ATTENTION-There are more pictures for this entry but MLBlogs is having issues with uploading pictures so when I can upload more I will…Thanks…D
While other fans are celebrating their opening day, Rockies fans wait patiently for Friday’s home opener. The weather is supposed to be absolutely beautiful tomorrow and in Colorado warm sunny days with no snow in April is a good thing.
Today Rockies fans were allowed to enter Coors Field a day early with the purchase of a $6.00 ticket(proceeds going to the Rockies Foundation). The ticket came with a voucher good for a Rockies game during April and May, the chance to get a few autographs and the opportunity to watch the Rockies workout.
I received a text from Gary X about ninety minutes before the stadium opened letting me know that they were first in line.
After the gates opened everyone was determined to get a good spot in line for autographs. Not me, I noticed an empty outfield and the D-Backs were on the field taking BP. I headed straight for the pavilion and had the entire left and center field to myself for at least ten minutes.
As luck would have it, not even one baseball was hit even close to the outfield the entire time I was there, …all alone, with the snagging opportunity of a lifetime.
Still it felt good and I’m glad I got to do it.
After my ten minutes of private bliss the pavilion started to fill in and I mean fill in big time. There was an extremely good turnout for this Rockies “Workout For Charity”. Fans relished this unique opportunity to see their team up close and personal one day before the Rockies season starts.
It was fun, fun to sit in the outfield and take in the sights. Fun to see familiar faces and talk Rockies baseball real time with good friends, it felt good to be back.
Jim and Joy and their son were sitting next to me in the pavilion.(Great to see and hang with you all).
Once the D-Backs finished their batting practice I asked Jim to watch my backpack and Mike and I hoofed it over to the first base side to take a few pictures of the pitchers who were over in right field doing their warm-ups.
That lasted all of about five minutes because I noticed the Rockies were starting to gravitate towards the batting cage. That was my clue to get my butt back over to the pavilion. There were probably six baseballs hit to left and center field but with all the people blocking the ability to move I didn’t have a chance at any of them.
Gary X informed me that at one point I was looking the wrong way and I missed a toss up…It figures :).
Jason Giambi is the still man. I watched Giambi hit two baseballs into the third deck and another ball bounced off of the third level rail. The dude still has a lot of power in that swing and his swing was ON today. Tulo had a bit of a slow start but at one point hit about four homers into the pavilion behind me about fifteen feet.
Cargo launched a beauty into the third level and looked like the Rockies long term superstar was having a great time today. Props to Esmil Rogers (aka Mr Rogers today) for tossing out a bunch of baseballs to extremely eager young fans and for taking the time to sign for a group of fans in the first row of the outfield.
I’m ready. Everyone at Coors Field today was ready.
When I wake up, it will be opening day and I’ll be at Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s games.
I”m “D” The Rockpile Ranter and if you’re not at 20th and Blake tomorrow gett’n your Rockies groove on you’ll be missing all the opening day festivities.
I wish Tom Helmer and the crew at ROOT SPORTS the best tomorrow on their first day of broadcasting. That whole team is the best and we’re lucky to have them.
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!
Here are your Top 10 Latest Leaders based on traffic for the period of January 1-31, 2011:
1. Sarge’s Phillies Phantasy Camp Diary
2. Rockpile Rant
3. Rays Renegade
4. Red State Blue State
5. Unfinished Business
6. Hands off my Pirates Booty
7. The Three Bs
8. The Future Blog of the Red Sox
9. Yankee Yapping
10. Phillies Phollowers
Number 2?…Hell Yeah!!
I want to thank the Rockpile Rantics for their continued support. I’ve been waiting for the day when a Rockies Blog rules the MLBlogosphere and other than being beat out in January by a Phillies Fantasy Camp blog (that had the cover page of MLBlogs for a week), we’re there.
The Rockpile Rant is a fan MLBLog and there’s a reason it is ranks at number two. The Rockies fanbase is filled with year round fanatical baseball fans who live, eat and sleep baseball. We connect off-season and we keep baseball alive even when it’s -20 below like it’s been the last few days.
I want to thank ROOT SPORTS for making January a month to remember. I want to thank all of the Rockies fans who submitted Rockies essays to the Rant and my readers and friends who visit the Rant on a regular basis.
Big things are going to happen this season because as far as I’m concerned…
“It’s the Year of the Fan”
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
Normally I don’t get too excited when opening my email. That wasn’t the case today. After finishing my physical therapy in Boulder (props to my Physical Therapist Erin), I headed home to Nederland, logged in and checked my Yahoo account. Sitting there in my inbox was an email from Tom Helmer of FSN Rocky Mountain/Root Sports with a header that said “Want to be on TV?”
That email header not only made me smile but it got my full attention. Here’s what’s going on. During the Rockies Fest FSN/Root Sports will be shooting a Rockies promotional commericial.
Tom asked that I round up the Rantics that will be attending Rockies Fest and we all head over to the FSN/Root Sports booth. What will happen then is you will read a few lines and then you’ll be asked you to comment on some of your favorite Rockies moments and what it’s like to be a Rockies fan.
Simple right? Maybe but…
You can bet they’re only going to use the best ones so I suggest really putting some thought into this. How cool would it be to be in a commercial plugging the Rockies?
I don’t know about you but I’ve yet to tire seeing myself on TV. To date that consists of a couple of quick flashes on TV while I was chasing a home run balls, the FSN Top of the Rockies Fan Choice show and hanging out at Coors Field for the post game show so I can make sure the Rockpile Ranter jersey gets some TV luv.
The Rantics are the most loyal, hardcore and supportive group of baseball fans out there. I anticipate we’re going to do a great job on Saturday for FSN/Root Sports.
Rantics… Be ready and have fun with this I know the kids and I will.
Get your best Rockies gear together and I’ll see you at Rockies Fest on Saturday morning.
I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter…Just doing more of that cool stuff with the Rantics I keep telling you about…