Friday, August 27, 2010

Other Baseball Sightseeing: Jack Brickhouse Statue in Front of Tribune Tower, Chicago

This Jack Brickhouse statue is located outside of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Jack Brickhouse was a WGN-TV play by play announcer for the Chicago Cubs from 1948 to 1981. He also called the White Sox games before 1968 when the team stopped being on WGN until more recent times. He also called some World Series games for NBC in 1950, 1954, and 1959 (White Sox were in this one). He was the one that said Hey Hey, which is now on the foul poles at Wrigley Field.

The statue has a bust of Jack Brickhouse. The front of the pedestal it is on has some images of ballparks he broadcasted from including Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park. The other two stadiums on it are Chicago Stadium, where the Bulls used to play, and Soldier Field, where the Bears play, to symbolize he also called the basketball and football games during his career.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

St. Louis Cardinals Arch Statue

Across from the parking lot with a small baseball field that is in front of Busch Stadium there is an arch statue decorated with a St. Louis Cardinals theme. I saw it when in St. Louis earlier this month. I think it was outside of the Starbucks.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wrigley Field: San Diego Padres 1 @ Chicago Cubs 0

Last night I went to my second Cubs game at Wrigley Field this season. I now realize I never did post about going back in April when the Nats were in town and it was my first night game at Wrigley. Anyways, this was another night game.

I sat in section 226, which is on the first base side. This was different for me in that I have always sat on the third base side before except when we sat right up behind home plate on the road trip last year. I was only one row (22) from the top of the section and it kind of stunk that I could not see the scoreboard (my favorite feature of Wrigley), but I cannot complain because someone gave me the ticket and I could still see all the baseball action. There was also one of the poles in the way between the pitcher and home plate, but it was not a real issue and that is just one of the quarks of Wrigley being an old ballpark.

The game itself was not exactly exciting, as it was low scoring and there was not many hits or even fly balls to the outfield. However, I like games like that when it is close and it is more of a pitching duel. Although, there were quite a few walks and a couple errors. The end of the game was pretty exciting with the Cubs final out being with one man on and the guy at bat hitting a long ball that looked like it would make it out of the park, but was caught in the ivy. I would have liked to see the Cubs win, but it was still a lot of fun to see another game at Wrigley.

I also like that I got a photo of the Harry Caray statue at its current location, as after the game I read they are moving it so it is closer to being outside the bleacher section during the next homestand. They are putting another guy (I cannot remember who right now and am too lazy to look it up, although I am pretty sure it is Billy something) where Harry is right now. Anyways, I am kind of sad I forgot to go to the front of the stadium and take a photo of the macaroni statue (Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ad), but I did already photograph the one they have at Navy Pier.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Baseball's Gateway to the West Exhibit at the Arch

In St. Louis this week I was sad to miss there being a game in town by a day, especially since the Cubs were coming to town the next day. However, I still ended up happening upon the Baseball Gateway to the West exhibit. The exhibit is in the Museum of Westward Expansion, which is in the visitor's center under the Arch. Access to this museum is free, as they only charge if you want to see a movie or take a tram up to the top of the Arch.

The exhibit is pretty interesting, although I didn't get a chance to really explore it due to chasing little ones around being the first priority this trip. The exhibit was basically a sort of history of baseball in St. Louis and I assume it led to the conclusion that St. Louis playing a roll in baseball spreading to the Western USA. There was some cool stuff on display such as World Series memorabilia, uniforms, and baseballs. They had a fun display with baseballs and marks to show how the ball is held to throw different pitches. There was also a Knothole wall similar to the one in the Cactus League exhibit. Not as cool as the old Cardinals Hall of Fame that was housed with the International Bowling Hall of Fame across from Busch Stadium, but still a nicely put together little exhibit. Unfortunately, the exhibit is only temporary, but it does go until October 31, 2010.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chase Field: Gonzo Becomes First Dback to Have Number Retired

Finally got the pics from Dad from Mik and him going to the Dbacks game last night (August 7, 2010). They got to see their second number retirement ceremony, as Luis Gonzalez's number 20 became the first true Dback number retired. Technically it is the 2nd number retired, as Jackie Robinson's number 42 is retired from all Major League baseball teams, but that does not really count. I am happy to see that the number 20 is displayed at Chase Field in the classic (yeah, that seems like an odd word to use with such a young team) purple and turquoise.

Above are some pics of the race they now have at Chase Field. I think they call it the Legends Race. It is similar to the Presidents Race at Nationals Park, but instead features Dbacks, such as Randy Johnson and Gonzo.

Here are some more pics of the Gonzo Bobbleheads given out including the normal version and the special Bronze version they got. Even the boxes are pretty cool.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mik Scores Bronze Gonzo Bobblehead at Chase Field

Mik and Dad went to the Dbacks game tonight with some friends. For once, I actually am upholding my not going to Dbacks games due to them moving their spring training to Phoenix vow. However, the real reason I did not go was that I now live in Texas and that makes it quite easy to pass up the temptation to go to along with to a Dbacks game.

Not only did Mik end up with a Luis Gonzalez bobblehead to add to his collection of Bobbleheads (it includes Mark Grace as Dback and Mark Grace as broadcaster by the way), but he ended up with one of the 50 Bronze autographed ones. Totally awesome addition to his collection and of course I am jealous of just the regular Gonzo bobblehead, but I am working on maybe getting to Target Field next weekend and then who will be jealous?

By the way I would like credit for making Dad get the tickets to take Mik to this game, though, as I looked at the promotion schedule at the beginning of the season and saw that there was a Luis Gonzalez (i.e. Gonzo) Bobblehead giveaway and told him right away he had to take Mik to the game.

Note: Dad is supposed to send me more photos and info on the game tomorrow, so I will post some more about their ballpark adventure to keep this blog going with all of our continuing baseball adventures.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mik's Mini Bat Collection: Tucson Toros

Earlier this month when Dad and I went to the Tucson Toros game, we finally got Mik a Toros mini bat. Last year we were going to get him one, but by the time we got to a Toros game at the end of the season they only had pink ones. He is glad we waited because the red mini bat we got him is way more his style.

Mik's Food Scrapbook: PetCo Park All You Can Eat Section 2010 Version

Last summer we sat in the All You Can Eat Section at PetCo Park when we went to the Padres game. It was a totally awesome section in a good location. The All You Can Eat was the best we experienced, as it included not only peanuts, hot dogs, popcorn, and soda, but also ice cream treats and best of all for me, veggie dogs!

When we decided to go to a Padres game at PetCo Park on July 16, 2010, I automatically looked up the All You Can Eat section tickets. I was quickly sad to see the section was moved, but the real sad part is that the selection was seriously downgraded. I get the getting rid of the extras like nachos and ice cream treats, but it is extremely disappointing that they also cut out the veggie dogs from the offerings. The only improvement is that they now give the drinks out as little bottles of soda and water, which is so much easier to stock up on for the later part of the game when the All You Can Eat service ends (2 hours after start time).

Mik still loved the hot dogs. He had 3, but he was too quick eating them for me to sneak a photo. He says the hot dogs are better than last year, but he was kind of sad they did not have nachos like last year.

Petco Park: Arizona Diamondbacks 1 @ San Diego Padres 12

I did not plan on going to several ballparks this year after going to all 30 last season, but a little over halfway through the season I have been to 3 (Dbacks Opening Day, Nats @ Cubs in April, and then Petco park). Only the Dbacks Opening Day game this season was the three of us, but I am going to still keep updating this blog as I visit and revisit various ballparks and baseball things.

Mik was definitely baseballed out after last season and only planned to go Dbacks opening day and the Luis Gonzalez bobblehead game coming up in August. However, when I told him that the Dbacks were in San Diego when we were there in July, he happily agreed to go to a game. By the way he also got mad at me for saying I might fit in a Twins game in August to check their new ballpark off the been to list. He called last summer the Summer of Hell, but since he has been to the other 29 current ballparks he thinks he might as well visit the 30th.

Anyways back to the main point of this post - Dbacks being slaughtered by the Padres on July 16, 2010, at Petco Park. It was a sad game for Mik the Dbacks fan, but it was still kind of exciting. We have been to Petco Park pretty much every year since it has opened, but yet again we got totally lost because we were sitting in the new All You Can Eat section (not as good as last year and will report in a Mik Food Scrapbook post later).

Petco Park is overall a nice ballpark if you sit in the right parts (i.e. not next to the building), but it is so dang confusing (see my post about getting lost in 2008). Just like in 2008, we wandered in circles for a while, but this time we ended up with a very helpful usher, who was manning the elevator priority, that actually wandered with us some more and eventually got us to the section. He never works the side of the park we were sitting and even he was confused and asked several other ushers before we got to the place. It was greatly appreciated that he put the effort in and figured it out for us. Unfortunately, we did not get to the ballpark until 30 minutes before the game and by the time we got to our seats we had missed the only run the Dbacks ended up scoring that game.

Mik enjoyed seeing his team play, but by the 7th inning he was ready to go (mostly because his team was getting slaughtered). Since it really was his choice of baseball game, I gave in and we left the game in the 8th inning. Amazingly, he did not even take his video game system out of the backpack at this game. I think he is slowly becoming a real baseball spectator and fan, although he will not admit it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Kj's Baseball Collection: International Minor League All Stars Autographed Ball

Last Monday before the Home Run Derby at Hi Corbett, they had all the All Stars for the International Minor League All Star Game (Golden Baseball League vs. Northern League) available for getting autographs from. I got a Golden Baseball League official ball from the Team Shop and got about half of the All Stars to sign it. I ran out of room on the ball before I could get everyone. Still a pretty cool souvenir to add to my collection.

Hi Corbett Field: International Minor League All Star Home Run Derby 2010

Last Monday (July 12, 2010) Dad and I went to the International Minor League All Star Home Run Derby and Fan Fest at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, AZ. It was fun to go to a Home Run Derby even if it was not the Major League Baseball one or even MLB minor league players. Hi Corbett is pretty interesting to see players try to hit homers at because it is not the type of ballpark you tend to see homers in during a regular game.

Cliff Brumbaugh of the Edmonton Capitals (in the Golden Baseball League) beat Jacob Blackwood of the Kansas City T-Bones (in the Northern League) with 11 home runs (Jacob went first and got 10) in the final round. It was pretty exciting to watch the homers, although most of the players got none or only 1 or 2 in the first round. Even Cliff got 0 in the second round, but his 11 from the first round carried over to the 2nd (not the finals!) and allowed him to continue to the finals as the Golden Baseball League representative.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hi Corbett Field: Chico Outlaws 3 @ Tucson Toros 4

I love Hi Corbett Field in Tucson even if it is a small, old, and low amenity ballpark. It may have only a small scoreboard and a few concession stands, but the seating options are all quite good. I like the bleachers even though the closer seats are only a few bucks more for Toros games. Besides there is never that much of a crowd at Toros games and you can seat hop, especially during the middle of the week like when we went on Wednesday, July 7, 2010, to see the Toros.

It was 100 degrees at the 7pm game start time, but it is a dry heat and it does not seem that bad to me, especially since I spent all of June dealing with hot and humid weather and Texas. Most of the time I do not pay attention to the temperature at game start and end, but it is something we always like to do when we go to Hi Corbett. It is such an easy thing to do, since it is one of the few things to look at on the scoreboard. By the way it was 93 degrees when the game ended around 10pm.

The July 7, 2010, Tucson Toros game was pretty interesting. In the sixth inning there was a real quick, but kind of hard rain shower. However, unlike the wimps of Major League Baseball (i.e. Cubs delaying start when rain was forecasted and that rain never happened in Game 16 of our trip last summer) they never stopped play. There was a fun run down play between second and third in the bottom of the 6th around when the rain stopped. The best part of the game, though, was the bottom of the 10th, although it was kind of annoying that the Toros allowed the Outlaws to tie the game up in the top of the 9th.

In the bottom of the 10th the pitcher for the Outlaws committed two errors making it easy for the Toros to score a run and win the game. The first error was throwing it poorly to 1st base letting the runner not only get on base, but to 2nd base. He then tried to pick off the runner at 2nd and instead threw the ball into center field and allowing the runner to get to third.