BRING TOM HELMER BACK NOW!!
You meet a lot of people in life. Most leave no impression but every now and then you meet someone who leave a lasting impression. For me that was Tom Helmer.
I can’t say exactly when I first met Tom but my first really good memory of meeting him was at the Top of the Rockies show towards the end of 2010. When I wrote the blog entry about the show I mentioned how cool I thought it would be interview one of the ROOT SPORTS (FSN Rocky Mtn back then) folks.
Not long after Tom emailed me and told me he enjoyed reading the Rant and said he’d be happy to let me interview him. That blew me away and I was stoked because I figured Tom would be a smooth first interview for me because he’s so laid back.
Tom kept his word and on a cold snowy day in January the Rantics and I met Tom and his wife at Champps. The Rantics all hung out and Alanna X and I interviewed Tom.
He was easy to talk and the two of them were a total class act.
After that Tom was an official “Rantic” and he solidified his place in the Rant as a stand-up guy.
Five years I’ve been blogging about the Rockies and Tom was the first one in Colorado Media to give me any props at all, thank you Tom.
Helmer “IS” the Rockies pre and post game.
Plus his “Tom on the Town” series is always fun to watch.
The kids and I won’t be celebrating any Rockies wins post-game at the ROOT SPORTS desk this season, the only reason we’ll be there is to shout “Bring back Helmer” and you better believe the Rantics will be there in full force.
I can tell you that I was extremely pro ROOT SPORTS at the beginning of last season. I bought in and plugged their new theme …”The Fan”.
Ok ROOT SPORTS time to put your money where you mouth is. “The Fans” you reference want Tom Helmer back…NOW!. He’s the heart and soul of your broadcast team and Rockies fans WILL suffer in his absence.
ROOT SPORTS you have totally misjudged the impact Helmer has on the Rockies fan base.
I’m not sure What direction ROOT SPORTS is headed but if it doesn’t include Tom Helmer I don’t need a map to tell you they’re going the wrong way.
Helmer was so cool he even had his own T-Shirts made and distributed them to fans for a good part of last season. Me being the original homeboy I got the first one.
I have nothing against the rest of the crew at ROOT SPORTS I like them, but none of them have close to the personality and charisma that Helmer has. Plus who the hell wants to see the Cowboy up on the desk after a Rockies win. Not me, that’s just scary.
Stand up Rockies fans, help our “Homeboy”. Do the right thing and let ROOT SPORTS know how you feel about this mess.
Here’s a link to their Facebook page: ROOT SPORTS..Rocky Mountain
Or you can email directly by clicking here: ROOT SPORTS Rocky Mountain email.
Please show your support for Tom by Liking the Facebook page Dan Created: Bring Helmer Back NOW
And Don’t miss the Save Helmer Fan Rally on Sunday at 2pm at the Blake Street Tavern. Then we march to Coors Field is support of “The Homeboy”.
I’m “D” The Ranter and ROOT SPORTS seems more like BOOT SPORTS to me right now.
2-26-11 Alternate titles for this entry were:
“Parking was free but man I had to Pee”
“Job Done now Where’s the Sun”
“When you write the Rant, there is no Can’t” Rockies vs Diamondbacks
The Inaugural Game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
I hit the highway amped at 2:45 am heading from Yuma Arizona to Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. Within five minutes of being on the highway I was stopped and found myself chatting with a “serious business” border patrolman at one of their security checkpoints. I guess I looked suspicious with my groovy Ranter hat and the fact I was driving alone in a rental car early in the morning?
Anyways, the officers informed me that the rental car and all of my belongings needed to be searched by their drug sniffing dog Lassie.
That experience took a good twenty minutes and other than slowing me up a bit the “military wannabe’s” wouldn’t let me grab my jacket and put it on. Let me tell you it’s flipp’n cold at 3am in the desert.
Thankful that there wasn’t some sort of body cavity search next, the border guys finished invading my stuff and I resumed my road trip to Scottsdale before they changed their minds.
At 6am I met up with Robert at Denny’s just outside of Salt River Fields. The two of us had a good breakfast and I had to take this picture of the Arizona sunrise as were getting ready to hop in our vehicles and drive the last mile to the new stadium.
By 7:10 I was officially the first fan standing in line to enter Salt River Fields. The centerfield gates were open and there wasn’t a sole in sight. I was damn temped to wander inside, but I’m an honest guy and I stood my ground just outside the gates :).
Other than the two steps I took inside when nobody was looking 🙂
I’ve been planning to be the first fan inside this stadium from the moment I heard about it and I love it when a plan works out.
Here’s the picture I took standing two feet inside. There was a local Arizona news team that was inside the stadium before me but for some reason they had no interest in interviewing the Rockies fan standing in line 🙂
He asked if I was the Rockpile Ranter. Impressed that a D-Backs fan knew me I gave him my card and in return Andrew gave me his. Andrew writes a really cool D-Backs blog called:
Andrew was an extremely nice guy and Robert and I had a good time chatting and waiting in line with him. Check out Andrew’s blog about game one. He wrote some nice things about Robert and I and gave the Rockpile Rant some luv.
Also, Andrew snagged the first ever batting practice homerun hit at Salt River Fields. It was hit by Chris Nelson. Andrew is a hardcore D-Backs fan and I’m glad at least somebody I knew caught the first BP homer.
Thanks Andrew, it was an honor to meet you brotha.
April it was extremely cool to finally meet you and thanks for supporting the Rockpile Rant my friend.
Both Robert and I were sport’n our “HELMER IS MY HOMEBOY” T-Shirts and it wasn’t long before Tom came over to the centerfield gate hung out for a while and posed for pictures with everyone.
Not counting me here are the first four fans in line to enter the stadum.
Robert asked Tom Helmer for a favor. He asked if he could get George Frazier to autograph a baseball for him with one of his famous quotes. Tom’s a superstar and was able to get George to autograph the ball it and had it back to Robert in no time flat.
Check this baseball out.
Alanna Rizzo came over with a camera crew just before the gates opened and talked to us but no interview 😦
Below two photos by Andrew
Robert and I decided to make a deal. Since we both totally went out of our way to be first in the new stadium, we decided to share the honors and both walk in at the same time.
Here’s a picture of the video of Robert and I going through the gates first.
Here’s the video of Tom Helmer and The Cowboy mentioning on air that the first two fans through the gates were Robert and Don and they were both sport’n “Helmer is my Homeboy” T-Shirts.
Admit it Tom, you can’t buy better exposure than that 🙂.
Thanks Tom, Robert and I really appreciated the T-Shirts and the Rantics will too.
The giveaway for the Inaugural game was a ceramic Inaugural ticket.
Here’s the first picture of Salt River Fields “field” taken by a fan during the first few seconds of entering the stadium.
But Because I stopped to take the above picture Robert beat me to being the first fan to walk on the berm. So here’s a picture of the first fan on the Right Field Berm….Guess who?
Here’s a couple shots of the Bi-Plane flyover.
The sellout inaugural game went ten innings and the Colorado Rockies make stadium history with this special win over their Salt River roommates the D-Backs.
I’d like to think I made a little history in my own special way.
Sad to say I was shutout as far as baseballs go, at least at this first game.
Robert’s claim to fame was snagg’n the first BP homer ever caught by a Rockies fan in the new stadium. He caught a Troy Tulowitzki BP homer before the inaugural game started. If it wasn’t me I’m glad it was him.
I sure wanted it to be me though 😦
I love this picture taken by Robert…It’s going on the wall…Thanks fellas..You Rock!
Rockies Fest…Go there once you’ll be there twice.
For me Rockies Fest symbolizes the very beginning of the baseball season. It’s my first exposure to the players since the end of the previous season and I get to wander Coors Field, take pictures, get autographs and hang out with other extreme Rockies fans.
What could be better?
I also was able to hand out Rockies Fest tickets to the Rockpile Rant’s “Rockies Essay” winners, Ken, Dave and Johnny.
Here’s Ken and his son.
Here’s Dave and his girlfriend.
I just want to thank everyone who took the time to submit an essay. I really enjoyed reading them and getting to know a little bit about you.
Leave a comment and let us know how your Rockies Fest went?
Here’s R-Luv..Just as excited as she could be.
Blake and his buddy.
The first thing on the agenda was the players/coaches interview at 10:30. So with an hour to kill we headed over to the ROOT SPORTS desk to see if Tom Helmer was around.
When we arrived at the interview area Tom came up and gave us a big friendly welcome. Hunter and Mylee decided that they wanted to get interviewed by Tom and Tracy Ringolsby. Usually there’s a line but at this point the only one in front of us was Ken(essay winner) and his son….So we got in line.
This was the first time I was able to shake hands with Tracy Ringolsby. I was really nervous but Tracy’s such a cool guy I wasn’t nervous for long.
Here’s Tom and Tracy interviewing Hunter and Mylee.
I’d like to thank Tom Helmer for taking the time to introduce me to a few very nice people from ROOT SPORTS. I have to say ROOT SPORTS has really nailed it.
From what I’m told and can see ROOT SPORTS is about the fan and I like that because the Rockpile Rant is about the fan.
As soon as the kids were done with their interview we were escorted over to where ROOT SPORTS was filming the Rockies commericals. The kids went first. I’m not quite sure if they ever got their timing right but they sure had fun sitting up there.
I was up next and I noticed how quiet and reserved everyone was being so I wanted to bump thing up a bit. I was reading a card that said “You’re watching ROOT SPORTS” and I did my best to represent the Rockpile Rant and the Rantics. Loud and proud baby.
It seemed like they liked it but who knows?
I also was given the chance to talk about Ubaldo’s no-hitter. I didn’t think I did so good but each time I do something like this I get a little bit less nervous. Thank you ROOT SPORTS for this extremely unique opportunity. It was a great experience and the kids and I loved it.
Apparently next season the Rockies are going to put pictures of their fans on the season tickets. How cool is that? You can bet our smiling mugs took the time to pose for those shots. How fun would that be attending the actual game in which your face is on the ticket?
At this point we needed to get to our player/coach interview. This interview session was hosted by Drew Goodman and Alanna Rizzo.
Check it out.
Here’s video from the session.
We had to leave the interview a few minutes early as it was time to get in line for our first autograph session. Rumor had it that the guy who signed right before we got there was Todd Helton. As we were standing in line Douglas walked by and told us that he was pretty sure Tulo would be signing for us.
As luck would have it Douglas was right.
Here’s a shot of Tulo signing for Mylee sport’n a fresh haircut. Tulo’s usually upbeat but today he seemed like he didn’t want to be there.
I wished “the duece” a good season and we were off explore Coors Field before the next session.
While wandering around we bumped into catcher Wilin Rosario and he signed for Mylee and Hunter.
Mylee picking a winner.
Ian Stewart getting his Rockband on.
Dexter was all smiles and was talking with everyone. I really hope Dexter has a breakout year. He’s one of my favorite Rockies.
With more time to kill we headed into the bowels of Coors Field.
It’s become almost a tradition for me to leave my Ranter card in the Rockies lockers. With a quick flick of the wrist you can usually get the cards close.
This year I took a few pictures. Here’s the Ranter card next to the left of Dexter Fowlers gym bag.
Aaron Cooks locker sporting a Ranter card in the right corner.
Todd Helton’s locker. I missed this year and my card landed on the floor.
Tulo’s locker, unfortunately the card landed upside down.
Here’s Ubaldo’s entire uniform and then some from his no-hitter in Atlanta last season.
Even his dirty socks.
The original Dinger suit. I still think Dinger should be a black and silver T-Rex but whatcha gonna do?
Coors Field groundbreaking.
Memorabilia from 2007.
The last autograph sesssion of the day was Glenallen Hill and Chris Nelson. Here’s Glenallen signing for Hunter.
Both of these guys were in a great mood and were chatting up the folks in line.
Here’s Mylee’s dog.
Here’s what I managed to get autographed today.
On our way out of Coors Field.
As I was getting ready to post this entry I received an email from essay winner Dave. He sent me a couple pictures and informed me he was able to snag thirty two autographs. Ten minor leaguers, four coaches and eighteen current major leaguers.
Check out Dave’s Coors Field sign…WOW!
That my friends is how you do it. Props to you Dave you worked it brotha.
A lot of baseball teams do something similiar to Rockies Fest but not all of them. Rockies fans are lucky we get this day to wander the entirety of Coors field, visit and chat with players and get to see precious baseball memorabila from historic Rockies games.
I feel privledged every time I’ve attended this event and honored to be a Colorado Rockies fan and their # 1 MLBlogger.
Thanks to all the Rockies fans who walked up to me and introduced themelves. I really enjoy meeting the baseball fans who read the Rockpile Rant. Thanks to ROOT SPORTS I think this year is going to be the “Year of the Fan”.
Make no mistake we Rockies fans embrace that concept.
A huge thanks goes out to Dan because we all know “He’s the Man”. I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter.
Baseball season has officially begun…D
Rockies vs Red Sox Game One
This game was the “Blogging Without Borders” game with Dr Rocker of the MLBlog:
In reality this was more of an experiment, you know just to see what it would be like to blog about the other’s team.
The first thing I discovered is that it’s not easy to put on another team’s colors. Secondly I was confused as how to write this entry. I wondered whether I should stick to my routine or try to adapt the “DR’s” style of writing,….. but that’s easier said than done.
The Dr is a bright guy and his entries are deep, thoughtful, witty and well written. Sometimes when I read the Dr’s blog I feel like I’m listening to Dennis Miller back in the day when he did football broadcasts.
A bit over my head and I spend more time trying to figure out what he’s saying than actually listening to what he’s saying.
Dr I mean that with full respect. I just can’t do your style, you do it much better.
So, I backed out of the jersey swap at the last minute. The thought of wearing Red Sox attire bothered me so much I had trouble sleeping the night before. As much as I wanted to do this “for the sake of doing it”, the jersey swap wasn’t happening.
Truth be told I despise the Red Sox. I hate the smug attitudes of some of their fans. I hate the vibe of Coors Field when the Red Sox fans are in town. I hate the color Red. I hate the way Yukillus stands at the plate when he bats. I hate the fact that when the Red Sox fans cheer “Let Go Red Sox” it’s as loud or louder than the Rockies fans.
This entry is one of the hardest entries I’ve written to date.
Ok with that said…Here we go..Red Sox ..Here we go.
This Rox/Sox rematch is always a battle of the fans in my opinion. The mighty Red Sox fans who habitate in Colorado and for one reason or another can’t make it back to the promise land of Boston to support their team make their mighty presence known by taking over Coors Field for three games.
I showed at the Rockpile Gates at my normal time and a mob of eager, baseball hungry Red Sox fans were way ahead of me.
The line for batting practice was insane as the red shirts showed up to support the Red Sox on the road. It almost seemed as if it was organized?
I’m positive the high numbers weren’t for the free Rockies promotional hat that was handed out at the gates.
Once I was situated in the pavilion a dude named Alex came up and introduced himself.
Alex said after he read my blog he discovered it wasn’t like that at all and he liked it. Thank you Alex. Alex was at BP today trying to snag his first BP homer on the fly. I mentioned that today could be slim pickins as the pavilion was packed..But you never know.
The fact that I was sitting at 99 baseballs wasn’t on my mind at all because with the crowd I was sure I’d be shut out today and I was ok with that.
Photo by Joy
As baseballs were hit and would roll to a stop, his son would pick them up and toss them to the fans in the outfield.
This father son moment was one of the top five things I’ve witnessed during batting practice. Props to you “Big Papi” for living up to your name. I do believe you “Get it”.
It’s fun to be around and watch when players “Get it”.
Photo by Joy
I was standing close to them for part of batting practice and decided to take a chance and move back a few rows. Within minutes of switching places one of the Red Sox hit a screamer which I thought was going to sail way over my head.
Instead I was able to reach up high, lean back and the milestone ball landed perfectly in my glove.
All I could think of was “I did it”. Then I yelled out “Yeaaaah 100 baby” I’m not sure why I did that but it felt damn good at the time. I had to take a look back at my pictures but to the best of my knowledge it was this Red Sox players BP homer that helped me reach the 100 mark.
Number 60 left fielder Daniel Nava. Thanks Daniel.
If you look at this picture in a mirror it would say 100.
Within a few minutes of that snag I was back standing beside Jim and Joy. A nameless BP homer was hit and was cruising toward our section.. I located it, followed it, and then realized I really didn’t have to move to snag this one.
I held up my glove and the ball hit the pocket square.
Immediately after I caught it I realized I was standing right beside Jim and that it was his glove directly under mine. So in actuality, had I not put up my glove Jim would have owned that ball.
I immediately gave him the ball as it should have been his.
Sorry Jim,…. the truth is I didn’t even see you. My eyes were on that ball. Jim was totally cool about it. Nice to visit with you both, sorry I totally spaced taking a picture of you.
Dr Rocker showed up during batting practice to say “hey” and officially kick this “Blogging Without Borders” thing off.
After batting practice I headed over to the Rockies dugout because I wanted to talk to Alanna Rizzo. I had heard that recently she had been hit in the head with a baseball during practice. As I was waiting to talk to Alanna I overheard her mention to someone else that she had been clocked in the head not once but twice in the last couple of weeks.
When it was my turn, I said “Hi Alanna, I’m D The Rockpile Ranter, I caught my 100th baseball during batting practice today and I wanted to give it to you”.
I said “I’m not going to tell you” (Actually, at that point I wasn’t exactly sure who hit me the homerun ball).
Alanna then said, “Well thank you very much, are you sure you want to do that…Why?
I explained that I felt bad that she had been hit in the head with a baseball and I hoped this would make her feel better….That was that.
I always give luv to the FSN Rocky Mountain crew for a couple of reasons.
1. I like ’em and think they do a good job.
2. Maybe someday the luv will be reciprocal as far as the Rockpile Rant is concerned…
Remember Alex? (the dude I had met in the pavilion earlier). Alex walked up to me excitedly and let me know that he had finally snagged his elusive batting practice homer on the fly.
Imagine that, even with all the Red Sox fans packed in the pavilion like little red sardines, the man did what he set out to do and nailed that snag.
Props to you Alex…As I’ve mentioned here before, the addiction starts now.
Here are the Red Sox pre-game pictures .
As I took pictures of the Red Sox players and their fans I hate to admit it but I think I started to understand the long distance Red Sox fan’s mentality. I’m fortunate because I attend over forty games a year and get to watch the Rockies warm-up all the time. It’s routine for me.
Red Sox fans seemed grateful for every second spent watching their team before the game stretch, goof around and play catch.
Here are my Red Sox game pictures.
Jon Lester gives up only one hit in six innings with six strikeouts..Nice Job!
Click HERE for video of Jon’s performance.
Brat with a reddish view…
Say what you want about his shaky batting average Clint Barmes can work that shortstop position. I know he doesn’t have close to Tulo’s arm but the dude is instinctive and extremely athletic.
Check out Clint’s game ending play to give the Rockies the win in this game one rematch at Coors Field with a final score of 2-1.
Coors Field was bump’n. Red Soxs fans who paid big bucks to see their teams winning streak continue were left silent. Leaving Coors Field a loser is a strange concept to the BoSox.
This is a talented team, that’s part of why I hate them so much. They play hard because their fans expect no less. Boston has a fanbase that is scattered all over the country and willing to travel to support their team.
For the Red Sox players it’s like always playing in front of the home crowd. That can be good and bad.
Colorado Rockies fans celebrated like it was game one of the 2007 World Series with a different ending. I wonder if a win like this or possibly taking the series from the Red Sox could change the Rockies Mojo?
Our players are healing, and I gotta feel’n.
I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter. Rockies fan extraordinaire who cares.
I did like I said and I tried it Red.
What a day. I’m still feeling the effects of this flu and woke up this morning about 6am with my back aching from sleeping the previous twenty hours. The “feeling like sh-it” hits in waves and today it’s about 50/50.
Anyways I checked my email this morning and there was an email from Tom Reese of HotStove.com. He was sending out a question to Rockies Bloggers regarding Jason Marquis.
The question was:
Did the Rockies make a mistake in allowing Jason Marquis to leave via free agency? The club doesn’t seem to have an heir apparent ready to take his spot in the rotation.
Great question. I was foggy headed when I replied with my answer but to my surprise it was printed at along with another Rockies Blogger that I’ve never heard of.
Click here to see the article: RPR on HotStove.com.
Kind of neat to be quoted talking about your favorite sport. Believe me I’m not bragging just sharing 🙂
I’ll know I’ve made it when Alana Rizzo from FSN is kind enough to interview me 🙂
(Photo by Captain_Chase)
On a different note, Krista and I have been known to show Hunter and Mylee music videos from the 80’s. We do this so they understand exactly why we looked like we did back then and because every now and then you just need a good laugh.
A few weeks ago we showed them Twisted Sisters video of “We’re not gonna take it” and they fell in love with it. After watching it at least a hundred times the kids decided they wanted to try and copy the video.
If you’ve never seen the original video here it is:
Now here is Hunter and Mylee’s version.
I think they did a great job.
Along with the email from Tom Reese this morning was an email from my friend and long time Rockies fan Robert Harmon. It was a short email stating that he and Bennie were ok and he included a few pictures of what was left of his VW bus affectionately known as”Jim Morrison”.
FYI- I can legally marry people in the State of Colorado. I’ve got two under my belt and they’re both still married.
How cool would it be to marry someone at Coors Field this season?