Last game on Labor Day

Louisville Bats vs. Indianapolis Indians

28865844123_b09e7e9a39_zLouisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  Where did the summer go?  It’s definitely a sad sort of day, the last day of the Minor League regular season, which means the end of 2016 baseball for the Bats.  We were blessed with a beautiful day, however, so Trevor and I decided to take a walk down by the river before the game started.  To our surprise, WLKY was doing a live broadcast down that way covering some Labor Day events, and we ‘just happened’ to walk behind the reporter and got on the news!  Here’s the footage courtesy of Channel 32 WLKY’s YouTube (look for us at the 1:21 and 1:22 mark):

When Trevor and I were done being TV stars, we made our way into the ballpark for the last time in 2016.  We had great seats, as we settled in with our $1 hot dogs and drinks on another 90 degree day.

29525179765_db39d960d6_z29490608326_063f5fb01c_zOn the mound was Keury Mella who was making his Triple-A debut with the Bats.  He pitched a solid seven innings, only giving up three hits, one earned run, while giving up one walk, and striking out six to earn the win.  Relief pitcher Kevin Shackelford came in to get the save.

28865894773_5735d49bbd_z28865918013_927baaa987_zLouisville was lead offensively by Seth Mejias-Brean, who got the Bats on the board in the 4th with an RBI base hit.  He also added and RBI on the eighth inning with a triple.  The go-ahead run came in the seventh, off of a Tony Renda base hit. FINAL:  Bats 4, Indians 1.

28866114753_e167c7413c_z28899910304_09c3deec0e_zAgain, it’s sad that this was our last Bats game of the season, but we will still have some baseball in our future.  Brian is still playing Fall Ball, and the Louisville Cardinals will probably play some exhibition games in the coming month or so, also.  We might even make it back up to the Reds, but that’s still up in the air.  This was a fun day with my son, and feel blessed and lucky for it!

28866144303_268cded650_z28863813864_67745a4a6f_zPhotos property of Minoring In Baseball

 

The San Diego Chicken

Louisville Bats vs. Columbus Clippers (International League)

28745350901_2755c1ec51_zLouisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  I know nobody is reading this post  because they care about the game, or to look at my game photos, so I’ll mostly just show the greatest mascot of all time, the Famous San Diego Chicken.  That being said, it was another hot and sunny day here in the ‘Ville, so we bought seats up in the shaded portion of the stadium.  As we were in the shade, though, and it being so sunny, I didn’t even get the field to show up in our selfie below (but you can see that Brian did have his Chicken and Buddy plushies ready for action).  I did get a good shot of the field once the game started, though.

28784291546_8dee1e982d_z28198549314_a9146c4004_zOk, more of the Famous Chicken!  He puts on a fantastic show, and if you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing him perform, I highly recommend it.  He’s had many years to perfect his craft, and does some of the greatest skits I’ve seen at the ballpark.  Some of them have the umpires and players involved, also, and it’s so much fun.  I think the fact that Ted Giannoulas has played the one and only Chicken since 1979, adds to the aura of one of the first, and the greatest, mascot in history.  Every time he’s on the field, he has the fans attention at all times.  You just never know what this guy will do next.

28791798736_467ecf5256_z28538867970_7990410cb7_z28746488191_40b010c0a5_z28821990775_66ed90e6e8_zOk, there was a ballgame going on through all this, so I will give a short re-cap.  It was a pitchers duel for sure, but we did see some great defensive plays throughout the game, also.  The Bats took a 1-0 lead in the third, when Jose Peraza base hit scored Juan Perez.  Unfortunately in the eighth inning, Peraza’s throwing error allowed the Clippers to tie the game. On the hill for Louisville, right-hander Tim Adleman pitched seven innings, allowing six hits and striking out a season high eight batters.  Into the 10th inning, Kyle Waldrop made one of those amazing defensive plays when he slammed himself into the wall making an amazing catch with two-outs to save the game.  Also in the 10th, Peraza would find himself up to bat once again, and he atoned for his error with an infield base hit to score Perez for the walk-off win.  J.J. Hoover earned the victory only giving up one hit and striking out two.  FINAL in 10:  Bats 2, Clippers 1.

28718366442_7aeda3a570_z28208686973_f60abe7459_z28746746841_950261ca73_zEven with the Chicken in the house, we still have much love for Buddy Bat!

Brian and Buddy Bat
Brian and Buddy Bat

And the Chicken was awesome, he met with his fans and signed autographs for free! I got Brian a photo to have signed, and the Chicken even signed his plushie. As most mascots seem to be mute, the Chicken was more than happy to chat with his fans.  I told him that I was a big fan, as I used to watch The Baseball Bunch every Saturday morning as a kid.  He was great with Brian, and we got a couple of nice photos with him.  A great day, a great ballgame, and another reason to feel blessed and lucky.

28784300446_6fe06ef8b2_zHere are a couple of videos of the Famous San Diego Chicken and his antics.  Brian filmed the first part of this one, but he did his best:

Another short one:

Videos and photos property of Minoring In Baseball

Bats & Birthdays Vol. 2

Louisville Bats vs. Indianapolis Indians (International League)

27801254214_5992093a01_zLouisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:   The second part of our birthday adventure took us to the Bats game, as they hosted the rival Indians. Hey, if it’s my birthday, then why is Brian the one who gets to meet Buddy Bat and ride the merry-go-round??!

27765287083_901f35e03e_z28098563010_2e3e82c07a_zIt was another hot one, in the mid-nineties, as we settled in under the sun.  In all honesty, we only lasted there for a couple of innings before finding some seats in the shade.

28302203421_357a0caf25_z28135372170_9d648cba54_z27801230434_89214594ca_zThe Bats have been playing good ball lately, and this was another solid game for the home team. Louisville was lead offensively by Hernan Iribarren, who went 2-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.  Also having a good day at the dish was Donald Lutz, who contributed and  RBI going 2-4.  Jermaine Curtis and Jesse Winkler each went 1-3 with an RBI and run scored, respectively.

28385224396_d0b986b162_z27801248374_9d6f84a23f_k28385184626_4c34c41555_zOn the bump, Robert Stephenson each the victory for the Bats.  He pitched six innings, only giving up two hits, while striking out four and walking five. J.J. Hoover ended up earning the save.  FINAL: Bats 6, Indians 4.

28380964015_0cec6400db_z28385171586_8e5fd8924b_z28385175466_3f9ff0c4d0_zA fun game, despite the heat, and an all around good birthday.  I always feel very blessed and lucky to be able to have these experiences with my kids.  It was a long day for all of us, especially in the sun, but we all had a great time.  We hope to be back at Louisville Slugger Field next month when the famous Chicken will be here entertaining the crowd! Until then, here’s a little game video:

Video and photos property of Minoring In Baseball

Bats & Birthdays Vol. 1

28298497151_560718372a_zLouisville Slugger Museum & Factory-Louisville, KY:  While the Louisville Slugger Museum was celebrating its 20th birthday, I was celebrating one of my own.  It seemed like a perfect fit for both of us to celebrate together, so the boys and I made a trip to the city for a day of baseball fun.

28377280755_57ce53e0a7_zWe arrived, and got into the factory tour right away.  They don’t allow any photography during the factory portion, but it was interesting seeing how the bats were made.  Trevor and I had been here before way back in 2009, but it was still fun for him to see it all again, and understand it now that he’s a bit older.  And of course Brian ate it all up, and loved seeing the whole bat-making process.

27760721824_0a1fc8fc0f_zAfter the tour, we checked out the permanent exhibits at the museum.  There are many relics and bats from the all-time greats of this sport!  Below, Brian looks good with Hank Aaron’s bat, and he’s grown up with stories of ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson, so he was a little in ‘awe’ of ‘Black Betsy’.

28377286595_d9601e8373_z27760724344_1ffb819fff_zHere’s Trevor with the Sultan of Swat himself, along with Babe’s best bat ‘Darlin” below that.  I still have a great pic of the two when Trevor could barely see over the bat stand!

Trevor and the Babe
Trevor and the Babe

27760727814_dfda11ff0a_z

As a Tiger fan, I don’t think the Justin Upton signing was a great deal, but I do love his flame-tempered bat!  And below that, the third bat down was used by the greatest Tiger of them all, one of the best hitters in history, Ty Cobb.

28094772180_aa59da16d5_z27760726114_f728545ee8_zAnd now Bri is hanging out on this big glove…

27760731774_c7d1cfc393_zNext we hit the cage!  Brian did his best Hammerin’ Hank impression.

28343911776_8c85d1c127_z28298567271_fb154117c7_zThen I tried to do a little laser show myself…

27761611293_864ea45ee2_zNext we checked out the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Oddball exhibit, which is here in Louisville temporarily.  It contains some cool stuff, but not everything in it pertains to baseball.  The photos are of Yankee Stadium made of toothpicks, and a real ‘double-header’, a two-headed calf.  I highly recommend this factory tour and museum for any baseball fan in the area.  It’s definitely worth going out of your way for, also, as it’s one of the best baseball places I’ve been to, second only maybe to the actual Hall of Fame.  The history of the company is so rich, especially all of the great players who have swung Louisville lumber.  I’m glad the museum and I could celebrate our birthdays together!

28094852760_59e6998634_z28343978766_d7ca6542e6_zPhotos property of Minoring In Baseball

 

Father’s Day Fun

Louisville Bats vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (International League)

27172370434_e0f024616f_zLouisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  Well, first off this Father’s Day was all around a good one, but things simply didn’t go as planned.  The first thing to not go as planned, was the notification I received from the Bats that game time was 6:05.  Sunday games are usually at 2:05, and I’m not sure when they did the switch or why.  If it’s because we’ve been battling 90 degree plus heat, then I do understand, but it messed with our plans as Brian had a baseball practice slated for 6:00, and we had planned to go to Kentucky Kingdom afterwards.  If this was any other day, I would have cancelled our trip to the game, but this is Father’s Day, dammit, and I wanted to see some baseball!  Brian’s mom and sister agreed to take him to practice, and Trevor and I headed to Louisville Slugger Field.  And…I’ll take the kids to Kentucky Kingdom some time this week.  I promise.  For our second speed bump, you’ll notice how crappy my photos are, and that’s because I left my good camera in the van, and you’ll just have to suffer from the below average iPhone pics.

27172370904_d71c7e1e85_z27172370684_2bfbcb5690_zIt was another hot day in the ‘Ville, as Trevor and I settled in, but it was an entertaining back-and-forth ball game.  The Bats took a 1-0 lead in the first, as Scott Schebler hit a towering dinger into the left field stands.  The PawSox battled back, however, tying the game in the third, and then hitting a home-run of their own to take the lead.  It was the Bats turn to regain the lead now in the fifth, on a Juan Perez RBI double, and a Jermaine Curtis home run.  On the mound, starter Stephen Johnson went five innings, giving up two runs on four hits, while striking out three.  Surprisingly, it was relief pitcher Jumbo Diaz who took the loss, giving up two runs on three hits in one inning of work.  Diaz had a franchise record going of 35 2/3 consecutive innings without giving up a run snapped.  Well, aren’t we just good luck…  Making a rehab appearance was Michael Lorenzen, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning giving up no and striking out two.  FINAL:  Bats 4, PawSox 5.

27709633001_61078f378b_z27683669032_29d39f44e6_zIt was a fun game to watch, but a tough loss to take.  And the last thing that didn’t really work as planned, is that the Bats advertised to ‘play catch with dad on the field’ after the game.  As it was Sunday, the kids also are able to run the bases after the game.  Unfortunately for us, the organization doesn’t have the foresight to have two different lines and entrances onto the field after the game.  Trevor is too old to run the bases, and we just wanted to play a little catch.  However, we were told we’d have to wait in the same line as the kids, which was 30-40 minutes JUST TO GET ONTO THE FIELD!  Trevor and I decided just to play catch at home, and I am disappointed that we couldn’t make it onto the field.  I hate to be negative, but the Bats can certainly do a better job of organizing this event.  When we bring Brian with us, we’ll either have to wait in line that long, or miss the last two innings of the game waiting in line on the concourse.   Anyway, it was still a good Father’s Day because of the kids, and we did have some fun.  And despite the bad photos, I did remember to make a quick video during the game:

Video and photos property of Minoring In Baseball

 

Our turn at Bats

Louisville Bats vs Durham Bulls (International League)

26133554164_36b995777e_zLouisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  Well, it only took us a few days in town to hit our first Bats game.  Trevor has been here before, back in 2009, but this was Brian’s first experience here.   Due to the weather, though, the pre-game kids clinic was postponed, so I’ll have to wait until June to see Brian take the field here.  He had fun playing on the playground, however, and the caro carous caris merry-go-round.  Trevor and I took a selfie with the MiLB app, and reminisced about our game here seven years ago.

26739730015_29dd465eb7_z26466820910_cb66e31f8b_z26135696073_28e55106f1_zWe sat over by the Durham Bulls bullpen, or Bull-pen, and had a great view of the game.  Brian was hoping to meet mascot Buddy Bat, but he was busy on field pretty much the whole game, and never made it into the crowd.  One of the ballpark staff members mentioned that he’s more active in the crowd during weekday games.

26739869225_18dd7cd90b_z26739859515_019bd9f970_zWe did get to see Jake the Diamond Dog, however, as his doghouse was right in front of us.  He brought flowers to a fan in the front row, brought some water to the umpires, and served as a batboy, er, batdog, for an inning.

26739842055_e682d92566_z26739835665_796bf0c721_zAs for the game, I don’t think we were much luck for the home team, as they had a six game winning streak snapped.  Right-handed pitcher A.J. Morris started the game for the Bats, throwing three scoreless innings, striking out one batter and allowing only two hits.  Relief pitcher Tim Melville took the loss, giving up two runs on two hits, including a home run.

26135796923_bf830edfb0_zAt the plate, DH Jesse Winkler lead Louisville’s limited offense going 1-4 with an RBI.  No Bats player had more than one hit in the game, but Hernan Iribbaren was 1-2 with two walks.  FINAL: Bats 1, Bulls 3.

26714056776_4d45222825_z26673237161_0e3472276c_zThe started a little about the fifth or sixth inning, but nothing that could ruin our evening at the ballpark.  It was a fun game with the boys, and I look forward to so many more here as they keeping growing.  We’ll try to drag Lily to a game or two if we can also! With the rain, I forgot to take a quick video, but I will for next game.

26714064666_1b7560e457_z26714048786_aaee9a0a06_zPhotos property of Minoring In Baseball

2012 Baseball Trip-Game 6: The Red Wings Reunion

Rochester Red Wings vs. Louisville Bats

I guess Spikes didn’t care for my Whitecaps hat too much.

Frontier FieldRochester, NY: I really like Frontier Field, so I’m glad we were able to see two games here. And as this is the third time we’ve seen the Red Wings on this trip, I was starting to become a fan. Add the fact that there are five former Whitecaps on the Rochester roster (Clete Thomas, Wilkin Ramirez, Casey Fien, Luke French, and Mike Hollimon), and I’m a Red Wings supporter! There seemed to be a more festive atmosphere for the Red Wings than the E-Yanks, and they even had an autograph booth going, where I took the opportunity to have pitcher Matt Maloney sign a game ball for Brian (a future pitcher himself). As with the other ballparks we’ve doubled up on, we got seats a little higher up than last game to get a different perspective of things. Still great seats as always. The mascots Spikes and Mittsy were very active with the crowd, especially kids like myself. We even had a chance to chat with the Red Wings GM Dan Mason, who was extremely friendly. It’s nice to see these guys down interacting with the fans, and he was very interested in our trip and how his club and stadium compared to the others we’ve been to. The game itself was a lot of fun, and we were even treated to some extra innings, as Louisville bested the Wings 4-2 in 11. I was thrown another game ball, and made another amazing catch, so still went home happy! It was a long night, but well worth everything. Had to get a good nights sleep, as we had two games in Buffalo on tap for the next day. Final: Bats 4, Red Wings 2 in 11 innings.

Free giveaway was some baseball cards of classic Rochester alumni
Former West Michigan Whitecap Casey Fien

Pitcher Matt Maloney signing a ball for Brian
The Bats in the bullpen

A little tribute to Cal Ripken Jr. who played in Rochester

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball