Silverhawks Drop the Ball on Opening Night

The home team bullpen home plate on the 'dirt'

Tonight I was able to attend Opening Night at Coveleski Stadium. I was excited to see some of the additions to the new park. They have started a dramatic overhaul of ‘the Cove’ to make it a little more fan friendly. Just a couple of weeks ago the Hawks tweeted a picture of the field that was completely covered in dirt. Tonight it was covered by field turf. The first thing that I noticed though was that the warning track was a dirt color, but was also field turf. I was wondering what kind of warning it would be if it does not feel any different? Maybe they have done something so that you can feel it. It is still weird to watch a baseball bounce on the ‘grass’ and see the black splashes as it hits. Continue reading

My First Time

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

Late Fireworks at the Cove

Today I was in South Bend to see the Lansing Lugnuts and the South Bend Silverhawks play a Midwest League game. Except for A.J. Jiminez hitting a solo home run in the 4th inning it was a quiet game. A.J. is shown above fouling off the pitch before the home run. The score was 2-0 Lansing, and it looked like both pitchers were in control. That is until the bottom of the eighth. The Silverhawks scored once to cut the score to 2-1. Randy Rodriguez came in the game to pitch the top of the ninth for the Silverhawks, and started getting hit hard right away. Jimenez smoked the first ball to centerfield, and would have had extra bases if not for Keon Broxton. That kid can cover some ground out in center. The next batter Brad Glenn took a ball out of the stadium in left for a home run. Another long out was recorded before the ninth hitter in the lineup, Oliver Dominguez, hit another shot. Rodriguez finally got out of the inning, but the Hawks were down 4-1 by the time he was done. David Nick closed out the scoring by hitting a two run shot for the Hawks in the bottom of the ninth. His two out home run that hit the church in left brought the Hawks to within one, but they could not pull the game out. They fall to 23-27 on the season. Continue reading

Another Great Day at the Cell

Last night at the Cell I was worried. As I waited to get in the rain started. This is not a terrible thing in July, but in May when the temperature is in the low 40’s it really can make things worse. As I walked down towards the field they were putting the tarp on the field. They pulled it on and off the field multiple times. The Sodfather was even having trouble trying to figure out if it was going to rain or not. Knowing how quickly things can change next to the lake I was prepared. I had on enough clothes to keep me warm in December (which it was close to temp wise). The only good thing to come of the weather was the fact that it got me a great seat for the game. I had an upper deck ticket, but used my trick to get into the lower deck. Once there I sat in straight up from first base. I talked to the usher who asked me if that was my seat. I just explained that it was raining, and I was just staying dry there. The usher said that I could stay there until I was kicked out. I lasted all nine innings in that seat. What a great view to see Peavy pitch. Continue reading

My 25 Goals For the 2010 Baseball Season

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:

  1. 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.
  2. See the Colorado Rockies play (5/17) – The other team that I have yet to see in person.
  3. 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.
  4. See the Toronto Blue Jays play – (5/7) The Blue Jays were the first opponent that I saw the Sox play.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Attend Opening Day (4/5/2010) – This should be a goal every season.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Attend a game at Miller Park – This stadium just north of us on 94 is a great one to watch baseball in.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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?
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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?
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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

Silverhawks Play Chicken With Lugnuts

For nine innings tonight the South Bend Silverhawks played chicken with the Lansing Lugnuts. Neither team wanted to win the game. I decided to go to the game to see the Famous (San Diego) Chicken in action. It was also a chance to see two Toronto farm teams (Lansing and Las Vegas) in the same week. I need to get my priorities in line. The beginning of the game was all Lansing. When Tyler Pastonicky hit his first home run of the season in the fourth they had a 4-1 lead. Tyler is shown to the left with an onlooker on top of the dugout. They jumped up 2-0 in the first inning off of Silverhawk starter Randy Rodriguez. He only lasted four innings allowing all four of Lansings runs. He was really getting hit hard. It is amazing he only gave up the four runs. In the fourth the Silverhawks had Jordan Meaker warming up. He was also up earlier in the game. He came out to pitch the fifth, but left the mound after warming up. There was a small delay while the team was given time to warm up Yonata Ortega. The closest that they came to scoring another run was in the 7th when A.J. Pollock made yet another great grab with two outs that saved a run. The chicken even showed him a sign that said ‘Employee of the Month’ as he came into the dugout.

The Silverhawks on the other hand wasted a lot of chances during the game. Clayton Conner who was only playing his second game for the Hawks stranded a few men on the basepaths. It was only fitting then that he would win the game in the 10th on a single to left field. Maybe it was the break he was given during the game that made all the difference. The Chicken gave him a magazine, a bottle of water, and a chair before the top of the seventh. He then took a rest instead of warming up the infield. Maybe that extra energy was the difference. The game would not have gotten to that point though if Alfredo Marte had not hit a three run home run in the sixth. He seems to be a hit or miss player, and he got all of this pitch. He sent the ball out of the park in left field. I have not seen too many balls leave the stadium at the Cove. Somehow this team is starting to win some games. It may be too little too late though as the season is winding down. They have been exciting to watch lately though.

I will have a little more on the Chicken’s visit to the Cove tomorrow.