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.
I was really impressed with the number of Essays that were submitted for the Essay Contest on the Rant earlier this year. All of the Essays were great but some of you seriously put some time and energy into those essays and I appreciate that.
So…I’m going to make this next Contest a lot easier. This one’s a…
Seems only right with the Rant being all about photos…
“The theme for The Rant’s Photo Contest is…”Why Baseball is Still the Greatest Sport of all Time”
Show me what you got, send me your best…This Photo contest is open to EVERYONE.
Except Mike the Rox Addict..Sorry Mike, you’ve got a figurine already and you’re too good brotha.
Use your imagination. You don’t need a fancy camera to participate. The judging isn’t on picture quality it’s on picture content. The judge for this contest will be none other than ROOT SPORTSown Tom Helmer who graciously agreed to be the judge.
The Rant’s Photo Contest winner will be announced September 21st 2011 via this Blog.
You may only submit one picture for consideration. Now, I realize that a person could send in a picture and then a few games later wind up taking what they think is the picture of a lifetime so I’m going to allow one substitution per person because I’m cool like that.
SO YOU’RE WONDERING….WHAT WILL THE WINNER RECEIVE?
I happen to have one extra Numbered Carlos Gonzalez Figurine. Cargo is holding a silver bat and wearing a golden glove. These figurines have a limited run of 1000 only.
This one is #850. I’d love to show you what Cargo looks like but I wont pull it apart to assemble it. The winner can do that.
Not many folks were able to attend that game so these figurines are EXTREMELY collectible. Just ask Gary X who managed to snag 001 out of 1000.
Second place is a Colorado Rockies card with Jason Giambi’s autograph.
Third place is a Carlos Gonzalez autographed card.
Both cards were donated by Gary X..Thank you G!
Send your picture ASAP to THEROCKPILERANTER@YAHOO.COM
The cutoff for emailing your picture is Sept 20th, 2011.
I’m the Ranter…What are you waiting for?
ROCKIES OPENING DAY 2011
Opening day at Coors Field. I missed it last year because I had to work and this year I was twice as ready to soak in the festivities.My day started out with a 10am breakfast at the 20th Street Cafe with Pete, Robert, Geoff, Mike(not in the picture because he was late), and Douglas..
This breakfast is a tradition for Douglas but for the majority of us it was our first time attending. Nothing wrong with starting a big day out with a great breakfast and mine was pretty tasty. Biscuts and Gravy with a side of hash browns..Mmmm.
Douglas mentioned this is his 30th consecutive Opening Day..That’s impressive!
I really like hanging with these guys. We’re all from totally different backgrounds but we click because we’re all baseball freaks in our own special way.
I know it sounds bad but after breakfast Geoff, Pete and I headed over to The Falling Rock Tap House to have a beer and just observe the goings on.
That’s where I bumped into John. I first met John at Kaufman Stadium last year. He was doing the same thing we were just checking stuff out.
These guys were from the Radio Statiion Alice 105.9 and were going around to fans and asking them to fill out a survey. The survey was just a list of potential new names for the Rockies…They said that at the end of the season the Rockis were going to choose a new name and they had a list of ten or so names such as The Trout, The Miners, really stupid names.
They asked me to rank them in the order I liked them and I kind of stood there for a moment and then I said “I can’t rank these they all suck” The guy kept at me to just choose and finally I just told him “Dude I can’t choose any of these”.
It was then they said where they were from Alice 105.9 and yelled “April Fools”.
After we finished our beer we wandered some more and I bumped into loooong time Rantic and Rockies employee my friend and fellow MLBLogger Missy.
A closer look at whatever is on their feet. Festive but I don’t think I could Rock ’em.
The Coors Light girls were out in full force letting folks play with their beanbags.
Apparently he is Da Man, totally my bad.
That’s my story anyway 🙂
Here are a few shots of the Rockies pre-game.
Rockies lost their home opener 7-6 in 11 innings. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.
A while back I mentioned in an entry that I heard a rumor that Bud Selig would be at the opening of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. I believe I mentioned I though his autograph would be a cool one to add to the collection.
Tom Helmer wrote me a few days later and told me he could get me Selig’s autograph. Apparently The Cowboy and Bud Selig are good friends. So when ran into Tom in Scottsdale I gave him a new baseball just in case.
I kind of forgot about it until a couple of days before Opening Day at Coors Field. Tom sent me an email and said that Ringolsby got Selig to sign the ball for me and he would give it to me on Opening day.
ROOT SPORTS…We’ve got your back.
After the game Douglas, Robert, Mike, Pete and I headed over to a jam packed Blake Street Tavern to wind down and reflect on the Rockies loss
That’s where we ran into Mr Checkers.
I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter.
Black or white, me and the boys did Opening Day right…”D”
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
2-26-11 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!
ROCKIES SPRING TRAINING 2011
It’s 6am and we’re waiting to board the Frontier Airlines Fox. Salt River Fields here we come.
The flight was a success and as soon as we picked up our rental car we headed for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Within about 20 minutes us arriving at the training facility I ran into Rant favorite Tom Helmer.
Here’s a shot of the kids and I peeking through the fence looking for homers. Tom Helmer let me know that one of the batting practice homers I snagged was Giambi’s.
While the kids and I were snagg’n baseballs George Frazier and Drew Goodman walked by. George stopped and said “I remember you from Rockies Fan Fest” and shook my hand. George, that made my day..seriously thank you.
Drew said hi and then they went on their way.
The Team Store
The practice field with the green screen is made to the exact dimentions of Coors Field.
In between the Rockies practice fields.
At this point we had to take off for a quick visit with my sister-in-law and then head on down to Yuma so the kids could spend a few days with my parents.I’ll be getting up at 3am so I can drive three hours from Yuma and be at the new stadium by 7:30.
It’s been my plan for over a year to be the first fan inside the new stadium.
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