Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Contest Winner...and a recap of my first National League game

This may be the most delayed game recap in the history of the world. Or, maybe just on this blog.

Anyway, last week we were in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I was looking forward to a break from the Texas heat, but the first two days of our trip found it hotter in Colorado than back home. One of the things I most wanted to do was make the 70 mile drive north to Denver to take in a Rockies game. I’m not a Rockies fan (my oldest son in now), but I didn’t want to pass up a chance to see my first National League game. The Cardinals were in town so it looked like a good chance to see Pujols and Holliday in action. Someone commented that I was finally going to get to see some real baseball. I'll debate that, but another day.

Tuesday rolled around and we made our way to Coors Field. I was amazed…the stadium is really nice and located right off the highway in downtown Denver. If you’ve never been to The Ballpark in Arlington, or you live in a city where the stadium is located downtown, you may not realize how great that is. The Rangers play in between Dallas and Fort Worth, next to Six Flags (theme park) and the Cowboys new stadium. It is a major pain to get back to the highway after the game. Not so in Denver. Five minutes after we got back in the car, we were on the highway headed south.

But, I digress. As we entered the stadium, we were greeted by a view of the field, the scoreboard and the Rockpile, the center field seats that sit high above the field and some nice landscaping. My wife and youngest son headed for the big gift shop and my oldest son and I headed for the area near the Rockies dugout to try to get an autograph or two.

We were told by an usher to go to section 20 for autographs so that is where we headed. The Cardinals were having BP so we saw Pujols and Holliday hitting. Holliday hit two or three monster shots, one clearing a brick wall in left center. I mean a brick wall BEHIND the concourse, BEHIND the seats. A few minutes later, Eric Young and Matt Daley walked past us to sign autos at a special line. Apparently you needed some kind of special ticket for that. I would have liked to get EY on his 2010 Topps play at the plate card. When they were finished, they walked past the waiting kids back into the dugout. A bearded man walked out of the dugout wearing a t-shirt and game pants and approached the man right next to us. They greeted each other warmly and a whole line of kids approached with new baseballs and the player started signing. Apparently the player and man were old friends and had arranged to sign for the kids. I told my son to get his cards out and we found one of the player. He held it out and sure enough, without missing a beat in his conversation, the player signed it.

After a minute or two, there were no more kids to sign for, so my son handed the player his game ticket….then his cap. He got three autos from Seth Smith. And Seth got a new fan. My son had purchased a Rockies cap (Wal-mart, $7) and a Chris Iannetta shirt (Rockies Dugout Store, $20) before the game. After the game, he wanted a Seth Smith shirt.

The game was delayed by rain for about 35 minutes so we hung out in the concourse to stay dry. The first two innings were uneventful as Blake Hawksworth and Jeff Francis pitched. The third inning saw the Cardinals put up three runs as Felipe Lopez hit a two run shot to left and Pujols doubled in the other run. The Rockies responded in the bottom of the third with a Carlos Gonzalez two run shot to left center. We were sitting near the left field foul pole, so we had a great view of the homeruns. The Cardinals tacked on two in the fourth, one in the fifth and three more in the sixth on a Holliday homer. The Rockies scratched out one run in the bottom of the seventh and the game went to the ninth inning with the Rockies down 9-3. That is when the most exciting inning of baseball I’ve ever seen began. And only about 10,000 or so of the 32,922 fans were left to witness it.

Manny Corpas got Pujols, Holliday and Denny Reyes to groundout in the top of the 9th.

Denny Reyes didn’t get so lucky. Miguel Olivo singled to left. Seth Smith lined out to Pujols. At this point we got up and went to the top of our section to watch. My wife wanted to leave, so I said we would after the next out. Melvin Mora singled and Cliff Barmes followed with a walk where ball four was a passed ball, allowing Olivo to score from third. Ryan Franklin replaced Reyes and promptly gave up a three run homer to Chris Iannetta, making the score 9-7. My son was thrilled by that and proudly showed off his Iannetta shirt. Dexter Fowler followed with a double. Brad Hawpe pinch hit, but grounded out. At this point, my wife was ready to go, but it was too exciting to leave. We walked down to one of the sections close to the Cardinals dugout…at this point I should say that it wouldn’t be a stretch to say nearly half of the people at the game were wearing Cardinals shirts. They were all being very quiet. With the score 9-7 and Fowler on second, Carlos Gonzalez and Jason Giambi hit run scoring singles. The place erupted when the score was tied at 9. Cardinal’s fans were in shock. Rockies fans were high fiving my wife and kids…it was electric. Miguel Olivo hit the third consecutive two out single, advancing Aaron Cook, who pinch ran for Giambi, to third. Up stepped Seth Smith, my son’s newest favorite non-Ranger thanks to the autographs, who hit a 2-2 pitch deep to right for a three run, walk off homerun. The Rockies had scored 9 runs in the bottom of the 9th to win the game 12-9! Coors Field sounded like the Rockies had just won Game 7 of the World Series. As we left, people were honking horns and shouting. It was very exciting. I found out later it was the biggest 9th inning comeback in Rockies history.

All in all, it was very exciting and I was impressed with Coors Field and the nice people we met at the game.

And that leaves us with the July contest. Since nobody guessed the autograph was from Seth Smith, I entered everyone’s name in the randomizer and hit the switch seven times because Seth wears number 7. The winner is….

Captain Canuck!

I’ll get a prize pack in the mail as soon as I can pick up a few packs for you CC!
Thanks to everyone for entering the contest!


  1. unbelievable.

    that's probably the only way I'll win one of these things.....


  2. I actually almost guessed Seth Smith. Then I thought, "I don't even know if Seth Smith is on the team now." Guess I should've looked it up.