Results tagged ‘ baseball ’

4/9/2014 at AT&T Park

1It has been forever since I last attended a baseball game in San Francisco. AT&T Park is one of the most interesting baseball stadiums I’ve seen so far in my journey to see all 30. The last time I came here I snagged a bunch of baseballs and took lots of photos. You can check out that entry by clicking this link.

 

Here’s a picture of me inside:

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It was Hunter Pence bobble head night so I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to snag a bunch of baseballs like last time. To my surprise I was literally the first one into the lower seating bowl and found one baseball sitting in the seats. I thought I saw two but I couldn’t find the second one. Moments later a stampede of fans started filling the rows and I then started to wander the stadium.

Here’s a picture of McCovey Dave:

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Dave is a huge Giants fan and attends nearly every home game in his kayaker. He goes after home run baseballs that land in the cove out behind AT&T Park and he is pretty successful at it. He has multiple methods of catching the baseballs but the real trick is just being at the right place at the right time to catch them. If you follow Dave on Twitter you will learn so much about all the “splash hits” and all the players that have hit one into the drink. He’s seriously worth a follow on Twitter and if you’re a baseball nut/fan like him, I’m sure he will follow you back.

Before the game started I noticed something. Take a look at the next picture and look at the bottom left corner…

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…they’re kind of hard to see but…are those medal detectors? There weren’t any at the front gates of the ballpark when I came through. I thought it was sort of odd. I heard about Major League Baseball putting them in every baseball stadium but I wasn’t entirely certain it was a true. I guess it is true. What a pain in the butt this is going to be. I wonder how strict security will be or what will happen? Will they make us take our shoes off or our belts? Maybe an official TSA pat down? I’m kind of curious of everyone’s opinion on this. If you’re a ballhawk, please take the extra time it takes to leave a comment and give your opinion; pros and cons of how this will help/hurt your chances of getting a baseball.

 

Stay tuned for my adventure on Alcatraz Island…

 

 

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Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb

The Sydney Harbour Bridge, also affectionately known as the ‘Coathanger’, was opened on March 19th 1932 by Premier Jack Lang, after six years of construction. Made of steel the bridge contains 6 million hand driven rivets. The surface area that requires painting is equal to about the surface area of 60 sports fields. The Bridge has huge hinges to absorb the expansion caused by the hot Sydney sun. You will see them on either side of the bridge at the footings of the Pylons.

You can have a close hand look while you are in Sydney by visiting the South Eastern Pylon. It is a walking trip and recommended for the fit only. It is a longish walk to get to the base of the Pylon and then there are 200 steps to the top. Entry for adults is now $8.50 (23 June 2003), kids between 8 and 12 years three dollars and under 8 years its free. (Prices valid until 30 November 2003).

The views and photo opportunities are fantastic. (If you can make it, we’ve got to say it is tough). There is a great display on how the thing was built. It has a similar place in Sydney history to the Statue of Liberty in New York as far as many migrants to Australia go. In sight of the bridge you knew you had made it.

The displaced peoples of Europe who came to Australia in the days of the grand ships can get very misty when you ask them what they felt when they saw this grand old arch on their arrival in Sydney from the aftermath of World War Two as they sailed up Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour). The old Bridge has been replaced as “the” landmark of Sydney by the bold architecture of the Opera House.

But a grand old bridge it is, and one you will remember whenever you think of Sydney after your visit.

When it opened it cost a car six pence to cross. A horse and rider was 3 pence. These days a return trip (for some reason the only kind) costs two dollars twenty (gst). Horses and riders are banned, that’s the changing times. You can walk across free and you are allowed to bicycle in a special lane.

Historic Harbour Bridge Pictures 

Historic Harbour Bridge Pictures 

Historic Harbour Bridge Pictures 

Historic Harbour Bridge Pictures 

Historic Harbour Bridge Pictures 

Historic Harbour Bridge Pictures

Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world’s largest (but not longest as thats the New River Gorge in the USA) steel arch bridge, and, in its beautiful harbour location, has become a renowned international symbol of Australia.

Its total length including approach spans is 1149 metres and its arch span is 503 metres. The top of the arch is 134 metres above sea level and the clearance for shipping under the deck is a spacious 49 metres. The total steelwork weighs 52,800 tonnes, including 39,000 tonnes in the arch. The 49 metre wide deck makes Sydney Harbour Bridge the widest Longspan Bridge in the world.

 

 

It’s taken me a long time to get this entry completed because I just spent about five days in San Francisco. I’ll have those blog entries up sooner than later, I promise.

This was my last day in Australia so I wanted to make it count. I heard rumor (and also saw some videos from baseball players) that people could climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge. I’m deathly afraid of heights and I have a fear of falling off high places as well. So when I first heard these rumors the whole thing was out of the question for me. I wasn’t about to climb four hundred and thirty something feet on a bridge in Australia.

When I left my hotel for the day I stopped at the Westfield Tower and rode the elevator all the way up to the top. It was a spectacular sight…

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…and you can read all about the details of this day on this entry. When I got done looking at Sydney Australia from that vantage point, I headed out to do some more sight-seeing and eventually found myself at the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

For those of you who ever visit Sydney Australia, this is something you’ll certainly at least want to look into. It’s pretty expensive to climb the bridge but on a good day it’s worth every single penny spent. From start to finish the climb took about three hours. Here’s the entrance:

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Not only do you get complete 100% safety training and a chance to climb some ladders before going up, but you also get a great tour guide and a thorough history lesson on the bridge and the surrounding area of Sydney. I thought it was going to be a quick 45 minute climb-up-the-bridge-and climb-back-down sort of thing. Nope. The tour guide was awesome and he told us how the bridge was made, why it was made and the details of the different jobs that helped create the bridge.

He told us this one story of how the rivets were made. One guy grabs the rivet with tongs and places it in a cooker on the bridge while another guy waits. This guy is called the “catcher”. Once the rivet is red hot, the guy with the tongs pulls the rivet out of the cooker and tosses it to the catcher. The catcher then catches the red hot rivet in a bucket of sand and then grabs it with his set up tongs. He then climbs into the bridge through an access panel and hammers the rivet into place. The tour guide told us that there were hundreds of thousands of rivets at the bottom of the river due to the catcher missing red hot rivets. Wow.

At one time actor and comedian Paul Hogan was a rigger on the bridge before finding fame and fortune.

In June 1976, the one-billionth vehicle crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The first 500 million crossings took over 33 years while the second 500 million took less than 11 years.

In 1932, the annual average daily traffic volume (in both directions) was about 10,900.

In 1943, with a wartime shortage of vehicles and petrol rationing, there was a drop in traffic to about 8,600 vehicles a day.

A total of 13 deaths happened from men falling off the bridge while being created and only one man survived a fall. Turns out the guy who fell off the bridge was an expert high diver and when he realized he was falling, his instincts kicked it and he was able to dive feet first into the river below and only break a couple of ribs. There were tons of stories like this that the tour guide had.

We weren’t allowed to take anything up during the climb like cameras or chewing gum or any other loose items. They were very strict about this and we received a quick pat down, we passed through a metal detector and they waved a metal detector wand over us prior to heading out. It was about the equivalent of passing through a TSA checkpoint.

So here are a few pictures that were taken of me by the tour guide once up on the bridge…

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…that’s the entire group after we reached the top. See the old guy in the first row, second person in? That man immigrated to Australia the year before the bridge was built into completion and he’s 80 years old. The day of the climb was his birthday and his daughter climbed with him for his birthday present. How awesome is that? I’m in the second row, first person on the left.

This next picture if of me as we were heading back down:

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So you’re probably wondering why we have headphones and why we are wearing those silly blue jump suits. The headphones were for so the tour guide could talk to us and tell us stuff while we climbed around on the bridge. And the blue jump suits is what we changed into prior to climbing the bridge. We all had to take off as much clothing as we were comfortable with and then change into them. They had no pockets and then we wore a belt with a four foot strap that was secured to the bridge as we climbed so in case we fell, we would not fall completely off the bridge. It was 100% safe to climb. So needless to say my fear of falling was put to rest while climbing around on the bridge.

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This is probably my most favorite picture. It has a great shot of the Sydney Opera House in the background. Yes, it was windy and it started to rain on us just as we were reaching the top so we had to put on our authentic Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb rain gear. Despite a clear sunny day, it was still pretty awesome to be up there. The worst part about the climb as climbing three 25-step ladders to reach the platform to actually climb up the bridge. They were vertical, it was wet and like I said; I hate heights. But once I made it onto the platform to start walking up the bridge, it wasn’t so bad.

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Another great picture with the Opera House in the background.

And after we got back down to ground zero, we changed out of our jump suits, drank some water, sat down for a little bit, returned all of our gear that they loaned out to us, we got one of these:

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Boom, baby! My Climber Certificate!

Seeing Australia was awesome and I definitely want to come back. If you haven’t read all my blog entries about my trip then I suggest you click here, here and here!

I realize my blog entries went from “day one” to “day two” and then jumped to “day eight”. Simple explanation. Day three and four were spent at the Sydney Cricket Grounds watching baseball (and you can read all about that by clicking this link) and five, six and day seven were spent just kind of kicking around town and not doing much. So it really wasn’t blog worthy. I have a ton of pictures though and I might do an extra blog entry kind of like how I did when I visited Japan a couple of years ago.

 

Hopefully I can get my San Francisco trip blogged about within the next couple of weeks before I start going to a lot of Mariners games.

 

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

Australia Day # 2

Oh. My. God. Look at this:

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I found this spider while walking around in the forest around the Taronga Zoo. I’m not kidding when I say this; it was larger than a silver dollar coin. And I saw a lot of them. And seeing them kept me on the sidewalk. Yikes!

Further up the walkway I heard lots of birds chirping and singing and mimicking each other. It was really great to hear all of that. It was around 8am when I arrived to this area so the sun had just come up and the forest was alive with critters. I saw lizards and birds and spiders and rodents- such a sight! I love birds and when I saw these little guys, it was just breath-taking:

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They were super-friendly and they allowed me to get really close to get some good pictures. I think they were just as curious about me as I was about them. They would chirp and whistle at me-such a great experience because I usually see these kinds of birds in pet stores.

Now for a little bit of a history lesson regarding the area I was in today.

Bradleys Head is another place where military history and stunning landscapes combine to offer a complete harbour experience.

Just next to Taronga Zoo, the convict-built battery at Bradley’s Head was built after four American warships arrived in Sydney Harbour undetected in 1839. Sydneysiders were feeling uneasy so a circular parapet was later installed to enhance Sydney’s protection. Today, the mast of HMAS Sydney (I) towers over the parapet as a striking monument to the WWI warship.

Defence ditches, added in the late 19th century after British troops left Sydney and remnants of earlier fortications are other features of this unique harbor side location.”

Here’s a picture of me in front of one of the cannons that was built in the 19th century:

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Here’s a website that you can look at to see more of the military relics that I visited down at Bradleys Head. It was very interesting to learn about Australian history and to take in all of this on such a crisp early morning at the harbor was really awesome. I just had to be careful not to run into anymore of those spiders. The most interesting military relic I saw was the rifle wall.

On my way back towards the zoo (which opened at 9:30am) I found a very small patch of beach that was right across from South Sydney:

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Australia is coming up on fall season so the water wasn’t warm like I thought it would be. It was still nice to walk in the sand and wade around in the water. Australia has a lot of interesting creatures that I’d like to stay away from so I didn’t venture out too far. I learned about lots of these crazy little critters that like to bite and sting when I was at the museum yesterday.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of what I saw inside the zoo too much. If you’ve ever been to a zoo you’ve pretty much been to all the zoos. I’ve probably seen lions and bears and Komodo Dragons at just about every zoo I’ve ever been to. This zoo did have Koala bears, though and I think those are just the best bears in the world! Check it out:

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After I left the zoo I learned from seeing one of Clayton Kershaw’s tweets that you can actually get your picture taken with a Koala bear! How cool would THAT be?! I was totally bummed that I didn’t pay more attention to the unique experiences that the zoo offered. While I was walking around I passed a guy who looked awfully familiar, though. I had to do a double-take and I then turned around to follow him to get a better look. I swore it was Brian Wilson. I mean, he has that god-awful, hideous beard that can not be mistaken, right? But the hair kind of threw me off. When I entered the Platypus House, he was getting a picture taken with a couple of Diamondback fans so I approached and quickly asked for a picture as well:

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He was very soft-spoken and nice, and I think he was just trying to enjoy his time at the zoo with his lady friend (she’s in the back ground looking on) so I didn’t want to really engage in conversation. I just thanked him for his time and left it at that ( I secretly followed him around the zoo for another 15 minutes just because he’s Brian Wilson).

I left the zoo and snapped a quick photo as I exited…

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…and headed back to South Sydney. On foot. It was approximately 6.6 miles to the historic Sydney Opera House and I managed to walk about 4 miles of that in 80 degree heat with a massive blister on my right foot. The only reason why I didn’t complete the 6.6 miles to the opera house was because there was a bridge connecting South Sydney to North Sydney and pedestrians are not allowed to walk on it. A real bummer. I had to flag down a cab to take me the rest of the way (which cost me $17 AUS dollars). Cabs are very expensive in Australia, by the way. So if you ever come out this way, avoid them if you can.

Once I arrived at the opera house, I was ready to end my day anyway. I was STARVING. One thing I noticed about Australia (and I don’t know if its just because I am so active or because its hot) is I can’t seem to eat enough. And food out here is pretty expensive as well. Dinner cost me about $20 AUS dollars. I got a lot of food but like I’ve said, it’s not filling me up. It’s kind of weird.

Anyway. I made it to the opera house and it was basically the epicenter for tourism:

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And then of course I had to get a picture of the historic Sydney bridge across the way (and also learned you can climb to the top from Tony Campana’s Instagram video)…

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…I might actually have to go back to the bridge to do the infamous bridge climb. I’m deathly afraid of heights so I don’t know if I will be able to handle it. We will see and I’ll definitely blog about it if I go for it.

Yesterday, I ran into this guy:

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These are actual life-sized Black Rhinos that have been painted up and placed all around Sydney in an effort to raise awareness of this endangered species. There’s approximately 125 of them and I found one (this one) yesterday and I found about seven or eight more today. Here’s the website in case you want to see more about what these are about. I’m going to do my best to find all 125 of them while I’m here and I’ll post every single one of them on my blog. Here’s the ones I found today:

 

Number two:

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Number three:

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Number four:

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Number five:

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Annnnnddd number six:

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Tomorrow is Friday so I hope to make it out to Bondi beach or maybe head back to the Sydney Bridge to climb up it. I really don’t know what I’ll be doing. Baseball games are coming up this weekend, though, and I am thoroughly stoked and ready to start the 2014 season! After all, it’s what I came out here for to begin with!

What would complete my day without having seen a giant game of chess, right?

 

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If you haven’t read what I did in Australia on day number one, check it out here!

Also, check out my other blog here! It’s all about the Seattle Mariners!

 

 

 

 

2014 Major League Baseball Season (Australia)

It’s almost baseball time! Guess where I’m at right now? I’m in Hawaii! I’m in Hawaii because I’m on my way to Australia to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks open the ’14 MLB season at the historic Sydney Cricket Grounds! Awesome, right?!

I am so jet lagged, though. I didn’t get any sleep Saturday night and I slept a rough four hours on the six hour flight to Hawaii and now I’ve gotten something to eat and looking to rest up in an attempt to take on this 18 hour flight to the Outback! I went to Japan the year before last and met up with Zack Hample and had a freaking awesome time! This year we are meeting up again and hopefully we will be able to do some other stuff besides baseball while we are there.

Hawaii isn’t what I expected it to be. The airport is a little confusing and the $40 dollar cab ride smashed a huge hole in my wallet. It was actually poor planning on my part; I could’ve got a closer hotel to the airport. Live and learn and it’s all about the experience. You know how when you watch Tv and you see Hawaii on there and there’s all these lush palm trees and blue waters? I suppose I’m in a crappy location (Waikiki) but there isn’t much of that. The area is pretty run down and trashy.

Anyway. I’d take a bunch of pictures and upload them on here but Australia is going to be so much better. So I want to save all of my picture taking for that. Besides the Australian trip, I plan to make it to San Francisco a couple of times this year and I had the All-Star game all figured out but I don’t know if I will make it because I want to see the 25th Anniversary 1989 World Series Oakland Athletic reunion at the Coliseum this year. So we will see.

I hope all of you are doing well out there! I’m having a blast now that baseball season is back!

Hey, if you got time, check out my Twitter and my other blog!

 

 

Australia 2014

Oh, man! in 29 days I’ll be in Australia watching the DiamondBacks and the Dodgers play some baseball! If you remember a year or so ago, I watched baseball in Japan with Zack Hample! It was so awesome!

I really don’t plan to ballhawk much this year. I’m leaving that up to my good pals throughout the country. So my blog might become a little obsolete throughout the year. I’ve started a new blog if you’re interested in reading that. It’s called From the Depths of Safeco Field- and it’s basically all about the Seattle Mariners because, let’s face it; I’m a huge M’s fan. Maybe I haven’t proven my loyalty to them as much as it has looked…but trust me. Since 1989 I’ve been going to Mariners games.

 

See you all at the Safe and some of you at other ballparks!

 

Go Mariners!

 

 

Top 100 Blogs of the Year

It’s been quite the honor to be amongst the top 100 bloggers around the Major Leagues. I haven’t blogged much since I quit ball hawking, and I’ve even started a new blog called “From the Depths of Safeco Field” which I haven’t blogged on there much, either. I’m assuming its because its the off-season. Stay tuned for an epic trip to Australia with Zack Hample and Padre Leigh!

 

FANS
Zack Hample earns top spot again, with a possible return from the runner-up…
1. The Baseball Collector
2. Rays Renegade
3. The AustralianBaseballDigest
4. The Brewer Nation
5. A’s Farm
6. Beisbol 007
7. Cook & Sons’ Baseball Adventures
8. The Unbiased MLB Fan
9. mlbblogger
10. Pinstripe Birthdays
11. Ballparks on a Budget
12. The Baseball Haven
13. La Pagina de Tony Menendez
14. Rockpile Rant
15. Counting Baseballs
16. The Ballpark Guide
17. Three Up, Three Down
18. Dodger Blue World
19. Observing Baseball
20. Born on Third
21. Minoring In Baseball
22. 9 Inning Know It All
23. Phillies Phollowers
24. 7000 Coliseum Way
25. Where Everyone’s a Giant
26. Fish Fry
27. eltubeyero22
28. TheCutoffMan
29. Prospects2Pros
30. Blogging ‘Bout Baseball
31. Rockin’ Redlegs
32. You’re Killin’ Me, Smalls!
33. Los bigleaguers
34. Formerly Fausto: A Baseball Blog
35. baseballqueen
36. The Rays Rant
37. BrokeMets
38. Cream City Cables
39. The Yankee Dinosaur
40. Brewers Rumors
41. DYNASTY League Baseball from designer of Pursue the Pennant
42. A Piece of The Game
43. More Splash Hits
44. The Cub Den
45. The Best MLBlog
46. The Blue Jays Dugout
47. Cove Chatter
48. This is a very simple game…
49. Miami Carlins Fantasy Baseball
50. TheBaseballPHD
51. Rox Addict
52. Bjarkman’s Latino and Cuban League Baseball History Page
53. The Angels’ Ace
54. The Pittsburgh Peas
55. Unfinished Business
56. I’m Not A Headline Guy…
57. Battling Bucs
58. Brewers Farm Report
59. Collection of Baseball
60. Coco crisp’s afro
61. The Baseball Sociologist
62. Flashin’ Leather
63. Reds Country
64. The Ballhawker
65. One Strike Away…Twice!
66. Why Did My Dad Make Me a Mets Fan?
67. Talkin’ Rockies
68. Hoppers Fan
69. Major-League Obie Role-Based Projection System
70. Blue Jays Talk
71. Pinstripe State of Mind
72. Bleacher Boy
73. Balls and Strikes
74. Wrigley Regular
75. If You Write It, They Will Come
76. Plouffe’s New Hairdo
77. All Things Pirates: Breaking down the Buccos
78. Punky G. (G stands for Giants!)
79. Chasing Baseballs
80. Big Apple Baseball Blog
81. Dodgers Insider
82. steel city ballhawk
83. Royal Blues
84. Quisqueyanos en MLB
85. The Take: From 20th & Blake
86. Sarge’s Phillies Phantasy Camp Diary
87. Philadelphia Ballhawk
88. Baseball’s 28th Out
89. The ‘Stros Bros
90. Phillies Red Pinstripes
91. Dodger Familia Thoughts
92. Blue Jays Musings
93. Cubs Crossings
94. Head First Slide Productions
95. The Inherent Dangers of Watching Professional Baseball
96. It’s Always A Good Dre in L.A.
97. The Optimist Tiger
98. Pedro Beato Fan Club
99. 2r2d
100. Skood Sports

From the Depths of Safeco Field

Soooooooooooo here’s what’s been happening. I’ve been trying to delete all my blogs (including this one) but WordPress.com won’t let me delete any of them. I just have to keep them inactive or some crap. Not really sure what the deal is with that. Anyway, a few days ago I was running out of room for pictures on this blog and I started deleting pictures and it literally wiped out all my past entries. So, understandably, I was pretty pissed. I got over it and since I’m not “ballhawking” anymore due to other people whining and crying about some stupid Ballhawk of the Year award on www.mygameballs.com, (you can read all about the hoopla on Zack Hample’s blog since he was basically (and unfairly) targeted over the whole thing. I consider Zack a good friend of mine, and although he’s pretty popular, no one deserves their character attacked like his was) I really have no use for this blog or any of my other ones anymore. I still go to games, but my blog entries are going to be pretty boring, I suppose.

I’ve started a new blog. Its called From the Depths of Safeco Field. It’s registered on MLB.com so I’m hoping I’ll get it into the top 50 like this blog with quality entries. I really haven’t figured out which direction I want to take my new blog except that it’ll be all about (and only about) the Seattle Mariners. My favorite team in the Majors. I figured if I attend a Mariners game or buy season tickets or go to a Mariners Fan Fest, all those experiences will be well documented on this blog and also Collection of Baseball, if that make sense. Like I said, I’m not real sure what direction this blog will go.

I’ll certainly rant and rave and post my Blog Talk Radio Episodes on here regarding trades, free agency signings, players worth etc etc… so you can count on that! I have the most fun ranting about Mariners player acquisitions during the offseason and during the regular season.

Bud Norris’ Charity; CandleLighters- 10 W and 139 strikeouts have raised $34.75 this season.

Seattle Mariners/Seattle Humane Society Charity; 65 wins have raised $65 this season.

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Want to read more blogs from me? Check out this blog!

 

4/10/2013 Safeco Field

Ahhh! Baseball is back! And since I missed the Mariners home opener, I figured a nice first game of the year on Wednesday would suffice! And it was truly remarkable and one to remember! There were a couple big reasons why I wanted to attend this game. The number one reason was to meet Bud Norris. If you’re following me on Twitter, you’ll know I tweet at him a lot concerning the fact that he’s been able to keep Angels Slugger Albert Pujols to a ridiculously low batting average. Which I find that incredible. Also, here’s a little back story on Norris. When I was out in St. Louis, I sort of met him at Busch Stadium. He came out of the stadium after the game and signed a few autographs and I was able to snag an autograph from him. I started following him from then on and he’s made amazing progress in his career through hard work and determination. This year, Norris got the opening day nod for the Houston Astros.

The other reason why I wanted to attend this game was to gauge how the Astros play in the American League. I’m sure by now everyone knows that the Astros moved from the N.L Central to the A.L West and so far they’ve adapted quite nicely. I’m slowly becoming an Astros fan, believe it or not. Yeah, yeah, my loyalty still lies with Seattle just because I was raised in the area for 90% of my life and grew up watching the Mariners in the Kingdome, but every once in a while I like to shift my loyalty to other teams and especially to my favorite players.

A few days prior to this game, I decided to come up with some alternative charity ideas because this year I’m not chasing baseballs in stadiums like I have in the past. Those days are probably in the books, folks. It was fun while it lasted. The reason behind my decision (not like anyone cares) to stop chasing baseballs like a mad man is because I want to enjoy my time at the stadium. I want to try different foods and catch up with friends and talk to people and take awesome pictures and not worry so much about how many baseballs I can snag. So this year, I’m donating money to certain charities. Here’s the breakdown:

For every Mariners win (on the road and at home) I will donate $1.00 to the Seattle Humane Society. I created Snagging Baseballs for Puppies, just so you know, so I’m a huge dog lover AND I’ve got inside connections with the Seattle Humane Society because of that.

For every win that Bud Norris puts up, I will be donating $2.00 to the Candle Lighters. And the Candle Lighters is a charity that Norris is involved in. So I’m pretty stoked to be able to donate some cash towards that. Also, in conjunction to every win he posts, I’ll be donating $50 for every shut out win he throws!

And finally, for every baseball Shawn Bosman snags, I’ll be donating .10 cents to the Wounded Warrior Project.

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This year is going to be awesome! So let’s get to Safeco, shall we?

So I’m down on the lower level, right? The Astros are starting to trickle out and I’m looking for Bud Norris! I couldn’t find him anywhere for the better part of batting practice. And then, he appeared out of the dugout! I was standing next to two Astros fans but it wasn’t hard to spot him. I pointed at him and sort of waved and got an awesome wave back! So now all I had to do was wait. I wanted to ask Norris in person how he’s able to handle Pujols so well!

I wandered around in the lower seating bowl and snapped a few pictures of the new Edgar’s restaurant (which I visited later) and of the new big screen. Here’s the shot of Edgar’s:

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Pretty awesome, right?? Well it was equally impressive walking around in there. The only thing I didn’t like is that they took out the seats. It’s basically standing room only in there and I since my knees are shot from tens years of military service, I can’t stand on my feet for an entire baseball game. Which sucks because I’d love to stand in there and watch a game. It’s all good, though. I had incredible seats behind the Astros dugout, anyway.

So batting practice was about to finish up, the grounds crew started pulling the BP equipment up and then the Astros started to run off the field. The four of us who were standing down the third base line started to yell and wave our arms at Norris and he came running over! Oh, it was awesome! I’d finally get my chance to meet this guy and ask him all about King Albert in person! Norris came over and started shaking hands and he signed an autograph or two and then I asked:

“Bud, so I have to ask you. In all seriousness, how do you manage to tame Albert Pujols?” I asked.

You see…for two seasons now, I’ve been tweeting to Bud about Pujols. Honestly, I am really impressed how he’s able to handle him. I even wrote up an amazing blog entry on A View From the Bullpen regarding Norris and his ability to wreck Pujols batting average. Click here to read it.

As soon as I asked him that question, I received a second handshake from him sort of like, “Oh, YOU’RE the guy who tweets me about Pujols!” Norris responded smiling, “I get that question from everyone.” he then added, “Pujols is a very aggressive first-pitch hitter, isn’t he.” he said.

“Yeah, he is. He is indeed.” I said. “So you just sort of go after that.” I continued.

I think he then said something along the lines of exploiting his [Pujols] weakness or something like that. And it makes total sense! If you really watch Pujols, I mean, like, really watch him, he is an aggressive first pitch hitter. And as a pitcher, if you can throw him some nasty stuff that he will swing at, you can get ahead of him in the count and just wreck his day! It was an amazing conversation to say the least.

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I wished him luck on his season and off he went into the dugout. What a day so far. After BP finalized, I gulped down a free soda, ate me a cheeseburger (which is $9.00 now) and went to check out Edgar’s. The coolest thing was this:

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Crazy, right? You can look right into the visiting team’s bullpen! How cool is that?! After that, I went and found my seats and waited for the Mariners game to begin, Here was my view:

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Great seats right near home plate.

The Astros started pounding on the Mariners early just like the previous game and they didn’t let up until it was over. Shocked about how well the Astros played this road series, I couldn’t help but to secretly smile a little under my Mariners cap adorned on my head. I had a feeling the Mariners pitching wasn’t as strong as everyone has been claiming, and even though it’s just two weeks into the season, I’m thinking this might be a long season for Mariners fans if this keeps up.

The good news is that Safeco Field has ten different types of beers on tap to help drown people’s’ sorrows AND they have a humongous scoreboard out in centerfield! Plus, the hat trick is pretty neat. If anything, go to a Mariners game for the hat trick.

Real quick before I close this entry. I’ve added a couple more dates to my Chicago trip. I’m participating in some batting practice with the Royals Alumni at Kauffman Stadium on September 14th and then I’m heading to Busch Stadium on the 15th to watch the Cardinals vs the Mariners. Then I’m heading to Chicago (as most of you know) for a week and some change to visit US Cellular and Wrigley. Come say hi if you can. Also, I’m adding a Los Angeles trip and my trip to AT&T Park on May 3rd is nearly done. I just have to buy plane tickets.

My trips to the Oakland Coliseum, Safeco and Angels Stadium are pretty spur of the moment since I can pretty much make those one day trips. So anytime I can see the Astros play with Bud Norris pitching, and I have the day off and whatnot, you can pretty much count on me going to those games.

Okay, that’s a wrap! Until next time, faithful followers!

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2013 All-Star Game

Major League Baseball is looking to send some military veterans to this years All-Star game in New York City! Neeewww Yorrrrkk City??!! Okay, okay. That was lame. The cool thing is I’ve served in the Military! And I’m a vet! So check it out, readers! I’m asking that you all take a moment, fill out some stuff, and send yours truly to New York to watch the 2013 All-Star game!

Here’s the link: http://mlb.mlb.com/tribute/2013/form.jsp

And the important info is this: Wayne Peck, served ten years in the Army, favorite team is the Mariners and my email is WaynePeck@yahoo.com, my birthday is October 1st, 1980!

It also asks for some other information like, acts of heroism and community service. Here’s where you can copy and paste what I typed into those areas (just to make it a little easier for you).

Personal and Professional Accomplishments:

Served ten years in the United States Army, started a lasting career in retail security and has saved many retailers hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last three and a half years. Has taken many skilled courses in the Military which has served very well in the civilian sector including Recruiter school, countless hours of maintenance and skilled college level courses to earn an Associate degree, and has maintained a successful civilian life outside of the military despite batting PTSD and other military service related injuries. Maintains two Major League blogs on MLBlogs.com and contributes much insight on baseball regarding players, teams and also has a successful sports talk radio show on Blogtalkradio.com

Military Acts of Service and Heroism:

US Army Active Duty: 21 April 2000 to 21 September 2010
(Staff Sergeant E-6)
Operation Iraqi Freedom Service: 15 January 2005 to 15 January 2006

2 Army Commendation Medals
3 Army Achievement Medals
2 Army Good Conduct Medals
1 National Defense Service Medal
1 Iraq Campaign Medal
1 Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
1 Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon
2 Army Service Ribbons
1 Armed Forces Service Medal
2 Overseas Ribbons

1 Combat Action Badge

1 Drivers Badge w/ Wheeled Clasp

1 Mechanics Badge

1 Basic Recruiter Badge

During his deployment in Iraq, his unit was attacked nearly every day with small arms and mortar fire. His unit were tasked with overlooking a main supply route to ensure goods and services made it from town to town safely. Volunteered on countless missions putting himself in danger of improvised explosive devices and ambushes with the Scout platoon and the Estonian Army on cordon and knocks and searches to rid the surrounding villages and towns of terrorist extremists to bring a more safe and secure atmosphere to our location. Good men were lost in their unit during their deployment, men whom we will never forget and always remember in our day-to-day lives. Wayne was also in charge of a recovery unit with 3-5 soldiers under his direct supervision in both garrison and in combat. They were tasked to recover broken down vehicles during combat operations and accompanied many convoys to and from outposts where technical tactical proficiency was needed.

Community Service:

Founded and coordinated self-created charity; Snagging Baseballs for Puppies and raised nearly $500 in two baseball seasons for the Seattle Humane Society. Major contributor to many charities around the United States, including Bud Norris’ Candlelighters, Tony La Russa’s A.R.F, Kevin Youkilis’ “Youk’s Kids” and the Jamie Moyer Foundation. Wayne has also joined the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 11-5 based out of Burlington WA and has participated in many fundraisers and food drives to help military veterans in time of need. The CVMA is responsible for helping homeless military veterans find homes, provides them with furniture, food and support while they transition out of military life and into civilian.

If you have taken the time to nominate me, hey, thanks a bunch! It means a ton to me and hopefully I get to New York!!

Taa!

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Player Profile: Miguel Olivo

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Miguel Olivo has always been one of my favorite players. I first saw him playing baseball in Kansas City. I’ve heard plenty of stories about how durable he is. Like the time he took a back swing from Albert Pujols and played out the rest of the game with a concussion. Another time, Olivo passed a kidney stone and returned to finish the game. He’s also known for a lot of pass balls. That’s one stat I do not care about because he’s very reliable.

For the last couple of seasons, I’ve been going to a lot of Mariner games. I’ve even been to a few Oakland games where the Mariners were playing. Each game I attended, I made it a point to wave at Olivo and he generally waved back except when I went to Japan to watch the M’s and the A’s play. I think he was just too busy.

The above picture is myself and Olivo at the 2012 Seattle Mariners Fanfest where I got to meet him, ask him a question during the Dugout Dialogue and I even got a signed bat from him. And of course, the picture. The future of Olivo is unsure at this moment. Since he is no longer with the Mariners, I’m not sure where he will end up. The Mets have perked interest in him, but nothing has panned out as of yet. I hope a team within flying distance signs him. I think he’d make a great addition to any team and be a positive contributor.

 

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