April 2010

The Braves and the Metropolitans (4/24/10)

On Saturday morning, April 24, 2010, we found ourselves on the 7-train weaving our way through the roof tops of Queens, New York…

1 - watching queens.JPG…we were on our way to Citi Field…

2 - citi field 2010.jpg…and a game between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets.

Our travels took longer than we expected, so we missed all of the Mets BP and arrived probably half way through the Braves BP.  We headed down the 3B line toward the LF corner and grabbed a spot to watch the action.

3 - citi field apple and BP.jpgIn our third game at Citi Field, I finally remembered to take a photo of the home run apple while it was “up.”  This apple is much bigger than the old Shea Stadium apple and instead of being in a top hat it is just in a random raised opening in center field.  Its not a bad home run apple, but I favor the old Shea apple, which seemed to have more of a *kitsch* factor.

During BP, we ran into MLBloggers Joe and Alex, whom we had spent time with last October during a rain-soaked game at Citi Field.  Tim just loves hanging out with these guys.  The day after this game, he couldn’t stop telling his mom about his buddies (e.g., “Did you know Joe has two dogs?”  “Alex shared his peanuts with me!”).  Anyway, the four of us headed over to the Braves dugout toward the end of BP and one of the guys took this picture of us on the way through LF…

4 - TJCs at Citi LF.JPGHere was our view from behind the 3B dugout:

5 - citi section 121 sunny day panorama.jpgLook how happy Tim was hanging out with the guys:

6 - Tim Alex and Joe.JPGAnd we ran into Mr. Met before the game…

7 - Tim and Mr Met.JPG…we’d seen Mr. Met in the OF last season but never got Tim’s picture with him.  So it was cool to get another chance.

During BP, I noticed how the seats at the top of the LF upper deck appear to be tucked away under the out of town scoreboard…

8 - seats under scoreboard.JPG…they reminded me of some seats we visited at Rogers Centre last season.  I decided we’d have to check out those seats during the game.

Here’s a shot of Tim and Alex in deep discussion about the intricacies of peanut cracking…

9 - peanuts with alex.JPG…see the little bit of dust on the corner of the dugout, those are Tim’s peanut shells.  He was trying to crack them on the cement because his fingers weren’t strong enough to crack them on his own.

Shortly before the game, several Braves came out of the dugout to stretch, run and play catch behind third base.  Here is hot shot rookie Jason Heyward…

10 - heyward national anthem.JPG…Alex came away with that baseball in Heyward’s glove.

As the game started, we split away from Joe and Alex and headed toward the kids play area in center field.  The Mets have batting cages and a whiffle ball field in CF, but not a playset like at many stadiums.  Tim was excited to do some hitting.  But on the way out to the whiffle ball field, he asked, “Why isn’t Alex coming to watch me hit?”  It was pretty funny.  I think he remembered that last season, Alex did just that.

The first thing we noticed was that they moved the batting cages from behind the RF wall of the whiffle ball field to behind whiffle ball infield.  Before hitting, Tim worked his way across the outfield shagging balls hit by other kids:

11 - citi fielding 2010.JPGThen it was Tim’s turn at bat.  Here is a video…

Next, it was time to hit the soft toss batting cage…

12 - citi cage 2010.JPG…that bat is still way too heavy for Tim, but he had fun hitting in the cage nonetheless.

 After some hitting, we found our way up to the last row of the upper deck in deep left center field…

13 - citi section 538 last row panorama.jpg…where we watched a couple innings from behind the scoreboard while we ate some chicken nachos…

14 - citi field chicken nachos.JPG…and Tim started collecting food on his t-shirt.  A lot more would follow those stray cheese drips.  By the end of the day it was an impressive “collection.”

I was excited to see what this Jason Heyward guy was all about.  I ended up photographing all of his at-bats at this game, all from different spots in the stadium.  However, he hit the third pitch of this at-bat up the middle for a single…

15 - jason heyward single up middle.jpg….before I could clean the cheese from my fingers and get out my camera.  So, one Jason Heyward at-bat and one hit.  Not too shabby.

While Tim kept piling in the nachos (like his parents, he loves nachos!), I got this picture of David Wright…

16 - david wright grounds out in second.JPG…grounding out.  And this picture of Larry “Chipper” Jones hitting a foul ball:

17 - chipper jones foul ball in third.JPGAfter the nachos, we were on the move.  We circled the whole stadium looking for an ice cream helmet.  We must have missed them because we couldn’t find them for a long time.

I took this picture of the big open concourse area above the Jackie Robinson rotunda…

18 - citi above rotunda 2010 panorama.jpg…I took this picture because that “Big Apple Brews” in the middle of the concourse wasn’t there last season.  Its a new addition this season, one of several at Citi Field.

We finally found ice cream in CF.  It was packed and we didn’t want to find a place in the sun, we went down under “Shea Bridge” and Tim at his ice cream behind the bullpens.

19 - ice cream by the bullpens.jpgBy the way, last season, the Shea Stadium Home Run apple was stationed right where this table now sits under Shea Bridge.  You can *sorta* see the field from behind the bullpens.  But there are a couple flat screen TVs on the wall right above the bullpens so we could watch the game while Tim ate his ice cream.  We also watched the Braves relief pitchers do some stretching.

Right when we arrived behind the bullpens, Heyward came to the plate…

20 - jason heyward fouls back pitch in fourth.jpg…so we ran up the stairs and snapped this picture from Shea Bridge of Heyward fouling a pitch straight back (its right on the catcher’s right knee).  He eventually struck out in this at-bat.

After ice cream, we explored a bit more.  We found ourselves in the concourse behind 1B when Heyward came to the plate in the sixth inning.  He eventually walked…

21 - jason heyward walks in sixth.jpg….by the way, according to baseball-reference.com, Jason Heyward is 6′ 5″ and Braves first base coach Glenn Hubbard is 5′ 9″.

After watching Heyward walk, we decided to check out another new feature at Citi FIeld, the Mets Hall of Fame in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

Tim posed with the 1969 and 1986 World Series trophies…

22 - mets hall of fame 2.jpg….it was cool to see the 1986 trophy because it was the first World Series that I really followed as a kid.  However, I was rooting for the Red Sox who had traded during the 1986 season for two Mariners, Dave Henderson and my at-the-time favorite player, Spike Owen.

Tim also stared down legendary Mets manager, Case Stengel…

23 - mets hall of fame 1.jpg…that’s a great little statute.

Before heading back up to the field level, we snapped this picture of Tim…

24 - tim trailblazer humanitarian american.jpg…standing in Jackie Robinson’s foot steps.

Finally, we went to the 3B side concourse where we watched the rest of the game from the SRO area behind the seats in (approximately) section 124:

25 - tim lounges in citi field SRO area.jpgThe game was a pitchers dual.  In the bottom of the sixth, the Braves were winning 1-0 until Jason Bay hit this RBI double off the wall in left center field…

26 - Jason Bay RBI double in 6th.jpg…scoring Jose Reyes and tying up the game at 1-1.

In the seventh inning, Walla Walla Washington’s own (and former Mariner) Eric O’Flaherty entered the game for the Braves….

27 - Walla Walls Eric OFlaherty in 7th.jpg….he only faced one batter and probably threw over to first as many times as he threw to the plate.  Eventually, he retired his only batter of the day, Alex Cora.

In the eighth inning, with the Mets leading by a score of 3-1 (the ultimate final score), Jason Heyward almost grounded into a double play (see the ball bouncing in the dirt to the far left)…

28 - jason heyward grounds into FC in 8th.jpg…but he beat the throw to first.

In the 8th inning, neither Jose Reyes nor David Wright could add any insurance runs for the Mets:

29 - jose reyes and david wright in 8th.jpg

30 - umpire bruce dreckman.jpgWe didn’t manage to catch a ball during BP.  So we were hoping we would get a chance for an umpire ball after the final out of the game.  The home plate umpire was Bruce Dreckman.

The only problem is that the Mets ushers religiously check the tickets of all patrons entering the field level seats during the entire game.  When it got to the top of the ninth inning (with the home team winning) and they were still checking tickets, I figured it just wasn’t in the cards for this game, which was fine because we’d had a great day at the ballpark already.

But then something funny happened, with one out in the top of the ninth, Alex came walking up the stairs to the concourse.  He was looking for us and he was armed with a field level ticket for a section right by the umpires tunnel.  He flashed his ticket for the usher and we were all admitted to the seats with one out to go in the game.  We met up with Joe just a short distance from the umpires tunnel.  We had just enough time to say hi to Joe when Martin Prado (in for Chipper Jones who got hurt somehow during the game) grounded out to end the game.

Even before the ground ball reached Jose Reyes, we were standing next to the umpires tunnel.  Tim called out to “Bruce!!!” as he exited the field.  Dreckman reached out and set a nice rubbed up gamer into Tim’s left “Go, Deigo, Go!” glove-clad hand (as shown above, Tim likes to wear these gloves at games because he thinks they are like batting gloves).  However, with the thick and slick glove on his hand, his left hand wasn’t big enough to palm the ball and he dropped it back into the tunnel.  Luckily, another umpire (I think Paul Emmel) saw the whole thing unfold and he picked it up and handed it back to Tim.

Thanks, Mr. Dreckman and (probably) Mr. Emmel!  And thanks, Alex, for the assist!

Tim was exited to collect his third umpire ball in as many games this season and he celebrated by balancing it on his head while sitting on the 3B dugout:

31 - umpire ball from bruce dreckman.jpg(Check out his serious face as he balances the ball on his head).

We hung out with Joe and Alex for a few more minutes behind the dugout before getting in line for Kids Run the Bases.  Tim was excited to chat up his guys a little more.

While by the dugout, something funny happened.  A teenage guy was behind the dugout with a baseball and he asked for an autograph from every Braves player and coach who walked into the dugout.  He was getting no takers.  So, eventually, he asked a Mets stadium attendant standing at the top step of the Braves dugout for her autograph.  Finally, he had a taker.  Then, he jokingly asked every police officer, security guard or random attendant to sign his ball.  I didn’t see him get any more takers.  Eventually, he asked Joe to sign his ball.  Then, he asked Tim.  So, here you go, Tim’s first ever autograph signed for a fan at an MLB game…

32 - tim autographs baseball.jpgJoe helped him hold the ball steady and he wrote a shaky but legible “T-I-M” on the ball.  Then for good measure (at the request of the ball’s owner), he did a little scribble next to his “signture.”  Tim got a kick out of the experience.

And just like that it was time for Kids Run the Bases.  The line was massively long and it took a long time to get back into the stadium.  But as we entered though the bullpen area, we were afforded a special behind the scenes glimpse of the bullpen area:

33 - moes club and mets bullpen.jpgTo the left, that is the Moe’s Club right behind the RF wall.  There is a restaurant (at least it looked like one) behind this seating area.  To the right, that is the little room where the relief pitchers sit in the Mets bullpen.

I got a couple pictures before (right) and after (left) Tim ran the bases…

34 - citi warning track 2010.jpg…but I didn’t get any running the bases pictures because I was too busy running the bases behind Tim filming this high speed video clip of Tim:

I also enjoy it when I am allowed to “chaperone” Tim around the bases — something I have now been allowed to do at Citi Field, Rogers Centre, Miller Park and Progressive Field.

After running the Citi Field bases, we headed out to the parking lot and Tim ran the Shea Stadium bases:

35 - running shea stadium bases.jpgAlthough we attended a game in 2008 when Shea and Citi were right next to each other, I was still amazed at how close the Shea Stadium base placques were to Citi Field.

Finally, we got a picture with the Shea Stadium home run apple…

36 - shea homerun apple.jpg…and called it a day.  We hopped the 7-train back to Manhattan, picked up some pepperoni pizza and garlic knots, and drove home.   After leaving the house at 8:00 a.m. in the morning, we arrived home at about 9:00 p.m….thirteen hours well spent on another father-son baseball adventure.

2010 Fan Stats:

3 Games

6 Teams (Orioles and Blue Jays; Braves, Mets, Brewers and Nationals)

3 Ice Cream Helmets (Orioles, Mets, & Nationals)

11 Baseballs (3 Brewers, 3 Nationals, 2 Blue Jays, 3 Umpires)

3 Stadiums (Camden Yards, Nationals Park, Citi Field)

2 Player Photos (Jeff Suppan and Scott Olsen)

2 Autographs (Jeff Suppan and Scott Olsen)

2 Kids Run The Bases (Nationals Park, Citi Field)

 

Brewers at Natstown (4/18/10)

Without exception, Tim and I always have a great time when we go to a baseball game.  But whenever we drive to Camden Yards or Nationals Park, we pass a certain baseball/softball field on I-83 South, just a couple miles before Shrewsbury, PA, and I always look to see if a game is in progress.  If a game is being played, I just know the day is going to be special.

At 9:53 a.m. on April 18, 2010 it was “game on”…


1 - shrewsbury softball field.jpg…we were about to experience a near perfect day.  In fact, it would prove to be one of those “this is what life is all about” days.  A father, a son, a memorable interaction with a new hero of the game, a spot in the warm sun eating ice cream, our Nation’s capitol, a future hall of famer showing he’s still got it, a game full of memorable moments, and a lap around the bases.

It all unfolded at Nationals Park…

2 - brewers and nats in DC.jpg…and it featured the Milwaukee Brewers and the Washington Nationals.

We arrived early for BP.  As we entered the seats in RCF, Nationals coach Julian Martinez was about to toss a ball into the stands.  There was another father and son in the same section and as we walked down to the first row, the father (whose name I never got) pointed at us, and just like that Martinez redirected his attention and threw us a ball.

4 - W-Training Ball.jpgAs I held it in my hand, it felt weird.  Extra soft leather.  I later discovered it was our first ever “Official Training Ball.”

The D.C. Dad came over and said they’d already got a ball or two.  It was incredibly nice of him to give us the assist.  We ended up chatting for 10-15 minutes while we watched incredibly unimpressive BP by the Nats.  He and his boy (who seemed to be about 8-9) live in the area, but far enough out that they were staying in a hotel for a couple weekend games.  Two guys forging their own father-son memories.  It was great chatting with them and I can’t thank them enough for helping us get a ball.  We never know if we’ll be able to catch one at any given game.  So it was great to secure the souviner.  However, by the end of the day I felt a little bad that they gave up the ball for us, because we ended up having unprecedented luck.  Anyway, many, many, many thanks, D.C. Dad and D.C. son.  We hope you had a great weekend at the ballpark.

We split up after the Brewers started hitting.  They went to explore elsewhere and we stuck around to see if Prince Fielder would be able to find us with a moon shot.

Tim was having fun spitting seeds into the gap between the wall and the seats…

3 - BP and Hoffman.jpg…I was having fun watching all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman get in a little workout.

Then something funny happened.  The man with one of the weirdest batting stances around, Craig Counsell, hit a ball through the open fence in CF into a storage area.  And then someone else in the Brewers’ first BP rotation hit another ball into the storage area…

5 - CF storage area.jpg….in the picture above to the right, we were standing in the corner in the yellow circle.  Counsell’s ball went into that opening and against a spare BP screen against the wall (see the red arrow).  The second ball stopped right in the middle of the pavement behind the CF wall.

Within 2-3 minutes, a Nationals stadium attendant walked by and grabbed the second ball from the middle of the pavement and tossed it up to us.  And 2-3 minutes later, another guy did the same thing with the Counsell ball.  Both had sharpie marks across the “sweet spot”:  a black squiggle on the Counsell ball and a straight blue line on the second ball.

That was it.  Three balls with no effort was enough for one BP session.  So we took off, and got this picture of Tim (who is sporting his “Diego” gloves and a new Mariners backpack) on our way out of the seats:

6 - BP Backpack Time For Playarea.jpgIt was time to visit the play area:

7 - natstown playarea.jpgWe came back here about 4 times throughout the day.  The area was packed with kids.  Tim had an absolute blast.

After about 10 minutes, we left because D.C. Dad mentioned several Nats sign autographs at the dugouts before each Sunday game.  Tim seems to like collecting autographs since he asked Jeremy Accardo last season to “scribble on my baseball.”

On our way to the first base dugout, we walked slowly and watched the Brewers hit a little more.  An usher gave Tim a baseball that was hit into the seats.  Thanks to mygameballs.com, I knew that it was the 50th baseball that Tim and I have got together over the course of Tim’s first 56 MLB games.  (FYI, mygameballs.com says it was our 52nd ball, but that is only because I recorded two of my Kingdome balls from long before Tim was born — had to represent for the Kingdome).

Anyway, one of my goals this season is to try to get pictures with a player from as many different teams as possible.  So, after Scott Olsen signed Tim’s new “Official Practice Ball,” I snapped this picture…

8 - Scott Olsen.jpg…player picture number 1 on the season — Tim and an official Washington National (the aforementioned Scott Olsen).

Back to the play area.

After 10 minutes in the play area, Tim and I left to see if any Brewers were out and about with whom we might be able to get a picture.  BP was finished and they were preparing the field.  But one single player was on the field.  It was a Brewer and he was signing autographs by the 3B dugout.  We quickly made our way over from CF thinking all the while he would leave before we made it to the dugout.  But he didn’t.

At the time, I didn’t know who it was.  Tim handed his baseball up to him (the Brewers BP ball with the blue sharpie line on it) and asked for his autograph.  Turns out it was Jeff Suppan — I could actually read his autograph!

I’ll admit it.  I’ve never liked Jeff Suppan.  I had no basis.  He was just unimpressive to me.  I’ve known the name for years, but never had a good feeling about him.  But he was beyond cool to us.  He was outstanding.

Some players just grab your baseball when you ask for an autograph and don’t say a word (admittedly some fans just hand the ball over without saying anything), but not Suppan.  He greeted Tim’s inquiry with a warm, “Of course, I will, little guy.”  (Or something along those lines).

As he signed, I asked him if I could stand Tim up on the railing for a picture with Suppan.  In response, he focused on the standing on the railing part, not the posing for a picture part.  He said, “Its alright by me!”  Then, he leaned in for this GREAT picture:

9 - Jeff Suppan.jpgAnd he wasn’t done yet.  After the picture, he made a little small talk with Tim and then he stuck out his fist and said, “Hey, pound my fist!”  Tim looked confused and opted for giving him “five.”  Suppan replied, “Oh, no problem.  High five!”   Tim happily complied.

Its a total make over for Jeff Suppan in my mind.  He didn’t have to act like that and most players wouldn’t.  He went above-and-beyond the call of duty to give Tim a great experience.  Based on his outstanding treatment of Tim, he is now my favorite Brewer and I will be pulling for him from here on out (unless pitching against the Mariners, in which case I still hope he gets shelled).

THANK YOU, JEFF SUPPAN!  Very cool.  Awesome.  Outstanding!

Next, it was back to the play area.  More fun.

Then, Tim and I took a little tour of the upper deck down the 3B line…and I took an unruly amount of panoramas.  Here we go…

Nationals Park section 401 (last row):

10 - nats section 401 panorama.jpgHere is Tim, acting as tour guide:

11 - walking the upperdeck.jpgNationals Park sections 402-403 (last row):

12 - nats section 402-403 panorama.jpgNationals Park sections 403-404 (last row):

13 - nats section 403-404 panorama.jpgNationals Park sections 404-405 (last row):

14 - nats section 404-405 panorama.jpgNationals Park sections 405-406 (last row):

15 - nats section 405-406 panorama.jpgNationals Park sections 406-407 (last row).

16 - nats section 406-407 panorama.jpgNationals Park sections 407-408 (last row):

17 - nats section 407-408 panorama.jpgNationals Park sections 408-409 (last row):

18 - nats section 408-409 panorama.jpgNationals Park section 409 (last row):

19 - nats section 409 panorama.jpgNationals Park section 311 (concourse): — if you click to enlarge this picture you can see the U.S. Capitol building behind the light stand above the red roof in LF:

20 - nats section 311 panorama.jpgNationals Park sections 313-314 (concourse) — now the U.S. Capitol building is above the right side of the red roof in LF:

21 - nats section 313-314 panorama.jpgTim presides over Nationals Park at sections 318-319:

22 - nats section 318-319 panorama.jpgFinally, we grabbed some nachos for lunch and sat down here — Nationals Park section 222U, row T, seats 25-26 (aisle seats):

23 - nats section 222U row T seats 25-26.jpgThats where we were when the game began.  And it got interesting real quick.  What happened in the top of the first also happened in the bottom of the second at our Pirates vs. Cubs game last season and I did a play by play.  So lets do it again:

Jason Marquis made the start for the Nationals

  1. Rickie Weeks – single to 3B/SS
  2. Craig Counsell – single to CF
  3. Ryan Braun – single to LF (on the swing pictured below); Weeks scores (1-0)

24 - braun rbi hit.jpgNachos done and with it cold and windy in section 222U, we took to our feet as Prince Fielder stepped into the batters box.  I snapped this shot as we passed by section 231:

25 - nats section 231 panorama.jpg

4.  Prince Fielder – hit by pitch (to load the bases)

5.  Casey McGehee – walk (it looked like it hit him, but it was ball four); Counsell scores (2-0)

6.  Jim Edmonds – hit by pitch; Braun scores (3-0)

7.  Greg Zuan – single to LF; Fielder scores (4-0) – still no outs!

28 - sticky situation in first.jpg

Former Mariner Miguel Batista relieved Marquis (whose ERA on the day was infinity).

8.  Carlos Gomez – infield single to 3B (looked like an error to me); McGehee scores (5-0)

9.  Doug Davis – sacrifice fly to CF; Edmonds scores (6-0) — the crowd goes crazy for the first out

10.  Rickie Weeks – walk (re-loads bases)

11.  Craig Counsell – grand slam; Zaun, Gomez, Weeks and Counsell score (10-0)

12.  Ryan Braun – swinging strike out

13.  Prince Fielder – walk

14.  Casey McGehee – ground out to 2B — inning ended, damage done.

 

29 - 1 out 10 in.jpg

There you go, two season in a row now we have witnessed a 10-run half-inning.

By the way, we watched most of the inning from here — Nationals Park section 239 (concourse behind last row):

26 - nats section 239 panorama.jpgI took a ton of pictures at this game — over 300, in fact — including tons of action shots.

Here are a couple of Prince Fielder, who refused to go yard for us:

27 - prince fielder hitting.jpg

After the top of the 1st, we went back to the play area, where I reported to the dismayed stadium attendants that the score was 10-0 Brewers already.  It was our final stop at the play area.  Once again, fun times ensued.

Then it was back to the second deck in CF, where I got these action shots of Adam Dunn grounding out to Prince Fielder in the bottom of the third:

30 - dunn done.jpgHere was the view from CF — Nationals Park section 242 (handicap accessible seating area):

31 - nats section 242 panorama.jpgWhile we were out there, future hall of famer, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, hit a double off of the wall in LCF (I thought Braun was going to catch it):

32 - pudge doubles.jpg

It was extremely windy at certain spots in the ballpark and it was fairly cold in the shade.  But Tim still asked for an ice cream helmet.  I knew we’d need to find some sunny ice cream seats…

33 - ice cream in the sun.jpg…we found them in section 134.  Tim enjoyed his real ice cream mint chocolate chip ice cream helmet.  (NOTE – in a possibly unprecedented move, the Nationals are charging $2.00 for hot fudge topping this season.  Not cool.).

Here is the view from the seats in which we sat until the 9th inning — Nationals Park section 134:

34 - nats section 134 panorama.jpgI took some random action shots.  Here is one that I liked featuring winning pitcher, Claudio Vargas, Prince Fielder at first, and baserunner Josh Willingham:

35 - vargas fielder willingham.jpgIn the bottom of the seventh, Ian Desmond (I think) hit a ball to center fielder Carlos Gomez, who made a valiant effort…

36 - no catch.jpg…but couldn’t come up with it — he trapped it.

Tim usually likes to roam around a lot when its just the two of us, but he was very content to just hang out in these sunny seats and watch the game…

37 - watching baseball.jpg…okay, he played around and acted a fool a little bit too.

In the top of the sixth, Fielder still refused to hit a bomb for us.  Instead, he popped out to Ryan Zimmerman at 3B:

38 - prince to zimmerman in the 6th.jpg

Late in the game, it was time for the Presidents to race.  I was excited to see if Teddy Roosevelt could finally notch his first victory.  But when the CF fence opened, some make-shift Milkaukee sausages came racing out along the warning track instead of the Presidents…

39 - teddy forks some sausage.jpg…then three of the Presidents (but not Teddy) came racing out from CF too.  Teddy was waiting down the 1B foul line with a couple big forks.  He skewered the first three sausages and then body slammed the Chorizo.  Amongst the carnage, the other Presidents raced by to beat the sausages.

In the ninth, we decided to relocate to the 3B line to see if we could get an umpire ball after the game — something we tried for once at Nationals Park last season but were denied.

First, we walked by the Nationals bullpen.  A reliever was warming up.  Nats bullpen coach, Jim Lett, looked up and spotted us.  He motioned to us.   And then fired a ball up to us, we never even asked for it.  And just like that, we had our fifth ball of the day.  Once last season we got 4 from the Mariners in Toronto, but this fifth baseball was totally unprecedented territory for us

Thanks, Mr. Lett!

So, we headed over to the 3B side.  We grabbed some seats.  This was our view from the top of section 117:

40 - nats section 117 panorama.jpgI snapped this picture.  It looks like Rickie Weeks whiffing at a pitch.  In reality, its future hall of famer Ivan Rodriguez catching a Rickie Weeks whiff:

41 - weeks whiffin HOFer  catchin.jpgBefore eventually striking out, Rickie connected for this harmless foul ball to RF — harmless only because Christian Guzman couldn’t quite get there:

42 - harmless foul in 9th.jpgAs you can see in the bottom right of that last picture, there were a bunch of kids at the end of the dugout where the umpire leaves the field.  I decided not to try for an umpire ball.

Instead, I took this shot of Adam Dunn hitting a single in the bottom of the ninth:

43 - bottom 9 dunn singles.jpgThen a cameraman set his sights on a group of girls a couple seats over from us, so Tim went and danced behind them and I got this picture…

44 - nats scoreboard background.jpg…I missed the shot of Tim looking at the camera waving.

After the dancing, we saw some of those kids leave.  So we headed down to about the 10th row.  As I sat down, Tim said, “Closer!  Closer!”  He ran down to the first row where one guy was in the corner seat but the other three seats were empty.

Tim made this “silly face” (that’s what he called it) in this picture that shows how ridiculously good these seats are:

45 - first row ho hum silly face.jpgMore Pudge pictures:

46 - no dice for pudge.jpg…he eventually grounded out to end the game.

47 - brewers win.jpgBREWERS WIN!

And guess who home plate umpire Mike Everitt threw a ball to as he approached the umpire tunnel?   Were we in the twilight zone?  We had amassed six baseballs!

The strangness wasn’t over just yet.  It was time for Kids Run the Bases.  As we watched the Brewers celebrate their win, the stadium emptied in record speed.  Meanwhile, Todd Coffey started playing long toss with LaTroy Hawkins in LF-to-CF.  How often does that happen after a game?  Anyway, we had to head out to CF to exit the stadium and get in the Kids Run The Bases line.  As we passed through the LF seats, there was literally NO ONE around.  It was weird because the game had just ended 5-10 minutes earlier.

Anyway, Coffey and Hawkins finished up.  Hawkins looked up.  He fired his ball to us and over shot us be 7 rows.  As it rifled over our heads, I thought “Oh, well.  We have six baseballs!  Someone else will grab that one.”  I turned around, zero people in sight.  Ball rattles around and deflects back to the first row.  We walk over and pick it up.  Seven baseballs!

Hawkins yells, “Sorry!”  No problem, LaTroy. 

Thanks!

What a weird day.  We made almost no effort and walked out of Nationals Park with seven baseballs.  A new Cook & Son record.

Then it was time!  Kids Run the Bases.  We love it.

48 - tim on nats bases 2010.jpgTim sprinted as fast as he could.  He loved it.

We got a couple more pictures on our way out of the stadium…

49 - one last nats picture.jpg…and, what the heck, one more panorama (section 110)…

50 - nats section 110 panorama.jpg

…what a day.  We had so much fun its ridiculous.  We even had fun on the walk to the car.

A couple minutes later, Tim was fast asleep.

51 - natstown baseballs etc.jpg

2010 Fan Stats:

2 Games

4 Teams (Orioles and Blue Jays; Brewers and Nationals)

2 Ice Cream Helmets (Orioles & Nationals)

10 Baseballs (3 Brewers, 3 Nationals, 2 Blue Jays, 2 Umpires)

2 Stadiums (Camden Yards, Nationals Park)

2 Player Photos (Jeff Suppan and Scott Olsen)

2 Autographs (Jeff Suppan and Scott Olsen)

1 Kids Run The Bases (Nationals Park)

Ice Cream Helmets & Blue Jays in Baltimore (4-10-10)

It was not a hoaxIce Cream Helmets have finally arrived at Camden Yards:

1 - orioles ice cream helmet at camden yards.jpgAnd on April 10, 2010, so did Tim and I.

From the back of the “backpack” line, this was our first view into this modern yet classic ballpark:

2 - eutaw street backpack line.jpgTim really matured last season to the point where I feel comfortable arriving early for batting practice.  So that is just what we did.  We arrived just as the gates opened.  But, like the other non-season ticket holders (or people who bought “season” tickets on the secondary market), we were stuck in the CF bleachers and the RF flag plaza until the rest of the stadium opened at 5:30.

Here is a (good of Tim and bad of me) self-portrait as we watch out over the Orioles portion of BP.

3 - first BP of 2010.jpgWe ran around a little on Eutaw Street, but mostly hung out in the CF bleachers before the rest of the stadium opened.  But Tim, still at only 4 years (not even 4.5 yet), is still too small for me to feel very comfortable in an active BP homerun zone.

At this point, we’re more of the watch-it-from-down-the-baseline type of guys.  So the second the main part of the stadium opened, we headed toward the 3B side.   I was hoping to run into newly traded former-Mariner Brandon Morrow, who I wanted to thank for his 3 years or service and wish him good luck in Toronto.  But he had pitched the night before and we never even saw him on the field at this game.

One of my goals for this season is to try to get more pictures with players.  I’m not a big autograph guy.  But I like to get in an autograph line by a dugout and ask for a picture when we get to the front.   A Brandon Morrow picture was top priority, but it didn’t work out.

As we circled around home plate, I saw Cito Gaston signing autographs at the home plate end of the Jays’ dugout.  We headed over there.  But he stopped just as we were about 20 feet away and he started walking toward the the batting cage.

I called out, “CITO!”

And when he spun and looked at us (Tim was up on my shoulders looking cute as a button, no doubt), I pointed to a baseball laying on the ground a couple feet from the Jays’ manager and I asked something to the effect of, “Anyway, my boy can get that ball?”   And here is how it played out…

4 - cito gaston diagram.jpgAs I called out “CITO!”, we were at the beginning of the red arrow and he was approaching the “O” in “Opening” painted on the grass.  The ball was on the ground where pictured.  As he approached the ball and it was obvious he was getting the baseball for us, we were standing at the red “X.”  One problem, there was a big screen in front of us.  So we walked down to the end of the screen and I leaned out and bent my glove arm around the screen in a basket for him to set the ball into.  After picking up the ball, he walked about 3 feet toward us and then threw it.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to catch it leaning over with Tim on my shoulders and my arm bent around the screen, but it all worked out perfectly.  And just like that, we were in business for 2010.  One baseball.

Thanks, Cito!

Often times, Tim wants to go explore after we get a baseball.  He likes to leave the rest for other people.  But today, he was so excited he yelled, “Let’s try to get another baseball!”

So we headed off toward the group of Jays pitchers down the 3B line in the outfield.  I was still looking for Brandon Morrow.  As we passed 3B, Edwin Encarnacion…

5 - edwin encarnacion.jpg…was fielding grounders — not fungo grounders, BP hitter grounders.  As we passed him, he sat back on his heals and butchered a hot grounder smoked off of the bat of one of his teammates.  I shouted out, “Edwin, that ball is no good.  We’ll take it!”  He threw the ball over toward the bucket and then turned and looked at us.  He gave the “hold on a minute” finger, which is always a good sign to get from a MLB player.

A few minutes later, he fielded a ball, turned and fired it to me, and we had our second baseball of the season, and last of BP.  It was time to explore.

Thanks, Edwin!

I have taken a lot of panoramas of Camden Yards — see here — but almost all of them (or better yet, all of them), are from various spots on the right side of the diamond – CF bleachers, 1B foul, behind home plate.  Nothing in LF or the 3B line.  So that is where we headed.

 Tim led the way through the seats in the sections above cross aisle that rings the field level seats at Camden Yards…

6 - exploring sections 77 and 87.jpg…our first stop was Section 77, Row 1, Seat 1:

7 - camden sec 77 row 1 seat 1 panorama.jpgNext, Tim walked the back row all the way out to section 87, the last section before the bullpens.  Then he came down to the first row, where I took this beauty at Section 87, Row 1, Seat 16:

8 - camden sec 87 row 1 seat 16 panorama.jpgBetween the field, the bullpens, the ivy on the batters eye and the Warehouse, this is one of my favorite panoramas that I’ve taken at any ballpark.

Next, it was time for a very, very special treat.  He headed out to the concourse and walked behind third base where a stadium attendant took this picture of a very happy father and son team:

9 - birds helmets spotted.jpgYes!  Orioles ice cream helmets at Camden Yards!  In case you are new here, read this and this to see why we were so excited.  I do not have confirmation that our grassroots campaign had anything to do with getting ice cream helmets at Camden Yards, but my guess is that it did.  A lot of really cool people helped me on the mission and I think it was hard for the Orioles to ignore the people.  Power to the people!

We enjoyed the spoils of victory from our ice cream seats along the 3B line, right about where Encarnacion tossed us a baseball about 1/2 an hour before.

Here’s an excited boy with his first ice cream helmet of the season and first ever at this ballpark:
10 - ice cream helmet at camden yards.jpgTim set his on the wall and savored it as we watched more batting practice…

11 - first orioles ice cream helmet at camden yards.jpg…it was  a great way to relax before the game.

I wanted to get a special picture to commemorate this special occassion…

12 - ice cream helmet collection.jpg…so I brought one helmet from each team at whose home stadium Tim and I have had the pleasure of enjoying an ice cream helmet.  I tried to do an ice cream helmet panorama, but it didn’t come out right.  So I cut the bottom row of helmets out of the two side pictures and put them along the bottom of what was supposed to be the middle picture in the panorama.  Still, I like how it came out

Its a good collection that I look forward to adding onto this season.

All sugared up, it was time for Tim to get some pre-game exercise.  Off to the play area…

13 - bouncyhouse bouncyhitter.jpgThe wood play fort the Orioles have had for (at least) the past several seasons was gone.  So was the pitching station.  But the bouncy house was still there and it was joined by a air blowing batting Tee that Tim loved.  We went back several times throughout the game for more bouncing and more hitting.

After our first round at the play area, we headed out to RCF and bought tickets for four more Orioles games — including two Mariners games, a Red Sox game, and a White Sox game.

Then it was up several excalators into the upper deck for more exploring and panorama picture taking.  Here is the view from the cross-aisle behind section 378:

14 - camden sec 378 cross aisle behind row 5.jpgAnd several sections over — the true “corner” where seat angles turn from infield to outfield seats, here is the view from the cross-aisle behind section 374:

15 - camden sec 374 and 372 cross aisle.jpgWe headed up the corner aisle and found ourselves on top of the world as the game finally started.  Tim (and Woody from Toy Story) cheered on the players and Tim proclaimed…

16 - 374 back row fan.jpg…”I can see the whole baseball game from up here!”

The upper deck seats at Camden Yards really go provide a great view — from anywhere in the park.

We continued to explore by walking around the top row of the stadium from the LF corner to a little passed first base.  And I took some action shots along the way.

Is it just me or does it look like Vernon Wells…

17 - Vernon Wells earning his keep.jpg…is wearing pajama pants?

By the way, we were around section 350 when we took those shots of Wells.  And a little closer to home plate when I captured this ugly swing by Lyle Overbay:

18 - Overbay takes an ugly hack.jpgSpeaking of section 350, here is the view from its back row:

19 - camden sec 350 back row panorama.jpgTim, whose nose and cheeks were a little red from (along with me) waging a battle with seasonal allergies all last week, gave our stadium tour a thumbs up…

20 - 2010 thumbs up.jpg…and with that, we decided to get hot dogs and march out to the RF foul seats to sit in the sun.

On the way, former Mariner Adam Jones hit this pitch to LCF for the second out in the bottom of the first:

21 - adam jones and miguel tejada.jpg…and while we enjoyed our hot dogs, Miguel Tejada (I think that’s Tejada, correct me if you think I’m wrong) grounded out to the start the bottom of the second inning.

Here was the view from our hot dog seats in Section 310:

22 - camden sec 310 panorama.jpgWhile up there, Tim showed off the baseballs we got during BP…

23 - first baseballs of 2010.jpg1) Cito Gaston and 2) Edwin Encarnacion.  Thanks again, guys.

We sat up here until the fourth and it was 0-0 at that point.  We then went to bounce and hit a little more.  While we were gone, the Blue Jays scored the first run of the game (and the winning run) on a bases loaded Hit by Pitch.  Interestingly, the O’s intentionally walked Travis Snider to load the bases so they could then serve up a bean-ball to Jose Molina.

After bouncing and hitting, we headed to the flag courtyard where we witnessed the ugliest scene we’ve ever witnessed (close up at least) at a ball game, and definitely the ugliest ever at Camden Yards:

24 - non-Camden Yardish behavior.jpgTwo groups of drunks got into a huge brawl.  There were knuckle-sandwiches handed out left and right, people thrown to the ground, and at least one lady who jumped in to try to break it up got pushed out of the way so more knuckle-sandwiches could be administered.

This fight was by far the lowlight, but all in all, this was the absolute worst crowd I have ever seen at Camden Yards.  I attribute it to the game being the first weekend night game of the season.  The hooligans in town who probably aren’t real O’s fans came out because of the novelty of baseball being back, and they were loud, rude, obnoxious and drunk.  Again, not just these guy.  These guys just took it the extra step, which hopefully landed them in the back of a paddywagon…I don’t know because I snapped a couple pictures and then got Tim the heck outta there.

Forced out of our beloved standing room area, we landed in the seats down the 1B line.  Excellent seats where we stayed maybe two innings.

Somehow, maybe during the fight or maybe during a bathroom break, the Jays scored again and we missed it again.  And, interesting, again it involved an intentional walk to Travis Snider to load the bases for Jose Molina.  This time Molina hit an RBI single.

In the seventh, I took this shot of Adam Lind…

25 - Adam Lind in the seventh.jpg…who grounded out harmlessly.

In the bottom of the 8th or top of the 9th, we landed here, in some of the best foul ball seats around…

27 - first game last seats.jpgNothing came our way, but the picture taking was excellent.  Here, Jose Bautista pops out to catcher:

26 - Jose Bautista pops out to Wieters.jpgAnd on this pitch, I said to Tim, “Do you think he will hit a home run?” (“he” being Adam Lind).  He didn’t.  But he did drive the pitch into the gap for an RBI double:

28 - Adam Linds 9th inning RBI double.jpg…that’s one of the best action shots I’ve ever got between the hit ball captured in the air, Wieters jumping up to try to snag the ball and throw out the would be base-stealer, the runner advancing, etc., etc.

Before the bottom of the 9th, we got our classic Camden Yards behind home plate photo — taken by a nice usher whose wife just bought my same camera and loves it:

29 - TJCs classic Camden Yards pose behind plate.jpg

30a - Joe West.jpgAll there was left to do was attempt to get a nice rubbed up baseball from the umpire after the final out, a trick we learned last season from the “The Baseball Collector” himself, Zack Hample.  We got 3 umpire balls in 2009 and it is a great way to end a great day at the ballpark.

The home plate umpire was 31-year umpiring veteran, Joe West.

Camden Yards is the most relaxed ballpark in the world.  The ushers typically don’t care about anything.   But the guy in the bright orange jacket two or three pictures up wouldn’t let us go down and take one of the many, many empty seats all around the umpire tunnel.  If he’s let us go down, it was almost a guaranteed umpire ball.  But it was a no go, so we decided to head out to RF to watch the bottom of the 9th from there before making our way to our car.  But on the way out there, we decided to hit the rest room.  And then we decided to fill-up Tim’s water bottle.  We were in the outer concourse behind 1B, but none of the water fountains were working.  So we kept walking to the next fountain. 

Once we finally found a working fountain, we filled up Tim’s water bottle and headed back into the stadium to walk to RF on the inner cross aisle.  But, little did we know, we were right back behind home plate again…but on the other side of the umpires tunnel.  The usher over there was letting tons of people stand in the aisle, so we stood with them.

Down to the O’s final out, Nolan Reimold hit a towering pop-fly to short stop.  That’s exactly the kind of final out you want, something (other than a strike out) that requires the umpire to stay at home plate.  We were off with the crack of the bat. 

We had to weave in and out of a few fans making their way up the stairs.  But we reached the tunnel at the same time as Joe West.  He gave baseballs to two little kids on the other side of the tunnel.  I asked him if he had one to spare for Tim.  He nodded and started to reach toward me.  I extended my glove.  Then he thought better of himself, denied my glove, reached high and gave it directly to Tim.   An excellent move by Mr. West.  That’s what 31-years experience will do for a guy.

Thank you, Joe West!

And thank you to the nice family whose daughter captured our post game celebration, complete with “Woody” from Toy Story:

30 - Thank You Joe West.jpg
On a final sad note, my normal “gamer” green cargo shorts are going to have to be retired.  As you can see in that last picture, they tore wide open exposing the inside of my right front pocket to the world.  This leave me in quite a bind as I have to decide upon a replacement pair by next weekend.  These shorts have been my main game shorts (and bowling shorts) since 2007.  They will be missed.

2010 Fan Stats:

1 Game

2 Teams (Orioles and Blue Jays)

1 Ice Cream Helmet (Orioles)

3 Baseballs (2 Blue Jays, 1 Umpire)

1 Stadium (Camden Yards)

Outstanding News from Baltimore

You may recall that Tim and I started a grassroots campaign to bring Ice Cream Helmets (a food receptacle near and dear to our hearts) to Camden Yards (a stadium near and dear to our hearts as well).

20 - Camden Yards BYOICH.jpg

Tim enjoys a Mariners Ice Cream Helmet that we brought with us to Camden Yards in ’09.

For several months, we have planned to start our 2010 campaign in Baltimore at tomorrow’s game between the Blue Jays and Orioles — just like we ended last season.

For so many reasons, we have been excited for this game.  But my excitement quadrupled this afternoon when my wife forwarded the following email (from her friend) to me at work:

Thought you and Todd would like to see the email I got from Camden Yards:
 
Dear Ms. Werner, Thank you for contacting the Orioles. The Orioles are pleased to have ice cream helmets available at Camden Yards this season, sponsored by Carvel. They can be found at Carvel stands located around the ballpark. We look forward to seeing you at the Yard! 

Sincerely,
Carey Paytas
Communications Assistant
Baltimore Orioles

 

To say that I was excited would be a huge understatement.  I checked my own personal email account on my cellphone and found this waiting for me:

Dear Mr. Cook,

Thank you for contacting the Orioles.

The Orioles are pleased to have ice cream helmets available at Camden Yards this season, sponsored by Carvel. They can be found at Carvel stands located around the ballpark. We look forward to seeing you at the Yard!

Sincerely,
Carey Paytas
Communications Assistant
Baltimore Orioles

All I could say was, “YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!…HISTORY!!!!”

A Perfect Email!

But that wasn’t it.  I had an email from a certain Texas Baseball Fan, Brian Powell (who will get the privilege of seeing my Mariners beat his Rangers this weekend — hopefully):

 

Just received this email today! Good news for you!

— On Fri, 4/9/10, Orioles Customer Service <birdmail@orioles.com> wrote:

From: Orioles Customer Service <birdmail@orioles.com>
Subject: RE: bal – Other – None – Ice Cream Helmets
To: “Brian Powell”
Date: Friday, April 9, 2010, 3:59 PM

Dear Mr. Powell,
Thank you for contacting the Orioles.
The Orioles are pleased to have ice cream helmets available at Camden Yards this season, sponsored by Carvel. They can be found at Carvel stands located around the ballpark. We look forward to seeing you at the Yard!
Sincerely,
Carey Paytas
Communications Assistant
Baltimore Orioles
 

 

 Via a blog comment, word came in from Hawaii too:

Todd (PA)

Your efforts may have paid off for #18 -

Just got this e-mail this 15 minutes ago —-
Thank you for contacting the Orioles.
The Orioles are pleased to have ice cream helmets available at Camden Yards this season, sponsored by Carvel. They can be found at Carvel stands located around the ballpark. We look forward to seeing you at the Yard!
Sincerely,
Carey Paytas
Communications Assistant
Baltimore Orioles — Todd (HI)

 

My father-in-law had good news to report too:

 WE DID IT!!!!!!!

 
—– Forwarded Message —–
From: “Orioles Customer Service” <birdmail@orioles.com>
To: Kevin
Sent: Friday, April 9, 2010 4:59:41 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: RE: Ice Cream Helmets

Dear Fan,

Thank you for contacting the Orioles.

The Orioles are pleased to have ice cream helmets available at Camden Yards this season, sponsored by Carvel. They can be found at Carvel stands located around the ballpark. We look forward to seeing you at the Yard!

Sincerely,
Carey Paytas
Communications Assistant
Baltimore Orioles

The West Coast got into the action too:
 
Todd & Tim:

I saw your blog and figured I’d forward my notification, too!  Great work–power to the people.  :-)

~Matt

PS  Hope to see you when you’re in CA in June.

Matthew Jackson


Subject: RE: bal – Other – None – Ice Cream Helmets
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2010 16:59:54 -0400
From: birdmail@orioles.com
To:
Matt Jackson

Dear Mr. Jackson,
Thank you for contacting the Orioles.
The Orioles are pleased to have ice cream helmets available at Camden Yards this season, sponsored by Carvel. They can be found at Carvel stands located around the ballpark. We look forward to seeing you at the Yard!
Sincerely,
Carey Paytas
Communications Assistant
Baltimore Orioles

(We hope to see you too, Matt.  Thanks for your help!)
 

 

So, you know what?  The people spoke and the Orioles listened!

How cool is it that this person’s job today was to email us this message.  I imagine a staff meeting this morning at Camden Yards:  Boss says, “Now, Carey, I want you to email these Ice Cream Helmet people and let them know the good news.  We’ll have Ice Cream Helmets for them this season!”  Carey responds, “No problem, boss.  But I have to finish that other project first.  I will email them this afternoon prior to the start of the game.  Don’t worry, everyone will know the good news!”

A huge, huge “thank you” to each and every person who helped out with this cause.  My solo comments to the O’s fan assistance office (which is staffed with a bevy of kind and helpful personnel) and emails to the O’s over the past several seasons couldn’t do the trick.  It took a team effort.  It took the help of people like Brian, Todd (HI), my wife’s friend, my father-in-law, and all of the folks who emailed the O’s or commented on the ‘Project Baltimore” entry.

Unless this is a huge and cruel hoax, Tim and I will be enjoying some chocolate ice cream in shiny new O’s ice cream helmets tomorrow.  We will report back with all of the details.

Big thanks and respect to the Orioles for addressing this important issue.  We are officially pulling for the O’s to win the AL East in 2010!

I’ll leave you with something unrelated (but related).  A glimpse into what Tim and I will do tomorrow morning before heading down to Baltimore in the afternoon:

Hello, 2010 Regular Season!

The 2010 regular season starts tomorrow.  We’re excited.  And we have lots of plans for making it a great season.  At a time like this, we can’t help but look back on where we have been and forward to where we are going.

 

Since Tim’s MLB debut on September 12, 2006, Tim has seen every team play live at least once.  With twenty-two games, he has seen our Mariners the most, followed by the Phillies (14) and Orioles (9).  Here are all of the teams with their record at games Tim and I have attended together (listed in the order in which Tim saw the teams for the first time):

 

Teams (win-loss record):


  1. trying4balls.jpgMariners  (10-12)
  2. Blue Jays (1-2)
  3. Mets (3-2)
  4. Phillies (9-5)
  5. Orioles (4-5)
  6. Twins (2-1)
  7. Yankees (1-3)
  8. Marlins (1-1)
  9. Rockies (1-0)
  10. Cardinals (3-0)
  11. Pirates (1-2)
  12. Cubs (2-1)
  13. Giants (0-1)
  14. Reds (0-3)
  15. Indians (5-0)

  16. 39 - final game final ball of 2009.jpgAngels (0-1)
  17. Nationals (1-4)
  18. White Sox (1-2)
  19. Diamondbacks (1-0)
  20. Rays (1-0)
  21. Padres (0-1)
  22. Athletics (1-2)
  23. Rangers (2-0)
  24. Braves (0-1)
  25. Dodgers (1-0)
  26. Tigers (1-0)
  27. Red Sox (1-2)
  28. Astros (1-1)
  29. Brewers (0-1)
  30. Royals (0-1)

Tim debuted at Safeco Field.  But through his fifty-four (54) games, Tim has visited 18 MLB stadiums.  Not surprisingly  Tim’s top three stadiums closely track his top three teams:  Citzens Bank Park, Safeco Field, Camden Yards.  Here is the complete list of Tim’s stadiums:

 

Stadiums (number of games):


  1. 16 - we love this place.jpgSafeco Field (11)
  2. Citizens Bank Park (12)
  3. Camden Yards (8)
  4. Yankee Stadium – ’23 (1)
  5. PNC Park (2)
  6. Great American Ball Park (1)
  7. Progressive Field (3)
  8. Shea Stadium (1)
  9. Chase Field (1)
  10. Citi Field (2)
  11. Nationals Park (2)
  12. Yankee Stadium – ’09 (2)
  13. Fenway Park (3)
  14. Wrigley Field  (1)
  15. H.H.H. Metrodome  (1)
  16. Miller Park  (1)
  17. U.S. Cellular Field  (1)
  18. Rogers Centre  (1)

So, after such a great 2009 season, where do we go from here?   Like last year, I have made a full Cook & Son Baseball Agenda complete with games to attend and goals to achieve.  Like last year, I won’t bore you with all of it.  But, like last season (when we achieve almost all of our goals), here are the highlights:

 

Season Goals:

 



8 - moyer bullpen motion.jpg1.  See Ken Griffey, Jr. hit another homerun.

2.  Witness final home run of Ken Griffey, Jr.’s career (assuming he retires after 2010 season).

5.  See Jamie Moyer win a game.

6.  Run the bases at 5 stadiums (Citizens Bank Park, PNC Park, Petco Park, Citi Field, Nationals Park).

7.  Catch a Target Field inaugural season ball.

8.  Catch a game homerun or foul ball.

9.  Get Gill and Kate (Tim’s cousins) to their first game.

10.  See the Mariners play at 5+ stadiums (Safeco (4), Camden (2), Yankee (2), Petco (2), Progressive (2)).

11.-14.  & 17. – Focus on pictures with players.  I won’t list them all, but I have a number of specific players we would like to try to get our pictures with and general “picture with players” goals.

15.  Third Annual Baseball Roadtrip – All California Stadiums.

16.  New Stadium and Teams for Tim’s Fourth MLB Anniversary.

18.  Eat an Orioles ice cream helmet at Camden Yards.

19.  Win MyGameBalls.com photo-scavenger hunt.

20.  Have fun and make memories.

Thumbnail image for tjc rounding third in DC.jpg 
6 - walking The Jake concourse.jpg

Goals aside, we plan to have another great season.  We will visit all five California stadiums (Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Anaheim, and San Francisco) on the Third Annual Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Roadtrip of 2010, along with probably 8 more stadiums (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Nationals Park, Citi Field, Citizens Bank Park, Yankee Stadium, Progressive Field, and PNC Park).

It is going to be great.  And, we plan to end the season in Seattle, where we will be joined by a special guest and we hope to witness Griffey’s final home run of his career.

happy 2010.jpg

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