The plane ride into Denver couldn’t have been any worse. I normally don’t get airsick but I really felt like I was going to lose it at any moment. But I stayed strong. Once I got into Denver I had about 50 minutes to get off the plane, get my luggage, get my rental car, and get to the stadium. Coors Field wasn’t hard to find at all. So I was able to drive the 24 miles pretty quickly. There was some heavy traffic due to an earlier accident but I was able to find parking and get inside without any trouble. Although, I didn’t make the beginning of batting practice but It really didn’t make a difference. At Coors Field the fans have to stay in the left field bleachers for the first 30 minutes of BP. Then after that they allow everyone to roam as they please. Why they have these rules? I’m not sure. Another strange rule Coors Field has is you have to stay behind row ten when around the dugouts unless you have a ticket for rows one through nine. Even during BP. A lot of people come to the stadiums seeking autographs and with that stupid rule in place its nearly impossible to accomplish any of that.
I expected to find some loose baseballs laying in the rows but there was nothing. I’m pretty sure the guards that were pretending to clean the seats scooped them all up. The way things turned out was pretty disappointing. I figured, as I stood helplessly in front of a barricaded section with just a simple yellow plastic chain, that the sections would be opened up in uniform. But no. As the Cardinals came out onto the field the security guards opened the sections one at a time. Starting with the ones on my far right. So any chance I had at finding any loose baseballs in the rows would be gobbled up by the small group of fans running down to the front row three sections over on my right. Finally my section was opened and it seemed like the guard took forever to lower the yellow plastic chain. I don’t know why the stadiums have these stupid rules in place.
I stayed on the third base side for quite sometime. But the Cardinals baseball players seemed to ignore any request for an autograph or a baseball. One guy beside me asked Eduardo Sanchez for a baseball after he was done warming up and he turned to lob it directly to a kid instead. I thought that was kind of rude because the guy asked for the ball first and wasn’t demanding at all. Then he tried to get an autograph from Ryan Franklin but was told there were no autograph signings during BP. (Which was a lie) I just couldn’t believe the attitudes the Cardinals were giving their own fans! I decided to abandon my spot on the third base side and try the first base side. But I was greeted with equal treatment from Kyle Lohse. He was busy fielding baseball after baseball in right field and denied every fans’ request for a baseball. I could see that this three game home stand between the Rockies and the Cardinals at Coors Field was going to be a tough one in regards to snagging baseballs. But some good news is that some baseballs did trickle into foul territory on the first base side so I made a mental note of that and devised a game plan for Saturdays game. The only problem with Saturdays game is that it would be Todd Helton t-shirt day. That means a larger attendance turn-out.
So that brings us to the end of batting practice. I moved in behind the Cardinals dugout with about twenty minutes left. Well, I really didn’t know how long the Cardinals would be on the field so I really had to just guess when BP would end. I didn’t want to take any chances so I made sure I was behind that dugout. Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols were busy slugging it out to see who could hit the longest BP home runs and clearly Matt Holliday is the better man. It was pure entertainment and the fans absolutely loved every minute of it. I must admit, it was quite the sight to see Holliday drop some serious bomb-age. He was putting them nearly out of the sections in deep left field.
And that was it. BP was officially over. I stood behind the dugout in hopes to get one of the coaches attention to throw some baseballs into the crowd. And at that moment Mark McGwire emerged with a couple baseballs. I was actually shocked to see him. Or maybe surprised? I really can’t explain the feeling. It was just…different to see him. Anyway. He lobbed a baseball into the crowd, and I took a few steps to my right, reached way across my body and somehow managed to catch the baseball. Unfortunately, some dude had the tips of his fingers on the baseball as I caught it and he tried to rip it free from my glove. He made some comment that Mark McGwire had intended to throw the baseball to him and I just laughed at that idea. He started to call me names and then complained to security that Mark McGwire threw him the baseball and that I should give it back. But I wasn’t about to give the baseball to him after all the name calling. And I made sure to just walk away before security insisted that I give the ball to him. All in all? I think it was a fair catch on my part, and I feel a little better about being nearly ran over by that one dude at Safeco Field that came out of nowhere on 5-5-2011 at Safeco Field Although, I didn’t appreciate being cussed at and security not stepping in sooner. But hey. You win some and you lose some. Right?
The Rockies got blown out. 10-3 was the final score but it was a very interesting game for the first four innings. It was pretty much back and forth between the two teams until Colby Rasmus got hot and drove in three runs throughout the game. I had pretty awesome seats. They were right by the right field railing on the field end of the row. And I also witnessed Ryan Spilborghs throwing multiple baseballs into the right field seats. I’m glad to say that I got to experience some time at Coors Field but after this weekend I’m also proud to say that I’m not coming back. One thing I really thought was awesome was the Batters eye and the bullpens. Take a look.
Game; May 27th 2011 St Louis Cardinals vs Colorado Rockies
Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $32.80 this season.
Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $14.25 this season