Part of this Spring Training adventure was spent camping at Lake Pleasant. This is a beautiful lake, with lots camping sites and more importantly showers and electricity.
Mike and I each had our own tents and the combination of 50 mph winds and torrential rains that started on Saturday night really put a kink in our Arizona camping experience.
Saturday night was a nightmare weather-wise and everything Mike and I had in our tents got drenched.
Props to my buddy Dan(thank you) for hooking us up with a coupon for a room at the Talking Stick Resort near Salt River Fields. This was a really nice hotel and after our bout with the rain this was a little slice of heaven. We spent Sunday and Monday night at the Hotel and by doing that we avoided the snow and hail that visited our campsite.
Brewers vs Rangers
Maryvale Baseball Park holds a special place for me. It was here I snagged my first live game home run ball.
Here’s a link to that blog entry back in 2009:
This would be my first time back to Maryvale since 2009 and I had visions of another home run snag, however this time I wanted to catch it on the fly. The weather was sketchy at best with the sky clear in some areas and pouring rain in other.
I hardly took any pictures at this game as my focus was a home run ball.
If you want to see some game pictures check out the Rox Addicts blog entry on this game.
I did try to get a good one of Brad Hawpe for Queen Geri..Here’s the best I could do Queen, just know I was think’n of ya 🙂
Although not in the best neighborhood Maryvale Baseball Park is my favorite little spring training stadium. I love the vibe here. Nobody messes with you, the food is reasonably priced and this park has a fantastic berm.
Here’s a few shots of this little gem.
Look at the flags in the above picture. The wind was blowing and it wasn’t one of those warm desert winds. This was a chill you to the bone cold wind.
This park is Happy Youngster stomping grounds and I was on the lookout for that bright yellow shirt. Unfortunately I didn’t run into my friend Nick.
Due to the rain this game was called before it got to the 5th inning, so in the end this game really wasn’t a game.
I’m “D” The Ranter and I’ll be back Maryvale, my ticket is good for two years.
RANT REGULARS: First let me apologize for taking so long to get this entry posted. I’ve had it half done for a week now but with school starting and a super busy schedule real life takes over and sometimes you just have to get other stuff done.
So without further ado I present…
8/15/10 Rockies vs Brewers Game Three
It’s been a while since my two little ones and I attended a game together. Today was an afternoon Sunday game, a bit hot but no chance of rain. We were ready for a day of family fun at Coors Field.
Here’s two more kids, but I don’t have to feed these two. First thing I noticed was his bike, but the hair thing he’s got going on is interesting too.
Here’s Hunter and Mylee going through the tunnel onto the field. Soon I’ll get bored of shooting video of this but until then sorry… 🙂
Guess who was at today’s game?..Both R-LUV and LUVMYROX..It was nice to see them.
This series is tied. The Rockies opted not to take batting practice on the field today so after a short wait the Brewers started taking hits. The kids and I wanted to get autographs today but with BP going on we changed our minds and stayed in the pavilion. I managed to snag two balls today.
Neither of them were caught so the first ball I gave to Mylee. The second ball was hit into the tunnel so after I snagged it I handed it to a little girl who was leaning over the railing.
As batting practice was ending I noticed Trevor Hoffman standing over in the corner of the outfield about to sign for someone so I suggested Mylee take her ball and go over there.
Hunter worked his way down to the front and was able to get Jeff Francis’s autograph.
With the game tied in bottom of the ninth and Dexter Fowler on second base Troy Tulowitzki steps up to to the plate.
With perfect Tulowitzki timing he hits a line drive over Rickie Weeks head (good cause Rickie’s had the Rockies number the last two games), scoring Dexter Fowler and winning the game and the series.
Here’s the video…Tulo’s Walk-Off Single
Props to Ubaldo for ten strikeouts in eight innings. Nice Job brotha!
Here’s the video..Ubaldo Strikes Out Ten
I love exiting Coors Field after a win. Tough series, perfect win on a perfect evening.
I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter…Next up…Rush at Red Rocks.
6/11/09 Eight straight ain’t it great
It’s Hammer Time
I sincerely apoligize for my lack of entries. I’m back up to five days a week at work again and still spending any available time at the other house trying to get it ready to rent.
The Rockies are back at Coors Field tomorrow and I know a bunch of people who are more than ready. We wanna see some of that “Road Trip Magic” at home. I’m not bitch’n but the home crowd has witnessed it’s share of losses this season and we wanna personally watch the Rockies play like they’ve been playing.
I mentioned in my last entry that it was my 300th entry. The Rockpile Rant has had over 107,000 visits since October 2008 and over 1500 comments so far.
Thanks to all of you who read my ramblings about the Rockies and life. I’m digg’n what I do and I can’t wait until I’m able roll like I used to roll. Soon folks, very soon.
I’m not really a baseball draft guy. A fella only has so much time to devote to stuff and I tend to start to pay attention to players once they hit AA and AAA. I do wish them all luck though.
Does part their success stem from the guilt of contributing to Clint Hurdle being fired?
Is it the fear of what Jim Tracy will do to players who don’t perform.
Or is it just out of respect for our new coach and each player wanting to show him they deserve the right to play at Coors?
Now that I think about it it’s probably best not to over analyze it. Let’s just roll with it. A win is a win and we desperately need them.
Maybe if the Rockies make it to ten in a row the rest of the country might start to take notice. There is a serious lack of recognition for this team and any of it’s accomplishments.
I’m a realist, so I can’t wait for the day the Rockies win their first World Series because that’s what it will take to get some respect. Well that and a few winning seasons 🙂
Nice job Huston, keep it up brotha.
That’s ok with me because if you happened to listen to Matt Holliday on the Jim Rome radio show today you wouldn’t have heard Matt say anything nice about Colorado.
Just remember Matt, the fans loved you here. It was you who stopped caring at the end.
Rockies are 19-18 on the road. Seems odd but I’m not complaining.
Rockies have now won eight in a row which ties a team record from you know when.
Friday is almost here, and then I’ll be there…You know where.
Show us why we should never stop believing..D
I want to start todays entry out on a light note then gradually get heavier..
This piece is called:
The teacher sent a note home with the student asking about the odd drawing and a note accompanied the child the following day explaining the drawing’s meaning:
Dear Mrs. Jones,
I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer.
I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn’t show me dancing around a pole. It’s supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.
From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.
Where is our fellow MLBlogger The Happy Youngster and where is his blog? It’s gone, all but his picture and his sidebar. Happy was a daily reader for me.
Was his blog hacked, you never know it’s possible? 🙂
Was he forced by MLB or his employer to cease and desist all ball hawking activities?
Was he tired of all the BS and just said F’ck it?
I can’t imagine this being the end of the Happy Youngster. Nick is a passionate ball hawk, you can’t just give that up. The dude has thick skin, he’ll emerge from all of this.
Nick I know you read the Rant brotha, I just want to say that I hate how things turned out. I know you’re “good people” and if you’re ever in Denver I better know about it. Take this experience and re-group. Get your focus and your priorities straight and roll forward at a extremely careful pace.
You have a lot of fans/friends around here so don’t let the haters cloud your judgement.
I was reading Rays Renegade’s blog today and he wrote a great entry on the unwritten rules of baseball.
It stimulated my brain and got me to thinking about the hidden and unhidden rules of the sport/hobby of ball hawking.
Maybe these so called rules need to be discussed and/or documented so future ball hawkers have a basis for which to learn this great sport/hobby?
I guess the best way to start this is to give you the rules that I try to snag by.
Some Ball Hawking Rules of Play
First let me say, I am not an expert on this subject. I expect that those of you that have more time in this sport than me will add to these suggestions. I didn’t start ball hawking with these rules, I’ve adopted them as I’m learning this sport.
1. Ball hawking is a non-contact sport. Touching, shoving, holding or anyway preventing another ball hawk from snagging a ball is the lowest of low in my book.
2. Realize that each individual has his/her personal space. Sometimes staying out of that space can be tricky when you’re tracking a BP homer. Just remember nobodys personal space deserves to be invaded while you’re on a quest for another baseball. Back off and let the ball go, there will always be another.
3. Be polite and courteous. “B-Hats” don’t love us I realize that, but you can do your best to not further damage our fragile image.
B-Hats = Ball Hawk haters
RPR’s Dictionary defines a “B-Hat” as a special breed of loser. Usually B-Hats have never actually attended batting practice and make ridiculous assumptions on how they “think” something is as opposed to how it “Really” is. Another interesting fact is that B-Hats actually spend more time on the internet harassing ball hawks and leaving ignorant uneducated comments than ball hawks spend at the stadiums snagging baseballs.
4. Don’t be that guy who screams at the players to toss up baseballs then gets mad when they don’t.Go to a batting practice and you’ll see, if you don’t harass the players they will usually reward the fans who show up early to BP by tossing up baseballs. As soon as someone cusses a player out for not tossing up a ball, the baseball charity stops. I’ve seen it plenty of times.
5. Don’t keep all the baseballs. Last year I kept the ones I caught and got them autographed. This year I’m snagging a few more so what I don’t use for autographs I give to kids at batting practice. I give them away on my terms.
(That’s the way most of the BP regulars at Coors Field are. They will keep anything that is different or new to them. The other baseballs they catch are given away as soon as they are snagged.)
6. When at all possible during BP stay out of a fellow snaggers bleacher row or general area. There’s plenty of room, so no need to crowd anyone.(If you can read between the lines here that means please don’t stand next to me).
7. Congratulate someone you notice make a nice catch. You know it’s nice to hear it so throw it out there yourself. People like to know you noticed.
7. This one I’m still working on myself, but ignore the haters. People that don’t go to batting practice have no idea what goes on or what we do. I never have a problem educating someone how things “Really” are so on this one I’m a work in progress.
8. Always keep an eye out for kids and BP homers. Somebody has to pay attention to those BP missiles crashing into the bleachers. I don’t ever want to see a kid get hit with a ball because someone was afraid to catch or deflect a baseball headed for a group of kids because they didn’t want to hurt their hand.
(<——Youkilis getting tagged by Chein-Ming Wang)
There are those of you who say it’s wrong for an adult to bring a glove to a game. I’ve been hit with a ball so speaking from personal experience you are out of line and absolutely clueless on this one.
Personally I think that if your stadium seats are anywhere near foul ball or home run territory you’re a fool not to bring a glove as protection.
When you have your glove with you you’re able to fend off any enemy baseballs that may be on a mission to try and shorten or drastically alter your happy lifestyle. Don’t believe me? Take a baseball hit off of a bat to the head then see how great life is with a busted skull or worse.
9. ALWAYS say thank you if you’re tossed a ball or a player does something nice for you. Remember the players owe you nothing.
My take on the whole Happy/Coghlan thing:
I have really thought about this a lot and in my opinion (not to bash Happy whatsoever), you cannot be team loyal and then swap gear just to get more baseballs. Zack Hample gets away with it but he’ll be the first to tell you he’s not team loyal, he’s a fan of baseball.
Happy swapped his Brewers gear for Marlins gear on the chance of snaggin more baseballs. By doing that Milwalkee, The Brewers Nation, the Marlins and the state of Florida turned on him.
This country will forgive an athlete who staged dog fights and others who repeatedly abuse drugs and alcohol? Can’t we forgive a overzealous baseball fan who just wanted a couple of baseball bats for his collection?
Do it Happy, give em their apology so they’ll shutup and then move on brotha.
Remember when in doubt always take the high road, then you can look down and laugh and you don’t get stuck in the rockslide…D
I guess I’m still in shock over this whole Happy Youngster/ Chris Coghlan thing.
The media made Happy out to be some kind of extortionist and I know it’s not like that at all.
Some of the hate comments he received were so bad it has me questioning my own ballhawking adventures.
Reading those hate comments could give someone the impression that if you’re over the age of twelve you have no business with a glove at a baseball game.
Happy has since removed a lot of the threatening comments.
I can’t speak for you but I don’t know too many twelve year olds that can catch one of those BP homers. I took one of those baseballs square in the foot the other day and it still hurts.
The last Rockies game I was at I saw Robert deflect a BP baseball that was headed right into the middle of a group of teenage girls. These girls had no idea it was coming and Robert’s quick thinking prevented an injury or worse I’m sure.
Happy all I can tell you as soon as Coghlan walked up to me and said “Are you gonna give me my ball?”
With that attitude brotha I’d have said “F’ck No” broke the hell out, went home, destroyed that baseball on video and then posted it to my blog.
Happy was disrespected, lied to and treated like sheet. In the end it didn’t really matter what Happy asked for in trade for the home run ball. All the Marlins had to do was say no.
I didn’t like the Marlins accusing Happy of swapping baseballs either. That wasn’t a good way to begin the swap. I am curious as to the outcome of all this because it is likely sometime in my life I may be in a similar situation.
Personally, I would have asked for the bat Coghlan used to hit the home run autographed and a photo of the exchange.
But now that I know what kind of guy/player Coghlan is…If I ever catch one of his home runs, I’ll save myself a HUGE headache and throw the f’king thing back.
Here is what I have learned so far:
Ranter’s tips just in case you ever catch a home run ball that a player would like back.
1. Give it back or be reasonable with your requests (I still think Happy was reasonable).
2. Get everything in writing and on video 🙂 . Sometimes they’ll tell you one thing and then later either deny it or say something different.
3. As soon as deal/exchange starts to flake or they change their tune on you,….just walk. You have lost nothing at that point.
4. Cover your Hass, have witnesses. Realize if it goes sour, the media will spin this against you. Be prepared to fire back with your proof. If possible keep the whole thing as low key as possible.
5. People who don’t know you with nothing better to do will suddenly take time out of their day to pass some of their miserable existance onto you.
Remember,…In a player/fan situation the Associated Press may not be your friend.
Happy Youngster, you were right.
Maryvale Baseball Park where the Brewers do their spring training is the nicest baseball park I’ve seen this trip. The concessions are actually cheaper than anywhere else, and the outfield has grass that is perfect for snagging baseballs.
The gates opened 1 1/2 hours early and we were there early as usual.
No big surprises going through the gates. The Ushers were friendly and informative. With me today were Andy and my father-in-law Joe.
The crowd today was a little over 2000 and most people sat around home plate leaving the outfield unpopulated. Upon entering the stadium I immediately headed for the beautiful grassy outfield.
As I was fast-walking (running to hear Andy tell it), over to the outfield I saw two BP homers get smacked over to left field. I debated going over there, but for a change I decided I’d give the right side of the field a try. A wise move on my part, but I didn’t know that yet.
It wasn’t five minutes and I found myself chasing after two BP homers in a row. Neither of which I was able to catch. I slightly misjudged both and they sailed over my head by mere inches.
Both of my BP homers were snagged by teenagers standing directly above me in the grass. Both were great catches.
The first baseball I snagged was tossed to me by Dexter Fowler. Thank you Dexter, I didn’t even ask him for it.
The next three baseballs that came to right/center field were mine. I was able to snag two of them after they had bounced in the grass and were rolling.
My last BP homer I caught on the fly which is how I prefer to snag them 🙂
Total batting practice tally = 4 baseballs.
I did something today I’ve never done before. I was snaggin in bare feet. I had already slipped a few times with my sandals as the incline is a little steep. I removed them and the grass was cool and soft and gave a solid grip in bare feet.
Cheering for the oversize sausages had me wishing Hunter and Mylee were with me.
Check out the scoreboard. Don’t quote me, but I believe this lead was the only Rockies lead in the first seven games of spring training.
One of my goals was to Get Clint Hurdle to sign my Sports Illustrated 1978 issue with him on the cover. Andy and I had met up with Clint and Don Baylor outside Hi Corbett a few mornings ago and Clint told me he would sign later for me.
This was my last opportunity to snag Clint’s autograph during my vacation. I noticed Clint walking over to the outfield and when he was about 50 feet away I yelled “Clint you said the other morning that you would sign my magazine, do you have time now?
He immediatly walked over and autographed it for me. I had my opportunity to mention to Clint how much I enjoyed my time at Hi-Corbett how friendly he and all the Rockies have been to us. He said he was glad and they he/they were fond of Hi Corbett too.
So are you thinking that the Hurdle autograph on the Sports Illustrated was my holy grail?
Not even close, in the sixth inning I happened to be looking in another direction when I heard a loud crack. Just then my father-in-law Joe said “there’s one” I looked left and up, and spotted the baseball.
In nanoseconds I was up and off like a bat out of hell jumping over and clearing two dudes who were laying out. Then I ran down the hill past a lady who also was going for the home run ball and I scooped the ball up as I was sliding down the hill on the grass.
I have the grass burn to prove it and Andy and Joe as witnesses 🙂
I also hyper-extended my right arm as I slid down but it was worth it.
Injuries heal, I’ll be buried with that baseball.
2009 is mine.
Here it is folks, my first live home run ball hit by Daniel Ortmeier in the sixth inning at Maryvale Baseball Park.
This was Daniel’s first live home run as a Rockie. I’m proud it was this Rockie fan who snagged it. I’m also glad that my first live home run ball was from a Rockie, but in all honesty I wouldn’t have been choosy.
Guess what else happened at the bottom of the eighth inning?
Trot Nixon of the Brewers hit a right field homer and I missed it by inches. The ball bounced on the outfield wall edge, then bounced on the sidewalk and then landed in a bush three feet outside the ballpark fence.
Andy found a stick to try and poke it loose but it wouldn’t reach. Just then a couple were walking by and Andy took a chance and asked the guy if he would hand him the ball. The guy did and Andy snagged his first live home run ball.
All I can say is what a vacation. I did everything I wanted to do and then some.
I was able to see four Rockies home games, and this road game against the Brewers. Right now the Rockies are 0-5 for the games I’ve watched and 0-7 for the season.
The final score of this Rockies/Brewers game was Brewers 8, Rockies 6….Dammit
On Monday at the Rockies game I saw that some of the players were out signing so I walked over to the Rockies dugout. I saw an open spot and I squeezed into it. Once positioned I looked to my left and standing right beside me was Baby Paul and his dad Mark. I knew they were supposed to be at this game but up until that moment I hadn’t seen them.
Mark and I chatted and snagged a few autographs. I don’t know Mark that well but I can tell he’s a good guy. I was able to meet Marks’s wife and I believe it was Mark’s mother and father.
Super nice people and I was floored to find out that his mom is a regular reader of the Rant.
Baby Paul was a little bit grumpy when I met him but it was blistering hot that day and I didn’t blame him. Everyone was sunburnt, it was hot even for Tucson.
Just before we rolled out of Tucson I had met Baby Paul and family outside and they posed for a picture in front of the Mobile Blog Unit. How freggin cool is that?
I also got a phone call from Robert Harmon telling me he was arriving in Tucson with a VW bus running on 3 cylinders just as I was about an hour north of Tucson headed for Phoenix.
Thanks Mark, it was a pleasure to run into you again and an honor to meet your family.
That’s a wrap from the Rockpile Ranter’s Mobile Blog Unit and our Rockies Spring Training adventures. I will be writing a final spring training recap and I will be updating Rockpile Ranter’s Picture Blog over the next week with pictures and video that I haven’t used in my spring training blog entries.
Realizing there is only so much time in a day, and that a blogger can’t possibly cover everything. Do you have any suggestions as to what I could have done better?
Or what about things I should have our shouldn’t have done?
I love feedback and would REALLY value your opinions.
This was the best vacation of my life. I just want to mention that 99% of the Rockies were extremely kind to us and getting to meet Todd Helton and watching him autograph my bat and World Series baseball meant more to me than I can really put in words.
Let me just say, he is as cool in person as you would think he would be.Right now the Rockpile Rant is the # 1 Rockies snagging blog in the world 🙂 This blog has really taken a life of it’s own and matured into something that is fun and that I’m really proud of.
My thanks to all of you for taking a few minutes of your time to see the world through my eyes.
Your faithful Rockies Blogger…”D”…The one and only, very sunburnt Rockpile Ranter.
We arrived at Hi-Corbett this morning at 6:30 and there were already a few players here. Today’s goal was simple.
I have three mini-bats left and Andy still needed to get Tulo’s autograph on his wife’s visor or he was in big trouble.
Me, I’ve gotten so many autographs I’m starting to feel guilty. So I decided to get Jorge De La Rosa on one of the mini-bats and I also got Eric Young Jr. I’m saving my last mini-bat for Sal Fasano. Hopefully he’ll be at batting practice today.
I’m not real keen on taking pictures of players in the morning, but I did take a few.
Here’s a shot of Glenallen Hill. A few days ago when Andy and I and a group of autograph hounds hit him up for autographs, he asked us “What do you guys do with all those autographs?” The way he said it was funnny.
Here’s a shot of Eric Young Jr’s Hummer.
IIt’s autograph day today at the Rockies game and if it’s the same as last year they’ll have two players signing. I think I’ll take a pass. I’ll be out snagging baseballs and getting Sal’s autograph in the practice fields today until the start of the game against the Angels.
As far as I know this will be my last home game at Hi-Corbett. From what they say the Rockies will be moving to a different training facility next year. I’m heading out now to get my tickets for todays game. Today were going to try to get some of the shaded seats. Yesterday’s sun has got me glowing a bit.
I’m going to miss this place. It’s so fan friendly and compared to other places it’s the best as far as I’m concerned. After the game today I head to Phoenix and I’ll be at my final Rockies game tomorrow against the Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park.