December 2011

Piratefest Day 1

Amy, Olivia and I headed down to the David L Lawrence Convention Center on Friday for the season ticket holder only portion of Piratefest.

The general public would have to wait until Saturday and Sunday to attend.  As an added perk, since I had paid for my three season tickets in full, I was granted early access at 4 PM, two and a half hours before the rest of the season ticket holders are allowed in.

Therefore, when 4PM came, we walked in, and the few season ticket holders that were paid in full flocked to the autograph lines and the clubhouse store to take advantage of their 40% off coupons.  It made the hall eerily empty.

By the way, Jeff Karstens was working scanning our tickets:

And Andrew McCutchen, James McDonald, and Neil Walker were working passing out the calendars to fans:

Our first stop was the Pirates Clubhouse store.

There I purchased a Pirates 2011 style BP hat for $14 with the VIP shopping coupon that was sent to me.  The second stop was the authenticated merchandise area.  There were lots of game used jerseys, balls, bats, line up cards, etc there.

Some of the merchandise was rather pricey.  An Andrew McCutchen game used road jersey?

$850.

I considered buying a Herbie Andrade game used jersey to hopefully get the guy to like me again after seeing me switch shirts to the visiting team, but $125 seemed too expensive.

I did end up buying some game used merchandise.  First, I bought a bag of four game used baseballs:

The balls were in a grab bag.  Each ball was game used and has an authentication sticker on it with a hologram.   I got a ball from Opening Day 2008 in Atlanta, a ball from the 2008 home opener, a ball from 2011 when Joel Hanrahan set a save record, and a Garrett Jones RBI base hit baseball from June 20 2011 vs Indians.  Pretty cool, they’ve got to be worth more than the $5 each that I paid.  At worst I was planning on peeling off the stickers and giving them away as decoy balls throughout the 2012 season.

Also, there were lineup cards from every game from the 2011 season.  They were all in chronological order, so I flipped through and bought one from the day Olivia was born.  She was actually born as the game was going on!

So, it will get framed and hang in her bedroom.  It was only $25 by the way, not too bad.

There was a large Christmas tree in the middle of the convention center, but besides that, there weren’t many Christmas decorations.  It was all black and gold everywhere.

We took advantage of the low crowds to head over to the MVP zone, which is a season ticket holder only area with short lines.  There we got autographs from:
Daniel McCutchen and Michael McKenry.

McCutchen recognized me and asked how many balls McKenry had thrown me.  I told him ‘none.’  I also told him he threw one to me in 2011, albeit by accident, as it was a random flip up into the stands in Cleveland.

There was Alex Presley and Kevin Correia:

and Clint Barmes, Jose Tabata and Chris Resop.  Joel Hanrahan was at the table too, but bailed about two minutes before I got up to the table.

We also stopped by the 2012 Promotional booth, where many of the give aways from the coming year are on display.  There was a wall of shirts from Free Shirt Fridays:

And a closer look at the 12 shirts that will be given away:
First is a plain looking white tee shirt that’s kind of boring, followed by a rather sharp black shirt.

There is a camo Pirates logo shirt and a generic gray shirt.

Two weird design shirts, one of silhouettes of Pirates players past and present, and another silhouette of Andrew McCutchen on a white shirt:

A gold Pirates shirt, which is great for ballhawking because it makes you stand out, and a gray shirt with the Pittsburgh skyline on it, as seen from PNC Park:

Two really weird shirts for rappers:

And a Roberto Clemente shirt along with a snazzy gold Pirates shirt to conclude the season:

Other items were a Pirate Parrot doll and Pirates bowls:

A Joel Hanrahan bobblehead and Neil Walker mom and kid jerseys:

A Pirates umbrella:

A Pirates floatation device, sunglasses, and hat:

A kids necklace, visor, cooler bag, and gym bag:

The promotions didn’t get me very excited.  It seemed to be the same old stuff except with a different design.  The Pirates gym bag and a couple of the shirts are the only promotions that I would be interested in actually keeping for myself.

Piratefest also features game shows that fans can participate in.  There was deal or no deal, which is so boring because its old and the prizes have been the same for years:

And Jeopardy, which was painful to watch,

mainly because the three contestants were idiots.

The kid on the left didn’t know Andrew McCutchen’s number.  I missed one question:  Bob Friend let the league in what category in 1955?  There was one other question I didn’t know:  What is the Minnesota Twins’ mascot?   Every other question I answered aloud to Amy correctly.

Before leaving at 6:40 pm, I played three games.  I ended up winning free tickets on two of them.  Not bad.

Piratefest is always something I look forward to every year, and its usually the same stuff every year, but it still breaks up the offseason a little bit and gets me looking forward to baseball again.

Ballfields of PA: South Allegheny

Take a look at the weird dimensions to this field:

Left Center field is the deepest field of all, and center field are about the exact same distance, 330 feet, making left center about 400 or so.  That’s no good for someone who hits exclusively to left center.   Also, all of those trees you see in the aerial are in a huge ravine, so make sure you don’t hit any foul balls here.

Here’s the view from right field:

And the ravine along the first base line:

A look at the dingy dugout:

And the backstop:

Left field, which you’ll notice gets real deep in a hurry headed out to left center:

And a view from the left field foul pole.

Donning my new Rickie Weeks shirt that I bought for $5, I took some swings.

I didn’t hit like Weeks though.

I hit one off of the fence, but no home runs today.

I wasn’t a fan of this field.  From the ravines on both foul lines, to the deep power alleys, to the weird layout, I just don’t see myself ever returning to play here.  One interesting note is that this school and this field groomed a major leaguer.  Maybe you’ve heard of him.

That’s right, Scott Seabol!  Seabol had one at bat in 2001 with the Yankees.  He then disappeared for awhile, before emerging in 2005 with the Cardinals where he hit .219 with 1 HR and 10 RBI in 105 at bats.  He played in the minor leagues until 2007, and then finished up his career in Japan, retiring after the 2009 season.  Although he didn’t stick in the minor leagues, he did hit 32 HR and hit .300 in 2007 with the Marlins’ AAA affiliate.

Ratings:
Condition:  C-
Dimensions: D
Location/Surrounding Area:  C (hate the ravine)
Parking/Access: A
OVERALL:  C-

In other news, this entry will be the last time you see my long hair.  Its gone.  I originally said I’d cut it when I reached 215 lbs, but that’s not happening, so I allowed myself to cut it when I was able to bench press 275 lbs.  Did that.  Hair cut.

Did some research going through pictures.  Last hair cut was in mid-march, here’s a pic that Amy took at Twin Lakes when we were Geocaching.
I let it grow for 8 full months, so the way I look at it, I saved myself about 4 haircuts, or $60, which… is a trip to Cleveland.

Check out my blog this week for updates from The Pirates Caravan, PNC Park season ticket holder indoor batting practice, Piratefest, me taking BP vs a professional pitcher, me buying season tickets to another team other than the Pirates, etc, etc.

Other fields I’ve blogged about
Riverfront Park, Boston
Wylie Park, Elizabeth
Peterswood Park, Peters Township
Washington Park, Washington PA
Thomas Jefferson High School Field, Jefferson Hills PA
Clairton Resident Park, Clairton PA
West Field (Homestead Grays), Munhall PA
South Fayette

Cleveland Indians 2012 Game Times

The Cleveland Indians still haven’t posted their 2012 Game Times on their website, which is very frustrating to those of us who are trying to plan our season schedule.  The Pirates released their game times over a month ago, as did many other teams.  Luckily, I was able to figure out the Indians 2012 game times by poking around on Ticketmaster.  The only thing that concerns me is that the game time for all Saturday games is 6:05 rather than 7:05.  Hopefully the Indians will open their gates at 3:30 rather than 4:30.  Does anyone have any info on Saturday opening times?  I’m looking at attending about six Saturday games there this year.

Anyhow, here are the 2012 Progressive Field Cleveland Indians Game Times for those of you that want to get planning and are tired of waiting for the website to update:

Indians vs Toronto Blue Jays
Thu, April 5, 2012, 3:05 PM

Indians vs Toronto Blue Jays
Sat, April 7, 2012, 6:05 PM

Indians vs Toronto Blue Jays
Sun, April 8, 2012, 1:05 PM

Indians vs Chicago White Sox
Mon, April 9, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Chicago White Sox
Tue, April 10, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Chicago White Sox
Wed, April 11, 2012, 12:05 PM

Indians vs Kansas City Royals
Tue, April 24, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Kansas City Royals
Wed, April 25, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Kansas City Royals
Thu, April 26, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Los Angeles Angels
Fri, April 27, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Los Angeles Angels
Sat, April 28, 2012, 6:05 PM

Indians vs Los Angeles Angels
Sun, April 29, 2012, 1:05 PM

Indians vs Texas Rangers
Fri, May 4, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Texas Rangers
Sat, May 5, 2012, 6:05 PM

Indians vs Texas Rangers
Sun, May 6, 2012, 1:05 PM

Indians vs Chicago White Sox
Mon, May 7, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Chicago White Sox
Tue, May 8, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Chicago White Sox
Wed, May 9, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Seattle Mariners
Wed, May 16, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Seattle Mariners
Thu, May 17, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Miami Marlins
Fri, May 18, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Miami Marlins
Sat, May 19, 2012, 6:05 PM

Indians vs Miami Marlins
Sun, May 20, 2012, 1:05 PM

Indians vs Detroit Tigers
Tue, May 22, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Detroit Tigers
Wed, May 23, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Detroit Tigers
Thu, May 24, 2012, 12:05 PM

Indians vs Kansas City Royals
Mon, May 28, 2012, 4:05 PM

Indians vs Kansas City Royals
Tue, May 29, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Kansas City Royals
Wed, May 30, 2012, 12:05 PM

Indians vs Minnesota Twins
Fri, June 1, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Minnesota Twins
Sat, June 2, 2012, 6:05 PM

Indians vs Minnesota Twins
Sun, June 3, 2012, 1:05 PM

Indians vs Pittsburgh Pirates
Fri, June 15, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Pittsburgh Pirates
Sat, June 16, 2012, 6:05 PM

Indians vs Pittsburgh Pirates
Sun, June 17, 2012, 1:05 PM

Indians vs Cincinnati Reds
Mon, June 18, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Cincinnati Reds
Tue, June 19, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Cincinnati Reds
Wed, June 20, 2012, 12:05 PM

Indians vs Los Angeles Angels
Mon, July 2, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Los Angeles Angels
Tue, July 3, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Los Angeles Angels
Wed, July 4, 2012, 4:05 PM

Indians vs Tampa Bay Rays
Thu, July 5, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Tampa Bay Rays
Fri, July 6, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Tampa Bay Rays
Sat, July 7, 2012, 6:05 PM

Indians vs Tampa Bay Rays
Sun, July 8, 2012, 1:05 PM

Indians vs Baltimore Orioles
Fri, July 20, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Baltimore Orioles
Sat, July 21, 2012, 6:05 PM

Indians vs Baltimore Orioles
Sun, July 22, 2012, 1:05 PM

Indians vs Baltimore Orioles
Mon, July 23, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Detroit Tigers
Tue, July 24, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Detroit Tigers
Wed, July 25, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Detroit Tigers
Thu, July 26, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Minnesota Twins
Mon, August 6, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Minnesota Twins
Tue, August 7, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Minnesota Twins
Wed, August 8, 2012, 12:05 PM

Indians vs Boston Red Sox
Thu, August 9, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Boston Red Sox
Fri, August 10, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Boston Red Sox
Sat, August 11, 2012, 6:05 PM

Indians vs Boston Red Sox
Sun, August 12, 2012, 1:05 PM

Indians vs New York Yankees
Fri, August 24, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs New York Yankees
Sat, August 25, 2012, 6:05 PM

Indians vs New York Yankees
Sun, August 26, 2012, 1:05 PM

Indians vs Oakland Athletics
Mon, August 27, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Oakland Athletics
Tue, August 28, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Oakland Athletics
Wed, August 29, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Oakland Athletics
Thu, August 30, 2012, 12:05 PM

Indians vs Texas Rangers
Fri, August 31, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Texas Rangers
Sat, September 1, 2012, 6:05 PM

Indians vs Texas Rangers
Sun, September 2, 2012, 1:05 PM

Indians vs Detroit Tigers
Fri, September 14, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Detroit Tigers
Sat, September 15, 2012, 6:05 PM

Indians vs Detroit Tigers
Sun, September 16, 2012, 1:05 PM

Indians vs Minnesota Twins
Tue, September 18, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Minnesota Twins
Wed, September 19, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Minnesota Twins
Thu, September 20, 2012, 12:05 PM

Indians vs Kansas City Royals
Fri, September 28, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Kansas City Royals
Sat, September 29, 2012, 6:05 PM

Indians vs Kansas City Royals
Sun, September 30, 2012, 1:05 PM

Indians vs Chicago White Sox
Mon, October 1, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Chicago White Sox
Tue, October 2, 2012, 7:05 PM

Indians vs Chicago White Sox
Wed, October 3, 2012, 7:05 PM

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