Results tagged ‘ Safeco Field ’

Family & Safeco Field (9/30/10)

Tim’s little brother, Kellan, was born in July and there was no way that I was going to allow him to miss out on meeting the Mariners during the first baseball season of his life.  And there was no way Kellan was going to experience his first game anywhere but Safeco Field.  So, as the season drew to a close, we found ourselves in Seattle.

Kellan’s first game was slated for Friday, October 1, 2010.

But we were in town a couple days early to visit my family and the Mariners were playing.  There was no way that Tim and I were gonna miss out.  On Thursday, September 30, 2010, we gathered up my mom, dad, and brother Jason, and headed down to Safeco Field.

We had Colleen’s sister’s family in town with us and a lot going on, so we headed down late and missed batting practice.  When we arrived, no one was on the field.  So, we headed to the play area…


2 - safeco play area.JPG…Tim always enjoys the Safeco Field play area.  When he finished up playing, we found the Mariners Moose nearby…

3 - moose 2010.JPG…and posed for a picture with him in his little Moose den.

Next, we figured we better head over to the Mariners dugout to see what was going on with our Mariners.  And that’s when we saw one of the prettiest sights we’d seen all season:

5 - hello safeco 2010.JPGAh, beautiful Safeco Field.  We love this place.

Other than Chone Figgins stretching down the RF line, none of the players were on the field.  But we did see some of the Mariners top brass…

4 - Howard Lincoln.JPG….President & COO Chuck Armstrong.  “Hmmm,” I wondered, “what’s up with Chuck.”

After a bit, there were a bunch of Mariners warming up down the RF line.  Tim and I headed over there…

6 - greg halman warmups.JPG…and we were essentially the only people around when Greg Halman finished playing catch.  I called out, “Hey, Greg!”  He turned around and fired the ball to us.

Thanks, Greg!

 It was just minutes until game time, so we reported to our seats in RF.  We picked RF because the week day crowds had been tiny lately at Safeco Field and we figured our chances of getting near a homerun ball would be decent.  Also, as an added bonus, we’d been near Ichiro.

Speaking of Ichiro.  Turns out Chuck Armstrong was in the dugout because he was getting ready to present Ichiro with some awards of some sort…

7 - congrats ichiro.JPG….for being the first Major Leaguer to collect 200 hits for ten straight seasons.

We were pretty busy chatting and generally having a good time during the game, so I did a pretty shabby job at getting action shots.  But we’ll do our best to take you through the night.

Here was our crew…an excellent bunch of ballgame companions (note that Tim was busy eating a hot pile of nachos)…

8 - view of ichiro.JPG…and here was our view of Ichiro as he played catch with Franklin Gutierrez between innings.

And this was our view of the game from Section 109, Row 25, seats 5-9:

9 - safeco section 109, row 25 panorama.jpgNow is that a great looking ballpark or what?  By the way, Row 25 is the third row back from the field in RF at Safeco.

As for the game, it started off nicely.  It was the A’s and the Mariners.  Doug Fister took on Gio Gonzalez.  Both pitchers were “on” at the beginning.  Despite some hits by both teams through the early innings (including a first inning single for Ichiro (his 209th hit of the season)), the game was scoreless through four innings.

It was a lot cooler at this game than we were used to while attending games in the northeast.  So, a couple innings into the game, my mom, Tim and I visited the M’s team store and I got a great deal on a new Mariners sweatshirt for Tim.

On the way back to our seats, we decided to walk by the Mariners bullpen.

I noticed something interesting, something that I’d never noticed before…

10 - flat pitching rubber.JPG…a little cut out at the front of the M’s bullpen mound with a flat ground pitching rubber.  That was a new one on me.

As I stood at the fence starring at my camera’s LCD screen and taking some of the worst and most blurry pictures of all time of Ichiro batting…

11 - blurry ichiro.JPG…my mom mentioned, “Hey, Ryan Rowland-Smith just looked over at you.  Hey, Ryan Rowland-Smith is walking over here.”

I looked away from my camera, and there was Mr. RRS.

Hey, Ryan!

It was great to catch up with RRS.  It was interesting to chat about what it was like in the clubhouse as the Mariners were 97 losses into the season and four days away from the off-season.  It was also cool to get a sneak preview into his very interesting training plans for the off-season.  I felt a bit bad seeing RRS watching the game from the bullpen after a tough season.  And I was hoping I’d get a chance to see him pitch once more and close out the season on a positive note.  While it wouldn’t happen at this game, I would get my chance.

Soon, we headed back to our seats.  It was time for a chocolate cihp cookie dough ice cream helmet…

12 - M's ICH 2010.JPG…but as things got sweet for Tim, they got sour for the Mariners.

Between the fifth and sixth innings, Doug Fister gave up 6 runs and Brian Sweeney gave up the seventh run of the game.  Quickly, our pitchers’ dual turned ugly.

But after 97 losses, we were used to seeing the M’s trailing their opponent and we were able to still have a good time…

13 - fun in RF.JPG…as we watched the Mariners on the way to their 98th loss of the season.  Hey, check out that great new sweatshirt on Tim.  Its a zip-up with a teal inner hood.  Very nice.

(By the way, I made Tim take off his new sweatshirt and wear his old green sweatshirt to eat his ice cream helmet.  That guy is sloppy with the ice cream.)

It was also very nice to be hanging out behind Ichiro:

14 - its Ichiro.JPGAnd, of course, it was nice to get a chance to snap a picture of the Greg Halman ball:.

15 - Halman baseball at safeco.JPGSpeaking of Greg Halman, he made an outstanding diving catch in left field.  In fact, it was such a nice, high speed diving catch…

15b - halmans new belt…that he broke his belt in the process.

 After Halman’s catch, I figured I should go back over by the bullpen to snap a shot of Halman.  While I was there, I also snapped a picture of the Mariners’ mop-headed September call-up, Dan Cortes…

16 - Dan Cortes bullpen and airport.JPG…interestingly, five days later with the season concluded, we were getting ready to board our airplane back to Pennsylvania while Mr. Cortes was getting ready to board his flight back home to the Los Angeles area.  (FYI, the white and red arrow is pointing to my brother and parents).

Well, we made it to the 8th inning.  It was still 7-0 A’s, and despite fairly empty seats, we’d managed to go the whole game without catching a homerun.

And then, the perfect opportunity arose…and I totally botched it.

With two outs in the top of the 8th inning, Chad Pennington hit a homerun in our direction.  I had an open lane to the ailse.  It seemed like it was going to land 5-10 rows behind us and right on the aisle.  I bolted to the aisle and headed up three rows.  Then the ball totally died.  I turned around but couldn’t make it back to “the spot.”  The spot, sadly, was precisely at the aisle seat…

17 - homerun failure.JPG….in THE ROW IN WHICH I WAS JUST SITTING.  It was right there, on my side of the green railing.  RIGHT THERE!  Had I stayed put, I could have caught it easily.

I still had a chance.  Someone bobbled the ball.  I made a dive for it down the stairs while passing under that railing, which ultimately resulted in several flesh wounds and two large buises but no baseball.

Aye, aye, aye…

Oh, well.  while I really would like to catch a game homerun some day, I would much, much, MUCH prefer that it not be a homerun off of the Mariners.

Anyway, it was moving into the 9th inning.  Tim and I decided to head over to the 3B dugout in hopes of getting our hands on our first ever Safeco Field umpire ball.

Here was our first view as Anthony Varvaro pitched to Kevin Kouzmanoff…

18 - Varvaro to Kouzmanoff.JPG…the white arrow is pointing to my brother and parents.  We were in the concourse standing room area for that picture.

A few minutes later, we mae it to the first row right on the umpire tunnel, but an usher told us we couldn’t sit in the “charter” seats.  I asked her how far back we had to go.  Row 11 was acceptable.

So, this was our view from the 11th row of Ichi’s final at bat of the night when,…

19 - Ichiro 210 of 2010.JPG…after a hard foul liner right over our heads, he smacked a single for his 210th hit of the season.

After the final out of the game — and an 8-1 loss — home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman handed a beautiful rubbed up baseball to Tim (pictured below).  It was the 105th baseball in the “Todd & Tim Baseball Partners Era.”  Our next baseball would be our first of the “Todd, Tim & Kellan 3-Man Baseball Team Era.”

It was a miserable loss, but it was great being back at Safeco Field and it was great spending the evening with my family.

On the walk back to my brother and parents in RF, an usher took this excellent shot of me and my boy
...

20 - We love this place.JPG…and then…

21 - Five Cooks at Safeco Field.JPG…another usher took this excellent shot of all of us.

As we left the park, I was excited to know that we’d be walking back into the park less than 24 hours later for the first game of Kellan’s life!

2010 Fan Stats:

27 Games


22 - Halman 104 and Dreckman 105.jpg20 Teams
(Mariners, Orioles, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Angels, Twins, Athletics, White Sox, Indians and Yankees; Phillies, Dodgers, Pirates, Braves, Mets, Brewers, Padres, Giants, Nationals and Marlins)

23 Ice Cream Helmets (Mariners (1), Orioles (4), Phillies (3), Padres (2), Pirates (2), Mets, Dodgers, Athletics, Nationals (2), Indians, Yankees)

62 Baseballs (13 Mariners, 2 Angels, 3 Athletics, 3 Brewers, 4 Nationals, 2 Blue Jays, 10 Umpires, 2 Phillies, 1 Mets, 4 Braves, 2 Orioles, 1 Dodgers, 1 Padres, 1 Giants, 2 Twins, 1 White Sox, 7 Easter Eggs, 1 Yankees, 2 Marlins)

13 Stadiums (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Nationals Park, Citi Field, PNC Park, Oakland-Alameda County Stadium, Dodgers Stadium, PETCO Park, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, AT&T Park, Progressive Field, Yankee Stadium)

15 Player Photos (Jamie Moyer, Ryan Rowland-Smith (2), Omar Vizquel, Chad Cordero, Mike Cameron, Joel Piniero, Frank Catalanotto, Billy Wagner, Jeff Suppan, Tommy Hanson, Jered Weaver, Jay Buente, Brian Sanches and Scott Olsen)

2 Retired Player Photos (Jim Palmer, Bert Blyleven)

1 Umpire Photo (“Cowboy” Joe West)

10 Autographs (Ryan Rowland-Smith (2), Omar Vizquel, Chad Cordero, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Joel Piniero, Frank Catalanotto (2), Billy Wagner (2), Jeff Suppan, Tommy Hanson, Jeff Weaver, Brian Sanches and Scott Olsen)

8 Kids Run The Bases (Citizens Bank Park, 2 Nationals Park, Citi Field, PNC Park, PETCO Park, Camden Yards, Progressive Field)

Hello, 2010 Regular Season!

The 2010 regular season starts tomorrow.  We’re excited.  And we have lots of plans for making it a great season.  At a time like this, we can’t help but look back on where we have been and forward to where we are going.

 

Since Tim’s MLB debut on September 12, 2006, Tim has seen every team play live at least once.  With twenty-two games, he has seen our Mariners the most, followed by the Phillies (14) and Orioles (9).  Here are all of the teams with their record at games Tim and I have attended together (listed in the order in which Tim saw the teams for the first time):

 

Teams (win-loss record):


  1. trying4balls.jpgMariners  (10-12)
  2. Blue Jays (1-2)
  3. Mets (3-2)
  4. Phillies (9-5)
  5. Orioles (4-5)
  6. Twins (2-1)
  7. Yankees (1-3)
  8. Marlins (1-1)
  9. Rockies (1-0)
  10. Cardinals (3-0)
  11. Pirates (1-2)
  12. Cubs (2-1)
  13. Giants (0-1)
  14. Reds (0-3)
  15. Indians (5-0)

  16. 39 - final game final ball of 2009.jpgAngels (0-1)
  17. Nationals (1-4)
  18. White Sox (1-2)
  19. Diamondbacks (1-0)
  20. Rays (1-0)
  21. Padres (0-1)
  22. Athletics (1-2)
  23. Rangers (2-0)
  24. Braves (0-1)
  25. Dodgers (1-0)
  26. Tigers (1-0)
  27. Red Sox (1-2)
  28. Astros (1-1)
  29. Brewers (0-1)
  30. Royals (0-1)

Tim debuted at Safeco Field.  But through his fifty-four (54) games, Tim has visited 18 MLB stadiums.  Not surprisingly  Tim’s top three stadiums closely track his top three teams:  Citzens Bank Park, Safeco Field, Camden Yards.  Here is the complete list of Tim’s stadiums:

 

Stadiums (number of games):


  1. 16 - we love this place.jpgSafeco Field (11)
  2. Citizens Bank Park (12)
  3. Camden Yards (8)
  4. Yankee Stadium – ’23 (1)
  5. PNC Park (2)
  6. Great American Ball Park (1)
  7. Progressive Field (3)
  8. Shea Stadium (1)
  9. Chase Field (1)
  10. Citi Field (2)
  11. Nationals Park (2)
  12. Yankee Stadium – ’09 (2)
  13. Fenway Park (3)
  14. Wrigley Field  (1)
  15. H.H.H. Metrodome  (1)
  16. Miller Park  (1)
  17. U.S. Cellular Field  (1)
  18. Rogers Centre  (1)

So, after such a great 2009 season, where do we go from here?   Like last year, I have made a full Cook & Son Baseball Agenda complete with games to attend and goals to achieve.  Like last year, I won’t bore you with all of it.  But, like last season (when we achieve almost all of our goals), here are the highlights:

 

Season Goals:

 



8 - moyer bullpen motion.jpg1.  See Ken Griffey, Jr. hit another homerun.

2.  Witness final home run of Ken Griffey, Jr.’s career (assuming he retires after 2010 season).

5.  See Jamie Moyer win a game.

6.  Run the bases at 5 stadiums (Citizens Bank Park, PNC Park, Petco Park, Citi Field, Nationals Park).

7.  Catch a Target Field inaugural season ball.

8.  Catch a game homerun or foul ball.

9.  Get Gill and Kate (Tim’s cousins) to their first game.

10.  See the Mariners play at 5+ stadiums (Safeco (4), Camden (2), Yankee (2), Petco (2), Progressive (2)).

11.-14.  & 17. – Focus on pictures with players.  I won’t list them all, but I have a number of specific players we would like to try to get our pictures with and general “picture with players” goals.

15.  Third Annual Baseball Roadtrip – All California Stadiums.

16.  New Stadium and Teams for Tim’s Fourth MLB Anniversary.

18.  Eat an Orioles ice cream helmet at Camden Yards.

19.  Win MyGameBalls.com photo-scavenger hunt.

20.  Have fun and make memories.

Thumbnail image for tjc rounding third in DC.jpg 
6 - walking The Jake concourse.jpg

Goals aside, we plan to have another great season.  We will visit all five California stadiums (Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Anaheim, and San Francisco) on the Third Annual Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Roadtrip of 2010, along with probably 8 more stadiums (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Nationals Park, Citi Field, Citizens Bank Park, Yankee Stadium, Progressive Field, and PNC Park).

It is going to be great.  And, we plan to end the season in Seattle, where we will be joined by a special guest and we hope to witness Griffey’s final home run of his career.

happy 2010.jpg

    Good Old-Fashioned Baseball Tickets

    My wife and I love getting mail.  I’m not sure why.  We hardly ever get anything but junk mail.  But we always hold out hope that something wonderful will be waiting for us each aftenoon in our trusty mail box.

    Well, the past couple weeks, something wondeful, indeed, has started arriving…in twos, and threes and fours.  Baseball tickets.  Tickets to Citizens Bank Park and to Petco Park and to Dodger Stadium and to Angel Stadium and to Citi Field and to Nationals Park, too.

    I love good old-fashioned baseball tickets.  Printed from a ticket machine with perferated edges where your tickets used to be connect so someone else’s tickets.  You can’t beat it.

    Personally, I am not a fan of print-at-home e-tickets.  A ticket is a souvenir.  Growing up (and really until Tim’s birth), I always kept my tickets in the inside band of my baseball caps.  At any given time (and for years at a time), I walked around with 30 baseball tickets in my cap.  They became wrinkled and faded and stained from sweat as I wore those tickets through softball games, and Mariners games, and high school, and college and life.

    unidentifiable - Citz Bank Park.jpgWhen Tim was born and soon started going to game with me, I stopped putting my tickets in my cap because I wanted to keep them clean for him.

    Does anyone save print-at-home e-tickets?  I doubt it.  They’re not very memorable.  Certainly, they don’t seem like an artifact of the game worthy of preservingetc., etc., etc., like a real old-fashioned baseball ticket.  And when tickets become unimportant (merely a key to the gate) and we stop saving them, we lose one of the easiest and best ways to track the games, players and history we have seen.

    So, when given the options at the end of the online ordering process, don’t count on me selecting “print at home” any time soon (or, if not forced to (i.e., stubhub), ever).

    So as Tim and I gear up for another fun filled campaign and our 2010 tickets continue to bring joy to the afternoon trip to the mailbox, I figured it would be fitting to reflect on our past with a look at some of our tickets.  Let’s start with the most important and memorable tickets.

    My Top 10 (or so) Tickets

    No. 1 – September 12, 2006, Blue Jays vs. Maniners at Safeco Field – Tim’s first game.  A truly great day.  I made this wooden home plate frame and this ticket hangs on Tim’s bedroom wall:


    2006-9-12 - Safeco Field Suite 5.jpg

    No. 2 - October 10, 1995, Indians vs. Mariners at the Kingdom: Game 1 of the 1995 ACLS in case you didn’t know.  A great game:


    1995-10-10 - Kingdome - ALCS Game 1.jpg

    No. 3 – August 23, 2009, Mariners vs. Indians at Progressive Field – Tim and I witness Ken Griffey, Jr. hit his 624th career home run – our first Ken Griffey, Jr. home run together (and Tim’s first period):

    2009-8-23 - Progressive Field - Griff No624.jpgNo. 4 – Various dates and teams at the Kingdome – my only remaining Kingdome tickets (except for No. 1 above).  The Kingdome is the most important baseball venue of my life and a place I will always remember fondly.

    1998-9-26 - Kingdome.jpg 
    1999-4-6 - Kingdome.jpg 
    1999-4-28 - Kingdome.jpg
    1999-5-2 - Kingdome.jpg

    No. 5 – August 15, 2008, Cardinals vs. Reds at Great American Ball Park – the first game of the first year of the now annual “Great Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Roadtrip.”  The start of a grand tradition.

    2008-8-15 - Great American Ball Park.jpgNo. 6 – July 5, 2009, Mariners vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park – one of the (personally) most memorable baseball moments of my life.  Pinch-hitting for Mike Sweeney in the top of the 4th inning, Ken Griffey, Jr. lined a single off of the Green Monster.  Tim was sitting on my shoulders as we watched the beautiful flight of the ball.  It was the first time Tim ever saw Griffey get a hit in person.

    2009-7-5 - Fenway Park.jpgNo. 7 – September 3, 2007, Mariners vs. Yankees at Yankee Stadium (1923).  Tim’s only game ever at the old Yankee Stadium.  A truly great game.  Felix Hernandez gets the win.  Ichiro hits a home run off of Roger Clemens for his 200th hit of the season for his seventh consecutive season.  Clemens notches the final loss of his soon-to-be-taint but still-probably-hall-of-fame career.  Mike Mussina pitches in relief after Clemens gets hurt.  It is the only relief appearance of Mussina’s career.  Between Clemens, Mussina and Kyle Farnsworth, the Yankees send over 600 career wins to the mound and end the day with the same number of career wins as when the day started:


    2007-9-3 - Yankee Stadium (1923).jpg

    * – FYI, a guy who left early and spotted me walking around with Tim on my shoulders gave us his ticket (on the right above) so we could sit almost directly behind home plate (in the equivalent of what is now the Legends Suite tickets at the new Yankee Stadium).

    No. 8 – June 8, 2003, Mariners vs. Mets at Shea Stadium.  The only double-header I have ever attended and the most wins (2) that I have ever seen the Mariners collect in one day.  Excellent performances by both Jamie Moyer and Freddy Garcia.

    2003-6-8 - Shea Stadium.jpgNo. 9 – Weekend In New York — June 22, 2008, Reds vs. Yankees at Yankee Stadium (1923) and June 23, 2008, Mariners vs. Mets at Shea Stadium.  My high school buddy, Jason, visited from Seattle to see Yankee Stadium before it closed down.  We realized the Mariners were at Shea the next day.  On Sunday, we saw Ken Griffey, Jr. hit home run No. 601 of his career (the first and only home run I have seen him hit in a non-Mariners uniform.  The next day, we saw Felix Hernandez hit a GRAND SLAM off of Johan Santana.  An unforgettable weekend of baseball.

    2008-6-22 - Yankee Stadium (1923).jpg

    2008-6-23 - Shea Stadium.jpg

    No. 10 – September 12, 2007, Rockies vs. Phillies at Citizens Bank Park – an acquaintance who works for the Phillies “comp’d” us four excellent tickets (8 rows behind the 3B dugout) for a mid-week Phillies game against the Rockies.  Tim and I invited some friends and had a blast.  While at the game, I realized for the first time that it was the 1-year anniverary of Tim’s first Mariners/MLB game.  Instantly, a new tradition (and one of my favorite holidays) was born:  Tim’s MLB Anniversary Game.  I plan to take Tim to a game on September 12 every year, forever.

    2007-9-12 - Citz Bank Park.jpgHONORABLE MENTION(S):.

    - June 3, 2003, Mariners vs. Phillies at Veterans Stadium – Jamie Moyer collects a hit and adds to his Mariners legacy by beating his future team (and what a beautiful ticket – it even has the word “TICKET” embossed across the second panel from the right):

    2003-6-30 - Veterans Stadium.jpg- August 15, 2009, Indians vs. Twins at H.H.H. Metrodome – Tim’s first game in a traditional domed stadium.  My first real dome since the Kingdome.  It really brought back the Kingdome feel for me and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

                                 
    2009-8-15 - HHH Metrodome.jpg   
    2009-8-15 - HHH Metrodome 2.jpg.

    - Various Veterans Stadium tickets – I like defunct stadiums and odd tickets.  These next five are my only other remaining Veterans Stadium tickets and they include (i) my three smallest tickets, (ii) my first game seeing Griffey play for the Reds, and (iii) my only game ever seeing the Expos:

             
    1999-8-8 - Veterans Stadium.jpg   
    1999-9-4 - Veterans Stadium.jpg    
    2001-9-27 - Veterans Stadium.jpg

    2000-5-2 - Veterans Stadium.jpg
    2002-8-29 - Veterans Stadium.jpg

    And now, a whole bunch more (without descriptions) in chronological order…

                                    2000-5-17 - Safeco Field.jpg 
    2000-5-20 - Safeco Field.jpg.

    2000-8-4 - Yankee Stadium23.jpg
    2000-9-3 - Fenway Park.jpg
     2000-9-15 - Camden Yards.jpg 
    2001-8-20 - Safeco Field.jpg 
    2001-8-24 - Safeco Field.jpg.

         2003-6-6 - Shea Stadium.jpg  
    2003-6-13 - Safeco Field.jpg

    2004-4-27 - Camden Yards.jpg
    2004-4-27 - Camden Yards (2).jpg
    2004-6-19 - PNC Park.jpg
    2004-8-13 - Citz Bank Park - Bonds No689.jpg* – FYI, Barry Bonds hit his 689th home run at that last game.

             
    2006-4-6 - Safeco Field.jpg  
    2007-6-30 - Citz Bank Park.jpg.

    2007-8-9 - Camden Yards.jpg 
    2007-8-14 - Safeco Field.jpg.

    2007-8-15 - Safeco Field.jpg
    2007-9-9 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
    2007-9-29 - PNC Park.jpg
    2008-3-14 - Peoria Sports Complex.jpg
    2008-3-29 - Citz Bank Park On Deck Series.jpg
    2008-4-6 - Camden Yards.jpg
    2008-4-11 - Citz Bank Park.jpg 
    2008-5-2 - Citz Bank Park (Hall of Fame Suite).jpg 
    2008-5-23 - Yankee Stadium (1923).jpg  
    2008-6-2 - Citz Bank Park.jpg

    2008-6-3 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
    2008-6-4 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
    2008-7-19 - Safeco Field.jpg
    2008-8-17 - Progressive Field.jpg
    2008-8-18 - PNC Park.jpg
    2008-8-19 - Citz Bank Park Foul Pole Seat.jpg
    2008-8-27 - Camden Yards.jpg
    2008-9-7 - Shea Stadium.jpg
    2008-9-12 - Chase Field.jpg
    2009-4-19 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
    2009-4-25 - Citi Field.jpg
    2009-5-1 - Safeco Field.jpg
    2009-5-2 - Safeco Field.jpg2009-5-4 - Safeco Field 2.jpg                        
    2009-5-4 - Safeco Field.jpg   
    2009-5-5 - Safeco Field.jpg


    2009-5-8 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
    2009-5-13 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
    2009-5-17 - Nationals Park.jpg
    2009-5-31 - Camden Yards.jpg
    2009-6-10 - Camden Yards.jpg
    2009-6-28 - Camden Yards.jpg
    2009-7-2 - Yankee Stadium09.jpg
    2009-7-19 - Nationals Park.jpg
    2009-7-24 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
    2009-8-5 - FirstEnergy Stadium - AA-Pedro.jpg* – Pedro Martinez pitched this game for the Reading Phillies while preparing for his debut with the Philadelphia Phillies.  He was on fire with the strike out pitch.

    2009-8-16 - Miller Park.jpg
    2009-8-17 - U.S. Cellular.jpg
    2009-9-17 - Safeco Field.jpg
    2009-9-19 - Safeco Field.jpg
    2009-9-19 - Safeco Field 2.jpg
    2009-9-26 - Rogers Centre.jpg
    2009-10-4 - Camden Yards.jpg

    Satellite Views of our 2010 Season

    Over the past several months, I have slowly been planning our 2010 season.  Like in 2009, Tim and I will visit 13 MLB stadiums (with an outside, but very unlikely, chance that we’ll hit a 14th stadium).  I have many of our games planned out and tickets secured.   Other games are tentatively planned, but still uncertain.  Whatever the order and whatever the actual games end up being, we will definitely make it to each of the following stadiums (as seen via Google Earth and Bing satellite views).

    Like in 2008 and 2009, we plan to begin our 2010 season at our second favorite stadium:

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards

    1 - Camden Yards satellite.jpg

    Next, we’ll stick in the region.  Our second game of 2010 will be at:

    Nationals Park

    2 - Nationals Park satellite.jpg

    Next, we’ll be off to the Big Apple for a game at:

    Citi Field

    3 - Citi Field satellite.jpg

    FYI, I couldn’t find any satellite views of Queens post-Shea.  Therefore, I cut out Shea’s infield and guestimated where Citi Field’s infield now lies.  I could be totally off, but I think the Jackie Robinson Rotunda takes up a lot of space under my red arrow.

    Okay, since originally posting this, I found a different type of arial view on Bing.com.  Here you go:

     

    3a - Citi Field satellite.jpgNext, we’ll be sticking closer to home for a very special game at:

    Citizens Bank Park

    4 - Citizens Bank Park satellite.jpgNext, we enter a period of uncertainty.  We’ll probably be back at Camden Yards and Citizen Bank Park before hitting any new stadiums.  I think the next stadium we visit will be on the Third Annual Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Roadtrip of 2010.  Our first game on the roadtrip will be at:

    Oakland-Alameda County Colesium

    5 - Oakland-Alameda County Colesium satellite.jpgFrom Oakland, we will drive to Los Angeles for a game at the only MLB stadium in the City or County of Los Angeles:

    Dodger Stadium

    6 - Dodger Stadium satellite.jpgFrom L.A., we will continue down the coast for a couple games at:

    Petco Park

    7 - Petco Park satellite.jpgOn the way back up, we will next visit the site of my personal MLB debut:

    Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Not Los Angeles)

    8 - Angel Stadium of Anaheim satellite.jpgFinally, we will wrap up the roadtrip at:

    AT&T Park

    9 - AT&T Park satellite.jpgAfter the Roadtrip, we will again enter a period of uncertainty.  Again, I predict more games at Citizens Bank Park and/or Camden Yards before hitting any new parks.  The next new park we will visit after the roadtrip will almost certainly be:

    Progressive Field

    10 - Progressive Field satellite.jpgShortly after visiting Progressive Field, we will again visit the site of Tim’s Third Baseball Anniversary game:

    Yankee Stadium

    11 - Yankee Stadium satellite.jpgAgain, I could not find a satellite view that shows the current Yankee Stadium.  So, I cut out the infield of now demonlished 1923 version and pasted it roughly where I estimate the infield lies in the current Yankee Stadium.

    Like Citi Field, since posting this entry, I have now found a different view on Bing.com that shows Yankee Stadium (2009):

     

    11a - Yankee Stadium satellite.jpgOnly two stadiums to go.  While we conceivably could visit the next stadium early in the season, most likely we won’t make it to Pittsburgh until Septembe for a couple games at:

    PNC Park

    12 - PNC Park satellite.jpgLast, but certainly not least, we will end our season with our Mariners at our favorite ball park in all the land:

    Safeco Field

    13 - Safeco Field satellite.jpg

    And there you have it, the stadiums that Tim and I will visit in 2010.  I had originally wanted to spend the 4th of July weekend in Detroit to see the Mariners play at Comerica Park.  But that just isn’t going to happen…and I highly doubt we will make it to Comerica at any point this season.  Maybe next year.

    One comment about these satellite views.  I did not rotate any of the stadiums.  Therefore, you can see that home plate at all of these stadiums except one point to the northeast.  The sole exception is PNC Park which points to the southeast.  I thought that was an interesting part of seeing all of these satellite views.

    I can’t wait to get out to there and visit some of our favorite ballparks again, and several ballparks we have never visited before.

    “Play Ball!”

    Stadium Frames

    Here’s a random, non-game-entry post for your Wednesday night.

    You might have noticed from our blog that I like to take a lot of pictures, to visit a lot of stadiums, and to make things out of wood (usually baseball bats).   Well, these three passions come together on the wall of my home office.  Last season, I made 5″ x 7″ frames to display pictures from the 9 stadiums Tim and I had visited together to that point.  (FYI, that includes Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Yankee Stadium (1923), Great American Ball Park, Progressive Field, PNC Park, Shea Stadium and Chase Field).

    Well, last weekend, I finally updated my wall through the 2009 season (click to enlarge picture):

    Stadium Frames Thru 2009.jpgIf you click on the picture, you will see that I added frames for the 9 new stadiums Tim and I visited in 2009:  Citi Field, Nationals Park, Yankees Stadium (2009), Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, H.H.H. Metrodome, Miller Park, U.S. Cellular Field, and Rogers Centre.

    By the way, all of the links take you to the game entries that correspond with the framed pictures.

    Also, I guess I should mention two more things:  In the 8″ x 10″ picture of Tim just left of center, Tim is standing in Rittenhouse Square in Center City Philadelphia, just before his first game at Citizens Bank Park (his second game of his life).

    In the 8″ x 10″ picture just right of center, that is Ken Griffey, Jr. holding a sign that says “Hi Todd.”  My mom had him pose for that picture on his first day of Spring Training in 2008 (literally, his first day back in a Mariners uniform) and my folks gave it to me for my birthday.

    Its good to finally be caught up with my frames.  However, soon the 2010 season will start and we are set to add Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium Not of Los Angeles, Petco Park, AT&T Park and the Oakland-Alameda County Colesium.  And, I’d really like to get to Comerica Park, but right now it is a long shot for 2010.

    C&S’s American League Stadium Panoramas

    Here is something different. Picture-after-picture-after-picture of MLB baseball fields — every panoramic photo we have posted throughout our American League game entries all combined in one place, broken down by division, stadium, seating section and (if possible) row.

     

    I started this with the intention of combining all AL and NL stadiums.  However, the entry just got too long.  So I’m splitting it up.  The National League entry will be posted soon.

     

    Scroll down to find:  Safeco Field, H.H.H. Metrodome, Progressive Field, U.S. Cellular Field, Fenway Park, Camden Yards, Rogers Centre, Yankee Stadium (2009), and Yankee Stadium (1923).

     

    Coming later in 2010: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, and more of many of the above.

     

    A.L. West

     

    Safeco Field - Seattle Mariners

    (1999-present)

     

    Safeco Field section 137:

    safeco section 137.jpgSafeco Field section 151:

    11 - safeco section 151 panaramic.jpgSafeco Field behind section 110:

    9 - safeco RF concourse panaramic.jpgSafeco Field section 123, row 14 seat 2:

    3 - safeco pauls seats panaramic.jpgSafeco Field from top of section 190:

    37 - safeco CF top panaramic.jpgSafeco Field section 186 (front row):

    28 - safeco Section 186 front row panaramic.jpgSafeco Field section 149:

    8 - safeco Section 149 panaramic.jpgSafeco Field section 146 & section 147 (from concourse):

    19 safeco LF foul concourse panoramic.jpgSafeco Field section 329:

    16 safeco home upper deck panoramic.jpgSafeco Field from owners’ suite:

    13 safeco owners suite panoramic.jpgSafeco Field from press box:


    11 safeco press box panoramic.jpgSafeco Field from visitors’ dugout:

    8 safeco 3B dugout panoramic.jpgSafeco Field from Mariners dugout (worm’s eye view):

    5 safeco 1B dirt level panoramic.jpgSafeco Field from Mariners dugout:

    4 safeco 1B field panoramic.jpgSafeco Field from home plate warning track:

    2 safeco home field panoramic.jpgSafeco Field section 137, row 19:

    safeco section 137.jpgSafeco Field section 118:

    safeco section 118 panoramic.jpgSafeco Field section 347 (back row):

    safeco lf foul panoramic.jpgSafeco Field section 333 & section 334 (back row).

    safeco home-3d panoramic.jpgSafeco Field section 330 (back row):

    safeco home upper panoramic.jpgSafeco Field (approximately) section 316:

    safeco rf foul panoramic.jpgSafeco Field section 309:

    safeco rf hr panoramic.jpgSafeco Field section 306 (back row):

    safeco CF upper panoramic.jpgSafeco Field section 190, row 12:

    safeco cf panoramic.jpgSafeco Field section 110 (approximately half way up section):

    safeco RF corner.jpgSafeco Field section 184:

    safeco LF bleachers.jpg

    Additional A.L. West Stadiums Coming in 2010:

    Angel Stadium of Anaheim – Anaheim Angels of Orange County, CA (1966-present)

    Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum- Oakland Athletics (1966-present)

     

    A.L. Central

     

    H.H.H. Metrodome - Minnesota Twins

    (1982-2009)

     

    H.H.H. Metrodome section 100, row 8, seats 23-24:

    31 - metrodome sec. 100 ball panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 224 (approximately the front row of upper deck):

    29 - metrodome plate upperfront panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 16 (left) and section 15 (right) (back row):

    28 - metrodome rf long foul upper panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 214 (back row):

    27 - metrodome RF upper hr panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 201 (approximately row 26):

    25 - metrodome cf upper panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 239:

    23 - metrodome RF HR upper panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 236 (approximately):

    22 - metrodome LF foul upper panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 224 (back row):

    15 - metrodome plate upperback panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 218 (approximately row 7):

    13 - metrodome RF foul upper panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 106 (front row):

    9 - metrodome cf ball panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 105 (front row corner spot):

    8 - gomez gloves TJCs ball.jpg

     

    Progressive Field (“The Jake”)

    Cleveland Indians (1994-present)

     

    Progressive Field section 577 (back row):

    26 - jake LF foul upper panaramic.jpgProgressive Field section 181 (back row):

    30 - jake LF HR bleachers panaramic.jpgProgressive Field section 554 (back row):

    20 - jake plate upper panaramic.jpgProgressive Field section 519 (back row):

    18 - jake RF foul upper panaramic.jpgProgressive Field section 504:

    17 - jake RF upper panaramic.jpgProgressive Field section 317 (standing room counter behind last row):

    16 - jake rf foul middle panaramic.jpgProgressive Field section 311 (front row):

    13 - jake rf bullpen middle panaramic.jpgProgressive Field section 154:

    11 - jake plate field panaramic.jpgProgressive Field 300-level center field concourse:

    2 - jake griff HR panaramic.jpgProgressive Field section 185 (back row):

    18 - jake CF panaamic.jpgProgressive Field section 101 & section 102 (front row from aisle):

    9 - jake RCF field panaramic.jpgProgressive Field section 113:

    6 - jake RF HR field panaramic.jpg

     

    U.S. Cellular Field (formerly Comiskey Park)

    Chicago White Sox (1991-present (renovated in 2001))

     

    U.S. Cellular Field section 533 (left) & section 531 (right) (back row):

    8 - Cell home upper panaramic.jpgU.S. Cellular Field section 107 (from concourse behind seats):

    28 - Cell RF hr field panaramic.jpgU.S. Cellular Field from concourse behind batters’ eye:

    23 - Cell CF batters eye panaramic.jpgU.S. Cellular Field section 159 (from handicap accessible seating behind seats):

    17 - Cell LF field HR panaramic.jpgU.S. Cellular Field section 509:

    10 - Cell RF foul upper panaramic.jpgU.S. Cellular Field section 557 (left) and sectio 556 (right) (back row):

    9 - Cell LF upper panaramic.jpgU.S. Cellular Field section 120 (from concourse behind seats):

    6 - Cell 1B concourse panaramic.jpgU.S. Cellular Field section 117 (approximately) (front row).

    4 - Cell 1B field panaramic.jpg

     

    A.L. East

     

    Fenway Park – Boston Red Sox

    (1912-present)

     

    Fenway Park centerfield exterior from Ispwich Street:

    3 - walking to fenway.jpgFenway Park championshp banners in RF foul concourse:

    25 - fenway banners panaramic.jpgFenway Park section 22, row 15, seat 18 (infield grandstand):

    13 - fenway 22-15-18 panramic.jpgFenway Park section 37, row 21 (bleachers):

    20 - fenway section 37 row 21 panaramic.jpgFenway Park Green Monster walkway (just passed section 10):

    4 - fenway CF green monster panaramic.jpgFenway Park section 42, row 40 (back row):

    32 - fenway RF Bleachers panaramic.jpgFenway Park standing room behind section 4 & section 5:

    31 - fenway 1B foul corner panaramic.jpgFenway Park standing room behind section 12 & section 13:

    29 - fenway 1B foul field back panaramic.jpgFenway Park section 23.

    28 - fenway Home-3B back field panaramic.jpgFenway Park section 63 & section 64 (visitors’ dugout):

    16 - fenway 3B dugout panaramic.jpgFenway Park cross aisle between section 40 & section 126 (approximately):

    14 - fenway Home-1B field panaramic.jpgFenway Park cross aisle between section 21 & section 108 (approximately):

    13 - fenway 1B field panaramic.jpgFenway Park section 42 & section 43 (front cross aisle behind visitors’ bullpen):

    5 - fenway RF bullpen panaramic.jpgFenway Park concourse inside CF Lansdowne Street entrance:

    3 - fenway cf concourse panaramic.jpg

     

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards

    Baltimore Orioles (1992-present)

     

    Camden Yards section 336 (left) and section 334 (right) (back row):

    cam home panoramic.jpgCamden Yards section 306 (upper part):

    cam RF foul panoramic.jpg

    Camden Yards section 33 (back row):

    17 - camden field home panoramic.jpg

    Camden Yards exterior main entrance:

    3  - camden main enterance panoramic.jpg.

    Camden Yards section 96 (from cross aisle behind back row):

    8 - camden 2007 RCF panaramic.jpgCamden Yards section 3 (back row):

    27 camden RF foul panoramic.jpgCamden Yards section 9:

    8 - camden 1B-RF foul panoramic.jpgCamden Yards section 1:

    7 - cam rf foul panoramic2.jpgCamden Yards section 306 (lower part):

    cypana2.jpgCamden Yards section 35 (back row):

    cypana.jpgCamden Yards section 36, row 8:

    34 - camden plate 8th row panaramic.jpgCamden Yards section 39 (back row):

    28 - camden plate above aisle big shadow panarama.jpgCamden Yards flag pavillion from Eutaw Street:

    26 - camden flag pavillion panarama.jpgCamden Yards warehouse on Eutaw Street from RF standing room flag pavillion:

    25 - camden warehouse panaramic.jpgCamden Yards from over right field wall in standing room flag pavillion:

    23 - camden RF flag panarama.jpgCamden Yards section 36 (left) and section 34 (right) (top row):

    9 - camden plate 1B foul field pre-game panarama.jpg

    Camden Yards section 4:


    camden section 4 panorama.jpgCamden Yards section 26 (top row):

    8 - camden plate 1B foul field panaramic.jpgCamden Yards section 90, row A, seats 1-2:

    7 - camden CF section 90 row A seat 1 panaramic.jpgCamden Yards section 94:

    6 - camden CF section 94 panaramica.jpgCamden Yards from warning track behind home plate (Kids Run The Bases Day):

    24 - tim in motion.JPGCamden Yards from warning track behind third base (Kids Run The Bases Day):

    28 - cam 3B field panoramic.jpg

     

    Rogers Centre (formerly “Skydome”)

    Toronto Blue Jays (1989-present)

     

    Rogers Centre section 104, row 1, seats 107:

    29 - rogers rf section 104 row 1 seat 107 panaramic.jpgRogers Center section 509 (top of section):

    27 - rogers rf foul line upper panaramic.jpgRogers Centre section 513 (back row):

    26 - rogers rf foul upper behind lights panaramic.jpgRogers Centre section 513 (mid-way up section):

    25 - rogers RF foul upper below lights panaramic.jpgRogers Centre section 525 & section 524b (back row):


    23 - rogers plate upper panaramic.jpgRogers Centre from center of batters’ eye (between sections 142 and 101):

    22 - rogers CF batters eye view panaramic.jpgRogers Centre section 130 (approximate) (standing room behind top row of section):

    20 - rogers LF foul field panaramic.jpgRogers Centre section 122 (left) & section 121 (right):

    19 - rogers plate field panaramic.jpgRogers Centre section 113D (front row, corner spot):.

    17 - rogers rf foul corner field panaramic.jpgRogers Centre section 115 (front row):

    3 - rogers 1B Field panaramic2.jpg

     

    Yankee Stadium – New York Yankees

    (2009-present)

     

    Yankee Stadium section 121A:

    30 a - bronx plate field tarp panaramic.jpgYankee Stadium section 406 (back row):

    17a - bronx RF upper deck last row panaramic.jpgYankee Stadium standing room area on top of Mohegan Sun (batters’ eye) sports bar:

    15a - bronx CF panaramic.jpgYankee Stadium section 217 standing room behind back row:

    13a - bronx 1B second deck panaramic.jpgYankee Stadium section 223 standing room behind back row:

    2a - bronx 3B second deck panaramic.jpgYankee Stadium exterior by Gate 6:

    1- bronx outside panaramic.jpgYankee Stadium section 110 (left) and section 109 (right):

    4- bronx 1st view panaramic.jpgYankee Stadium section 120B:

    9 - bronx field home panaramic.jpgYankee Stadium and 4-Train from section 406:

    11 - 4-train.JPGYankee Stadium section 420B (back row):

    15 - bronx home upper panaramic.jpg

    Yankee Stadium section 201, batters’ eye obstructed view, section 239:

    bronx 201 obstructed view 239 panarama.jpg

    Yankee Stadium section 231 (approximately) standing room behind back row:

    26 - bronx LF foul concourse panaramic.jpg

     

    Yankee Stadium – New York Yankees

    (1923-2008 (renovated 1973-76))

     

    Yankee Stadium (1923) tier 14, row F, seat 18:

    old bronx 3B upper.jpg

    Yankee Stadium (1923) section 24:

    9 - old bronx stadium semi-panaramic view.jpg

    Yankee Stadium (1923) section 299 (approximately):

    old bronx 1B outer foul.jpg

    Yankee Stadium (1923) – preparing for the afterlife in 2009:

    30b - bronx old LF outside demolition panaramic.jpg

    There you go, that is all of my American League panoramic pictures from the last year of Cook & Son Bats’ Blog.  We’ve seen a lot of great sights at the “ballpark.”  I’ hope you’ve enjoyed our American League installment.  Our National League panoramas will hit the internet in a couple weeks after we finish off the 2008 season with three more games in three different ballparks in three different states.  Stay tuned.

    A Sunny Day At Safeco Field (7/19/08)

    In 2008, we only spent parts of two days in Seattle.  In July, we went on an Alaskan cruise with 25 family members to celebrate my grandparents’ 65 anniversary.  Our ship docked back in Seattle in the morning on July 19th, and a few hours later we were at Safeco Field for our only Mariners home game, and our final Mariners game, of 2008.

    Aside for the final score of the game, it was a beautiful day.

    1 - welcome to safeco field.jpgIt turned out that it was turn back the clock day.  I think we were turning back the clock to 1988, as you can tell from this fake picture of Ichiro…

    2 - 80srific Ichiro.jpg…it was definitely sometime in the 1980s.  Do you think Ichiro looked like that in the 80s?  I’m doubting it.

    My dad, my uncle Tom, and Tim and I entered the ballpark right as the game started.  We grabbed some snacks and watched the top of the first inning from a standing room counter behind section 145: 

    3 - popcorn behind section 145 at safeco.jpgWe had great seats in the field level down the 3B line in the shallow outfield foul territory.  My mom, aunt Barb, and my parents friends and co-season ticket holders, Lynn and Steve, met up with us.  But it ended up that Tim and I spent most of the game on our own, away from our excellent seats.

    We first split off from our family and friends so Tim could get a delicious Ben & Jerry’s chocolate ice cream helmet.  But we ended up never returning to our normal seats because the Mariners went down 9-2 by the third inning, and the two people circled in this picture (of Ichiro stepping into the box in the top of the third)…

    3a - fuzzy ichiro and red circle.jpg…ended up leaving early.  The lady saw Tim sitting on my shoulders and thought we were just an adorable father-son combo so she approached us and gave us their ticket stubs.

    But I’m getting ahead of myself.

    The Indians scored three runs in the top of the first on the “strength” of terrible pitching by Miguel Batista.  The Indians first inning was highlighted by a homerun by former Mariner Shin-Soo Choo.

    In the top of the second, I took this picture of Brian LaHair’s first career at-bat…

    4 - brian lahair debut at-bat.jpg…the Mariners were projecting big things from LaHair — they have never materialized.  He popped out to CF in his first career at-bat.

    Here is a picture of Tim checking our the stadium from our actual ticketed seats:

    5 - checking out safeco field.jpg

    At the end of the second, we parted ways with my family to grab Tim’s ice cream helmet.  We took it to the standing room counter just above the visitors’ bullpen.  We were standing right behind Raul Ibanez…

    7 - raul in LF.jpgThis was Tim’s second career ice cream helmet and his first with real ice cream (not soft serve).

    6 - ice cream helmet.jpgHe loved it.

    After Tim finished his ice cream, an usher spotted us.  The Mariners are very antsy about kids sitting on this counter (or on their dad’s shoulders while standing right here) because on the other side of the counter is a 20 foot drop into the bullpen.

    So we headed down the stairs and walked over to the Mariners bullpen.  Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey was warming up…

    8 - dickey knuckles.jpg…it was pretty cool watching his knuckler up close.  Hey, check it out, its Norm “The Sheriff” Charlton to the far right of that picture.

    After watching Dickey, we headed over to RF and watched Ichiro patrol his domain – he had already had an outfield assist, robbing Ben Francisco of a hit by forcing out Jamie Carroll at second base in the first inning.

    9 - Ichiro in RF.jpgThis is where we were when the lady circled in red above gave us her tickets.

    When we got to those seats, Raul Ibanez was stepping into the box to lead off the bottom of the sixth.  Check out the view from these seats!

    10 - rauuuuuul on deck.jpgRaul would get plunked by the third pitch he saw from Jeremy Sowers in this at-bat.  By the way, to this point in the season, Sowers was winless with an ERA in the mid-6 range.

    Adrian Beltre followed Raul with a single.

    11 - beltre then lopez.jpgBy the way, check out those sweet retro-Mariners uniforms.  They looked so much better than I remembered them looking back in their day.

    The Mariners made a push that was too little too late.  Ultimately, Raul made his way around the diamond to score the Mariners’ third run of the game.  Beltre then scored the M’s fourth run…

    12 - wild pitch scores beltre.jpg…on a wild pitch.

    Check out these seats!  I loved them!

    R.A. Dickey entered the game in the seventh…

    13 - dickey.jpg…and then he entered the M’s dugout just below our seats four batters later after pitching a scoreless top of the seventh.

    Yuniesky Betancourt led off the bottom of the seventh for the Mariners…

    14 - Yuni and Tim.jpg…and, six months later, I ended up using this picture from Yuni’s at-bat to make baseball cards for all of the kids who attended Tim’s third birthday.

    During and following Yuni’s at-bat, I had an excellent opportunity to take some close-up photos of Ichiro.  At the time, Ichiro was riding a six game hitting streak in games attended by Tim, but he was 0-3 so far on the day.

    Let’s see what happened.   First, Ichiro’s head popped into view over the dugout roof just in front of us…

    15 - ichiro appears.jpg…as Sam Perlozzo headed to the 3B coach’s box, Ichiro headed to the on-deck circle to prepare for his at-bat…

    16 - ichiro arises.jpg…as Betancourt faced Edward Mujica, Ichiro tugged on his sleave, stretched, and mentally prepared to do battle in the batter’s box…

    17 - ichiro prepares.jpg…and then Ichiro made his classic approach to the plate…

    18 - ichiro approaches the plate.jpg…followed by Ichiro’s classic pose (which, by the way, is currently pictured on my T-shirt as I type this entry)…

    19 - ichiro poses.jpg…and on the first pitch he saw from Mujica, Ichiro extended his hit streak to all seven of Tim’s Mariners games…

    20 - ichiro singles.jpg…with a single into centerfield.  Unfortunately, Ichiro would be stranded on base in the inning and the score would remain 9-4 Indians until the bottom of the ninth.

    In the ninth, Ichiro was up for his final at-bat following a two-out single by Yuniesky Betancourt.  Ichiro capped the day’s scoring with a 2-run homerun off of his fellow-countryman, Masa Kobayashi.  All in all, he had a great day, 2-5 with a single and homerun, 2RBI and an outfield assist.

    Unfortanetly, the Mariners just could not overcome the 8 earned runs Batista gave up in his 2-innings of work.  Despite the loss, Tim and I had a great time at Safeco Field and couldn’t wait to come back in 2009.

    21 - TJCs at Safeco Field.jpgGo Mariners!

    A Pair of Losses to the Twins (Aug. 14-15, 2007)

    Five days after Tim’s first Mariners road game, we were back in Seattle visiting my parents and taking in Tim’s second and third home Mariners games…
    1a - welcome to safeco field.jpg…I slacked off on the photos, particularly for the second game, so I am doing this as a two-game entry.

    As of this point in time, Tim had been to two Mariners games in his life and the Mariners were a perfect 2-0.  Unfortunately, I knew that wouldn’t last forever.  These two games would prove me right.  We would come out of these games with a 2-2 Mariners record in Tim’s games.  But, we had a lot of fun nonetheless.

    At the first game, we sat in my parents’ seats…


    1b - grandparents season tickets.jpg…they have had either full or partial season tickets for about 15 years now.  Back in 2007, their seats were behind home plate slightly toward the third base side, and about 30 rows up.  They were nice seats.

    Both of these games were against the Twins.  For the first game, it was me and Tim, plus my parents and Colleen.  Tim was under 2 years old so he didn’t need his own ticket or seat.

    My folks had a great time passing Tim back and forth during the game, and he had fun sitting on their laps and watching the game:


    1c - serious game watchers.jpgHe especially liked eating Grandpa’s french fries.

    I used to also take his portable booster seat to games and he spent a little time in it at this game (still eating french fries)…


    1d - babybooster at safeco.jpg…and he spent some time sitting with me too…


    1e - clowing around at safeco.jpgUnfortuantely, this game got outta hand quick.  It was a match up of Horacio Ramirez and Matt Garza.  You may recall that just five days ago, Tim and I had seen Ramirez earn his first road victory of the season.  Well, this game would be his first home loss of the season.  Its unfortunate we had to see this outcome.  Just a week later, Ramirez would face off against Garza at the Metrodome and would beat him.

    With our M’s trailing in the middle innings, I took Tim to see the Mariners Hall of Fame display in the concourse behind 3B at Safeco Field.

    First, we acted like we were picking off a home run:



    1f - teamwork.jpgThen, Tim checked out some lumber used by Mariners greats including the great, Ken Griffey, Jr…


    1g - special lumber.jpg

    …I should note, I’m not sure if these bats are game-used or just the models these guys used.  I’m guessing the latter because it would seem like a poor decision to display a Griffey game-used bat in this manner (where it could get damaged by a fan).  Either way, its cool to see these guys’ bats.

    By the seventh inning, the Mariners were trailing 7-1.  A lot of the damage was care of Twins center fielder Torii Hunter who was 3-4 with 4 runs scored.  It was getting ugly.  So, we decided to go track down one of the Mariners best fans of all-time, my best buddy, Paul:


    1h - paulie in RF bleachers.jpgPaulie was sitting in the LF bleachers with some friends from work.  We stopped by the LF bleachers so Paul could say “hi” to Tim and Colleen.

    Paulie and I had gone to the game the night before and saw the Mariners beat the Twins.  It was one of the few games I’ve been to without Tim since his first game back in September 2006.  Unfortunately, it would be the only home Mariners win either of us would witness in 2007, and Tim missed it.  But on a positive note, Paul and I enjoyed it a lot!

    Anyway, back to this game, the Mariners tried to mount a come back in the 8th, but it was too little too late.  And then the Twins piled on 3 more in the top of the 9th to put the dagger in the M’s.  The bright spot on the night is that Ichiro was 1-4 to continue his hit streak in the games Tim had attended – 3 whole games, and counting…

    August 15, 2007

    Tim, my dad and I were right back at it the next day.  I got us tickets in the “Hit It Here” Cafe as a late-Father’s Day gift for my dad.  Although my dad had ate a meal in the Cafe before, none of us had ever watched a game from the Cafe.

    This was a great game until the very end.  But it was also the worst photographed game of Tim’s life.  In fact, there is not a single picture of Tim and me together at this game, the only game of his life for which that can be said.  I think it was because we were in the Cafe, which is much more like being in a restaurant (because you are) than being at a ballpark (probably because it is so quiet in there).

    But I did get some great grandfather-grandson shots, like these:


    2a - welcome to the HIHC.jpgAs you can see to the left, Tim is checking out the menu.  The tickets in the “Hit It Here” Cafe come with something like a $18 food credit.  So, we had some eating to do!

    We started out with some delicious nachos…


    2b - a windo with a view.jpg…the carnage of which is shown behind Tim in the picture above.

    That last picture gives you somewhat of a feel for the Cafe, but I didn’t get a good picture of what the place really looks like.  Here’s the deal:

    There are three rows of counter-space seats.  We were in the first row where there are two seats for each window.  The seats are wooden chairs, not ballpark-style stadium seats.  Behind our seats was a row of restaurant-style tables.  They are tall tables/seats so the people sitting behind us had a clear line of sight over us.  Just above/behind those tables was another counter with another row of tables just behind it, and then one more counter with one last row of tall tables/seats behind it.  There is a big vertical rise in the Cafe.  In that last picture above, I am standing behind the top counter looking down.  You can see the bottom and middle counters, but you can’t see the tables because they are below and hidden by the middle counter.

    After the nachos, we took on one mighty piece of chocolate cake with strawberry topping…


    2c - monster chocolate and strawberry cake.jpg…this thing was huge and ridiculously good.

    Grandpa helped Tim check out the action in the stadium with Grandpa’s binoculars…


    2d - scopic safeco in binoculars.jpg…here is what our view looked like:


    2e - view from HIHC.jpgAnd here is Adrian Beltre taking a hack:


    2f - beltre batting.jpgAnd, sadly, that is all of the “decent” photos that I took at this game.

    As for the actual game, as I said, it was a good one.  Jarrod Washburn pitched and gave up only 1 earned run in 7 innings (and 2 runs total).  It was 1-1 going into the top of the 8th inning.  And it was 2-1 Twins in the top of the 9th when, once again, Torii Hunter did some major damage.  He hit a grand slam against Sean Green with two outs in the top of the 9th inning.

    Once again, on the positive side, Ichiro was 2-4 with 2 stolen bases, and Raul Ibanez was 2-4 with a home run.

    Despite the 6-1 final score, it was a well-played and exciting game until the very end, and it was a fun late-Father’s Day celebration for the Cook & Son Bats crew.

    Tim’s MLB Debut (9/12/06)

    Welcome to my first “turn-back-the-clock” game entry.  When I took Tim to his first game back in 2006, I didn’t even know MLBlogs existed.  Tim and I went to about 20 games or so between 2006-2008 and I plan to tell those stories this off-season.  This is the first.

    When I found out toward the end of the 2005 baseball season that our first (and so far only) child due to be born in early 2006 was going to be a boy, I got really excited about the idea of having a little baseball partner.   I was looking forward to playing catch in the yard and teaching my son how to hit.  And I was really excited to have a little partner with whom to go to MLB games and, hopefully, to love the Mariners as much as I do.

    Tim was born in January 2006.  I decided I wanted his first game to be a Mariners home game and I wanted it to be late in the season so he would be at least six months old…so he could at least somewhat “experience” the experience, not just “be there.”  I picked Tuesday, September 12, 2006 as the big day.  The opponent would be the Blue Jays.

    Now, I’m a guy who likes to make an event out of things.  I’m not against creating my own holidays.  And I didn’t want this day to be just any other day…because it wasn’t.  September 12th would be Tim’s FIRST BASEBALL GAME and, better yet, his FIRST MARINERS GAME!  This was big.  So I fully intended to do it right.  And with help from some important people, most notably my awesome parents, it was done right!

    I started out by simply emailing the closest people in my life sort of a “save the date” and open invitation.  I definitely wanted my parents and my best friend (and co-best Mariners fan) Paul to be there.  I was hoping also that Colleen’s folks (from Virginia) and her sister’s family (including my nephew, Gill, who (much to my dismay) I have still failed to get to a MLB game!) to join us.

    Following my email, my mom had an amazing idea.  I have two cousins who both live in Western Washington and both have daughters 2 months older than Tim.  Plus, my parents have season tickets with their best friends, Lynn and Steve, and they have a grandson who is also two months older than Tim.  So my parents offered to get a suite so all four kids plus TWENTY-FIVE friends and family members could join together for this (personally) historic event.

    YES!!!!!

    Big, huge, enormous thanks to my folks!

    So, we weren’t messing around.  This was going to be seriously awesome.

    I decided I couldn’t go in there empty-handed.  In a possibly unprecedented move, I made a set of three custom baseball cards to commemorate Tim’s first game, complete with fake 1-game 2006 seasons stats (fyi, Tim had some great stats).  Here is what they looked like: 


    1 - rookie cards.jpgThey were the size of regular baseball cards and I gave one to each person who attended the game with us — except the grandparents got a full set of three cards.

    Before we knew it, it was September and our trip to Seattle was upon us.  The big day started with a run around Green Lake with my father-in-law, Kevin, and then some painting in my folks’ garage…


    2 - painting sign.jpg…more on the painting later.

    It was a 7:05 start and the weather was gloriously sunny.  Beautiful.  Our suite was down the 1B line just foul of rightfield.  In the picture below to the left, the red arrow is pointing to our suite…


    3 - stadium views.JPG…and the picture to the right shows our view of home plate from the suite.

    When we arrived at the stadium, I already had Tim’s first game ticket encased in an inch-thick screw down jumbo baseball card holder — where it will be locked down for all time.  The guy at the Suites entrance thought it was pretty unusual, but his scanner had no problem scanning the ticket through the glass.

    Plus, it gave me the opportunity to explain to the ticket guy that four little kids would be celebrating their first game ever in suite number 5, which resulted in unexpected but much welcome extra-special treatment.

    Shortly after arriving, we met up with my cousin, Janet, her husband, Destry (who runs ridiculously fast (i.e., sub-2.5 hour) marathons, and their daughter and Tim’s co-guest of honor, Julie.  Here we are hanging out in the three rows of seats in our suite: 


    4 - TJCs with Johnsons.jpg…note the Ted Williams jersey on the wall behind us.  Each of the suites at Safeco Field is named after a Hall of Famer.  My guess is that the best suite will some day be called the “Ken Griffey, Jr. Suite.”

    After watching lots of Mariners games on TV with me throughout the season, Tim was excited to finally be making his MLB debut…


    5 - fun.jpg…Julie was just taking it all in — while wearing her sweet Mariners cheerleader outfit!

    We got a “BP Group” picture of the folks who were there early:


    6 - group in the suite pre-game.jpgLeft to Right:  (Totally cut off is my uncle Ray, Julie’s grandpa), my dad Jim, Colleen, Me and Tim, Destry, Janet and Julie, and my aunt Carol (Julie’s grandma).

    After the group shot, it was time to hit field level.  This is literally the second picture ever taken of Tim in the field level of a MLB ballpark and the first with MLB ball players shown in the background…


    7 - TJCs with Jason Phillips in background.jpg…any guesses who wore number “47″ for the Blue Jays in 2006?  Well, wouldn’t you know, it is none other than current Mariners bullpen catcher and Chief-Cook-and-Son-Baseball-Giver, Jason Phillips.  If the first picture had to feature non-Mariners, I think its pretty darn cool that it was Phillips.

    Once we were down on the field level, we took a peak back up at our suite, where Uncle Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy, was doing his best Tricky Dick Nixon above my painting project:


    8 - sign.jpgYes, the “First Gamers Club!”  I spent a lot of time debating if the sign should say this or “The September Call-Ups”  I think both are great.  But in the end this seemed better for the paper I used for the sign, plus it is more easily understood by non-baseball people.  FYI, they showed our sign on the jumbo screen during the game!

    By the way, Laura is my cousin’s Daniel’s daughter and Kasey is Lynn and Steve’s grandson.  They weren’t there for BP, but you’ll see them soon.

    After that picture above behind the 1B dugout, we spotted my dad down the 1B line.  He was seeing if he could catch a ball.  So, we went down and joined him.  Immediately upon meeting up with my dad (and about 1 minute after the picture behind the dugout), Colleen took this picture of three generations of Cook boys enjoying an evening at the ballpark: 


    9 - first BP action.jpgAnd, immediately after Colleen took that picture, the BP batter hit a ball to that guy pictured above with the big red arrow pointing at him.

    Until recently, I had no clue who he was.  But as he fielded the ball, I yelled, “ITS MY SON’S FIRST GAME CAN WE GET THAT BALL!?!?!?”

    Without pause, he immediately turned around, walked over to us, and set Tim’s first MLB ball ever into my glove!


    10 - tim's first ball ever.jpgI didn’t get my first baseball at a game until I was probably 12 or 13.  So I was SUPER-EXCITED to have a ball from Tim’s first game ever.

    After we got that ball and posed for a bunch of pictures with it, I decided we’d accomplished all we needed to during BP.  It was time to walk Tim around his new baseball home.  Time to get acquainted with Safeco Field.

    We started by heading up to the field level concourse and walking out to centerfield.

    Now, about this time, you might be wondering why there were two guys with red arrows pointing at them in at picture above.  Well, when we reached CF, I heard someone yelling from the field.  Still standing in the concourse, I looked down and I saw that guy in the picture above with the smaller red arrow pointing at him.  He had a baseball in his hand, and he fired it up to us (still in the OF concourse) for Tim’s second ball of his life!  WOW!!!

    A few minutes later, we met up with Janet and Julie in LF foul territory and we gave Tim’s second baseball to Julie so she too would have a keepsake from her first MLB game:


    11 - ten minutes two baseballs.jpgWhat can I say.  The game hadn’t even started yet.  And we were already have a great time:


    12 - exciting.jpgAfter our brief tour around the field, we headed back up to the suite where we found that more of our suite-mates had arrived.

    Colleen’s mom and sister (and her family) couldn’t make the trip, but Colleen’s dad, Kevin, and his uncle Bob and aunt Ann did.  Here I am hanging out with Kevin and Bob before the game:


    13 - gamerailing.JPGKevin is a Yankees fan (he has an excuse, he grew up in Jersey City) and Bob is a Red Sox fan, but they like each other nonetheless.

    The game had not started yet so Tim grabbed a bite to eat — the old standard (bottle of milk) and a new treat (his first dog at the ballpark, he finished about 2-3 bites of the dog):


    13 - first ballpark dog.jpgSoon all of the First Gamers Club kids had arrived and they were up for some playtime in the suite:


    14 - playtime.jpgIn the picture above to the left, that is Laura, Julie, Tim and Kasey (left-to-right, obviously).  To the right, Tim and Kasey had a push-ups contest.  I think Tim did about 200.

    And then the big moment arrived, and my dad was thoughtful enough to capture history for us — Tim’s first MLB pitch ever:


    Tim's First MLB Pitch.jpgGil Meche to Frank Catalanotto — STRIKE 1!  
    Things would only get better from there.

    Tim and Kasey spent some time enjoying the game from the front row of the suite:


    15 - tim and casey.jpgWe took about a billion pictures of everyone:


    16 - people posing for pictures2.jpgTop left, Tim and my dad.  Top right, Lynn, Tim and me.

    Bottom left, my sister-in-law (brother’s wife, not Colleen’s sister), Alison with Tim and my dad.  Bottom right, my mom, Tim and me.

    Remember how I said I originally did not know who gave us Tim’s first baseball?  Well, I figured it out earlier this season (2009).  First, I noticed he was a left hander from the picture of him walking back out to his spot in the OF in the picture above.  So I looked up every lefty who played for the Blue Jays that season.  I then took the 3-4 possible mystery men and put them into Google Images.  I wasn’t positive, but my front runner was a September call-up named Davis Romero (who has never made it back to the bigs and is still playing Triple-A ball for the Blue Jays).

    Then one day I was combing through old game pictures and I found the following picture from Tim’s first game:


    17 - davis romero warms in bullpen.jpgIts an odd picture, don’t you think?  But odd’ness aside, do you notice anything?

    At the top right, there is a TV screen mounted on the ceiling of our suite where (if you click to enlarge the picture) you can see that Davis Romero is warming up in the Blue Jays’ bullpen.  More importantly, its not too difficult to tell that Davis Romero, indeed, is the mystery man who gave us Tim’s first ever MLB ball.

    So, at long last, “THANK YOU, DAVIS ROMERO!”

    Anyway, we kept snapping away at the pictures, here are Tim and Colleen in the suite:


    18 - tim and mommy.jpgRemember how I mentioned we got special treatment after I told the ticket taker about the First Gamers Club?  Here is part of it — free Mariners lunch boxes!


    19 - lunchbox.jpgThat’s a great lunch box.  Although he didn’t give it a lot of thought at the time, Tim loves it now.

    Here is a shot of my mom with two of her sisters Margaret (left) and Carol and, of course, Julie too:


    20 - sisters.jpgAlthough he’s a Yankees fan, “Poppy” got into Tim’s big first game too…


    21 - poppygame2.JPG…as did Bob and Ann (pictured to the right).

    And as the Mariners led the Blue Jays, we just kept snapping away at the photos and having a grand old time in suite number 5:


    22 - people posing for pictures.jpgTop left, me and Tim with Lynn and Kasey and Laura and her mom, Noelle (my cousin Daniel’s wife).  Top right, me with my dad and brother, Jason.

    Bottom left, Alison, my dad and Steve.  Bottom right, half of my dad with Tim, Destry, Julie, Kasey and Lynn.

    But then, the tiredness kicked in.  Tim had a tiredness-inducing double whammy going here.  First, it was late at night for the boy (9′ish o’clock).  Second, we were on the West coast just two days removed from our home in Pennsylvania and he was still on east coast time — so it was really three hours later for Tim.

    So, Tim spent some time chilling out under a blanket strapped to either me or Colleen in a baby bjorn:


    23 - tired tim.jpgSoon, it was time for more special treatment — the Mariner Moose showed up to greet us in the suite:


    24 - the moose visits.jpg…as you can see, Uncle Ray really enjoyed the Moose’s visit.

    In between photo sessions, we actually watched the game:


    25 - fans in seats.jpg…and look who was with us, my best buddy Paul!


    26 - with paulie.jpgIt was great to have “Pauliewog” there for Tim’s first game because I’m gonna rely on Paul a lot in life to re-enforce for Tim the finer points of Mariners-fandome and provide him a shining example of a positive Mariners attitude.

    And before we knew it, the Mariners WON!  The first in-person Mariners win of Tim’s life — I couldn’t have scripted it better:


    28 - mariners win.jpgAfter the game, Tim and I got one more picture with the field in the background before heading out:


    29 - infrontend.jpgI think this game was the start of something beautiful. 
    Welcome to a new era, the Tim-and-Todd-traveling-baseball-fans era.

    By the way, Ichiro went 1-5, Raul Ibanez (1st inning) and Adrian Belte hit homeruns, and Gil Meche got the win.  You coudn’t have scripted a better first game experience.

    2009: It Was The Best Of Times…

    Simply put, 2009 was outstanding.  Tim and I had more fun than than should be allowed.  We saw a lot of amazing baseball (33 games) including:

    • Tim’s first time seeing Ken Griffey, Jr. hit a homerun (and as a Mariner!)
    • Ichiro getting lots of hits en route to a record breaking 9th season with 200+ hits
    • Felix Hernandez dominating the AL
    • Jamie Moyer being Jamie Moyer
    • A walk-off homerun by Raul Ibanez
    • A walk-off single by Ichiro in the bottom of the 14th inning
    • Two games with walk-off singles by Jose Lopez
    • baseball in 13 stadiums including, most notably in my book, our first game at the Metrodome (also, Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, U.S. Cellular Field, Miller Park, Nationals Park, Citizens Bank Park, Rogers Centre and Progressive Field)
    • Seeing a the Cubs score 10 runs in one inning
    • Tim finishing off seeing all 30 MLB teams play live.
    • A winning season by the Mariners!  (85-77)

    We also made great memories interacting with some ball players including:

    • Tim asking Mariners reliever Chris Jakabauskas in the lobby of our hotel if he wants to come “see our room.”
    • Meeting Mariners G.M. Jack Z. on the streets of Boston.
    • Getting a picture with Felix Hernandez.
    • Getting a picture with Ryan Rowland-Smith and having him throw a baseball to Tim:
    • Giving Jason Phillips an A-Rod baseball to put in the Mariners bullpen’s pink backpack and then confirming the next day (in the hotel lobby) with Jakabaukas that the ball was indeed in the backpack.
    • Getting 8 baseballs from Jason Phillips, including a pre-autographed ball, and baseballs at 6 stadiums.

    The season — my first on MLBlogs — has provided so many great moments that I’ve recorded in game entries.  Some of my favorite entires have included:

    Finally, we took tons of great pictures to document our adventures this season. 

    Here are some of my favorites (at least one from each game):

    We started the season off on a chilly day in Baltimore — the world was our oyster, we had our whole season before us:

    cheesin.jpg

    In week 2, we cheered on as former Mariner Raul Ibanez hit this pitch for a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the ninth inning:

    ibombez.jpg

    In week 3, Tim raced down the foul territory warning track on his way to his first Kids Run the Bases of the season following our first game ever at Citi Field.

    citi RF foul track.jpgIn week 4, Tim couldn’t adjust to the West Coast time change and was a little out-of-sorts when Jarrod Washburn threw us our first ball of the season from the Mariners dugout during the 9th inning of an exciting Mariners win:

    sad boy with a ball.JPGWith this pitch on May 2, 2009, Tim had finally officially seen Ken Griffey, Jr. play for the Mariners (YES!!!):

    Griff at Bat.jpgOn May 3, 2009, we took in an excellent Mariners game with some of my high school friends and their kids.  Awesome times.  And the Mariners won in 15 innings:

    joyners huge gloves and tim.jpgOn May 4, 2009, Tim and I got our picture with Red a/k/a “Beltre Guy” — who is fast becoming a Safeco Field Legend due to his passionate following of Adrian Beltre.  Will Red be back in 2010?  We will see: 

    beltre guy.jpgOn May 5, 2009, we snagged a bag of hot roasted peanuts from a long-time Mariners legend, Rick “The Peanutman” Kaminski:

    peanut man.jpgBack in Philadelphia later that same week, Tim put the smack down on this ice cream helmet — this boy really knows how to put an ice cream helmet in its place:

    ice cream helmet devoured.jpgIn mid-May, we went to Philadelphia to see the Dodgers, but the best part of the night was seeing my favorite pitcher, Jamie Moyer.  With Colleen’s new camera and a little computer magic, I was able to create one of my favorite pictures of the season:

    moyermotion.jpgThe very next week, we took in our first game ever at Nationals Park, Tim ran the bases (twice) following the game, and we got a sweet picture with Theordore “Teddy” Roosevelt:

    TJCs and Teddy R.jpgNext up, we were back in Baltimore to see the Tigers with a couple Tigers-fan-friends.  And Tim and his buddy, Brady, put on a dance show in the shady upper deck:

    dancing.jpgOn June 3, 2009, Tim and I returned to Nationals Park hoping to witness Randy Johnson’s 300th career win.  Instead, we watched hours of rain turn the field into a lake (we also met Zack Hample for the first time and spent several hours chatting with him while watching the rain fall):

    11 Lake NatsPark.jpgOn June 10, 2009, Tim got to see Griffey bat play for the first time ever in a Mariners uniform (he wore a Seattle Rainiers uniform on May 2nd, and was sick the rest of that week):

    16 power stroke foul.jpgAfter the game, Mariners trainer Rick Griffin gave us a close up look at Griff’s bat — sweet:

    31 swingman.jpgOn June 28, 2009, we stopped by Camden Yards on our way home from an OBX vacation and witnessed a monster Adam Dunn bomb and Tim ran the bases at our favorite park outside of Seattle, Washington:

    25 - on field family picture.JPGTim and I had tons of fun watching the guys in the M’s bullpen this season.  In this July 2, 2009 picture, Chris Jakabauskas is shown sitting in the bullpen at new Yankee Stadium with one of three big metal warrior helmets the Mariners bullpen displayed during games until Bug Selig put the kybosh on the M’s fun:

    31b - jak and helmet.JPGThe next day, my mom, dad, Tim and I were in Boston to watch our Mariners (and Jakabauskas) beat the Red Sox:

    20 - ready to play ball.JPGWe started out watching the July 3, 2009 game from these seats with a young Red Sox fan named Tyler who told us to stay sitting there until people with tickets showed up.  The fans in Boston were awesome all weekend:

    18 - seats by tyler.JPGThe next day, Eric Bedard gave us his and Felix Hernandez dirty warm-up ball, a few minutes later, we got our picture with Felix and he signed the ball:

    7 - felix warm up ball autograph and photo.jpgTim and I spent a good portion of the Independence Day game standing (or crouching) in this walkway SRO area — where the local fans continued to be extremely nice to us:

    18 - fun in the walkway.JPGLater in the game, my mom taught Tim how to do the wave:

    22 - first wave.JPGDuring our third and final game at Fenway, Tim and I stumbled across the 2004 and 2007 world series trophies — although I wasn’t able to get a picture of it, this game was extra special because Tim saw Griff get a hit (a single off of the Green Monster) for the first time ever):

    23 - 2004 2007 WS trophies.JPGIn mid-July, Tim and I headed back to Nationals Park for our rain-out make-up game and Tim tried unsuccessfully to get someone to hit him a homerun:

    17 - hit it here.jpgIn late July, we were back in Philadelphia to see the Cardinals, during one of many rain delays we sat through this season, Tim begged and pleaded for an ice cream helmet:

    12 - ice cream pleeeeeease.JPGDuring the rain delay, Tim and I toured around Citizens Bank Park trying to find a place where Tim could eat his ice cream in peace — it took us to three different locations:

    13 - 1st ice cream spot.JPGIn early August, we were back in Philadelphia to see Moyer pitch against the Marlins:

    7a - moyer warm up motion.jpgHopefully this won’t be the last time we ever see Moyer pitch — but, sadly, it could be:

    8 - moyer bullpen motion.jpgOn August 5, 2009, Tim and I headed out to a sold-out FirstEnergy Stadium to watch future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez pitch for our local Reading Phillies:

    12 - pedro motion.jpgA week or so later, Tim and I meet up with my dad in Chicago for The Great (Second Annual) Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Road Trip of 2009 where we witnessed the Cubs hang a 10-spot on the Pirates in the second inning:

    22 - ten spot.JPGBefore the game, my dad toted Tim around as we toured Wrigley Field:

    14 - holding tim upper RF.jpgTim and I had a blast touring around the upper deck at the Metrodome — as the title of this picture indicates (we loved the Metrodome!):

    16 - we love this place.jpgThis is one of my favorite pictures from our trip to the Metrodome (other favorites include looking behind the canvas curtains in RF-CF):

    14 - big screen close up.jpgOn the third day of the baseball road trip, we visited the House that Happy Built — and we got this picture with Nick “The Happy Youngster” who we had first met on June 10th in Baltimore):

    27 - happy.jpgTim wore his pajama pants to Miller Park (his choice, not mine), and he also ran the bases following the game (and I ran them with him!) after which we got a picture with my dad:

    40 - 3 cooks at miller park.JPGThe next day, we finished off the baseball road trip and Tim finished off seeing all 30 MLB teams when we saw the Kansas City Royals play for the first time (and we got a ball from Willie “Ballgame” Bloomquist):

    13 - willie ballgame.jpgAfter the game, I presented Tim with a trophy memorializing his 30-team accomplishmen (thanks to Curious George, Tim loves trophies) — after the game, the nice folks did a cool little article about Tim’s milestone:

    30 - trophy.jpgI took this picture for Tim’s 30-Team milestone entry — I like it:

    helmets and balls.JPGJason Phillips, shown here with me and Tim in Cleveland in late-August, was by far the coolest guy we ran into this season.  Jason gave us 8 baseballs this season including at least 1 baseball at each stadium at which we saw the Mariners play this season (Camden Yards, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Progressive Field, Safeco Field, and Rogers Centre) — plus, we took time out to chat (and be photographed) with us several times throughout the season:

    17 - jason phillips.jpgDuring that same game, Tim got his picture with Slider:

    23 - slider tim.jpgThe following day, Tim and I achieved our No. 1 goal of the season — we saw Griffey hit a homerun as a Mariner — No. 624 of his career:

    8 - griff about to score on HR624.jpgWhen we arrived home late that night, I watched the highlight and realized that Tim and I (the blue and white blur) could be seen in the highlight of Griff’s homerun:

    9 - KGJ HR 624.jpgOn Tim’s third MLB anniversary (Sept. 12, 2009), we went to see the Orioles beat the Yankees in the Bronx and we had a blast.

     

    1 - magic floating tim and yankee stadium.jpgDuring the fun-filled day, Tim played catch with an usher in the LF bleachers concourse:

    25 - catch with usher.jpg…and the usher temporarily lost Tim’s baseball when it rolled through a hole in the stadium’s wall — the usher retrieved the ball, but also rewarded us with an Orioles BP homerun ball:

    26 - the ball incident.jpgTim also caused a scene in CF going all medieval on a pile of Moe’s Billy Barou Nachos — a mere 1,410 calories:

    15 - CF nacho madness.jpgBack in Seattle the following week, we saw Adam Moore make his MLB debut and Tim showed us a new way of wearing a baseball glove:

    18 - new catching technique.jpgAt our final game of the season at Safeco Field, Colleen and I minute to pose for a picture while Tim played in the kids’ play area:

    10 - with colleen in playarea.jpgThe next weekend, we attended our first game in Toronto and got a picture with and a ball and autograph from Ryan Rowland-Smith:

    14 - TJCs with RRS.jpgThe ball from Rowland-Smith was the first ball Tim has ever caught thrown by a major leaguer — which is featured in another mygameballs.com article:

    15 - fun with RRS.jpgOn the final Saturday of the regular season, we were back at Citi Field where we spent time with new friends and MLBloggers Alex K. and Joe F who were supercool to Tim:

    5 - tim's guys.jpgWe closed out the season on the final Sunday back at Camden Yards — where it all began just six months earlier.  This time, Tim enjoyed the only ice cream helmet (a Mariners helmet) served at Camden Yards in 2009:

    20 - Camden Yards BYOICH.jpg

    Although my wife can, I officially “can’t wait” for the 2010 baseball season to begin.  I’m already planning it out and we have some exciting baseball trips in the future.

    I’ve certainly enjoyed sharing our stories from the ballpark this season.  The reason I created this blog was the record our baseball adventures so Tim could look back on them later in life.  This season has been thoroughly documented and I’m quite happy with the results.  Now, entering the off-season, I’m thinking about the games we went to before this season.  I have them all recorded in Tim’s Baseball Log.  But I’m thinking that I might find time during the off-season to put them in story form here on my blog.  Therefore, if you’re interested in hearing about and seeing some pictures from the games Tim went to between 2006-2008 (about 22 games total), check back from time-to-time during the offseason.  Otherwise, see you in 2010.

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