Here’s Tom, one of the nicest Rockies fans you’ll ever meet.
Gary and Alannah to the power of X
Hosers a hosing.
Here’s The Duece’s home run pictures series.
It looks good.
Giant’s Sanchez hits one foul.
Older fella realizes this is his ball.
He makes the dive for it.
Just like a baseball snagg’n stud he’s victorious, get that dude a beer or maybe a stretcher.
Here’s Hawaii Bob busting another fan smuggling booze inside of Coors Field. When will they learn?
Cargo has one sweet swing.
Wiggy gett’n jiggy on first base.
The best part of this game was the eighth inning. Rockies come from behind to take this game two.
Looks like I’m going to have to pay to blog from here forward. As you can tell from the compressed and reduced quality pictures in this entry, MLBlogs has switched to a WordPress blog format. It’s cool in some aspects but I’m not digg’n the part where I have to pay. I put a lot of money and time into my blog already and coughing up more dough for a fan blog doesn’t sit well with me. Also the fact that MLBlogs neglected to mention that we would have to pay until after the fact was a total cop out.
MLBlogs, I brought you over 600000 hits in just 2.5 years, thanks for nothing.
I guess their reasoning was that the picture limit would only be a problem for a few select blogs. The Rockpile Rant just happen to be one of them. Also somewhere in the blogosphere are about 70-80 of my missing blog entries.
I’ll figure this out. I’m still the Rockies #1 and I’m still having fun.
Rantics feel free to vent your feelings. I’d love to hear them.
I still can’t stop thinking about Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
It doesn’t help that Dan and Emily just got back from a week in Scottsdale a few days ago, Mike got back yesterday, Geoff is back and Robert has been there since the first game.
All I can say is next year I’ll have more time and now I sort of know the ropes. Look out!
I try not to set my goals too high as life has it’s own share of built in disappointments and I don’t need to add to it..But, living in the mountains gives you lots of time to ponder stuff.
Below is a list of things I’d like to accomplish in 2011. None of them may ever happen but a guy can dream.
Goals and Dreams for 2011
More than anything on this big blue earth I want to catch my first live game home run during the regular season.(4th year’s a charm). It’s got to happen, nobody can come so close so many times and not eventually snag one right?
Throw out the first pitch of any game.
Snag 50 BP baseballs in 40 games.
Have an opportunity to take game pictures in the media section right next to the Rockies dugout.
Try again to get Jason Giambi’s autograph on my Spring Training homerun of his from last season.
Be part of one of Tom Helmer’s “Tom on the Town” segments along with the Rantics 🙂
Find a way to make baseball a full time job rather than my hobby :).
The Rantics are an intense group of loyal Rockies baseball fans. A Rantic is someone who would do almost anything for their team at a moments notice. If that describes you and we’ve never met, I want to meet you.
Every other blog entry or so this season I’d like to profile a new Rockies fan. I plan to take a picture of them and ask a variety of questions and I’ll post it on the blog. That is how I built the Rockpile Rant, one reader/friend at a time.
Give me three minutes of your time, I’ll make ya famous 🙂
If you want to get a sneak peak of your Rockies before opening day you might want to pick up a couple tickets for the “Rockies Workout for Charity” on March 31st.
Tickets are six bucks and all net proceeds benefit the Rockies Foundation.
With your six dollar ticket you will receive a voucher for a complimentary ticket for select April and May home games, subject to availability.
Gates open at 1pm. The Rockies will be signing autographs at 1:30 for twenty minutes along the first baseline. Similar to Autograph Sundays I presume.
The Rockies will take the field at 2:10 and will go through a full workout lasting about ninety minutes.
It will be cool, you’ll get to walk around Coors Field and check out all of the new stuff that was added, snag a few autographs and if we’re lucky get in a round of batting practice.
I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter and I’m ready for some home cooked food and some live baseball.
Wont you join me?..Go Rockies…D
2/28/11 Rockies Spring Training Game Two
Today was all about relaxing, watching some baseball and maybe snagg’n a ball or two. Hunter and Mylee spend Friday-Sunday visiting grandma and grandpa and they had a blast cruising all over the desert in their grandpa’s tricked out Jeep Rubicon.
Today was their chance to see some baseball before catching our flight back to Denver at 6:50.
There were a few fans standing in line as we approached the centerfield gates but I could tell there would be a lot less people in attendance today. The weather was perfect. It was just shy of 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. We couldn’t have asked for a better day.
As soon as the extremely friendly Ushers let us inside we headed for the left field berm. I learned my lesson from Saturday and was avoiding the right field berm. It took a little over thirty minutes but eventually the Rockies wandered out, started warming up and began to take some swings.
While Hunter and I were standing on the berm a guy who works for the Rockies (I think) walked up to Hunter and I and asked me how old Hunter was. I told him twelve. He said that was too bad. I asked “why”.
He said he was going to ask if Hunter wanted to be the Rockies bat boy for the game.
I was floored, Hunter was in shock. Unfortunately you had to be fourteen. He said come back in two years and I told him I’d hold him to it. As bummed as I was that Hunter couldn’t do it I was really impressed that he came over and asked us…Thank you Sir that was extremely cool.
Mini MIghty Mutts..Little dogs need good homes too.
Here are a few videos Krista took of batting practice.
This is one of many “I almost got”.
Here’s the second, I wasn’t even close but you never know?
Here’s the third…Are you starting to see a pattern here?
Now in this video the ball has been hit, I’m planted with my glove in the air mere seconds from snagg’n my first clean catch at Salt River Fields.
Out of nowhere the D-Backs dude in Red (who already had snagged three at that point) totally rips this one from me.
Then the dude said he was sorry and kept mentioning how this was his first batting practice ever. I seriously doubt that but he wasn’t the worse.
At this point I was beginning to get a bit frustrated.
Of all the missed opportunities today for some reason this next one got to me the most. In this video I’m tracking the ball perfect. I put my glove up to catch it and the older dude with black jacket, shorts, white knee brace and black hat with a red brim puts his glove up next to mine and knocks the ball away.
Guess who winds up with the ball?
The same D-backs guy who already had snagg’d three or four and kept saying this was his first batting practice. I was starting to sense a tag-team thing going on.
Dan…The dude in the above video is the “Overly Eager Grandpa” I was telling you to watch out for.
I’ll never understand why people do that. First off it’s dangerous. If you knock a ball away chances are that diverted ball could hit one of us in the face. Secondly, it’s just plain rude.
Here’s an excited Hunter after getting his third ball, a toss up from an unknown player. He’s a stud.
Here’s Mylee keeping herself entertained while the boys chased baseballs.
In this last video you can’t see it but this ball was the last ball hit during BP. It wasn’t a homer but it was close.
So close I leaned over the rail and the ball landed smack in the center of my glove and bounced out. Matt Belisle chuckled at me, picked up that ball and tossed it back to the bucket.
I just had to smile. I was too dehydrated to cry.
That was it for BP…I didn’t snag any baseballs on the fly and the only ball BP ball I got was a toss up from this player.
Anyone who can identify him please let me know. No it’s not Cole Garner.
Danny came over to the left field berm and visited with me for a while.Danny was excited because he happened to snag a game rubbed Inaugural ball earlier and he was kind enough to let me photograph it.
Thanks for coming over and chatt’n Danny. It was good to see you and I’ll see you again on April 1st brotha.
I wanted one of those baseballs bad. Robert’s still down in Scottsdale and Dan, Emily and Mike will all be heading down soon, so between those fellas somebody will hook me up with one.
I didn’t take any action shots today as I was just chill’n on the berm drinking a beer I purchased from a happily employed Captain Earthman.
Earthman thanked me for the blog entry for I did for him a few weeks back. Today was amazing. Not only did I spent quality time with my wife, kids and sister-in-law. I was able to relax, enjoy the warm weather and soak in the Rockies baseball taking place in front of me that I’ve been longing for all winter long
I mentioned to Krista that I never wanted to leave.
But we did have to leave, right around the 8th inning so we could be sure and catch our flight. Rockies get their second win over the D-Backs in as many games with a final score of 6-5.
I love it here in Arizona, and when Mylee finishes school this Ranter and his wife will officially be Snowbirds. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a gambler but for me batting practice is like being in a casino.
I don’t mind going home empty handed as long as I get some “play” while I’m there.
Today….I got me some “play” and I couldn’t be more excited for the Rockies home opener on April 1st.
This Stadium is one of the coolest places I’ve ever been to…Rockies and D-Backs fans, you’ll be proud when you strut around this complex. I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter and this concludes my Spring Training 2011 trip. The plan is to spend ten days in Scottsdale next year.
I’m thinking a Rantic Baseball Getaway? Mull it over, I’m giving you plenty of time 🙂
If your looking for live pictures from the games, the Salt River Fields practice facility and other teams facilities Dan and Emily will be heading to Scottsdale in a few days. When they arrive Dan will be posting pictures on he and Emily’s FACEBOOK page daily.
Click here—> Rox Fan Emily and Dan.
Also Mike, writer of the MLBlog Rox Addict will be heading down in a week or so and he’ll have some great pictures. Be sure and give his Rockies blog some luv.
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!
Today Colorado Rockies tickets went on sale at the ticket windows at Coors Field. This is the day when a little patience pays off big. It was a bit chilly but the forcast for today was was mid 50’s.
The way the Rockies work it is you choose a wristband that’s numbered between 101 and 499. The 100’s represent line one, 200’s line two, etc. Then the second set of numbers decides your position in line.
Then the Rockies staff placed four baseballs inside a bag numbered 1-4. A little girl was chosen from the crowd to pick out the numbered baseballs. The order in which the baseballs were picked decided which of the fours row gets to line-up in front of the ticket windows first.
We were also able to snag tickets for all of the fireworks games which are on:
And all of the Bobblehead games which are on:
April 3rd Ubaldo Jiminez
June 10th Carlos Gonzalez
August 20th Troy Tulowitzki.
Mission accomplished in less than an hour.
Two Tribes, Two Teams, One Home….The opening of a new stadium.
This is what you get when you partner the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies. This partnership has resulted in what’s known as Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Salt River Fields is the first Major League Baseball spring training facility to be constructed on Indian land. The stadium has an 11,000 seat capacity including the grass berm in the outfield.
Surrounding this beautiful stadium are 12 practice fields. Scattered throughout the grounds are other buildings that will house Major and Minor league clubhouses, training facilities and offices for the Rockies and the Diamondbacks.
Tailgating is not permitted in any Salt River Fields operated parking lot. Persons may not consume alcohol in the parking lots, including inside their vehicles.
Salt River Fields regulations allow only soft-sided bags and containers 16″x16″x8″ or smaller to be permitted in the gates
The Centerfield Gate, which is located on the eastern part of the main stadium, will open 2 hours and 40 minutes prior to game time for Guests who want to view batting practice. The remaining gates will open 2 hour and 10 minutes prior to game time.
During the games, Guests are permitted to leave the ballpark and return through any of the four entrance gates. Please see the gate supervisor to have your hand and ticket stub stamped. When returning to the ballpark, Guests must show their ticket stub and hand stamp, and should re-enter through a special pass-out gate at each of the entrance gates.
There are 3000 parking spaces on site and parking is $5.00.
• One (1) Factory-Sealed Bottle of Water, Per Person. No larger than one (1) liter in size.
• Purses / Diaper Bags / Personal Medical Bags.
• Still / Video Cameras. Video cameras are permitted as long as live game action is not recorded.
• Baseball Bats for the purpose of autographs. Bats must be stored under seats once the game begins. No aluminum bats,
• Plastic baby bottles or any necessary items required for medical purposes or other special needs.
• No Outside Food or Beverages. Except as provided under permitted items. No Illegal Drugs
• No Weapons / FireworksNo Glass Bottles / Aluminum Cans
• No Hard-Sided Coolers / Containers, Regardless of Size
• No Camera Tri, Dual or Single Leg Pods by Non-Media Personnel
• No Fish Nets / Poles / Umbrellas / Signs Attached to Sticks
• No Bullhorns / Noisemakers / Confetti
• No Animals. Except service dogs for guests with disabilities are permitted.
• No Beach Balls / Balloons / Inflatables
• No Skateboards / Rollerblades / Shoes with Wheels
• No Unauthorized Motor Vehicles / Mobility Devices
• No Stools / Folding Chairs
• No Squirt Guns / Bubble-Making Liquids
• No Laser Pointers
• Other Items Not Specified on this List as Deemed Prohibited by Management
From a baseball fans point of view the opening of a new stadium comes with a lot of firsts…Such as:
First fan to enter the gates.
First fan to catch a batting practice homerun.
First fan to catch a batting practice foul ball.
First fan to get a batting practice ball tossed to them.
First autograph inside the stadium.
First live game homerun snag or catch.
First live game foul ball snag or catch.
First ground rule double snag or catch.
First live game toss-up (ie. 3rd out toss-up).
Not to mention…The first pitch, first steal, first homerun, first single, double, first triple, first walk, first bunt, first hit batsmen, first out, first double play, first walk-off homerun…
You get my point the list goes on.
Everything is a first during the first game of a new stadium. Someone has their mind set on devouring the first foot long brat and some eager fan will take pride in knowing he purchased the first beer poured in Salt River Fields.
I couldn’t think of a better time to debut a “New Dinger”?
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is a giant step-up from Hi-Corbett Field in every aspect. The whole “new ballpark” experience should be a positive buzz for the Rockies and will hopefully spill into the regular season. It would be nice to get through April with a winning record.
The Rockies season begins at Salt River Fields on February 26, 2011 against the Diamondbacks at 1:10. Only 11,000 people will witness this once in a lifetime opportunity.
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