I knew this day was going to be insane when I arrived an hour and a half early to Coors Field and it looked like Opening Day. DJ pumping out some techo on Blake Street and Rockies fans everywhere wearing #17 jerseys, it was an incredible sight. I normally don’t wear player’s jerseys (I have my Ranter jerseys), but there was a time when I did wear #17′s.
I arrived early with the intention of soaking in the sights and sounds of the last game my favorite player would ever play at Coors Field.
However, I found myself trying to snag a good place in line as it was not only Todd’s last home game it was his bobble head day and Rockies fans (including yours truly) dig-em. In fact Rockies fans like their bobble heads so much every single one of them showed up 2 hours early.
Never have I ever seen a crowd that big trying to get inside Coors Field at once. I’m glad I entered Coors early because as I hit the front row of the pavilion I noticed a 20th Anniversary logo ball sitting on the warning track. Twenty two games this season and I had not snagged a Rockies Anniversary ball. I noticed Chad Bettis walking up to the ball and I really wanted that ball. So I went a little out of my comfort zone and said “Sir, I’ve been to a lot of games this year and I’ve yet to snag a commemorative ball, any chance I could talk you out of that one.”
Chad looked up, smiled and tossed it to me. Never hurts to ask I guess 🙂
Here’s the video tribute the Rockies did for Todd.
To see the rest of this blog in full resolution click here.
Padres vs Rockies.
Opening Day at Coors Field.
Let’s just say it’s been a long winter and if you live in Colorado, …it ain’t over yet.
Colorado does Opening Day right. Right in the fact that you don’t need a ticket to the game to enjoy the festivities, just show up early ready to party. The weather was 70 degrees and perfect for April baseball.
The day started out with Douglas’s breakfast at the 20th St Cafe as it has for the last few Opening Days. In attendance were, Jersey Geoff, Mike the Rox Addict…
Fran and Robert.
Our host Douglas, Hunter and yours truly. On an extremely cool note, I only eat at the 20th St. Cafe once or twice a year and the waitress remembered what my breakfast order was.
Once we were full it was time to wander. Although there were a lot of folks hang’n around Coors Field, this OD seemed a bit mellower than ones I’ve attended in the past. Still there was lots going on.
Hunter and I stopped by and checked out my favorite local Artist Kyle Banister. Kyle had a primo spot for his art and was working on the Rockies 20th Anniversary logo in liquid chalk. 🙂
Here’s Kyle Banister, Laura Rector, Eric Matelski working hard.
Here it is finished… WOW!!
Kyle’s work always pops out at you. His link is on my sidebar.
Stilt Man out harassing some lady trying to read a book?
Hunter and I met up with long time Rockies employee and Rant follower Missy. 15 years with the Rockies right Missy?
As we walked by the 850 KOA booth I noticed Goose Gossage and David Nied getting interviewed by Mike Rosin.
I have Goose’s autograph already but I was carrying a poster I wanted the “Nied for Speed” David Nied to sign. We waited around for a bit, but I figured I’d have better luck inside on Sunday acquiring Nied’s autograph.
Batting practice was taking place and as Hunter and I entered the pavilion a hit baseball had just rolled up to the wall. Matt Belisle picked it up, looked up and saw Hunter standing there and tossed it to him. Within a minute of entering the stadium Hunter had the first BP ball of the regular season.
Hunter managed to snag one more and his old man came up empty for Opening Day.
Before BP ended I met up with my a friend and co-worker Kevin and his daughter Sam. This was their first Opening day at Coors and you could tell they were happy to be there just soaking everything in.
Seemed like there were fewer balloons this year?
Ceremonial first pitch.
Gonna be a fun season seeing these guys around, it feels like old times.
I like the fact that Dante has the boys hitt’n good so far.
Props to Cargo for staying healthy last year…Another Gold Glove!
Damn that thing is shiny!
This set of conjoined twins is known as the Hellowitzki.
First pitch of the game.
Look far left in the front row you can see Jersey Geoff in the mix.
This Canadian earned his bacon today.
Dex seconds before a home run blast to right field.
Dex’s home run ball just before it lands.
Dex gett’n some luv from the dugout. You can see John Elway and Dick Monfort above the dugout.
Wait a minute, the entire stadium is celebrating Dex’s home run and Elway is Texting?
Sorry John..I’m a huge fan but today you are the:
“Dude texting with TV seats” fan of the game.
Props to your girl though, she knows what time it is 🙂
Watch your back “Baby Bull”!
Rockies beat the Padres in their Home Opener…5-2
Folks that’s three in row. The best the Rockies did last season was three in a row.
I’m extremely impressed with the Rockies pitching and hitting so far.
This team is loaded with talent, the question is: Is this the year we stay healthy and a new set of “Blake Street Bad-Asses” is born?
I’m “D” the Bad Ass Ranter….We need some attitude to go along with this altitude.
Rockies vs White Sox..Camelback Ranch
Last day in Arizona.
This was my first time visiting the Ranch(home to the Dodgers and White Sox). As far as spring training facilities go this one is a real gem. It’s beautifully laid out with little ponds and walkways everywhere.
We were there on a Monday and the back fields were almost deserted.
I wandered around, enjoying the early morning sun, reflecting on the past few days and thinking about life in general. How many spring training facilities can you get enough peace and quiet to actually relax and ponder shit?
While I was “Zone’n” I noticed some players gathering in the outfield of one of the practice fields. I watched as one of the coaches started hitting pop-flys right up against the outfield wall and players were jumping trying to catch them and keep ’em from going over the fence. I hurried over to where the balls were going over the fence and I noticed it was just me there. For a few short minutes it was yours truely catching the baseballs that the minor league players couldn’t snag. Eventually folks saw me having the time of my life and decided to join.
All in all probably 25 baseballs were hit out.
As soon as that drill was finished the minor leaguers started their batting practice. Sitt’n with seven baseballs already I was having a great day. BP was a bit more crowded but I manged to catch one on the bounce and one on the fly preventing a bystander from getting hit in the face with a home run ball.
Dude didn’t even say thank you….Dick
Folks, this place is special even if it is enemy territory.
Today wound up being not only a good day for baseballs but it was a great day for autographs.
I managed to get Todd Helton to sign my baseball, Eric Young Jr to sign a picture, and Skipper Walt Weiss signed my 1993 photo ball of him.
Plus, Dante signed a baseball card the Rox Addict hooked me up with.
Check out this motley autograph Crue..Left to Right, James, Eric, and Mike the Rox Addict.
James is the guy who made the “Helmer is my Homeboy” T-Shirts. Maybe it’s time for some Ranter shirts?
I don’t have many of these…Here’s Tulo smiling.
The Rockies lose this one to the White Sox. Matter of fact, the Rockies lost every game we saw them play the week we were in Arizona except for when they played the USA WBC team.
I have no idea what we’re in for this season as far as the Rockies go.
I’m “D” the Ranter…I’d like to thank the Rox Addict for splitt’n the costs and being good company.
It was fun, but this year’s trip is done. 20 days till the first home game at Coors Field!
See you there…“D”
June 1, 2012
Dodgers vs Rockies Game 1
Yes I said that I was taking a break.
Funny how as soon as I said that the Rockies step up and start playing.
Today during batting practice I was witness to one of the scariest things that can happen during BP. Dodgers were up and I was backing up positioning myself for what I though would be a sweet catch. At the last-minute I realized that this ball was going to land at least six feet behind me and I had no shot at it. I turned around to see where the ball was going to land and I heard a young boy scream.
That BP homer landed smack on top of a little boys head.
I got that sick feeling in my stomach whenever I see a child tagged at BP. Shortly after the little boy got hit, Jamey Wright former Rockie now a Dodger, climbed the outfield wall to check on him.
Then he gave the little boy his glove.
Photo by Joy
I couldn’t take pictures because I was still in shock from seeing the little guy take one to the head. What Jamey did was turn this childs horrific memory into a positive one. Now when he thinks of Coors Field and the time he got hit in the head with a baseball he’ll have a good memory instead of a painful one.
Classy as classy can be Jamey…Wow!!
I received a comment from Mike father of the little boy(Ryan) who was hit with the ball.
Thank you for your blog Ranter. That little boy is my son, Ryan. He went there with a friend of his and well, you know the rest of the story. My wife and I met him at the hospital after and were wondering who gave him the glove and thanks to your blog we now know.
Mike thanks for letting us know…”D”
I’ve only seen a player give a kid a glove one time before. It was back in 2009. Manny Corpas was leaving the field after BP was finished. He turned to toss the last ball up. He tossed the ball to my son Hunter. Hunter misjudged the toss and it hit him in the chest. It knocked the wind out of him but he was fine.
The next day Manny was signing autographs during Autograph Sunday. Hunter was in Manny’s line and when he reached Manny told him that he was the one hit by the ball the day. Hunter just wanted to let Manny know he was ok.
Manny told Hunter to meet him over by the dugout when he was finished signing..
Below is what happened.
Joy and Keelan
Second pitch of the game to the always dangerous Tony Gwynn Jr.
I didn’t get a picture this time but “Dante” the squirrel made another appearance.
I’ve got to give props to Dan’s daughter Emily who snagged her first live home run ball in the 8th inning. She snagged Chris Nelson’s first home run of the season.
That’s just too cool…Now Coors Field has another ballhawk with a better home run record than me 🙂
Rockies take Game 1 over the Dodgers 13-3.
It’s been a great week for Rockies baseball…Rockies, I like what I’m seeing. I guess I never realized how much luv is out there for the Rockpile Rant…Thank you everyone for your support!
I’m “D” the Ranter
There’s nothing like some good baseball a little competition to get my ass back blogg’n…Go Rockies!!
Braves vs Rockies Game 2
Today’s adventure started out early. Hunter and I headed to Groove Chevrolet in Littleton to support MVP Sports and Colorado sports Artist Kyle Banister who was helping host a Wilin Rosario autograph session.
When we arrived it was still early on in the session and not many folks had arrived yet. I was able to shake hands with Wilin, get one of Kyle’s Rosario prints autographed, and get a picture of Wilin autographed for Hunter.
Wilin was kind enough to pose with us for a picture. I asked Wilin what his favorite part of being a Rockie this season and his face lit up and he said:
“Everything man, the fans, the players, I love it.”
What Wilin doesn’t know at this point is once you shake the hand of the Ranter..Good things begin to happen.
Wilin is a really nice guy and Kyle drew an awesome print for this autograph session. As we were leaving we ran into Amy, Eric, Gary and Alannah X who were hang’n round enjoying the free lunch after getting Wilin’s autograph.
What I love about Kyle’s artwork is when you step back a few feet it comes to life.
Whenever I think of the Braves I think of my buddy Andy from Spring training. As much as I’ve taken abuse from him about the Rockies, I give it back too. I enjoy the Braves in town because it usually results in a good batting practice and today did not disappoint.
For a change of pace I switched up gloves. I had a small amount of play from the Rockies today but each time the ball would drop short or fly over my head. However, once the Braves took over the field I knew I had picked the right part of the pavilion to be standing. My first ball was a toss-up that bounced short of the first row. I was able to snatch it up on the second bounce. My second ball was hit hard and I knew it was going to land in the tunnel. I headed for the tunnel, turned back and was positioned for a perfect tunnel catch. At the last-minute another dude reached into the tunnel from the pavilion and deflected the ball. It went into the tunnel and through the door. I ran in and snagged it.
At this point I’m glad I’ve snagged two balls but I still hadn’t caught one on the fly this season. This was grinding on me hard. Finally with about ten minutes left of BP Dan Uggla hit a homer that had my name on it. I took a few steps to my left and made a perfect catch. I can’t tell you how glad I was to get that first one out-of-the-way.
Today was Cinco De Mayo or as I heard a Rockies fan say Drinko De Mayo 🙂
Here are a few pre-game pictures.
My mission today was to get pictures of Chipper Jones last time at Coors Field.
Cuddy’s Grand Slam..A nice shot into the pavilion.
Jamie Moyers first hit as a Rockie.
I told you once you shake the hand of the Ranter good things happen. This is one of two Rosario homers tonight.
Here’s not only Chipper Jones but Chipper as his bat is starting to shred. First time I’ve gotten a shot of a bat breaking this particular way. Chipper was money tonight and had a career high 5 RBI’s.
Here’s what Tracy had to say about Esmil Rogers:
“With Esmil, it’s back and forth,” Tracy said. “A good day, a bad day, a good day, another bad day. Which guy’s coming? Which guy’s going to show up? That’s what we have to sort out and get to the point where we know a consistent guy’s going to show up on a regular basis. That’s where we’re failing, right?
Major group duck!
Jim Tracy and his thoughts about the loss:
“That’s the worst game of the year for us. From the sixth inning on, we didn’t pitch at all. We had a 6-0 lead after two innings, and once we went to our bullpen no one that we ran out there threw with any consistency whatsoever. When you’ve scored 17 runs in the first two games of the series and you haven’t won one, it gives you a pretty good idea of where we’re failing.”
It’s tough to watch Jamie pitch so well then watch a nice lead slip away.
Final Score: Braves 13 Rockies 7…Ouch that’s two now.
I’m “D” The Ranter and I’m thinking I need to shake hands with all of the Rockies.
I was pretty excited about the game today(surprise).
The Rockies had won game one the night before and the Rox Addict had informed me it was raining baseballs during batting practice in the pavilion on Monday. With my record so far I was ready for a downpour.
I was the first in the pavilion and worked my way down to the first row. The Rockies stayed out for most of the half hour we’re allowed to watch them hit. I had play on one ball before the Rockies called it quits. I didn’t bobble it, it just fell about six inches short of my glove as I was leaning over the wall.
I was hang’n with the Rox Addict and my buddy Scott today. After the Dodgers took the field Scott pointed out that Don Mattingly was walking around the field catching pop flys. At one point Don scooped down to pick up a ball that fell short and turned to toss it to the crowd. I called his name and was sure he was going to toss it to me. Instead he tossed it over my head and my buddy Scott snagged it…That’s pretty damn cool in my book and that’s why I show up early. You never know when you’ll make a lifetime memory.
I had play on a few more baseballs but again I pulled a goose egg. It’s starting to stress me a little because my vision isn’t quite what it used to be and I’m hoping that’s not what’s causing me to keep coming up a bit short. Gett’n old sucks, no doubt about it.
I took some pre-game pictures today.
My good buddy and former Rockie Mark Ellis. This guy is a helluva player, not sure why we let him go?
Tony is always dangerous.
Before I could choke down my dollar hot dog the Rockies were down 7-0 and Chacin was a memory.
In comes Roenicke.
That bat is history but on the plus side no stitches required.
Rockies played hard and got within one run.
Final Score…Dodgers 7 Rockies 6
I like Chacin but the dude is 0-3 this season with 7.03 ERA in 5 starts. This game was his worst with a career-high seven earned runs on 11 hits and four walks.
I’m “D” The Ranter and I’m wondering if the next time I see Chacin start it’ll be in Colorado Springs??
Next game…Saturday vs the Braves…Go Rockies!!
Rockies vs Giants Game 2
It may be the “Year of the Fan” but it’s damn sure not the “Year of the Ranter”.
Batting practice was so bad that I’m considering not going for a while because I’m struggling finding zen. The combination of the Usher who told me I can’t use the same gate I’ve been using for 4 years, the gates opening the late, and the Rockies skipping out early for BP, I can’t win here.
Props to Hunter for snagg’n his first toss-up of the season, from a Mets player…Sad
I decided to let the guy below pick tonight’s winner. Sucks for him though… He picked a little more than the Mets.
Here are my game pictures.
Scutaro leads off with a single, steals second and third.
Jon’s the man.
Guillermo Moscoso first MLB pitch.
Guillermo was brought up from AAA to replace Jeremy Guthrie who hurt himself in a bike accident.
Bob with a pep talk.
Dex and the Nacho guy.
Here’s where the Mets catcher takes one in the crotch. Look closely at his face.
The urge to vomit sets in.
A small group forms, all thankful it wasn’t them.
Missed that one.
Happy Camper…What’s up with that Rockies hat though??
Check the dude on the right.
A Facebook friend.
Tyler Colvin hits a triple.
Ninth inning, two out…In comes Giambi to pinch hit for Scutaro, Coors Field goes nuts.
With Colvin on third, with a chance to tie it up…Giambi pops out.
Nice try G…Final Score
Tiebreaker tomorrow with Moyer on the mound. I’m “D” the Ranter and I enjoyed this game, despite the loss.
Maybe it’s cause I was hang’n with my boy…”D”