Results tagged ‘ M’s ’
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|
August 6, 2012 marked our only Mariners game at Camden Yards of the season. So we had to make the most of it. We arrived in plenty of time, got out tickets, and waited for those gates to open up and let us at our Mariners:
When we made our way into the stadium, the Orioles were hitting and our Mariners were stretching in front of their dugout. So that’s where we headed. As we approached the dugout, Stephen Pryor was walking down the line a bit to throw his glove in the grass outside of the *stretch zone* — I asked and he happily agreed to pose for this picture with the boys:
I think Kellan’s face in that picture is hilarious. He simply refused to smile at the time. He does that at times.
We were safely out of foul ball zone so I could let down my *don’t hit my boys* guard. But moments after that picture with Pryor, an Orioles batter ripped a foul ball off of a protective net and it bounced over to the warning track and rolled to a stop just below us. I reached over and grabbed it.
Thank you, very much, Orioles batter and lucky ricochet!
Then we headed above the dugout and watched our guys chat with each other…
…and then go through their stretching routine.
As the stretching began to wind down, I decided we should head down the LF line so we could claim a nice spot (among the 10 fans over there in foul territory) to watch the M’s play catch. As we started walking down the line, I saw that Jason Phillips was standing on the foul warning track chatting with some guy (a non-uniformed Mariners employee). As we were walking, Phillips looked up and saw us and he walked over to the bag of baseballs and grabbed one.
Phillips was deep in conversation when we reached Phillips, but he walked over and set the baseball in Tim’s glove.
Since he was deep in conversation, we didn’t wait around to chat with Phillips. We just continued down the line. We stopped about one section in from the foul pole and an Oriole immediately hit a baseball foul right behind us. It trickled down the stairs right to us.
With Ichiro no longer on the team, King Felix is by far Tim’s new favorite Mariner. At this game, he was sporting his white “Hernandez” t-shirt jersey that the Mariners gave my folks when they were invited to a game in the owners’ suite earlier in the season. As all of the players made their way down the line, they stopped about 2-3 sections down from us and gathered around Phillips.
I pointed out Felix to Tim and Tim screamed, “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, FEEEEELIX!” Felix turned around and said “hi” and waved at Tim. He then looked back-and-forth like he was searching for something. He was. It was the baseball bag. He went over, grabbed a ball, and launched a arching pop fly in Tim’s direction. Tim tried to navigate the seats in the first row, but the ball fell one seat short. No catch, but Tim easily picked up the commemorative Orioles Park baseball from the folded seat.
Moments later, Felix started signing autographs. We scooted over to the small gathering of people around Felix. I was holding Kellan but another fan helped guide time right into the thick of the group…
…(you can see his hat just under the arms of the guy in the royal blue shirt) and King Felix stepped back from the group to get an extra good hold on the ball as he put a beautiful signature right on the sweet spot of the baseball he had just tossed to Tim.
Thanks, again, Felix! (And congrats again on the Perfecto!)
On our drive home, Tim was looking at the Felix autograph while chatting on the phone with his mommy and explaining the autograph. He said something hilarious: “Felix’s autograph is so cool. It’s part signature and part letters! You know how most autographs are just scribbles like a signature? Well, this is both signature and letters!!!” (That’s a paraphrase, by the way).
Once the Mariners started playing catch, we stationed ourselves between Oliver Perez and Shawn Kelley:
Perez was playing catch with King Felix while Kelley played catch with Lucas Luetge.
This was some of the coolest *catch watching* in which we have ever participated. Perez, who apparently has a crazy-strong arm, and Felix were playing long toss and Felix just kept scooting back-and-back-and-back. Eventually, Perez threw a homerun over the CF fence and into the batters’ eye. The grass in the batters’ eye is elevated so Felix was able to see Perez when he went up to retrieve the ball. So Perez and Felix ended up playing catch from the batters’ eye to the LF warning track for a minute or two. It was mighty impressive!
When Felix came back into CF it got even more interesting. Felix nearly threw a ball into the seats. Perez had to drift all the way back to the wall and reach up to get the ball. Then, Felix threw a ball about one full section to our right. It was definitely going into the stands. I raced over there and there was zero doubt in my mind that I was going to catch it. The throw was so offline and high that it didn’t seem like Perez was even going for it. But then, as I reached up to make the easy catch at head level, Perez came flying in and made a running/jumping catch about one foot in front of my glove!
The whole thing was a ton of fun to watch.
Felix and Perez finished with some shorter harder throwing:
And then Felix came over to the wall and started signing autographs again. Tim really wanted to get his picture with Felix, but there were too many people at this point gathered around trying to get an autograph. So we backed away from the scene…and got rewarded for it. As Felix signed autographs, Perez slowly walked toward the dugout. Tim was just goofing off minding his own business in the front row when Perez walked up behind him and handed over the highly entertaining Perez-King Felix warm up baseball. Awesome!
While all of this was going on with Felix and Perez, I had also been communicating a bit with Shawn Kelley. Kelley seems to be a super cool guy, a great dad and a big fan of kids. And if you follow him on Twitter, you’ll see he’s pretty funny too.
Well, my goal was to get a picture of him with the boys. At times while players warm up, you can make eye contact or get in a word or two without disturbing their process. I used these little breaks in the action to ask Kelley if the boys could get a picture with him after he was done warming up.
It was funny because he kept motioning like, “You want my autograph?” And I would respond, “That would be cool too, but I really want a picture with you.”
Then, wouldn’t you know it, Kellan fell down and scraped his knee a bit (he does this all the time) right as Kelley wrapped up his throwing. Kelley still thought we were asking for an autograph. But all of our baseballs were put away and I didn’t feel like pulling one out. I really just wanted a picture of him and the boys. Because of the sniffling due to the scraped knee, the picture ended up being just Tim and Shawn:
Probably also due to the sniffling from the scraped knees, before leaving Shawn reached out and handed his warm up baseball to Kellan. And it actually did the trick perfectly! Kellan loves when he gets a baseball. His eyes lit up and he yelled, “Baseball!”
And, hey, it was an Orioles Park commemorative (as was the Perez-Felix warm up baseball!)
Double thanks, Shawn! Keep up the good work!
Once all of the pitchers were finished playing catch, we decided to head out to LCF by the bullpens. Blake Beavan was out there and he decided to toss us this:
While out by the bullpen, Kellan and I were hanging out in one row and Tim was sitting right in front of me. We spend most of our BP time in foul territory so we catch very few homerun balls. In fact, I’m pretty sure the last time I caught a BP homerun on the fly at Camden Yards was in 2004 before Tim was born. Well, it is time to reset that clock. Now, it has been since August 6, 2012.
A Mariner took a mighty hack and hit a screaming liner right to me. Here is a reenactment of where I caught it, right above Tim’s head:
Yeah, he was busy eating a Nature Valley bar at the time.
That was it for BP. Time to hit the kids’ play area. We cut through the cross aisle around home plate and had an usher take our picture on the way:
After a vigorous bouncy house session, Tim and Kellan played on the too high and dangerous play fort…
…and then Tim did some pitching:
As Tim was unleashing his fastball fury, a fan walked by and yelled something like, “Looking good, King Felix!!!”
After the boys did some playing, we headed over to the bullpen to watch Jason Vargas warm up for the game:
He was looking pretty good. And he had just been named A.L. Pitcher of the Month for July. So I was hoping for good things from him in this game.
Once again (this is becoming the norm this season), Tim requested to do the old switcheroo – ice cream first, dinner second. So we did. We grabbed some ice cream helmets and found some seats in (approximately) section 62:
But something was amiss. Kellan wanted nothing to do with his ice cream. Instead, he just wanted to get out of those seats ASAP:
In that picture, he is trying to squeeze by me into the aisle. He screamed throughout the national anthem. I knew we couldn’t stay there. Oddly enough, he calmed down the second we left this section.
We moved to some nearby handicapped accessible seats in the cross aisle…
…and, instantly, Kellan’s screaming turned to smiles:
But he still didn’t want his ice cream. So, as Dustin Ackley led off the game for the Mariners…
…, I took one for the team and ate Kellan’s ice cream.
The Mariners failed to score in the first. Then it was Vargas’s turn:
Although he gave up two hits (including a double), he also got through the first inning unscathed.
Unfortunately, Chris Tillman kept retiring Mariners batters while Vargas gave up three runs in the bottom of the second. They were the only runs Vargas would give up over eight otherwise strong innings of work. But the Mariners just weren’t hitting.
We followed ice cream with a tasty pizza dinner:
I can’t remember who the batter was, but one piece of excitement was when one of the Orioles hit a single into LF and his bat traveled almost as far as the baseball. Here is Kyle Seager retrieving the barrel of the bat from shallow LF:
While we were still eating our pizza, the Oriole Bird wandered by on his way to deliver some birthday wishes to several fans. He stopped to pose for a picture with Tim (and his pizza crust):
Kellan kept a watchful eye on the big, scary Bird:
When the Bird wandered by again, after delivering a gift bag to a second birthday celebrating fan, Tim went over to say hi again and the Bird swiped the hat right off of Tim’s head…
…and proceeded to munch on it in his big beaked mouth. Tim got a great kick out of the Bird’s antics.
In the fifth inning, Camden Yards regular Matt Hersl stopped by to say hi. He also asked me, “is it too early to mention the no hitter?” Indeed, Chris Tillman was throwing a no-no at the time. I quickly responded, “No, Tillman is throwing a no hitter!!!”
That did the trick: Mike Carp came up moments later and rapped the first Mariners hit of the night into LF.
Matt also mentioned that a guy who he described as “Alex from Seattle” was looking for me. I had no clue who that was. But we were soon pleasantly surprised when Alex “Not from Seattle but wearing a Mariners t-shirt” Kopp approached.
We last saw Alex at PNC Park on June 9th (for MyGameBalls.com’s Ballhawkfest 2012). Since then, Alex has started his first job out of college. It was great to catch up with Alex for an inning or two…during which Alex had a great (but unsuccessful) chance at catching his first ever game foul ball. Don’t worry, the next day he would catch a Nick Markakis game homerun on the fly in the flag court).
Around the sixth inning, we witnessed one of the worst scenes we’ve ever witnessed at a ball park. It looked sort of like this:
Here’s what happened. We ran over to the moon bounce for a second round of bouncing. Some kids were in the bounce so we had to stand in line. I was holding Kellan and getting him ready (taking his shoes off) when they started letting the next group of kids into the moon bounce. Tim ran up and jumped into the moon bounce. Right as I started to approach with Kellan, a 45-ish year old dad with a 4-ish year old son walked up and asked the moon bounce attendants to call for help. The sat down on the corner of the moon bounce mat, about 2 feet in front of us, and the kid’s head was bleeding like crazy. You can see the dad in the blue shirt and orange hat on the right side of the photo above, with blood all around them on the ground.
My mom was an ICU nurse and she tells me that head wounds bleed a lot. But, man, I’ve never seen anything like this. The kid was drenched in blood. My first instinct was to shield Kellan from seeing what was going on. Another Mariners fan was standing right there (in the hot and sweaty evening air) and he freaked out (in a good way). He ripped off his (no doubt sweaty) shirt and tried to give it to the dad to wipe up the kids’ blood. The dad was very thankful but declined because he had something of his own to clean up the kid.
I have no clue what happened to the kid. My first thought was that he fell off of the terribly dangerous looking and tall play set, but I didn’t see any blood on the ground over there.
All sorts of cops and security people ran over. The dad did a great job comforting his boy and calling for more help.
Meanwhile, Tim was bouncing in the moon bounce and I circled around the side so Kellan wouldn’t see too much of what was going on. All of a sudden, a 30-ish year old lady took a backwards dive right onto the cement. Someone yelled that she was having a seizure, but she was not moving at all. My guess is that she passed out from watching the kid with the bloody head. Whatever happened, she wasn’t moving at all. She no doubt bashed her head hard of the cement when she fell. Her daughter (shown on the far left sitting on the ground wearing pink) started to totally freak out.
The lady seemed to be with some other people who started to tend to her. They all called for more help and scream out for another ambulance (the dad had already asked for one for the boy).
Just then, they let the kids out of the moon bounce. The bloody kid was practically sitting on Tim’s shoes so he had to go right up to the dad and kid to get them. Actually, you can see Tim’s hat directly above the dad’s orange hat as he is grabbing his shoes. Once he ran over to me and put on his shoes, I got my boys out of there as fast as humanly possible.
There was bad mojo in the air and I wanted none of it. I have no clue why that cop appears to be smiling/laughing for my camera. It was a very serious and unpleasant scene. It might just be a bad picture and he wasn’t really smiling. Who knows.
We got out of there and headed back to the cross-aisle:
Soon, we headed behind home plate. The Mariners were still losing 3-0. They did eventually score one run in the 8th inning and they definitely had opportunities to score a second and third run, but they just couldn’t do it.
We headed behind the dugout in the cross-aisle to watch the 8th and 9th innings. Interestingly enough, the usher at the top wouldn’t let us stand in the cross aisle (that’s a new one on me at Camden Yards), instead she *made us* sit in the fancy seats behind the home plate end of the dugout:
Okay, usher. If you insist!
I took a bunch of unimpressive action shots as the Mariners tried unsuccessfully to tie up the score.
Seager hit a 1-out single in the top of the ninth:
At this point, a homerun would have tied up the score.
Mike Carp grounded out sending Seager to 2B:
Casper Wells hit a weak grounder for an infield single:
Now, with two outs, a homerun would have put the Mariners ahead and a gapped would have probably at tied it.
But, as I mentioned, it wasn’t to be. Eric Thames (not on this pitch) grounded into a game ending fielder’s choice:
That sent out Mariners in-person season record to 2-1. Alas, no undefeated Mariners season for us in 2012.
After the game, an usher took our picture behind the Mariners dugout:
And one our way out of the stadium, I took this panorama from right next to the batters’ eye:
Thankfully, our next three games would feature the Mariners at Safeco Field. Hooray!
2012 C&S Fan Stats
|17/15 Games (Tim/Kellan)|
|18/17 Teams – Tim – Mariners, Rockies, Phillies, Mets, Marlins, Athletics, Orioles, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Twins, Cubs, Cardinals, Royals, Red Sox, Rays, Pirates, Braves; Kellan – Mariners, Rockies, Marlins, Nationals, Athletics, Orioles, Mets, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Twins, Cubs, Cardinals, Royals, Red Sox, Rays, Pirates, Braves|
|26 Ice Cream Helmet(s) – Phillies 2, Orioles 5, Mets 2, Twins 2, Cardinals 3, Royals 2, Rockies 3, Red Sox 2, Pirates 3, Nationals 2|
|1 Ice Cream Glove! – Nationals|
|95 Baseballs – Mariners 15, Marlins 4, Mets 8, Nationals 4, Phillies 5, Umpires 6, Orioles 13, Athletics 2, Diamondbacks 4, Blue Jays 1, Twins 1, Cubs 7, Cardinals 1, Royals 6, Red Sox 6, Rays 6, Pirates 3, Rockies 2, Braves 1|
|17 Commemorative Baseball(s) – Marlins Park, Mets 50th Anniversary 2, Camden Yards 9, Dodger Stadium 4, Fenway Park 1|
|10/9 Stadiums – Tim – Citizens Bank Park, Nationals Park, Camden Yards, Citi Field, Target Field, Busch Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, Coors Field, Fenway Park, PNC Park; Kellan – Nationals Park, Camden Yards, Citi Field, Target Field, Busch Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, Coors Field, Fenway Park, PNC Park6/1 Mascots Photos – Tim – Sluggerrr, Teddy Roosevelt, Abe Lincoln, George Washington, Oriole Bird (2); Kellan – Fredbird|
|6/2 Player Photos – Tim – Ricky Bones, Willie Bloomquist, Jeremy Guthrie, Evan Scribner, Stephen Pryor, Shawn Kelley; Kellan – Willie Bloomquist, Stephen Pryor|
|2 Batting Gloves – Ronnie Deck|
|6 Autographs – Willie Bloomquist 2, Tim Byrdak, Brian Roberts, Munenori Kawasaki, Evan Scribner, Felix Hernandez|
Bonus Picture: Tim likes to pose with the many Orioles signs all over the place at Camden Yards: