Last week, I had the chance to go back to Arizona for some Spring Training games. Last year was my first time attending and I had a blast. I couldn’t wait to go back and see some of my favorite players on the field again.
Mom took my little sis Stacy out to North Carolina to visit my aunt Kathy and my cousins Robert and Marissa. Dad, Grancie and Pap flew with me out to Phoenix to catch a few games.
Our day started early on Saturday morning. We were staying in Scottsdale and just cruised around to check out the town. We came across an antique car show. If you know me, then you know that besides baseball, I also love cars. I always travel with a few matchbox cars, I’ve got car posters in my room and even have car slippers that I wear all the time. I got really excited when we found this car show.
It was the perfect way to start my trip.
After spending some time peeking into all of the fancy cars on display, it was time to head over to the game. Dad got tickets for our first game to see the Milwaukee Brewers vs. San Francisco Giants. We saw the Brewers at their home field in Maryvale last year and liked it so much, we decided to go back again this year.
This was their Opening Day!
Dad got great seats. We were front row over the Giants dugout. I learned how to use crayons during the offseason and thought I’d try to fill out the scorecard.
The Brewers picked up pitcher Randy Wolf from the Dodgers in the offseason. He looked pretty sharp and threw two scoreless innings.
I love watching Ryan Braun at bat. He hit a home run in the 5th inning.
Dad got a ball signed for me by Ryan when he was making his way back to the clubhouse!
Before too long, it was time for the infamous Sausage Race! This is always a highlight at a Brewers game.
These guys are fast, funny and make me hungry. Yummy yummy!
Corey Hart hit a foul ball that was tossed up towards my seat by the third base coach. Grancie was quick enough to snag it for me.
The Brewers kept pouring it on and went on to win 12 – 1. I got in my car seat and fell asleep before we even got out of the parking lot. Dad took a pic of me with my game ball.
I got my nap and decided to hang out back at the hotel and order a pizza. We ended up getting the biggest pizza I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s a good thing we had it delivered, because I don’t think it would have fit in the trunk of our car. I mean just look at this thing!
This was the large size. They had an even bigger one on the menu!
Soon enough, it was time for bed. I had plenty of room to spread out and sleep like a king. I like baseball so much, that sometimes I sleep with my ball cap on.
The next day was dreary and rainy. I went shopping with Grancie and Pap, while Dad took a walk to see Scottsdale Stadium. Scottsdale is home to the San Francisco Giants. When Dad got to the stadium, he heard that all of the games around Phoenix had been cancelled due to the bad weather. He also saw some of the players heading home for the day. Dad decided to stick around for a little while to see if he could grab a few autographs. He managed to get some baseballs signed for our collection.
When he got back, he told me the players were really nice and he was really excited to have met Tim Lincecum. Here’s a picture of Tim signing autographs from his Mercedes.
We both like Tim a whole lot and are excited to have his autograph in our collection. Maybe he’ll win another Cy Young award this year.
The weather cleared out on Monday and we had time to catch one more game before heading home. We drove out to Goodyear Ballpark to see the Kansas City Royals vs. Cincinnati Reds.
Here’s Pap and I waiting to get inside. Like my new hat?
We had great seats again. Front row! I’m getting spoiled with these great seats.
Bronson Arroyo started on the hill for the Reds.
Reds first baseman Joey Votto taking a big swing.
Aroldis Chapman made his debut at this game. He recently defected from Cuba to come play baseball in the big leagues.
He went two innings and struck out three batters. He also got the “W” for the team. A nice way to start your MLB career if you ask me.
Don’t bother me Dad, I’m trying to watch the game!
In the 7th inning, we took a walk all the way around the ballpark. Here are some shots from the bullpen and the outfield.
The stadium opened last season for the Cleveland Indians and the Reds made the move from Florida this year to share it with them. It’s a great place to see a game.
Before long, it was time to head back to the airport and catch a flight back home to Colorado. But not before grabbing a burger and some fries from In-N-Out. I’m no expert, but this could be the best burger I’ve ever tasted!
What a great trip. I only wish I could have stayed longer. MLB Network will have to hold me over until Opening Day. Anybody have any extras for Opening Day at Coors Field?
The 2009 season has officially begun. The Rockies played their home opener against the Phillies on Friday. We weren’t able to get tickets for Opening Day, but I did snag 4 tickets to see the Rockies vs. Phillies on Saturday.
It felt good to be back at Coors Field. Here’s Mom and I hanging out before the game.
I chowed down on Dad’s Super Dog and settled in for the game.
It wasn’t long before Tulo hit a bomb into the pond out in centerfield.
The Phillies had all of their heavy hitters in the lineup and quickly mounted a comeback. Here’s SS JImmy Rollins.
Here’s Chase Utley at bat.
He was followed by Ryan Howard.
The Rockies brought in newly aquired Jason Hammel for some relief pitching.
He had a tough outing and gave up a few runs. Hopefully he was just having some jitters about his first start in a Rockies uniform.
The Rockies just couldn’t hold on and wound up losing 8-4. Oh well. It still felt pretty good to be back at the ballpark.
Here’s me and the Grans.
The Rockies are on the road for the next 10 days, but are back home at the end of the month to take on the Dodgers and the Padres. Keep an eye out and maybe you’ll see me at the park.
I figured I’d share some more pics from my Florida vacation. Dad got up early a few times to visit the Rays sping training facility down the street from us. Here’s some shots he took.
They had four fields with minor league teams practicing on each one.
One day Dad watched a 5-inning game between the AAA team. The pitchers were fighting for the 5th starting spot in the Rays rotation and BJ Upton was playing centerfield.
Here’s BJ getting ready to run some sprints.
I gave Dad a baseball to get signed by David Price, but Dad didn’t see him at the practice fields. Oh well. Dad did manage to get a few balls at batting practice for me to play with.
Check out these alligators that lived in a pond near Grandma and Grandpa’s place. I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere near the pond, but Dad let me look at the pictures.
Mom took me to dip my feet in the ocean for the first time.
The water was cold and I didn’t want to stay in for very long. I think I’ll stick to the pool. I called Grandma over to get me out.
Just me and Dad hangin’ out.
I watched the boats go by and tried to talk to this stork in the picture. I gave him my address and e-mail to make sure he didn’t get lost when he delivers the new baby.
I’ll see you in a few months buddy.
Here’s Mom and I with Grandma and Grandpa.
Our trip was over way too soon, but eventually we had to head home. It was a whole lot of fun and I hope we can do it again next spring.
Hope everyone enjoyed Opening Day. My Rockies suffered a loss yesterday, but I’m hoping we can pull out a win tonight against those pesky Diamondbacks.
The Colorado home opener is on Friday. I’ll be at the stadium on Saturday to see my guys take on the world champion Phillies. Hope to see you there!
About two weeks ago, I got an e-mail from Don, the Rock Pile Ranter, to see if I’d be interested in going to the first ever Rockies Fan Fest. I jumped at the chance! Don put Dad in touch with Dan, a Rockies season ticket holder and familiar face during batting practice. Dan was kind enough to give us a pair of tickets for the big day. Dan and Don, thanks so much! We really appreciate it.
Today was the big day!
When we got inside, we set off on a self guided tour through the tunnels under Coors Field. I cruise in style. I got shuttled around in my stroller. It’s really the only way to travel. Our first stop was at the humidor.
Unfortunately, it was locked up tight for next season.
From there, we wandered over to the batting cages. I think I could do some serious damage in here.
I spotted some fancy hardware from several players including Matt Herges and Jeff Baker.
Next, we headed to the Rockies dugout. It was great to walk around in there. I could almost smell the pine tar and hear the cracking of sunflower seeds. I got Dad to give me a few pointers.
These are without a doubt, the best seats in the house.
Down the hall from the dugout is the clubhouse. These guys have it all figured out. A big kitchen, comfy chairs, fancy smelling soaps and soft towels. They even had big old TV’s for watching Sesame Street before the game. I think I could get use to it.
Mom tracked down the lockers of some of my favorite players. Here’s Todd Helton.
One more for you. This one belongs to Troy Tulowitzki. Dad thought he spotted a Cal Ripken Jr. bobblehead on the shelf.
After checking out all the lockers, we headed down the hall to see where broken players go to get fixed. I tried to get Dad to give me a massage. Being a baby can be a stressful job at times.
They also had hot tubs and cold tubs and other weird things to make you feel better.
We made our way out of there and came across a room full of Rockies memorabilia and things from historic games. They had game used pitching rubbers, bases, bats and pretty artwork. I had Mom take pictures of a few items in there. Here are some jerseys from Iannetta’s and Tulo’s MLB Debuts.
Here’s a shot at one of the National League Championship rings.
Eventually, we made our way up to the Club Level and when we got there, we ran into Dan. He told me that Brad Hawpe was reading stories for kids, so I decided to make that my next stop. When we got there, he was wrapping up, but I decided to try my luck at getting an autograph.
I was holding my World Series baseball that I’ve been getting signed by the ’07 team. Brad came over and tried to take my ball from me. He and Dad were both trying to pry it out of my hands, but I wasn’t having it. I worked hard for that ball and I wasn’t going to let them take it from me. I was grunting and holding on with all my might. Brad thought it was pretty funny and decided to just move my fingers out of the way in order to sign my ball.
Brad, if you’re reading this, I just want to apologize for not giving you my ball to sign. I’m kind of attached to it and don’t want to lose. Thanks for understanding and being nice enough to still sign it for me.
Next up on our agenda was an interview session. Dan scheduled us to sit in on an interview with the infielders.
They answered all kinds of things from an update on Todd’s back injury to what ballparks they like to play in when they’re on the road. They even went on about the 4th of July home run derby to the 22 inning marathon that took place in San Diego last season. It was really interesting. While I was sitting there, I got to thinking about the upcoming season. I really think we have one of the best group of infielders in all of baseball. I
think know we’re going to do great this year.
After the interviews, we got in line for our autograph session. I didn’t know who was going to sign for us, but I had a few players in particular I was hoping to meet. Fortunately, I’m a super lucky baby, becuase my autograph session was with Mr. Todd Helton, who was at the top of my list.
However, my experience was a little strange. It was one of those moments you read about when people meet their heroes and they can’t speak and sometimes even break down in tears. I cried more than a little school girl watching the Beatles arrive in America. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but that’s what Dad told me. What I do know is that my mind went blank. When I finally came around, I was in Dad’s arms with tears running down my face and I was holding a shiny, new baseball. What had happened to me? How had I gotten here?
Here’s what Mom told me. She carried me up to Todd. He took my ball. I flipped out and started to cry. He signed my ball and gave it back to Mom. At some point, Dad took a picture. The ushers pushed my stroller down the hall, Dad picked me up to comfort me and a really nice guy in front of me gave me a baseball to play with. He even told me I could keep it. Thanks again friendly mystery man in line with me. I’ve been playing with the ball all day. I guess I was a little star struck…
Thank you Mr. Helton. It was really nice of you to sign my baseball. I hope I don’t freak out the next time we meet.
We did a little more wandering around. I wanted to show the other teams, especially those pesky Diamondbacks, what I thought of them, so I slept through my tour of the visitor’s clubhouse. HAHA. Take that you non-Rockies.
We also saw the owner’s suite, the press boxes and just about any other place they let me explore. I got a few autographs and saw players walking all over the place. Dad almost got ran over by Jeff Francis, Mom flirted with one of the new guys, Greg Smith and I waved at my buddy Chris Iannetta. It was a pretty amazing day.
Here’s my Todd Helton ball.
I also talked Dad into buying a ball signed by the 2006 team.
As we headed out, the ushers waved goodbye and told me they’d see me on opening day. I sure hope so. Uhm, Dad, that’s a hint. Mom says you don’t take hints well, so I’m spelling it out for you. I’m so ready for Spring Training.
What a day! Thanks so much to Dan and Don. You guys rock! We really appreciate the tickets. Without you guys, Dad would have been stuck going to work and I would have resorted to watching reruns on the MLB Network. Thanks again!
Also, thanks to the Rockies and the staff at Coors Field. You guys know how to throw a party. I really hope to see you in a few months for the 2009 season.