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.
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)…
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|
|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)|