Monday, April 5, 2010

Twas Opening Day at the Ballpark

For 11 of the last 12 years, I've made the Rangers home opener. The one I missed is actually when I started my current job on opening day that year.

I am evidently the observant one in my family (in addition to being the one with a sense of direction). As we walked in the first base entrance today, there were a group of men wearing white Rangers jerseys, most of them wearing nicer pants and shoes than the usual people that hand you your Bud magnetic schedule (they always sponsor the opening day giveaway - I can't help it) and your Hooters Wingo card (where were the Wingo cards today?). We get passed and I turn to Dad and say, "did you notice who gave you your schedule?"

"Huh, what?"
"Did you notice that all the guys that were standing there handing out schedules were former players?"
"Huh?"
"Yeah, those guys in white jerseys, old players. Did you notice?"

The player that gave us our schedule was now turned towards us, so Dad had to walk back around the other side to see who he was. I forgot who he said, and honestly, he must have been before my time or something.

Anyway. So we go on around the stadium. Mom proceeds onward towards the gift shop. I stop Dad again. "Hey Dad - see this group of guys coming... more players... see who you can figure out."

Mom is up ahead, "what happened to you? I thought you were behind me."
"Well, this time, I was pointing out a group to Dad before they got by."
The people in front of us had an 11 month old baby that Dad made quick friends with. This is the best picture I got on the day.
What was strange about his parents is that his dad paid for cotton candy and peanuts with two dollar bills. Who carries around a bunch of $2 bills?
Every year I try to get a good picture of the Air Force bomber fly over, and every year I don't do a good job. We were sitting on the next to the top row, so that made it a little hard, except I tried getting them on approach. It didn't work to well. I caught two out of the four.
Then, a former Army jumper landed via parachute in middle of the stadium. He had lost both of his legs in a jumping accident several years ago. It would have even been more impressive if we could have seen him jump from the helicopter, but the awning above us blocked our view.
Oh, and here's a picture of the big screen with Nolan Ryan talking to Roger Staubach for the first pitch. Dad decided Nolan looked like an undertaker in his suit. I would have to agree.
As for the game, boring for the most part until the 7th inning. The Blue Jays had a home run in the first and third innings. The Rangers didn't have a single hit until the 7th. They tied it up in the 7th, then got behind by 1 in the 8th. Peyton's favorite player Saltalamacchia hit a walk off hit in the 9th for a Ranger win. Thank goodness it ended more exciting than it started.
The other exciting part of the game was when a fan ran onto the field and a security guard took him about about the pitcher's mound. I didn't get a picture of it.

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