Results tagged ‘ Cook & Son Bats ’

Milestone Achieved (8-17-2009)

trophy.jpg

Today was a big day for Tim; a milestone day.  Therefore, I have two entries for today.  This one is the milestone entry.  I’m still working on the entries for our games at the Metrodome, Miller Park and U.S. Cellular Field, but they will all be coming soon.

Before Tim was born, I hand made a hard back, leather bound book for him that I called the “Baseball Log.”  I use the Baseball Log to track all of Tim’s baseball adventures.  Therefore, coming into this season, I knew that there were only 11 teams that Tim had not yet seen play in person.  I made it one of our goals for the season.  Today, at age 3-and-a-half, Tim checked the final team, the Royals, off of the list.

Milestone Acheived.

On our 30 team quest, we attended 46 games and visited 17 major league stadiums.  This entry gives a glimpse into Tim’s journey around the MLB circuit.

Division-by-Division

Division-by-division, we’ll start by reviewing the dates of Tim’s first game with each team:

A.L. West                               A.L. Central                           A.L. East

Mariners (9-12-06)                  Twins (8-14-07)                      Blue Jays (9-12-06)

Angles (8-17-08)                     Indians (7-19-08)                    Orioles (8-9-07)

Athletics (5-1-09)                    White Sox (8-27-08)               Yankees (9-3-07)

Rangers (5-4-09)                     Tigers (5-31-09)                      Rays (4-12-09)

                                                Royals (8-17-09)                     Red Sox (7-3-09)

 

N.L. West                               N.L. Central                          N.L. East

Rockies (9-12-07)                   Pirates (9-27-07)                     Phillies (6-30-07)

Giants (5-2-08)                        Cardinals (9-27-07)                 Mets (6-30-07)

Diamondbacks (9-12-08)        Cubs (4-11-08)                        Marlins (9-9-07)

Padres (4-19-09)                     Reds (6-2-08)                          Nationals (8-19-08)

Dodgers (5-13-09)                  Brewers (8-16-09)                   Braves (5-8-09)

Astros (8-16-09)

 

As you can see, we closed out the A.L. West first, followed by the N.L. East.  This makes a lot of sense since we are Mariners fans but we live an hour outside of Philadelphia.  We then flip-flopped the leagues, and closed out the N.L. West followed by the A.L. East.  Finally, on our current road trip, we closed out the N.L. Central on Monday, and the A.L. Central today.

 

Game Pictures

 

Let’s check out some pictures — all 46 of Tim’s games to date (plus one 5+ hour rain out with no game) in order:

Game 1 - 9-12-06 - Blue Jays at Mariners.jpg
Game 2 - 6-30-07 - Mets at Phillies.jpg
Game 3 - 8-9-07 - Mariners at Orioles.jpg
Game 4 - 8-14-07 - Twins at Mariners.jpg

Game 5 - 8-15-07 - Twins at Mariners.jpg
Game 6 - 9-3-07 - Mariners at Yankees.jpg

Game 7 - 9-9-07 - Marlins at Phillies.jpg
Game 8 - 9-12-07 - Rockies at Phillies.jpg
Game 9 - 9-29-07 - Cardinals at Pirates.jpg
Game 10 - 4-6-08 - Mariners at Orioles.jpg
Game 11 - 4-11-08 - Cubs at Phillies.jpg
Game 12 - 5-2-08 - Giants at Phillies.jpg
Game 13 - 6-2-08 - Reds at Phillies.jpg
Game 14 - 7-19-08 - Indians at Mariners.jpg
Game 15 - 8-15-08 - Cardinals at Reds.jpg
Game 16 - 8-17-08 - Angles at Indians.jpg
Game 17 - 8-18-08 - Mets at Pirates.jpg
Game 18 - 8-19-08 - Nationals at Phillies.jpg
Game 19 - 8-27-08 - White Sox at Orioles.jpg
Game 20 - 9-7-08 - Phillies at Mets.jpg
Game 21 - 9-12-08 - Reds at Diamondbacks.jpg
Game 22 - 4-12-09 - Rays at Orioles.jpg
Game 23 - 4-19-09 - Padres at Phillies.jpg
Game 24 - 4-25-09 - Nationals at Mets.jpg
Game 25 - 5-1-09 - Athletics at Mariners.jpg
Game 26 - 5-2-09 - Athletics at Mariners.jpg
Game 27 - 5-3-09 - Athletics at Mariners.jpg
Game 28 - 5-4-09 - Rangers at Mariners.jpg
Game 29 - 5-5-09 - Rangers at Mariners.jpg
Game 30 - 5-8-09 - Braves at Phillies.jpg
Game 31 - 5-13-09 - Dodgers at Phillies.jpg
Game 32 - 5-17-09 - Phillies at Nationals.jpg
Game 33 - 5-31-09 - Tigers at Orioles.jpg
Game 34-1 - 6-3-09 - Giants at Nationals - Rainout.jpg
Game 34-2 - 6-10-09 - Mariners at Orioles.jpg
Game 35 - 6-28-09 - Nationals at Orioles.jpg
Game 36 - 7-2-09 - Mariners at Yankees.jpg
Game 37 - 7-3-09 - Mariners at Red Sox.jpg
Game 38 - 7-4-09 - Mariners at Red Sox.jpg
Game 39 - 7-5-09 - Mariners at Red Sox.jpgGame 40 - 7-19-09 - Cubs at Nationals.jpg
Game 41 - 7-24-09 - Cardinals at Phillies.jpg

Game 42 - 8-9-09 - Marlins at Phillies.jpg
Game 43 - 8-14-09 - Pirates at Cubs.jpg
Game 44 - 8-15-09 - Indians at Twins.jpg
Game 45 - 8-16-09 - Astros at Brewers.jpg
Game 46 - 8-17-09 - Royals at White Sox.jpg

Games Log

 Let’s take a closer look at those games.  In the following list of games, when a Team Name is in Bold/Italics it denotes the first game in which Tim saw that particular team play in person.  When a Team Name is underlined it denotes that team won the game.  I figured identifying the game winners is enough, so I didn’t include the scores.  However, I am including some game notes — such as homeruns, batting results by our favorite players or all-stars, etc.  

1. Blue Jays at Mariners (9-12-06) – Ichiro 1-5, HR (Beltre, Ibanez, Wells), 2 Balls

2. Mets at Phillies (6-30-07) – HR – Howard, Beltran (2)

3. Mariners at Orioles (8-9-07) – Ichiro 3-6; HR – Miguel Tejada, Jose Guillen

4. Twins at Mariners (8-14-07) – Ichiro 1-4

5. Twins at Mariners (8-15-07) – Ichiro 2-4, 2SB; HR – Ibanez, Torii Hunter

6. Mariners at Yankees (9-3-07) – Ichiro 3-5, HR; W – Felix; L – Clemens (final loss)

7. Marlins at Phillies (9-9-07) – Burrell 2-4, HR; Carlos Ruiz 3-4, HR; Rollins 2-5

8. Rockies at Phillies (9-12-07) – Dobbs-Utley 3-Play; HR – M. Holliday; Helton 3-4

9. Cardinals at Pirates (9-27-07) – Pujols 3-5, 2B; Rick Ankiel 3-4, HR, 3RBI

10. Mariners at Orioles (4-6-08) – Ichiro 1-4; Ibanez 3-4, HR

11. Cubs at Phillies (4-11-08) – Pat Burrell 2-4, HR; Alfonso Soriano 1-4, HR

12. Giants at Phillies (5-2-08) – Chase Utley 2-3; Pat Burrell – walk off HR

13. Reds at Phillies (6-2-08) – Chase Utley 3-4, HR, 2RBI; Jay Bruce 2-4, HR

14. Indians at Mariners (7-19-08) – Ichiro 2-4, HR, 2RBI with outfield assist

15. Cardinals at Reds (8-15-08) – Pujols 3-5; Ankiel HR; Chris Dickerson 1st HR

16. Angles at Indians (8-17-08) – F. Gutierrez 3-3, 2RBI; Texiera 2-4; Sizemore 2-5

17. Mets at Pirates (8-18-08) – Adam LaRoche 2-3, HR, 2RBI

18. Nationals at Phillies (8-19-08) – HR – Jayson Werth, Willie Harris; R. Belliard 4-4

19. White Sox at Orioles (8-27-08) – Griffey 0-1, 3BB; HR: Dye, Millar, Huff, Konerko

20. Phillies at Mets (9-7-08) – W – Moyer (243); L – Pedro Martinez; HR – G. Dobbs

21. Reds at Diamondbacks (9-12-08) – Webb – 20th Win, 8IP, 5H, O ER, 2K

22. Rays at Orioles (4-12-09) – HR – Longoria, C. Pena, J. Bartlett, B. Zobrist

23. Padres at Phillies (4-19-09) – Ibanez – 2-4, HR; HR – Rollins, Utley, A. Gonzalez

24. Nationals at Mets (4-25-09) – C. Beltran 3-5, SB; R. Zimmerman 2-5

25. Athletics at Mariners (5-1-09) – Ichiro 1-5; HR – Gutierrez, Branyan, Holliday

26. Athletics at Mariners (5-2-09) – Ichiro 2-5; HR – Branyan; Giambi 2-4, 2RBI

27. Athletics at Mariners (5-3-09) – Ichiro 2-7; HR – Johjima, M. Sweeney (200)

28. Rangers at Mariners (5-4-09) – Ichiro 1-5; HR – Gutierrez, Branyan, Young, Davis

29. Rangers at Mariners (5-5-09) – Ichiro 0-2, 2BB; HR – Saltalamacchia, Nelson Cruz

30. Braves at Phillies (5-8-09) – HR – Coste, Werth, Utley; W – Hamels

31. Dodgers at Phillies (5-13-09) – HR – Ibanez, Rollins, Casey Blake, James Loney

32. Phillies at Nationals (5-17-09) – Sergio Escalona – 1st Career Win; Rollins 2-4;

33. Tigers at Orioles (5-31-09) – Curtis Granderson HR; W – Edwin Jackson 8 IP, 2H

34a. Giants at Nationals (6-3-09) – Rainout – R. Johnson sch’d to pitch for 300th Win.

34. Mariners at Orioles (6-10-09) – Ichiro 1-3; Jose Lopez 2HR; W – F. Hernandez

35. Nationals at Orioles (6-28-09) – HR – Dunn (Eutaw St.); Willie Harris 3-4, HR

36. Mariners at Yankees (7-2-09) – Ichiro 2-4; HR – Branyan, Gutierrez; L – Sabbathia

37. Mariners at Red Sox (7-3-09) – Ichiro 1-5; HR – R. Cedeno, Drew, Kottaras (1st)

38. Mariners at Red Sox (7-4-09) – Ichiro 1-5; HR – Jason Varitek; S – Aardsma

39. Mariners at Red Sox (7-5-09) – Griffey 1-1; Ichiro 1-5; HR- Ortiz, Pedroia, Ellsbury

40. Cubs at Nationals (7-19-09) – HR – Alfonso Soriano, Adam Dunn, Jake Fox

41. Cardinals at Phillies (7-24-09) – W – Joel Piniero, M. Holliday 4-5; HR – J. Lugo

42. Marlins at Phillies (8-9-09) – Moyer – 2ER, but loss.  Victorino ejected from CF.

43. Pirates at Cubs (8-14-09) – Cubs score 10 runs in 2nd inning. HR – Fukudome.

44. Indians at Twins (8-15-09) – HR – Sizemore, Mauer, Choo

45. Astros at Brewers (8-16-09) - HR – Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.

46. Royals at White Sox (8-17-09) - HR – Yuni Betancourt, Jacobs, Pierzynski, Nix.

 

Ice Cream Helmets & Baseballs 

 

Tim and I have collected a lot of memories as we’ve made the rounds of the MLB.  But memories aren’t all we have collected.  We’ve also amassed a few MLB baseballs and a bunch of ice cream helmets.  Click here for a little article about our baseball collecting.  Pictured below are our baseballs and ice cream helmets:

helmets and balls.JPG

helmets and balls part 2.jpg
 
It has been a great trip around the MLB so far.  Now, we’ll have to start working on the next milestone — maybe every MLB stadium.

Thanks for joining us for this ride this season.  Don’t forget to check out all of our reports from The (Second Annual) Great Cook Father-Son-Grandson Road Trip of 2009, three of which are still to come in the next couple days:

  •  
    Pirates at Cubs (8-14-09)
  • Indians at Twins (8-15-09) – coming soon.
  • Astros at Brewers (8-16-09) - coming soon.
  • Royals at White Sox (8-17-09) - coming soon.

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! (8-14-09)

August 14, 2009 – Let the road tripping begin!

On Thursday night, August 13th, Tim and I flew to Chicago to meet up with my dad for The (Second Annual) Great Cook Father-Son-Grandson Road Trip of 2009.  The Plan:  four days, four stadiums.  It all started with the Pirates vs. the Cubs at Wrigley Field.  So let’s get to it.

1 - cubs sign from sheffield.jpg

We parked for free on Sheffield Street about one block passed the CF enterance.  This Cubs sign on the back of the CF Bleachers greeted us as we walked down Sheffield.  Coincidentally, Tim brought his teddy bear with him.  Teddy is a young bear, also known as a Cub.

This was essentially our first view of Wrigley once we entered the stadium (I say essentially because, obviously, we had to walk down to the front row before I took this…and I didn’t have my eyes closed during that walk):

2 - wrigley first view LF panaramic.jpg

I found it interesting that Sweet Lou Piniella (accompanied by first base coach Matt Sinatro) watched batting practice from LF:


3 - sweet lou and sinatro.jpg

Sinatro and Sweet Lou have been together, at least, since Lou was the Mariners manager and Sinatro was out back-up back-stop.  By the way, back in 1991, Sinatro gave me his broken bat at Mariners spring training.  I glued it back together and its as good as new.  Its a beautiful Louisville Slugger that is perfectly balanced and shows a lot of use.

Next, we headed behind home plate, where I took this:


5 - wrigley plate panaramic.jpg

The lady to the left is standing at the cross aisle.  They don’t let you below that cross aisle unless you have tickets down there.  I’m not a huge fan of that rule.

See those Pirates warming up to the right?  We went and stood in the cross aisle behind them.  Eventually, former Mariner Ronny Cedeno joined them.  I yelled out to Ronny and he gave me and Tim a wave.  He tried to take a ball from a coach with the supposed intention of throwing it to us, but the coach needed it for hitting fungo to the infielders…including to Cedeno.

Tim was too warm down by the dugout, so he asked if we could head up the rows to the shady seats.  Here is where we landed, section 226:


6 - section 226 lounging.jpg

And here is the view from section 226:


8 - wrigley sec. 226 panaramic.jpg

And here is what Tim did after watching a few minutes of BP (notice any differences between the two pictures?):


7 - coloring shade ball.jpg

In case you missed it, the difference is that Tim has a baseball in the second picture.  Here is how that happened:


9 - cedeno toss up.jpg

First, my dad met up with me and Tim at our section 226 coloring location.  My dad stayed with Tim and I went back down behind the Pirates.  By this time, Cedeno had taken a bunch of balls at short stop, gone into the clubhouse for a bit, and come back out ready to take some hacks.

In the top left picture, you can see there is a ball behind the cage about 10 feet to Cedeno’s left.  As Cedeno was hitting, I noticed that ball.  After he hit, he ran the bases once and returned to his spot behind the cage.  I yelled out his name again and he looked back to me.  I pointed to the ball.  He (i) looked over and noticed it, (ii) walked over and grabbed it and (iii) fired a perfect strike to my glove.

“Thanks, Ronny!”

A few minutes later, Ronny started signing autographs for those lucky fans with tickets below the cross aisle.  We wanted that ball signed!  Tim was with me at this point.  We saw one of the ushers leave her post so she could take a picture of some people behind the Cubs dugout.  This was my chance!  Tim and I bolted through her unguarded post.  We walked down 2-3 rows and then cut across the row so we wouldn’t walk by the photo-taking guard.  We then cut down the next aisle and found our way over to Ronny.

This was the result:


17 - wrigley sec. 235 auto panaramic.jpg

By the way, that picture is taken from our seats at Section 235, Row 11, Seats 4-6.  And, yes, I had absolutely no view of second base.  We were actually fine with it.  We could see the batters and the obstruction made double plays more interesting because we had to wait to see if and when the ball would come flying from behind the post on its way to first base.

I also got this picture of Tim and me after getting Cedeno’s autograph:


10 - dugout sneak in.jpg

By the way, the look on Tim’s face here is signaling the onset of massive tiredness.

After I took this picture, we left the section and walked by the guard we’d bypassed, as we passed she jokingly to me, “You snuck by me!”  I gave her the most sincere, “sorry!” I could muster.

And just like that, it was time to wander and take some stadium pictures, like this…


11 - wrigley upper home panaramic.jpg

…and this…


13 - wrigley upper LF panaramic.jpg

…and this…


12 - wrigley upper RF panaramic.jpg

…and this one featuring my road buddies…


14 - holding tim upper RF.jpg

…and these…


19 - concourses et al.jpgNext it was time to grab some food and take out seats:


16 - food time.JPG

I went for the traditional Chicago Dog (so did my dad) and Tim went with fries with *dip* (that’s what Tim calls ketchup).  Most of Tim’s dip would eventually find its way to his clothing, most notably his shorts.  He also managed to let some of his dip migrate to my shorts as well.

Before the game, a bunch of military parachuters jumped into Wrigley:


18 - skydivers and fighter jets.jpg

…then some jet fighters did a fly by after the national anthem.  They continued to do unannounced fly bys for the rest of the game, much to the delight of the Wrigley-crowd.

Finally, it was time for some baseball.  Fresh off of their trade line fire sale, the Pirates’ glorified minor league line-up couldn’t do much at the plate:


21 - action1.jpg

I can’t remember who that is at top, but he’s grounding out in that picture.  Below, Lastings Milledge is fouling a ball off.

The Cubs, on the other hand, didn’t have much trouble at the plate:

 


20 - action4.jpg

Okay, so I snuck Ronny Cedeno into that picture.  I have to give him his face time, since he hooked us up with the ball and autograph.   Next to him, Derek Lee makes contact with the ball (foul) before eventually walking.  And Jake Fox swings at a ball that would eventually turn into a two run double.  In the second inning, the Cubs hung a 10-spot on the Pirates:


22 - ten spot.JPG….

The inning was pretty crazy.  It went like this:

  • Hill tripled
  • Wells walked
  • Theriot singled (Hill scored)
  • Fuld singled
  • D. Lee walked (Wells scored)
  • Fox doubled (Theriot and Fuld scored)
  • Fukudome walked
  • Soriano singled (Lee scored)
  • Baker singled (Fox and Fukudome scored)
  • Hill struck out
  • Wells singled (Soriano scored)
  • Theriot popped out
  • Fuld hit-by-pitch
  • Lee doubled (Baker and Wells scored)
  • Fox struck out<br>
  •  

    All of the scoring was very entertaining for my dad, me, Tim and his new give-away Cubs Dora the Explorer stuffed doll:


    23 - dora.jpg

    As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t really mind the beam obstructing our view of second base.  What I could have lived without, however, was a human obstruction that spent about 3 innings of the game standing directly in front of us:


    24 - jack salazar at bat.jpg

    This picture is actually of Pirates Jack Salazar at the plate.  Its a little hard to see him through our Old Style delivery man.  The lady in the Cubs jersey talking to him stood up a lot while ordering beers, so did the guy in the glasses and his buddy (back of the head guy).  It was as if these folks had never heard of sitting down and ordering.  Its not too tricky of a concept.  In the picture to the left, that guy stood right there selling beers to the beer lovers all around us for an entire half inning of Pirates batting.  It was ridiculous.  To the right, this is one of the 50,000 beers we passed down the aisle in exchange for the $247,000 we passed the other way.  (Notice, the beer recipient in the picture to the right is also standing (during the middle of the inning)).  Bottom line:  the sluggish economy isn’t hurting beer sales at Wrigley Field.

    We decided it was time for some ice cream helmets

    We went to the first line.  I couldn’t see any ice cream helmets.  Then a guy walked up and said to his buddy that he could go for some ice cream.  I asked him if they had ice cream helmets.  He said they did, and that he has got ice cream helmets at a couple stadiums.  I said we had too, and we compared ice cream helmet stats.  Not to be boastful, but he was a novice ice cream helmeter.

    When we got to the front of the line, I asked for two chocolote ice cream helmets and the lady replied, “Our ice cream isn’t ready yet.”  Huh?  Okay.  She pointed us to another stand.

    My line-mates and I relocated to that food stand.  While waiting in line, I noticed something…


    25 - ice cream line.jpgTim’s lights were out.  He was in a deep sleep.

    I ordered our ice cream helmets — I decided this time to get myself a twist.  When the lady handed it to me, she yelled to the crowd, “TWIST ISN’T FROZEN!”  Two seconds later, “CHOCOLATE ISN’T FROZEN!”  Another lady working there, “ICE CREAM ISN’T FROZEN!”

    So, I headed back to the seats with two soupy ice cream helmets in a tray in my left hand, a megahuge diet coke in my right hand, and a sleeping boy on my shoulders.  Two steps out of the line, a guy lunged at me, tapped my shoulder and yelled, “HE’S TOTALLY ASLEEEEEEEEP!!”  He thought I didn’t know and Tim was going to fall off.  But I’m a sleeping Tim on the shoulders pro.  I thanked him but said we were good to go.  It was the first of many comments on the walk back to section 235.

    And then grandpa and I enjoyed the ice cream soup as Tim slept..


    26 - sleeping ice cream helmets.jpg…and slept and…


    27 - grandpas shoulder.jpg

    …slept some more.  That’s what happens when Tim doesn’t nap before a game.

    He missed some of this action:


    29 - action3.jpg

    Due to all of the baseball the last few days and my lack of a connection with most of the Cubs and Pirates, I can’t really remember what happened on all of these at bats.  But I know that several action shots I took resulted in singles.  No doubles or home runs.  And several resulted in ground outs or fly ball outs.  I’m pretty sure the top picture here (which shows the actual contact of the bat and ball) resulted in a hit, but don’t hold me to that.  (NOTE:  Click to see pictures larger).

    He missed all of this too:


    28 - action2.jpgI believe that top picture is Mike Fontenot, it resulted in a long fly out to RF.

    In the bottom two pictures, the batters hit grounders.  In the middle picture, you can see the dirt flying up where the ball landed.  In the bottom picture, you can see the ball bouncing in the dirt.


    30 - tired but awake.JPG

    Look who woke up!  His first words, “I’m ready for my ice cream now.”

    So you’re probably seen on ESPN some celebrity leading the crowd in “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” at Wrigley, our celeb singer was Jeremy “The Piv” Piven — Chicago native.  He also threw out the first pitch:


    31 - the piv.jpg

    Interestingly, at the last game Tim and I went to with my dad, Mark Walberg threw out the first pitch — of course, both The Piv and Marky Mark are associated with the hit show, Entourage (a show I have never seen).

    Here is a panaramic from the bottom of section 235, where I took a picture of The Piv singing:


    32 - wrigley RF foul panaramic.jpg

    Guess who won?  The Cubs — 17-2!

    After the game, we got our official Road Trip game picture by the field:


    33 - 3 cooks at wrigley.jpg

    The usher who took this photo thanked us for visiting Wrigley and gave us directions on how to get out to the bleachers so we could take some pictures.  “Thanks, sir.”

    Hey, by the way, did you notice that all of the NL Division Standings flags in CF are gone and they are replaced by a single “W” flag.  That’s cool.  I like it.

    Bleacher photos, here we go:


    34 - CF bleachers.JPG

    And here is the view from the bleachers:


    34a - wrigley CF bleachers panaramic.jpg

    Below the CF bleachers, there is a spiral walkway to the sidewalk level.  Here is a photo from the bottom of the walkway:


    35 - wrigley CF concourse exit panaramic.jpg

    When we left, I realized we didn’t get a picture of the famous Wrigley Field sign, so we walked around the stadium to get a shot of it.  On the way, we passed a ton of people standing at the fence of the players parking lot:


    36 - wrigley outside LF panaramic.jpg

    Here is the photo with the sign:


    37 - wrigley sign.JPG

    Unfortunately, this is the best picture we could manage out by the sign.  The guy in the blue shirt behind us took a picture with all of us in it, and it didn’t turn out.  But just imagine my dad standing next to us!

    Finally, we hit the road.  It was time to start the long drive to Minnesota to see the Indians vs. Twins.

    We stopped by the McDonald’s next to Wrigley and got a McFlurry that I scooped into Tim’s Cubs ice cream helmet…

    38 - roadtrippin day 1.JPG

    Tim enjoyed his ice cream helmet in the car and then helped my dad navigate on the drive to Wisconsin Dells — the Water Park Capital of the World — where we camped out at a KOA for the night.

    Day 1 of the Road Trip:  a complete success!

     

    Season Fan Stats:

    22 Games (plus one 5+ hour rain out with no game)
    8 Stadiums
    (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field, Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field)
    18 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Mets, Nationals, Cubs,
    Braves, Padres, Dodgers, Cardinals Marlins, and Pirates– and sort of the Giants)
    18 Ice Cream Helmets (Mariners (4), Phillies (5), Mets, Nationals (3), Red Sox (3), Yankees and Cubs)
    19 Baseballs (12 Mariners, 2 Rangers, 1 Phillies, 1 Red Sox, 1 Umpire, 1 Nationals, 1 Pirates) 
    4 Divisions Closed Out (So far in Tim’s Life — AL West, AL East, NL West, NL East)
     
    4 Autographs (King Felix Hernandez, Jason Phillips, Ronny Cedeno, Ryan Perry) 
    2 Player/G.M. Photographs (King Felix Hernandez, Jack Zduriencik, Ryan Perry)
     
    5 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose (2), Orioles Bird (2), 3 Presidents (Nats), Screech (Nats) — Honorable Mention: The Green Monster statue bench)

    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!

    Jamie Moyer and the Marlins (8-9-09)

    On Sunday, August 9, 2009, Tim and I made our way down to Citizens Bank Park to watch the Phillies and, more importantly, Jamie Moyer face off against the Florida Marlins.  This wasn’t a game I’d originally planned to attend.  However, I ended up buying tickets to all three Dodgers games back in May before finally deciding on attending the Wednesday, May 13, 2009 game.  I was told I could exchange my extra tickets for certain games — this seemed like the best trade-in option.  I was pleasantly surprised when Cliff Lee joined the Phillies and they shifted the pitching rotation so Jamie Moyer would start this game.

    I’m always a little let down if we go to a Phillies game and someone else is pitching.  So I was very excited when I learned Moyer would start this game instead of J. Happ.

    For possibly the first time ever in Philadelphia, we arrived early to the game!  The teams weren’t taking BP, but I was happy to learn that it was Phillies alumni weekend and they were about to start an alumni hitting challenge.

    There were three teams of two — here are all of them but except Ricky Bottalico:

    1 - alumni challenge hitters.jpg
    3a - phanatic fish net.jpgTop left, Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams.  He actually put some decent swings on the ball.

    Top middle, some dude.  They said he was one of the heros of the 1980 World Series team.   I reviewed the 1980 line-up and none of the names jumped out at me.  So I’m sorry, I have no clue who that is.  He hit a few hot line drives that almost had HR distrance but went foul.

    Bottom left, Jim Eisenreich.  Not too shabby.  But nothing to write home about.

    Bottom middle, Milt Thompson.  He’s the Phillies current hitting coach so you’d want him to blast mammoth bombs…or maybe just hit solid base hits.  Okay, i guess he did a good job of the latter.  But no mammoth bombs.

    Right, Ricky Jordan.  The hitting star of the challenge.  He hit two bombs to LF.  One landed about 8 rows back and bounced all the way passed the cross aisle at the top of the section.  The second was caught on the fly by a fan in the first row.  These were the only HRs of the hitting challenge.

    The team of Ricky and Ricky won the challenge on the strength of the Jordan bombs.

    By the way, the Phanatic made a sweet diving catch with hit fish net on a hard liner to right-CF.  He got a huge ovation from the fans.  Unlike Tommy Lasorda, folks in Philadelphia (including me and Tim) love them some Phillies Phanatic.

    We’ve never been to BP in Philadelphia before.  So it would nice to *sorta* see BP at Citizens Bank Park.  It was the first time we’d ever been able to hang out in the LF seats because they guard it like its made outta solid gold during games.

    We had some fun watching the challenge out there:

    2 - tim alumni challenge.jpg

    By the way, check out Tim’s give-away Ryan Howard trucker cap.  Not too shabby.  He liked it.

    Both of the Ricky Jordan HRs came near us, but we didn’t have a play on either.

    After the home run challenge, it was time to take a lot of pictures.  I decided my main focus would be my main man in Philadelphia, Jamie Moyer.

    By the way, during the game, one of my friends and colleagues called my cellphone to inform me that Tim and I were on TV during the pre-game broadcast.  Apparently, it was about a 5-second shot of Tim sitting on my shoulders while I took pictures (and/or fidgeted with my wife’s camera).  One reader commented on my last entry noting that he also saw us.  Too bad I have Directv and therefore almost no Phillies games on TV, otherwise I might have DVR’d the game.

    Oh, well.  Let’s take a photographic tour of the pre-game rituals of Mr. Moyer.

    The game was a 1:35 start.  As shown below, at around 12:45, Moyer and catcher Paul Bako were among the only Phillies in the dugout:

    3 - moyer dugout.jpg

    Is it just me, or is Moyer watching me and Tim in that first picture?  Also, note all of the cool bat knobs in the second picture.  I love wood bats.

    After a while, Bako made his way toward the bullpen and I took these shots for a panaramic (we were standing at the end of the Phillies dugout at the time):

    4 - citz 1b field panaramic.jpg

    About 20 seconds later, Moyer started walking the to the bullpen as well.  The crowd gave him a lot of nice comments as he made his way.  Although the fans in Philadelphia can be rude and ridiculous, I’ve found that they also can be really great.  They appreciate someone who done things right.  And they showed some love for Moyer as he walked to the bullpen.

    I was similarly impressed by Philadelphia’s fans last season when Ken Griffey, Jr. played a four-game set in Philadelphia while sitting on 599 homeruns.  I went to three of those games (Tim joined me for one), and the fans were outstanding.  Griff pinch hit in two of the games at times when a homerun would have been devastating to the Phillies, and the entire stadium stood for his at bats, and people were really pulling for him to make history.

    Anyway, here is Moyer following Bako out to the bullpen:

    5 - moyer bako to pen.jpg

    Bako practiced his squating while Moyer ran some sprints from CF to RF:

    6 - moyer running.jpg

    After running and stretching, Moyer grabbed two balls out of this glove and popped a squat behind Bako:

    7b - meditation.JPG

    I got the feeling  he was praying.  He sat there for a little while before hopping up to play catch with Bako.

    I used this time to take some pictures of the OF wall in RF and CF.

    7 - OF wall views.jpg
    I thought it was interesting that they had all those hoses/cords hanging on the wall under the stands in foul territory.  As for the picture to the right, I think Philadelphia has a really interesting CF wall.  Very interesting to look at.

     Next, Moyer played some long toss with Bako:

    7a - moyer warm up motion.jpgNext, he warmed up from the mound in the bullpen:

    8 - moyer bullpen motion.jpg

    The Marlins pitcher, Josh Johnson, was also warming up in the bullpen at this time.  I took the picture below because I thought it was interesting how many levels/tiers there are out there:

    9 - bullpen tiers.jpg

    I count five levels — (i) we’re standing in the RF/CF stands, (ii) then it drops off 15 feet to the phillies bullpen, (iii) then it raises back up probably 12 feet to the visitors’ bullpen, (iv) then it raises up another 10-12 feet to the walkway in Ashburn Alley, and (v) then its up another 20 feet or so to the “roottop bleachers” and upper walkway.  Interesting design.  I approve.

     Soon, it was game time:
    9a - Moyer the Moundsman.JPGMoyer got the loss, but he really pitched well.  He gave up 2 earned runs (3 total runs) in five innings.  In a lot of Phillies games, that is going to qualify the pitcher for a win.  But on this day, the Phillies just could not hit.

    After watching Moyer pitch 3 scoreless innings, it was time to check out the play area.  Unfortunately, it was closed due to the rain.  So, Tim decided he’d like to play some catch.

    10 - citz catch.jpg

    This is Tim’s new deal since we played catch in the concourse at Yankee Stadium in July.  This was a great spot.  There were a number of Phillies employees watching us play catch and none of them cared whatsoever.  In fact, several of them helped us track down errant throws.  The fans and one food concession stand guy really seemed to enjoy watching us play catch.  In fact, one lady tried to get her daughter to play with us.  But the little girl wasn’t feeling it.

    After playing catch for a while, we headed over to the SRO area behind the field level seats down the 1B line.  At pretty much every single game we ever attend, Tim asks me to buy him a certain sovenir, but I always say no.   But today, I said yes:

    11 - no 1 finger.JPG

    Tim loves that finger!  And at $9.00 for a piece of foam, he better love it for a long time!

    At this point of the game, which I think was the 4th inning or so, the Phillies had a grand total of 1 hit.  However, Chase Utley sparked the offense with this mighty hack:

    12 - utley whiffs to 1B.jpg

    You might notice that the ball is between Utley’s legs.  He swung at such a bad pitch that the catcher couldn’t handle it.  A few second after this swing, Utley found himself standing on first base courtesy of a passed-ball-swinging-K.

    Ryan Howard followed Utley…

    13 - howard batting.jpg

    …with a laser line drive to the first baseman.  Utley was doubled off.

    Even the mighty Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul Ibanez couldn’t help the Phils…

    14 - ibanez batting.jpg

    …he grounded out to second.

    We then went back to play catch a bit more.  It was the top of the 5th and the Phils were winning 1-0 on the strength of their one hit.  Unfortunately, Moyer gave up three runs (2 earned) in the top of the fifth.

    The top of the seventh was a wacky (and for the Phillies) a terrible inning.  First, Shane Victorino managed to get thrown out of the game while playing CF.  Not a common occurence.  I guess he shrugged his shoulders on a called ball.  The umpire did not appreciate the gesture.

    Jayson Werth replaced Victorno in CF and had a terrible game.  Including an error on a soft grounder up the middle with the bases loaded.  It went right under his glove and to the warning track before Raul could track it down.

    Actually, I’m getting a head of myself a little bit.  Before the Werth error, I took three pictures that I combined to make this interesting view: 

    15 - triple action zones.jpg

    Note that the pitcher is about to release the ball, the batter is about to hit the ball, and Ryan Howard is helplessly watching as the ball lands 2 rows back in the seats.  By the way, when I took the dugout and walking to the bullpen pictures of Moyer, I was standing approximately where the guy in the green shirt and white hat is standing in the picture above (and Tim was sitting on my shoulders).

    After Victorino was tossed, the entire crowd booed like crazy on almost every pitch for the rest of the game.  It was some of the loudest booing I’ve ever witnessed.  If the Phillies pitcher pitched a ball, BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!  If a Marlins pitcher pitched a called strike, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!  If the Marlins changed pitchers, BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!  When the local celebrity told the crowd, “Its gonna be alright” before singing “God Bless America” in the middle of the 7th, BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    It was interesting.

    But the Phils were done.  They gave up 6 runs in the 7th inning. 

    Toward the end of the 7th, Marlins star Hanley Ramirez…

    16 - hanley ramirez.jpg

    hit a double…but not on this swing.  This was a foul ball.

    By this point, the Phillies were losing 9-1.  Pedro Feliz hit a two-run bomb in the bottom of the 7th, but it was clear it would be too little too late.  Meanwhile, Tim was struggling to stay awake because he hadn’t really had a nap.  So we called it a day in the 8th and didn’t have to suffer through watching the Phillies give up 3 more runs in the top of the ninth.

    Tim was asleep by the time we were 100 feet out of the parking lot.

    Since this game, the Phillies have announced some news that is exciting to many — Pedro Martinez will start for the Phillies on Wednesday in Chicago — but for others, like myself, it is at the same time quite sad.

    To make room for Martinez, the Phillies have announced that Jamie Moyer will be moved to the bullpen.

    Today, I read this article in which Moyer is quoted as stating that he is “disheartened” by this news.  I join Moyer in this respect.  I sincerely hope this isn’t the last start Tim and I get the honor of seeing Moyer make. If it is his last start in a Phillies uniform, I hope he can make another in a Mariners uniform.

    Finally, I hope this is premature, but I’d like to thank Jamie for 145 wins and countless good memories.

    NEXT UP:  Tim and I will be going on the our second annual Cook Father-Son-Grandson Baseball Road Trip from August 14 – August 17th.  It is going to be a huge trip with lots of awesome and memorable moments.  Be sure to check back in to read about it.

    Season Fan Stats:


    17 - city hall.jpg21 Games (plus one 5+ hour rain out with no game)
    7 Stadiums
    (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field, Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium, and Fenway Park)
    17 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Mets, Nationals, Cubs,
    Braves, Padres, Dodgers, Cardinals and Marlins– and sort of the Giants)
    17 Ice Cream Helmets (Mariners (4), Phillies (5), Mets, Nationals (3), Red Sox (3) and Yankees)
    18 Baseballs (12 Mariners, 2 Rangers, 1 Phillies, 1 Red Sox, 1 Umpire, 1 Nationals) 
    4 Divisions Closed Out (So far in Tim’s Life — AL West, AL East, NL West, NL East)
     
    3 Autographs (King Felix Hernandez, Jason Phillips, Ryan Perry) 
    2 Player/G.M. Photographs (King Felix Hernandez, Jack Zduriencik, Ryan Perry)
     
    5 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose (2), Orioles Bird (2), 3 Presidents (Nats), Screech (Nats) — Honorable Mention: The Green Monster statue bench)

    Griffey In A Mariners Uniform at Camden Yards (6/10/09)

    Before Wednesday night, I had taken Tim to see Ken Griffey, Jr. play 10 times — 5 times for the Mariners, 4 for the Reds and 1 for the White Sox.  Griff played in only two of those games.  Only once as a Mariner.  That game was, oddly, minor league turn back the clock day.  So, prior to Wednesday night, Tim had seen Griff play one game wearing a White Sox uniform and one game wearing a Seattle Rainiers uniform.

    Thus, the mission on this night:  see Griff play baseball wearing a Seattle Mariners uniform for the first time in Tim’s life.

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

    10 griff on deck.jpg

    Much more on Griff later.

    We started off the day by purchasing the cheapest seats in the house — right field upper deck — at the CF ticket office.  We entered the stadium and headed into Section 90 — straight away CF.  Tim was sitting on my shoulders and as we entered the seats we were greeted by the beautiful sight of a field full of Mariners taking batting practice and shagging balls.

    Within a minute of entering the seats, I heard someone calling out, “Hey, Hey, Hey.”  I looked to the right and saw a cop standing down in the grass below the batters’ eye:

    4 felix and ivy.jpg

    This picture of Felix Herdanez warming up in front of the CF Ivy is out of order, but it illustrates the situation.  (By the way, isn’t the ivy nice looking for the batters’ eye?)

    We were standing in the seats essentially where the guy holding the little kid is standing (above the double doors).  I looked down at the cop yelling up at me and I though to myself:  “Oh, man, he’s about to tell me to take Tim off of my shoulders.”

    I was very wrong.  Instead of reprimanding me for toting Tim on my shoulders, the good officer rewarded us with a baseball — a ball I like to think was hit into that grass area as a Mariners BP homerun — most likely a mammoth blast by none other than Mr. Ken Griffey, Jr. (of course that is just wishful speculation…but a guy is entitled to some wishful speculation from time-to-time).  Anyway, I will take a baseball over a reprimand any day.

    So, after thanking the officer, it was back to watching our Mariners warm up.  Its amazing how many Mariners games I watch and yet how many Mariners look totally unrecognizable while wearing a jersey-hiding pull-over.  The 3 guys in CF were totally unrecognizable.  They must have been recent call-ups.  One of them looked like he was 10 years old.

    Off toward left CF was base coach Lee Tinsley with a guy who looked a lot like Felix Hernandez, but clearly was not Felix.  In my post-game research, I’m pretty confident that it was new call-up Guillermo Quiroz.  Anyway, he caught a ball in deep left CF.  He had run in our direction to field the ball so it was natural to look toward us before turning to throw the ball in to the bucket.  As Quiroz looked up, I flashed my glove and he spotted us.  He was about 100 feet away or so.  But he motioned to me.  He was clearly getting ready to throw us the ball.  But then he motions “down, down.”  I’m clueless.  He yells, “down, down.”  I interpret this to mean, “Go down to the first row so the throw is easier.”

    quiroz.jpgWe walk down to the front row.  Quiroz is walking toward us slowly, but is still at least 50 feet away.  He points at Tim and says, “Put him down.”  Wow — I’m getting reprimanded by a new Mariner!  How could it be?  Anyway, I put Tim down and he throws me the ball.  He then yells, “I didn’t want to hit your boy.”  Well, that’s not a reprimand at all.  That’s just plain thoughtful.  Looks like Quiroz is a keeper.

    We watched a bit more batting practice, but Tim kept asking for ice cream.  He explained, “they’re playing baseball.  Its time for ice cream.”  I explained that they were just practicing and we would get ice cream once the game started.

     To tide Tim over, we decided to go to the kids’ play area.  Tim played on the play set.  He passed up on the bouncy house.  But he gave the speed pitch a try for the first time:

    1 tim speed pitch.jpg I think Tim lit up triple digits on the gun.

    Next, we headed back into the stadium and saw Jaime Burke stretching down the 3B line:

    2 jamie burke tim.jpg

    Tim yelled, “Hi, Jamie!”  Burke turned around and gave Tim a wave, which was nice because every time Tim waves or says hi to a player at a game he ends up asking me, “Can baseball players not hear me?”

    I told Burke it was nice to have him back up with the big club.  He thanked me.

    We watched Burke warm up Felix Hernandez, first in the outfield grass and then in the bullpen:

    3 felix and phillips.jpg

    Felix looked sharp in the bullpen.  I was excited to see him pitch tonight.  See the guy in the middle picture in the pull-over jacket?  That is Jason Phillips the Mariners bullpen catcher.  We watched Felix warm up from the seats just behind and to the left of Jamie Burke.  Phillips (and at time pitching coach Rick Adair) stood to the right of Burke and watched Felix.

    Eventually, Phillips passes in front of Burke and starts walking toward the bullpen bench.  He stops in that little corner and starts digging around in that equipment bag behind the chairs.  He dug around in there for about 10-15 seconds.  Finally, he pulls out a baseball.  He turns around and walks a couple feet toward us and threw it to us.  Tim immediately told the guy next to us, “We got a baseball!”  And then he yelled “thank you” to Phillips.

    WOW – three balls with very little effort.

     

    32 three balls ties record.jpgIt tied my personal single game record set at a Mariners game at Fenway Park in 2003 when, without moving from the same spot, Mike Cameron, Rafael Soriano and Joel Piniero threw me balls during BP.

    There would be no record breaking fourth baseball.

    It was game time.  With Tim on my shoulders, we headed toward the Mariners dugout just in time for the national anthem:

    5 oh say you see.jpg

    After the anthem, we looked around.  No ushers in sight.  Four empty seats in the first row of the dugout, right on the aisle.  Why not stay a while?  Sure thing.

    Mariners photo session ensures:

    Ichiro bats:

    6 ichi ball.jpg

    …Ichi popped out…

    7 ichi popped out.jpg

    …its okay, later he would blast a double high off of the CF wall.

    Jason Vargas and Rob Johnson had a view of the game very similar to ours:

    8 game watchers.jpg

    Vargas is impressing me so far.  I’m hoping he keeps it up.

    Vargas’s and Johnsons’s view of Russell Branyan probably looked a lot like this:

    9 branyan.jpg

    All this time, Tim hadn’t forgot about his ice cream.  Despite the excellent seats, he wanted ice cream bad.  I promised we’d go get ice cream right after Griff hit.  I didn’t want us to miss this great view for Tim’s first time seeing Griff hit in a Mariners uniform.

    The guy behind us offered to take out picture.  But Tim put on his fussy “I need ice cream” face:

    11 fuss for ice cream.jpg

    Since the M’s went 1-2-3 in the first, we got a chance to see King Felix up close in the bottom of the first before going to get Tim’s ice cream:

    12 walking to work.jpg

    Mr. Gold Glove, Adrian Beltre, was there too:

    13 patroling 3B.jpg

    While Felix looked in for the signs, Russell Branyan dried off his glove hand:

    14 M's ace.jpg

    And just like that, IT WAS TIME — GRIFFEY TIME:

    15 Griff at the plate.jpg

    Look at this beautiful swing:

    16 power stroke foul.jpg

    Folks, that swing is one of two things — a 450 foot home run or a foul straight back.  Unfortrunately, this one was the latter.  He missed it by a millimeter.

    Here is a shot of Tim watching Griff and Ichiro bat:

    17 tim griff and ichi.jpg

    Right after Griff popped out, we headed up the ailse with our sights set on ice cream (sadly, with no ice cream helmet).  By the time we reached the top of the section, we had turned back to the field to watch Jose Lopez go deep for this first of two HRs on the day:

    18 Lopez bomb no. 1.jpg

    With a 1-0 lead in hand, Tim and I bought some chocolate ice cream and headed toward the RF corner.  En route to grabbing some “ice cream seats” (def. seats found exclusively for the purpose of Tim eating his ice cream), for the second game in a row, we ran into MLBlogger Zack Hample wearing a hot pink “real men wear pink shirt.”  We shared a few words with Zack before grabbing our ice cream seats.  Tim can be seen in the last picture in Zack’s entry for this game — click here.

    Tim was ready to dig into that ice cream!

    20 ice cream no helmet.jpg

    We had a great view of Ichiro from these seats:

    19 Ichi in RF.jpg

    As Tim ate his ice cream, a familiar face (and shirt) walked by in the cross ailse behind us.  It was The Happy Youngster (a/k/a Nick), of homerun catching fame.  Some kind patron took an extremely blurry and generally weird picture of me, Brew Town’s Happy Youngster, and my own happy youngster:

    20a Happy Youngster.jpg

    Check out Tim multitasking, posing for a picture while still holding his ice cream spoon in his hand.  Nick gave us a shout out (and some very kind words) on his entry for this game — click here.

    The rest of the night, I was really hoping a Mariner would hit a HR to right field so I could see Zack and Nick battle for the HR.  Here they are in home run territory in a photo I like to call “Dueling Ballhawks”:

    28 dueling ballhawks.jpgBack to the real game, here are Ichiro and Griff batting from our ice cream seats view:

    22 Griff and Ichi.jpg Ichiro hit a double off the CF wall in this at bat.  I believe that Griff popped out to third.

    You know that big warehouse in RF?  You know how many people have hit a ball off of the warehouse in the history of Camden Yards?  Its no secret.  One man:

    21 Griff in dugout on board.jpg

    In this picture, Griff is laughing and seems somewhat embarrassed because they just showed a video about him hitting the warehouse and it said something like “Legends of Camden Yards”….or something like that.

    After Tim finished his ice cream, we headed out to Tim’s favorite spot at Camden Yards – the flag pavillion.  I fake pitched about 100 balls to Tim and he fake ran the bases (circled the flags) about 100 times.  For most of my fake pitches, I had to chase Tim and try to fake tag him out before he scored at fake home plate.  This is Tim’s set Camden Yards routine.  His home plate is always the same.  This is hit thing at Camden Yards.  He loves it.  He ran a ridiculous amount.  I ran a ridiculous amount.  But it was fun.

    And Tim was a big hit with the ushers, fans and the beer lady in the corner of the pavillion.  Two fans gave Tim little stuffed Chik Fillet cows.  The beer lady told me how wonderful Tim was over and over again before she gave him a whole bunch of Orioles baseball cards — she apologized that she didn’t have any Mariners cards.

    Well, guess what, one of the ushers did.  Check out the Bone:

    25 bone visits camden.jpgThe final game I saw Jay Buhner play was actually at Camden Yards.  So it was nice to see Bone at Camden Yards once again, even if only in the form of a baseball card.

    In addition to running the fake bases in the flag pavillion, Tim played a lot of fake catch in the pavillion as well:

    23 tim patrols the flag pavillion.jpgMostly Tim played fake catch with Nick, including some fake fly ball shagging.  Nick very kindly played along with Timmers.

     Hey, here’s a picture we haven’t got yet this season, the obligatory Eutaw Street / Warehouse picture:

    24 TJCs on Eutaw.jpg

    Down the RF line in foul territory, there is a section of seating above the main cross aisle  that is turned toward the field.  That section is right behind our ice cream seats.  The section was 95% empty.  Tim explored it at length.  He ran up and down most of the aisles.  He chatted with most of the people in the section.  He is a picture of Tim at the top of that section.  He was yelling “HI GUYS!!” down to people on Eutaw Street and waving like crazy.

    26 hi fans.jpg

    And here is a panoramic view looking toward the field from the same spot:

    27 camden RF foul panoramic.jpg

    In the 8th and 9th innings, we went back and sat in the second row behind the Mariners dugout.  It was a good spot to witness a big Mariners Win!

    29 mariners win.jpg

    With two HRs on the night, the big hero was Jose Lopez who was interviewed in the dugout after the rest of the team cleared out:

    30 lopez interviewed.jpg

    As we were getting ready to head for the car, I noticed that Mariners trainer Rick Griffin was standing by the screen behind home plate with two very familiar looking bats.  He let me get a close peak and a photo:

    31 swingman.jpg

    Thanks, Rick!

    This was  truly excellent night in Baltimore.  We finally got to see Griff play, which was awesome.  Ichiro had a lazer double.  Lopez two HRs.  Felix was dominant.  And Tim had a blast running around the park.

    Its always a great time when you go to Camden Yards, but its even better the 3-4 days each season when our Mariners are in town.

    Next up, I think, the Reading Phillies!

    Season Fan Stats:

    13 Games (plus one 5+ hour rain out with no game)
    5 Stadiums
    (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field and Nationals Park)
    12 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Phillies, Mets, Nationals,
    Braves and Padres, Dodgers — and sort of the Giants)
    10 Ice Cream Helmets (Mariners (4), Phillies (3), Mets and Nationals (2))
    8 Baseballs (5 Mariners, 2 Rangers, 1 Phillies)
    3 Divisions Closed Out (So far in Tim’s Life — AL West, NL East, AL West)

    1 Player Autograph (Ryan Perry)
    1 Player Photograph (Ryan Perry)
     
    7,735 Miles driven/flown to games (season)
    5 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose (2), The Bird (O’s), 3 Presidents (Nats), Screech (Nats))

    Braves vs. Phils (5/8/09)

    Well, I’m behind in my blogging due to a computer virus that took out my computer.  But I’m back now.  In the meantime, Tim and I the Braves and Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

     

    Thumbnail image for citz from pattison.jpg

    Now that we’ve seen the Braves, we have completed the N.L. East, our second completed division.  Here was the scene as we walked from the Lincoln Financial Field parking lot:

    tailgating.jpg

    Cole Hamels was pitching and was still winless on the season:

    hamels.jpg

    After watching a couple innings from the SRO area behind home plate, we headed over to the play ground where Tim had an absolute blast:

    play area.jpg

    Next, we headed out to the left field corner where we got Tim an ice cream helmet.  We’d never watched a game from that area.  We liked it a lot.  Very cool.  Here’s the view:

    citz LF corner SRO panoramic.jpg

    And, as usual, Tim loved his chocolate ice cream helmet with sprinkles:

    ice cream helmet devoured.jpg

    Yeah, he got passionate about that ice cream.

    Next, we decided to head up to the upper deck:

    citz upper deck.jpg

    And we got this panoramic view from the back row of the upper deck:

    citz home back row.jpg

    Later on, we headed back down to the field level where we watched the last couple innings standing next to one of the TV cameras.  We got some shots of R-Ho:

    R-ho.jpg

    “R-Ho,” why hasn’t that caught on?  Come on?

    Of course, we cheered on Raul Ibanez too:

    raul batting.jpg

    So guess what?  The Phillies won:

    phils win.jpg

    The scoreboard showed Hamels’ “W” and it was his first since the World Series:

    hamels 1st win.jpg

    I got some dude to take a not-very-good picture of Tim and I in front of the Phils’ dugout:

    dugout shoulders.jpg

    And I snapped a few extra picts for this dugout panoramic:

    citz phils dugout.jpg

    9 Games
    4 Stadiums (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, and Citi Field)
    10 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, Phillies, Mets, Nationals, Braves and Padres)
    7 Ice Cream Helmet (Mariners (4), Phillies (2) and Mets)
    4 Baseballs (2 Mariners, 2 Rangers)
    2 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose (2) and The Bird (O’s))

    Friends and a Mariners Win (5/3/09)

    Living in Pennsylvania for the last 10 years, I don’t get many opportunities to see my old friends from school.  So I tried to get some of them together for a game on May 3rd.  It was also the first game my brother, Jason, had gone to with us since Tim’s first game on September 12, 2006.  Uncle Jason got to provide Tim his pre-game shoulder rides:

    concourse.jpg

    The plan was to sit in lower section in LF so one of us would catch Griffey’s home run when he hit it.  Unfortunately, for the second time in three games, Griff didn’t play.  :-(  Nevertheless, the LF seats were great.  Highly recommended.  We were in Section 108.  Here is a view from section 109 (one section closer to the foul pole):

    jasons shoulders.jpg

    Here is our view of Ichiro: 
     

    ichiro.jpg

    Because we had a bunch of kids with us, Tim was quite content to stay in the seats for most of the game.  Here are some shots of our crew:

    friends and wins.jpg

    Upper left: Paul and Tim.  Upper right: Maggie, Weston’s hat, Sean, Lake, Jason and Ainsley. Lower right: me, Tim, Paul with Lake, Jason and Ainsley behind us.  Lower left:  Lake, Jason and Ainsley.

    And here are a couple more friends picts:

    kids and friends.jpg

    Upper left:  Maggie and Weston eating popcorn. Upper right:  Jason, Ainsley and me.  Lower right:  Maggie, Weston and Tim blowing in each others’ faces.  Lower left:  Chris and Maggie.

    Because we stayed in the seats the whole game, we didn’t do any exploring of the stadium.  But I did snap this one interesting picture on the way into the stadium.  This is a feature I’ve never seen in any other stadium:  the “nursing lounge.”

    nursing lounge.jpg

    Raise your hand if you want to do some nursing with three other people and a nice view of the street outside of a baseball stadium!

    Back to the game.  Here is Franklin Gutierrez tracking a ball for an easy out:

    Franklin tracking Ball.jpg

    And here is Ichiro taking a high ball:

    Ichi hitting.jpg

    Here is a random picture:

    levels.jpg

    See the “Seattle Childrens’” sign on the second deck?  And the guy standing in the middle of it?  And the next deck directly above him?  That is Suite #5 – the Ted Williams suite.  That is where we were for Tim’s first Mariners/MLB ever.  It was Tim’s and three other little kids’ first games so we celebrated it in style in the suite.  It was awesome!

    This game was little leaguers’ day and they gave batting gloves to all of the kids.  Here is a shot of them:

    kids gloves.jpg

    They are actually really nice batting gloves.  However, they are not “kids” gloves…well, maybe little leaguer Danny Almonte…but not for a normal kid.  In fact, they fit me perfectly.  Here is a picture of some kids wearing them.  Notice Weston’s “thumb” sticking up a mile in front of Tim’s nose.  The gloves dwarfed the kids.

    joyners huge gloves and tim.jpg

    The weather forcast was dismal.  Scheduled to be another drizzly day like the night before.  But mother nature would not cooperate with the weathermen.  It was glorious.  Sunny with an occassional nice cool breeze.  It was so nice that Tim took his shirt off a bit and risked blinding the batters with his bright shining Irish-pale muscles:

    muscle man.jpg

    Grandma provided a personal visor for Tim’s viewing enjoyment:

    personal visor.jpg

    The game was excellent.  Kenji Johjima went yard in the bottom of the ninth to tie it up and send us into extra innings.  Here are Tim and Paul (or Paul’s hand) celebrating Joh’s HR with a high five:

    fiven paul.jpg

    …and the extra innings just kept a coming:

    extras.jpg

    The M’s bullpen came through big.  They didn’t give up a run for 7 straight innings from the 6th to the 12th.  Unfortunately, Tim started to crash because he didn’t get his usual afternoon nap:

    late late innings.jpg

    So, after the A’s scored three runs in the top of the 13th, Grandma made the executive decision that we needed to leave so her grandson could sleep in the car.  I reluctantly agreed.  Here is a picture from above the bullpen as we walked toward the exit.

    13th and retreating.jpg

    I ended up watching the beginning of the rally standing in the LF corner as my family all stood outside the stadium waiting.  Arrgh….I had to leave and we were coming back!  By the time we got to the car (parked in the old Kingdome north lot), the sausage vendors outside were reporting that the bases were loaded with only one out.  By the time we were two blocks from the lot, Tim was in a deep sleep, Ichiro’s hit tied the score and the M’s were heading to the 14th as we were heading home.  As we pulled into my folks’ house, I ran into the TV room just in time for Jose Lopez to step to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs:

    go lopez.jpg

    For the second time in the series, Lopez came up with a walk off single!  MARINERS WIN!

    Mariners Win.jpg

    It wasn’t an ideal way to see the Mariners win, but it was better than my colleague who had to watch the Phillies (his team) win the World Series from a bar in San Francisco in a game 5 that he had attended two nights before.  Plus, I didn’t miss a Griffey home run.  So no harm, no foul.  A win is a win!

    Season Fan Stats:

    6 Games
    4 Stadiums (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, and Citi Field)
    8 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rays, Orioles, Phillies, Mets, Nationals, and Padres)
    5 Ice Cream Helmet (Mariners (3), Phillies and Mets)
    1 Baseball (Thank you, Jarrod Washburn!!)
    2 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose and The Bird (O’s))
    4 Awesome Days of Baseball
    2 Awesome Night of Baseball

    Warrior Field

    My father and I made the first Cook & Son bat in 1993 when I was a junior playing baseball for the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors.  That first bat was called the Linedrive and I took it to practice where I promptly broke it – by my coach’s cruel design.  On May 1, 2009, I visited the scene of the crime, Warrior Field in Edmonds, Washington (FYI, I’m just calling it Warrior Field, I have no clue if it really has a name of not):

    EW-IF.jpg 
    EW-OF.jpg

    The bat hit great.  And the hit that broke the bat was a nice line drive up the middle.  The bat head landed in the grass out towards short stop.

    I went to the field to see my good buddy from high school, Dan Somoza, who is now the coach at Edmonds-Woodway.  “Smoz” is a great guy and he seems to be a great coach too.  Here he is hitting infield-outfield to his squad before facing off against Shorewood in a game with lots of play off implications:

     
    smozIFOF.jpg

     

    The Warriors threw a funky sidearmer at Shorewood.  The first inning started out a little rough, but he got stronger as the game progressed.  Ultimately, he got a no decision:

    sidearmer.jpg

    The game was exciting, but I was really there to watch Smoz coach.  Here is he at the Umpires-Coaches meeting before the game:

    umpscoaches.jpg

    ump353.jpgIn one of the middle innings, Smoz got a chance to show off his best Lou Piniella.  The Warriors had runners on first and second with one out.  The batter hit a high pop-up into shallow center.  The SS went out and the CF came in.  Ultimately, they stopped a couple feet a part and looked at each other while the ball landed between them.  The runners took off for 3rd and 2nd respectively.  The CF picked up the ball and threw the lead runner out at third.  The third basemen then threw the ball back to the pitcher and everyone started to get ready for the next batter.  All of a sudden, the infield umpire (shown above) came running in from behind first base and he yelled (his first time yelling anything on the day), “I called infield fly.  The batter is out.  The runner is out at third.  Three outs!”  Smoz had a crazy, confused “Are You Serious” look on his face.  He ran out to the umpire and started hollering (not really yelling), “You need to ask for help from home plate?  Are you serious?  There should still be runners on first and second!  Are you serious?  You need to ask for help?”

    Slowly, Smoz retreated to the dugout where he angerily explained to his assistant coach, “That is HORRIBLE!  Worst call EVER!”   A couple seconds later, “I’m really angry!”  A couple seconds later, “That guy is my neighbor.”

    Okay, so it wasn’t quite a Lou Piniella situation, but it was fun to see Smoz doing his coaching thing and having the fires of passion burning in his belly.

    It was great sunny afternoon at Warrior Field.  Unfortunately, I had to leave in the fifth inning with E-W down 5-7…I had to get ready for the Mariners game!  In the paper today, I found out that E-Dub came back and won 11-10 after scoring 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th.

    Nice job, Warriors.  Great coaching, Smoz.

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