Results tagged ‘ Hisashi Iwakuma ’
For months, we planned to go see our Mariners at PNC Park on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. But then something came up at work and Tim had a Little League game scheduled that evening so our plans were foiled. This was only the second time the M’s had ever played in Pittsburgh, and the first time since Tim was born. I really wanted the boys to get to see the M’s play at PNC Park. And I just generally really wanted to see a Mariners game. The only other game in the Pittsburgh series was Wednesday, May 8, 2013. It was a *early* day game with a 12:35 start time. We had to do it.
We live 4 hours from Pittsburgh. The early game time meant we needed to leave the night before. So at 8:47 p.m. on May 7th, after my business dinner and the rain out of Tim’s Little League game, the boys and I hopped in the car…
…for a late night drive across the Pennsylvania turnpike. The boys fell asleep around Harrisburg, PA, and then I listened to some “Master of Puppets” by Metallica and chatted with my dad on the phone for about 2 hours.
We arrived at our hotel around 1:00 a.m. and had no trouble making it a complete mess by the *following* morning:
After a decent free breakfast at the hotel, we hit the road and made it to PNC Park before 10:00 a.m.
It was #FelixDay and we predicted…
…complete Felix domination.
I knew there would be no BP so I didn’t feel compelled to go get in line at the CF gate. So, instead, we walked around to the other side of the stadium and hung out by the autograph collectors where the players arrive for the game:
In that last photo, that’s Rauuuuuuuuul Ibanez wearing a stylish suit (NOTE: baseball players shouldn’t wear suits) and listening to an mp3 player.
The first person we witnessed arrive at the players/employees entrance was our buddy Jason Phillips. All of the autograph collectors were on the other side of the entrance from us. Jason saw us as he exited his cab, signed one or two autographs, and then told the autograph collectors that he had to go chat with us.
Jason and I shook hands and chatted for a minute or so. He confirmed there would be no BP. He asked if we’d ever been to PNC Park. He told us that he’d *opened* PNC Park with the Mets back in 2001. And then he headed into the ballpark, after showing his official MLB credentials to the people guarding the entrance.
Jason Phillips is a cool guy. It’s always good to get to chat with him, and it was nice to begin our 2013 in-person Mariners season with a brief on-the-street chat with him.
After a while, I asked a guard if we could get around the stadium on the river side before the stadium opened. He confirmed we could so we headed toward the river. On our way, the boys posed with the new (in 2012) Bill Mazeroski statue:
Then we walked along the river toward the CF gate:
When we arrived at the CF gate, PNC Park regular Zac Weiss was already there. After setting our bags down in line behind Zac’s bag, I took Tim’s photo with the Roberto Clemente statue (Kellan was avoiding the camera):
Before the gates opened, Zac busted out a baseball and we all headed out to the Roberto Clemente Bridge to play catch:
I played catch with both Zac (real baseball) and Tim (soft, practice baseball) at the same time, alternating throws between them. I almost threw Tim’s baseball into the River!
Zack Hample was in line next to our bags when we finished playing catch. He was there with Neal Stewart from Bigs Seeds and the two of them were on another leg of Zack Hample’s BIGS Baseball Adventure.
The CF gates opened at 10:30, but that just let us into the Riverwalk. Zac, Zack, Neal, Tim, Kellan and I all gathered at the inside gate behind the bullpens…but we were stuck. Normally, season ticket holders, such as Zac, can get into the field before regular fans, and they can take guests with them. But the Pirates don’t do the early access for day games. So we were stuck on the Riverwalk until 11:00.
We passed the time by posing for some fist bump photos…
…and trying hot sauce seed sample packs that Neal had in his seed satchel. They were tasty.
I was excited when we saw our first uniformed Mariner of the season:
I think it was Hector Noesi.
Several Mariners joined Hector to play catch down the LF line. Nothing was happening in CF. So the boys and I headed over to LF to see if there was a spot where we could watch the M’s playing catch. There wasn’t.
So we headed to the kids play area instead:
When the rest of the gates finally opened, Oliver Perez and his partner (who I didn’t recognize at the time, but am pretty sure it was Yoervis Medina) had just finished playing catch and the only other pair of M’s out there at the time were Hisashi Iwakuma and Lucas Luetge:
Perez and Medina has been doing a little post-throwing running. On their way back toward the dugout, Perez grabbed one of the several baseballs sitting on the ground and walked over and handed it to Tim. I took the opportunity to ask him for a photo:
FYI, Kellan was still on my shoulders at the time and didn’t want to get down.
When Perez and Medina left, they were replaced along the baseline by Brandon Maurer and Carter Capps.
When Kuma and Luetge finished throwing, Lucas tossed his baseball to Tim and then he posed for pictures with both boys:
Meanwhile, Kuma had started signing autographs a little further down the LF line. We ran over there and he was happy to sign his and Lucas’s warm up ball in both English and Japanese…
…and to pose for a picture with the boys.
、ミスター岩熊をありがとう！ (Thank you, Mr. Iwawkuma!)
Some Mariners had run out to the bullpen, but the only action left in LF was Maurer and Capps playing catch:
When they finished, Carter tossed the baseball to Tim, and then followed the ball so we could autograph it and pose for a picture with Tim:
With nothing else going on down the LF line, we headed out to LCF near the bullpen. On our we stopped to get a PNC Park bonus picture for the MyGameBalls.com photo scavenger hunt:
Just as we approached the LF seats, a group of about 20 people ran through the seats from LF to LCF and filled almost the entire section right next to the bullpen. That foiled our plan to get a close up look at the action in the bullpen. So we hung back in the shady cross-aisle behind the LF seats and had a nice chat with an usher. She took our only family photo of the day for us:
Tim was spitting his BIGS seeds all over the place and we ended up talking about seeds for some reason. She mentioned that her co-worker gave her some pickle flavored seeds. When she pulled them out, she realized she didn’t have the pickle seeds today, she had BIGS Salt & Vinegar seeds:
We still had about 45 minutes until game time and nothing was happening on the field. We ended up meeting up with Zack, Zac, Neal and PNC Park regular Robbie “Scoonz” Sacunas for lunch in the Hall of Fame Club:
We’d never been in, or knew anything about, the Hall of Fame Club so it was great to experience it. As our food was being prepared, Kellan and I walked around and took some pictures of the club:
The Hall of Fame Club is right behind the LF upper bleachers. There are big windows that look at over the field. As Kellan and I walked around, we saw King Felix warming up out the windows:
Zack, Neal and I all tried the new, off-menu novelty meal, the donut burger:
The burger is a bacon cheese burger with a fried egg on a donut bug. I find eggs to be incredibly disgusting so my burger was eggless. I would recommend everyone try the donut burger so you can say you had one. But it doesn’t rank near the top of my best burgers list…in fact, if I really had such a list, it would be way down on the list. More than like eating a donut, the weird combination and texture of the burger made it seem like I was eating meat filled french toast.
The boys split a footlong hot dog. Tim smothered his in ketchup and mustard, most of which seemed to find its way onto the front of his mostly white Mariners t-shirt. Luckily, Kellan has no condiments on his half of the hot dog because he ate his dog while sitting on my shoulders.
Before leaving the club, I got this panorama out of the front windows:
When we got back down to the field, King Felix warming up in the bullpen. We headed over there to watch. The bullpen set up is pretty interesting at PNC Park. It’s not very good watching a pitcher warm up from the bleachers. Here’s what it looked like:
Just before the game started, Felix headed toward the dugout…
…and the members of the Mariners bullpen gave each other a bunch of high fives. See that baseball sitting on the garbage can in the last photo? Jason Phillips ended up tossing it to us (after giving it a thorough rubbing). It was thoroughly dirty and beautiful.
Here is where we were sitting for first pitch:
Those were our real seats. They were pretty awesome – section 31, row C, seats 1-3. It was a three row section. To our left was the aisle and then LF:
The seats were pretty amazing. They are regularly priced $36/ticket, but I found them on stubhub for $17/ticket. Gotta love below face value tickets!
The tough thing about day games is that Kellan still takes a nap in the afternoon most days. For a night game, I work his nap into the drive to the game. But for a day game, there is no good nap time. At this game, that actually played to our benefit.
When we reached our seats, Kellan was sitting, totally relaxed on my shoulders. I tried to take him down, but he was very fussy. Sometimes he refuses to get off of my shoulders, and this was one of those times. I realized there was no one behind our third seat in. In fact, there was no one behind that seat in the entire section. So I figured there was no one whose view would be blocked if I sat there with Kellan on my shoulders. That’s how we started that game.
It didn’t take long for an usher to stop by and tell me that Kellan needed to come down off of my shoulders. “No problem,” I responded, “it’s just that it’s his nap time and he’s a little cranky and didn’t want to get off of my shoulders.” When I took him down, he protested by crying, yelling and kicking.
Upon seeing the little tandrum in process, the usher came back and told Kellan that we could move to some other, even better seats in the third inning if Kellan behaved now. Lucky for us, he did.
The M’s didn’t score in the first. And then King Felix took the mound:
With the dominating King Felix on the hill, I felt pretty safe leaving our seats to go get ice cream in the first inning. My plan actually wasn’t too good. The very first Pirates batter of the game, Starling Marte, hit a ground ball right past third base and down the LF line for a double. That happened just as we started to walk up the stairway toward the concourse.
Felix struck out the next batter. But Andrew McCutchen hit an RBI single as we walked through the concourse toward the ice cream place.
After twos innings, the Pirates still led 1-0. The boys were still eating their ice cream helmets when the last out of the second was recorded. I immediately stood up and waved at the usher who had mentioned the seat upgrade in the third. I pointed at the seats and he gave me a confirming thumbs up. And then we moved here (essentially) for the rest of the game:
Is that beautiful or what? Here is what our view looked like from the front row:
That picture above with Tim and Kellan sitting by the ballgirl is actually way out of order (it was just the best picture I got showing our seat location). In the third inning, this…
…is the ballgirl who was sitting right next to us. She was quite nice. While Kellan finished his ice cream…
…I chatted her up a bit. She is a former college softball player. And guess what happened when King Felix induced Andrew McCutchen into hitting a foul ball to the ballgirl in the bottom of the third? Here’s a hint:
Yep, she gave it to Tim!
Thanks, Felix, McCutchen and Ballgirl!
These seats were the absolute best seats possible for us. Tim and Kellan do pretty good sitting in the seats when we have my dad or Colleen or some four person with us. But when it’s just the three of us, for some reason, they really want to roam around and be on the move a lot. But there was so much room to move in this seating section that we stayed put and I got to watch the entire (awesome) Mariners game! Yes!
One of those in-seating-section activities included playing with the dirt and bugs:
Into the fourth inning (aside from Michael Saunders who kept drawing walks), the Mariners batters, including Kendrys Morales…
…, couldn’t find any success against Pirates starter A.J. Burnett.
In addition to showing Tim spitting seeds onto the warning track, this picture sets the scene for what happened next:
Let’s examine that photo closer. Upper left corner, the small scoreboard shows the score is 1-0 Pirates in the top of the second with two outs (Morales, above, was the second out of the inning). Also, notice that the Mariners have no hits on the day. Next, Mariners centerfielder Michael Saunders is standing on 3B after drawing a leadoff walk, advancing to 2B on a wild pitch and to 3B on Morales’s groundout. Finally, the ribbon board shows that Dustin Ackley is about to step to the plate (he hadn’t seen a pitch yet because the count is shown as 0-0).
Five pitches later, Saunders scored the tying run on a Burnett’s second wild pitch of the inning! One pitch later, Ackley struck out to end the inning.
So, while being no hit by A.J. Burnett, the Mariners were all tied up 1-1 with the Pirates after 4 innings.
The Mariners finally broke through with their first hit of the game in the top of the fifth inning. With Burnett pitching so well, it was a good thing we had King Felix on the hill…
…throwing a dominating game of his own. In fact, it was as if mother nature was behind Felix and the M’s during this game – she even set an all-natural crown worthy of a king right above Felix:
Nothing could stop the Mariners fair and just King Felix.
Well, almost nothing, A.J. Burnett did a competent job of shutting down King Felix at the plate:
But, obviously, hitting isn’t Felix’s thing.
The boys lost interest in the dirt and bugs and played a little grounders/bouncing balls catch behind our row of seats:
Despite numerous warnings from me only to *roll* the ball, the kids kept bouncing them…
…and, every once in a while, Kellan was throw the ball in the air to Tim. This resulted in two different incidents, one good and one bad.
On the good front, Kellan tossed a ball to Tim that hit the railing behind our handicapped accessible section, rolled along the top of the railing, and then fell right into a cup holder handing from the back side of the railing. When it happened, the entire section behind us erupted in applause for Kellan – they were all apparently watching the boys play catch rather than watching King Felix and A.J. Burnett playing catch with their catchers.
On the bad front, Kellan threw another ball that bounced off of the head of the lady in the black Pirates jersey:
I didn’t actually see this happen. However, given the facts that (1) the boys were using a cloth/foam-y-ish ball (that incidentally looks exactly like a ROMLB), (2) Kellan is only 2 and (3) the ball bounced before it hit her, I’ll go out on a limb here and say there is zero chance this incident actually hurt the lady. But she was very mad about the situation. I thought we were going to get kicked out of the section and sent back to our regular seats. I immediately put the kids’ ball away and sincerely apologized to her and she just glared at me with complete and utter contempt.
We let this incident bother us for about 30 seconds and then we let it go. We have better, fun things on which to focus. Like the pierogies race:
And the shirt cannon/slingshot/toss, which resulted in Kellan coming up with this prize:
And, most importantly, Jesus Montero’s go-ahead homer to RCF in the top of the seventh inning:
2-1 Mariners after 7!
Kellan’s shirt was tied up with balloons, which the boys used to sling shot seeds on the warning track:
Felix was dominating and he was getting solid defense behind him. In the bottom of the eighth, Clint Barmes hit a shallow fly ball to CF that Michael Saunders grabbed with no problem:
The next batter was pinch hitter Jose Tabata, and he hit a low liner to RF and Endy Chavez made a great play on it. Starling Marte then singled, but was thrown out by Jesus Montero when he tried to swipe 2B. Starling no swiping, Starling no swiping, STARLING NO SWIPING!
At the end of the 8th, we left our wonderful seats, took a bathroom break, walked through a small team store behind home plate, and then found ourselves here for the bottom of the ninth:
FYI, Kellan refused to get off of my shoulders so I crouched on the ground in front of the seat so he wouldn’t be too tall for the fans behind us.
Although Felix Hernandez was out in the on deck circle at the end of the top of the ninth, Tom “The Bartender” Wilhelmsen…
…came in for “closing time” in the bottom of the ninth.
Wilhelmsen got a quick ground out by Travis Snider for the first out. He then has a 10 pitch battle with Andrew McCutchen, which included a foul ball that landed two rows in front of us, that ended with a fly out to deep LCF.
Garrett Jones made things more interesting by hitting a 2-out single. But Michael McKenry hit another deep fly ball for the final out of the game.
It was truly a beautiful thing.
During the post-game celebration…
…, Aarong Harang tossed a pearly white baseball to Tim.
As the celebration died down and the interviews with the heroes began…
…, Robbie Thompson tossed a muddy (game-rubbed?) baseball to Tim.
After the game ended and all the Mariners took off, we met up again with Zack, Robbie and a few other guys where Kellan was too tired and cranky to give another fist bump:
We had noticed the Pirates pig statue earlier in the day and wanted to get a picture with it on our way out of the ballpark. As you can see below on the left, an usher wouldn’t let us go over to the pig for a picture and then wouldn’t get out of our view when we tired to get a picture with the pig from a distance:
Luckily, he didn’t follow us out to block our picture with the Willie Stargell statue.
When we hopped in the car, Kellan fell asleep almost instantly and slept for at least three hours.
All around, this was a near perfect baseball experience. It was awesome seeing our Mariners. It was fun to see them in a new park (for Tim and Kellan). And it was even better to see King Felix bring home the win in a great pitchers’ duel.
2013 C&S Fan Stats
|12 Teams – Mariners, Royals, Phillies, Red Sox, Rays, Orioles, Yankees, Dodgers, Reds, Nationals, Marlins, Pirates|
|12 Ice Cream Helmet – Phillies (jumbo) 2, Red Sox 2, Yankees 2, Orioles 2, Nationals 2, Pirates 2|
|35 Baseballs – Mariners 6, Royals 4, Phillies 9, Rays 2, Orioles 1, Dodgers 1, Umpires 2, Reds 4, Nationals 1, Marlins 4, Pirates 1|
|6 Stadium – Citizens Bank Park 2, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, Nationals Park, PNC Park|
|14 Player Pictures – Oliver Perez, Lucas Luetge, Hisashi Iwakuma, Carter Capps, Daniel Nava, Alex Wilson, Andrew Bailey, Pedro Ciriaco, Mike Carp, Koji Uehara, Will Middlebrooks, Joel Hanrahan, Jonny Gomes, Alfredo Aceves, Clayton Mortensen|
|5 Autograph – Hisashi Iwakuma (English & Japanese), Carter Capps, Ryan Hanigan, Jesus Tiamo|
On May 19, 2012, we headed back to Coors Field on a grey and drizzly morning for the sixth and final game of the 2012 Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Roadtrip.
When we headed into the ballpark, it felt like only about 10 other fans joined us. And there was no one on the field. The tarp was out. The batting cage was nowhere to be found. There would be no BP to speak of.
Luckily, we did not have to wait too long for some on field entertainment. Pretty quickly, the Mariners pitching corps popped out of the dugout and headed to the CF grass next to the visitors’ bullpen.
As the Mariners pitchers stretched and chatted amongst themselves…
…Kellan and I were the only fans in the front row section. There were a couple fans above us in the bleachers. The only other people in the front row were my dad, Tim, Dan and Emily, and they were chatting amongst themselves over in LF at Dan’s seats:
This was our view out in CF:
When the Mariners paired up and started playing catch, the closest Mariners to us were Hisashi Iwakuma (along the warning track in RCF) and Brandon League (in the CF grass):
While the M’s played catch on the field, Kellan pushed his stroller around, stomped in puddles, and just hung out and watched the action on the field:
Eventually, League short hopped Kuma with a hard throw. The ball trickled past Kuma and was scooped up by his interpreter. Kuma pulled a second baseball out of his pocket and he and League played catch for a few more minutes.
Once they finished playing catch, League tossed the ball they were using to a guy in the bleachers behind us. League then motioned to Kuma’s interpreter for their original warm up ball. He tossed that ball to us, and it was a Dodger Stadium commemorative ball!
After getting the baseball from Brandon, Kellan and I stayed put for a few minutes. But when I looked back over to LF, Dan gave a big *come over here* wave. When Kellan and I reached Dan’s seats, he introduced me to a guy from mlb.com who said he wanted to interview me about our Roadtrip. He ended up shooting a five minute video interview (during which I felt like I was continually looking off camera to check on Tim and Kellan who were running back-and-forth). I’ve never seen that video turn up anywhere. But later the same day of the game, the following blurb popped up on MLB.com’s Cut4 page:
When the interview wrapped up, the only Mariners still playing catch were Tom Wilhelmson and Charlie Furbush. And they were playing extreme-long-toss – from the LF foul line to the RF warning track.
When they finished up and started to walk off…
…, one of them (I think Furbush) tossed the baseball to my dad…actually, he completely air mailed him, but it stayed in the front row where we were the only fans who could get to it. It was also a Dodger Stadium commemorative baseball, my dad’s second!
Once Furbush and Wilhelmson wrapped up their long-toss show, there was absolutely nothing happening on the field. So we just hung out for a bit and watched Felix and Brandon League…
…get in some work in the bullpen.
Eventually, Munenori Kawasaki and Anthony Suzuki (Ichiro’s interpreter) started playing two person pepper along the LF line:
Tim, Kellan and I headed over there to watch since nothing else was happening. After playing some pepper, Muni ran some sprints. Check out those fancy shoes he is wearing.
When he wrapped up the running, Muni and Anthony started walking back to the dugout, and all of the fans hanging out down the line were completely silent…except us.
I called out a simple, “Hey, Muni!” He looked over and then did an exaggerated backspin to crow-hop before gentling tossing one of the two baseballs he’d been using to us.
After he tossed the baseball to us, another fan got brave and asked for an autograph. He ended up coming over and signing a bunch of autographs, including signing the baseball he’d just thrown to us:
I’ve thought for a while that it would be cool to get a Japan-born Major Leaguer to sign a baseball in Japanese (Iwakuma did this for my dad at spring training). So, as Tim handed the baseball to Muni, I asked if he would sign in Japanese. He responded (essentially), “No Japanese! This is America! Only English!”
No problem, an English Muni-autograph was just fine for us.
Thanks, again, Muni!
My dad was still out in LF and he took this picture of us as we walked back to LF:
Check out all of those fans! Man, it was packed!
It was quiet and peaceful in the stadium. The grounds crew was using the quiet time to tidy up the outfield grass:
We still had a long time until the game was scheduled to start. So we headed over to the Blue Moon Brewery restaurant in the RF foul corner concourse. I had a big, tasty BBQ sandwich…
…but Kellan wouldn’t let me simply sit and enjoy it. Instead, while Tim and grandpa hung out at the table, I ate on foot while watching Kellan run up-and-down and up-and-down and up-and-down this ramp:
After lunch, we headed back out to the OF. My took Tim to get some pizza (he didn’t want to eat in the Brewery), and Kellan and I checked out the tunnels under the OF bleachers:
We noticed a funny site as the Mariners relievers approached the bullpen before the start of the game:
They had to stop and wait for the band that played the national anthem to finish marching by before they could get to the bullpen.
As the band belted out the national anthem, the boys were ready to get to the baseball:
Rockies pitcher Christian Friedrich’s (who is pictured in LF before Tim in the first game picture from our last entry) first pitch to Dustin Ackley was called a ball…
…and we were underway!
I am quite happy to report that this game was all Mariners. And the scoring got underway when Kyle Seager belted a 2-run homerun in the top of the second inning:
With the 2-0 lead in hand, the Mariners never looked back.
Of all the games to which I have taken both boys together, this was by far the easiest because Kellan fell asleep while I was holding him in the first or second inning:
And he just kept on sleeping until THE SIXTH INNING!
For most of that time, Kellan and I sat with Don the Rockpile Ranter and his son, Hunter:
It was great chatting with these guys.
Sadly, I did not get a picture of the “Bring Back Helmer” sign that Hunter periodically held up for the TV cameras. (It looked a whole lot like this).
I hardly took any pictures while sitting there holding Kellan. But I did manage to get a shot of Ichiro out in RF:
And one of Ichiro drilling a line drive toward short stop:
If you click on that picture, you can see the ball just to the left of Ichiro and just barely above his head level. Unfortunately, Tulowitzki made a diving catch on the ball.
But it didn’t matter. The Mariners were already piling on the runs. They scored 2 more in the third inning, 1 in the fourth (on a single by Jason Vargas!)…
…, and 4 more in the sixth. That made the score 9-0 Mariners.
Don didn’t like the score so much, but I sure did. And Kellan would have too if he was awake.
Eventually, I headed further out toward LCF to see my dad and Tim.
Kellan was still fast asleep, but it was ice cream time for Tim:
Want to see essentially those same exact two pictures again, but this time as one picture? Okay, here you go:
Kellan woke up just in time for Don to catch a Rockies shirt in the T-shirt launch. He ran up into the bleachers to make the grab and he handed the shirt to us on his way back down:
Kellan was mighty satisfied holding it all wrapped up in cellophane. But he was still a little cranky from his nap. When I unwrapped the shirt, Kellan gave me a piece of his mind. Apparently, he wasn’t ready to see it unwrapped quite yet.
In the sixth inning, the Rockies brought Eric Young in to play CF as part of a double switch. I took some pictures of the Rockies outfielders, but really I just wanted to show how tiny Eric Young seems to be:
My dad spent most of the game chatting with Rockies regular Robert Harman:
Before this trip, I knew about Robert from the Rockpile Rant and an article Zack Hample wrote about Barry Bonds’ final career homerun. Robert was very nice and he and my dad got along swimmingly during the game.
Here are some pictures I took in the tunnel under the bleachers in LCF:
Top left: There is some sort of security office under there, right around the corner from the women’s restroom.
Top middle: There was a brief rain shower late in the game. The game wasn’t delayed at all, but we hid out for a few minutes in the tunnel where this was our view of the field. We ended up putting our backpacks in the tunnel for the rest of the game to keep dry. It is definitely convenient having your own personal tunnel like this for a game!
Top right: Tim, Emily and Emily’s friend played tag in the tunnel. This was just one of the many things they did to entertain themselves in the tunnel. Kellan tried to mix it up with the big kids a bit too.
About 5-10 minutes before the rain, the Rockies scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The final two runs came on a homerun hit by Wilin Rosario that sailed right over our heads into about the sixth or seventh row of the bleachers behind us. I was hoping it would ricochet back down to us (my Dad had caught a Miguel Olivo BP homer like this the day before and Robert got a Michael Cuddayer game homer like it earlier in the season), but the crowd swallowed it up, never to be seen again by us folks down in the first row.
It was too bad this homerun couldn’t have been hit in the eighth inning instead of the seventh, because almost no one was left in the bleachers after the rain…
…and the ball almost certainly would have bounced back down to us.
The Mariners got one run back in the eighth on a passed ball to Kyle Seager that scored Ichiro. That made it 10-3 Mariners, which would hold up to become the final score of the game.
The previous day, I had noticed that Michael Saunders…
…tossed the CF-LF warm up baseball into the crowd in the ninth inning. There were zero fans in the front row out in CF by the batters’ eye. So I figured that Kellan and I ought to head over there in the ninth so Saunders would have a target.
It was a solid plan. After finishing his ninth inning warm up tosses with Casper Wells, Saunders turned and threw a strike right to us. Another Dodger Stadium commemorative!
Sean Kelley and Steve Delabar each pitched a scoreless/hitless inning of relief to cap off the game. Another wonderful Mariners win! That made them 2-0 for us on the season.
After saying our good-byes to Dan and Robert (Don had left during the rain because he feared for his super-nice camera’s safety), we got an usher to take our picture:
Then we walked around to home plate…
…and got an usher to retake the family photo the fan had botched the night before:
The key to that picture was that Tim had his foot up on the step above us. He thought this made the picture look very, VERY cool.
Outside the stadium, I got a shot of my three Roadtrip mates outside Coors Field:
And then we headed over to the 15th Street Mall for some dinner.
On our walk back to the hotel, my dad and Tim were locked in battle in a fierce game of “yellow cab” (the objective being to spot as many yellow cabs as possible) when we walked by Coors Field for the final time:
“YELLOW CAB!” (in the foreground) “YELLOW CAB!” (across the street)
The yellow cab battle continued as the fifth installment of the Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Roadtrip slowly walked down Park Road to our hotel and into the sunset
It was an OUTSTANDING trip.
Let the planning begin for the 2012 GFS Roadtrip!
2012 C&S Fan Stats
|10/9 Games (Tim/Kellan)|
|14/13 Teams – Tim – Mariners, Rockies, Phillies, Mets, Marlins, Athletics, Orioles, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Twins, Cubs, Cardinals, Royals; Kellan – Mariners, Rockies, Marlins, Nationals, Athletics, Orioles, Mets, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Twins, Cubs, Cardinals, Royals|
|14 Ice Cream Helmet(s) – Phillies 1, Orioles 1, Mets 2, Twins 2, Cardinals 3, Royals 2, Rockies 3|
|51 Baseballs – Mariners 9, Marlins 4, Mets 8, Nationals 1, Phillies 1, Umpires 5, Orioles 6, Athletics 1, Diamondbacks 4, Blue Jays 1, Twins 1, Cubs 7, Cardinals 1, Royals 2|
|10 Commemorative Baseball(s) – Marlins Park, Mets 50th Anniversary 2, Camden Yards 3, Dodger Stadium 4|
|8/7 Stadiums – Tim – Citizens Bank Park, Nationals Park, Camden Yards, Citi Field, Target Field, Busch Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, Coors Field; Kellan – Nationals Park, Camden Yards, Citi Field, Target Field, Busch Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, Coors Field1/1 Mascots Photos – Tim – Sluggerrr; Kellan – Fredbird|
|2/1 Player Photos – Tim – Ricky Bones, Willie Bloomquist; Kellan – Willie Bloomquist|
|2 Batting Gloves – Ronnie Deck|
|5 Autographs – Willie Bloomquist 2, Tim Byrdak, Brian Roberts, Munenori Kawasaki|