Awesome Souvenirs, Ballpark Memory, Bobble Head Collection

2016 Journey of MLB Games

May 1, 2016

This is an ongoing post which will chronicle the Major League Baseball games and events that we have attended during the 2016 season.

May 28

Diamondbacks v Padres (Just glad to be there)

Padre Ticket

It had been a long month for us to wait and see another game.  Mac and I were also very grateful just to be there since Mac had spent the beginning of the week in the ICU for a form of pneumonia.  This was our second baseball game of the week as we had celebrated getting out of the PICU by attending the last home game of the NCAA-bound UA Wildcats.  Tonight’s game was a success in that the Diamondbacks actually won with us in attendance and Paul Goldschmidt broke out of a slump with multiple hits and runs.  Plus, we saw Greinke pitch (again).  Final score was 8-7 but the Dbacks were originally up 8-1 prior to some 9th Inning rallying from the Padres.

Once the Dbacks jumped out to an early advantage, the evening segued into some other areas of interest for us.

Now this first topic is of utmost importance for any baseball game  . . .

Dessert

In our prior post, Mac and I were very disappointed in not being able to have a Churro Dog.  Now, why would be disappointed?  This dessert, in its second year, is amazing.  To avoid any possible disappointment, we headed to the Churro Stand early on in the game.

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Yes!  We were in luck.  As seen in the picture above, this is a chocolate glazed donut hugging a churro that is topped with frozen yogurt, whipped cream, caramel and chocolate sauce.  And, yes, it is even better than it sounds.  We don’t get one every game, but we sure love it when we do.

When choosing our dessert at the game there are pretty much three choices, but we now rotate only between two items.  Originally, our rotation consisted of the Churro Dog, Cold Stone Creamery and TCBY Yogurt.  The yogurt comes in the plastic batting helmet. Last season, we would go through this order for the season.  However, Chase Field has switched frozen yogurt vendors replacing TCBY with something called ZoYo.  Not a good change as far as we are concerned.  So now we alternate between Cold Stone and the Dog.

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A Young Speilberg

Since the game was uneventful, Mac decided to start videoing some of the action.  For that game action, check out Jake Lamb’s run scoring single.

One of the cool aspects of a retractable dome is the actual retracting part.  We were fortunate to watch it open at the beginning of the game since the night was so nice.

More importantly, Mac discovered the Slow Motion feature.  I present to you the Swayze . . .

Giveaway of the Night

It was the very popular Arizona Diamondback Pool Bag.  Very nice gift for the beginning of summer and the swim season.

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Wil Myers

One of our family’s running jokes is that Amanda has to point out to us that Wil Myers is playing in a game.  This goes back to our visit to Camden Yards where both me and Mac had no idea Wil was playing until the 7th inning.  So, we were very excited to missing player batting Second in this game.

Who’s that in the on-deck circle? Who? I don’t know.

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Selfie of the Game

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One last picture from our UA game earlier in the week . . .

We were so happy to be out of the hospital.  I think it shows!

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April 30

Diamondbacks v Rockies (Here we go again . . . )

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This was our second time seeing the Rockies already.  Our first game was a highly forgettable Opening Night that is consistently relived through the seemingly non-stop Trevor Story highlights on all broadcast channels.  We were hoping for a different result and we almost did – until the 9th Inning.  Brad Ziegler wasn’t able to hold the Rockies scoreless in the top of the inning so we headed home without hearing the Dbacks Victory Song as the game ended.  The offense was so bad that it carried over to us as we got shut out at the Churro Dog stand.  Maybe next time.

If you ever wonder what two guys sit around and talk about during a game without much action, well your question is about to be answered.  Here is an overview from our night full of color schemes, Donald Trump, grocery bags and a Big Unit.

Topics of the Night

However, the game brought up some topics for discussion between me and Mac up in Section 118.  The first thing we spent a lot of time talking about were the new uniforms.  More specifically, how one set of unis has gotten lost in the analysis of the many uniform combinations.

New Uniforms

First, here are the new uniforms as a whole.  The sets that have received the most talk are Home Whites with Red Trim and both of the Teal combinations.  They are interesting, however a very promising combination is being overlooked.

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The missing combination:  Black Jersey with Red Tim.  Not only are they a huge upgrade on previous Black tops, but the Red/Black combo is really striking.  If this had been the only new uniform change for the season, the addition would be a huge success.  Here is the breakdown from Majestic.

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As modeled by David Peralta.  Note the Viper patch on the left arm.  A great addition to the team logos.

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Now, I do have to quibble with one aspect of the new uniform.  The cap choice.  They chose to go with the new “A” cap with the Red gradient on the top.  Sure, that is fine.  However, the uniform change would be an unequivocal success if they chose to use the new Batting Practice cap instead.  Utilizing the Viper on the cap would put this set way over the top.  We have been proud owners of this new lid since Christmas Day.  Seriously, this would have been perfect.

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Not pictured: new National League Heat Seal above Left ear.  Nice touch.

Donald Trump Cartoons

Here was a big conversation topic of the day for us.  Mac has been very interested in the rise of Donald Trump in the Republican primaries.  So much so, that I found out one of his school homework computer accounts now goes by the username of “badtrump.”

Part of his interest has led Mac to researching various political cartoons from around the nation depicting Trump’s antics.  On the way to the game we were talking about this new interest.  As a result, Mac began creating his own cartoons.  Here are some he created on Saturday before and during the game.  Also includes an anagram he made up.  This new interest has certainly made the election more interesting for us.  Well, actually it is more interesting and much more entertaining.

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Giveaway of the Night

Tonight was a Jersey Grocery Tote.  As a whole, this is actually well-made and useful.  I anticipate this bag making its way to Trader Joe’s every Sunday for our grocery run.  Of course, this led to a lengthy discussion of the what the new Goldy Bobble Head should be in July.  Our preference was a “Swinging” version, but very pleased to find out that it is “Batting Stance” Goldy.  Good choice.

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Final Picture of the Evening (featuring RJ gear)

Note:  we chose to go with Randy Johnson Number Retirement cap this evening.  Mac even wore the matching Johnson shirsey from the ceremony, as well (as seen on Mac’s left sleeve).  We spent part of the night talking about Johnson and his accomplishments.  Plus we were on the look out for him.  We have figured out the two spots he where he sits during the game so always looking for him.  While I am glad the Black tops were changed, I still enjoy the traditional “A” cap.

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April 23

Diamondbacks v Pirates (AJ Pollock Bobble Head)

Tonight was a big night as it was the first bobble head game of the season.  We were doubly excited as the giveaway was AJ Pollock, the injured centerfielder.  He had only had one previous bobble head, but that one didn’t really count since it was part of a Star Wars promotion and involved a light saber.

Happy Kid.  Note:  Figurine is still in the box.  Rookie move to remove from the packaging prior to arriving home (or at least getting in the car).  Otherwise, you are running a huge risk of breaking the item or, at the very least, you have to lug it around all night.

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Good AJ Pollock Bobble Head

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Bad AJ Pollock Bobble Head

Phoenix, AZ - April 24: A.J. Pollock bobble head giveaway. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Arizona Diamondbacks)

Mac really likes AJ.  In fact, he had the opportunity to meet him and have a ball signed recently.

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We arrived a few minutes before the gates opened, but we walked right in with our Season Ticket Pass.  Since we were so early, Mac and I decided to indulge in a rare treat for us – a visit to Friday’s Front Row Grill located out in Left Field.  Usually, it is too crowded on a weekend games but due to our quick entry we were able to snag a table in the bar right away.

Why do we like this tradition?  Two reasons.  One, the cheese sticks.  Two, the view of batting practice from the restaurant.  It really does offer a unique vantage point.  Definitely much different than our usual view from Section 118.

The View is Amazing

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And the cheese sticks!

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A highlight of our day, was running into some friends.  A couple of the guys who we share tickets with were there with their sons.  Both Jason and Marty are terrific, as well as their sons.

Not only did we have a great giveaway, but the Dbacks beat the Pirates.

Slapping Hands!

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One final selfie of the night

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April 4

Diamondbacks Home Opener

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This was it!  The opening game for a season full of expectations and excitement.  Mac and I had never been to an Opening Game and what better time to start then with the debut of new pitcher, Zach Greinke.

Mac did not know we had tickets for the game.  To surprise him, I picked him up at school with some clothes to change into for the night.  When he asked why he should change clothes, I told him he probably wanted to wear baseball gear to a baseball game!  He was thrilled.  It was hard to keep it a secret, but I am glad I did.

In addition to Greinke’s debut, there was another new thing we eagerly anticipating:  New Uniforms!  This night we saw the Whites with Red trim.  They were nice but we were hoping to see the Home Teal.  Maybe next time!

As you will see, Opening Night for MLB is treated like a playoff game. This simply adds to the already fun evening.  Unfortunately, the outcome was not in the Dbacks favor.  Regardless, it was a great evening at the ballpark.

History in the making:  Tonight saw the debut of Rockies short stop, Trevor Story.  He made history by hitting home runs in his first two at-bats as a Major Leaguer.

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Famous Diamondback Sighting:  Mac scoped out Randy Johnson sitting with Luis Gonzalez in the D-Back suite.  RJ is in the white a couple rows above the 5 in the signage below.

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Obligatory Pre-game Selfie from Mac

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And so it begins.  Here is Mr. Greinke pitching to the first batter of the season.  It was a beautiful night for a game.  Great weather plus a sell out crowd made for a perfect environment.

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Awards Time!   Prior to the game, Silver Slugger and Gold Gloves were presented.  Paul Goldschmidt received the Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove.  Other Gold Glove recipients were Greinke and AJ Pollock.

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One  of the unique aspects of Opening Night is the introduction of the entire team.  Here is Goldy slapping hands with his teammates.

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Hey – another selfie!

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On our way to the game.  Very excited to see the updated panels with new uniforms featured prominently.

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What? Another selfie?

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A wider picture of both teams lined up for introductions.

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April 1

Royals v. Diamondbacks “Dress Rehearsal”

Scan0010  The countdown to the season opener was down to three days when me and Mac headed up to Chase Field.  The World Champion Kansas City Royals were in town for their final tune-up before starting their title defense.

It was a lot of fun because the Royals played all of their regulars from the World Series.  Since Arizona will not be playing KC in interleague this year, this was our chance to see all of their fantastic players.  Even though it was technically an Exhibition, there aren’t very many things we would rather be doing on a beautiful Friday night.

The only negative aspect of the night was AJ Pollock fracturing his elbow during a headfirst slide into home.

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Pre-game Picture

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Along the way we found the Dback Selfie Station.  No explanation required.

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March 1

Arizona Wildcats v. Diamondbacks

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This was a quick trip up to Salt River Fields to watch the Diamondbacks play the hometown University of Arizona.

As you can see from the picture, Mac was supporting both teams.

Not much to report.  This was a good day to start our year of baseball watching.  We were glad to see our two favorite teams play each other.  Plus, Mac was not upset I pulled him out of school early so we could make the game.  Wins all around for everyone!

We were able to watch the filming of the MLB Network show “Intentional Talk” featuring Kevin Millar and Chris Rose with guest AJ Pollock.

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It was finally game time.  We had great seats behind the Diamondbacks dugout.

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