Results tagged ‘ Bob walk ’
The Pirates’ Winter Caravan, which is a series of stops leading up the Piratefest, rolled into Dick’s Sporting Good in Tarentum PA on Tuesday.
Andrew McCutchen, Evan Meek and Ross Ohlendorf were the Pirates’ players in this Caravan Group.
We arrived at 6:05 and got into the already lengthy line.
The players sat down around 6:15 and began signing player cards to give away to fans.
Around 6:25 or so, Pirates color commentator Bob Walk addressed the crowd. It was rather bush league that he wasn’t even given a microphone. This Dick’s Sporting Goods was very under prepared. Last year at the Dick’s Sporting Goods in Washington, the Pirates were welcomed with music and a video board which was dedicated the Pirates behind the players. This Dick’s couldn’t even provide a mic.
Here’s some of Bob Walk’s speech from my vantage point in line:
After about an hour or so in line, we finally got up to the table.
Evan Meek recognized me immediately from ballhawking and asked me how many baseballs I ended the season with and if I had won the ballhawking league. He brought Ross Ohlendorf into the conversation also. Ross asked me who the most graceful shagger during BP was. I told him that he definitely gives the most effort. Ross goes all out in BP making full out running catches.
I didn’t talk to Andrew McCutchen. I had him sign a baseball but that was it. He seemed like he didn’t really want to be there. If you watch the below video at 39 seconds, you’ll see him blatantly and impatiently rolling his eyes as he waits for a fan to move from Ohlendorf to him.
That was pretty much it. We each got three balls signed and then headed off into the mall to walk around for a bit. The highlight of the rest of the night was watching dogs try to figure out a way around their barrier in the pet store:
and playing with a little dog.
We were tempted to get him, but didn’t.
This would be the only stop for me on the Pirates Winter Caravan. I’ve been kind of out of the loop about stuff going on this winter and actually went to Uniontown to see the Pirates, but went on the WRONG DAY! So, we drove for about an hour for nothing. I got confused because I looked at the schedule about a week before. It was so embarrassing. It wasn’t a wasted trip though.
Of course, much to the dismay of others, I just had to go down to the bottom of the falls, thereby risking falling just to take a couple videos of the falls.
We checked out a couple other parts of the park before calling it a day.
My next baseball related event will be at Piratefest this weekend. Check back for that.
I spent four years of my life in Washington while I went to college at Washington and Jefferson. Going back there always brings back memories of the time I spent there. I’d consider moving back to Washington when I’m ready to buy my next house someday.
But anyhow, I arrived about 5:30. This was pretty early because the Pirates tour bus wasn’t even there yet. I thought about going to one of my favorite restaurants, Old Mexico, but figured it’d be stupid to go solo. So, I walked to the Target next door and browsed around until 6PM or so.
Today marked the kickoff of the weekend long Piratefest at the David L Lawrence Convention Center across the river from PNC Park. Friday is always the best day to go because the crowds are sparse. We got an assist from the Steelers hosting a pep rally at Heinz Field at 7, helping to thin the crowd a bit more.
Holly and I entered Piratefest early with the rest of the season ticket holders. Most people rushed toward the autograph line. However, since we got a lot of autographs last Sunday at Seven Springs, we thought waiting in line to get autographs of players we already got to sign would be a waste of time.
We walked around and bought two Pirates grab bags (filled with junk, as usual) and played the Chuck-a-luck game. I won 2 tickets on my first spin.
Wheel of Fortune was slated to begin at 5PM, so we signed up and waited for the entertainment to begin. Wouldn’t you know it, Holly was selected as a contestant.
Bob Walk served as the host and Jeff Karstens was the special Pirates guest. There was also some other lady on the stage. This is the first year that the Pirates have done Wheel of Fortune at Piratefest, and it showed. Bob Walk didn’t understand the rules very well and had to rely on help from the audience. The Wheel was a computerized wheel on a screen off to the left of the stage. Contestants had to say “Spin” to spin the wheel, and “Stop” to stop the wheel. Puzzles during Holly’s time on stage included “North Shore,” “Paul and Lloyd Waner,” and “Mario Mendoza Line.” Holly had bad luck with the wheel and landed on Bankrupt or Lose a Turn every other time.
Walker was a bit more into the game than Karstens was and made some conversation with me on stage. Hopefully he joins the Pirates at some point in 2009.
I wasn’t nervous on stage, it was actually pretty cool. I ended up coming in second place because Bob Walk helped the other contestant solve a puzzle by tapping on her booth with his knuckles. The phrase was “Knuckleball.”
Bob Walk asked the assistants to get me a different prize rather than the two tickets, but they gave me two infield box seats to a 2009 game anyway.
Holly took a brief video of me playing Wheel of Fortune. If you’d like to watch it, click HERE for the Youtube link.
I’ve also included a few additional pictures below of my Wheel of Fortune experience:
After Wheel of Fortune was over, we stuck around for Pirates Password. You may have seen the game on TV hosted by Regis Philbin. Two contestants were selected from the crowd by mascot Jolly Roger. He selected a 12 year old girl and a surly 60 year old bald man. The girl was paired with Zach Duke, and the older man with Tom Gorzelanny.
Duke and Gorzo each trash talked throughout the game, celebrating and rubbing it in the others face when they did well. There were three rounds, with Gorzelanny and the old man winning the game.
The man won 4 tickets and gets to deliver the line up card before a game.
We were ready to get up and leave since we had been sitting at the stage area for almost 2 hours, but Greg Brown announced that the Pirates would be unveiling their new uniforms shortly, so we stuck around.
The Pirates will wear four different uniforms in 2009. The Home, Road, and Alternate Jerseys are all new, while the Sunday pinstripe jersey remains unchanged. The Home and Road jerseys will now have sleeves for the first time since 2000. The last 8 years, the Pirates wore sleeveless jerseys with a black undershirt. The uniforms will also be constructed of a lighter material, called “Cool Base.” We checked out the new uniforms in the Pirates store and they are very nice. However I couldn’t consider paying $179 for a jersey.
The Pirates also abolished the red alternate jersey after two years. The red jerseys had become unpopular with many fans over the past two years. The new jersey is all black, features a “P” on one side and the player’s number on the other. I thought that it was a really nice looking jersey. I went back to the Pirates store 2 or 3 times and looked at the new alternate jerseys and really wanted to buy one, but didn’t. The new jerseys were selling for $95.
A final change will be to the Pirates batting practice caps. They will eliminate the red from the ear area of the batting practice cap and replace it with all black. So, the BP hat will be all black with a gold line going around the brim and ear area of the hat. They were selling for $32 in the store. Outrageous.
Frank Coonelly talked about the Pirates new uniforms while four Pirates modeled the jerseys for the crowd. The models were:
Matt Capps (Sunday pinstripe jersey)
Freddy Sanchez (Home Jersey)
Nyjer Morgan (Road Jersey)
Nate McLouth (Alternate Jersey).
If you’d like to see a Video portion of the jersey unveiling, please click HERE.
After the uniform unveiling we went over to the Season Ticket holder MVP zone. It is an area that only season ticket holders may enter. There are several couches, a pool table, a Wii station, and an air hockey table here. The best thing about the MVP zone is the ability to get Pirates signatures from players. The autograph lines are always 5 minutes tops. The general autograph lines can take up to 3 hours. We got autographs today from Neil Walker, Sean Burnett, Andrew McCuthchen and Jeff Karstens in the MVP zone. We also caught Matt Capps as he was walking around Piratefest and got him to sign our balls. I asked him what he thought of the new jerseys. He said he liked them and thought that they would be wearing them an awful lot.
With about an hour left in Piratefest we decided to leave. We took a picture of the Pirates 1979 World Series trophy and 2009 promotional items on our way out the door.
In regards to the promotional items, I am probably most excited about the hats.
The Pirates invited season ticket holders to take batting practice in the cages inside of PNC Park today. Of course, Holly and I went. We checked in at 6PM and then went into the catacombs of PNC Park to the batting cages.
There were two large cages to take batting practice in. In one cage, ex-Pirate pitcher Bob Walk was throwing batting practice. In the other, a pitching machine did all the work. Since there were only little kids taking batting practice against Bob Walk, I decided to check out the pitching machine.
Instead of taking another round, I was frustrated, so we left to get dinner in the Pittsburgh Baseball Club. On the way back, we snapped a picture of the tunnel leading to the Pirates dugout.
There is a Roberto Clemente quote, consistant with the “Pride, Passion” motto of the Pirates this year.
In the baseball club we ate hamburgers and hot dogs. There was virtually no one there. Honestly, there were maybe 16 people in the club level when we got there. Ryan Doumit, Sean Burnett, and Andy LaRoche were playing pool together when we got there. They were supposed to be mingling with the fans, but there were not many fans, so they pretty much kept to themselves. No one was going up to them or talking to them except for one or two of the Pirates ticket account executives.
After eating, Holly and I played a few rounds of pool, and then left.
It was fun, I just wish I could’ve hit better.
Today was the kick off of the Pirates Winter Caravan which will travel through four states and make numerous stops, mainly at areas farther away from Pittsburgh. I decided to attend the kick off of the Caravan outside of Somerset PA at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort.
My wife and I stopped over at my parents’ house for lunch since it was on the way. The roads were pretty bad on the way there as we received about 5 inches of snow overnight. Just as we were about to leave for Seven Springs, Holly noticed a herd of deer in my parents’ backyard.
Notice that there are two deer in the above photo. There were two more that are hidden by the columns on my parent’s back porch. They were eating berries from that bush
Something startled the herd, probably the flash, and they ran away. I was able to take a pretty good picture at one as it was leaving past the kitchen window.
It was about 1:45 and we left my parents’ house for Seven Springs. We allowed ourselves about an extra hour of driving time in anticipation that the roads would be bad. We mainly traveled the highways, so the roads were clear until we got on the local roads that headed to Seven Springs. They were pretty bad, so we took our time and still managed to arrive 45 minutes early.
We parked in the main lot near the Convention Hall and walked towards the two giant Pirates Caravan buses. There was no activity around the buses. Apparently, they parked in front of a building and the Pirates players were probably inside the building. I took the opportunity to get my picture taken in front of one of the buses.
When we entered the Convention Hall, there was already a large line formed. We unfortunately ended up standing between the main doors and the stairs that lead down to the lifts. Therefore, dozens and dozens of skiers and snowboarders kept squeezing past us to go down the stairs. It got rather annoying after awhile. The man in front of us kept getting shouldered as people went past and kept muttering and swearing under his breath. The highlight of standing in the line was when some late 20′s guy came up to the beleaguered man in front of us and asked, “What is this line for?” The man responded in an annoyed tone, “The Pirates.” Even though there were large signs welcoming fans to the Pirates Winter Caravan, the man followed up his original question with, “Is there a game or something?” The man in front of me rolled his eyes, shook his head, and didn’t respond. Think about it, a baseball game… with 26 inches of snow on the ground at Seven Springs… in January… inside of a Convention Hall? I heard the guy in front of my mutter, “F*c**n R*t**d.”
At 3:30, the doors finally opened and we were allowed in. The Convention hall was about 1/5 the size of the hall the Pirates use at the David L Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. At one end of the hall there was a movie screen playing Pirates video highlights and Pirate player autographs. At the opposite end there was a stage set up for Pirate Trivia and Pirates Deal or No Deal. In the middle, there was a large inflated jungle gym for kids, a booth to get your face painted, a booth to have a caricature drawn of your face, a ticket booth, a raffle booth, a guitar hero booth, a spin-the-wheel booth, and a 104.9 radio table.
Upon entering, we went straight to the autograph line. It wasn’t a very long wait, maybe 15 minutes at the most. Signing first was manager John Russell, pitcher Sean Burnett, catcher Ryan Doumit, and third baseman Andy LaRoche. I snapped a few photos while I was in line waiting:
Ryan Doumit (below)Sean Burnett (below)
Andy LaRoche (below)
The autograph line (below)
After getting autographs, we wandered around for a bit and made our way over to the stage area. There would be a Pirates trivia game at 4:15, followed by Pirates Deal or No Deal at 5:00. On the way over, I snapped a picture of Ross Ohlendorf being interviewed by 104.7 wpgb radio personality Rocco DeMaro. DeMaro hosts Extra Innings after every Pirates radio broadcast. I make it a point to listen to his show after every home game. He also hosts a weekend show.
When we settled in for Pirates Trivia, I became unsettled because the battery in my camera died, and I didn’t have any extra batteries. Even though my wife brought her camera, I moped as we did Pirates Trivia.
The game was hosted by Pirates announcers Greg Brown and Bob Walk. They asked 10 Multiple Choice Questions to the crowd. The crowd had a piece of paper and a pencil to record their answers on. Afterwards, the Pirates season ticket reps and members of the Bucco Brigade collected the papers, graded them, and revealed the winner. Only one person got a 10/10. It was some 15 year old girl. She won 2 Pittsburgh Baseball Club seats to a 2009 game for winning. Some of the questions they asked were:
1) What group sang the 1979 Pirates theme song, we are family?
2) Who did the Pirates draft first in the 2004 amateur draft?
3) What Pirate won their first game on Aug 8 2005?
4) What minor league team did Tony Beasley manage before coming to the Pirates?
5) What are the color of the seats at PNC Park?
6) Who is the right field wall named after at PNC Park?
7) How many different Pirates have won batting titles in Pirates history?
8) Who was the Pirates representative at the 2008 All Star Game?
There were 2 other questions that escape my memory.
The tie breaker question was to name the 3 game combined attendance for the home games of the 1979 World Series.
By the way, I got an 8/10. I was wishing I had my Ipod touch with me to look up an answer or my med
ia guide, but that would’ve been cheating.
After Pirates trivia, Deal or No Deal was to follow. Holly and I had seen this game before at Piratefest and were aware of how it worked. Pirates announcer John Wehner was the host for Deal or No Deal, and Sean Burnett was the banker. Wehner asked one of the Pirates Season Ticket reps to pick her first contestant. All 200 or so fans put their hands in the air. I didn’t put my hand up, but then Holly hit me and said, “You put your hand up!” So I did.
And guess who they picked?
The lady must have liked my Pirates outfit. I wore my Pirates batting practice hat that Ian Snell threw me on 9/21/08, my Pirates hoody, and my Pirates Dugout Jacket.
Pirates Deal or No Deal is similar to the NBC version with Howie Mandel. There are 12 boxes, or “cases.” Under each box is a prize. The goal of the game is to win the best possible prize, either by seeing the game the whole way through and accepting whatever is in the case you’ve chosen to begin the game, or by accepting an offer from the banker.
Wehner asked me to place a Pirates hat on the case that I wanted to choose. I chose #2, since Jack Wilson is Holly’s favorite player.
The prize board was as follows:
On the left side of the prize chart (crappy side)
-Pirates pocket schedule
-Pirates giveaway hat
-Pirates Parrot Doll
-Two Tickets to a game
On the right side of the prize chart (good side)
-Two Tickets to opening day
-Two Pittsburgh baseball club tickets
-Two Lexus Club Tickets
-Two 10 game season ticket plans
-Two 20 game season ticket plans
Wehner asked me to open 3 boxes. I forget the numbers that I chose, but I ended up eliminating the 10 game plan, 2 tickets to opening day, and 2 tickets to a game.
Sean Burnett, the banker, gave me my first offer. It was 2 tickets to a game, and a private tour of PNC Park, which would include the managers office, clubhouse, and Pirates press box. When asked to choose Deal or No Deal, I paused, letting the crowd weigh in, and said No Deal.
I went on to open 2 more cases and received my next offer. Since I kept the 2 20 game plans in play, the offer went up. Burnett offered 4 tickets to a game + I would get to deliver the line up card with John Russell and meet the umpires and opposing manager at home plate before a game.
Although that would’ve been real cool, I wanted to see what else they would offer. I said No Deal.
I opened 2 more cases. Burnett’s third offer was 4 tickets + a Jack Wilson autographed authentic game ball. I didn’t have to think long. No Deal! Sea
I opened another case. I kept the 2 20 game plans in play. Sean Burnett upped the offer again. He offered me 4 tickets + the opportunity for myself and friends to watch batting practice from the field, directly behind the batting cage. This sounded awesome to me. I would’ve been able to enter the park early at 4:15 when the Pirates start hitting and talk to the players as they stood around waiting to take their cuts. Selfishly, I said No Deal.
I opened one more case. Wouldn’t you know it? It was the 2 20 game plans. I hung my head in shame. I knew that I had just thrown away the chance to watch batting practice on the field. The best remaining prize on the board was 2 Lexus Club seats ($300 value). I had sat in these seats before, and they are very nice, so I was tempted to keep going. I was expecting Burnett’s offer to be something like, a Sean Burnett signed baseball and a bobblehead.
I was surprised when his offer was: 4 tickets to a game, plus be introduced before the game to the crowd and change 3rd base with the groundscrew during a game. I felt this was a pretty fair offer. Of the five offers I’d received, I would rank it second best. So, I said “Deal.”
I got a nice hand from the crowd and met with one of the Promotion Representatives who gave me a form to fill out and send in with my request of any game from Mon-Thur. He said the earlier I get it in, the more likely I’ll get the game that I want.
Holly and I stayed at Deal or No Deal to watch the next contestant, a 10 year old kid, play Deal or No Deal with Ryan Doumit and Andy LaRoche as the guest bankers. I forget what he won. It might’ve been a personalized jersey + 4 tickets + 2 signed baseballs from LaRoche and Doumit.
Afterwards, we walked back to the autograph line and got autographs from Nate McLouth, Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, and Tony Beasley. Maholm had been standing around, so we already got his autograph on our baseballs that we had every play sign, so Holly and I got him to sign Pirates Wall Clocks that we won at the Spin-the-Wheel game.
We went back to the wheel and played one more time. I wanted to get an Ian Snell banner for my classroom. I won a bobblehead instead, but the worker let me exchange it for the Snell banner.
We left around 5:40 or so and drove home to watch the Steelers beat the Ravens.
Holly took a brief video of Deal or No Deal which can be seen by clicking the link below: