Royals vs Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium
This was our first of two games today. But first I want to tell you about an abandoned stadium Mike and I visited the day before.
This old abandoned stadium is Compadre Stadium and what’s left of it is in Chandler, AZ.
It’s not actually all that old, it was built-in 1985 and is the former spring training facility for the Brewers and at the time it was the gem of the cactus league. The Brewers called this place home for 11 years then made the move to Maryvale because the city of Chandler didn’t want to pay for the operating costs for the facility when the Brewers weren’t in town.
Rox Addict and his famous pose.
The land is presently used for sheep and at the same time it’s being torn down.
Photo by Tim Hacker/Tribune
Here’s a few pictures of Compadre in her glory.
All Mike and I wanted to do here was take a few pictures. We I each went a different direction looking for a way in or someone to ask if we could take a peek inside. We were in front of the stadium just a minute of two when a company truck pulled up to Mike. I could see they were talking so I headed over there. As I approached the guy in the truck looked at me and said “Do you want me to call the cops?”. I was like “Dude I just walked up here”. Then he went into a rant about how since they’ve put the sign up saying no trespassing more people than ever have been showing up trying to explore.
The dude threatened to call the cops a few more times and Mike and I got out of there without incident. We left and headed to another part of the stadium. We stayed off the property but got a few pictures from the outfield of the seats.
Cool place, it’s too bad the construction company doesn’t realize the historic significance of this place. Instead of being kind to baseball enthusiasts who only want to take look at a piece of baseball history, they treat them like criminals and run them off.
Here’s a few recent pictures of the stadium that I’ve been able to find.
I don’t advise trying to photograph this place. Not unless you want that guy to call the cops. 🙂
My first visit to Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Batting practice today consisted of standing in the parking lot next to the stadium. We caught the tail end of BP and only one ball was hit out. A group of dudes were huddled around where the ball was going to land. They all missed it and I positioned myself for the bounce. I was in the perfect spot, the ball hit my glove and bounced out. That was it, BP was over and I blew my only opportunity of the day.
All I can say is “Hey, it’s spring training for me too” 🙂
Phillie Jim and I in front of the Stadium.
Here’s a few shots of the inside. This is a cool stadium.
Here’s the berm…Packed.
Former Rockie Chris Iannetta.
The topper to a great game was an Usher letting us sit right behind the Rockies dugout for the last part of the game.
Nice folks, you can tell they’re proud to have Albert around.
Angels get the win over the Royals 7-4.
I’m “D” The Ranter and only two more games left for the Rox Addict and I.
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.
Dodgers vs Rockies…Salt River Fields
“D” in the Desert
This day started out exactly the way I like it. We showed up early and were greeted with two Diamondback batting practices.
As I said there were two BP’s today and during the second one it was just Mike, Dan and I snagg’n. It was game on and I snagged eight baseballs.
I live for days like that.
Behind where we were snagg’n baseballs was a six foot fence lined with barbed wire. Several of the BP homers hit bounced on the road and landed on the other side of the fence. I looked but couldn’t see a way to get over the fence and snag those baseballs so I forgot about them.
Next thing I know I see Mike walking up to me with a handful of baseballs. Mike found a weak spot in the fence and was able to get through it and snag those stranded baseballs. He also found a couple of balls that were missed hidden in the bushes.
For that bit of top-notch snagging I think Mike deserves an award.
I’m awarding Mike the first annual:
“Robert Harmon Award for Creative Ballhawking”
To quote Robert “Baseballs do grow on trees”. Mike proved that.
The Rockies decided to take their BP in the cages…it figures.
Here’s “The Deuce”, caged and protected from his adoring fans.
Chris Nelson was kind enough to sign a baseball for me.
Here are some inside the stadium pictures pre-game.
I headed over to the Dodgers side to try to get Mark Ellis to sign the live game ball he tossed me last season but I never saw Mark on the field pre-game. As the Usher was scooting us away after the National Anthem Andre Ethier walked up to the edge of the dugout and started signing for folks.
I waited and Andre signed my baseball last.
He signed it on the sweet spot for me, I didn’t even have to ask.
When I see Captain Earthman I know all is as it should be as far as baseball is concerned.
The crew out on the berm. Check out Mikes hat.
Former Rockie Mark Ellis.
In the sixth inning Wilin Rosario hit foul ball along the first base line. The new owner of that baseball was none other than my partner in crime down here in Phoenix…Mike the Rox Addict.
Mike gave away his first ever game ball to Mary the Usher because it was her birthday.
Here’s Mike pictured with Mary on TV…Classy move Mike 🙂
As much as we wanted a win to cap off one hell of a day it wasn’t happening.
Padres get the win over the Rockies 9-6.
I’m “D” The Ranter, feel’n fine but running a bit behind.
Next blog entry…Rangers vs Brewers Maryvale Baseball Park.
This day started out way too early. Although ballons crossing the road in front of you on your drive to the ballpark is pretty damn cool.
I love the desert.
Last night I managed to get a solid 7 hours sleep and I needed it becasue I hadn’t slept at all from the previous days road trip.
Mike and I had two games on the agenda today.
The first one was the A’s vs Rangers at Surprise Stadium.
This is a cool little stadium with a really neat backfield area set up just for fans. We saw players walking all over and they were stopping and taking time to chat with the fans.
For me this is enemy territory but it was cool seeing how the other side rolls. The Rockies could take a few notes from these fellas on how to interact with fans who drive a long way to see them.
We thought we arrived early but it turns out we had already missed batting practice.
We walked the back fields a bit then headed inside to see what this place was like.
No ballpark is complete without it’s merry-go-round.
Today was much hotter than this mountain boy is used to and by the start of the game I was close to cooked. That’s not exactly how you want to start a two game day.
While cruising the outfield area I stumbled across the Budweiser Home Run Party deck.
In reality it wasn’t much of a party and no home runs were hit inside, but for a small fee I upgraded my ticked and I enjoyed the rest of the game shaded with all I could eat 🙂
That worked out perfectly beacause at this point my well cooked ass was hot and hungry.
Here’s a few game pics. You might remember this guy Rockies fans.
Here’s Seth Smith at bat with Torealba catching.
A’s win this game 11-7.
As soon as this game ended we quickly headed out to the Peoria Sports Complex, home of the Mariners and the Padres.
We met up with Rantic Amy to watch the Mariners vs the Giants.
As soon as we entered we headed over to the Giants dugout for position so we could try and score a few autographs as today was a total bust for batting practice.
I snagged nine baseballs yesterday at Salt River Fields so getting shutout today sucked.
Here’s a few game pictures.
Rox Addict and Amy on the berm.
Giants get the win over the Mariners 7-5.
By the time we got back to the campsite I was done.Peoria’s a cool stadium but it’s no Salt River Fields.
I”m “D” The Ranter and the Spring Training Road Trip continues…
Ranter and Rox Addict’s 2012 Spring Training schedule.
Two Colorado Rockies Bloggers, one mission.
March 14th-D-Backs vs Rockies (Salt River Fields) Evening Game
March 15th-A’s vs Rangers (Surprise) Day Game
March 15th-Giants vs Mariners (Peoria) Night Game
March 16th-Indians vs Angels (Tempe Stadium) Day Game
March16th-Rockies vs Reds (Goodyear) Night Game
March 17th-Dodgers vs Rockies (Salt River Fields) Day Game
March 18th-Rangers vs Brewers (Maryvale) Day Game
March 19th-Reds vs White Sox (Glendale) Day Game
March 20th-Rangers vs Cubs (Hohokum) Day Game
March 20th-Rockies vs Padres (Peoria) Night Game
March 21st- Off Day
March 22nd-Giants vs Rockies (Salt River Fields) Night Game
March 23rd-Dodgers vs Brewers (Maryvale) Day Game
March 24th-Rockies vs Giants (Scottsdale) Day Game..Head home…
How’s that for a Spring Training trip?
Thirteen games in eleven days. If all goes as planned the Addict and I should see every team and get to wander around almost every Stadium.
Planning on attending one of these games? Leave a comment or shoot me an email and we’ll try and meet up, shoot the shit and take a photo for the blog.
If you’re a Phoenix area local and you have any tips on any of these stadiums(parking, best spot for autographs, anything useful).
The Rox Addict and I will gladly return the favor when you’re in Colorado 🙂
I’m “D” the Ranter and I’m more than ready to hug a cactus.
This trip is gonna be epic…“D”
The “Bring Helmer Back Now” Rally
First of let me say that I will no longer refer to the Company that let Tom Helmer go as Root Sports, they will now be known on the Rant as “Poot Warts”.
The Helmer Rally was held at the Blake Street Tavern. I’m not sure why as the Blake is very PRO Poot Warts but they had no problem with us talking trash about Poot Warts while we were inside so no worries. Plus it was close to the Poot Warts offices and we had a plan.
It was a Rally so I made a sign.
Downstairs in the Blake Street Tavern is where we all met.
Emily made a screen saver for Tom expressing how she feels.
Tom liked it.
James from 5280 Shirt Shop and Colin from the Southstands, the dudes who organized the Helmer Rally.
James donated 25 “Helmer is my Homeboy” T-Shirts for the Rally.
After a tiny bit of encouragement Tom was up on the Bar doing his thing.
Tom took time to hang out, chat and pose for pictures with everyone who showed up.
Poop Warts…. Tom Helmer is one of a kind and he was ours. How foolish of you let him slip away.
Why did you do this to Rockies fans?
Who is the “genius” responsible for this decision?
Why are we not hearing from that individual? Please explain, we deserve an explanation.
While standing up on the Bar, Helmer made a short heartfelt speech.
Tom with Emily and Dan of Bring Helmer Back NOW
Rox Addict chalking up another Running Man.
This season is going to suck without the Homeboy. He made a Rockies win that much better.
Poot Warts, I don’t like the way you roll.
You don’t care at all about “The Fan”, that’s just a BS slogan someone came up with that you thought sounded good at the time. A slogan you figured Rockies fans would believe. It sort of worked, at one time even I believed it.
Because of your lack of consideration for “The Fan” I’ve made it my mission(along with several other Rantics) to do everything we can to encourage Rockies fans to avoid your broadcast and totally diss your sponsors.
Now it’s up to you to prove to Rockies fans you care about “The Fan“. It’s not too late, this situation can still be reversed. I see you have Helmer’s job posted so that proves you didn’t even have anyone in mind when you made the snap decision to let him go.
People make mistakes I realize this. Step up, fix this one quick and all will be good in the world.
If not, and you continue to disrespect the Rockies fan base by ignoring us or by trying to appease us by replacing Helmer with some lower paid dullard…Then…
It’s ON Poot Warts…Let’s Play!
This was how we left it, so they could get a good shot of it Monday morning.
Click below for an article written by Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post about Tom which mentions the Rally.
I’m “D” The Ranter and I’ll be listening to a lot of radio broadcasts in the future and we’ll be posting a list of Poot Warts sponsors so you can be sure to avoid them.
Or you can call Jamie McIntosh in Advertising at Poop Warts(720-898-2700) and let her know exactly why you’ll be avoiding their sponsors.
They absolutely love supportive phone calls like that.
BRING TOM HELMER BACK NOW!!
You meet a lot of people in life. Most leave no impression but every now and then you meet someone who leave a lasting impression. For me that was Tom Helmer.
I can’t say exactly when I first met Tom but my first really good memory of meeting him was at the Top of the Rockies show towards the end of 2010. When I wrote the blog entry about the show I mentioned how cool I thought it would be interview one of the ROOT SPORTS (FSN Rocky Mtn back then) folks.
Not long after Tom emailed me and told me he enjoyed reading the Rant and said he’d be happy to let me interview him. That blew me away and I was stoked because I figured Tom would be a smooth first interview for me because he’s so laid back.
Tom kept his word and on a cold snowy day in January the Rantics and I met Tom and his wife at Champps. The Rantics all hung out and Alanna X and I interviewed Tom.
He was easy to talk and the two of them were a total class act.
After that Tom was an official “Rantic” and he solidified his place in the Rant as a stand-up guy.
Five years I’ve been blogging about the Rockies and Tom was the first one in Colorado Media to give me any props at all, thank you Tom.
Helmer “IS” the Rockies pre and post game.
Plus his “Tom on the Town” series is always fun to watch.
The kids and I won’t be celebrating any Rockies wins post-game at the ROOT SPORTS desk this season, the only reason we’ll be there is to shout “Bring back Helmer” and you better believe the Rantics will be there in full force.
I can tell you that I was extremely pro ROOT SPORTS at the beginning of last season. I bought in and plugged their new theme …”The Fan”.
Ok ROOT SPORTS time to put your money where you mouth is. “The Fans” you reference want Tom Helmer back…NOW!. He’s the heart and soul of your broadcast team and Rockies fans WILL suffer in his absence.
ROOT SPORTS you have totally misjudged the impact Helmer has on the Rockies fan base.
I’m not sure What direction ROOT SPORTS is headed but if it doesn’t include Tom Helmer I don’t need a map to tell you they’re going the wrong way.
Helmer was so cool he even had his own T-Shirts made and distributed them to fans for a good part of last season. Me being the original homeboy I got the first one.
I have nothing against the rest of the crew at ROOT SPORTS I like them, but none of them have close to the personality and charisma that Helmer has. Plus who the hell wants to see the Cowboy up on the desk after a Rockies win. Not me, that’s just scary.
Stand up Rockies fans, help our “Homeboy”. Do the right thing and let ROOT SPORTS know how you feel about this mess.
Here’s a link to their Facebook page: ROOT SPORTS..Rocky Mountain
Or you can email directly by clicking here: ROOT SPORTS Rocky Mountain email.
Please show your support for Tom by Liking the Facebook page Dan Created: Bring Helmer Back NOW
And Don’t miss the Save Helmer Fan Rally on Sunday at 2pm at the Blake Street Tavern. Then we march to Coors Field is support of “The Homeboy”.
I’m “D” The Ranter and ROOT SPORTS seems more like BOOT SPORTS to me right now.