June 2014

No Sleep Till Brooklyn & Queens (5/24/2014)

May 24, 2014 was a fun day that I had been looking forward to for a while for both baseball and non-baseball reasons. On the baseball front, we were going to see the Mets host the Diamondbacks. I bought the tickets in April when our buddy and former Mariner Ryan Rowland-Smith was in the Diamondbacks pen. But before this series arrived, Ryan was designate for assignment and was pitching in AAA in Buffalo, NY when this weekend rolled around.

That was a bummer. And it made me not really want to go to this game…I would have preferred another game at a different park.

But…the non-baseball reason still had me excited to go to NYC.

The game was scheduled for a 4:10 start. But we packed up the car…

…and were on the road…

…to NYC by 7:30 a.m.

Did you catch those two clues? You see, my boys, baseball and the Mariners…

…aren’t my only interests. I’ve always been very much “into” music. And from the fifth grade and the release of the classic album “Licensed to Ill,” I have been a big fan of the Beastie Boys.

Truth be told, I was a much bigger Beasties fan when I was younger (I prefer harder music these days and am not really into rap anymore). But from fifth grade through college, I listened to the Beastie Boys a ton. In fact, during my sophomore year in college, I hosted an hour long radio show each Monday night called “Beastie Revolution” that featured all Beasties all the time.

Now, you see, Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys died of cancer in 2012. In May 2013, a park in Brooklyn was renamed for him (“Adam Yauch Park”). Since then, I have wanted to visit Adam Yauch Park. And since this past offseason, I have had a very specific idea for our eventual visit to Adam Yauch Park: to remake the cover of the Beastie Boys’ classic album, “Check Your Head.”

So that was the major plan for the morning.

But I decided to make Beasties morning of it. So, on the way to Brooklyn, we had to stop by the corner of Rivington & Ludlow in downtown Manhattan (not Brooklyn) to visit the site of Paul’s Boutique:

The Paul’s Boutique building looks nothing like it used to on the cover of the Beasties’ sophomore album (pictured above to the right). However, if you open up the album cover and unfold the panorama, the intersection is still recognizable due to a few unique features – such as the building diagonal across the intersection and the “Talmud Torah” arched sign above the building two down from Paul’s Boutique.

I did my best to recreate the panorama of the intersection. Here you go:

 

By the way, I should mention, as we first approached the intersection, I pulled out my Paul’s Boutique CD and held up the booklet inside trying to see if I could match it to the corner. Right then, a random guy walked past us and stopped for a beat, pointed at Paul’s Boutique, and said, “It was right there on that corner,” and then he just kept walking. I thought that was pretty cool.

This was a quick stop. We had bigger plans for the morning.

We hopped back in our car, turned off “Check Your Head,” turned on “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” and headed toward the Brooklyn Bridge.

Now, this might seem odd (or maybe not), but this was the first time I’d ever driven over the Brooklyn Bridge. Every other time I’ve been to Brooklyn, I’ve taken a subway there. Also, this might have been Tim’s (and definitely Kellan’s ) first trip to Brooklyn. Anyway, I found the Brooklyn Bridge to be pretty cool. Great view out toward the Statue of Liberty and it has a cool walkers section in the middle. I recommend it!

It was a pretty quick drive from “Paul’s Boutique” to Adam Yauch Park:

The park is a in great city neighborhood that reminded me a lot of parts of Center City Philadelphia, where I lived during law school.

The park was tiny, jammed into the space between the neighborhood and a freeway on ramp, and (most importantly) really nice. Here’s what it looks like:

The boys played there for a while, but before playing, we got down to business.

Here is the “Check Your Head” album cover:

My original plan was to simply remake it in the same format with each of us playing the park of a different Beastie Boy, but with the “Adam Yauch Park” sign in the background. But, after a lot of internal debate, I decided to cut myself from the picture, and remake the album cover with Tim, Kellan and Adam Yauch.

I brought props. It took some coaching (especially with Kellan) to get the poses right (or as right as Kellan could do for playing the part of a 20-something year old guy).

So here was the initial effort (what I could do “on the street” with no computer work):

I gotta tell you: I loved it. It came out so great I thought maybe I was just done there…leave it at that with the Adam Yauch Park sign hanging above an empty spot where Adam Yauch (or someone playing his role) should have been sitting. Of course, I kept a version of the photo that way so I will always have it. And I still love it just like I took it on the street.

But, when we got home that night (and into the next day), I couldn’t help tinkering and trying out my original plan. So, here is the same photo with “MCA” added in:

Again, I completely loved it! (And still do). I couldn’t get Adam to sit quite right on the curb and still mesh right with Tim – probably because he’s a grown man who was originally sitting next to two other grown men, not 8 and 3 year old boys – but, hey, I forgive myself. I’m not a professional photo editor or anything. The only problem is that his bass guitar case is resting on the curb instead of sitting flat on the street like in the original. But I’m okay with that.

Finally, several days later, I completed my original concept, which due to size constraints, couldn’t include the “Adam Yauch Park” sign:

Not too shabby, eh?

I gotta say, after visiting Adam Yauch Park, where my boys had a ton of fun climbing around on the play toys and taking that original black-and-white photo of just my boys and the park sign, my day was pretty much made. But, as an added bonus, we still had a baseball game to go to!

We didn’t have time to drive to the upper west side to park and then take the train like we usually do. Instead, we drove straight from Adam Yauch Park to Citi Field. As a bonus, we got to experience two views that we’d never seen before.

First, a cool view of lower Manhattan from Brooklyn:

Second, we drove for 2.4 miles under the 7 train…

 

…, which was pretty interesting. I’ve really never driven around neighborhoods in Queens. Lots of interesting things to see out there!

We reached the ballpark in plenty of time, which was good we had to go to the Mets fan assistance office to get our tickets printed.

While we were in line at the gates, Kellan practiced his pitching to Tim:

Once we got into the ballpark, we headed down the RF line and then quickly made our way toward section 142 in CF.

When we got down to the front row corner spot, there was already a baseball sitting in the huge gap between the seats and the shortened outfield wall. The Mets were hitting and a few Diamondbacks pitchers were milling about. Fairly soon after we arrived in CF, an groundskeeper came to grab the ball in the gap and he decided to toss it up to Kellan.

Just before the groundskeeper tossed the ball, Brad Ziegler (who was walking from LF to the bullpens) popped through the door in the OF fence and tossed us a ball. Tim was standing right next to me on the right (sort of behind me as I faced Ziegler). When I caught the ball from Ziegler, the groundskeeper refocused his gaze from Kellan to Tim, and Tim made the easy catch on that ball.

Thanks, Brad, and thanks, groundskeeper!

About 20-30 second after we got the balls from Ziegler and the groundskeeper, Josh Edgin…

…(who is the guy on the left) turned around, shouted to get our attention, and tossed us a third baseball, even though Tim and Kellan were both visibly holding balls at the time. Luckily, the second was basically empty other than us at the time.

Thanks, Josh!

At the very end of Mets BP (and, as it would turn out, BP in general), Bartolo Colon caught a pop fly. Tim called out to Bartolo, but Bartolo first ignore Tim, who did not include “please” in his request. Then, when Tim called out, “Bartolo, could you please toss me that ball?”, Colon turned around and fired a strike to Tim’s waiting glove:

Gracias, Bartolo! (Or, as Tim later called him, “Barlesto”).

Once the Mets cleared the field, the groundscrew ran out and started taking down the nets, but they left the batting cage in place. As a groundscrew guy wheeled a screen out to the gap in CF, I asked him if the Diamondbacks were not taking BP (which, obviously, seemed to be the case, but why were they leaving the batting cage in place?). He confirmed that BP was finished. So, with a few Diamondbacks starting to appear down the LF line, we decided to relocate to the second just past third base:

It turns out that the Diamondbacks decided to take a full “infield/outfield,” like back in the good old days. It was cool to watch.

Both Martin Prado and Eric Chavez were playing 3B at first. Eventually, a ball trickled by them and came to a rest on the grass behind 3B. A little while later, Chavez headed to the dugout while Prado stayed put at 3B.

I called out to Chavez after his first step toward the dugout, and I pointed toward the ball in the grass behind 3B and then at Tim. That’s all it took:

Thanks, Eric!

Soon, another back squibbed by Prado, not more than 5-10 feet behind him. It stayed on the infield dirt and Prado just ignored it.

After the outfielders took fly balls from home plate, they call congregated in CF and Dave McKay fungo’d them a bunch more pop flies and they worked on their throws in to a cutoff man. Gerardo Parra was one of the outfielders taking fly balls from McKay.

When Parra headed toward the dugout, he ran right behind 3B. Prado and that stray ball were still there. I called out to Parra – just like with Chavez – and pointed to Tim. Again, that was all it took. Parra retrieved the ball and tossed it to Tim:

This ball, however, was a little bit more interesting. See Cody Ross (the next player heading toward the dugout behind Parra). He’s watching the ball fly toward Tim’s waiting glove. Well, the ball sailed a little to the right and sunk a bit. Eventually, Tim caught the ball (literally, not exaggeration at all) 1-2 inches in front of Kellan’s face. Had Tim not reached out for the ball, it would have smashed Kellan right in the nose.

Cody Ross got all nervous and jumped a bit as the throw played out. He might have even yelled a bit. They he yelled at Parra “you almost hit that kid in the face!” But Parra was on his way out, he didn’t even realize what Ross was talking about. Luckily, Tim’s got a good glove!

Thanks, Gerardo & Tim! (And thanks to Cody Ross for the concern).

So, all this while, there was another kid, probably 10-12 years old, a few steps to Tim’s left. He was just standing there quietly. I could tell he wanted a ball. I’m not big on giving away baseballs, because I like the personal connection we get with the player who tosses them, plus we’re trying to build a wall of baseballs that needs a bunch more baseballs before we can build it. But I do like to help other kids get their own baseballs. Eventually, it seemed like Dave McKay was the only option left on the field. He was still hitting fungos and he had a big bag of baseballs. I told the kid that his name was “Dave” and that he should ask him for a ball by name when he walked into the dugout.

But the kid was too shy. Standing next to him, I could hardly hear him call to Dave. So I shouted, “Hey, Dave!!” and I pointed to the kid still standing five feet to Tim’s left. McKay gave us a nod sort of like he was saying, “No problem, but hold on just a sec.”

I told the kid and his dad that I thought McKay was going to toss him a ball so he should keep watching him. McKay walked down into the 3B dugout, set down the bag of balls, and then reached in and pulled three balls out. He tossed the first one high to us. As it sailed our way, I called out to Tim, “Let him catch it! Let him catch it!” But Tim reached up and made the easy grab. Oops…

I told Tim to hand the ball to the kid. McKay then fired the other two balls directly to me one-after-the-other. We all thanked McKay and then the kid and his dad thanked us. I wished the kid could have caught the ball on his own, but oh well. Nothing I can do about it now.

Thanks, Dave!

That was it for pre-game. The Diamondbacks cleared the field and we (along with Zack Hample and Rick Gold) headed back out to the CF seats where all the “boys” posed for this picture:

And then Kellan ate a ton of “pirates” (that’s our nickname for a snack Tim and Kellan both enjoy) and he made a mess that amused Zack greatly:

When Kellan was all done eating, he took some picts, including this one of Zack:

We all hung out in CF while the groundscrew readied the field for the game. Check this out:

They are sweeping the grass to make the “NY” logo stand out better.

Just before game time, we grabbed some hot dogs and headed out to the picnic tables behind the bullpens (under Shea Bridge)…

…, which is one of our favorite spots at Citi Field.

After the Mets had taken the field but before first pitch, the Mets sound people blared some Beastie Boys (Sabotage) throughout Citi Field, which seemed like a fitting way to start the game on this day.

And here was the first pitch:

Like at our other game at Citi Field earlier this season, we spent a lot of time at this game in this picnic area. A lot of that time, we were playing catch (including Tim pitching to me):

Some of that time, we were posing for pictures, like this one:

And some of that time, Kellan was playing hand-baseball:

In the third inning, with the Diamondbacks already up 3-0, we decided to head out to CF to play some kids’ games. On our way, we got a panorama from the back of section 141…

…and a picture of the boys in the same spot:

Unfortunately, right after we left the picnic area below Shea Bridge, Curtis Granderson hit a ground rule double into the Diamondbacks’ bullpen. It would have rolled all the way to the back of the bullpen…right to where we had been hanging out moments earlier. Poor timing, I guess.

By the way, that groundrule double made the score 3-1 Diamondsbacks.

The boys had a lot of fun at the kids’ whiffle field:

Both fielding balls…

…and hitting them. Kellan hit several line drives off of the LF fence and Tim hit a couple balls over the wall in LF and CF.

After numerous rounds of hitting in the whiffle field, we got some ice cream and headed back to the bullpen picnic area:

David Wright hit a homerun in the fifth inning to bring the score to 3-2 Diamondbacks. That’s where the score remained into the ninth inning when we headed over toward the umpires’ tunnel.

Addison Reed came in and shut down the Mets in the bottom of the ninth, including former Phillies all-star Bobby Abreu…

…who lined out to short stop (I thought it was going to get in for a hit).

So, in the end, the Diamondbacks won 3-2.

After the game, home plate umpire Jim Reynolds gave baseballs to several kids, including both Tim and Kellan.

Thanks, Blue!

And then we got a final picture (taken by Mr. Hample) before leaving the ballpark for the evening:

Check out how nice the Jackie Robinson Rotunda looked on our way out as the sun was low in the sky:

I’d never seen it look like that before. The low pre-setting sun suits the Rotunda well.

We ended up driving into Manhattan and walking around a whole bunch through Central Park. We played some eye spy and wanted to play some baseball, but the sun was down by this point and the fields were chained shut.

So, we headed back up to the upper west side where we parked (after the game) and grabbed some late dinner at Ray’s on 82nd & Columbus:

A fine way to cap off an excellent day of Beastie Boys and baseball. The boys conked out quick in the car…a sure sign that it was a good day.

2014 Fan Stats
7 Games
10 Teams (Blue Jays, Mets, Phillies, Marlins, Braves, Orioles, Royals, Pirates, Cardinals, Diamondbacks)
5 Stadiums (Stade Olympique, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field, Camden Yards, PNC Park)
52 Baseballs (9 Mets, 2* Expos, 7 Phillies, 6 Marlins, 2 Mets, 3 Braves, 6 Umpires, 6 Orioles, 2 Royals, 4 Cardinals, 1 Pirates, 4 Diamondbacks)* Olympic Stadium Staff
6 Commemoratives (2013 WBC 1, Angels 50th 2, Dodger Stadium 50th 1, 2011 All-Star, 2012 All-Star, Orioles 60th Anniversary)
7 Ice Cream Helmets (Phillies, 2 Orioles, 2 Pirates, 2 Mets)
 

 

Another Saturday, Another Little League-to-Major League Doubleheader (5/10/2014)

On May, 10, 2014, the boys and I pulled off another Little League-to-Major League. We started in the morning with a 9:00 a.m. Liberty Swingmen game featuring Tim’s first career hit by pitch:

It was a beautiful sunny day in eastern PA. After the game, we hopped in the car…

…for a beautiful, sunny drive across Pennsylvania. But just before arriving in Pittsburgh, the weather went south. We arrived in plenty of time for BP and were greeted by a soggy PNC Park:

While it was raining, it wasn’t too bad. There was no BP, but I could tell that the game wouldn’t be rained out. With the help of Erik Jabs, we were able to get into the stadium early with the season ticket holders. For a long, long time we stood by the Cardinals dugout chatting and eating snacks…

…while several Cardinals lounged in the dugout listening to tunes (Jhonny Peralta and Carlos Martinez) or talking on cellphones (Trevor Rosenthal).

Here was our view of the ballpark:

For nearly an hour, we were the only people in the seats. It was pretty cool. During most of this time, we didn’t need an umbrella.

Eventually, the Cardinals pitchers came out to play catch. A few other fans eventually showed up, but it was very sparse out there. Here’s the scene:

Consistent with my past experiences in this section at PNC Park, most of the fans hanging out there were looking for autographs. Is the guy in the sweatshirt with the fungo bat in bottom left photo above? That’s Derek Lilliquist. He tossed Tim our first baseball of the day.

Thanks, Derek!

For a while, Tim hung out behind Trevor Rosenthal, who was playing catch with Carlos Martinez. Martinez uncorked several hard and wild ones that almost tagged Tim. In fact, in the upper right photo above, that is Rosenthal (#26) digging a low throw from Martinez. When Rosenthal and Martinez finished throwing, Trevor tossed their warm up ball to Tim.

Thanks, Trevor!

Michael Wacha did some work in the work in the pen early on, but then came out to the RF foul line to throw some more. That is Wacha standing to Lilliquist’s left in the bottom left photo above. When Wacha finished up, he tossed his warm up ball to Tim and then autographed it for him.

Thanks, Michael!

Eventually, Adam Wainwright started signing autographs. When a whole group of fans flocked to him, Tyler Lyons started walking to the dugout. Kellan and I shouted, “Hey, Tyler!” He turned back and tossed a strike right to us.

Thanks, Tyler!

Then, Tim asked if he could get Wainwright’s autograph too. I had to pull a ball – the Rosenthal ball – out of our backpack and by the time I did, Wainwright was walking away. We was out on the grass across the warning track. I called out his name and asked if he could sign one more for Tim. He said sure and put up his hand to indicate, “Toss it here!” It was pretty clear to me that he wanted to sign for Tim, but not get roped into another big group of fans. So he signed the ball and tossed it and our pen back.

Thanks, Adam!

By the way, here are two of those balls (and two cute faces to go with them):

During down time, Tim got creative with selfies:

After the Cardinals pitchers cleared the field, we cleared out of the field level…

…and headed to the kids’ play area:

Where the boys did some playing…

…and I did some birding:

But it was wet in the play area. So we decided to buy two feet of hot dogs for dinner:

Kellan and I shared a footlong…

…fox and the hound style. Meanwhile, this guy…

…finished off 12 inches of hot dog all by himself!

In the PNC Park picnic area behind the CF seats, there are a couple spots that make great make-shift bullpens:


Over the course of the evening, we played a whole lotta catch in this “bullpen.” I would toss the ball 5-10 feet to my left to Kellan. He would then toss the ball down to Tim who would toss it back to me. It was lots of fun.

Of course, the boys were respectful when it came time to sing the National Anthem:

And then it was party time…

…or, I mean, game time. We headed to the SRO area right behind the bullpens…

…to watch the first pitch:

As an added bonus, just before the first pitch, Pirates bullpen catcher, Herbie Andrade, toss us a final pre-game baseball, our first ever from the man who holds the MyGameBalls.com record (by a huge margin) for most toss-ups.

Thanks, Herbie!

After the first pitch, we returned to our “bullpen” and played catch for a while more. Eventually, we decided it was time to get some ice cream. On our way to the ice cream place, we stopped to get the boys’ picture with the PNC Park pig:

Tim enjoyed some pirates buried treasure while Kellan enjoyed his mint chocolate chip:

While they worked on their ice cream helmets, I enjoyed our excellent seats in LF:

Here is another one featuring a blimp for good measure:

Between innings, the boys made a futile attempt for a left fielder warm-up ball tossup:

Eventually, we decided we should go exploring. After visiting Ralph Kiner’s hands behind the LF seats…

…we started our explorations by walking up with spiral ramp in LF. At the top, this was the view:

Then we visited the first drinking fountain Tim ever used in his life:

Here’s a random panorama from section 327 that I snapped as we circled the upper deck:

Once we made it to home plate, we headed down the other spiral ramp that takes you down to the main home plate entrance.   Then we headed out to the kids’ play area, which was experiencing some chaos due to too many kids being out there, including some teens trying to play with the little guys.

So we headed across the riverwalk…

…and went back to our “bullpen” for some more throwing:

That’s where we were in the seventh inning when some fireworks were shot off over the river in conjunction with the seventh inning stretch:

I love the LF seats at PNC Park – they seem so homer friendly – so we headed back there for a bit more. When w2 arrived, a friendly usher took our picture:

Then the boys clowned around…

…while I concentrated on not catching a homerun.

In the ninth inning, we headed toward the third base dugout and found some seats in the last row of the section above the umpire’s tunnel:

As the game neared its final out (by the way, the Pirates were winning 4-3), Tim tried to get in position for a post-game umpire ball, something we’d never before gotten at PNC Park.

We were excited for the opportunity because we were sitting on 599 baseballs at the moment.

It turns out that we were double lucky. After Mark Malancon got Allen Craig to strike out swinging to end the game (Raise the Jolly Roger), home plate umpire Dave Rackley set number 600 into Tim’s glove…and number 601 in Kellan’s glove!

Double thanks, Mr. Rackley!

We capped off a great day of baseball with some post-game fireworks from our “bullpen”:

After one final picture of three happy boys…

…we headed to our car and the boys conked out quick…

…while I drove us back across Pennsylvania.

Great day!

2014 Fan Stats
6 Games
9 Teams (Blue Jays, Mets, Phillies, Marlins, Braves, Orioles, Royals, Pirates, Cardinals)
5 Stadiums (Stade Olympique, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field, Camden Yards, PNC Park)
43 Baseballs (6 Mets, 2* Expos, 7 Phillies, 6 Marlins, 2 Mets, 3 Braves, 4 Umpires, 6 Orioles, 2 Royals, 4 Cardinals, 1 Pirates)* Olympic Stadium Staff
6 Commemoratives (2013 WBC 1, Angels 50th 2, Dodger Stadium 50th 1, 2011 All-Star, 2012 All-Star, Orioles 60th Anniversary)
5 Ice Cream Helmets (Phillies, 2 Orioles, 2 Pirates)
 

 

Little League-to-Major League Doubleheader (4/26/2014)

Over the past several years, the boys and I have done several two-city MLB doubleheaders. But, on April 26, 2014, we tried something new: a two-city Little League-to-MLB doubleheader. We started out in a nearby town where Tim’s team, the Liberty Swingmen, took on a neighboring Little League squad full of huge kids twice the size of Tim’s team.

The other team started a Randy Johnson sized fire baller. The guy pitched 3 innings and only gave up one hit. Here is that hit:

A solid knock to RF that scored our first run of the day (By a Swingmen runner who had been hit by a pitch). Sadly, the Swingmen ended up getting pummeled and losing via the mercy rule. The silver-lining in the bad outcome of the game is that it resulted in us being able to get on the road in time to make it down to Baltimore.

We made great time getting down to Baltimore and made it in time for the gates.

In past years, we’ve usually gone to foul territory during season ticket holder BP. But this time, I decided to try grabbing the corner spot right by the O’s bullpen. We ended up staying there for all of BP.

Right when we arrived, Evan Meek (who was standing in front of us, shaded slightly to CF) turned around and saw our M’s gear. He came over to chat:

Turns out that Meek is from Bothell, WA, not far from where I grew up and went to a high school I’d played sports against back in the day. We had a nice Seattle-based chat with Evan. He congratulated Tim on his hit against the huge Little League pitcher he’d faced earlier in the day. Evan is a cool guy. And he tossed a baseball to Tim and another to Kellan.

Huge thanks, Evan, and good luck!

This super tall Oriole….

…., Ryan Webb, also tossed us a baseball.

Here was our view for all of BP:

It was a very pleasant and relaxed day at the ballpark:

During O’s BP, Darren O’Day and John Stinson…

…also tossed baseballs our way.

Thanks, guys!

The O’s blasted a bunch of homers into their bullpen, which was just to our left.

When the Royals came out for BP, Greg Holland had to use the restroom in the bullpens, and he tossed one of the bullpen balls to us on his way:

I was excited to see former-Mariner, Jason Vargas, at the game. But, unfortunately, this is as close as he ever got to us:

For a big chunk of BP, James Shields stood just to our left in LCF. When he arrived, I yelled, “James, pick off a homerun!” (which I’ve seen him do in very impressive fashion during past BPs). Well, he almost did it twice. The second one was a screaming line drive right to my chest. It would have been the easiest homerun catch of all time. But James came flying in and I had to reach over his glove. Our gloves reached the ball at the same point, and it squirted out, bounced (gently) off of my chest and fell right to my feet. I got it no problems.

Check out the huge warning track divot Shields left right below us:

Here’s a random picture I took of Tim with his bangs flowing out of his hat:

As this group of Royals pitchers…

…ran back-and-forth across the outfield in front of us, Kellan yelled out to them, “Are you tired guys?” It was pretty hilarious, although it might not sound that way in writing.

After BP, both boys wanted to sit in Cal Ripken, Jr.’s orang seat…

…and they pretended they were catching homeruns while doing so.

We decided to head to the play area and get some food on our way. As we approached home plate in the cross-aisle, we stopped to show up some of the boys’ baseballs:

Then we headed out into the concourse and ran into these guys:

(Those are our Baltimore friends Tim, Alex and Kelly).

Finally, we grabbed our food and found an empty picnic table by the speed pitch:

Kellan made crazy faces while he ate:

And we watched the beginning of the game (including, this, the first pitch)…

…on TV.

Once we finished eating, we played a bunch of hitting and throwing games…

…, but found that the bouncy house was mysteriously missing:

Someone (an O’s employee) told us that it was in the upper deck.

So, after we had done a sufficient amount of playing, we headed toward the flag court. The boys stopped to act silly on Eutaw Street on the way:

Then we hung out and watched the game for a while with our Tim, Alex, Kelly and Grant:

Sadly, we didn’t catch a single game homerun while we were out there!

Then we went in search of the bouncy house. We headed up to the RF foul corner:

It wasn’t in right field.

But we took the opportunity to watch the game and get some pictures up there:

Then we walked all the way around the concourse out to the LF (fair territory) upper deck concourse. It was kids’ day (or something like that) and there were approximately one million kids up there in the concourse.

The bouncy house was nowhere to be found. But we did wait through an incredibly long line to hit some baseballs on the air tee:

And then we had a nice usher take our picture way out in LF:

On our way down the stairs in LF, we took a panorama that I thought was pretty cool because it shows a suite/club level lounge to the far right:

We got ice cream and headed back out to RCF to want with the Baltimore guys:

Again, even though I assured Alex that I would catch a homerun, I failed to catch a single homerun.

Kellan’s ice cream made him chilly…

….so he through on his sweatshirt and some baseball pants I had in my backpack.

Our new buddy Evan Meek was on the mound, but by the time I realized it and tried to get a picture of him in action, he got pulled before he got a chance to throw another pitch:

This was our view from out there in RCF:

As the game neared its end, we headed toward home plate where we watched the game, tied 2-2, move into extra innings…

…and we got a baseball from home plate umpire, Quinn Wolcott, after Nick Markakis hit a walk-off single.

Thanks, Mr. Wolcott!

Over by the O’s dugout, Rudy Arias tossed us one more baseball for good measure. Meanwhile, Adam Jones faked out everyone and…

…pied the Bird instead of Markakis. Ah, good times!

Before heading to our car, a nice usher took a picture of me and my two most favorite guys:

A great day of baseball all-around.

2014 Fan Stats
5 Games
7 Teams (Blue Jays, Mets, Phillies, Marlins, Braves, Orioles, Royals)
4 Stadiums (Stade Olympique, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field, Camden Yards)
36 Baseballs (Mets 5, Expos 2*, 7 Phillies, 6 Marlins, 2 Mets, 3 Braves, 2 Umpires, 6 Orioles, 2 Royals)* Olympic Stadium Staff
6 Commemoratives (2013 WBC 1, Angels 50th 2, Dodger Stadium 50th 1, 2011 All-Star, 2012 All-Star, Orioles 60th Anniversary)
3 Ice Cream Helmets (Phillies, 2 Orioles)
 

 

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