Riverwalk Stadium- 7/9/2013

After going to an amazing game in Birmingham the night before, my Grandmother and I made the two-hour journey to Montgomery for her meeting. She knew I was obsessed with baseball, so she offered to take me to Riverwalk Stadium, home of the Montgomery Biscuits, before her meeting. We couldn’t make it to game, so we settled with a quick visit. Here was the view when we got out of the car:

1st look at Riverwalk Stadium

Once we got up to the entrance, we found some men working on the ballpark. One of them greeted us and asked if we would like to look around. We said Yes, Thanks, and walked inside the former Jailhouse:

Inside

Welcome

In the first picture, you might have noticed a ticket office:

Ticket office

Riverwalk Stadium is, believe it or not, is in an old Confederate Jail:

Prison

You can click on the picture to read more about it. It is actually pretty interesting how they converted a jail and a railroad station into a baseball stadium:

Train station

Inside the Railway Station, you can find the Biscuit Basket, home to Biscuit apparel and merchandise:

Biscuit Basket

I can’t remember if there was a door on the outside, but on the inside, you could definitely enter, even on non-game days (which leads me to believe there is a door on the outside of the stadium).

Biscuit Basket (2)

When we got inside, there was yellow tape, indicating where there was wet paint:

Paint

I walked around the wet paint and took a photo from behind home plate:

??????????

While we were there, we noticed these on the edges of the rows of seats:

Seats

Here is the view inside of the (covered) concourse:

Concourse

In here, you can find concessions, like this one, called the “Train Station”:

Train Station food

Here is another, called the “Rail Yard”:

Railyard (2)

Railyard

Or, you could go to the “outdoor” concourse and find concessions like these:

Nachos

I walked over to right field, where there is a berm:

View from Berm

From here, you have a pretty good view of the 333 Ft. marker in right field:

RF 333 marker

You can actually walk into the outfield in Riverwalk Stadium:

View from RF

That photo was more in right field. Here is one from center field:

View from CF

From here, you can see Downtown Montgomery, and you have a pretty good view of a baseball game with an added chance that you’ll catch a home run. You may notice, on the left, is the former Confederate Jail, and on the right is the suites and former Railway station. Here is the door to one of the Suites:

Doors to suites

Here are some more views of the Suites:

Suites (3)

Here is a view of the seating bowl from the Suites with a view from the third base side:

Seating bowl

View from 3B line

There is also a playground behind the seating bowl:

Playground

Here are the scoreboards:

Scoreboard (3)

Scoreboard

Overall, it was a great visit. I wasn’t able to make it to a game, but the stadium was amazing, and the workers there were much kinder than the Ray’s security two levels up. Here is what I got out of the Biscuit Basket:

Mini Bat

Another mini-bat for my mini-bat collection. Thanks for reading! I will have posts up for a ton of mail and another game I went to a couple of weeks ago.

Regions Field- 7/8/2013

Way back in 2011, I made it to Birmingham, Alabama, hoping to see an Atlanta Braves game at Turner Field. Back then, I wasn’t aware of how amazing Minor League Baseball was, and when my Grandparents said we couldn’t make the three hour drive, we settled on my first MiLB game ever- at the old Regions Park:

Regions Park

Regions Park lies in the suburbs of Birmingham, in a town called Hoover. This game started a tradition- I visit Birmingham every year for the Fourth of July and the Barons. The following year, the Barons announced their move to a new, modern downtown facility called “Regions Field.” My last game at Regions Park was on 7/3/2012, and this year, with the name changed to “Hoover Metropolitan Stadium” and the Barons gone, I made my way to a new ballpark:

DSCN2942

The little kid on the bottom right would be my cousin, Gavin. This was the first view I got of Regions Field. I went to get my ticket print-out exchanged for a ticket stub, and Minor League baseball continues to amaze me:

Ticket Stub-Pocket Schedules

There is a ticket stub on top (sorry about the blurriness). When I went to Tropicana Field, the ticket office didn’t even know what a ticket stub was. A Double-A baseball team can put a bit of information into a computer and print out a ticket stub (I don’t know what it is about those, but they are cool). On the bottom, there are two pocket schedules. I think the Barons should have put something about Regions Field on the front, but they still look great.

I walked pass the kid’s play area:

Kids Play Area

The Barons Executive Entry:

Executive Entry

These photos were all taken down the third base line. As you can see, the Baron’s logo is painted on the brick:

Down 3rd base line, looking at logo

There is a 3rd base entry closer to the Kid’s play place:

3rd base gate

I went to the Home Plate Entrance, which is next to the ticket office:

Home plate entry

I didn’t actually walk down there, but I crossed the street for a quick picture of the outside of Regions Field:

Birmingham

If you’ve noticed, I have been getting autographs on crappy Official League baseballs instead of Major League Balls. I had one left, so I decided to head over to the Barons Team Store to get a logo ball:

Sports Depot

I was actually in a rush. We got there about 5 minutes after the gates opened, and getting the ticket added about 5 minutes. I ran inside to get my baseball:

Team Shop

Barons Baseball

The team shop had everything from shirts to caps to pennants. I would go back in there for more stuff, as you will see later.

I went down to the Barons dugout to try and get a practice ball- and I got two as the players walked in:

Barons warm up

I gave one of them to my cousin, and we went to get some food:

Consession Stand

Fries and a Hot Dog

When I went to Regions Park back in 2011, I got a mystery meat hamburger. The hot dog that I got at this game tasted great, and the fries were amazing. It was much better than the food I had at the last stadium.

Soon after eating, Britt Burns and the starting pitcher came out to warm up. Gavin and I got Burns to sign (or those of you who don’t know, he is the Barons pitching coach). I didn’t take a lot of player photo’s because of my crappy camera and the low light, but I have a few. Therefore, there is no photo of Britt Burns.

Gavin and I walked over to the dugout to get more autographs, and several players came over to sign. Trayce Thompson gave me my 100th autograph of the year:

Trayce Thompson

I took that picture of him instead of getting a picture with him because there were several other players signing to my left. Babe Ruff, the Barons mascot, came by in a car:

Babe Ruff

Then, he came back to sign a couple of autographs and take a picture with my cousin:

Babe Ruff signing

Gavin and Babe Ruff

Jared Mitchell was the one of the last Barons to sign, and as the other players were walking in, I snapped this picture of him:

Jared Mitchell signs

The game started, and I pretty much stayed in my seat for the majority of the game to visit with my Grandparents. I walked around the stadium to take some photos:

Seating Bowl

This is the view from center field. As you can see, there is a scoreboard on the left side of the picture for any fans in the outfield.

View from kid's play ares

This is the view from the kid’s play area, which is actually called the “Brighthouse Family Fun Park”, located down the third base line:

Bright House Family Fun park

Kid's play area

There is also a small, replica baseball diamond in center field:

Mini Ballfield

Mini Ballfield (2)

Here is the view from behind home plate:

Regions Field (2)

The tall white, glass building to the right is Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital. Here is another look at it:

Children's Hospital

Here are some shots of Regions Field’s scoreboard:

Scoreboard

Scoreboard- Downtown

I’m not entirely sure what all of the buildings are, but I know the building closest to the scoreboard is a Wells Fargo building and the black one next to it is for Regions Bank. As you can see, you can sit underneath the scoreboard:

Scoreboard- Under

You can also walk behind it:

Scoreboard- Sunset

Here are some sunset photos:

Regions Field

Regions Field- Sunset

There are some batting cages in right field:

Batting Cages (2)

Batting Cages

The Barons would go on to win the game by a final of 6-4, and after the game, I went to the Barons dugout to try and get the line-up card from Julio Vinas, the manager. He said that he kept it for managerial purposes, so I didn’t get it. Then, a kid next to me got a broken bat, and I came very close to getting one myself. I asked a player for one, and he was going to hand it to me before he took it back to the locker room. Vinas was signing autographs, but my Grandfather likes to go to bed at 8:00, and as you can imagine, he was tired (it was around 10:00 and we had a 1/2 hour drive). I decided to skip Vinas’s autograph and leave. Here are my autographs:

Ball 1, 1

From top to bottom:

Trayce Thompson

Daniel Wagner

Jared Mitchell

Ball 1, 2

Britt Burns

Mike Blanke

Dan Black

Jeremy Dowdy

Michael Early

Gary Ward Autographed 1990 Topps

Gary Ward on a 1990 Topps

The two balls that I kept were not photographed, and because this is going up so late, I’m not going to add it. The other two went to my cousin, and one of them was  game-used foul ball that hit someone’s camera (the camera man was in the dugout). The other ball that I kept was a 3rd out ball, and when I caught it, these kids who were behind my seats were saying, “Here, Here, Throw it here!” I had already given away one ball, and these kids were yelling in my ears and kicking my seat, so there was no way they were getting the ball.

Here are the souvenir cups I got:

Cups

I also got this Ice-Cream helmet:

Ice Cream Helmet

The Barons Souvenir Program:

2013 souvenir program

A pennant:

Barons Pennant

That was about it. Thanks to all of the players for the baseballs/autographs, and thanks for reading!

I went to Montgomery the following day, so expect a post up soon with pictures of Riverwalk Stadium. I didn’t go to a game, but I tried to take as many pictures as possible in a 15-20 minute time frame (my Grandmother goes down there once a month for meetings, and we needed to get lunch).

Biogenesis Scandal

I like the fact that Major League Baseball is trying to clean up the game. I like the fact that they are suspending players. But is it enough?

Alex Rodriguez used PED’s and admitted it in 2009. He is caught again in 2013, but is only suspended through 2014? He lied about it, he covered up evidence, and he did it more than once! It makes no sense! A-Rod should have had a lifetime ban, without pay, without chances of getting into the HOF, and he should not manage a ballclub.

Ryan Braun. He used PED’s in 2011 and got away with it. He lied about it, and the Fed Ex guy must have felt really bad about it. Then, in 2013, he is connected to the Biogenesis Clinic. He gets a 65 game suspension. Pardon my french, but WTF! He should have gotten a 50 game suspension to make up for 2011 and a full season’s suspension to cover the Biogenesis Clinic- basically through 2014.

Many baseball players were connected, and they should have had more than 50 games. Major League Baseball needs to start a full year suspension for the 1st offense and a lifetime ban for a second offense. Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe Jackson- they both got lifetime bans for cheating. They bet on the game. Why won’t we ban players for using Performance Enhancing Drugs? It just doesn’t add up.

I will hopefully have my Barons post up before too long. Thanks for reading!

Mail- June 23- July 20

Sorry for the long wait. I have been busy since my vacation, and I am still working on the posts on the Barons and Biscuits. Now I am back, and I am ready to update everyone.

On July 3, I hopped on a plane to Birmingham, Alabama, to visit my grandparents. I didn’t get to post anything about the mail from the last week of June, and while I was gone, I got some mail (my mom was at home writing the dates on the envelopes for me). Here is everything I got, starting with June 24:

Tides 6-24

The Norfolk Tides sent me four 2013 pocket schedules.

Sent: June 19, 2013

Received: June 24, 2013- 5 Days

Mud Hens 6-24

Mud Hens 6-24 (2)

The Toledo Mud Hens sent 2 pocket schedules, an issue of Muddy Times, a 2013 Magnetic Schedule (which, somehow, I didn’t photograph), and stats/pictures on some printer-paper.

Sent: Jun 19, 2013

Received: Jun 24, 2013- 5 Days

Keys 6-24

The Frederick Keys sent me the first Carolina League fan pack I have ever received, and inside was two pocket schedules.

Sent: Jun 20, 2013

Received: Jun 24, 2013- 4 Days

On June 28th, I received a envelope from the Hickory Crawdads. I thought it was great to get this because, last year, the Crawdads said I needed to send a SASE.

CDads 6-28 2

Sent: June 22, 2013

Received: June 28, 2013- 6 Days

Back in early June, I made the trip to Tampa, FL, and got to see a game inside the ugly Tropicana Field. We drove through Lakeland, FL, to get to Tampa. The Detroit Tigers Spring Training facility resides there, and their A-Advanced team, the Flying Tigers, play there. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to visit Joker Merchant Stadium, but the Flying Tigers did send me these pocket schedules:

F Tigers 6-29

They also sent some fan club information, but I didn’t photograph it.

Sent: June 21, 2013

Received: June 29, 2013- 8 Days

The Clearwater Threshers also play near Tampa, and I wasn’t able to see BriteHouse Field. However, they have been sending me fan packs for a while, and this was my third:

Threshers 7-1

Sent: June 21, 2013

Received: July 1, 2013- 10 Days

I left for Birmingham on July 3rd, so everything else I got came when I was on vacation. The Tennessee Smokies and the St. Louis Cardinals both sent fan packs and I received them on July 6th:

Smokies 7-6 2

Smokies:

Sent: June 2, 2013

Received: July 6th, 2013- 34 Days

STL Cards 7-6

The Cardinals sent:

1 Sticker

1 Adam Wainwright card

1 Cardinals in the Community

1 Thank You note

1 Tattoo- “End Prostate Cancer”

Sent: June 9, 2013

Received: July 6th, 2013- 27 Days

The Brewers have sent me a couple of fan packs in the past, and on July 8th, I got another one:

Brew 7-8 2

1 2012 Team Photo

Brew 7-8 3

2 Player Cards

3 Stickers

1 2013 Pocket Schedule

The Brewers also sent a Game Day Magazine, but I didn’t photograph it.

Sent: June 2, 2013

Received: July 8th, 2013- 36 Days

While I was gone, I got some fan packs from teams that hadn’t sent anything previously- from the Cardinals, and also from the Lake Elsinore Storm of the California League:

Storm 7-10 4

1 2013 Magnetic Schedule (which was all messed up)

Storm 7-10 2

1 2013 Pocket Schedule

1 Autographed Thunder Card

1 Autographed “Play Ball” Magazine

1 Storm Sticker

Storm 7-10 3

1 Oversised Thunder Card

1 2012 Team Set of Baseball Cards

1 Tattoo

The Storm also sent a toothbrush and a pen.

Sent: June 21, 2013

Received: July 10th, 2013- 19 Days

The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes sent me a small fan pack:

Quake 7-15

1 Aftershock Card

1 2013 Pocket Schedule

Sent: June 21, 2013

Received: July 15, 2013- 23 Days

Last, but not least, the Binghamton Mets sent me this pocket schedule:

B Mets 7-16

Sent: June 1, 2013

Received: July 16, 2013- 45 Days

Thanks for reading, I will try to update everyone on the games soon!

Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I don’t have a Mail post up from last week because I am in Birmingham, AL, and I don’t have my stats. I would have made a post about the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, but I wasn’t allowed to take pictures. I went to the Barons/Braves game on Monday night, so expect something in a week or two. The same for Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery. I plan on being at Rickwood Field on Monday, so by the end of the month, hopefully everything will be up. Maybe I will have something on Busch Gardens by then (I don’t have it up because I don’t have my pictures and I don’t want to load up my Grandmother’s computer). Thanks for reading (and thanks for hanging in there, my 11 followers)!

2013 Topps Opening Day- Pack Break

Series 2 for the 2013 Topps set came out over a week ago, yet I didn’t purchase a pack. There weren’t any in the Super Target I went to, so I settled on a pack of 2013 Opening Day and some card sleeves. Here is the pack of cards:

DSCN2796

I got my first mascot card of the year as well as a Grant Balfour blue card:

Opening Day Pack 2 Cards

I got some other cards, but I thought these were the best. When I looked up what some of the cards in Series 2 looked like, I noticed this:

big papi card

This is a must have card for any Red Sox fan, so I am hoping to find one of these in a pack this year. Unfortunately, I won’t make it to a game tonight at Roger Dean Stadium, but I will be in Birmingham for two weeks. I will fly there on Wednesday, and I will be at a Birmingham Barons game on Monday, July 8th. Then, on the 9th, I will be in Montgomery, hopefully taking a tour of the Biscuits’ Riverwalk Stadium (They have an off day that day, and that was the day my Grandmother could go). There will be plenty of posts from the game, to the Biscuits, to America’s oldest baseball stadium, Rickwood Field. Yes, it is older than Fenway- it opened in August 1910. I will still try to get the Busch Gardens post up before too long. Thanks for reading!

Tropicana Field- 6/11/2013

When I moved to South Florida in June 2012, my Mom said she was going to take my family and I to Busch Gardens. I reminded her about that in April, and she booked a trip when the Red Sox would be playing the Rays at the Trop. I have seen Tropicana Field countless times on television, and I still remember watching the Red Sox play the Rays in the 2008 ALCS.

On the 11th, we went to Busch Gardens for the day, and at 4:00, we left the park. We wouldn’t leave the hotel until 4:35 because the shuttle to the hotel took a while and I had to get my stuff together. We finally got into the car, and we left for the 1/2 hour drive to Tropicana Field. When we hit downtown Tampa, there was traffic for 4 miles- that is about 20 miles an hour with numerous stops- and there wasn’t even an accident. There was just construction 20 feet to the side of the road. After we hit St. Pete, there was more traffic- and we hit it twice before getting off the interstate. Just before we got off, I saw this:

1st look at the Trop

I had actually seen Tropicana Field before- it was in the air while flying to Birmingham in 2012 to visit my Grandparents:

The Trop from the air 2012

This was the first time I would go inside. I thought it was a little weird visiting Tropicana Field before Marlins Park, but I didn’t care- I was just happy to be there. The match-up:

Red Sox vs. Rays

I arrived on 1st Street south and 16th Ave, which is closer to the stadium than the parking lot. I walked up to the stadium and noticed a large line at one of the gates:

Tropicana Field

However, I wanted to be at a specific gate, which you will see later. As I went to find it, I passed by this:

Baseball Shaped storm drain

A baseball painted onto a storm drain- I haven’t seen anything like it. I also passed by a deserted Gate 7:

Gate 7

Then walked over a smelly canal:

 Canal

It smelled like a sewer. Pretty nasty. Then, I approached the gate I was looking for:

Rotunda

That would be Gate One, or “The Rotunda”. It is the main entrance of Tropicana Field, and looks great inside. If you look closely in the above picture, you might notice the Rays Team Store:

Team Shop

I walked up to the line in front of the security checkpoint:

Security Checkpoint

Enterence with Rotunda

After a short wait, I walked up to get my backpack checked. When the security guard finished, I thought he told me “Okay”,  but he stopped me and told me to remove my cap. I have never been asked to do that, but I guess that’s what you have to do to prevent terrorism.

I had a ticket print-out, one of those ugly pieces of paper that says “this is your ticket” from the computer, so I went to the ticket office to get it exchanged for a nice, clean ticket stub:

Ticket Booths

That picture isn’t too good because the word “Gate” is cut off. Anyways, I went up to the window and asked the man for a ticket stub. He had no idea what I was talking about (?) and he told me the print-out is my ticket. I tried to explain to him what I wanted, and he asked another person for help before telling me he couldn’t help me. Notice how a HIGH A ballpark can help me out with that but a major league ballpark can’t.

STRIKE ONE

Throughout this post, you will see “strikes” that would eventually leave me in a bad mood on the way out. I went up to the doors of Gate One:

Rotunda (2)

Rotunda

Then scanned my ticket and went inside:

Rotunda (5)

That is what you saw walking in. Here is what it looks like as you leave:

Rotunda (4)

As you can see, you don’t enter through a gate- you come in through doors. I found that to be a little weird.

As I walked through the concourse, I failed to take any pictures. I just wanted to get to batting practice right away. I walked past this little opening, and from there, you could see the upper deck:

1st look at inside

I went up to the left field seats to find out that the Red Sox canceled batting practice. I didn’t know about the 14 inning game the night before because I didn’t have access to the internet. Then, I noticed (and failed to photograph) a large crowd around the Red Sox dugout. I decided to wait over there for the Red Sox to come out. The first player to walk out was David Ross, but he said he would sign later. There were some other fans near me, and we were talking about the Red Sox. Pretty soon, Juan Nieves, the pitching coach, walked out with Jon Lester, who would be the starter. I saw Juan at this game. He told me he would sign for me at one point that day, but never did. He completely ignored me, and nobody walked out for another ten minutes. While I was waiting, I noticed the security guards talking. Then, they walked up to the crowd. They said, ” If you don’t have a ticket to this area, you have to go to your seat.” I looked at the time: 6:40. The game wouldn’t start for HALF A FREAKIN HOUR and the security guards kicked us out. Then, I noticed the Rays side wasn’t disturbed at all.

STRIKE TWO

I thought about going to the Rays side, but the ushers were checking tickets to that area. THE STADIUM CAN’T SELL OUT EVEN IF THE RED SOX AND YANKEES ARE IN TOWN AND YOU WON’T LET US INTO AN AREA 30 MINUTES BEFORE THE GAME STARTS?!?! I was so ticket off, so I decided to find my way to the upper deck to explore the stadium and that I would get the winner’s autograph.

The upper deck is very steep:

Stairs go straight down

During the game, I took pictures to compare-

The Red Sox Side:

Red Sox side

The Rays Side:

Rays Side

As you can see, they didn’t come near a sellout crowd.

There were a couple of things that ticked me off inside the Trop. One- My camera took lots of blurry shots because of the low light. Two- The Ushers wouldn’t let me into the 100 level seats, and my camera can’t zoom in well enough to take a great action shot. Because of that, I won’t have my player photo’s after I blog about the game itself.

Tropicana Field has a neat feature in center field that is open to fans of all ages- the Rays touch tank:

Rays Touch Tank

There are live stingrays in the tank, and you can pet them and feed them, although I’m pretty sure you had to pay to feed them. Entry was free, but I never made it up there. I wanted to take pictures from that location, but that was the closest I got to the tank. Here is the view from the seat I was in:

View from Right CF

At one point in the game, I decided to go to the Rays team store. I was on the 300 level at the time, so I decided to take a ramp down to the 100 level. Tropicana Field has several ramps on the outside of the park, and they allow you to take them to different levels. Smoking is even permitted on the ramps:

Outside Ramp

Here is the actual stadium from this ramp- I don’t remember which one it was:

Tropicana Field sign with bats and balls

If you look closely, there are bats with MLB logos on them, and up on top are baseballs.

Back to the team shop story- I found the team store and looked around, just to see the prices. I thought about getting a Mini-Bat, which was $10, but decided to come back later to buy it. When I came back, a man in the store told me they had a David Ortiz bobble head for $15. I decided to buy it, and as I was leaving, the lady standing next to him said, ” You got lucky. People have been coming in here all day asking for Red Sox stuff, and that is all we had”:

Big Papi Bobblehead

I realize that wasn’t a great shot, but I will show a better one at the end of the post. I forgot to take any pictures of the team shop, and I don’t have many of the concourse. I also decided to get something to eat:

Hot dog

Yes, all I put on it was ketchup, but that is how I wanted it. It tasted great, and I got this cup to go with it:

Souvenir Cup (2)

Souvenir Cup

Tropicana Field has four rings, or catwalks, on the roof of the stadium:

Catwalks (2)

Catwalks (3)

Stadium personnel actually walk on the catwalks, I guess for maintenance.  I also saw on television that walking on the roof is like walking on a trampoline. Seems fun, yet scary at the same time.

Whenever the Rays hit a home run, a loud horn goes off. The Tropicana sign in right field starts flashing, and the orange squirts out juice. Here is the sign before:

Tropicana Orange (2)

That picture was taken from the right field seats. Here is the orange during a home run:

Matt Joyce HR (2)

Matt Joyce HR

To go along with how frustrated I was, my camera was acting up. It wouldn’t focus in time to take pictures quickly. I would have to mess with it before it would focus and take a picture. As you can see, the orange juice is lit up during the home run, but not in the other picture.

Here is the upper concourse, far into foul territory towards the end of the game:

300 Level concourse

Here is something painted onto the lower concourse:

??????????

Notice how my camera messed up. I was walking through the concourse, and when I noticed this, I took a picture. I didn’t notice my camera rotated it, and when it is displayed on my computer, it faces the correct direction. Here is something near the Rotunda:

Player comes out of wall

Directly on the other side of the concourse is the Ted Williams Museum:

Ted Williams museum

It featured cool exhibits, but I only took a couple of pictures, like these:

Ted Williams Hitters HOF Museum

Ted Williams StatueHere is the press box at the Trop:

Press Box

I failed to get a picture of Raymond, the Rays mascot, up close, but I do have this picture:

Raymond Crop

I also saw these Aquafina mascots:

Water Bottles

The Rays won, 8-3, and whenever the Rays win, Raymond runs out with a flag that says “Rays Win” as the horn goes off. When you walk out of the stadium, you will see an orange roof:

Orange Roof

Orange Roof (2)

Here is where it gets fun. I stood near the Rays dugout for the top of the ninth, and when the final out was recorded, I rushed through a group of fans to get a spot for autographs. I watched as Raymond ran in the outfield with his flag, wishing I could take a picture for the blog. However, I was on the verge of being shut out. I saw two players that I could recognize- Fernando Rodney, and I was the first to call out his name. He walked past me and several other fans begging for autographs. There was a large group of kids next to me, and they had to wait through this:

Matt Joyce

Todd Kalas was interviewing Matt Joyce for SunSports, and now that I looked at the picture, I notice Desmond Jennings is being interviewed in the background. Everyone was calling out his name, but the interview started. Everyone was silent. He finished the interview, and all you could hear was MATT MATT MATT MATT PLEASE SIGN MATT MATT SIGN. I thought he left, but he was on the Rays scoreboard. A few minutes later, security said, “Sorry guys, but everyone is gone”. That ticked me off.

After everyone left, I went to search for ticket stubs, because of my print out. This was 5 MINUTES after the game, and as I went to search, the ushers said, “You are walking the wrong way”. I had to go up the stairs and leave Tropicana Field without an autograph, a ball, or a TICKET STUB. I was furious- not because my Red Sox lost, but because of stadium security. Plus, my mom wasn’t where she dropped me off, so I had to search for her.

STRIKE THREE

That final strike is for the security, not for my mom. I took some pictures of the players on the scoreboard:

Jose Molina or Final Score

That picture is my “Final Score” for this game, 8-3. Here is a former Red Sox:

James Loney, Former Red Sox

Who can forget Big Papi?

Big Papi

I did leave Tropicana Field with some souvenirs, though:

Inside Pitch

This is the Rays game-day magazine, called “Inside Pitch”. It has some neat facts on Rays players.

Bobblehead

My David Ortiz bobble head. I might have to take back one of the Rays strikes for this- or, maybe not.

Pocket Schedules

I got some pocket schedules for my collection. I think this is one of the better designs of pocket schedules.

Pocket Schedules- TY

No, I didn’t get these at Tropicana Field. They came from my hotel, but I thought I would throw it into this post.

Tropicana Field, in three words, was:

– Ugly

– Unique

– Enjoyable

The Rays staff did their best to keep fans happy, and the players can really put on a show. Thanks for reading! I think my next game will be Sunday, June 30th, but if not, there will be one from Birmingham, Alabama in early July.

Mail- Week of 6/9-6/15

Sorry this post is up so late!

Way back in April, I sent Heath Bell a baseball card in hopes of my third TTM autograph from him. I started to wonder if it got lost in the mail, because he normally returns quickly. I was happy to find this in the mail on June 14th:

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Heath signed a 2013 Topps Heritage for me, but he signed it sideways. I wonder if he is trying to start a trend?

Sent: April 27, 2013

Received: June 14, 2013- 48 Days: Officially my longest return time from Heath

That was all the mail I got, and despite requesting nearly 100 fan packs from the Majors to AA ball, I didn’t get any mail last week. Check back soon for posts on Tropicana Field, Busch Gardens, and a replacement for last week’s mail post! Thanks for reading!

Mail- Week of 6/2-6/8

If you might have noticed, I haven’t been getting much mail lately. I have been way behind on fan pack requests and I had several TTM requests that were out for a while. I was hoping for more mail, and I got it this week.

On June 3rd, I found two autographs in the mail. One of them was from Dallas, TX, which was weird considering I hadn’t mailed anything to the Rangers this season. It turns out the autograph was from Spring Training:

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I sent this card to David Murphy back in February, and I was wondering where it could have been. I read online that he signs autographs TTM, so it was a little weird getting this in June- but I was happy to get it.

Sent: Feb. 12, 2013

Received: Jun 3, 2013- 111 Days, which is now my longest return time

The other autograph I got was from a former Red Sox and a current Athletic, Jed Lowrie:

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I previously got this from him. This was a pretty nice autograph- if you look closely, he signed his Rookie Card.

Sent: May 25, 2013

Received: Jun 3, 2013- 9 Days

On my last day of 10th grade, June 6th, I came home to find two fan packs in the mail, and they came from the Red Sox and Yankees AA teams, the Sea Dogs and the Thunder:

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They both sent identical fan packs, and even the dates are identical:

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Portland

Sent: Jun 1, 2013

Received: Jun 6, 2013- 5 Days

Trenton

Sent: Jun 1, 2013

Received: Jun 6, 2013- 5 Days

Last but not least, I got a fan pack from the Chicago White Sox on the 8th:

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That is something from Lynn University covering my address. That was the closest thing to me.

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– Pride Club

– Southpaw Appearances

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– Publication Order Form

– Kids Club Membership (no, I didn’t get into Pride Club or a Kids Membership for free)

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– A note thanking me for my interest in the White Sox

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– Two Pocket Schedules

– One Sticker

I love the design of the White Sox pocket schedules this season. I have Alexi Ramirez, Adam Dunn, and now two Jake Peavy schedules.

Sent: Jun 2, 2013

Received: Jun 8, 2013- 6 Days

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Jed Lowrie, David Murphy, the SeaDogs, Thunder, and White Sox! I will have a post up about a some-what fun yet some-what crappy visit to Tropicana Field and a post about Busch Gardens- Tampa up soon.

Topps/Upper Deck Pack Breaks

I didn’t find an autograph or a fan pack last week, so instead, I will blog about baseball cards. Last week, my Grandfather sent a package to my family, and I found these inside:

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There was a pack of 2013 Topps Series 1 and a pack of Upper Deck, which included both Series 1 and 2. I went on to open the pack of Topps cards, and I am happy with what was in it. Here are just a few:

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I wanted the Adam Greenberg card ever since Topps posted a picture of it last off season, and I finally got one in this pack of cards. Another awesome card was my only Red Sox card, the Pedroia mini. Here are my favorite Upper Deck cards:

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I didn’t own the Tim Wakefield card before, and I thought the picture of Tulowitzki was awesome. Next Saturday I will blog about two autographs and three fan packs. I will be in Tampa to watch the Red Sox and the Rays on Tuesday, and to go along with that, I will be at Busch Gardens, so I will get a post up about those shortly. Thanks for reading!