Results tagged ‘ Baseball Roadtrip ’

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

    Baseball Roadtrip ’08, Day 1: Cardinals at Reds (8/15/08)

    Last August, I did an entry summarzing The (First Annual) Great Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Road Trip.  The purpose of doing so was to give some background and context for the Second Annual Roadtrip that took me, Tim and my dad through Chicago, Minnesota and Milwaukee in August 2009.  Those entries were just a combination of emails I sent to family members while we were on our first roadtrip.  Now, its time to do actual game updates for those four games.

    After I got off work on August 14, 2008, my dad (Jim), Tim and I packed into the car and drove to Washington, Pennsylvania where we spent the night at a KOA.   Over the next five days, we would visit Great American Ball Park in Cinncinati, the Louisville Slugger factory in Kentucky, Progessive Field in Cleveland, PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

    We woke up on the morning of August 15, 2008, and packed up our stuff to head to Great American Ball Park…

    1 - camping hacks.jpg…as my dad packed his stuff, Tim stomped around the campground exploring and hit some whiffle balls off of his Tee.

    I’d been watching the Reds on TV since Griffey was traded to Cincinnati, so I knew exactly where we had to go for dinner before the game…


    2 - skyline.jpg…Skyline Chili was right on the way as we walked from our hotel to the ball park.  If you like cheddar cheese, this is the place for you.

    Downtown Cinncinati slopes down toward the Ohio River, the Ohio-Kentucky border…

    3 - welcome to GrAm BP.jpg…and Great American Ball Park.

    Now, in the grand scheme of all of the new stadiums, I had heard that Great American Ball Park was nothing special.  But, you know what, I really liked it.  Its no Camden Yards or Safeco Field, but it had a special feel of its own.  In fact, I almost felt like it was a Major Leauge size minor league ball park.  That’s not meant to be insulting.  What I mean is that it sort fo felt *quaint* — maybe it was because we sat in the RF bleachers with the big steam boat nearby in CF and the river behind us.  Anyway, I liked it a lot.

    As we approached the main entrance of the ballpark, we found a statute of Ted Kluszewski and a big banner thanking Griffey for his 600th homerun…

    4 - kluszewski and griff.jpgTim monkeyed around in the grass between Griff and Kluszewski…

    5 - Kluszewski and Timski.jpg…and practiced his power stroke.

    Sixteen days before this game, Griffey was traded to the Chicago White Sox.  We’d planned to sit right behind him in RF.

    By the way, I didn’t write an entry about it because Tim wasn’t with me, but after missing seeing Griffey’s 600th homerun in Philadelphia, a buddy from high school and I saw Griff’s 601st homerun at Yankee Stadium during interleague play.

    With no Griffey in sight, I was all about seeing Albert Pujols do something special in this game.  As we entered the park, Albert was standing right there behind home plate speaking with Edinson Volquez…

    6 - pujols volquez.jpg

    …a few minutes later, Volquez walked into the Reds dugout just below me and Tim.  All I had on me was a cheap plasticy ball we bought on our way to play catch with on the trip.  Anyway, Volquez and some other unidentified Red signed it.

    We headed out to the seats in RF to watch some BP.  It was pretty packed out there.  Tim and I squeezed into the first row and my dad hung back a row or two behind.  We were having no luck.  Then, on what I think was the final pitch of BP, someone hit a ball off the wall right in front of us.  As it bounced off of the wall, all of the Cardinals started to run toward their dugout.  But reliever Chris Perez turned around to grab that ball.  He grabbed it and started running back toward the field.  Then everyone yelled at him.  He turned around.  The 20-something guy next to us and I both pointed at Tim.  Perez fired the ball over to us.

    Yes!

    It was the first ball Tim had got this season.

    With Tim’s new baseball in hand, we headed to the concourse behind 1B and made our way over the Reds Hall of Fame:

    7 - got a ball going to reds HOF.jpgAs Team Halls of Fame go, this one probably sets the standard.  It is excellent.

    Along the far end of the Reds HOF (closest to the outfield and Ohio River), there is a wall of 4,256 baseballs representing Pete Rose’s record-setting career hit total.

    8 - pete rose wall of balls.jpgThe balls cover the wall the entire way as you ascend three flights of stairs.  If you click on that picture to enlarge it, you will see that the balls are all game (or at least BP) used.  They are all dirty and scuffed with bat marks.  Its an excellent visual representation of Rose’s hit record.

    The Reds HOF is packed with jerseys, bats, gloves, and shoes with little descriptions of the Reds Hall of Famers.

    9 - griffey bench seaver foster.jpgI was happy to see a Ken Griffey, Sr. jersey in there.  I’m a big proponent of team Halls of Fame.  I think the Baseball Hall of Fame should be reserved for the super-elite, best of the best of the best of the best.  Some peopel refer to “inner circle” Hall of Famers.  To me, the “inner circle” should be the entire Hall of Fame.  If a player is borderline, if an “argument” mut be made for a player’s candidacy to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  I think that means that player is not a Hall of Famer.

    But that doesn’t mean there is no place for such players.  If a player can’t make the Baseball Hall of Fame after years on the ballot.  No problem, those players can still be remembered forever by the people to whom they were most important in their respective team’s hall of fame.  Anyway, those are my two cents.

    And anyone lucky enough to make it into the Reds HOF should be very pleased, indeed, this place is spectacular.

    Check out this great picture they have on the wall of the members of the Reds HOF:

    10 - Reds Hall of Famers.jpgDo you see Ken Griffey, Sr!  He’s almost right in the middle.  And he’s not just in the Reds HOF, we’ll see him again before the end of this entry.

    Like a Safeco Field, they have a fake wall where you can pretend to pick-off homeruns.  Unlike Safeco Field, the Reds offer a variety of gloves from past and present.  Check out the sweet piece of leather I picked in the picture below:

    11 - reds hof ooooold school glove picks hr.jpgHey, Ken Griffey, Jr. was represented in there as well…

    12 - george k griffey jr.jpg…they had a little kids club house type area with little lockers with little jerseys they could wear and slides and things to climb.  In another area, they had a mock *man cave* full of stuff the ultimate Reds fan my have in his den.  Check out this picture of Ken Griffey, Jr.  Notice anything odd?

    He signed it “George K. Griffey, Jr.”  I have never seen him do that before.

    Soon, it was game time.  I took this panaramic view from our seats in RF.

    13 - GrAm RF Panarama.jpgI bought these tickets literally the second they went on sale…in February or March or 2008…and the best they could give us in RF (where I was hoping Griffey might hit a homerun) was 3 rows from the top of the bleachers.


    In to top of the first, Pujols popped out.  But the Cards scored two runs on a homerun by Rick Ankiel.

    Then, in the bottom of the first, I got this picture just as Reds rookie Chris Dickerson hit his first career homerun.

    15 - chris dickersons 1st career homerun.jpg

    The ball landed in the Cardinals bullpen just below the glass partition to the left of the picture.

    After Dickerson’s homerun, I tried to zoom in for a picture of Albert Pujols, but this is the best my old camera could do:

    15a - Pujols.jpgNext, it was time to go get some ice cream helmets.  I headed out toward centerfield…

    16 - top of second.jpg…but didn’t find any cream helmets until I made it all the way around to behind home plate.  So I ended up doing a full loop of the ballpark.  I’m sure the wait made Tim appreciate the ice cream even more:

    17 - reds ice cream helmet.jpgI took this random shot of the LF seats and the scoreboard.

    18 - LF stands and scoreboard.jpgThe scoreboard seems sort of short, doesn’t it?  Its really wide, but not very tall at all.

    After we finished our ice cream, we headed back toward home plate because I saw some ballpark artwork I wanted to photograph while I had my hands full of ice cream helmets.  Here they are, two big mosaics of the .

    19 - Champion Bat and Big Red Machine.jpgAbove is the 1869 Red Stockings, which according to Wikipedia were the first “openly professional” baseball team.  Below, is the Big Red Machine from the 1970s…including short-time Mariner and father of a future Hall of Famer, Ken Griffey.

    Back to the game, in the top of the third, Pujols hit a ground rule double.  The first of two doubles and three total hits on the evening.  By the end of the third, a bulk of the scoring for the game was done.  The Cardinals were winning 4-2.  Each team would score only one more run.

    Late in the game, I ventured out in search of some pizza and took some more ballpark pictures.  Here is Great American Ball Park from foul territory in the LF corner.

    20 - view from LF foul corner.jpgOur seats are all the way across in the top corner of the RF bleachers.

    Here are two more pictures:

    21 - visitors bullpen and 3B concourse.jpgTo the right, a view of the extra wide concourse in foul territory down the 3B line.  To the left, a picture of the Cardinals bullpen.  Directly across the field I have circled in yellow the big open concourse pictured to the right.

    After taking that shot of the bullpen, I turned to the right at took two more pictures:

    22 - RF foul standing area.jpgTo the right, my dad in our seats up above the cardinals bullpen.  To the left, I backed up a bit and got a shot showing a little more of the standing room area down the RF line.

    And when we were over there, we ran into a local celebrity, Rosie Red…

    23 - Mr and Mrs Redlegs.jpg…I tried to also find Mr. Redlegs for a photo-op, but he was nowhere to be found.  The pictures to him above to the left are from earlier in the game.

    With one out in the bottom of the ninth, the Cardinals brought in Chris Perez.  He gave up one hit, but struck out two to secure the win for the Cards and the save for himself.

    After the game, they shooed us out of the OF seats.  He relocated into the infield seats, where I took a couple more random stadium shots…

    24 - views from infield.jpg…we got a group shot of the roadtrippers…

    25 - 3 Cooks at Great American Ball Park.jpg…and then we settled into the seats for Tim’s first firework show of his life…

    26 - tims first fireworks.jpg…it was an amazing firework show.  And an outstanding first day of our first roadtrip.

    Tim would fall asleep on my shoulders as we walked back to our hotel.

    1st Baseball Roadtrip Recap (2008)

    Tomorrow evening, Tim and I will fly to Chicago where we will meet up with my dad.  Its time for The (Second Annual) Great Cook Father-Son-Grandson Baseball Roadtrip of 2009.  I figured I’d share the story of our The (original) Great Cook Father-Son-Grandson Baseball Roadtrip of 2008 so you know the background of this grand tradition.

    I only started blogging about our baseball experiences this season.  Last season, I had to resort to traditional email updates to keep my wife and other family members up-to-date on our trip status.  Below, I have copied and pasted those email updates with just a few of the many pictures that were originally attached to the emails.  I hope you enjoy.

    This season, our Road Trip will take us from Wrigley to the HHH Metrodome to Miller Park and back to the south side of Chicago for a game at U.S. Cellular Field.  The last game of the Road Trip will mark an important milestone and I’m EXTREMELY excited to get this trip under way and rack up some awesome family baseball memories.

    So, here is the background I promised:

     

    [AUGUST 15, 2008]

    So we are in Washington, PA at our first night KOA. The drive went well
    last night. Tim got whiney right at the end when we took a wrong turn and
    got lost for a short time. Otherwise, he did great.
     
    1roadtrip1camping.jpgHe wasn’t too excited to sleep in the cabin at first, but he ended up having
    a great night and is really enjoying the campground. He thinks the red
    light on the fire alarm on the ceiling of the cabin is a ladybug and he
    talked about it at great length last night until 12:30 am when he finally
    went to bed.
     
    This morning he did some exploring and then hit some baseballs. Pa and I
    played catch in between Tim’s hacks at the tee.
     
    Next, we’re off to Cabela’s in West Virginia so Tim can check out some live
    fish and dead animals. Then its on to Cincinnati where we will be in a
    hotel. The Reds play the Cardinals tonight and I’m hoping Pujols hits 4
    homeruns.
     
    Here are some pictures.
     
    Next update tonight following the game.
     
    -Todd

     

    [AUGUST 16, 2008]

    Here are a ton of pictures from today. We arrived in Cincinnati around
    3pm. Hung out at our hotel a bit. Then we hit the streets and walked to
    “Skyline Chili” for dinner. I got the 5-ways Chili, Dad got 2 Cheese Coneys
    and cheese fries, and Tim got the kid’s cheese coney meal. You might notice
    in the pictures, there was some cheese involved. (note, I also got
    non-cheese fries).


    2-pacheesers.jpg 

    Then it was off to the game. As per usual, Tim’s cuteness secured him a ball.  This time, from Cardinals reliever Chris Perez, who would eventually
    earn a save in the game. We also got two autographs. Some dude, and Edison Volquez — a hot, up-and-coming pitcher for the Reds, you might have heard of him, he started the all-star game for the NL this season. [Note: At the time I wrote this, I was under the impression Volquez had been the starter, I’m not sure why.  I’m now aware Ben Sheets was the starter…I’m not sure why.]


    2-greatamoutside.jpg

    2-cinciballfromchrisperez.jpgWe then toured the Reds Hall of Fame, which is really cool. There is a lot
    to see and do in there. Including a pitching areas where you can pitch and
    someone can stick their head in a little window and call balls and strikes.

    Eventually, the game started. We had nice outfield seats. The stadium is
    nice. Seemed small and cozy. Tim and I had some great ice cream in Reds
    helmets. We did a lot of walking around and seeing all the ins-and-outs of
    the ball park.

    After the game (Cardinals won 5-3), they had a spectacular fireworkds show.
    I think it might have been Tim’s first. He loved it. The grande finale was
    one of the best i’ve seen.

    Then we walked back to the hotel. Tim fell asleep on my shoulders.
    More tomorrow…
    -Todd


    2-greatam3cooks.jpg
    2-greatamericanfromRF.jpg
    2-greatamOF.jpg
    2-greatamnight.jpg
    2-greatamfireworks.jpg 

    [AUGUST 16, 2008]

    Hi, Guys. Another great day on the baseball roadtrip. We woke up in
    3-batlumber.jpgCincinnati and got showered up. Tim had a fine day of brushing his teeth, started off with some quality morning brushing. After leaving the room and
    packing up the car, we headed to the free breakfast in the hotel. It hit
    the spot. Then it was just 100 mile drive to Louisville. Note, Cincinnati
    has some of the best this-way-to-the-freeway signage I’ve ever seen. There
    was a sign “To 75″ just as we exited our hotel and another one every block
    for the entire mile or two that we weaved around the city before getting on
    the freeway.
     
    3-signatures.jpgTim did great in the car on the way down, which made the drive nice.
    Louisville Slugger was excellent, even though Tim was not. Tim’s theatrics
    began during the factory tour because little ones are not allowed to sit on
    dad’s shoulders in the factory (although there was nothing low hanging that
    would have bonked tim’s head). so, he whined a bunch in the factory. I was
    suprised how small the factory is. They essentially make all MLB bats
    (about 40% of all bats used in the MLB) on one machine. It cranks them out
    at rate of 30 seconds per bat. Minor League bats are made on the other side
    of the factory.
     
    3-louisvilleorigins.jpgThe museum was really cool. The best item in there, in my book, was a bat
    Babe Ruth used the year he hit 60 homeruns. The Babe carved 21 notches
    around the label on the bat, one for each home run he hit with the bat
    before it broke. The bat is huge, as you can see in the picture when you
    compare it to the guy standing behind it.
     
    3-hitting.jpgThere was also a baseball diamon in one room. Tim loved it. They gave
    everyone mini-bats and Tim swung, swung, swung and ran, ran, ran (the bases)
    in that room. He had another melt down when we finally made him leave the
    room. Note, that room has a dugout, and Tim and I got an awesome picture
    acting like we are teammates at the top step waiting to hit.
     
    3-bighitter.jpgThey also have two batting cages in the museum. I took two rounds. One
    with Ty Cobbs bat. The heaviest bat ever. Let me tell you, you notice it
    at the plate! The second with a Jim Thome bat, which was designed by Edgar
    Martinez (the guy running the cage is a huge M’s fan and picked it out for
    me because of the Edgar connection). Dad took one round with the Hank Aaron
    bat. Again, Tim had a minor meltdown when not allowed to take any hacks in
    the cage.
     
    We all got personalized bats. Tim and mine are with us, but Dad’s is being
    mailed to Edmonds. I picked black bats with silver writing to look like
    Griff’s bat. I got them personalized to remember the roadtrip.


    3-bats.jpg

    Next, it was off to Brookville, OH (ten miles outside of Dayton). We’re now
    in our cabin at the KOA. Its a great KOA. Tim had an absolute blast. We
    arrived around 4:30. Tim played like crazy in the huge boat-shaped sand
    box. He played with tons of kids in the playset area. He sat on
    crazy-four-wheeler bikes you can rent. He played tons of gold with his new
    M’s golf set, even enlisting several neighorhooding campers (kids and
    adults) to golf and/or hit baseballs with him.
     
    3-ruthian.jpgWe capped off the night with Superman Ice cream (except dad has moose
    tracks, I think). Then it was more quality tooth brushing. Now, lil’
    Timmers is sleeping an Dad is off brushing his teeth.
     
    3-bbqing.jpgOh, I forgot to mention, we BBQ’d at the cabin for dinner. Excellent
    BBQ’ing by dad.
     
    Oh, I also forgot a great line from this morning. I was emailing in the
    hotel room and Tim said something to Pa. Then, Pa said to Tim, “No, your Pa
    has it.” And Tim got this big huge smile on his face like something really
    funny just happened and he says to me, “You’re Pa!? You’re Pa!?” It was
    quite funny.
     
    Anyway, that’s update no. 3. Please enjoy a ton of pictures below.
    -Todd

     

     [AUGUST 17, 2008]

    howdy, folks. so we find ourselves at the end of another great day. we
    woke up in Brookville, OH this morning at about 7:30. We got the car all
    packed up before Tim finally woke up. By 8am, we were on the road heading
    to Cleveland. Tim was, once again, excellent in the car. We pulled into
    Cleveland by about 11:30.


    4-dajake.jpg
    The game at Cleveland’s Progessive Field f/k/a Jacob’s Field was great. Our
    4-thejake.jpgseats were in foul territory down the third base line. The Indians were
    playing the Angels. I never really decided who i would root for, but when
    the Indians won, it was alright with me.
     
    Before the game, we toured the field by foot and then Tim and I shared some
    nachos while Dad had some red vines. Once the game started, Tim did a nice
    job sitting in the seats and allowing us to watch the game. However, by the
    fifth, Tim was quite ready for a nap and he decided to take it on my
    4-jakeconcourse.jpgshoulders. I ended up watching several innings standing at the top of the
    section behind the seats while Tim did his best job of tryng to break my
    neck supporting him while he napped.
     
    During Tim’s nap, I talked to a robust field attendant and a guy in the last
    row. The attendant mentioned that it was “kids run the bases” day and that
    kids would start lining up by the 7th inning to run a lap of the bases
    following the game. So, after his nap, Tim and I met back up with grandpa
    and we went and found the line. After the Indians won the game (and
    series), the long line started to snake its way through the bowels of
    Progressive Field. (I’m happy to report that it has been 19 days since the
    Indians’ last “lost time” on the job accident — or at least so read the
    sign beneath the field).
     
    4-jakeicecreamhelmet.jpgBecause Tim’s such a little whipper snapper, they let me run the bases with
    him. We had a blast. Here is the picture the Indian’s took for us to
    purchase:
    http://www.printroom.com/ViewGalleryPhoto.asp?evgroupid=0&userid=indians&tcount=62&scount=20&gallery_id=1229183&image_id=19
     
    4-jakefaces.jpg
    4-jakenap.jpgAfter the game, we collected the kid’s giveaway (they do it after the game
    for some reason), an Indians’ art set) and then we called Colleen to
    mapquest directions to our next KOA.
     
    We arrived in the Cleveland/Streetsboro KOA around 5pm. Its nice, but not
    as happening at the Brookville KOA (which, did we mention, won KOA’s
    4-firstsmoreever.jpgPresidential Award last year). We played in the kids’ play area, fed fish
    from the dock, BBQ’d and made Tim’s first smorse around his first campfire
    tonight. Tim had a blast and just finally got to bed.
     
    All in all, it was another excellent day of road tripping. Tomorrow, we’re
    off to Pittsburgh. See you then. In the meantime, check out these
    pictures.
     
    -Todd


    4-jake3bline.jpg
    4-jake325.jpg
    4-jakebases.jpg


    4-jakeplate.jpg

     
    4-jakesprinklers.jpg

     

    [AUGUST 18, 2008]

    howdy, folks. so we made it home this evening, but not before taking in
    5-clemente.jpganother great game on the roadtrip. we cruised a quick 100 miles into
    Pittsburgh, PA this morning for a 12:30 match-up between the Pirates and the
    visiting Mets. The teams decided against taking batting practice this
    morning so we wondered around the park before the game and ultimately ended
    up down the third base line where the Pirates’ pitchers were playing catch
    in pairs. the ball catching opportunities were slim, but we capitalized
    big-time. first, a Pirate pitcher (possibly someone-or-other Nelson) threw
    a ball to Pa. Then, Tim and I got Pa’s ball autographed by Matt Capps (DL).
    Next, Pa got our pitcher taken with Matt Capps.

    5-notclemente.jpg

    5-capps.jpgNext, Denny Bautista threw a ball to me and Tim. Then, Tim and I got it
    autographed by Sean Burnett (eventual winning pitcher on the day), Tyler
    Yates (relief pitcher today (pre-save)), and T.J. Beam. Finally, we capped
    off the session with a picture with Mr. Beam.
     
    Next, we walked around the park for a bit. We even visited the first water
    fountain Tim ever used (last September). The water fountain is doing well.
     
    We had a bite to eat before the game and Tim konked out on my shoulders, but
    let me switch him to a traditional baby-holding position. He slept through
    all the nachos!

    5-pnc3cooks.jpg
    After his nap, we got some mint chocolate chip ice cream in Pirates’
    helmets. While Tim ate his (with sprinkles) sitting under our seats, a nice
    5-bigscreen.jpgcamera man found us and broadcast Tim for about 10-15 seconds on the jumbo
    tv screen in the park. It was actually our second time getting media
    coverage on the day. Earlier, we had our text message about the roadtrip
    put up on the scoreboard between the first and second levels.
     
    Our seats in the OF were excellent. But, due to the heat, we eventually
    relocated to the handicap accessible seats under the right field seats. It
    had an excellent breeze that made the end of the exciting game even better.
     
    5-pnctouring.jpgAfter the game, we took a leisurely 250 mile drive back to Reading where
    mommy was waiting to greet and hug us.
     
    Its been a truly great baseball roadtrip. Although I have to work in the
    day tomorrow, the roadtrip continues tomorrow evening with a Phils vs. Nats
    game in Philadelphia. Should be more of the same — fun, fun, fun.
     
    See pictures attached.
     
    -Todd

     

     [AUGUST 19, 2008]

    Well, here is the final update for the big baseball roadtrip. I was back to
    work today before taking off early to head down to the Phillies/Nationals
    game. It was nice to be back in the car and on the road again after a hard
    days work.
     

    6-citzseats.jpgThe Phils pulled out a much needed come from behind win. They never led
    until one out in the bottom of the eighth. Then they brought in Brad Lidge
    and he sealed the deal.
     
    I didn’t expect a big crowd so I hadn’t pre-ordered tickets. When we
    arrived all they had left was obstructed view and standing room tickets. We
    opted for obstructed view. And, you know what? You can’t see very well
    through a big yellow foul pole.
     
    6-foulpoleseating.jpgAfter a couple innings behind the pole, we hit the bricks. We walked down
    to the team store and then got something to eat. Pa and I got “Schmidters”
    and Tim got the biggest chocolate soft serve with sprinkles ever to be
    served in the mini-Phillies helmet.
     
    Tim started complaining about the wind in the stadium and saying he wanted
    to go home. So we put on his sweatshirt and walked some more. Eventually,
    we found a landing above the left field seats and below the jumbo screen.
    There was a sectioned off handicap area with one on in it. Tim went in and
    claimed it as his playground. When a guard came to kick him out, a bunch of
    guys yelled at her “LET HIM PLAY!!! LET HIM PLAY!!!” So she caved to the
    6-icecreammania.jpgcrowd-pressure. Tim played the rest of the game in there and eventually
    made fast friends with his would-be ejector. She ended up giving him a
    Phillies hat and trying continuously to get him on the jumbo screen to no
    avail. He really entertained in there and by the end of the game, he no
    longer wanted to go home.
     
    It was a nice game to end an excellent baseball roadtrip. Here are a few
    pictures from tonight.
     
    Thanks for staying tuned,
    Todd

     


    6-citz3cooks.jpg

    And that, in a nutshell, was the First Annual Great Cook Father-Son-Grandson Baseball Roadtrip of 2008.  I asked my dad to come out and take this trip with us because I wanted to go to the Louisville Slugger factory.  We built the rest of the trip around that.  By the time we got back to the hotel room in Cincinnati after the first game, we decided the trip had to be an annual thing.

    Let the Second Installment begin!

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