Hi I am Mike I have a problem I am a Baseball addict.Mainly a Colorado Rockies Addict.
The Addiction Started as a Child around 6 when I remember seeing my first World Series Game on T.V. The New York Yankees Vs. The Los Angeles Dodgers. Shortly after that I had gotten my first Yankees hat. Then I got to attend my first Baseball Game ever it was at Yankee Stadium. I am not sure when the game was or who the Yankees Played, But I do remember it was bat day and I still have the bat. Being a Yankees fan was short-lived as I found out my entire family where Mets Fans. Shortly after that I attended my first Mets game at Shea Stadium. (Wearing My Yankees Hat) I don’t think I wore the hat much after that! In the mid 1980’s it had become a tradition to leave school early and attend Opening Day at Shea Stadium. I remember attending many game in 1986 the year the Mets won the World Series. Also I remember being at the 1987 Opening Day when the Mets Got their World Series Rings and Played the Pirates and saw Barry Bond play when he was still a normal size man. Through the years I attended games with them, my grandparents, neighbors and various other friends & family members.
In those years I also remember watching many Mets games on T.V. and staying up late to watch games when they where on a West coast road trip. Then even more memorable was when the games were not on T.V. and I would listen to the games on the Radio with my grandfather. (You Know Before cable) We would listen to games in the backyard or at the park on a little hand-held transistor radio. We would go to the local park or the beach and watch local leagues (Bar leagues and such) at the local park or beach. While listening to the pros on the transistor radio.
In the Late 1980’s I had found out I had an older cousin coming up through the minors. Soon after he was brought up to play with the California Angels. It was awesome I had a family member becoming a MLB player. In the summer of 1990 I went to my first baseball game outside of New York. It was at Cominsky Park in Chicago. It was the first time I would meet my cousin the pro ball player. It was during a summer I was staying with his brother that lived in Indiana. So we headed to Chicago, it was the last season of Cominsky Park. It was awesome that night their were fireworks and we got to go down by the Angels club house. I got to meet Dave Winfield, which for a kid growing up in NY was great he was one of the nicest person I have ever met I remember I shook his hand and he shook my arm he was a giant to a young teen. I also met Jim Abbot and a bunch of other Angels players. My cousin had gotten me a baseball autographed by the entire Angels team. I also got a Jim Abbot auto on a piece of scrap paper I had in my bag. After being traded a few times I found out he was drafted and then signed with the new expansion team. The team was going to be the Colorado Rockies and they will start playing in the spring of 1993. As the season grew closer I found out that Opening Day for this new team would be in NY against the Mets. An I would be able to go to the game with my cousin’s father and brother. So then I had not given up being a Mets fan but started rooting for the Rockies. For the next few seasons I had remained a Mets fan, But when the Rox were in town it was a Rockies shirt that was worn to Shea for that series. Unlike every other game I support the Rockies instead of the Mets.
After the strike season or 1994 that continued to the following season. I gave up on baseball not really paying attention to the game or really rooting for any team. In the late 1990’s I started watching a little more, But not really going to games or paying full attention to the sport. Until late in the 1998 season when McGuire and Sosa started battling for the all time Home Run record. That sparked a little interest but not with continuance. The Yankees were doing well in those years an would watch playoff games and World Series games with friends. Then after a good season for the Mets and Yankees. IT happened The Subway series The NY Mets Vs. The NY Yankees. The city, the state and the bar I was sitting in were split. I was rooting for the Mets. The Yankees won the series.4 games to 1. The Mets did hold their ground well the did score more runs in the series! Through this time I was still checking to see how my cousin and the Rockies were doing usually not that great.
So the next few seasons were kind of uneventful. Going to a game here or their. In 2002 I got to go to Yankee Stadium once a gain with a friend who had an extra ticket to a day game. That was the second time I had gone to Yankee Stadium and the last game I would attend in NY. The following year I had moved to Colorado. How convenient I already had Rockies gear. I attended my 1st game at Coors Field. Of cause it was against the Mets. I wore a Rockies shirt and my Mets hat. This time I was rooting for the Mets since i really did not know the Rockies team that well. The Mets lost to the Rockies that night 6-4. and won the Next 2 games. That was the beginning of the Rox addiction. Even though it would be years till I returned to Coors Field. I would watch a game from time to time on T.V. Still I did not commit to an allegiance for the Rox.. Learning this unfamiliar team names like Holiday, Helton, Fogg, Francis, Cook and Walker. Then it was late in the 2007 season and the Rockies Won somewhere around 8 or so games in a row. When I started to catch on to what was happening. The Rox had made it to the playoffs an incredible run to finish the season which ended a regular season game against San Diego Padres to get the in the Playoff as the 2007 NL wild card team. Then the Rox Swept the Philies in 3 games to advance them to the NLCS. They would play the D-Backs and then swept them as well. Putting them into the World Series. During this series I was in Florida taking care of some family business. I was staying up real late watching these games being on the east coast and both teams where out west. I missed the 4th game of the series as I drove from FL. to North Carolina that day to visit other relatives while I was on the east coast.I did not find out that the Rockie had won and were going to the World Series to the next morning. I was able to watch parts of game 1. An listen to game 2 as I was driving through Illinois on my way back to Colorado.( On KOA Weird how radio works) Game 3 & 4 were in Coors Field Just 12 miles from my house and you could feel the energy over the miles. After watching the 2 games on T.V. the Rockies lost to the Boston Red Sox. An their season had come to an end. That Tuesday I attended the rally at skyline park here in Denver and the addiction grew.
The 2008 season was uneventful for me and the Rox. I watched a few games her and their. Then in late April 2009 after 3 years of saying I should ride my bike to a Rockies game at Coors Field. I did. That day I got a ticket for free from somebody outside who had extras from a company outing. At first, it was just something to do on my day off during my regular rides to downtown Denver. So the ticket was for section 115 right down the 1st baseline. I was waiting for the game to start, an I saw a player signing autographs one section over. I decided to head over their and had my score card signed. I was going to keep score this game so I would remember the game. and the day I had at Coors Field. The player was Dexter Fowler and that was my first Rox autograph. As always I had a camera with me and took photos of players at bat as well as on the field. Then it accrued to me that if I print these photos and return another day there is a good chance I can get them autographed. So then the addiction grew. I had made plans to attend the next Rox home day game and brought my photos had a few signed. After that it became my thing to do for the summer. To have my day off scheduled for the Rox day games an I would ride my bike to Coors Field and get my photos autographed. Then one day while watching the Rox warm up before the game Carlos Gonzalez threw a ball to the seats an I caught it. After many game in my life I finally got a ball from a Major League field (since I had gotten an unused ball from my cousin 19 years earlier) but this one I caught. By the end of the season the addiction was in full swing and the second to last game of the season I headed to the outfield during batting practice. I got my 1st BP ball off of the Milwaukee Brewers. Not really sure who hit it but I think it was either Mike Cameron or their SS Escobar. The next day I went to the last game of the 2009 regular season and the Rox won and pretty much clinched their spot in the playoffs as the NL Wild Card team once again. They would be playing the NL east champs the Philadelphia Phillies. Now to get playoff tickets. So through another addiction at the time Ebay I was able to obtain a ticket for the NLDS. Then was able to get another ticket from a friend that was even better. Which after a 1 day delay because of extreme cold temps in Denver I got to go to my 1st playoff game after a very eventful game the Rox had lost. The game and season where over.
Now what to do? It became a habit to go to games on my days off and the season was over. The playoff had come to an end the Yankees had won the World Series. So I booked my trip to spring training the 1st week of November for March. I was going to Hi Corbett field in Tucson. That was still 4 months away.
In early January friend had told me they had an extra ticket to the Rockies Fan Fest in Jan. which was just what I needed. a quick baseball fix in the middle of winter at the end of January. I wasn’t even there 5 min when Tulo walked passed us on the club level of Coors Field. Then the interview session and autographs sessions started. It was great by the end of the day. I met 10 Rockies players and coaches.
March 19, 2010 was a cold snowy day in Denver an I was on my way to Tucson. That morning I woke up in Denver an it was 18 degrees and snowing the ride to the airport was horrible. Within a few hours I was in Tucson 68 degrees and sunny. An their I was at the much-anticipated trip to spring training. 2 days in the sun in warm southern Arizona. I saw 2 games down there 1 against the Oakland A’s and the other Against the Angels. the second day was great. I had a pass to be on field during BP and it was photo day I got to meet most of the team that day. I also got to watch an inters quad game that Ubaldo Jimenez pitched on one of the back fields. Got awesome photos and met great people. All with the same addiction I had!!!!
A few weeks later I was once again at an opening day this time at Coors Field instead of Shea like when I was a Kid. During BP I caught my first BP ball. It was actually my second BP ball but this one I caught direct from bat to my glove the same glove my grandfather had bought me for my 10th birthday. The addiction had grown. I was at 7 of the first 8 games at Coors field. 3 being against the NY Mets. Once again wearing a Rockies Jersey and Mets Hat. I kept attending BP and Kept catching balls. Then I decided to plan a trip back to NY to visit friends an figured what would be a better time then when the Rox were in NY. So that’s what I did. After a Aug. day game against the Giants. I hopped in my truck the next day and headed to NY. I stopped in Pittsburgh for a game against the Pirates at PNC Park. During BP at PNC I caught a BP ball that had bounced off a PNC Bank Atm machine. After the Rox lost that game I headed to NY.So I could catch a Brooklyn Cyclone game. The Cyclones are a short season “A” team for the NY Mets. The next night I went to a Long Island Ducks game. They are part of an independent league. At that game I got to meet former Mets Player and coach Bud Harrelson which was great being a Mets fan growing up. An then the 3rd night my first game in NY since 2002 and my first game at the new Mets Stadium Citifield. It was weird. I knew I was in NY but it wasn’t Shea stadium it felt like I was about a city block off and I was! took the train to Citifield that night and met friends at the game. This Time I was wearing My Rockies Jersey and hat to the game. During BP Spili threw me a ball in centerfield. First he said I was wearing a fake Rockies Jersey so I told him that I was at Wens game at Coors against the Giants and drove for 2 days 1800 miles to be at this series and he threw it to me. So after 3 games in NY I headed back to Colorado stopping in Indianapolis to visit relative and went to a Indianapolis Indians game. The Indians are the Pirate Triple A affiliate.
As the 2010 season ended the Rox did not make the playoffs. I had attended 40 Rockies regular season games 36 at Coors Field. 1@ PNC and 3 @ Citifield in NY. I caught a total of 25 BP baseballs in 3 different stadiums. Attended 7 Minor League games in NY, Indy and Colorado Springs
Well that’s how the addiction started and has been fed for almost 30 years. Now as I sit here on a cold November day I get another baseball fix by starting this blog.See you next Spring and check in as the story continues or I find a 12 step program. The 2011 trips to The New Spring training facility in Scottsdale are being planed and the 2011 East coast road trip are also being planed I am sure I will have plenty to write about till then enjoy the off-season.