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

14 Forever

Cincinnati Reds vs. San Diego Padres (National League)

27648843650_f9e7ac8140_zGreat American Ballpark-Cincinnati, OH:  What a day for fans of Pete Rose!  And what a weekend, for that matter.  We were lucky enough to be in attendance when the Reds retired Pete Rose’s #14 on Sunday.   It was a hot day, but worth to be in the presence of some of the greatest players in history, including Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, and Barry Larkin.  His induction into the Reds Hall of Fame, and his jersey retirement were a long time coming, so the crowd was pretty hot for Pete, also.  Rose gave a great speech, and was very humble, and thankful to his teammates, manager Sparky Anderson, and especially to the fans.  Here is the video I took of his speech:

Here are some more photos of the ceremony.  The Hit King looks calm and cool as always, even in the 95 degree heat!  I like the one where he’s about to give Bench a good bro-hug!

27648864620_a34646e2d5_z27314306163_6caf9bfb43_z27893142806_9bba8ce28f_z27648924610_4b1f9af768_zAfter the ceremony, the game got underway.  It was a good one for Reds starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani.  He pitched eight scoreless innings, while scattering only five hits, and struck out five.  DeSclafani even knocked in a run to help his own cause!  Closer Tony Cingrani came into the game to close the door, and ensure Cincinnati’s first shut-out of the season.

27893198096_6b056cf29a_z27893204786_ec417fc9ee_zAnother big winner of the day, was Mr. Redlegs during the mascot race:

27315351024_b0948ab816_z27850515111_e91053abdc_z27314425693_79a098a0ac_zThe Reds were led offensively by Jose Peraza, who went 2-4 with a run scored and a stolen base.  Catcher Tucker Barnhart pitched in as well, going 2-3 with a walk and an RBI double.  Jay Bruce also added a solo home run in the win.  FINAL:  Reds 3, Padres 0.

27315319804_2edb36757a_z27314437103_b78a034dbb_z27314433433_c7741676bc_zDespite the heat, it was a fun day at Great American Ballpark.  I’m glad I was there to witness Charlie Hustle’s  jersey retirement, and a rare Reds win.  I was only able to score tix for the upper level to this game, but made sure my buddy and I were in the first row, so I was able to get some decent photos.  On my way home, I went up and down the dial, but just couldn’t find WKRP on the radio…

27309276563_5dca361e79_zVideo and photos 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

 

Seeing Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals (National League)

27487344795_e6719bf9d8_zGreat American Ballpark-Cincinnati, OH:  I have a new best friend, and it’s name is Seat Geek.  It’s nice to live in an area where you don’t have to make plans too far out, as there are many places to catch a ballgame, and some days you have choices.  When I woke up early Sunday morning, I checked out my app, and found fourth row tickets to the Cincinnati Reds game for only $9 each.  I know the Reds aren’t exactly having the best season, but this was still a good deal in my mind, since it’s a ballpark we’ve never been to before.  It was a day game, so God forgive me, we missed church, and drove just over an hour to Newport, KY.  Now, Newport is a nice little town right on the Ohio River right across from Cincy, and after lunch were able to take a boat shuttle across the river to the game.  It was pretty awesome, and only $5 a person.  It’s better than paying and dealing with a parking garage, anyway.

27452930566_ea9a52fc6c_z

A quick video:

The Great American Ballpark is a beautiful stadium, and it has a great baseball atmosphere.  We were able to poke around a bit before the game, as there is lots to see once inside. Brian liked the play area, and especially the little fan ball field that he was able to play on.

27388392432_77912139e9_zWe made it to our seats, and I was more than happy with our view! These are the kind of seats I’m used to at the Minor League venues. The boys were pretty much in ‘awe’, as this is the biggest stadium that they have ever been to.

26878323724_3ce932d8ba_z27452929326_0248537cfc_z26878327264_b35a96b0dd_zBrian has a new best friend, too, and his name is Eugenio Suarez.  When he was in the Detroit system, we saw him play as a member of the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps, and Brian just happened to be wearing a ‘Caps shirt.  Suarez noticed it (I’m guessing, really, don’t know for sure, but..) he looked at Brian and threw him a game ball.  Not bad, kid, a ball at your first MLB game!

26878325664_f50276c0fc_z26879694684_a7e6edd0fb_zBrian made another friend, too, as he noticed Mr. Redlegs up on he concourse, and of course, we had to run up there for a photo op with him!

Brian with Mr. Redlegs
Brian with Mr. Redlegs

Oh, yeah, and all this time, there was a ballgame going on, too.  The Reds actually jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the 2nd inning.  Pitcher Jon Moscot couldn’t hold the lead for his team, however, as the Nationals got all over him in the fourth inning scoring five, then the Nats scored five more over the next two innings.  Moscot got the hook, but Daniel Wright didn’t do much better, giving up three runs in 1.1 innings and he ended up taking the loss.

27454451086_306dbe48b4_z27212070570_a8c32d9bb3_z26881181203_fdd8ef4954_zThe Reds really made a comeback, however, scoring three runs in the seventh and one in the ninth to cut the lead to one. Tyler Holt lead the way offensively, going 3-5 with two RBI’s.  Jay Bruce chipping in, going 1-3 with two RBI’s and two runs scored, while Brandon Phillips added three hits and an RBI.   FINAL: Reds 9, Nationals 10.

27417120661_7466a21cb8_z27390074422_5c3673c06e_z26879839954_f24102900d_zI also have to give a shout out to Kyle Waldrop, who we saw play in Louisville last month:

27417167111_a0c706cded_zAlso, I didn’t forget to take another video of the game and ballpark. I can’t wait until our next game here!

Photos and video 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

Funday Sunday in West Michigan

West Michigan Whitecaps vs. Dayton Dragons (Midwest League)

Brian with his favorite Whitecaps player, Joey Pankake
Brian with his favorite Whitecaps player, Joey Pankake

Fifth Third Ballpark-Comstock Park, MI: After a fun night of baseball, we were back at the ballpark the next morning for more of the same. Sundays at the Whitecaps games are the best, as the kids are able to get on the field before the game, run the bases after the game, and get some free eats. We started off on the field, with Brian getting to meet his favorite player Joey Pankake. Since we missed a shot with Franky the day before, we got a pic with him, as well as PBS Wordgirl. The boys even hot a chance to hang out in front of the dugout for a few minutes.

17868063240_cbec6cc659_z17867818928_f78bf4c253_o

Brian with PBS Wordgirl!
Brian with PBS Wordgirl!

The game went a lot better for the home team this time around. Pankake hit an RBI single in the first inning, to put West Michigan up 1-0 early. On the mound, Jeff Thompson worked effectively, even getting the Dragons to hit into an inning ending double-play with bases loaded in the fourth inning.

18033587786_4f16ce13d2_z17439630443_2f36697e95_z17873902049_737d64c5c8_z17437573154_bfbe651cab_z17439605793_0ffed84c24_zThere was more fun stuff for the kids, as Brian was able to make his own sign to cheer on his Whitecaps.

17433142554_d6f8b9c6fb_z17868054440_ef8102ce04_zWe had a little rain, too, but not enough to stop play or ruin our fun. We took turns with some rain ponchos, but maybe we should have gotten some umbrellas.

17873994349_ed7942c830_z18060215075_7a25f324ff_zThe Whitecaps would add on some more runs, as Zach Shepherd doubled in a pair in the bottom of the fourth. In the fifth, Austin Schotts hit a RBI single, and Garrett Mattlage squeezed home a run. So cool to see a squeeze play live. Forget home runs, that’s baseball! Thompson continued his dominance, pitching six innings and striking out a career high nine batters. Final: Whitecaps 5, Dragons 0.

17439662253_510f8d8ecb_z17872525110_3b1a6d24c6_k18033753306_1a45cb01c4_zAfter the game, Trevor took Brian back onto the field to run the bases. He had fun showing off his speed burning around the bases. He was a little tired, though, as the bases are a little further apart than they are in Little League. This was a great day, and a great holiday weekend with family. We are all very grateful for this time together, and thankful for all the brave men and women who gave their lives so we can enjoy days like this. We really wanted to see the game on Memorial Day, but things didn’t work out (it was a good game, too, as the ‘Caps won in extra innings). We’ll be back downstate in a couple of weeks, and will try to see more baseball then.

18056925362_88ccf9f08e_z17437678984_3b208cdb33_z18033786476_e8cfe44f87_zAnd here’s the YouTube video you’ve been waiting for:

Photos and video property of Minoring In Baseball

Pink in the Park

West Michigan Whitecaps vs. Dayton Dragons (Midwest League)

18052428712_c5f3efa299_oFifth Third Ballpark-Comstock Park, MI: Our holiday weekend started on Saturday night, with the Whitecaps hosting Pink in the Park to raise money for breast cancer awareness. We didn’t originally plan on attending this game, but with rain looming the next few days, we definitely wanted to get one in that was guaranteed. This was Brian’s first game of the season, so he was excited to get to…the playground. On our way there, though, we came across this beauty, which I signed up to win:

17433162644_7146b1c85c_zWhile Brian was playing, I snapped a couple of pics from the outfield area.

17868073310_4a7a677419_z17872252510_549218954a_zThe game itself was a very rough one for the Whitecaps. West Michigan actually drew first blood, when Will Kengor doubled, scoring top Tiger prospect Derek Hill. The Dragons stormed back, though, blowing the game open with a 10 run fifth inning. Ross Seaton, who was 5-1 coming into the game, was lit up before getting the hook.

17439220673_990af8f1e9_z17872066260_9a4140a414_z17439247133_da8a410c24_zBrian was happy, though, as he was able to see his favorite mascots, Crash and Roxy.

18062201962_e41dd5b221_o18039043136_c222360769_oDayton would add on four more runs, to make it a disastrous night for the Whitecaps. It just seemed the Dragons were able to drop about everything in, while the ‘Caps hit the ball hard, but just to the defense. Win or lose, it was fun to get our game in West Michigan this season. We’d be back the next morning, to get another game in for the holiday weekend. Final Score: Whitecaps 1, Dragons 14.

18060675961_75c619ba0e_z18060740521_e760f53758_z17439440813_b0cd2e6ed4_z17437385924_92dbe68a11_z18060049605_2a999e6ced_zPhotos property of Minoring In Baseball