Thursday, July 2, 2009

Some pictures from my trip

The vacation that I took with my family last week started at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, MD at an Ironbirds game; they play in the NY-Penn League, short season class A ball. The Ironbirds were playing the Staten Island Yankees, but the game wasn't our main focus, and I, amazingly only saw about 2 innings of baseball. We were there for the all-you-can-eat crab feast, but of course, I had to get a few autographs before the food arrived, including Blake Davis who is there from AAA Norfolk on a rehab assignment. I will have pictures of all the autographs from this trip in a future post.

The Ironbirds have pictures all along their concourse of their former players that have reached the major leagues. I found this '03 picture of a very young Nick Markakis specifically cool. He looks so tiny and high school-ish.

The Ironbirds' Stadium has recreated the warehouse at Camden Yards off of the third base side of the park. It is some sort of hotel, but a very cool addition to the Stadium's aura.

After a night spent in PA, we were all westward bound. We passed multiple baseball towns and stadiums but didn't get any good pictures of them. The next sports-related picture Kalina was able to take was of the Colts' Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. I made everyone in the car boo as we drove by it. Booo Colts! (I'm a Titans fan.)

As we continued south and west, we drove through St. Louis and took some time to check out Busch Stadium and the arch.

Impressive, isn't it?

But if you want to get to the top, this is literally one of the elevator cars. I kid you not, and they ask that 5 people fit in there for the 4 minute trip up/3 minute trip down. It's kinda cozy, but how else can you get up a curved arch?

From the top (630 feet up!), we found Busch Stadium.

And once we got back to the ground, we located Busch Stadium for a close-up shot. Unfortunately, the Cardinals were out of town or we would have gone to a game. Oh well, I guess we couldn't go to a baseball game every stop of the way.

Since St. Louis is hosting the All-Star game in a few weeks, they had all of these mini arches decorated with the teams and league names all around the stadium. Those statues in the background are of past Cardinals greats.

While we were at the arch, Kalina made the good call to take this picture.

And since you read this blog, you probably watch baseball on TV. This is me mimicking the All-Star game commercials that feature a magnetized arch sweeping across the country to pick up baseball players and fans to take them to the All-Star game in St. Louie. No one told me that the metal would be hot though!

We finally reached our destination, Springdale, Arkansas, the home to some of my family and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. The Nats play in the AA Southern League and are the AA affiliate of the KC Royals; they played the Arkansas Travelers (AA affiliate of the LAAAA Angels) at the game we attended on Saturday. If you look closely at the picture of Vance Wilson on the jumbo-tron, you can see that picture is of his bobblehead, as that was the giveaway of the evening. Hooray unexpected bobblehead!

What does this game have to do with the Orioles you might ask?

Well one Val Majewski (Orioles class of 2004) was manning right field for the Travelers. Val was a really cool guy and signed a card for my dad and Kalina while I covered the Naturals side for autos. (Again, all of the autograph pictures will be coming in a post sometime soon.) Val homered during Friday's game but put up a goose-egg on Saturday. I think he was intimidated knowing that there were O's fans in attendance. Either that or he just had an off day at the plate.

Here is the Naturals mascot, Strike. I swear he is a caveman, but Kalina (and the Naturals) say that he is a Sasquatch. What do you think? I want your opinion, the poll is on the left.

The Naturals were nice enough the treat us to a walk-off win in the bottom of the 10th inning. Jeff Bianchi, from nearby Lancaster, PA, capped off a 5-5 night by hitting the 2nd walk-off HR in Naturals history. This is the Nats 2nd year of existence which explains why it is only the second one.

It was a very exciting finish to a great trip. I hope that you all enjoyed the pictures!


zman40 said...

Looks like you had a fun trip.

I just spent a good 20 minutes playing sudoku on your side bar. Nice addition.

Orioles Magic said...

Thanks Zach, I'm a sudoku fan myself but I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it too!
And the trip was fun, thanks.

dinged corners said...