Results tagged ‘ Rain ’

2012 Triple-A National Championship Game

The forecast for this game was rain; and rain it did–up until around 5:00, when I left for Durham, NC. Luckily, when I arrived to the ballpark at around 5:45, the dry spell continued, and I was able to grab a spot near the front of the line without having to get soaked.

Gate 1 already had tons of people lined up behind it when I arrived, so I headed over to Gate 2. Behind Gates 1 and 2 there were two lines (normally four) in which you could enter the ballpark, and just my luck, I picked the wrong one. The lady that was scanning tickets had no idea what she was doing. Heck, she couldn’t even figure out how to get the gate open, as she had to wave down an orange shirt employee to come help her out. (As you can kind of see in the left portion of this photo posted by the Durham Bulls):

I was able to cut my way into the other line, but it really didn’t help. I was stuck outside Gate 2, as people filed in through Gate 1.

All I could do was watch as dozens of people entered the ballpark–many of which I assumed were headed down to the dugouts (just like I was planning to do) to get autographs. Finally–after what seemed like an eternity of waiting–I made my way into the ballpark and down to the extremely crowded Pawtucket Red Sox dugout.

Going into this game I had made the decision that I wanted to go for autos from Pawtucket Red Sox’ players such as Danny Valencia, Bryce Brentz, etc., instead of Reno Aces standouts like Trevor Bauer, A.J. Pollock, etc. Unfortunately for me Danny Valencia didn’t sign, and Bryce Brentz signed for everyone BUT me. Meanwhile, I watched as the entire Reno Aces team (or so it seemed) signed for everyone who wanted an autograph.

It was one of those days.

After it became evident that I had failed in getting autos from the players I wanted, I made my first logical decision of the day. I knew American Idol Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery was going to be throwing out the first pitch, so I made my way over to the Reno Aces dugout where I predicted he would come out from. Sure enough, after a few minutes of waiting, Scotty emerged from the clubhouse:

He signed autographs for ten or so people that wanted it. Thankfully, I was one of the ten.

McCreery then proceeded to make his way out to the mound to throw out the first pitch:

After firing a strike, Scotty posed for a picture with the Bulls’ mascot, Wool E. Bull:

But enough about Scotty. Let me get back to the game….

The starting pitchers for both teams–Trevor Bauer, for the Aces, and Nelson Figueroa, for the Red Sox–had both been great so far in the post season…:

…but in the end only one could be crowned Triple-A National Champions. It was going to come down to which lineup performed better on this particular day, as you had to figure the pitching was going to be stellar.

My view at the start of the game (from my ticketed seat) was this:

Not bad for a game that’s the MiLB equivalent of a World Series game 7.

Did you notice how empty the outfield seats were in the picture above? Well, the desire to snag a home run ball got the better of me, as this soon became my view:

Check out the view to my left (1) , right (2) , and behind me (3):

Had a ball of been hit anywhere near me I would’ve been all over it. But to keep with the luck of the day, nothing came close.

I sat out there for a few innings, but around the 6th inning it began to rain so I headed back to my original seat (which happened to sheltered). On my way back I was surprised at how many people were making their way towards the exits. I mean, come on. I realize the Red Sox were getting killed—the rain didn’t make it any better–but this was the Triple-A National Championship. How could you leave early?! I don’t get it.

By the time the ninth inning rolled around there weren’t that many people left:

Soon after taking that picture I decided to move down a little closer to the field. My view of the final out (and the victory celebration by the Reno Aces) came from the first base side of the ballpark…:

…but my view of the trophy presentation came from the third base side:

I don’t know if you can tell, but it was raining fairly heavily. I stuck it out long enough to see A.J. Pollock received his trophy for M.V.P:

Shortly thereafter, however, I made my way out of the ballpark.

I want to take a second to say congrats to the Reno Aces. They were extremely impressive in their 10-3 victory. I had a feeling that they would come out on top–as they had top prospect Trevor Bauer on the mound, backed by an impressive lineup–but anytime you go up against a team that had gone 6-1 in the playoffs up to that point, you never really know what the outcome may be.

As stated in my last blog entry, this was my final baseball game of the year. This is not, however, my last blog entry of the year by any means. There’s still a couple weeks left in MLB’s regualr season, followed by the play offs, and the World Series, so I’ll have plenty to blog about in the weeks/months to come….

Durham Bulls Vs. Charlotte Knights

This was my first Durham Bulls game in almost four years, and I was pretty excited. Here’s the view of the ballpark I had when I rounded the corner from the parking lot:

It was good to be back.

I had originally planned to go straight to my seat when the gates opened but I HAD to stop and take a picture of one of the coolest T.V. dogs of all time:

Yeah, that’s Scooby Doo. I wish my dog was that cool.

After I climbed the steps to the concourse I walked all the way to the outfield and got my first view of the field:

SO awesome. I love baseball, but I think I love baseball fields just as much. They’re so cool.

Anyway, there are also a lot of unique design features to the ballpark. One of which being the Blue Monster:

If the Red Sox can have the Green Monster, I suppose the Bull’s can have the Blue Monster.

Did you notice the bull atop the wall? Here’s a closer look:

Everytime a home run is hit the tail waves and smoke comes out of the bull’s nose. Pretty cool stuff.

After taking my seat in the stands, I noticed some action around the field tarp. Moments later, this happened:

I couldn’t figure it out. It was still a little sunny. But they covered the field anyway.

A few minutes passed, then ten minutes, then a half hour. What the heck did they see on the radar? It didn’t make sense.

Two of the Bull’s players took advantage of the “rain” delay by signing autographs:

I could of easily gotten at least one, if not both, of them to sign for me, but I chose not to.

I only cared to get an autograph from one of three players: Dirk Hayhurst (Author of ‘The Bullpen Gospels’), Matt Moore (No. 15 pospect), or Reid Brignac (recently optioned from the Rays.) None of them signed. In fact, I never saw Dirk or Matt at all. I did however see Reid Brignac when he came out to warm up during the “rain” delay, by playing a little catch:

Moments after Reid came out to throw, the tarp was pulled off the field:

It never rained at all. Go figure.

With the tarp off the field, some more Bull’s players came out to stretch and warm up:

Then some players from the visiting teams dugout emerged to warm up and stretch.

Some stretched more than others:

Things were looking like they were about to get going. But they didn’t. The tarp was rolled out once again, but this time it did rain. Not only did it rain, it POURED. Check it out:

All of the people that were sitting in the lower sections, moved up underneath the shelter to keep dry:

My seat was already under the shelter, so I didn’t have to move at all.

Then something that I didn’t think was possible happened. The rain got heavier:

The thunder and lightning was also terrible. But hey, at least we were entertained during the storm:

In case you can’t tell, that’s a Bugs Bunny cartoon in which he played baseball. Pretty fun to watch. Yes. Fun. (I was bored.)

The rain lasted what seemed like forever. Check out the puddles that formed behind home plate:

They also occured towards the outfield:

About thirty minutes later, the rain let up, and the tarp was removed. The grounds crew then worked hard on sweeping the water asside:

Now that’s a lot of water.

Despite their efforts, it wasn’t meant to be, as moments later it began to rain again. An announcement was made soon after stating that the game had been posponed. (Sigh.)

I took this photo on the way out:

Although there was no game played, I still enjoyed the four hours spent at the ballpark. Anytime I can go to a ballpark, game or not, I still have a great time.

American Idol At A Baseball Game

The day started out with my Dad, Grandpa, and I heading toward downtown Raleigh, NC:

Our destination…….Doak Field. Home of the North Carolina State College baseball team.

I realize that College baseball can seem like little league compared to Major League baseball, but the game wasn’t the real reason over 2,500 people were planned to attend today. The real reason was that Garner, NC’s own Scotty McCreery was going to be there throwing out the first pitch as part of his hometown visit video for American Idol. (If you watch American Idol, you know who and what I’m talking about.) But more on that a little later. First there had to be a game. And well. It wasn’t looking too promising. Take a look below:

In case you couldn’t tell, that’s rain on the windshield. (And that’s my dad’s arm, in case you were wondering.) The rain quickly stopped, however, by the time we found a place to park. But then the sky got dark and it started to pour:

And pour. And pour. And pour some more. The rain was so heavy it caused a rain delay:

By the time it was all said and done we had been sitting in the car for an hour and a half. Once the rain let up at around 6:30 we decided to get out and go take our seats in the ballpark. 

But just down from the gate we were going to enter there was a HUGE limo. So with time to kill we decided to go down to see what was going on. We knew the limo was for Scotty McCreery. And the American Idol symbol on the side was a giveaway:

But if Scotty was still set to throw out the first pitch, then why were there so many people outside waiting for him? Hmmm.

It turns out the game was canceled and Scotty was in the process of changing clothes and was then going to come out and greet his fans. I hated that the game was canceled, but I’ll take the chance to be on T.V. over seeing a COLLEGE baseball game any day. Sure enough about ten minutes later Scotty came out with a camera crew. Watch my video below to see how it all went down:

Sorry about the lady’s hair half way through the video. People were bumping into me. But anyway, it was cool to see Scotty McCreery up close. Watch American Idol tomorrow night(May 18th) to see Scotty McCreery. Even if you’ve never watched Idol before, watch it tomorrow so you can see him.

I’ll leave you with two final pictures of Scotty/Limo pictures:

I told you a lot of people showed up to see Scotty.

In other news, I’m still planning on posting a two week long version of my top 5 player updates. WordPress is VERY different than Movable type pro, and I’m just now starting to understand how it works. So bare with me if the blog looks messed up right now. I’m going to rearrange things and add things, so hopefully it will ALL be back to normal soon…….

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