Results tagged ‘ MLB ’
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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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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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Lately, I’ve been trying to stay onboard with this whole Blog Talk Radio show I’ve been doing called A View From the Bullpen. With everything else going on in life, I’ve had a difficult time staying consistent. When I am on the air, I have a lot of fun and I talk about mostly baseball related news with the occasional random topic like traffic jams.
Blog Talk Radio has been really fun, though. I’m going to see if I can’t start recruiting some baseball players, somehow, to be interviewed on my show. If you want to listen to all shows, just click this link.
Here is the 2012 annual review of my blog. Before you scroll down and click the link to read all of the fantastic stats that WordPress has put together, I wanted to give some special shoutouts. First, to my top commentors. Mateo Fischer in Minnesota, Tood Cook on the East coast, Nick Badders in California, and @NYBisons (obviously from New York). It’s great to have such loyal readers and commentors. I’d also like to give a special shoutout to all the 32,000 views I’ve accumulated over the last couple of years. I range anywhere from 25 views a day to sometimes 75-100. It’s really nice to have such dedicated readers. And not all of the readers are from America. I have quite a following from Australia, Japan, The Netherlands, Mexico and Russia. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
I’ll be going on the air every Sunday to talk about the previous week of MLB baseball! Next scheduled broadcast is 12/16 at 10:30pm.
Thanks for listening and thanks for reading!
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On April 1st 2011 while I was visiting the Oakland Coliseum, I met this guy:
His name is Benson. And he’s from Southeast Asia. Really a cool guy. When we first met, the Coliseum was his 17th baseball stadium he has seen. That year, he was on his way to see Busch Stadium and Kauffman Stadium as well. This year, I played a little catch-up with him via email and he stated he had only three more stadiums left to see. In 2013, he plans on seeing Skydome, Target Field and I think Tropicana. I hope to catch up with him at Target Field (since I’ve plans to go there anyway in ’13) and get some more pictures with him. He collects autographs and the occasional baseball. It’s really awesome meeting people abroad that share the same interests as myself.
Specifically for this blog entry (and with his permission) I asked him a few questions regarding baseball. Some of the things I found out were his favorite baseball stadiums and favorite players. You know, the cool stuff we all like to talk about.
Me: “So when we first met, you were visiting your 17th Major League stadium, right? How many stadiums have you seen now?”
Benson: “I’ve seen 27 total.”
Me: “Wow! You know, I’ve lived in the United States for 32 years and I’ve only seen like, 14 stadiums! Plus the Tokyo Dome in Japan, but. Anyway, what’s been your favorite stadium so far?”
Benson: “PNC Park and Safeco Field!”
Me: “Awesome! Seattle gets a little shout out there, that’s pretty cool. I practically live in Safeco Field during the baseball season, so for me, it gets kind of boring at times. But it’s always an adventure there. Its a great stadium. Plus, we have a roof that retracts! So we always get baseball! Do you have a favorite baseball player?”
Benson: “Josh Hamilton and CJ Wilson.”
Me: “Josh Hamilton may not return to Texas. That would be a bummer, huh. Any favorite teams?”
Benson: “Rangers and Angels.”
Me: “Ahh! Division rivals! How does that work when both teams play each other? Oh, forget I asked. That’s like when the Mariners play the Athletics. I’m just a confused baseball fan when that happens! So wrapping this up, my friend, what are your plans for the 2013 season?”
Benson: “Visit Toronto, New York and Minnesota!”
Me: “Good choices! Maybe catch you at the All-star game in New York next year! If not, see you in Minnesota!”
Well, folks! It’s that time! The World Series has ended, the Giants swept the Tigers in four games! That’s pretty awesome! And since the World Series has ended, that means that the 2012 baseball season is officially over. That also means it’s time to collect donations from the folks that have graciously promised to donate to my charity, Snagging Baseballs for Puppies! I’m excited as you are and so is the Seattle Humane Society! If you’re reading this blog entry and you’ve made a donation, feel free to visit this page and donate! If you experience any difficulties trying to donate, email me at WaynePeck@Yahoo.com and we can set something up or I can help you along the way!
Thanks for all that have donated in the past. And thanks for all the new donors this season and, of course, any future donors that want to jump on board! I’ll also send out some emails or tweets or Facebook messages to those that have pledged a donation just as a friendly reminder!
My stats this year are 52 baseballs snagged. That’s way down from last year, but I’ll be attending more games this next season, hopefully starting out in Houston!
Alright, my friends. Be well and hope to hear from you!
-Wayne Peck; Founder of Snagging Baseballs for Puppies
A couple of weeks ago, I played some “#BuccosTrivia” on Twitter. The last time I played a game on Twitter regarding baseball teams, I played a Seattle Mariners Twitter game to help Brandon League pick a Twitter handle. Alas, I became victorious! You can read all about that here.
I really didn’t expect to win, and my original answer was wrong anyway. I had a Twitter follower help me with the correct answer and TADA! I won an awesome Pittsburgh Pirates t-shirt!
Nine views ago, my blog hit 30,000 views! Although, I’m not like, freaking out about it like, “HOLY COW MY BLOG HIT 30,000 VIEWS!” I am calmly nodding my head in approval. It’s pretty cool and a pretty good feeling that I’ve been able to attract that many views over such a short period of time.
I started my blog over two years ago and my first blog entry was when I visited Kauffman Stadium on April 8th, 2010. Since then, I’ve visited nearly 13 other stadiums all over the United States and even in Japan! That was probably one of my more memorable baseball trips. Hopefully, the baseball season in 2013 will be just as awesome. I hope to make it to Minute Maid Park for opening week and I’m going to try to make it to Wrigley Field and back to U.S Cellular. I’ve managed to make it to a few playoff games and you can read about them here, here, and here!
Baseball has been a blessing in disguise for me. I’ve met so many wonderful and creative geniuses during my trips to the many different baseball stadiums…and I cherish all new and future friendships. I met Nick Badders in Oakland, who is the creator of 7000 Coliseum Way blog, I’ve met Zack Hample in Japan and in Seattle, who is the creator of The Baseball Collector and a published author of Watching Baseball Smarter, I’ve met Todd Cook, who is an avid baseball junkie like the rest of us and even scored a game-worn jersey from Ryan Rowland-Smith!
If I didn’t mention you that I’ve met and you maintain a blog, I do apologize. You know how hard it is trying to keep up with this beast. And for those that are looking forward to a meeting in the future, keep in touch! Don’t forget about me, and I won’t forget about you!
One last thing, if you do in fact have a blog, drop me a comment and let me know how many views your blog has hit so far and how long you’ve had it for. I’m trying to create new and improved ways to keep my blog interesting and gain new viewers. Reading everyone elses blogs really helps with that. Thanks!
The last time I attended a playoff game was two years ago. I visited Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas and watched the Rangers/Yankees series. I really didn’t put up solid baseball snagging numbers due to the fact of the large capacity crowd and the players were a little stingy with toss-ups and not many home runs were being hit out during BP. The same thing sort of played out here at the Coliseum.
In fact, it wasn’t until the very end of batting practice when I was able to snag one baseball. I really didn’t think it was going to happen, either. Here’s a picture right before I got the baseball…
…all I did was asked if I could take a picture of him, and he happily obliged in a laughing manner. My real intent was to build some quick repoire and ask for a baseball. I’m pretty sure he saw right through me because before I could really ask, he underhanded me one with a wink. If anyone can identify him, I’d greatly appreciate it. I’d like to add him to my list on MyGameBalls.com.
So let me back up some..I’d like to explain how this trip actually came to be. Over the course of the summer, I was very limited to how many games I could actually attend because I was busy working two jobs. And a little more expansion on that; when I got out of the service two years ago, I got a job and started school. Well, school sort of didn’t work out for me, and my current job started cutting back hours. So I was sort of forced into getting a second job. Over the course of this summer, I worked nearly 70 hours a week. Which wasn’t fun or worth it. I had no life.
Anyway, so now that I’m only working one job now (and thinking about school again) I’m back to going to baseball games. Unfortunately, baseball season is just about over but fortunately, I was able to catch the ALDS in Oakland. In a nutshell, I was sitting at home watching the last game of the regular season, you know, the game the Rangers should’ve won? The one where the Athletics stole the AL West crown? Yeah, that one. When the A’s won the AL West, that changed everything for me. It would mean I’d be taking a trip to Oakland real soon. When I realized the A’s would be facing the Tigers on the 9th and the 10th of October, I immediately checked my work schedule.
I come to the Oakland Coliseum a lot. Mainly because it’s a fun place to catch baseballs. The stadium alone has a ton of history and it’s fun to be inside a place where my favorite baseball players as a kid used to play. Like Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Rickey Henderson, Dave Henderson, Dennis Eckersely, Rick Honeycutt and Tony La Russa. One thing I will not do is call this place the O-Dot Coliseum or the OCo-whatever stadium. In fact, do you want to see how I really feel about it?
Nick Badder’s father took that photo of me. Nick is a fellow ballhawk that routinely attends Athletics games at the Coliseum, himself. I finally met him today and he also runs a blog on MLB.com, too. It’s called 7000 Coliseum Way. Here we are hanging out prior to the gates opening:
Once the gates cracked open at 4:07, Nick and I parted ways and it was time to start snagging baseballs again for my charity; Snagging Baseballs for Puppies. I didn’t have high expectations for this game because a) it was a playoff game so I knew the players were going to be holding back on toss-ups and b) the Coliseum would be abnormally packed with fans.
The fun part of watching the ALDS against the Tigers, was watching Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder smack a couple of home runs during batting practice. The most unfortunate thing during BP was, the ushers didn’t allow anyone into the upper deck (mainly section 149 where I wanted to go) without a ticket for that section. It was kind of a heartbreaker because I’ve been trying to get into section 149 since the last time I visited the Coliseum.
I was hoping for a big win from the Athletics tonight because when I planned this trip, I bought tickets for a probable game four. If the Athletics won that game, too, it was fine., Even though I’d love to stick around and watch the A’s take the series. But deep down, since I’m such a big Tigers fan as well, I wanted Detroit to win and I expected them to.
In any case, it felt really good to be back inside a Major League baseball stadium with some of the best fans in baseball. And when I say “best fans in baseball” I truly mean that about the fans in the Coliseum. During some games there are as little as 6,000 fans watching the Athletics play. But those 6,000 fans are those most dedicated fans I’ve ever met in my life.
By the time batting practice had ended, I got some food and drinks, I got a couple of pictures of me clowning around the Coliseum, and settled in to watch the game. Here are a few pictures I was able to get before the game started:
Me with the my only ball snagged during BP…
…and the next couple of photos are with some signs the Athletics fan crew were handing out.
Oh, and I can’t forget to show off my “rally towel”:
Here’s me with my Reddick sign:
And of course, my Cespedes sign:
The game was electrifying, to say the least. The Athletics were playing an elimination game and were doing everything in their power to force a game four. I had horrible seats, though. Standing room only. Which, in the Coliseum, there isn’t much “standing room only” places to stand only. Everywhere I went, I was asked to show my ticket. And once I ended up on the main concourse, that was it. I wasn’t allowed to get back down on the first level to walk the concourse around the lower seating bowl unless I showed my ticket, which said “SRO” on it, so the security wouldn’t allow me to pass. It was very frustrating.
I pretty much had to watch the game from places like this:
It totally sucked. My tickets for game four were the same thing, SRO. Regardless, I had a blast. I absolutely love the Coliseum!
Brett Anderson outgunned Anibal Sanchez in a 2-0 win with Coco Crisp robbing Prince Fielder of a home run during the game. Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI single in the first inning and Seth Smith homered later. That was plenty on a night Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, Fielder and the Tigers’ high-priced offense were shut down by the low-budget A’s.
Game four would be played tomorrow and I’d be there!
I’m snagging baseballs for puppies again this season for the Seattle Humane Society! If you want to check out my charity information, just click here!
Last season, with the help of all of you, we were able to raise over $250 dollars! This year I’d like to break $300!
Today’s game snagging Highlights: Detroit Tigers Vs Oakland Athletics- Attendance 36,907
Baseballs snagged: one (toss-up from Tigers coach)
Total baseballs snagged this season: 51
Total baseballs snagged last season: 135
Total dollars raised at this game: $2.04
Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $98.74
Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies last season: $257.00
Total number of donors this season: 9
Total number of donors last season: 7
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