All things come to an end or in my case they slow down.
Well,…I’m not exactly slowing down, more like I’m changing cars. I’ve been blogging Rockies baseball since 2008 and if I had to guess I have somewhere around 80,000-100,000 baseball pictures on posted on the internet.
I’ve had the opportunity to meet thousands of baseball fans and I’ve made hundreds of friends all over the world.
But it’s time for me to focus on my family and my home. My kids are growing up and I have a Ranch and a VW bus that I love and want to spend more time working on.
Do I have regrets? You bet I do. In all of the games I’ve attended I never managed to catch a game home run ball during the regular season. I’ve had probably a dozen close calls, but that Rockies clean catch pin has eluded me.
In six years of Rockies blogging I was never asked to do an interview. I always hoped for an interview of some sort so I could plug the Rockpile Rant and the group of Super Fans know as the Rantics. I guess my writing, pictures, stories about the games and spring training road trips didn’t mean much to anyone but my friends, family and RAntics who read this blog.
I rocked the Top 10 Fan MLBlogs for over 4 years creeping up as high as #2. Unfortunately I never managed to claim the #1 spot.
I always wanted to throw out a first pitch at a Rockies game. I realize now that will never happen. Another baseball dream of mine was to take a few swings during batting practice.
Am I bitter about any of this?…Not in the least. The adventures I’ve had and the friends I’ve made mean more to me than that trivial shit.
Thanks to MLBlogs for letting this Ranter do his thing here. Special thanks to Zack Hample and his adventures for inspiring me to start blogging in the first place, and special thanks to Dan for supporting the Rant with various ideas, tickets and promotions over the years.
With all of my heart…Thank you Rantics!…Thank you for all of your support, comments and friendship. If it weren’t for you I’d have stopped blogging my first year. I’m leaving my options open and I may return next season. If you’re curious, I’ll be blogging all of the Broncos home games this year.
If you’d like to keep in contact…I’m on Facebook as the “Rockpile Ranter”
I’m “D” the Ranter…In my Pops words…”73’s to ya!
I’ll be at the Ranch…”D”
“Bring Back Helmer!”
Here’s a link to my new Sports Blog known simply as:
6/18/10 My Elusive Home Run ball.
Ball Hawking is an intensely strange miss-understood hobby. The only thing stranger than the hobby itself is the folks who participate. Such a wide array of personalities, talents, ages, sizes, and motives.
Most of us are unofficially lead by baseball cult hero and “Professor of Snag” known as Zack Hample.
Even long time experienced ballhawks have to respect Zack’s stats and the way he rolls. The man can squeeze baseballs out of a ballpark better than a homeless dude trying to get out the last of the mustard for his .99 cent 7-11 hot dog.
Zack I mean that with all the respect in the world brotha you know that.
There is not a day that goes by that at some point I’m not day dreaming about catching my first regular season game home run ball. It’s a fantasy that replays in my head. Believe me it’s very well rehearsed and I look like a stud catching it 🙂
My gut tells me that my first home run ball will be hit by Clint Barmes or Chris Iannetta.
This home run fantasy/quest is one of the driving forces that keeps me blogging and attending so many baseball games. I plan to put all of my stories into a baseball book in the future and how lame would it be if I was missing one the key elements.
I want to be part of baseball history in my own sort of way.
I want to hold that baseball, get it autographed and keep it close so I can admire it and brag about it when appropriate.
I will cherish that memory forever because of the time and dedication put into snagg’n it.
You don’t have to understand, most folks don’t. Just remember that everyone has something that drives them besides their jobs and families. Everyone has goals. I just choose to share my goals and adventures with people who appreciate what I do and the way I do it.
Batting practice is just that, practice. I hone my skills there for my big moment. I dedicate my shins, knees and various other body parts during batting practice so that I may stay sharp and on my game.
I’ve had several chances this season at game homers. I’ve been within inches and milliseconds of accomplishing my dream but the regular season game home run still eludes me.
If you’ve already snagg’d a regular season or post season game home run ball I bet there’s not a memory in your brain clearer or that brings back better memories than your first home run catch?
What’s your personal goal? Do you want to climb a 14teener? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to attend twenty baseball games a year?
You’ve got to start somewhere.
My goal is difficult but obtainable and I am persistent when I want something.
My next games are Friday June 18, Saturday the 19th and Tuesday the 22nd.
See you at the game.
I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter..Still chasing my
dream game home run ball.
Just wanted to update everyone and let you know that Naomi is not lost or missing anymore. She may not want to be found but she is not missing at this point. Props to her mother for some fine detective work(thank you).
I want to personally thank everyone who helped me this week and thank those of you who sent well wishes. This kind of thing is a parent’s worst nightmare and I appreciate all the support.
I love this community and the help I’ve received has been extremely touching. I’m not thrilled with where she’s calling home but at least I have closure. Krista, Hunter, Mylee and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts…D The Rockpile Ranter
8/25/09 Dodgers vs Rockies Game 1
For those of you who were worried about the rain and stayed home missing this epic Rockies game let me just say you Fu*ked up.
Last night Coors field was buzzing like a giant size orgasmatron which in the end left the Dodgers feeling wet and unfulfilled 🙂
I was first through the Rockpile gate today.
As much as I like Zack Hample there was no way he was getting inside my Pavilion before I was. That actually paid off for me. As I decended the pavilion stairs Aaron Cook was picking a baseball up from the outfield fence and I said “Hey Aaron” and held up my glove. I normally don’t ask but I was the first one there and it was just me and Aaron.
Aaron looked up and tossed me that ball…Thank you Aaron. His toss was a bit short and rolled underneath the bleachers all the way to the front of row two. I was the only one in that section so I casually walked down the bleachers to the bottom and picked it up. When I looked up standing in front of me was Zack Hample “The King of Snag” as I’ve labeled him.
Batting practice was all about fun today. I actually had some play on a bunch of homers that I thought were out of my reach. I bobbled one of them, chased several more and came up short. Twice during BP I missed a toss up form Seth Smith who I swear was trying to toss right to me. Sorry Seth my bad, I do appreciate it.
Dan and Zack
I let it hit the bleacher in front of me and it bounced back into my row. I wasn’t going to dive for it because I had my camera in my hand. As I reached down to possess it another Rockies fan got all up in my space and snatched it up.
I believe I mentioned something like “Dude if you want it that bad you can have it”. At that point my entire mission for the rest of BP was to deny that pr-ick another baseball.
It worked, the last homer of batting practice was caught by yours truly while that dude watched helplessly.
That baseball said “Dodgertown” on it and I walked over and gave it to Joy’s (aka LUVMYROX) son.
Today I witnessed another unnecessary batting practice injury. A guy was standing up against the rail in row two talking to his buddies. He had no idea it was heading right for him and it clocked him above the temple.
All I can say is it’s a good thing he didn’t see it or he would have tensed up and probably got killed.
Guess who came up from AAA Sky Sox today?
Eric Young Jr. got his first hit today, here’s a picture of it. He made it to first safely and later tried to steal second.
Here is the picture I got of EY Jr’s first steal attempt. As you can tell he didn’t make it.
Here’s my picture show for this game.
Making sure home is clean.
He caught Clint Barmes’s home run ball, nice job brotha!
Here’s the hefty fella who runs across the field in-between innings. This guy is quite popular.
This picture is for Queen Geri.
Manny wasn’t well received at Coors when he stepped to the plate.
He seemed frustrated. Maybe the negativity got to him?
Matt Murton and Seth Smith
Eric Young Jr. Leaping for a ball. This dude is going to be fun to watch mature.
The basball in the picture is actually Dan’s he just doesn’t know it at this point.
Crazy fun time today all around.
With each new win it feels like I’m watching Rockies history being made. Come to think of it…I am.
Zack Hample..Have a safe trip home brotha.
Go Rockies, all is good in my world it’s time to show the world :)…D
Props go out to Sue over at Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts for winning the first ever…
“Which Rockie Am I?”
Here is Sue pictured with announcer Harry Kalas.
Sue asked that I give props to Jen from Phillies Phollowers for taking this picture of Sue at last year’s Baseball 101 for women event.
Here are the facts I gave you from yesterday.
He played basketball in High School.
He’s a switch hitter.
Sue guessed Dexter Fowler. He attended Milton High School where he played basketball. He’s 6’5″ tall, and is a switch hitter.
Nice job and congratulations. I did make that one kind of easy :).
I’m going to continue on with the “Decide the Ride” suggestions and questions.
Next question is from Julia of Julia’s Rants . She’s the writer of the Number one fan blog here on MLBlogs.com:
“D — how about earliest memory about baseball. That “ah -ha!” moment when you knew you were hooked!.
Julia, I played team baseball when I was really young (7-11) and then only in gym class in Canada through my teens.
I always played first base because it sees a lot of action and I’m a bit of a show off when I’m good at something.
I love the feeling of making that really good play at first or scoring the game winning run.
Everyone loves being a hero, even if it’s only for a brief moment.
Zack Hample and the Rockies got me hooked on batting practice. If I can’t make BP I usually don’t make the game. Spend an hour at BP chasing baseballs hit by your favorite players and see if that doesn’t get you excited about seeing a baseball game.
I’ve said this before, batting practice is Zen for me. When I’m there I’m “In my Zone” and NOTHING else matters for that short period of time. Had I not read Hample’s words and lived vicariously through his blog, I may never have taken a chance and attended a Rockies BP.
Next suggestion is from my Pops in Arizona:
“How about writing about the insane salaries they pay. No wonder these guys get in so much trouble. Too much too fast. You and I are paying for all this when we buy the product of the sponsors”.
Your totally right Pops I can’t argue with that statement. What I can tell you is not every player makes the “Big Bucks”. For every player that signs a multi-million dollar contract, there are twenty other MLB players who make much less than a million.
Teams have farm systems that are full of young ball players trying to make it to the big leagues. Most players spend several years in the farm system honing their skills, hoping for that break, and working part-time jobs to supplement their income and support their families.
Other than that, I got nothing. Thanks for your comment dad 🙂
Which do you think is more detrimental to a team, paying certain players enormous salaries or trading players around like playing cards.
On a more fun note, what was your first car and what is your dream car?
Marianne, this one is short and sweet for me. In my opinion paying the enormous salaries is more detrimental to a team because when you lock in a player for more than a couple of years and it’s for big money, it limits your moves financially. In some instances it can cripple a team if say,..the player is injured or had surgery and can’t play? (That in no way was a slam on Todd Helton).
Helton can do no wrong here in the Rockpile Rant.
Trading players often isn’t a great move either. But here’s my take on that. Most players (key word being “most”) wouldn’t be where they are if they weren’t professionals. By professional I mean they should be used to seeing players come and go.
King of Cali had a good question:
“If you were the GM of the Rockies what would you have done this off season?”
This is a touchy subject for me. On one hand I have a lot of ideas of what “should” have been done as I’m sure a lot of us do. But I don’t want to mention any names at this point because I’ll be standing in front of these guys in mere days asking them for an autograph.
K of C..You feel me on this one?
So lets just say, I was hoping for a big name pitcher and was willing to lose one as partial payment for another. Infielders, outfielders and coaching I’m ok with. A big name hitter would have been nice, but I’m anxious to get rolling with the players we have and see what we’ve got.
Thanks for your comment brotha..Matter of fact, thank all of you. The last time I told you that the Rant has been getting crazy page hits I moved one spot closer to first.
Well, the Rant’s been getting crazy hits again…I’m just saying…D
It follows the Yankees and the D-Backs and during the 2001 World Series just after the 911 attacks. Watch that show and try not to not get moist eyeballs.
You won’t make it.
That special was very touching and extremely well put together. The part when the little girl wrote a letter to Derek Jeter just after her dad died (her dad was one of the pilots), and she got to meet him and go to Yankee Stadium. That part choked me up. That was a classy thing to do.
Sure I really dig football and basketball and I miss them in their off-seasons.
But I daydream of baseball. I look at the schedule and plan what games I’ll be attending. I love figuring out which games will be primo “snagging days”.
I try to make sure that I make all of the games where bobble heads or other Rockies promotional gifts are handed out.
Well that’s not exactly true, lately my last thought has been about hopping in my car and hitting the 7-11 for a pack of cigarettes.
Day 6-Smoke free baby. I must say I’m not feeling like the friendliest fellow right now, but those who know me understand my situation and just ignore me. I’ve got a few more days worth of patches and then that’s it. I know at this point it’s mostly mental, but the brain can be a powerful thing when it wants something.
Normally I’m the guy that people come to for advice (it helps when most of yoru friends are younger).
Without going into a lot of details, I’ve seen some sheet in my lifetime and I can give people the benefit of my experiences, without them actually having to take that path.
I guess what I’m trying to say is “Thank You” to my readers who have been supportive of me in this “hellistic adventure” called quitting smoking. I’ll be there for you, and I appreciate you being there for me in my time of need. Baseball folk are straight up good people.
Hey Zack Hample when are you coming to Coor’s Field again?
No first row tickets for you this time buddy. You’re in the Pavilion with the Ranter and “it is on” my friend!!
Don’t take that as anymore than a friendly challenge. When I’m snagging in the Pavilion anywhere other then than first row, my only competition usually is my son Hunter.
When I’m fortunate enough to be snagging in the first row, I’m just a rookie there. Guys like Dan, Robert, Dave, and Danny own that row. I watch my P’s and Q’s and try to be respectful.
We’re still working on that particular scenario. He’s super competitive and REALLY hates to lose.
I don’t know where the hell he gets that from.
It will be good for him and he usually has a good story to tell.
I’ve heard Hunter ask his mom if he’s famous because his daddy’s a Rockies blogger, that’s my guy. I really enjoy the times I get to go to Rockies games with Hunter. Mylee too when she feels like going. Mylee likes the promotional giveaways, and Hunter is just a straight up baseball snagger.
It’s fun going to batting practice now that I know a lot more people. I’m not such a loner anymore. It’s cool to seeing and recognizing the same faces at the games. Getting to hang around people that are as excited about being there as I am.
Here are my goals for this baseball season.
1. Catch my elusive live home run ball, I’m tired of watching Happy’s videos and wishing it was me.
2. Snag 100 baseballs at batting practice. Easier said than done, when you make only half of the home games.
3. Personally obtain an autographed baseball of every player on the Rockies 40 man roster.
4. I would love the Rockpile Ranter to be the Rockies unofficial mascot (Hey, I can dream). Sort of like the barrel man for the Broncos.
I always do the best I can do to plug the Rockies? The sad part is there is probably not a single Rockies player who knows who the hell I am at this point. This leads me to number five.
5. Get the Rockies organization to take note of the Rockpile Ranter and his efforts and realize what a useful promotional tool I can be. The Rockies need more love. I’m just here to help in my own special way.
I think MLB TV Network should give MLBloggers opportunities to be the person who gets to say “play ball” like the hosts do now. It could be like a 5 second clip of us getting to say that and MLB could post the name of our blog on the bottom of the screen.
That would be really cool and cheap. I’d shoot that clip for free. Plus how cool would I look on TV saying “Play ball”. Remember doing stuff like that is a win/win situation for MLB network. Nobody loses when you plug your own blogging community on your own TV channel.
We could pick a theme and shoot a video to promote our blogs in our own creative ways?
That would be fun to see. So much talent here.
Oh yeah, I’m already thinking of some sweet ideas. How about from the Rockies Rockpile or how about me with a baseball glove and a bull horn on top of Pikes Peak?
That’s a pretty big Rockpile.
On a curious note: What happened to October Gonzo? He came in, gobbled up the front page and then disappeared? Who the hell was the mysterious Gonzo, and where is he hiding?
Witness protection? Laying low in the Hamptons? Joined the Peace corps? Maybe we’ll never know, maybe we’re not supposed to?
I could go on and on but I’m tired of sitting…Thanks for listening, without you I’m just a cool dude with a funny green hat…D
I was tempted to us the word bong in my rhyming title, but decided against it.
Damn head cold, I could feel it coming. It’s like having your head in a vice.
I don’t get sick very often, I probably got this crap on my trip to Chicago.
Strange new germs out there (and I drank the water).
This years present is so cool, I’m afraid with my head cold and the news of this, I could spontaneously combust. It’s just too much.
C’mon you know you do.
Before they did all of those funny movies, they were a stand-up comedy team touring the US and Canada.
These two dudes pumped out a bunch of comedy records. Back in the day, everybody who was anybody had at least one.
Below is my personal Cheech and Chong collection. There may be a few more records out there, but not many.
The Cheech and Chong heads have removable skulls. For storage I guess?
Notice the Big Bambu still has the original rolling paper.
Hey we all age, so now they look like this, and have been touring the country with their stand-up comedy act. Tommy Chong’s wife Shelby is the opening act.
No special tickets or anything, I was just happy they added the third show.
It’s Sunday night Dec 21..An early X-mas present.
Their records are imbedded in my brain, as they were extremely popular when I was a teen in Canada.
There you have it, another thing knocked off of my “List of things to do before I croak”.
If The Who can do it, so can you.
I’ll probably do a special blog after the Cheech and Chong show dedicated to them.
Seeing this show is all I want for X-mas.
I don’t want to outright spoil what I got for my kids (they don’t read this blog in the offseason), but just in case, it rhymes with sockhand.
I think it will be a cool gift to play with the whole family. I’m already a Rockstar, have you seen my music video?? Check it out.
Please don’t slam us. There’s a reason why this short little video clip is the only one us in existance. But hey, I’ve got a music video…Do you?
I’m starting to feel the spirit. Just need to kick this head cold. I cant see Cheech and Chong with a foggy head now can I?…
Oh yea, my special announcement. Robert Harmon, If you read this or Zack’s Hamples blog (listed on my side bar), you know of him.
Long time Coors field snagger, Barry Bonds fake ball, good dude.
Well Robert has decided to join forces with the Ranter, and he along with my buddies Jack (cheeser), and Andy (snagged two balls at a Rockies BP earlier this season) will be the crew for the Mobile Blogging Unit.
What a freggin visual. It’s all about baseball baby.
Robert knows his way around the Tucson area well, it will be fun and an asset “?” :), to have him along. Thanks brotha.
Robert normally heads down to Tucson in his VW bus. But the bus is presently out of commission.
Robert sure would appreciate it.
A few blog entries back I had put the question out there, “What makes you happy”.
Here’s what she wrote:
Hey, man! It’s Kylie. Here’s what makes me happy.
My first snow since 2004. It has been snowing for about two hours now and it’s dying down, but I snagged a picture of it on my shirt to remember it. Plus there’s a real live snowball in my freezer made from snow collecting on our table. It all melted when it hit the ground but it was still supercool…Kylie
Thanks for sharing, the best part of what makes her happy is, snow is free. You can see the tiny little flakes on her red shirt, very cool. Enjoy your winter wonderland 🙂 just kidding. Thanks for the picture Kylie.
Everyone, thanks for your click, you made a choice and I’m glad you ended up here…D