I have been busy since since Wednesday night so I have not had a chance to post about the game yet. We had great seats three rows back from the White Sox dugout for the 25th anniversary of my first game on the 25th. I thought that it would be a great night that perhaps Andruw Jones who wears the #25 for the Sox would help make it memorable by hitting a homer, or otherwise helping the Sox win. Sadly he went 0-3, and the Sox lost 4-2. They had a great chance in the ninth to tie up the game with a two out rally, but it was too little too late. Sometimes the outcome of the game can enhance the fun, but it does not determine how I think of the day. We had a great time watching the game from a new perspective. Continue reading
Twenty five years ago today my father took me to my first baseball game. By the time I first set foot inside Old Comiskey Park I was already a baseball junkie. The great finish by the 1983 White Sox helped get me started. Seeing the team at the winter caravan which came to my town that off season really started me loving this team. I even won one of the door prizes which was an autographed ball by Minnie Minoso, Mike Squires, Ron Kittle, The Hawk, and Ribbie and Rubarb. 1984 was the first year that I started collecting baseball cards as well. Of course all of the cards that I really wanted had White Sox players on them. My summer was spent watching the White Sox on a small black and white TV that got WFLD in good enough to watch. This was in the days of rabbit ears and dials helping you fine tune a station. If you would have asked my nine year old self what the term HD I would have told you heavy duty. Just a couple of days before I turned nine though my father took me to see Comiskey Park which was in its 75th year. I normally will not post pictures that are not my own, but since I did not have a camera that day I had to make due with other peoples. Things will be back to normal tomorrow though. Continue reading
This year marks the 25th year that I have been attending Major League Baseball games. At first my attendance was sparse. I went when my father got free tickets from his company. We all know now that I will go whenever I can get a chance. I love lists. Lists are how you can look at things. So as this season progresses I will have a few lists on here. The first of those will be my goal sheet for this 25th anniversary season. Here are the things that I would like to accomplish during the 2010 season. Some of them have already been checked off. Some of them might take some work to get done. I will have to look at this at the end of the year to see how I fared. Here is the list:
- See the Arizona Diamondbacks play (5/1/2010) – Arizona is one of the two Major League teams that I have not seen play coming into 2010.
- See the Colorado Rockies play (5/17) – The other team that I have yet to see in person.
- Attend the White Sox game against the Orioles on 8/25/2010 – This is the day 25 years later that I attended my first baseball game. The stadium may have changed, but I still get chills when I walk inside.
- See the Toronto Blue Jays play – (5/7) The Blue Jays were the first opponent that I saw the Sox play.
- See Brian Bannister pitch (5/5/2010) – Brian is the son of former Sox hurler Floyd Bannister who pitched in the first game that I saw.
- See a game at U.S. Cellular Field (4/5/2010) – I checked off a few goals on Opening Day. This was one of them.
- See a game at Wrigley Field (5/1/2010) – This may be the territory of the enemy, but it is a landmark park in my own backyard. I also have some great memories inside this stadium.
- Attend Opening Day (4/5/2010) – This should be a goal every season.
- Attend a game on my birthday – I also try to do this every season. This year the Sox are in town, and they are playing the Yankees.
- Attend Frank Thomas day at the Cell – The day after my birthday (8/29/2010) they will be honoring the Big Hurt. I guess I will have to make it two in a row at the Cell.
- Attend a Red Sox game – I always enjoy games between the two Sox clubs. I would love to make this the first time for Fenway, but I will probably have to settle for the September matchup at the Cell.
- Attend a game at Miller Park – This stadium just north of us on 94 is a great one to watch baseball in.
- Attend a game at Comerica Park – I was here in 2003, but did not take my camera. Last season I visited all the parks that I did not take pictures at besides this one. We cross it off in 2010.
- Visit a new Minor League stadium – While MLB baseball is fun, MiLB baseball can be just as much fun. I need to find a new stadium to enjoy the action in this year.
- See Lyle Overbay play (5/7) – While I was in college I attended many South Bend Silverhawk games. Lyle was a star on those teams. He now plays for the Blue Jays.
- Attend the Midwest League All Star game – This year it is just down the road in Fort Wayne. What better way to see some of the young talent in the game?
- See an Angels game (5/20) – With the World Series year being five years ago I would love to see them play their ALCS opponent.
- See an Astros game – After visiting their stadium this season I wanted to see the team play in person. They were also the team we beat in 2005 to win it all.
- Attend at least nine games at the Cell this season – If I can accomplish this I will have attended 50 games at the Cell. It took a while for the first 50, but I bet the next 50 comes much easier.
- Road trip to a new MLB stadium – I have knocked out most of the stadiums near me. Although my brother does get married this season in Colorado when the Rockies are in town.
- See a game on 5/22/2010 – For some reason I seem to see a game every two years on this date. So this being an even numbered year it is time to see a game. I really have a problem huh?
- See a game against the Tigers, Royals (5/5/2010), Twins (4/11/2010), and the Indians (4/5/2010) – This one involves seeing all the AL Central teams.
- Snag a ball during a game (5/4/2010) – I have plenty of balls that I acquired during batting practice. This year I want to get one during a game. Update: I snagged a foul ball in the 4th inning of a game between Northwestern and Valpo. With less than 100 fans at the game it increased my odds a bit.
- Ballhawk at Wrigley Field – I have always wanted to just take the train up to Wrigley with no ticket and ballhawk. I guess this will have to be the year. No ticket required.
- Get a ball autographed by both Rich Dotson and Carlton Fisk – I met both of these guys at my first game in 1985. The both autographed my program. I would love to get a ball autographed by both players for my collection.
If I can do all of this I would have to say that I will have had a great year. We will see what happens over the course of the season
Last night I got to the park and saw the tarp on the field. I arrived early for batting practice, but I didn’t get as upset as usual when they were not hitting. I have been reading a book by Joe Posnanski called “The Soul of Baseball.” The book chronicles the authors journey around the country with Buck O’Neil. It is a great book, and I was happy to have some extra time to read it. If you like baseball this is a great book for you. Anyway I had a seat in section 149 for the Mullet Night festivities. This is a great section to get some good pictures of the Sox team as they warm up for the game. It is kind of interesting to see the different ways that the players get themselves ready for the game. Some players like Pods will warm up forever doing all sorts of exercises. Others get stretched by a trainer or they stretch themselves. Some play catch, and some play catch up with players from the other team. Everyone has their own routine that gets them ready for gametime. This year they had no Mullet parade around the field so most of the Mullet night festivities were confined to between innings. It was a good time, but nothing will compare to that first Mullet night when we walked on the field.
The game started simple enough. Both teams only sent three batters up to the plate in the first inning. Pauly hit a solo shot in the second that put the Sox up 1-0, and get the crowd going. Thome just missed a home run just before Pauly came up. Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold pulled the ball off the top of the wall. Danks gave up a two run homer to Nick Markakais that gave Baltimore a 2-1 lead in the third. The Sox responded with two of their own in the bottom of the inning to take the lead back. Adam Jones then tied it up with a solo shot in the fourth. Jones looks like a good center fielder. His numers suggest that he can hit, and he seems to know his way around the outfield. It is interesting to watch a team with a good all around center fielder. The game then shifted to Jim Thome. He hit a line drive three run homer down the right field line in the fifth inning that gave the Sox a 6-3 lead. He then came up with the bases loaded in the sixth, and tried to hit the ball out of the park to straightaway center field. The ball looked as though it was headed to the plaque that the team erected for him in center for his bombs last year. The grand slam gave him 7 RBI’s in two innings. This is a great feat. I saw Tadahito Iguchi pull this off in 2006 during a Sunday night game, but Jim made it a little more interesting with the tape measure shot. They said the ball went 448 feet, but I don’t know how it was not longer. Thome had a great night and stole the show, but Scotty Pods had a good night as well. When he was brought back I could not figure out why. He has shown every game since he made it back what he can do when healthy. All he did last night was go 3-3 with two walks, a stolen base, and three runs scored. He reached base all five times he came up to the plate. More importantly he scored three of those times. We need this kind of production from the leadoff spot. Gordon Beckham was also on base four of five times last night. Maybe this offense is coming around.
With all of the good things that the offense brought last night we almost can forget about some of the bad things. One of those is Dewayne Wise who went 0-5 last night, and was the only Sox player not to reach base. He did get one ball out of the infield in the 7th though so maybe he is coming around. In the field he just looked lost last night. He had trouble on a couple of routine plays, and looked terrible on a couple balls that he had to run for. He hit the left center wall so hard on one of those that we watched to see if he would get up. At some point we have to cut ties with this guy. Ozzie likes him for some reason, but what does he really bring to this team? The relief last night also left something to be desired. Danks gave up 3 runs in 5 innings, and left the game with a 6-3 lead. The pen though decided to make it interesting. Linebrink gave up two runs and Thornton gave up three to keep some of the Sox fans in their seats a little while longer. Dotel gave up a leadoff double in the 7th, but fanned two of the next three batters to get out of the inning. From the first pitch it looked as if Octavio was going to have a rough day. In all the Sox pitchers gave up 8 runs on 14 hits. The Sox were actually out hit, but made the most of their 13 hits. Two other negatives were the errors by Getz and Ramirez. If we are going to take the Central and possibly go farther we have to shore up our defense. With the pitchers already struggling you can’t afford to give the other team extra chances.
Enough negatives though. This was an exciting game that helped the Sox gain a game on the Tigers who lost last night to the Yankees. I think that this team is good enough to make things interesting the rest of the year. The only question is how interesting will this get? We will know very soon as we will see some of the best that the AL East has to offer in the Rays and the Yankees in the next couple of weeks. That should be a good measuring stick.