Tagged: Chris Iannetta

Iannetta Knew It…The Kid Blew It

7-16-11                                                                       

Brewers vs Rockies Game 3

and

Our first Rockies Photo Day..For some reason we always seem to have something going when this day rolls around.

Our little roped off section of Coors field was filled with Rantics. The Rockies who were posing for pictures were all friendly and approachable other than “The Duece”,  who once again lived up to his number. I made a comment that out of the group of eight of us who were doing this round robin with the picture and camera switch during the photo session,   I bet that Tulo would diss four of us.

I was wrong, Tulo dissed six of us and left Hunter standing there just waiting for his picture as he moved past us as quick as he could.

Tulo, c’mon man…Most folks in this state look up to you…Hunter used to. I respect your athletic abilities brotha, but you need lessons on how to treat your loyal fans.

Believe me I’m not ripp’n Tulo for this just this “ONE” time. You don’t earn the nickname “The Duece” overnight :).

Anyways….

Way too many pictures today of players and Rantics to post em all but I’ll share a few.

 Skipper Jim Tracy 

Jim and I

Rox Addict and his famous “Running Man” Pose

Must be contagious, here’s Dan striking a pose.

Me, I’m not really a running man, I’m more of a glider.

Tom Helmer sport’n a mustache?…Guess I have been gone a while 🙂

Gary and Alanna X and the Coaches

Mike and Chris Iannetta “aka Spongebob” holding Spongebob…Perfect!!

Me n Wiggy

Hunter and Ian Stewart 

Ryan Spilborghs

Aaron Cook and the Rantic Red Beards

Cha-Ching on the mound, first pitch of the game after a brief  rain delay was a strike.

Best hat of the game.

 

I was a little late to the action but I got some pretty good pics.

 

 

 It was different watching Chris Iannetta getting gett’n all fired up as he’s usually quiet and reserved. I guess watching  Chris pop his cork got Jim Tracy all fired up.

Usually stuff like this jump starts a team… But this was not the case today.

I’m the “Ranter” and despite the loss I had a great time hang’n with the Crew.

ranter hat.jpg 

 

Rockies are Hot…Cubs are Not

4-15-11

                                  Cubs vs Rockies Game One


Cubs vs Rockies Game 1 4-15-11.jpgWeather
: 55 degrees, clear.
Wind: 10 mph, In from LF.
T: 2:22.
Att: 30,285

Something felt different at Coors Field today. Normally when the Cubbies are in town Coors Field is swarming with over enthusiastic Cub fans doing their best to try and own our stadium for a few games. Not today, Cubs fans were few and far between.

I thought maybe it was the weather, but the Cubs habitate in Chicago and they’re no strangers to cold April baseball. Then I though “Could they be scared or intimadated?

 The Rockies are on fire right now and it’s hard to be over enthusiastic when you’re playing the number one team in baseball and they’re kicking your a-ss.

Batting practice was totally hampered today by the wind. Balls that easily would have  landed in the pavilion were landing twenty feet short. I ran into Joy today at batting practice. She was hanging out waiting on the rest of her crew.

I gave her the last of the six “Helmer is my Homeboy” T-shirts that Tom Helmer gave me.

                                           Just so you know, I gave them to:

Dan

Robert

Marianne

Mike

Joy

and me

If you want a “Helmer is my Homeboy” T-Shirt hang out behind the pavilion where ROOT SPORTS does their post-game broadcast after a Rockies win. Helmer has been known to toss a few of his shirts out to Rockies fans.

                                 I believe someday they’ll be collectors items. 🙂

Batting practice was almost over and I walked up to Joy and said “I gotta feeling it’s gonna happen”. Not thirty seconds later a ball was hit my way and I realized it was going to fall a bit short. Fortunately this one took a hearty bounce and I snagged it.

               First caught ball of the season, a ground rule double..I’m ok with that 🙂 

In case you were wondering why all the players had #42 on their jerseys it’s because it was Jackie Robinson Day.

                                 I think they do this just to mess with folks.

Jackie Robinson Day 4-15-11.jpg                                          Here are a few pre-game pictures.

Chris Iannetta 4-15-11.jpg                                          Robert and the Rox Addict (BFF’s)


Robert and the Rox Addict 4-15-11.jpg                      Cathy Sabine making Coors Field look just a little bit better. 


Cathy Sabine 4-15-11.jpgThere were a couple of powerballs on the field as well. Notice how one of ’em is hang’n just a bit lower?


            Powerballs 4-15-11.jpg                                           Alanna Rizzo of ROOT SPORTS

Alanna Rizzo 4-15-11.jpg

Seth Smith 4-15-11.jpg


Troy Tulowitzki 4-15-11.jpg


Troy, Dex, Todd 4-15-11.jpg


Franklin Morales 4-15-11.jpg

Tulo Throwing 4-15-11.jpgI didnt know it at the time I took this picture, but these two would be the heros of this game. 
Iannetta and Chacin 4-15-11.jpg
 
Color Guard 4-15-11.jpg

                       Jim Tracy showing the Umpires which way the wind blows.

   Jim Tracy Umpires 4-15-11.jpg                                               A few random game shots.

Random Game shot 4-15-11.jpgUmpire Jerry Layne was tagged in the left ankle by a line drive from Carlos Pena in the second inning. The dude tried to get out of the way but didn’t quite make it.
Umpire hurt 4-15-11.jpg

Umpire down 4-15-11.jpg      He was down for a couple of minutes but walked off the field on his own. Glad he’s ok.Umpire walking off 4-15-11.jpg

                          Here’s a few action shots straight from the Rockpile. 

Cargo at bat 4-15-11.jpg

Carlos and Jon 4-15-11.jpg

Helton on First 4-15-11.jpg

Tulo at Bat 4-15-11.jpg

Helton at Bat 4-15-11.jpg 

Helton at Bat 2 4-15-11.jpg

Helton on First 2 4-15-11.jpg

Dan and Emily 4-15-11.jpg

Dugout 4-15-11.jpg

Dexter at bat 4-15-11.jpg

Douglas 4-15-11.jpg
Cub gets at hit 4-15-11.jpg                                Worst hair of the game…Cub blue…Ewww

Worst hair of the game 2 4-15-11.jpg
Dugout shot 4-15-11.jpg                  Chacin was money again tonight. He pitched his first career shutout.

Chacin 4-15-11.jpg

This game was all Chris Iannetta. In the third inning with bases loaded Chris hit a triple, scored the three on base and because of an error on the play at third Chris managed to get home.

                   It was beautiful. I was so happy to see Chris do that. He needed that.

                                          Final Score: Rockies 5…Cubs 0

                         Rockies have won seven in a row and their record is 11-2.

                                       That’s the best record in MLB right now. 

             Part-time Rockies fans, the bandwagon is rolling full speed, time to get on.

                              I’m D The Rockpile Ranter…I’m in it to win it…D ranter hat.jpg

Dodgers get none while the Rantics have fun

4-5-11                               Dodgers vs Rockies Game 1D vs R 4-5-11.jpg

Weather: 71 degrees, clear.
Wind: 14 mph, L to R.
T: 2:19.
Att: 24,693

The game today was my third this season and the Rockies first against the Dodgers. I arrived at Coors Field and guess who was there ahead of me?

the Rantics 4-5-11.jpg

Leave it to the some of the Rantics to be the first ones at the gates. That’s what I’m talking about. Left to Right.. Mike the Rox Addict, Alannah X and Gary X.

                       Mike may be the Rox Addict, but he was a Rantic first 🙂

I was looking forward to this game as I knew it wouldn’t be nearly as crowded as it has been the last few games. As soon as they opened the gates Mike and I headed for the Pavilion. I was gravitating over to my usual spot and noticed a baseball sitting under a bleacher.

This Coors Field rarity is know as an Easter Egg and believe it or not it’s my first at Coors Field. The Coors Field Ushers unfortunately do a great job of picking up ALL the baseballs before we get inside and somehow they missed this one.

       My first ball of the year…An Easter Egg…I’m ok with that. Something new right?

Rockies were on the field and batting practice was in full swing. Ball two was tossed up to me by Ubaldo Jimenez as the Rockies were leaving the field. I gave it to a little girl who was with her mom leaning on the railing.

Dodgers took the field and not long after I was tracking my third ball. In the chase for the ball I found myself in the tunnel and realized I didn’t have a chance at the ball as it was going to land inside the pavilion not inside the tunnel.

 I’ve learned not to give up at that point as any number of things can happen, and did.

The guy who attempted to catch this homer let it bounce out of his glove and it dropped down into the tunnel right in front of me and I snapped it up. Game three of the season and still no balls caught on the fly 😦

              I gave that ball away to a little boy standing close by with his family.

                                  That would be it for batting practice.

As we walked by ROOT SPORTS I took this shot of R-LUV with Tom Helmer in the background.RLUV 4-5-11.jpg

R-Luv got to sit in the pavilon today so she gave me her ticket which wound up being in the first row of right field, prime home run territory. No luck, however during the very next game Todd Helton hit a homerun to that exact location.                                                    

                                             George and Tracy pre-game.George and Tracy ROOT SPORTS 4-5-11.jpg                                      Here are your Rockies warming up.Dexter and Cargo 4-5-11.jpg

Lopez 4-5-11.jpg

Tulo pre game 4-5-11.jpg

                          Tulo started today’s game with a .000 batting average.Tulo batting .000 4-5-11.jpg   In the fourth inning all that would change, Tulo gets his first hit of the season off of Kershaw with two out.Tulo first hit first home run 4-5-11.jpg

  Tulo homerun scoreboard 4-5-11.jpg

              In the fifth inning with two out Chris Iannetta decided it was his turn. Chris Iannetta homerun 4-5-11.jpg

                                              A few random game shots.

Dodger rounds first 4-5-11.jpgWigginton on first 4-5-11.jpg

Rockies Sunset 4-5-11.jpg

Rockies Dugout 4-5-11.jpg

                             Dan and Emily during the seventh inning stretch.Dan and Emily 4-5-11.jpg

                  Spilly tossing his warm-up ball into the right field crowd between innings.Ryan Spilborghs 4-5-11-1.jpg

Alannah X ran into a friend from school and the two of them got to watch the game together. I promised I’d post their picture.Alannah and her friend 4-5-11.jpg

Helton on first 4-5-11.jpg

Props to Chacin for pitching 7 scoreless innings. Rockies beat the Dodgers at Coors field with a final score of 3-0.Rockies Win 4-5-11.jpg

Mike, R-Luv and I hung around after the game. Here are a few shots of the ROOT SPORTS crew doing the post game report.Helmer on the Desk 4-5-11.jpg

                           Check out the video of Tom tossing out his T-Shirts

A few entries back I mentioned that I wanted to interview a Rockies fan every other game or so. Well I had someone step up to the plate and volunteer, I like that.

Her name is Katerina and I first met her a few months ago while standing in line outside of Coors Field waiting to purchase Rockies tickets with Hunter and Mylee. She mentioned she had read the Rockpile Rant and really liked the blog Purple Row.

                         We talked about the Rockies while we waited in line.

            Very cool lady, HUGE Rockies fan and my first fan interview of 2011.
Katerina Coors Field.jpg 

 1.   How did you become a Rockies fan?

 

Becoming a Rockies fan was a choice I made four years ago this month. Wow, four years! But how and why: I just decided I wanted to follow baseball and learn more about it. The choice for the team I would root for was obvious, because the Rockies were the home team, and not to mention their colors were purple. I’m the only Rockies fan in my family, so I guess that makes me the purple and black sheep, but at least they raised me to root for the home team, and none other.

 

I hate to be classified with the ’07 bandwagon fans, but truth is: it was during that run when I first realized I loved them, and during that first offseason when I realized I had an addiction. It gets worse and worse, or rather better and better each year. It’s been a great ride, and I feel honored to be living during such a great time to be a Rockies fan.

 

 

  1. Who is your favorite Rockies player (current or past) and why?

 

My favorite player is Troy Tulowitzki. He always was, since his rookie year, and it’s awesome to say that he always will be, because of his contract extension.

I chose Tulo because he is a great player, defensively and offensively. Also, two had been my favorite number, and the fact that he was a rookie that seemed to be staying for a while certainly helped that choice. But the greatest reason I chose him was the fact that he wants to play the game the right way, and wants to be the best at it. I can relate to his competitiveness and passion. And Tulo wants to win. When he showed loyalty by signing to stay with Colorado forever he was cemented even more as my favorite player.

Yeah, his song and hair might be ugly sometimes, or most of the time, but it’s awesome to be stuck with Tulo as a favorite player.

 

  1. Favorite Rockies moment or memory.

Wow, only one? That’s hard.

I have to go with having mine and my family’s ears glued to the radio during Rocktober. That streak was just so awesome, and listening together, staying up way past our bedtimes is a classic memory I’ll never forget.

 

I’ve had a lot of good memories next to the radio these past few years.

 

Near seconds are attending a Rox game at AT&T Park last August, appearing on and being interviewed for Rockies All Access Tulo show last spring, and being at 2009 Game Four in the bottom of the 8th before Huston Street broke our hearts.

 

I feel the best is yet to come…very soon.

 

  1. If you could have any job with the Rockies organization what would you like to do?

If I would choose any job in the organization, I’d work on the Rockies Magazine staff. Even proofreading every issue would be cool.

Either that or be the person who secretly switches out the humidor-ized baseballs for ones that haven’t been in the humidor, and sneaks the “juiced balls” into the Giants ball bag when they come to Coors Field.

Alright, that last one is a joke.

 

Thank again Katerina, great job.  I’ll change-up the questions each time.

 

 I had a few more pictures but MLBlogs started acting up again so we’ll call this one done.

     I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter, gett’n by, still trying to catch one on the fly….Dranter hat.jpg 


 

Grand Slam…No Thanks Man

6/9/10                       Astros vs Rockies Game Three

Weather: 80 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 9 mph, In from LF.
Temperature: 2:55.
Attendance: 27,114.

Hunter and I arrived at the Rockpile gates early today and played a little catch. Hunter threw one over my head and it rolled through the fence and stopped about eight feet inside.

No worries, I still had the string attached to my glove from my trip to KC so I figured I’d swing my glove and try to knock the ball back to us. 

It was actually starting to work until the string separated from the glove and my glove landed inside the fence.
Guess I need a bit more work on my glove trick. One of the Ushers walked around and retrieved my glove and Hunter’s baseball…Thank you!

Ball and glove inside fence 6-9-10.jpgAs I was making my way over to my spot in the pavilion Jason Hammel shouted at me “Heads up”. Seconds later a ball bounced about six feet in front of me and I picked it up on the roll for ball number one.

During Tuesday’s batting practice I noticed Dan heading up the stairs to almost the last row in the pavilion. I was wondering what he was doing until I watched Carlos Lee start to blast baseballs all over the concourse.

Today I didn’t want to compete with Dan on the concourse(plus at the time I thought he was a little crazy for going that far up), so I stayed near the top of the pavilion. This paid off because I had play on four of Carlos Lee’s BP homers and eventually I was able to catch one of the last homers he hit.

Dan stayed on the concourse and straight-up caught two of Lee’s homers and snagg’d the third on the roll. Good Call Dan!

Carlos Lee 6-9-10.jpg

                                    My hand still smarts from that Lee homer.

Soon after that I was able to catch a BP homer from Hunter Pence. Hunter hit that ball about 1/3 of the way up the pavilion.

Thumbnail image for Hunter Pence 6-9-10.jpg             Three baseballs for the day. That’s a good day snagg’n at Coors Field.

 Here’s Robert showing you on his hands and feet how many baseballs he’s snagged in the last couple of games.

               He’s been on a roll since I made fun of his absence of baseballs.

Robert 6-9-10.jpg

                                            That’s right…We Bad

Hunter and me 6-9-10.jpg

Today was a great snagg’n day. Everyone played fair and kept in their own space. I always point out the idiots so I felt obligated to mention one of the days when batting practice goes smoothly. Hunter was shutout today.

                                         I call this next set of photos: 
                                                   “BUSTED”

                                USHER…..”Hey guys how’s it going?

Ticket check 1.jpg                     USHER-“Could I please see your tickets for these seats?”

                                                   DUDE-“Yeah,….. hold on”

Ticket check 3.JPG         USHER-“Sir… It says right here you should be sitting in the Rockpile”.

Ticket check 2.jpg                      USHER-“Gentlemen I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”  

ticket check 4.jpgBeen there myself many times, but still fun to watch the scenario unfold when it’s someone else:)

                                     The Hoser and the Miss Colorado Contestants

Hoser and the Miss Colorado Contestants 6-9-10.jpg

Ok, I’ve rewritten this part of the entry three times in the last three days. I’ve had some time to think about how I want to say this so I’ll be short and to the point.

Bullpen Catcher Mark Strittmatter was walking past the crowd and Hunter asked me if he could go over ask Strittmatter  for the baseball in his hand.

I said, “Do it buddy” So Hunter walked over to Mark and asked for the ball.

Strittmatter did what he always does and asked Hunter a question “How many outs in an inning?”

Hunter immediately replied “Three”, which we all know is wrong. Strittmatter told Hunter he was wrong, but didn’t tell him the correct answer and then walked away.

                                   Not a very classy move in my eyes.

These dudes leave huge impressions on kids and I could tell Hunter’s interaction with Strittmatter left him speechless and disappointed.  

So here’s our plan of action next time we have an encounter with Strittmatter.

Hunter plans to trip him up. Hunter will ask him a baseball question. If Strittmatter manages to answer correctly I’ll toss him a baseball. If he answers it incorrectly, I’ll make him feel exactly like he made Hunter feel 🙂

               ***************UPDATE***************

2518update1.jpgI always hesitate when I write anything negative about any Rockies player. I always try to tell the story the way I see it. My blog entries are basically my memory from the games we attend.

This morning 6-13-10 I received an email from Mark Strittmatter with an explanation.

                                                           Here it is:

Stumbled upon your blog last night…wanted to let you know that I am very sorry to have hurt your son’s feelings. Obviously you have seen me ask questions to other kids before…hope you know that all of it is done in fun, certainly not with any malicious intent. I am a father myself, and would never seek to hurt a child in any way. Please introduce yourself to me whenever you get a chance.

Sincerely,

Mark Strittmatter

In the 2 1/2 years I’ve blogging about the Rockies Mark is the first player to write the Rockpile Rant personally. The fact that he cared enough to take time and explain says a lot about his character. Mark… Hunter says “Thanks it’s all cool” and I agree…Very Classy.

            Thank you Mark, thank you for re-affirming why I support the Rockies…”D”  

Mark, Bob.jpg

 Chris Iannetta back to his same routine. First one out, first one to sign.

Chris Iannetta signing 6-9-10.jpg

Chris Iannetta 6-9-10.jpg

Dinger 6-9-10.jpg

Hunter Denver background 6-9-10.jpg                   Melvin Mora puts everything into his slides. He’s cool to watch.

Melvin Mora slide 6-9-10.jpg

Chris Iannetta Swing 6-9-10.jpg                                        Jonathan Herrera playing second.

Jon Herrera 6-9-10.jpg

Tulo with a good snag 6-9-10.jpg

Herrera at bat 6-9-10.jpg

Melvin Mora on first 6-9-10.jpg                                                  Random pavilon shots.

Random pavilion shot 6-9-10.jpg

Random pavilion shot 2 6-9-10.jpg

rockies dugout shot 6-9-10.jpg

Brad Hawpe 6-9-10.jpg

bunt 6-9-10.jpg

Cook and Iannetta 6-9-10.jpg
 Out on first 6-9-10.jpg

                                              Seth Smith in overdrive.

Seth Smith giving it his all 6-9-10.jpg

 

Hurry back Seth 6-9-10.jpg         And in the background on deck, game winning, grand slam hitting Carlos Lee.
Carlos Lee background6-9-10.jpg        Here’s a link if you want to watch the Rockies painful loss in the 10th inning.

                                          Carlos Lee’s Grand Slam 

                                 Told you this guy could crush a ball…It figures.

                                   Rockies lose game three to the Astros 6-2

                              My next game is Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

                                                       Go Rockies…D 
ranter hat-thumb-40x29-2107421.jpg  

We Left our Mark at Isotopes Park

4/2/10

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.

Isotopes Scoreboard1.JPG

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. RPR and Marge Isotopes park.jpg

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.Thumbnail image for Ken Griffey Jr BP Homer baseball.jpg 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.

Isotopes Beer.jpg                    Here’s a shot of Robert, me, Jack and Kim chill’n on the grassy berm.The Gang at Isotopes Park.JPG

Robert and RPR Isotopes Park.JPG

                   Good size crowd on the berm, all of them trying to snag a baseball.

Isotopes Stadium 1.JPG

 Props go out to my wife Krista for the great pictures and video. The weather today reached a high of 50 degrees and by the sixth inning it was down right chilly.

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.

                                                          Go Rockies

                                                 D..The Rockpile RanterThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Green Floppy Hat.JPG
 

Baseball is Life, are you a Lifer?

3/20/10

                   Here are the next batch of pictures Robert sent me from Tucson.

the pitchers work out.jpg                                         Jorge De La Rosa and Rich Dauer.

de la rosa warms up before the game.jpg

                                               Jorge throws a strike.

de la rosa throws a strike.jpg
                                                                Chris Iannettachris do'en his job.jpg

                                                          Iannetta at bat.

chris gets a hit.jpg

                 Clap Clap.. Clap Clap Clap…Clap Clap Clap Clap,..TULOtulo hustle.jpg

                                                        Jay Payton

jay payton still playen after all these years.jpg
                                Robert said Jorge’s foul ball sailed over his head.

jorge sends it right over my head.jpg
                                                       Note the temperature.just in case your wondering why i came, check the temp.jpg

            Just for the contrast check out the snow we received in Nederland yesterday.
Snow 3-19-10.JPG                                         I’m officially done with this winter.

 I’ve had enough cold, I’ve had enough snow, I’ve just had enough. Jack Frost can kiss my a-ss and take a long walk off a short plank.

I can’t tell you how much it sucks to have sweet dreams of baseball then waking up at 2:15 AM and driving the icy snowy mountain roads an hour to work.

Don’t get me wrong, I love where I live. I’m just extremely ready for some sunshine.

Ok, I’m gonna go a little deep here…. 

For some folks baseball is a nice way to spend an afternoon in the sunshine. Those people are easy to spot as they are the ones with seats behind home plate and spend the entire game texting their friends. No worries somebody has to buy the expensive seats right?

For others they follow baseball so they have something to talk about around the water cooler. That’s ok too, I like good baseball talk.

For some baseball is their life. For 6+ months a year most of the spring and summer is spent preparing for and attending games. Their baseball stadium becomes their second home. When their team is out of town their extra time is spent making signs, watching the games, checking stats, hitting the team forums, you know trying to stay in the loop.

These people are baseball lifers. These fans are what holds baseball together and enables the sport to continue to exist through all it’s ups, downs and player controversies.

           Lifers are the reason baseball WILL flourish in the post-steroids era.

Baseball owners take note: Take care of your lifers. Throw them a bone whenever you can. You should consider lifers as “Messengers of the future of Baseball”.

Give them something good to say and they will spread the word. Case and point is my pops. Until last year he and my mom had never been to a professional baseball game. This year they attended a Rockies spring training game. Dad Hi Corbett1.jpg

So that makes me think that maybe my passion for baseball rubbed off on them and that’s why they went to the game…You see, spreading the WORD.

Who knows, maybe I’m wrong and they were bored and wanted to kill a nice afternoon?

On a funny note my dad mentioned that it was autograph day and he didn’t understand why nobody asked for his autograph?Mom Hi Corbett.jpg

Coors field in the spring and summer definately feels like a second home to me. I can tell you that it bothers (just a little) when I’m not the first one inside the stadium.   

I love that feeling of being the first one to enter the Pavilion. Completly empty ‘cept for one solitary Usher.

The first few minutes of an empty stadium are surreal. It’s exciting working my way over to my favorite spot in the bleachers. Knowing that any ball hit into the pavilion in the next few minutes will most likely end up in my glove, and then in some lucky kids hand. 

When you are the first one into a stadium there is that moment when you see the players and they look over at you.  

Thats when you smile and think to yourself ” Yep they know me and they know I’m here to support them” That’s a cool feeling. Acceptance and appreciation from your team all wrapped into one short moment.

Then again it could all be in my head….Either way it feels real so I’ll roll with it.

I’ll tell you a secret. There’s a reason I prefer my sports live. I don’t watch a lot of TV and I really have trouble watching baseball on TV. At times it’s way to boring and I feel like I’m wasting the day watching TV. 

I prefer baseball on the radio when the Rockies are out of town or if I’m not at a game. I will however go online and watch the hi-light clips if I hear a play on the radio that sounded cool.

 I still for the life of me can’t figure why the Rockpile Rant continues to hold onto a top ten spot. I mean look who holds the top spots. You’ve got an accomplished professional writer in Jane who writes “Confessions of a She-Fan” and has a couple of books. Red State Blue State has two writers and both are top-notch and feed off of each other. 

Then there’s my fellow Ranter Julia. She’s a baseball lifer and she works MLBlogs like pro. She’s witty, funny, creative and the Red Sox biggest fan bar none.   

In case you didn’t know it (I’m a fiddle player too, kidd’n), “The Happy Youngster” is my favorite MLBlogger. I’ll tell you why….As passionate as I am about blogg’n, snagg’n and tagg’n, Happy is me times two with a list of accomplishments to back it up. He’s a family man, a baseball lifer and has rised above a bunch of bull-sheet that happened to him last year and is a better person for it. 

I enjoy reading Happy’s take on things as they are quite often similar to mine and he always “Tells it like it is”. I respect the hell out of that.

I can tell you which MLBlog will slide into the top ten if we ever have another “Latest Leaders List”. That would be another lifer known as the Rays Renegade. His blog is top notch and is filled with baseball history and written by guy who knows this sport inside and out. He’s an avid reader of other blogs and always has a bit of trivia or a kind comment to leave when he visits someone’s blog. 

Guess what I’m saying is it is an honor to blog on this platform with such talent and fellow lifers. Each of us brings a different take on baseball to the masses and it’s fun to see who is willing to push the limits on what an MLBlogger can do.

                                      Write On baseball freaks…Spread the Word         

                                                    D..The Rockpile Ranter

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I need a rest after Rockies Fest

1/23/10
RF sign.JPG

                                                    Rockies Fest 2010.

This would be the second time this special Rockies season ticket holder event has taken place and the second time we’ve been there. The weather was expected to be in the mid-40’s today and for January in Colorado I’ll take that.

                                            Below are two things that don’t mix.

Coors Field with Snow.JPGLet me tell you though I did have to fight of the urge to run out there lay my a-ss on the field and start pumping out snow angels 🙂

 Mylee didn’t make Rockies Fest today because she’s been sick for almost a week.  

Let me tell you my little girl was extremely sad she couldn’t go so we promised to get her Rockies mini-bat signed for her. We did just that thanks to Huston Street. I chatted with a lot of people yesterday and everyone agreed Street has one of the nicest autographs in baseball today. 
Mylees Huston Street Bat.jpg Hunter and I had a little time to kill before our the “Pitcher and Catcher interviews” so we toured the Press Box.Press box sign RF2010.JPG

                                    While inside we each took our photo ops.

Hunter in the Rockies Press Box.JPG Me in that chair, high above with the killer view of the field. I tell ya it felt like I was home.
RPR in the Press Box.JPG I must have been sitting in “The Cowboy’s” chair because it was broke in real good.

As we killed more time and wandered the Club levels of Coors Field we walked up on a huge bin of baseballs.
Bat Giveaway.JPGI was half expecting Zack Hample to pop out of them so when he didn’t I asked someone what this was.

I was informed that object was to guess the number of balls in the cage and it you could only enter if you were 15 or younger.

                    Lets just say the prizes were a baseball collector’s dream. 
Todd Helton Bat drawing.JPG I took a few moments and filled out entries for Hunter and Mylee as did every parent with kids I’m sure. 

Troy Tulowitzki Bat Giveaway.JPGWhile we were standing there fixated on the autographed bats I bumped into Joy aka LUVMYROX who was there with her family. I believe they also were killing time waiting for their Outfielder interviews to begin.

A few minutes and a hundred feet later I ran into Marianne aka R-Luv who was also exploring the festivities with her family.

Funny thing and I hope I get this all correct. Joy and Marianne have known each other for years through the Rockies forums. During Rockies games they comment back and forth with each other on the forum but up until today had never physically met.

When I met up with Dan today he mentioned that the two of them finally met each other here at the Rockies Fest.

Ladies I’m sorry I missed that photo opportunity. Congratulations how appropriate that you met at Rockies Fest as you both are HUGE fans….Too Cool.

 It was time for us to head up to the Pitcher/Catcher interviews. This took place up in Club level. The MC’s hosting this Q N A were Alana Rizzo (my favorite FSN employee), and that other guy Drew Goodman.

Alana Rizzo RF 2010.JPG For some reason my hands started to shake every time I tried to take a picture of Alana. The above picture was the clearest of the bunch.

Here’s a shot of most of your Rockies pitchers and catchers for the upcoming 2010 Season.

 
RF Pitchers 2010.jpg

     Let me break it down a little better. Below is Chris Iannetta and Matt Daley.
Chris Iannetta Rockies Fest 2010.JPG                      Taylor Buchholz, Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis and Huston Street
Francis, Buchholz, Cook and Street.jpg                            Randy Flores, Greg Smith and Miguel Olivo
Flores, Daley.jpg                          Last but not least Jason Hammel and Matt Belisle
Hammel and Belisle.jpg

Most of the questions they asked were a bit regular side. However,I did manage to get video of Jeff Francis when he was asked about his arm and his return.

                                                    Here’s the video:

                   So I guess he’s back. I wish him the best. We need the Canadian.

After the interview session it was autograph time. Our first session was Huston Street and first base coach Glenallen Hill.

Street and Glenallen Hill.jpgAs I approached Huston Street I said “Hi I’m Don I write the Rockpile Rant” and I asked him if he was going to continue his MLBlog. Street replied “Yeah, I’d like to”.

You heard it here first. 

Then I moved onto Glenallen Hill. As he was signing my mini-bat Hill asked me “What do you do with all those autographs?” I started laughing and said” Mr. Hill you asked me the same exact question a year ago at spring training.”

 Hill looked at me and said “You know I don’t ask everyone that question”.

I’m not sure what he meant by that but he was smiling when he said it so I’ll take it as a positive.

Two down and we had time to burn again. As we walked by the Jeff Francis/Rich Dauer autograph session we noticed the line was short. I asked if we could just go through as it was the tail end of this session and the extremely cool Usher let us. 

That totally made my day because I just happend to have with me my 2007 Sports Illustrated magazine with Jeff Francis on the cover. Hunter went into the room first and right away Jeff asked him what his name was.

                          Then Jeff wrote “For Hunter” on the picture and autographed it.
                                         Very classy Jeff….Thank you.
Jeff Francis pic for Hunter.jpgI handed Jeff my magazine and he looked left at the Usher standing beside him and said “See told you, here’s the first one”. Again I was like WTF? But I think Jeff was making note that every time he autographs for fans someone hands him one of those Sports Illustrated issues.

              Least I hope he wasn’t making fun of me..We’re both from Canada?

Rich Dauer signed a picture for Hunter and a mini-bat for me and then we were outta there.

We headed downstairs and while wandering around an Usher asked if we would like Eric Young Jr’s autograph. Without hesitation I said “Yes Sir” and within a few minutes we were standing in front of EY Jr.

                                     Here he is signing Hunters baseball.
 
Eric Young Jr signing Hunters ball.jpg

                                           EY Jr signing my mini-bat.
Eric Young Jr signing RPR bat.jpg        EY Jr really seemed like he was having a good time. Keep’n it real, I like that.

When we walked out of there directly across from us was the long line for Don Baylor and Randy Flores. I felt a big smile growing because I’ve never managed to get Don Baylor’s autograph before. It’s not that he wouldn’t sign, just really bad timing on my part. 

Today Don Baylor signed an Inaugural Year Rockies Magazine with his picture on it for me. 

When I handed him the magazine I said “Mr. Baylor you haven’t changed a bit”, He looked up at me and said smiling “Yeah right”. Then he autographed it for me. 

                          Here’s Don Baylor autographing Hunter’s baseball.Don Baylor signing Hunters ball.jpg

                               Here’s Randy Flores autographing Hunter’s baseball.Flores signing Hunters ball.jpg

Hunter and I hurried upstairs so we could catch the tail end of Matt Belisle’s autograph session..

IMG_0119.JPG These plates may not be fine china but I’m sure their worth more than the plates I eat off of.  
Game used All Star home plate.jpg 
Rockies Postseason home plate 2007.jpg 
Mile High Stadium Coors Field Helicopter Home plate.jpg 
Last Game of 2000 home plate.jpg These beauties are a couple of the bat-shovels used to break ground on the Rockies/D-Backs new Spring Training Facility east of Scottsdale last year.
Ground Breaking shovel.jpgI just wanted to show how the MLB labels game used items. Specifically ones from big games.

                Notice how they misspelled Tulowitzki’s last name on the first helmet. 
Tulo game used helmet.jpg
Tulo game used helmet 2.jpg                              You can see me Tulo and Coors Field in this picture. 
Tulo and RPR.jpg
        This is a special helmet made just for Charlie Hayes who suffered a broken jaw. This is the unsigned original artwork used to make the Coors Field Inaugural year opening day ticket. 
Rockies Opening Day 1993 ticket and original artwork.jpg                           The World Famous Colorado Rockies Humidor.

IMG_0082.JPG                                    
          Todd Helton’s locker.

IMG_0089.JPG                                                Indoor batting cages.

battingcages.jpg                                     Hunter with a lean mean Don Baylor. Hunter and Don Baylor.jpg

     My Inaugural year Rockies magazine with Don Baylor’s fresh autograph on it. 
Don Baylor Magazine Cover.jpgMy 2007 Sports Illustrated with Jeff Francis on the cover with a fresh Jeff Francis autograph on it.  
Jeff Francis Mag Cover.jpgMy mini-bats In order…Glenallen Hill, Eric Young Jr, Huston Street, Rich Dauer, Randy Flores, and Clint Barmes.   
Mini Bats RF 2010.jpg                         Here’s all of it minus the hampster and Hunter’s stuff.

rockies fest.jpg                Here’s a shot of Ryan Spilborghs on his way to his next session.
 

Spilly walking around.jpg          Just as Hunter and I were leaving Club level heading home we ran into Robert.Robert Harmon RF 2010.jpg                                           
         Best hat of the day.Best hat.jpg

                                   Hunter making his mark just like his pops.

Hunter at Rockies Fest 2010.jpg  The Rockpile Ranter blessing Coors Field for the upcoming season.(I can legally do that). 
 

RPR at Rockies Fest.jpg

It was great to see all of you again. Dan, thank you once again for this special opportunity.

This is the year folks. The chemistry between this group of fellas feels right. We’ve had a taste of the post-season twice in recent years and we can’t go backwards right?

It starts with believing. I believe, Hunter believes, everybody I ran into at Rockies Fest believes.

               I’m D The Rockpile Ranter and I believe I’m finished with this entry.Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Green Floppy Ha