Tagged: chatting with Mark Difelice
9/29/09 @ Coors Field
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I was finally going to Coors Field.
I’d seen all the home run highlights over the years.
I’d seen some of the same Rockies
ballhawks making home run grabs.
I heard all about how the baseball travels farther in the
On TV, the place looked like it was built for
I *HAD* to find out for myself.
After an early morning flight from Milwaukee
to Denver, a long shuttle ride from
the airport to our hotel and an early check-in at the downtown Hyatt, Ballhawk
Kenny (my partner in crime as of late) and I were ready for the Mile-High
Our day officially began with a short walk to find some
grub. After lunch had concluded, we were
on our way to Coors Field.
The aforementioned Ballhawk Kenny in front of Coors Field…
Yours truly in front of Coors Field…
A look at the main stadium entrance behind home plate…
The outside concourse that extends down the left field line…
…and the right field line…
When I walked up to the main gate and peered through, this
is what I saw…
…my 1st look at the left field bleachers.
One word: WOW.
Our self-guided tour of Coors Field rolled on.
On the walk around the stadium, I spotted the sign pictured
…I’ve underlined the interesting part.
DANGERS OF WATCHING BASEBALL??
On the “danger-scale,” I would rank watching baseball
somewhere between pissing into the wind and farting on a 1st
I know, I know-it’s all about liability, but come on.
Another sign I found particularly interesting…
…now that makes sense.
*I would like to personally
thank the Rockies organization for taking the necessary
means to prevent/deter excessive public displays of affection.*
Not only is it annoying, but it’s quite unnecessary. Who wants to watch that ****?
I mean, get a ******* room for christsakes.
Moving right along…
Here’s a picture of me standing by the left field gate…
…giving my seal of approval.
How cool is the sign pictured below…
How many teams (that you know of) have a sign that points fans in the direction of Batting Practice?
ANSWER: not many.
Pretty goddamn cool if you ask me.
It was a touch past high noon. Kenny & I were planning on meeting up
with one cool dude at 2:45pm. We had a few hours to burn, so, we headed
back to the hotel.
After a few hours, it was time to head back toward the
stadium for our meet.
The meeting place?
The Blake Street Tavern located 4 blocks from Coors Field.
The cool dude we were meeting up with?
None other than my all-time favorite MLBlogger…
…Don “The Rockpile Ranter.”
I started reading Don’s blog back in the offseason. He’s a loyal fan of the Rockies
who tells it like it is. He’s funny,
he’s witty, he’s a father and he’s one helluva good human being. As an added bonus, Don compliments his
exceptional writing with great picture-taking.
Want to read a quality MLBlog?
Stop screwing around and click HERE.
Don and I outside the Rockpile gate…
Kenny playing a little catch with the “Ranter”…
Before we knew it, it was 4:30pm
and the gates to left field were about to open.
After a security check of my backpack and a scan of the
ticket, I was about to enter my 16th major league stadium.
When I ran in, it was a wonderful sight.
The ballpark still looked like new and had an incredible flair to it. A magnificent blend of yesterday and today,
Coors Field was beautiful and welcoming.
The Rockies BP was in full swing. The gates to the stadium open 2 hrs. prior to 1st pitch (why all major league teams don’t do this??) at Coors Field, so, home team fans get to see their home team hit (now that’s logic).
It didn’t take long for me to snag my 1st baseball on the day. It came off the bat of Chris Iannetta and I snagged it on the fly by my front row seats. It was hit right at the wall. I had to roll my glove over from the natural-method into a basket-style position. Leaning out over the wall, the catch was made.
A little overview of the bottom-row seating in left field at Coors Field:
- Only fans holding tickets to the bottom row can stand in the front row and this includes Batting Practice.
- Fans holding tickets to the front row have access to employee bathrooms and the employee tunnels.
- During BP, you are not allowed to run from the bottom row up into the pavilion (I was warned after the 1st baseball landed 4 rows above my head and I attempted to run up after it).
- Stadium ushers are everywhere at all times checking ticket locations and are very polite about it in the process.
- The wall in left field is not very tall.
- It’s extremely easy to interfere with a baseball in play from the Coors Field bleachers.
- When sitting in the bottom row of seats, you MUST mind your “P’s & Q’s” while shagging BP. It’s a privelege to sit there and you have to respect that.
Do you see the yellow railing in the photo above? It’s that easy to reach over and interfere.
The green seats above? That’s the only seating for the bottom row.
The guy in the black Brewers sweatshirt? That’s ballhawk Kenny sending his 1000th text message of the day.
Talk about room to move around.
Unfortunately, BP baseballs are not put in humidors and most players don’t hit front row shots during Batting Practice. On top of that, everyone, seemingly, had a baseball glove PLUS everyone seemed to know how to judge, track and catch a baseball off the bat.
This made the bottom row of seats a bit less desirable from a BP standpoint.
When the Brewers came up to hit, they put on an absolute home run clinic. Baseballs were flying everywhere. At one point, Brewers SS J.J. Hardy hit four (4) consecutive pitches into the left field pavilion.
You guessed it: everything was flying over my head. But, that’s okay…I play for the games.
I did manage to get Brewers ace pitcher Yovani Gallardo to toss me ball #2…
To which I responded, “yeah, and I give them away just like I do in Milwaukee.”
He couldn’t argue with the facts.
After the Brewers finished donating a hundred or so baseballs, BP was over.
It was time to see the stadium.
My 1st stop was the Rockpile in centerfield…
…no, those are not yeti frolicking in their indigenous state. Those are grounds crew members retrieving baseballs that were hit into the batter’s eye.
Check out the purple row of seats that extend all the way around the stadium in the upper deck…
Eventually, I made my way back to my seat.
I chatted with a few of the local ballhawks including Dan pictured below…
Robert, another Rockies ballhawk, took the following photo of me…
The other red arrow is pointing to a seating section *WAY* out in centerfield called “The Rockpile.” Adult seats out there cost $4 each and children’s seats cost only $1.
Here’s where Ballhawk Kenny sat/played the game…
…with the red arrow giving me a fist pump.
The big fella in the scooter is “Big Tom.” While I didn’t introduce myself, I hear he’s a pretty nice fella around these parts.
Again, look at how easy/tempting it is to interfere…
In the top of the 3rd inning, Brewers LF Ryan Braun launched one in my direction. I jumped up from my front row seat and ran to my right, lining myself up with the baseball. It kept coming…and coming…but fell short, bouncing on the warning track about 10 feet shy of the wall. The ball then took a 12-foot bounce directly over my head. The ball landed in the 3rd row of the pavilion above/behind me for a ground-rule double. I was absolutely helpless on the play. Either I was going to catch the damn thing on the fly for a home run or it was going to bounce way over my head. Unfortunately, it was the latter.
HOT DOG + CHEESE + CHILI = got extra underwear??
There was good news and bad news on this day…
THE BAD NEWS-
The Brewers lost 7-5 on a walk-off homer from Chris Iannetta in the bottom of the 9th.
I only managed to snag 3 baseballs.
None of the three were game home runs.
THE GOOD NEWS-
I didn’t shitttt my pants.
2009 BALLHAWKING STATS
- 3 total balls 9/29/09
1 batted baseball
2 tossup baseballs
2009 TOTAL BASEBALLS
4/7/09 = 5 baseballs
4/8/09 = 10 baseballs
4/9/09 = 10 baseballs
4/10/09 = 3 baseballs
4/11/09 = 5 baseballs
4/12/09 = 5 baseballs
4/13/09 = 11 baseballs
4/14/09 = 6 baseballs
4/21/09 = 5 baseballs
4/27/09 = 15 baseballs
4/28/09 = 9 baseballs
4/30/09 = 4 baseballs
5/01/09 = 7 baseballs
5/02/09 = 4 baseballs
5/08/09 = 11 baseballs
5/09/09 = 1 lousy ball
5/12/09 = 14 baseballs
5/13/09 = 12 baseballs
5/19/09 = 8 baseballs
5/22/09 = 3 baseballs
5/23/09 = 2 baseballs
5/26/09 = 3 baseballs
5/29/09 = 6 baseballs
5/30/09 = 5 baseballs
6/01/09 = 1 baseball
6/02/09 = 9 baseballs
6/09/09 = 4 baseballs
6/10/09 = 0 baseballs
6/11/09 = 2 baseballs
6/12/09 = 9 baseballs
6/23/09 = 6 baseballs
6/24/09 = 9 baseballs
6/26/09 = 9 baseballs
6/27/09 = 4 baseballs
6/29/09 = 3 baseballs
6/30/09 = 5 baseballs
7/07/09 = 6 baseballs
7/10/09 = 3 baseballs
7/20/09 = 7 baseballs
7/24/09 = 6 baseballs
7/27/09 = 8 baseballs
7/29/09 = 3 baseballs
8/04/09 = 4 baseballs
8/11/09 = 7 baseballs
8/12/09 = 6 baseballs
8/15/09 = 4 baseballs
8/16/09 = 3 baseballs
8/17/09 = 10 baseballs
8/25/09 = 10 baseballs
8/26/09 = 4 baseballs
8/28/09 = 18 baseballs *(new Milwaukee record)*
8/29/09 = 2 baseballs
9/04/09 = 5 baseballs
9/06/09 = 5 baseballs
9/08/09 = 8 baseballs
9/16/09 = 4 baseballs
9/18/09 = 10 baseballs
9/21/09 = 3 baseballs
9/24/09 = 4 baseballs
9/29/09 = 3 baseballs
368 baseballs (60 games)
6.13 average per game
…after the game, Kenny and I went to a local establishment right up the road from Coors Field. While there, we had the chance to hang out for a bit with Brewers relief pitcher Mark Difelice. He even bought us a round! Mark was one cool dude…