Showing posts with label Houston Astros. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Houston Astros. Show all posts

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dbacks Gonzo Appreciation Night: Houston Astros 0 @ Arizona Diamondbacks 9

Just the other day Mik got a package with a certificate for the Arizona Baseball Club restaurant at Chase Field. We had been talking about going to another game this season and when I looked at the upcoming promotion schedule I noticed they had somewhat recently added that today's game was Luis Gonzalez Appreciation Night. Luis Gonzalez is like Mik's favorite Dback ever and used to be his all time favorite baseball player, but I think Cy Young and Warren Spahn now top that list. Thus we made a quick decision to go to the game today, especially since there was a Gonzo t-shirt giveaway to the first 25,000 fans.

Mik was kind of tired of baseball after the road trip, but he was up for a Dback game. Of course, the clincher was that they were giving out Gonzo t-shirts. He ended up really enjoying it because of the food at the Arizona Baseball Club, but I will post about that including the awesome dessert in a Mik's Food Scrapbook post soon.

The view of the game was great from the restaurant, although you cannot see the Circle K strikeout board because you are right above it and that certainly is one of the big features of the park. We also could not see the Dback line up scoreboard, but that is a minor inconvenience.

The game itself was pretty exciting at least if you are a Dback fan, since they won 9 to 0 over the Astros. Mik loved it. As for me today I officially became a total non-Dback fan, as I learned that they are moving to the Phoenix area along with the Rockies for Spring Training starting in 2011. That means the total end of baseball in Tucson other than the measly Toros or some random professional baseball organization thingy. Sorry, but I think it is a total waste for them to spring train so close to home and it really destroys them trying to be a team for the whole state. They might as well now become the Phoenix Diamondbacks.

Mik and Mom left after the game and headed to the Hyatt, where Mom got a good deal for the night, since she did not want Dad to have to drive home late. Yeah, the 2 hour drive home is nothing compared to driving all night after the Maddux Number Retired Game in order to get to the Nats game the next day, but Mik would not have wanted to stay after the game for the concert and I kind of did. Dad and I stayed for about half of the post game Montgomery Gentry concert. I like their music for the most part, but I really am not into the loud noise of concerts, so we left before it was over. We then got to the hotel in time to watch the post-concert fireworks from the elevator area on the floor we are staying on (could not watch from our room because it does not face the ballpark).

Overall today was a fun Dbacks game experience. It is what Dad calls a Encore game to end the Summer 2009 with a Dbacks game just as we started the summer with a Dbacks game back in May. It was also nice to have Mom along for once, which as usual almost did not happen due to work, but we very much appreciate her coming along. Note that the above photo with Mik, Mom, and a Mini Bat is the two of them proud they got one for $1 when Mik did not even remember that he already got that bat for $1 back in May, so now he has 2.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Smashed Pennies: Minute Maid Park

At Minute Maid Park I got two smashed pennies and Mik got one. One of the designs I got has an image of the train that is above the outfield at Minute Maid Park and says Home Run. The other one I got says Minute Maid Park and has an image of the ballpark. The one Mik got says Don’t Mess With Texas or the Astros and has an image of two crossed guns.

Car Sticker Update: Houston Astros

We thought we were going to be without a sticker for the Astros, as none of the Team Shops or souvenir stands had any stickers. Thankfully, though, stickers ended up being one of the things in the goodie bag we received at the Astros game. The sticker is the Astros star logo. Only one more ballpark/sticker and the National League side will be complete. Actually, the whole car will be complete with all 30 teams as long as we get stickers once we visit the final National League team, the Marlins, since that is the final game of the trip.

Accessibility Review: Minute Maid Park

Parking ended up being easy at Minute Maid Park as we found a parking lot across the street under the freeway that is an official lot. It was the first lot around the park that we noticed handicap spots in. It is labeled as a reserved lot, but that does not mean you need a special pass for the handicap spots, although you of course do need a handicap placard or plate. I also noticed some of the street parking around the park was handicap spots. However, several of the lots right across from the park other than the one we ended up in did not seem to have any handicap spots or if they did they were taken more than 3 hours before the game.

Getting into the park is not that hard, but it was helpful that a fellow fan told us early on where to line up. The regular lines end up going between bars, although not actual turnstiles when they enter the park. These bars are, however, not placed far enough apart for a wheelchair to go through. The doors to the left, however, which was the Media Entrance at the gate we were at, did not have any of the bars and when they opened the park it is even a handicap button operated automatic door. It was great that we were informed to stand over near it, as by the time the park opened the line was pretty long and it would have been annoying to end up going across it to get into the park.

At the Houston Astros game we originally had tickets in one of the 300s sections, but we ended up sitting in 110 as one of our surprise upgrades of the trip. The accessible seats on the 100 level are located at the top of the sections. Overall they are good seats, although part of left field was blocked from view and we could only see the train start its trip on the track to celebrate home runs. Not having to deal with elevators to get to them is a nice thing, though.

One issue with the section we sat in was that there was a concession stand right behind it. This did keep general public traffic out of the handicap seating area trying to stand around and watch the game and getting in the way. However, at the same time it almost made the section inaccessible for the wheelchair to get in and out of.

Overall the accessible experience at Minute Maid Park was acceptable. The particular section we sat in was kind of odd with the concession stand in front of it, but it is better than ending up people standing and crowding the section like we have experienced at some of the places the seats are right out on the concourse. Mik approves of the seating section because they do have cup holders.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kj’s Baseball Collection: Astros

The souvenir ball selection at the Astros was not that great. They had several designs, but they were all way too busy with very few even being the team colors. I just settled for the simple white ball with the Astros logo on one side. I was really hoping for a Minute Maid Park one, though, because I love the park’s logo with the orange fruit looking baseball.

Mik’s Mini Bat Collection: Minute Maid Park

When we got to the Team Shop before the Astros game Mik just wanted to sit and play his game, so he did not even go in to choose his bat. I found the orange one with the Minute Maid Park logo and thought it was cool so I got it for him. Then he complained because it did not have an Astros logo on it. He said he would have preferred the natural one with the Astros logo, but did not care enough to make me go back and get him a second mini bat, which I was entirely willing to do if he had asked and not just whined about the choice I made for him.

Mik’s Food Scrapbook: Minute Maid Park

At the Astros game Mik tried the chicken tenders and fries. He was not impressed with the chicken tenders and did not even finish them. The fries were better, but not that great either.

I had a strawberry smoothie at the game and Mik tried some of it. He thought it was really good.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Game 27: St. Louis Cardinals 6 @ Houston Astros 11

We got to Minute Maid Park several hours early since we got done with the Nolan Ryan Museum early and did not end up in as much traffic as we had expected. This ended up being a great thing because we ended up in the Main Team Shop, which is in the old Union Station. It is really cool how they preserved the Union Station and blended it into being part of the ballpark. In here they have some exhibits of Astros memorabilia related to the recent history of the Astros now celebrating their 10th season at Minute Maid Park.

After exploring the old Union Station part of the ballpark we still had an hour before the park opened. We took care of picking up our tickets at will call. We had tickets to the game already for in the 300 section, but we had tickets for the 110 section waiting for us. Marj, who got us into the Diamond Club at Nationals Park, worked at Minute Maid Park before Nationals Park and told her old boss about us, which led to us getting closer seats. We also got a bag of goodies, which included a Pink in the Park Astros t-shirt and wristband, a cool Lone Star Series hat, and a magnet schedule. The really cool thing in the bag was a little baggie of dirt from Minute Maid Park. Yes, dirt is very exciting if it is from a ballpark in my opinion. Also, we got much needed Astro stickers in the bag. None of the souvenir places in the park had stickers, so it was great that we ended up with one to keep the car up-to-date with the ballparks we have been to.

Minute Maid Park was an enjoyable place to take in a game. It has a good atmosphere even with it being almost half Cardinals fans for this game. Some people do not like baseball being played indoors, but having gone to so many Diamondback home games it just seems natural to us. Not only does it pretty much guarantee there will not be a rain delay or rain out, but it makes the game much more enjoyable with its air conditioned comfort. Mik loved this park just for being indoors. He does not much care about the air conditioning, but growing up in Arizona has made him a fan of indoor parks.

The game was pretty exciting with lots of home runs (6), which included three hit by Astro players, so we got to see the train behind left field go back and forth down the track several times. The first hit of the game was a homer by DeRosa of the Cardinals in the second inning. In the bottom of the inning the Astros' Pence got the Astros first hit of the game in the form of a two-run homer (Blum was on base due to being walked). The Astros them kept the lead the rest of the game adding a run in both the 4th and 5th innings.

The bottom of the 7th and top of the 8th were big scoring innings with each team scoring 5 runs. The Astros got 4 of their runs with a Grand Slam by Carlos Lee. Now we have finally seen a Grand Slam on the trip. I have never seen one in person at a Major League game, although I have seen two in one game at a Tucson Sidewinders game. We have been hoping the whole trip to at least see a Grand Slam. Now if we could only witness a no-hitter.