Here’s Part 2 of my Spring Training adventure. On Sunday, we didn’t have any baseball planned, so we thought we’d explore the area. We got in the car and headed out to a place called Apache Junction. It’s a real pretty area.
We saw the Superstition Mountains and headed towards the Lost Dutchman mine. Here’s Dad and I taking in the view. It was windy and cool, but it felt good on my face.
Cactus, cactus everywhere.
It was a great road trip. I bet you can see lots of stars out there at night.
On Monday, we made our way down to Tucson to catch the Rockies vs. Angels at Hi Corbett Field. It was hot. REALLY Hot! Dad and I got a spot on the rail to see if we could add some autographs to our collection. Here’s Franklin Morales warming up.
We did pretty well. I got to meet Jason Hirsh, Clint Barmes, Ryan Spilborghs and Clint Hurdle. I saw Tulo sign for a few minutes, but he didn’t make it down to me. I also managed to get a baseball from an Angels player during batting practice.
The guys got off to a rocky start (no pun intended)… But, it was great to see them in action again. Here’s Ryan Spilborghs leading things off.
He was followed by Tulo.
Mom’s favorite, Garrett Atkins.
Jason Hirsh on the mound.
We sat behind Mike Scioscia and his coaching staff.
I already mentioned that it was hot. It was too hot for me. I spent alot of my day in the shade, with a big cup of ice water. Mom and I got a picnic table with a big umbrella to keep the sun off of us. Gran C took me to the team store to do a little shopping and cool off. She spoiled me with me a Rockies sippy cup, a new Rockies hat and a program. Dad and I also went off on a walk and spotted Garrett Atkins heading into the clubhouse. He was really nice to us and signed our World Series ball! That’s our 11th autograph on that ball.
Before the game started, I got spotted by a photographer for the Tucson Citizen newspaper. She snapped pictures of me getting an autograph from Ryan Spilborghs and hanging out with Dad. She talked to Dad and I for a few minutes and said we might end up in the paper. When I got home and checked their website, I found a bunch of pics. Here’s a link to one of the articles.
Also, if you go to the slideshow section and search for “Hot Day at Hi Corbett”, you’ll find the whole gallery. We’re in several shots, including one where Dad and Pappy are in the background with Tulowitzki at the plate. That’s my first time ever in a newspaper. When’s the last time you saw the e*trade kid in the newspaper?
As if that wasn’t enough, we ran into D, from the Rockpile Rant! He was next to us before the game getting autographs. He and Dad talked for a while. D, sorry for being cranky. It was just too hot for me out there. Here’s a shot of us after the game hanging out in front of the MBU. That stands for Mobile Blogging Unit.
He and his friend Andy travel in style. They spent over a week watching games, getting autographs and snagging baseballs in Spring Training.
After the game, we drove back up to Phoenix, made a quick stop for one more In-N-Out Burger and caught our flight home. It was a great trip. Everyone had alot of fun and made some great memories. I hope you enjoyed reading all about it. It’s time for me to catch some zzz’s.
I’ve got a really special announcement to share with you. I’ll tell you the same way that I told Dad. Here you go:
This is a picture of me at our front door, waiting for Dad to come home from work. The T-Shirt was made by Mom and the message says it all.
That’s right, I’m going to be a big brother! The only downside is that I have to wait until August. Geez, what’s the hold up? I’m ready to be a big brother now. I’ve got so much to share.
BTW – I’m not the only one who got a nice new T-Shirt. Check out my buddy D, over at the Rockpile Rant. He got a pretty snazzy new shirt too.
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.
In case you missed it, I was on the MLBlog homepage again last week. They had my smiling face up there with some other great guys including Joe Torre, Mark DeRosa and local favorite Don (the Rock Pile Ranter). Here’s a screenshot.
We headed back to the ballpark on Tuesday to catch another round against the Padres.
We managed to get to the game early again to take in batting practice. Dad met some of the regular ballhawks and finally met up with Don, who writes the Rock Pile Rant, which we both enjoy reading. Check it out if you haven’t already. Dad got Jeff Francis to throw us a ball.
It was a little dirty, but I think it just adds to the flavor. I love chewing on my baseballs.
I snapped this picture when I heard the guys talking about me.
I think they were hoping to get mentioned in my blog. Jeff Baker was asking if his hair looked OK. He could probably see me taking pictures to post online. It’s OK Jeff, I don’t even have hair yet.
Anyway, on to the game. It was Ubaldo Jiminez’s turn on the mound and I knew he would be able to take care of things.
I know he’s a Padre, but I like all-star Adrian Gonzalez. I got Dad to snap a picture because I think he’s a good player, not to mention I caught a ball from him earlier this season.
It was my lucky night and I got to see another grand slam. This time it was from Chris Iannetta. Way to go Chris! I learned how to clap this week so I was able to yell AND clap for Chris.
Lots of K’s on the board tonight. Way to go guys!
It was good to see them pull out a 10-3 win after the spanking we took last night.
Before I wrap this up, I want to congratulate Zack, who managed to snag home run balls at back to back games this week. He caught them at Yankee Stadium. It’s the final week for Yankee Stadium and he was spotlighted on SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight. Both come on past my bed time, but his website had some great videos of his catches.
Also, I got my very first piece of mail this week. Actually, I got two things in the mail. I’ll tell you about them in an upcoming post, but I’ll just say one came from one of my favorite Rockies and the other came from last years World Series Champions. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!