I have to say Albuquerque is a fun city with nice people. I also really enjoyed Isotopes Park. I can say this because after this weekend I officially own this Park.
The whole drive down from Nederland Colorado to Albuquerque I had a good feeling. Good things tend to happen when I have that good feeling .
Isotopes Park is a cool little AAA stadium which is home to the Albuquerque Isotopes. If you’re a Simpsons fan you probably know the Simpsons live in Springfield and they have a baseball team named the Isotopes.
So Isotopes Park has a Simpsons theme.
The first game against the Mariners was on Friday at 5pm. I gave the Isotopes front office a jingle to find out what time they open the gates and I was told the park would open 2 1/2 hours early.
Opening that early would allow me to catch most of the Rockies and all of the Mariners batting practice and I like those odds. The extra BP time would end up being a good thing as I tied my own personal record for snagging baseballs in one game.
My total for the day was six baseballs. Of the six three were caught and three were snagged on the roll. The number of balls today wasn’t really important. What was important was who hit the balls.
BP homer number one was hit by Ian Stewart and snagged as it rolling down the berm and was given away to a little boy.
Ball number two was also snagged on a roll and was smoothly handed off to another lucky little boy. That ball was hit by Todd Helton and was the first of Helton’s BP homers I’ve ever been able to snag because I usually stand in left field.
Ball number three was caught on the bounce right by the outfield fence. Ryan Spilborghs hit this ball. Here’s the video.
Ball number four was a monster hit from Jason Giambi and I caught it straight up. That ball landed in my glove a bit off the mesh and believe me my hand felt it.
Ball number five was a Ken Griffey Jr home run that I caught and Krista managed to get on video. Griffey wasn’t out hitting for long and I didn’t get his autograph.
Catching Griffey’s BP homer was as cool as it gets for a ballhawk.
Here’s the Ken Griffey Jr ball. It’s perfect except for one bat mark. I have no idea who hit BP homer number six but it was snagged on the roll and given away to another lucky kid.
Here’s video of a ball I caught and the dude in the white Rockies jersey(not me) knocked it out of my hand. He did that to several people throughout BP.
Some inexperienced ballhawks have no class. No worries, I have no problem letting them know just that 🙂
Robert got to experience the end result of a careless ballhawk himself. Although this guy made a pretty good catch, he was holding a bat and when he caught the ball he turned and the bat clocked Robert in the head.
Let’s just say Robert wasn’t happy.
Here’s Robert and I as batting practice ended.
The Isotopes have their own beer and I thought it tasted pretty good.
Good size crowd on the berm, all of them trying to snag a baseball.
I was with a group of four people and the group concencious was it was too damn cold to finish watching this game so we left in the sixth inning and at that point the Rockies were losing.
After the game Robert called me and told me I f’ked up by not staying. The final score wound up being an 11-11 tie.
Yeah..I was a bit upset, but that cold weather was giving me post-season flashbacks.
I can tell you that Isotopes Park of Albuquerque has never seen anyone the likes of me.
I was running up and down that grassy berm chasing baseballs making the local ballhawks look like chumps.
I went in there my first day and owned that ballpark.
Stay tuned for game two…Believe it or not it folks it gets better.
D..The Rockpile Ranter