A Long Time Coming

It has been over a year since I attended my last Major League games. This past Saturday I took care of that in style. I attended the rare doubleheader in Chicago. The Cubs played the noon game, and the White Sox played a six o’clock game. This has been something that I have wanted to do for a while now, and Saturday I got my chance. We had good seats for the Cubs game that gave me a good vantage point to try out my new lens that I have been renting. For the first game of the year it was a good one. The Cubs and Rockies traded the lead until the Rockies finally prevailed. On a hot day it was a nice quick game that let us get on the ‘L’ for stop two on the day. During the Sox game the heat started getting to me so I moved up from our seats in row one for a while. When I got back so did the Sox offense, and they completed the perfect day by coming back to beat the Mariners. Fireworks closed out a great sports day. I have seen more than 18 innings in one game. I saw the 19 inning game in 2006 between the White Sox and Red Sox. In 2003 in a doubleheader at Wrigley we watched 24 innings. I have seen more in one day, but never at two parks. That was a great experience that I would like to try again.

I have not been posting much on here as I have shifted my interest a bit. I have a blog called csd’s Daily Photo where I have to take a picture a day for a year. You can find that blog here. Some of that content is sports related, but of a high school variety that I didn’t think needed to be repeated here. Purdue cranks up the football season Saturday, and the blog will be back then. I think that I will go back to the original format at that time. I will just talk about my experience, and leave the analysis to the pros.

Here are a few pictures from both games Saturday that I liked.

This was my first time seeing the Ron Santo statue outside of Wrigley

Former Cub Tyler Colvin shares a laugh prior to the game

Tyler Colvin just misses getting hit in the helmet early in the game

Starlin Castro tries to turn a double play

The fractured bat of Anthony Rizzo rests in the outfield grass

Another tight play at second base

The last time I was at the Cell they were unveiling this statue of Frank Thomas

 

I finally got to see Kevin Youkilis in his other Sox

My man Paulie making contact

Newly acquired Pitcher Brett Myers just after release

Alexei turning the double play

Eric Thames having some fun with the crowd

Kyle Seager blasts the second of his two home runs on the night

Kevin Youkilis makes the final out near the Sox dugout

High fives all around for a job well done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farewell Mr. Buehrle

Mark on Opening Day last season

This blog is usually about events that I have attended live. Every now and then though something happens that I feel the need to write about. Today one of those events happened. Today Mark Buehrle signed with the Miami Marlins to join his former manager on the team. I really enjoyed watching Mark pitch during his time with the Sox. The picture above tells you all you need to know about the guy. Here is was Opening Day, and he was walking around with his glove on his head before pitching. He was always loose and fun to watch. Maybe they will let him slide around on the tarp in Miami.

Goodbye Ozzie

Ozzie in the better times

Over the last two days I have seen people cheering the end of the Ozzie Guillen era in Chicago. For some reason I am not so happy. I guess it is due to the fact that I remember how much excitement he brought to the South Side. He managed the Sox to their first World Series title since 1917 in just his second year as the manager of the Sox. He also was never boring as the manager of the team. I guess he is hoping that he can bring the good times to the Marlins. Continue reading

My Top Ten Pictures of the First Five Years of the Junkie

A couple of days ago I posted about this site being five years old. I am sort of proud of the fact that I made it this long. I don’t consider myself a sportswriter, and I am far away from being a sports photographer. For some reason (a fact that boggles me) people come to this site to read what I have to say and to look at my pictures. If you take enough pictures over a five year span you are bound to accidentally take a few good ones. Here are the ten pictures that came to mind when I thought of the ten best in that span. I may have left a few out so if you have a favorite that I missed let me know.

Drey Mingo leaves the court with the WNIT trophy just before her illness

10. This may not be the best picture that I have ever taken, but it is one of my favorites nonetheless. The Purdue Women’s Basketball team was on a high note last season when they beat Depaul at home to win the WNIT preseason tournament. The team was on cloud nine thinking about how good things could be, and also the great trip ahead of them over the holiday weekend. That all came crashing down when Drey Mingo was diagnosed with meningitis. I had a seat right by the tunnel in Mackey so I got to see the players as they left the court. Drey was hugging the trophy as she left, and I thought it would be a great picture. When her condition was unknown a couple of days later I kept looking at this picture pondering how quickly things can change. For that reason it makes it onto this list. Continue reading

The Big Hurt Gets Bronzed

The Thomas statue shortly after its unveiling. I could barely get in to get this picture let alone get the camera settings dialed in. This turned out better than I thought it would.

Yesterday I made it to U.S. Cellular Field to see the second Frank Thomas day in as many years. Last August I saw the team retire his number. Yesterday they gave him a statue in left field. Frank was probably the best hitter I have seen so far in my life. I have seen players hit more home runs and hit for a higher average, but none that could do both while staying clean. Continue reading

Lots of Fireworks Before Everything is Said and Dunn

Royals pitcher Bruce Chen signing some autographs before the game

Last night I was at the Cell to see the White Sox take on the Royals. I have been to Minor League games on the Fourth of July before, but never a Major League game. For once I really did not have much going on on the holiday so I found a very cheap ticket on StubHub that would allow me to see the Sox on the Fourth. I got to the game a little early to watch batting practice. Last season while on a bus trip I watched the fun that Bruce Chen and Joakim Soria had in the outfield. I usually stand by the Podsednik seat, but I stood a little to the left of that in order to watch them again. They really do seem to enjoy what they do, and it makes you like them as players even if they play for a division rival. Chen even took the time to sign some autographs for some younger Sox fans in the Royals bullpen. While taking some pictures of this duo I noticed that Mike Moustakas was at bat. He is a lefty with some pop so I quit taking pictures long enough to watch his at bat in the cage. He hit a ball that off the bat looked like it was right at me. I hurried up and set my camera down, and got my hands up just in time to snag the ball. I was sitting about seven rows up in the bleachers, and the ball was hit right at me. This was about the same spot that my brother snagged the ball hit by Jeter last August. I was not even trying to get a ball, and of course one is hit right at me! Luckily I caught it with all the people watching. Continue reading

Quentin Barrage Cannot Down Mariners

Something must be wrong with me. After attending three Major League games in the first two weeks of the season I have not been to one since. Almost two months without attending a game! I have had some circled to attend, but something always came up. Last night I was able to finally get back to the Cell to see the Sox play. I found a good seat on the third base side for a great price on StubHub. The high temperature during the day meant that it would be a great night for baseball.

King Felix enjoying a laugh

I got to the park early enough to see batting practice. I walked out near my normal spot in right field to watch some of the lefties hit. I basically stood behind last year’s Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez. Early in the session a line drive was hit near one of the Mariners relievers. He dropped the ball, and as he was bending over to pick it up another ball was hit right at him. One of his teammates tried to catch the ball, but missed it. The ball hit him hard right in the back. Felix in front of me was on the ground immediately laughing. The picture at the beginning of this paragraph is of Felix just cracking up. For some reason I have seen quite a bit of fun just watching batting practice. I decided to take a walk around the park in the middle of batting practice. I came across one of the Chevy girls who told me that if I punched 25 all star ballots I could get two free tickets. I jumped at the chance, and sat in the left field bleachers to punch my tickets. One player for the Mariners was still hitting the ball out of the park. I would put my glove up whenever he came up, and punch my ballots while the others were batting. The player was Carlos Peguero, and he ended up hitting one right in front of me. It was a couple of rows down, and a ballhawk had settled under it. I realized he was too far forward and put my mitt right above his. The ball settled right in my mitt, and I had my first MLB ball of the season. I gave one away on Opening Day so this is technically my first. After I caught the ball I sat back down and finished punching my way to two more games. Continue reading

Classic Scorecards: July 1st, 1990 Andy Hawkins No-Hits White Sox, But Loses Game

Andy Hawkins threw a no-hitter in 1990, but lost twice

The first White Sox game for this feature is one that I remember very well from childhood. I remember watching this game on TV as I did many games back then. 1990 was a great year for the no-hitter. In June Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Dave Stewart, and Fernando Valenzuela all threw no-hitters. Now it makes sense why everyone started hitting the juice in the early 90′s.

Andy Hawkins and Greg Hibbard pitched a great game that day in July. Hibbard pitched seven innings giving up only four hits and no runs. White Sox reliever Barry Jones came in to pitch a hitless 8th leading up to the bottom of the 8th inning. Continue reading

White Sox vs. Athletics Photo Gallery

Here are some of the pictures I took yesterday at the game that did not make the cut of the post. Being at one of the lowest attended games I have ever been to had some advantages. I could have moved around wherever I wanted to, but I liked my seat enough that I stayed in it until the 8th inning. With the lefties on the mound I had a good view of them. Here are some of the pictures that I liked from yesterday.

The statue of Minnie Minoso in right field looks great in the sun

Continue reading

Blown Save By Committee

The new Bacardi at the Park restaurant outside gate 5

Last night I saw the great game ending home run by Alexei Ramirez, and of course headed over to StubHub to see if I could find a cheap way into the stadium. Not only did I find a cheap way in I found a great seat for a great price. You have to love having the day off when nobody else does. I decided that I didn’t want to pay twice as much to park as I did on the tickets themselves so I took the South Shore to Chicago, and then the Red Line to the park. This was my first time trying this out. It actually worked out well even though it takes a lot longer to get to the park. You really can’t beat getting to the park for under $20 though. I got there a little early so I decided to check out the new Bacardi at the Park restaurant by the old stadium. At first I thought the prices were a little high, but in reality they were not bad. I had a beer, burger, and fries for $16. Like I said it was a little pricey, but I was pretty full when I was done. I would have had to spend a lot more money inside to get that full. Just as I was done eating I heard the magical announcement that the gates to the park were now open. Continue reading