the final loss of his soon-to-be-taint but still-probably-hall-of-fame career.  Mike Mussina pitches in relief after Clemens gets hurt.  It is the only relief appearance of Mussina’s career.  Between Clemens, Mussina and Kyle Farnsworth, the Yankees send over 600 career wins to the mound and end the day with the same number of career wins as when the day started:


2007-9-3 - Yankee Stadium (1923).jpg

* – FYI, a guy who left early and spotted me walking around with Tim on my shoulders gave us his ticket (on the right above) so we could sit almost directly behind home plate (in the equivalent of what is now the Legends Suite tickets at the new Yankee Stadium).

No. 8 – June 8, 2003, Mariners vs. Mets at Shea Stadium.  The only double-header I have ever attended and the most wins (2) that I have ever seen the Mariners collect in one day.  Excellent performances by both Jamie Moyer and Freddy Garcia.

2003-6-8 - Shea Stadium.jpgNo. 9 – Weekend In New York — June 22, 2008, Reds vs. Yankees at Yankee Stadium (1923) and June 23, 2008, Mariners vs. Mets at Shea Stadium.  My high school buddy, Jason, visited from Seattle to see Yankee Stadium before it closed down.  We realized the Mariners were at Shea the next day.  On Sunday, we saw Ken Griffey, Jr. hit home run No. 601 of his career (the first and only home run I have seen him hit in a non-Mariners uniform.  The next day, we saw Felix Hernandez hit a GRAND SLAM off of Johan Santana.  An unforgettable weekend of baseball.

2008-6-22 - Yankee Stadium (1923).jpg

2008-6-23 - Shea Stadium.jpg

No. 10 – September 12, 2007, Rockies vs. Phillies at Citizens Bank Park – an acquaintance who works for the Phillies “comp’d” us four excellent tickets (8 rows behind the 3B dugout) for a mid-week Phillies game against the Rockies.  Tim and I invited some friends and had a blast.  While at the game, I realized for the first time that it was the 1-year anniverary of Tim’s first Mariners/MLB game.  Instantly, a new tradition (and one of my favorite holidays) was born:  Tim’s MLB Anniversary Game.  I plan to take Tim to a game on September 12 every year, forever.

2007-9-12 - Citz Bank Park.jpgHONORABLE MENTION(S):.

- June 3, 2003, Mariners vs. Phillies at Veterans Stadium – Jamie Moyer collects a hit and adds to his Mariners legacy by beating his future team (and what a beautiful ticket – it even has the word “TICKET” embossed across the second panel from the right):

2003-6-30 - Veterans Stadium.jpg- August 15, 2009, Indians vs. Twins at H.H.H. Metrodome – Tim’s first game in a traditional domed stadium.  My first real dome since the Kingdome.  It really brought back the Kingdome feel for me and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

                             
2009-8-15 - HHH Metrodome.jpg   
2009-8-15 - HHH Metrodome 2.jpg.

- Various Veterans Stadium tickets – I like defunct stadiums and odd tickets.  These next five are my only other remaining Veterans Stadium tickets and they include (i) my three smallest tickets, (ii) my first game seeing Griffey play for the Reds, and (iii) my only game ever seeing the Expos:

         
1999-8-8 - Veterans Stadium.jpg   
1999-9-4 - Veterans Stadium.jpg    
2001-9-27 - Veterans Stadium.jpg

2000-5-2 - Veterans Stadium.jpg
2002-8-29 - Veterans Stadium.jpg

And now, a whole bunch more (without descriptions) in chronological order…

                                2000-5-17 - Safeco Field.jpg 
2000-5-20 - Safeco Field.jpg.

2000-8-4 - Yankee Stadium23.jpg
2000-9-3 - Fenway Park.jpg
 2000-9-15 - Camden Yards.jpg 
2001-8-20 - Safeco Field.jpg 
2001-8-24 - Safeco Field.jpg.

     2003-6-6 - Shea Stadium.jpg  
2003-6-13 - Safeco Field.jpg

2004-4-27 - Camden Yards.jpg
2004-4-27 - Camden Yards (2).jpg
2004-6-19 - PNC Park.jpg
2004-8-13 - Citz Bank Park - Bonds No689.jpg* – FYI, Barry Bonds hit his 689th home run at that last game.

         
2006-4-6 - Safeco Field.jpg  
2007-6-30 - Citz Bank Park.jpg.

2007-8-9 - Camden Yards.jpg 
2007-8-14 - Safeco Field.jpg.

2007-8-15 - Safeco Field.jpg
2007-9-9 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2007-9-29 - PNC Park.jpg
2008-3-14 - Peoria Sports Complex.jpg
2008-3-29 - Citz Bank Park On Deck Series.jpg
2008-4-6 - Camden Yards.jpg
2008-4-11 - Citz Bank Park.jpg 
2008-5-2 - Citz Bank Park (Hall of Fame Suite).jpg 
2008-5-23 - Yankee Stadium (1923).jpg  
2008-6-2 - Citz Bank Park.jpg

2008-6-3 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2008-6-4 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2008-7-19 - Safeco Field.jpg
2008-8-17 - Progressive Field.jpg
2008-8-18 - PNC Park.jpg
2008-8-19 - Citz Bank Park Foul Pole Seat.jpg
2008-8-27 - Camden Yards.jpg
2008-9-7 - Shea Stadium.jpg
2008-9-12 - Chase Field.jpg
2009-4-19 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2009-4-25 - Citi Field.jpg
2009-5-1 - Safeco Field.jpg
2009-5-2 - Safeco Field.jpg2009-5-4 - Safeco Field 2.jpg                        
2009-5-4 - Safeco Field.jpg   
2009-5-5 - Safeco Field.jpg


2009-5-8 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2009-5-13 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2009-5-17 - Nationals Park.jpg
2009-5-31 - Camden Yards.jpg
2009-6-10 - Camden Yards.jpg
2009-6-28 - Camden Yards.jpg
2009-7-2 - Yankee Stadium09.jpg
2009-7-19 - Nationals Park.jpg
2009-7-24 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2009-8-5 - FirstEnergy Stadium - AA-Pedro.jpg* – Pedro Martinez pitched this game for the Reading Phillies while preparing for his debut with the Philadelphia Phillies.  He was on fire with the strike out pitch.

2009-8-16 - Miller Park.jpg
2009-8-17 - U.S. Cellular.jpg
2009-9-17 - Safeco Field.jpg
2009-9-19 - Safeco Field.jpg
2009-9-19 - Safeco Field 2.jpg
2009-9-26 - Rogers Centre.jpg
2009-10-4 - Camden Yards.jpg

The Accuracy Game

Recently, our MLBlogs friend Matt Jackson wrote an article titled “What Is It About Playing Catch?” on MyGameBalls.com.  My answer:  everything.  Everything about playing catch is outstanding, timeless, and perfect.

I’ve played catch my entire life.  So, I thought I’d share something specific I love about playing catch.

First, let’s meet the cast of characters.  Thoughout my life, I have played catch with a lot of people.  But outside of organized baseball, there are two people who I have played catch with more than all of the others…


split throw.jpg…and excellent father, Jim Cook, and…

edmonds park.jpg

…my best friend, former teammate, former right side of the infield mate, and former roommate, Paul Samione.

Historically, my dad and I have played catch in the front yard of my boyhood home.  Paul and I play catch everywhere – in front of my parents’ house, in the road in front of the house Paul and I used to share, at the park, or wherever else we find ourselves with gloves and a baseball.

Of course, over the last couple years, another guy has broken into the list of my all-time top catch partners…

catchers.jpgIt is Tim, of course!  Actually, one of the things I really looked forward to about having a kid was having a live-in catch partner.  Something I had been without since I moved to Pennsylvania and broke up the happy home I used to share with Paul and my brother in 1998-99.

That last picture was actually taken after the first time Tim and I ever played catch with a real baseball.  It was October 11, 2008.  And here is what it looked like…

IMG_0076.jpg…I was delicate and had to make precise throws, essentially aiming for his glove.  On the other hand..

Tim's first catch.jpg…Tim wasn’t so delicate.  He throws with purpose and vigor.  Playing catch with Tim is awesome.

Anyway, so lets get to it.  There are tons of intangible aspects of playing catch that I love.  But I don’t think anyone needs to hear my abstract thoughts on the subject.  Rather, I would like to share something specific:

THE ACCURACY GAME!

The accuacy game is something we played at practice in high school.   But pretty much every time Paul and I find outselves in the same state, we break out the gloves and a baseball and, before long, we’re playing the accuracy game.

Here is the game:
accuracy game scoring guide.jpg

The Rules:

  1. The two throwing partners pick a distance for the game.
  2. Throw the ball back and forth.
  3. The receiver on each throw has to plant his feet and try to catch the ball without moving his feet.
  4. The thrower can earn 2, 1 or zero points on each throw.
  5. TWO POINTS – the thrower earns 2 points if the receiver catches the ball within the frame of his upper body or head (as depicted by the red box above)
  6. ONE POINT – the thrower earns 1 point if the receiver catches the ball anywhere outside of the frame of his upper body without moving either foot.
  7. ZERO POINTS – the thrower earns zero points if the receiver has to move either foot to catch the ball or can’t catch the ball — this includes leaning over so far that the receiver catches the ball before moving his feet, but has to move his feet immediatley to stop from falling down.
  8. The receiver makes the scoring call.
  9. First thrower to 10 points wins, but the second thrower gets the chance to tie or win after the first thrower reaches 10 points (i.e., if the the score is 9-9 and the first thrower scores one point to make it 10-9, the second thrower gets the chance to either tie at 10-10 with a one point throw or win at 11-10 with a two point throw).

Here are some pictures to show how it works:

paul wins.jpgHere, Paul demonstrates a 2-point walk-off win in a match played on the beach in Kingston, Washington.  (The inset picture shows that we are across Puget Sound and north of Seattle).  These pictures are poor quality because they are screen shots of a video.  In this game, I was the first thrower and I had just scored my 10th point to go up 10-9.  On his final throw, Paul nailed a perfect 2-pointer to take the win.  We were probably playing at a distance of 90 feet or so.

Here is some photographic proof that I can nail a 2-pointer myself:

practice two.jpgHere are some examples of 1-pointers (courtesy of my dad) and zero pointers (all mine):

franklin park.jpgOn the left, I haul in a high 1-pointer from my dad at a family picnic with both sets of my grandparents a couple years back.  On the right, my Dad snags my zero pointer.   He caught the ball, but he had to move his left foot to make the back handed ankle high grab.

Finally, when playing the accuracy game, some judgment calls will have to be made on close throws, like this one:

xxx-de-sac catch.jpgThat throw could arguably be called a 2-pointer or a 1-pointer.  Most of Paul’s glove (and the ball) are probably above the top line.  Of course, there are no lines to help you make the call when playing the accuracy game.  A lot of the tougher calls usually occur at the bottom end of the 2-point range.  Often times, a good rule of thumb is that it is probably a 1-pointer if you have to turn your glove over and make a basket catch at or below your waist.  A 2-pointer is usually back handed just above the receiver’s waist line.

As the rules above state, the receiver makes the call.  Paul and I are usually pretty good to each other.  Who wants to win because you make cheap calls against your partner?  Not me.

That’s about all there is too it.  Paul and I usually like to play several games in a row at varying distances.  You can alway switch things up and make your own variations.  Paul and I have played (the very, very difficult)  pop fly accuracy game or (as shown above in the scoring guide picture) you can play with the thrower keeping his feet planted (like Adrian Beltre throwing to first base).

So there you go, among many other things, one more great part of playing catch:  the accuracy game.

Give it a try.

Griffey The Prankster

I have a few things to report from the desert, courtesy of my mom and my boyhood newspaper.

You might have heard before that Ken Griffey, Jr. is quite the prankster.  He loves to have a good time and get a laugh.  If you live outside of Seattle or you are not a Mariners fan, you might have missed his latest prank against long time friend and Mariners catchers coach, Roger Hansen.

Here is a picture taken recently by my mom at the Mariners main practice field in Peoria, AZ…

IMG_989.jpg…and here is the story of the prank as told by Kirby Arnold of the world-renowned Everett Herald.

But wait…

Hansen isn’t the only member of the Mariners coaching staff to find himself in the cross-hairs of Griffey’s prankscope.

My folks actually got to participate in Griff’s recent prank of Mariners pitching coach, Rick Adair.

Here is another photo from my mom…

griff adair prank shirt.jpg

…and here is the story as told by Larry Larue of the News Tribune.

My mom saw Griff walk into the stadium carrying a big stack of shirts (although she didn’t know they were shirts at the time).  When he started handing them out behind the M’s dugout, she ran over and got one.  My dad wore it with the rest of the prank accomplices when Adair arrived at the dugout. 

Fun times…and what an awesome souvenir for my folks!

I am living vicariously through my parents and wishing we could have made it to a little spring training this season.  Oh, the joys of being in Peoria, AZ in February and March…

Maybe in 2011.

Satellite Views of our 2010 Season

Over the past several months, I have slowly been planning our 2010 season.  Like in 2009, Tim and I will visit 13 MLB stadiums (with an outside, but very unlikely, chance that we’ll hit a 14th stadium).  I have many of our games planned out and tickets secured.   Other games are tentatively planned, but still uncertain.  Whatever the order and whatever the actual games end up being, we will definitely make it to each of the following stadiums (as seen via Google Earth and Bing satellite views).

Like in 2008 and 2009, we plan to begin our 2010 season at our second favorite stadium:

Oriole Park at Camden Yards

1 - Camden Yards satellite.jpg

Next, we’ll stick in the region.  Our second game of 2010 will be at:

Nationals Park

2 - Nationals Park satellite.jpg

Next, we’ll be off to the Big Apple for a game at:

Citi Field

3 - Citi Field satellite.jpg

FYI, I couldn’t find any satellite views of Queens post-Shea.  Therefore, I cut out Shea’s infield and guestimated where Citi Field’s infield now lies.  I could be totally off, but I think the Jackie Robinson Rotunda takes up a lot of space under my red arrow.

Okay, since originally posting this, I found a different type of arial view on Bing.com.  Here you go:

 

3a - Citi Field satellite.jpgNext, we’ll be sticking closer to home for a very special game at:

Citizens Bank Park

4 - Citizens Bank Park satellite.jpgNext, we enter a period of uncertainty.  We’ll probably be back at Camden Yards and Citizen Bank Park before hitting any new stadiums.  I think the next stadium we visit will be on the Third Annual Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Roadtrip of 2010.  Our first game on the roadtrip will be at:

Oakland-Alameda County Colesium

5 - Oakland-Alameda County Colesium satellite.jpgFrom Oakland, we will drive to Los Angeles for a game at the only MLB stadium in the City or County of Los Angeles:

Dodger Stadium

6 - Dodger Stadium satellite.jpgFrom L.A., we will continue down the coast for a couple games at:

Petco Park

7 - Petco Park satellite.jpgOn the way back up, we will next visit the site of my personal MLB debut:

Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Not Los Angeles)

8 - Angel Stadium of Anaheim satellite.jpgFinally, we will wrap up the roadtrip at:

AT&T Park

9 - AT&T Park satellite.jpgAfter the Roadtrip, we will again enter a period of uncertainty.  Again, I predict more games at Citizens Bank Park and/or Camden Yards before hitting any new parks.  The next new park we will visit after the roadtrip will almost certainly be:

Progressive Field

10 - Progressive Field satellite.jpgShortly after visiting Progressive Field, we will again visit the site of Tim’s Third Baseball Anniversary game:

Yankee Stadium

11 - Yankee Stadium satellite.jpgAgain, I could not find a satellite view that shows the current Yankee Stadium.  So, I cut out the infield of now demonlished 1923 version and pasted it roughly where I estimate the infield lies in the current Yankee Stadium.

Like Citi Field, since posting this entry, I have now found a different view on Bing.com that shows Yankee Stadium (2009):

 

11a - Yankee Stadium satellite.jpgOnly two stadiums to go.  While we conceivably could visit the next stadium early in the season, most likely we won’t make it to Pittsburgh until Septembe for a couple games at:

PNC Park

12 - PNC Park satellite.jpgLast, but certainly not least, we will end our season with our Mariners at our favorite ball park in all the land:

Safeco Field

13 - Safeco Field satellite.jpg

And there you have it, the stadiums that Tim and I will visit in 2010.  I had originally wanted to spend the 4th of July weekend in Detroit to see the Mariners play at Comerica Park.  But that just isn’t going to happen…and I highly doubt we will make it to Comerica at any point this season.  Maybe next year.

One comment about these satellite views.  I did not rotate any of the stadiums.  Therefore, you can see that home plate at all of these stadiums except one point to the northeast.  The sole exception is PNC Park which points to the southeast.  I thought that was an interesting part of seeing all of these satellite views.

I can’t wait to get out to there and visit some of our favorite ballparks again, and several ballparks we have never visited before.

“Play Ball!”

United For Ice Cream Helmets: Project Baltimore

Today, we become ice cream activists.  This is a call to arms, a grassroots movement.

The Mission:  Convince the Baltimore Orioles to offer Ice Cream Helmets.

The Plan:  Get as many people as possible to email the Orioles to request Ice Cream Helmets at Camden Yards in 2010.  To do so, click here, here or here.

The Backstory:

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a true jewel of MLB.  If you have never been there, you are missing out.  It is a must see experience.  So book your trip now.

But the good people of Camden Yards have gone without ice cream helmets long enough.  These are good and honest people, fans of the game of baseball.  But they just ate a delicious BBQ sandwich at Boog’s BBQ with a side of baked beans, and now they need dessert.  It is an extremely hot summer night with 85% humidity.  Only ice cream will do the trick.

This is where things go horribly wrong.  There are no ice cream helmets to be found.  Not one in the entire stadium.  Fans are forced to buy ice cream on a popsicle stick, or in a plastic bowl or a stryrofoam cup.

These alternatives give temporary relief inasmuch as ice cream is delivered.  But then it is gone, and the bowls and wrappers become garbage cluttering our landfills.  Plus, there is no souvenir to take home to remember your day at the ballpark.

Now, let’s look at the alternative: 

20 - Camden Yards BYOICH.jpg

We brought our own Mariners ice cream helmet to our final game of 2009.  Tim can’t get enough of it.  But look, there is more.  Look how happy the lady behind Tim is to see Tim enjoying ice cream the way it should be enjoyed at the ballpark?

Why Ice Cream Helmets, you ask?

For many reasons.  First, they are the “green” alternative.  Instead of becoming garbage, they become collectibles:

helmets and balls part 2.jpgDid you know that when we brought our Mariners ice cream helmet and had it filled at Camden Yards, they made us take a styrofoam cup, just to be thrown away.  They needed it to be gone so they could keep track of inventory.  Sorry, mother earth.

Second, not only are they collectibles on their own, they also provide an excellent canvas for the autograph of your favorite player, as shown by MLBlog’s Howie on his blog (scroll down for a picture of an autographed Mets ice cream helmet).

Third, they provide a roadmap of the ballparks you have visited:

helmets and balls.JPG

Tim and I have been to 18 stadiums (16 teams when you factor in that we have been to both Shea Stadium/Citi Field, and Old/New Yankee Stadium), and we have ice cream helmets from all but Camden Yards.

FYI, the last two pictures were taken before we visited Rogers Centre:

30 - blue jays ice cream helmet.jpgFourth, they are handy to have around.  Tim eats something (crackers, cereal, you name it) out of an ice cream helmet almost every single day.

So What Can We Do About It?  That is the big question.  In 2009, we emailed the Orioles a couple times suggesting that they add ice cream helmets to the mix.  We received this response: 

Dear Mr. Cook,

Thank you for contacting the Orioles.
 
We appreciate your suggestion, and I have forwarded your message along to Aramark, our concessionaire.
 
Sincerely,
 
Communications Assistant
Baltimore Orioles

 ————————————————

Obviously, it didn’t work.  So, we made another effort today at the Orioles’ “help” page:

Dear Orioles:

Will Camden Yards have ice cream helmets in 2010?

Please see this (at the bottom of the page):  http://cookandsonbats.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/09/so-tim-likes-to-eat.html

Camden Yards is still the only stadium of 18 visited where we have been unable to get an ice cream helmet.

Let’s fix this problem in 2010!

By the way, I know a guy who got an Orioles ice cream helmet at the ballpark in Arlington in 2009!  Don’t let Texas be the only place that offers Orioles ice cream helmets!

————————————————

That brings up a good point, did you realize that in 2009, you could get an Orioles’ ice cream helmet at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.  Check it out on Brian Powell’s blog.

So, the plan?  I’d like to invite as many people as possible to join with us in letting the Orioles know that the public wants ice cream helmets at Camden Yards!  You can do so by clicking here, here or here.

If you are interested in joining the cause, we have a couple suggestions.  If you’re from the Baltimore area and frequent Camden Yards, let the Orioles know you are a fan and think ice cream helmets would help enhance the already great baseball experience that Camden Yards provides.

If you are from elsewhere, let them know where you are from and let them know if your home team has ice cream helmets.  I don’t know if it is the case, but if it is I’d love to let the Orioles know they are the only team who does not offer ice cream helmets to their fans.

Based on first hand experience and the comments of our fellow MLBloggers below, we know they have ice cream helmets at the following ball parks:

  1. Safeco Field
  2. Citizens Bank Park
  3. Yankee Stadium (new and old)
  4. Citi Field (and formerly at Shea Stadium)
  5. Progressive Field
  6. PNC Park
  7. Great American Ball Park
  8. Wrigley Field
  9. H.H.H. Metrodome (no longer in operation for MLB)
  10. Miller Park (also featuring the excellent Cheese Fries Helmet)
  11. U.S. Cellular Field
  12. Rogers Centre
  13. Fenway Park
  14. Chase Field
  15. Nationals Park
  16. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (Thanks, Brian Powell)
  17. Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Thanks, Warren)
  18. Oakland-Alameda County Colesium (Thanks, Warren)
  19. Dodger Stadium (Thanks, Heartruss)
  20. Coors Field (Thanks, Ranter)

Where else?  Please help out.  Send an email to the Orioles.  I also invite you to leave a comment here identifying your home MLB park and if they offer ice cream helmets.

A couple more comments before we close, we know that Orioles ice cream helmets exist.  A google search showed us that they exist — see here.

And, we know that people are interested.  Specifically, we track our blog stats through www.statcounter.com.  Statcounter shows what people searched on google, bing, etc. to get to Cook & Son Bats’ Blog.  Just this morning, Statcounter showed that someone search google for “orioles helmet ice cream.”  In fact, not a day goes by without someone landing on our Ice Cream Helmet collection entry, and a portion of those people have been looking for Baltimore Orioles Ice Cream Helmets.

So have we.  Hopefully we find them at Camden Yards in 2010.  Please help us in this effort.

We will be attending a game at Camden Yards in early April 2010.  We will report back then (and periodically if required) regarding whether this movement has had any affect in Baltimore.

Thanks.

From PA to AZ, It Is Time For Baseball

The snow has almost completely melted away in our little part of Pennsylvania, and today was a remarkably warm and “springish” day.  So, Tim requested that we go to the park to play some baseball.  Usually, we just play in the back yard.  But Tim wanted a real field with a dirt infield.

When we arrived at my favorite local softball field, we found the infield was unplayable:

Tim at the Meadows.jpgWhat did we expect after all of that snow melted away?  This isn’t Arizona, you know.

No problem.  We used the outfield fence as a backstop and had a lot of fun hitting, running, throwing and chasing brightly colored practice baseballs all over the outfield.

Meanwhile, almost all the way across the country, our Mariners were rained out.  No problem, I’m sure that beautiful Arizona sun will be shining again tomorrow, the infields will be playable, and King Felix will be holding Court over his Kingdom:

king felix in peoria.jpgAh, yes.  It is a beautiful time of year.

2010 Baseball Roadtrip

I just bought the final set of tickets for The Third Annual Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Roadtrip of 2010 (click to see full-sized picture):

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Hey, California — state of my birth, HERE WE COME!

  • Oakland-Aladema County Colesium: check
  • Dodger Stadium: you bet’cha
  • Petco Park: you know it
  • Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Orange County, CA: wouldn’t miss it
  • AT&T Park:  indubitably

A couple Roadtrip notes and factoids:

  1. This will be my first time in over 30 years visiting the site of my MLB debut, which at the time was called Anaheim Stadium, but now hosts a team allegedly from “Los Angeles.”  Hey, Angels.  I’m not buying it.  And guess what?  Neither is my credit card company.  My credit card statement says I bought the tickets from the “California Angels.”
  2. My uncle and his family live in Orange County and for the first time in the storied history of the Great Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Roadtrip, we are hoping to have a guest roadtripper for one game — my Dad’s brother and my uncle, Carl.  Looking forward to it!
  3. Also for the first time in C.G.-F.-S.B.R. history, we will be meeting up with our beloved Seattle Mariners for a couple games.  Go Mariners!
  4. At 5, this will be the most stadiums we’ve ever visited during one roadtrip.
  5. At 6, this will be the most games we’ve ever attended during one roadtrip.
  6. This will be the first roadtrip where all games take place in the same state.
  7. This will be Tim’s first time visiting California.
  8. For the third year in a row, Tim will get to run professional base paths on the roadtrip.  We love “Kids Run The Bases” days!

Hot Dog Model

I received a funny email today.  The author was Sara, from ScoreboardGourmet.com.  I’d never heard about website before.  It is a site that is dedicated to discussing the food served a sports stadiums.  An interesting idea.

Sara was writing to ask permission to use one of my photos in one of her entries.  I agreed.  And just like that (as my father-in-law put it), I became a hot dog model.  Here I am, modeling the “Ruthian” at the Peoria Sports Complex, spring home of the Seattle Mariners:

hot dog model.jpgAnd here is the link to the full entry.  If you’re in Peoria, be sure not to miss the Ruthian.

Tim’s Game Log

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.


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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) 


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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) 

 


9-10-11-12.jpg9. 
 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) 

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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) 

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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)

 


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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)

 


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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)

 


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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)

 


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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)

 


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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)

 


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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)

 


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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)


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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)


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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)

 

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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)


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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)


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64.  Athletics 6 defs. Angels 1 (Oakland Alameda County Coliseum – June 10, 2010)
65.  Angels 10 defs. Dodgers 1 (Dodger Stadium – June 11, 2010)

66.  Padres 7 defs. Mariners 1 (Petco Park – June 12, 2010)

67.  Mariners 4 defs. Padres 2 (Petco Park – June 13, 2010)


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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) 


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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)




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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)


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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)


 

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