Results tagged ‘ FatherSonBaseball ’

Fun Fun Fun As Fish Fry Phils (5/4/2013)

The weekend of May 4-5 was going to be the first weekend of the MLB season during which we did not go to a game. But when we woke up on Saturday morning (May 4, 2013), a tweet was waking from us from Phillies Phan Harrison Tishler: “headed to Philly today?”

After reading Harrison’s tweet, I asked my wife, “Should the boys and I go to the Phillies game today?” “Sure,” she replied.

Game on!

I bought some tickets online and we headed down to Citizens Bank Park. I can’t stand e-tickets so I selected the “will call” delivery option. The website said I could pick up our tickets at a ticket machine on either the 1B or 3B sides of the stadium. After checking in with the Tishler’s at the LF gate, we headed off toward the 3B side of the stadium, did find any ticket machines…

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…, so we circled around to the 1B side, picked up our tickets at the 1B will call box, and ended up running around the entire stadium.

Back at the LF gate, we prepared our backpacks for the security check:

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That’s Harrison, Tami and Seth Tishler right behind Tim. It was great seeing them for the first time of 2013. Harrison had recently celebrated his Bar Mitzvah and he brought us one of his personalized Phillies-themed “H” baseballs…

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…, which is now on display on one of Tim’s baseball shelves.

Thanks, Harrison!

When the ballpark opened, Tim, Kellan and I headed into the first row in the LF corner. Right when we arrived in the first row, Bernie the Usher called over to Tim and told him to come over and see him. When he did…

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…, Bernie set a baseball in Tim’s glove.

Thanks, Bernie!

This was our view during the beginning portion of BP:

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During our first game at Citizens Bank Park of the season, Erik Kratz tossed us ball to Tim in the LF corner early in BP. This was our second Phillies game of the year, and it was like de ja vu all over again. The funny twist this time is that the ball tipped off of Tim’s glove and landed in the flower bed:

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Tim reached for it with his glove, but it was too far to reach. I reached down for it but Tim wanted to grab it on his own. Tim ended up hopping into the flower bed to grab the ball.

Thanks, Erik!

I like to keep the boys out of the direct sun as much as possible, so we decided to head to the back of the section that straddles the LF foul pole:

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Sometimes when we’re up front in this section, homeruns or long fouls get hit into the back of this section. So I figured we’d wait a bit and see if one would come out way.

No dice.

So we headed out to CF until about 5 minutes before the whole stadium opened:

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Right before the rest of the stadium opened, the boys played the running-the-bases game:

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Can you guess who won? Yep, Tim. That jump is his excited/victory pose. [Note: there was another kid around Tim’s age to the far left on the yellow footprints. So Tim wasn’t just celebrating because he beat Kellan.]

When the rest of the stadium opened, we headed down into the pizza wedge. When we got down there, there was a stray baseball at the back of the Phillies bullpen and two groundskeepers working on the mound. In all of my experience at Citizens Bank Park, I’ve seen the two guys who chalk the foul lines give away some stray balls, but all other groundskeepers have said they were not allowed to give away baseball. Knowing these guys almost certainly couldn’t, I pointed out the stray baseball and asked the groundskeepers if they could toss it up.

They were not allowed to, one of them responded. And then they headed out into CF, walked the warning track toward the RF corner, and exited the field through the tunnel under the concourse.

A few minutes later, the same groundskeeper who had said he couldn’t toss up the baseball appeared above the RF seats, walked down the stairs into the pizza wedge, and handed a totally different baseball to Kellan. He apologized for not being able to toss the baseball from the bullpen up to us. It was pretty funny.

Thanks, Groundskeeper!

While we were in LF, Alex Sanabia kept running back-and-forth across the outfield. Early in BP, we said “hi” to him (“Hi, Alex!”) and we exchanged waves. . When we reached the Pizza wedge, Sanabia was hanging out in RCF. When he fielded a ball, Sanabia made a long throw to Tim…

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…but it sailed high over Tim’s head so I had to catch it for him.

Thanks, Alex!

Tim and Kellan posed with their baseballs from Sanabia and the groundskeeper:

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Lately, we’ve stayed in the pizza wedge until BP ends. At this game, we decided to switch things up. We headed back over to LF…

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…where Chad Qualls tossed us a baseball…

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…and then the boys ate a bunch of snacks:

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After the boys were full of snacks, we decided to head back to the pizza wedge. Kellan popped up onto my shoulders and we walked across the LF seats about 15 rows back from the field…

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…when we made the bend toward CF a Marlins batter took a mighty hack and sent a fly ball in our direction. I stopped mid-row and watched the balls flight. It was right in line with us, but seemed like it wasn’t quite going to make it to us. But it kept carrying. With Kellan still on my shoulders, I leaned forward over the row of seats in front of us and reached and made a back-handed catch on the fly.

It was the first time I’d ever caught a batted ball on the fly with one of the boys on my shoulders and it was pretty darn cool. [Note: I have caught a BP homer on the fly while holding Kellan with my right arm…so has my dad.].

When we made it back to the pizza wedge, Kellan crawled around like a dinosaur a bit:

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And Tim caught a baseball tossed to him by A.J. Ramos:

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Thanks, A.J.!

BP ended way early because it was Little League day and a whole bunch of Little Leaguers got to march around the ballpark on the warning track. As we watched, Tim said he wanted to go find Harrison, but I assured him that Harrison would turn up in the pizza wedge before too long. Meanwhile, former Mariner Miguel Olivo started stretching in CF.

I was right. Harrison and Tami soon showed up. We all camped out in the first row of the pizza wedge. Eventually, Phillies bullpen coach Rich Dubee walked out to the bullpen. He grabbed a bunch of baseballs and tossed one to Harrison and then a bunch to other fans to our right (higher in the pizza wedge seats). Dubee was all out of baseballs, but then he spotted that same baseball sitting on the hose (the one I’d asked the groundskeeper to toss up to us)…

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…and Dubee tossed it to us.

Thanks, Rich!

Meanwhile, back in CF, Olivo wasn’t getting much of a chance to warm up because he was giving high fives to Little Leaguers and posing for photos:

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Soon, Phillies bullpen catcher Jesus Tiamo made his way to the bullpen. He too ended up grabbing a bunch of baseballs and tossing them into the crowd. He tossed one to Harrison, then another to me and Kellan, and then one to Tim.

That last one that Tim caught was extra special…

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…because it was the 400 baseball that we’ve got at MLB games since Tim’s first game back on 9/12/2006. Jesus ended up signing it for us too!

Double thanks, Jesus!

We watched Cole Hamels and Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz…

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…warm up for a few minutes and then we parted ways with the Tishlers and headed off to find some dinner.

The plan was hot dogs for dinner. But at the last minute, Kellan rejected the hot dog concept and opted to get a giant pretzel.

We picked a nice random spot in the RF concourse to eat:

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What was in that plastic bin sitting behind Kellan in that last picture, you ask? Well, a bunch of…

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…rocks, water and sludge, of course!

Tim finished eating before Kellan so he did some dancing to pass the time:

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Usually, we like to get a picture of the first pitch of the game. We missed it at this game, so the third pitch will have to do:

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This game absolutely flew by. It was amazing. After watching the first batter of the game *live*, we headed to the kids’ play area:

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Cole Hamels blanked the Marlins in the first (despite hitting a batter). Freddy Galvis knocked a single in the Phils’ half of the first, but was left stranded on base. After Galvis’s first inning single, the Phillies would not collect another hit all night. And the Marlins only had four hits in them.

The first three innings blew by in a blink of an eye. Marlins right fielder Marcell Ozuna knocked a solo homer in the top of the second and Chris Valaika followed with a solo blast of his own in the top of the third.

That made it 2-0 Marlins and we finally left the kids’ play area.

We were ready for some ice cream so we went to our go-to ice cream lady:

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Check out this monster chocolate chip cookie sundae:

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We took it up to our seats (or almost our seats) in section 306…

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…to eat our sundae:

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I’ve taken hundreds of stadium panoramas over the past several years and this one from section 306 row five might be among the very best looking panoramas:

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After devouring our ice cream, the boys wanted to keep on moving. We headed back to the kids’ play area. As the kids were playing, I was amazed to notice that it was only 8:30 and the game was already in the seventh inning!

We decided to switch things up, and head to spot where we had not spent much time. He headed up to the second deck in LF. Check out the view from the SRO area right behind section 243:

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Over Kellan’s objection, a nice usher took our picture with the field behind us…

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…and another with the liberty bell:

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And I took an extra shot of Tim with my cellphone that turned out pretty cute:

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The boys stood on this little railing a bit…

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…and watched the game. But then they decided they should play some fake baseball:

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While the usher nearby cracked down on some fans standing in the wrong SRO spots. But, thankfully, he had no problem with Tim and Kellan playing fake baseball in the middle of the cross-aisle.

Heading into the ninth inning, the boys and I headed down to section 129 to make an attempt at an umpire baseball. We had a nice view of Steve Cishek…

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…and he pitched to J-Roll…

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…in the bottom of the ninth. But Kellan was tired and cranky and he didn’t want to sit down. Actually, he did want to sit down, but he wanted to sit on my shoulders, which couldn’t happen in the third row of the seats. So we took off.

We headed down the LF line and watched Chase Utley fly out…

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…to end the game.

We headed to the gates, but our game experience wasn’t over quite yet. We ended up trudging around in the Phillies parking lot for probably half-an-hour, but we finally found what we were looking for:

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The Veterans Stadium home plate marker! That picture earned us some points in the MyGameBalls.com photo scavenger hunt.

On our way to the car, Tim got a final photo fake catching a baseball at the Veterans Stadium first base marker:

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And there you go. Another great game at Citizens Bank Park.

2013 C&S Fan Stats

6 Games

10 Teams – Royals, Phillies, Red Sox, Rays, Orioles, Yankees, Dodgers, Reds, Nationals, Marlins

10 Ice Cream Helmet – Phillies (jumbo) 2, Red Sox 2, Yankees 2, Orioles 2, Nationals 2

28 Baseballs – Royals 4, Phillies 9, Rays 2, Orioles 1, Dodgers 1, Umpires 2, Reds 4, Nationals 1, Marlins 4

5 Stadiums – Citizens Bank Park 2, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, Nationals Park

11 Player Pictures – Daniel Nava, Alex Wilson, Andrew Bailey, Pedro Ciriaco, Mike Carp, Koji Uehara, Will Middlebrooks, Joel Hanrahan, Jonny Gomes, Alfredo Aceves, Clayton Mortensen

2 Autographs – Ryan Hanigan, Jesus Tiamo

Cook Force 3 Invades D.C. (4/21/2012)

Saturday, April 21, 2012, was a personally historic day for us.  Our little 2-man father-son team has officially grown by one.

Up until this day, Kellan had been to 10 games, but I had only brought Kellan along with us if Colleen was also joining us.  But, at a few months shy of his second birthday, I have officially deemed Kellan to be old enough join me and Tim at the ballpark without additional assistance.  So Colleen got the day off and treated herself to a fun solo Saturday (shopping, eating out, haircut, etc.).

Meanwhile, the Cook Boys jumped in the car at 8:00 a.m. and headed south to the nation’s capital.

On the drive down south, Tim and I discussed the Marlins new logo, of which I am not a fan.  Tim launched into a hilarious explanation of how the new Marlins logo is a Marlin jumping in the water at night with the various colors reflecting off of the water, etc., etc.  Then he wrapped up with, “so, now you understand why you should like the new Marlins logo, right?”

Maybe you had to be there.  But it was pretty hilarious how he explained his thoughts on the Marlins logo.

Watch out, there were some little Cook boys at the ballpark who were gloved and ready for some action!

Let’s hit the stands!

Now, a ton of Saturday games across MLB are scheduled as day games this season (for the record, I’m not a fan of it), and this was one of them.  I was pretty sure that would mean no BP before this game.  And when we entered the ballpark at approximately 10:30 a.m., the field was empty with no signs of BP to come.

We hit the restroom and then milled around a bit in LF.  Eventually, Mark Buehrle (did I mention we would be seeing the Miami Marlins vs. the Washington Nationals?) walked out to LF along with Marlins bullpen catcher Jeff Urgelles and bullpen coach Reid Cornelius.  Buehrle and Urgelles played catch for a while in LF…

…and then all three headed into the bullpen so Buehrle could throw from the mound.  We were right behind the bullpen.  Cornelius and Buehrle headed over to the mound and Urgelles set up shop at home plate, just below us.  As Buehrle and Cornelius were in the middle of a discussion, Urgelles was just standing around waiting.  I could see several baseballs inside his open equipment bag right behind him.  I figured, “What the heck?”

Todd – “Hey, Jeff!”

Urgelles – (looking up with a sort of surprised and happy look on his face) “Yeah!?”

Todd – “Anyway you could toss one of those baseballs up to my boy?”

Urgelles – (Enthusiastically)  “Yeah, no problem.”

(Urgelles goes over and grabs a baseball from his bag and looks back up at us.)

Urgelles – (to Tim) “But, you have to catch it!  And you only gets one chance!”

Todd & Tim – “Okay”

He tossed the baseball up in such a way that it would fall back into the bullpen if Tim missed it:

Heck no!  Tim gloved that sucker!  And guess what –

It was a Marlins Park commemorative baseball!

SCORE!

Check out Kellan in that last picture, “Gimme that baseball!”  (Actually, he just said, “Ball!  Ball!  Ball!”

We all went crazy!  And we rained down the “Thank Yous!” on Urgelles, who seemed very happy for Tim.  We chatted briefly, joking about Kellan wanting to throw the ball back down to Urgelles – which I have no doubt he would have done had I let him – and discussing our Mariners gear – Urgelles seemed to agree it was cool to show our team loyalty and at least we weren’t wearing Nationals or another N.L. team’s gear (no threat from the A.L.).

Urgelles’s smile told the story:  the dude is definitely a cool guy.  Very nice.  Very happy to have made Tim’s day by challenging him and then watching him succeed.  We talked about meeting up later during BP to get a picture with Urgelles, but it just didn’t work out.  But I’m definitely going to try to reconnect with him later this year to try to get a picture of him and Tim together.

Thanks, Jeff!

Oh, yeah, at some point Tim yelled down to Urgelles, “I like your new logo!” ha, ha…funny guy.

With our fancy new Marlins Park baseball in hand, we bounced up the stairs…

…and headed off to the play area.

There were ZERO other kids out there.  Normally, you get three hacks at the whiffle ball air tee.  Tim took about 15-20 hacks…

…before turning over the bat to his little brother.  After 2-3 swings, Kellan turned around and tried to hit balls into the open concourse area.  Luckily, no one was around.

You need proof?  Here is proof that no one was around:

In the top left, that’s the lady running the kids’ play area climbing up the slide while holding Kellan like a sack of potatoes (not a good plan).  Kellan flew down the slide and loved it.  Then Tim and the lady running the play area did some crazy slides, including (as shown) head first belly sliding and backwards sliding.

This lady loved playing with Tim and Kellan and, if it was up to her, we would have just stayed there all day.  We came back several times over the course of the day and she did more crazy sliding with Tim (despite there then being about 200 crazy kids running all around).

Unfortunately, Kellan is too young for most of the play area.  You have to be 3-8 years old to go up in the play area *thingy*.  So Kellan and I hung out in the little *net* room under the *thingy*.

Anyway, we headed back to the field after a sufficient amount of playing.

When we got back to LF, they were just finishing setting up the cage and screens for BP.  That was a nice surprise.  We headed down into section 106:

We chatted a little bit with a Phillies fan who decided to go “neutral” and wear an Oakland A’s hat.  He offered to take our picture:

We hung out in LF until they opened the rest of the stadium at 11:30.  Then we headed into foul territory and hung out behind a big protective net (don’t need my boys getting tagged by a batted ball).

Urgelles was over there for a bit, but we missed our chance to get a picture.  As I said, we’ll keep trying.

It was getting pretty warm in the sun.  So we decided to walk all the way around home plate and out to RF, which was nice and shady.  I guess it would have been a shorter walk to head up to the concourse and circle the outfield.  But had we done that, Ozzie Guillen would not have had the chance to go grab this baseball…

…and then toss it to us.

Sure, Ozzie is a controversial figure, but I like him.

Muchas gracias, Ozzie!

We hung out in RF foul territory for a bit.  I took the opportunity to take off Kellan’s long sleeve undershirt.  And then Steve Cishek tossed us a baseball:

Thanks, Steve!

RF was nice, but Kellan kept trying to climb down to the lower rows between the railing and the end-seat – despite Tim playing blocker.

I decided it would be easier for us out in RF homerun territory.  You see, there is this funny little corner spot that would act as a natural *Kellan blocker*.  We grabbed some seats by the corner spot…

…and the boys broke out our bag of snacks (or as Kellan says, “Nack! Nack! Nack!”).

If you scanned the ground after we left this spot, you’d have to seriously question if more snacks were consumed or more were dropped on the ground.  Kellan was dropping “nacks” like it was going out of style.

We hung out for a while in this spot — nothing all that special to say about this picture, I just thought it was funny:

Shortly after this picture, Kellan dropped this big bottle of water…

…down into the Nationalbullpen – probably 20 feet below. Luckily, as’  bullpen attendant ran over and tossed it back up to us.

While chatting with a guy who works for Boeing in the Seattle area, Tim was excited to get a toss-up from a fellow number 55, all-star Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson:

We decided that we’d had our fill of BP and it was time to do some walking.  We walked a TON during this game.  In all, we circled the entire stadium 3+ times.

For some reason, we walked toward home plate (passing a group of Mariners fans!) and we kept walking and walking.  I think we were on our way to get nachos in the LF corner.  I thought the boys looked terribly cute walking through the concourse together:

We decided we needed to get some more play-time in before nachos.  So we headed back to the kids’ play area.  Tim went up top and did some more crazy sliding.  Kellan and I went in the little net room and threw our cloth baseball off of the walls:

Then, we finally grabbed some nachos.   Actually, first, we walked all the way around the ballpark AGAIN.  I figured there would be nachos in the concourse down the RF line…but no.  So we kept walking and walking (actually, I carried Kellan much of the time), and made it all the way back to the nacho place in LF.

Success!  Nachos!

Then we walked – with me holding Kellan and a whole bunch of nachos — to our seats in RF foul territory.  Guess what?  It was bring your dog to the ballpark day.  As we passed by, I notied that the Nats had set up some grass in the CF concourse…

…so the dogs to relieve themselves during the game.  Very thoughtful of you, Nats.

We reached our seats moments after the first pitch, and it was on!  Yeah, the game was on too, but I mean “it” (nacho time!) was on:

It is official:  The Cook Family Loves Nachos.

And rightly so.  They are the world’s perfect food.  And the Nationals offer some great chili cheese nachos down the LF line.

Anyway, the game was “on” too.  This was our view from Section 137:

Our actual seats were in Row EE, between the “Bohvechkin” guy with his arm in the air (above) and the guy standing and shouting in the other red shirt.  But we were hanging back a few rows so we could stay in the very refreshing shade.

This sort of famous young pitcher was on the hill for the Nationals:

Stephen Strasburg, have you heard of him?  On that pitch above, he induced a ground out by Emilio Bonafacio.

Hanley Ramirez struck out (but not on this pitch)…

…to end the first inning.  It was the first of six K’s Strasburg recorded on the day.

Sometimes a baseball game makes more sense when you watch it on TV instead of in person because there are no commentators in the ballpark.  In the top of the second inning, Logan Morrison led off with a single to CF.  And then *something* happened, but I have no clue *what* had happened.  It looked like this:

First, it appeared that the ball got fouled off of the home plate umpire, or it just hit him on the live pitch.  I’m not sure.  Whatever happened, the umpire was somewhat hurt and needed attention from the training staff.

On the play, Logan Morrison took second.  As you can see in the top left picture, the first base coach is standing on first, but Morrison is gone.  The trainer talked to the umpire for a while.  Strasburg threw some pitches to keep warm while this was happening.

Finally, the umpire was ready to go again.  And then he called Morrison back to first.  In the bottom left picture, you can see him standing on the bag (the middle head of the three pictured).  That caused Ozzie Guillen and another Marlins coach to come out and argue with the umpires for a long time.  In the end, LoMo was back of first.

On TV, I’m sure it all made complete sense what was going on.  But in the ballpark, I had no clue…neither did Tim or Kellan, especially Kellan.

Speaking of Kellan, he copies just about everything he seeing me or Tim do.  You might have noticed that I wear my glove on my head a lot during games.  Well, at one point, Kellan put his glove on his head.  So Tim followed suit and we got a picture (during which Kellan’s glove started to fall off his head) of the three glove-heads:

This was Kellan’s eleventh  MLB game overall, and his second Marlins/Nationals game.  Last season, we saw the *Florida* Marlins in DC and Kellan had a cool little exchange with Anibal Sanchez.  At this game, Anibal was facing off against Strasburg:

And he was looking sharp, too.

Anibal retired the first four batters.  The fifth batter was Jayson Werth…and Anibal retired him too:

Tim kept asking if we could go blow bubbles, which prompted Kellan to chime in “Bubbles!  Bubbles!  Bubbles!”  I had no clue what Tim was talking about.  But Tim led us right to the spot…

…and he blew a bunch of bubbles at an Autism Awareness booth in the LCF concourse behind the Red Porch.  And then it was time to grab some ice cre…wait, Tim switched things up, it was time for Dipping Dots!  So we walked almost all the way around the stadium looking for the dipping dots.  During the walk, Tim climbed up into the Gecko’s arms (above) and acted like he was being captured.

Tim went for banana split dipping dots…

…while I picked mint chocolate chip for me and Kellan to share.

We grabbed some ice cream seats in the handicapped seating down the first base line and watched Strasburg deal it…

…while Kellan and Tim chowed down on their dots to reviews of *two thumbs up*:

Tim figured out the dots fit perfectly into the drink holder and he could eat his dots with his feet up on the railing.  Ah…the good life.

I kept trying to get a good action shot of Strasburg, and I was finally satisfied with this one:

In the top of the sixth inning, Jose Reyes came to the plate with one out.  All of a sudden, I decided I should get a shot of Reyes, but he knocked a base hit down the RF line right as I pulled my camera out of my cargo pocket.  But I got him rounding first and then sliding in safe at second:

Reyes was FLYING!  That guy has some wheels.

Two batters later, Hanley Ramirez stepped to the plate again.  And on this pitch, he chucked his bat 4-5 rows deep into the stands and nailed the guy in the blue shirt in the elbow:

As the boys kept munching their dots, I decided to get a shot of Reyes scoring from second – all I needed was Logan Morrison to get a 2-out hit.  But as Reyes started to turn on his afterburners, Morrison grounded the ball up the middle (you can see the ball directly behind Reyes’ left heal)…

…for an inning ending 6-3 ground out.

The score was still 0-0.  Both pitchers were looking really strong.  We decided to make one final trip to the kids’ play area:

While we were in there, Ian Desmond hit a solo homerun to put the Nationals up 1-0.

Kellan met up with another little guy who must have been right around 1-year-old.  He was walking, but he was teeny tiny.  Kellan walked up and hugged him (“oh, look at the cute baby”) and Kellan looked like Andre The Giant hugging this little guy.  He then started crawling around after the little guy:

Before we left the play area, Jayson Werth hit another solo homerun for the Nationals.  That made it 2-0 Nationals.

We left the play area and headed up to the second deck in CF.  There is a standing room party-type area in CF – when you look at the seating map on the Nationals website, it doesn’t even show this area.  So there is no “section” number.  But here is the view from that area:

And here is a look at the busy SRO area with the packed Red Porch in the background:

Ozzie Guillen made a major gaffe when he put the line-up together – he gave Giancarlo “Mike” Stanton the day off.  It was unfortunate for the Marlins because Stanton hits a monster bomb or two almost every time we ever see the Marlins.

Well, Giancarlo pinch hit for Anibal Sanchez.  On the first pitch, Giancarlo seemed to get a hit:

But Ian Desmond made a diving stop on the ball and was able to just barely throw out Chris Coghlan at second base.  Had Coghlan not been on base, Stanton probably would have been safe at first.

Anyway, we walked around the back of the Red Porch, which looked like this…

…and then we headed over to the upper deck in LF foul territory.

Since it was our first game of just the three guys, I wanted a good picture of the three of us and I didn’t think our first group shot was very good.  Unfortunately, the pictures didn’t get much better in the upper deck.

Well, this one from section 306 turned out pretty good:

And this picture turned out okay…

…but for some reason, the usher who took it managed not to get any of the field in the background.

After that guy failed to get the field behind us, I took a test self-portrait, and Kellan gave me a no games, super-serious look:

He smiles and laughs constantly when he is not being photographed, but for 85% of all pictures and videos he goes ultra-serious.

Another usher did a much better job framing the shot, but Tim wasn’t looking in the picture:

Oh, well.  We’ll get a better group shot next time…or the time after that, or after that, or after that.

The ninth inning crept right up on us.  The Nationals were still winning 2-0, and Strasburg (who pitched six innings) was in line for the win.  We headed down to the field level with the idea of trying to get in place for an umpire ball attempt.

We grabbed some seats about 20 rows back, just above the home plate end of the dugout.

Brad Lidge came in to close it down for the Nationals.

Oops…sorry, Strasburg, but Lidge walked Hanley Ramirez to start the inning and then Logan Morrison crushed a homerun into the second deck above the Nationals bullpen:

No win for Strasburg and, eventually, we were heading into extra innings!

Kellan fell asleep hugging me tight:

And then someone hit a foul ball that literally landed within five feet of us!  It landed right across the aisle and one row below us.  But I couldn’t even make an attempt on it because the little guy was sawing some serious logs.  The ball came right to another dad and his son.  Both had gloves ready on their hands.  The ball smacked into the palm of the dad’s glove and then bounced out, skipped off the steps and bounced into the gut of an older guy running up the stairs.

Chances are that will be our one chance to catch a game foul this year.  Oh, well.  It was great having the little guy take a nap on my chest while Tim and I watched the game.

Actually, Tim wasn’t just watching the game, he was documenting it.  After he took the picture of me and Kellan, he asked if he could take some pictures.  I agreed and he started snapping away.  As I watched him, it seemed like he was zoomed WAY in on everything and wasn’t getting anything he wanted to get.

But as our family watched a slide show of our game pictures later that night (which we do as a family on our TV after each game), I discovered that Tim took amazingly awesome pictures!  I was shocked and so very proud of my little baseball photographer in training.

Check out Tim’s handiwork.

Donnie Murphy (pinch running for Greg Dobbs) leading off first base in the top of the ninth inning:

Joey Espada, who tossed us a baseball at Sun Life Stadium last season, coaching third base:

The Marlins relievers (Heath Bell and Edward Mujica) and Nationals reliever (Tom Gorzelanny, accompanied by Jim Lett) warming up in the bullpens:

Both teams’ bat boys in action:

Omar Infante getting ready for the next pitch as Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos fires the baseball back to Brad Lidge:

Ozzie Guillen encouraging Infante to get hit (while accompanied by Greg Dobbs and Marlins batting coach Eduardo Perez):

Here’s my favorite of Tim’s photos: a dejected Chris Coghlan walking off the field after Infante failed to deliver the go-ahead RBI hit:

Great job, Timsky!

Tim snapped Donnie Murphy warming up his arm before the bottom of the ninth inning:

And Marlins relief pitcher Edward Mujica:

Oh…time out, I took this one of Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez…

…who appear to peacefully co-exist on the left side of the Marlins in field.

In the top of the tenth, Tim asked to get the camera back because he had not got a shot he wanted:  a Marlin running.  He did a great job getting this picture of Hanley Ramirez running out a deep fly out to RF (I actually thought it had a chance to fly out of the park):

After catching the baseball from Jeff Urgelles, Tim really wanted the Marlins to win.  He was a bit upset when the Nationals regrouped in the bottom of the tenth and won the game 3-2 on a sacrifice fly to CF by Ian Desmond.  By this point, Kellan was awake again.  On the crack of the bat, I could tell it was a game winner, so Tim and I (Kellan in my arms) hustled down the stairs to the third or fourth row.  We slid into the row and were in the perfect spot when home plate umpire Greg Gibson walked by and handed us our final baseball of the day.

Thanks, blue!

We tried to track down Jeff Urgelles on his walk in from the bullpen, but the crowd behind the dugout was tough to squeeze through and we got to 3B right as Urgelles passed by and entered the dugout.  We’ll track him down later this season!

So, we called it a day and walked to the car.  Tim entertained himself in the car by taking more pictures…

…while Kellan ate some “nacks” and relaxed.

It was a big day for the little guy.  He was fast asleep about half an hour before we got home…

…and Tim capped off the drive watching some “Octonauts” on youtube on my cellphone.

Hey, it was a good day.  Let’s do it again next weekend…

Okay, yeah, you got a deal.  Let’s do it!  We’ll see you soon, Camden Yards!

2012 C&S Fan Stats

2/1 Games (Tim/Kellan)
4/2 Teams – Tim –   Phillies, Mets, Marlins, Nationals; Kellan – Marlins, Nationals
1 Ice Cream Helmet(s) – Phillies 1
12 Baseballs – Marlins 4, Mets   4, Nationals 1, Phillies 1, Umpires 2
1 Commemorative Baseball(s) – Marlins   Park
2/1 Stadiums – Tim – Citizens   Bank Park, Nationals Park; Kellan – Nationals Park
1/0 Player Photos – Tim – Ricky   Bones; Kellan – N/A

 

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