Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday End of Week One

Blog on my good man!

Monday is my fave baseball day - used to be I looked forward to Monday newspaper coming out with the full compliment of box scores from the weekend. These days its impossible to rely simply on printed news for up to date baseball info.

Also it was the end of the reporting period for our fantasy league, known as Rotisserie league baseball back then! You had to have called the commissioner by the end of Monday in order to get your player moves in for the week, as full NL stats were tallied through Mondays games and released on Wednesday.

So it just seems fitting when a Skitz series ends on a Monday night. The crowd is down a little and the games take on a different pace, one that highlights whats between the chalk lines. With fewer fans to feed from players rise and fall to the game situations based on their own skills and less on the adrenaline of playing in front of a full house.

Basically, its when the cream rises to the top.

If I recall correctly, Giancarlo Stanton hit his scoreboard clearing shot of legend on a Monday.


Mako directed traffic and handled feisty umpires

MAKO 2006

I really liked Mako Oliveras, who later took over as manager of the Binghamton Mets for a couple seasons. More recently I saw Oliveras managing in the Mexican league, taking the Diablos to the championship series.

I miss him making shotgun-loading gestures at umpires who made bad calls. Mako has a great vibe and is a perfect fit for manager, he had a calm fatherly demeanor that put the younger players at ease around him.

Oliveras had a great sense of humor, and would often wander to the wall and utter one sentence of hilarity that could barely be heard. I can't repeat any of them here, but they were funny to be sure!

BEN - 2008

And then we met Ben Oglivie.

Panama's Greatest Hitter
One of the most intelligent men in baseball, I would also say Ben has one of the best poker faces ever. The man was a stone wall, rarely showing any movement, much less emotion, unless the game dictated a coaching decision. I joked that we could roll out a Ben Oglivie statue and get the same response to the jokes and cheers from the crowd.

That being said, one day Ben did something different.

A family was sitting behind us, Dad and Mom, two teen daughters and a son of about ten. Dad was Panamanian and proud of it. Also proud of the fact that Ben was Panama's greatest ballplayer ever. For seven innings he talked about following the career of Oglivie from the rookie Red Sox to his Brewers best days to Bens two seasons in Japan. Being a Biscuits game, the kids had a foul ball and called and called to the first base coach to sign it.

Mom had made it plain, after the seventh inning, they were going - signed ball or no.

Crusty veteran with a heart of gold
Its against the rules, guys dont sign during the game. No two ways about it, Ben couldn't sign. Now I feel really bad about it, but I thought at the time Oglivie was being a bit stuck up, giving them the cold shoulder, even refusing to face the people who were obviously fans begging him for an autograph. I got onto Ben, "Come on man, sign the ball! They LOVE you!"

Ben Oglivie turned around, with the BIGGEST SMILE on his face, total pride and appreciation to the point that his eyes were almost welled with tears.

"Youzz Guyz gonna git me fired" he said as he came to the wall where the boy and girl waited with doe eyes, baseball in hand.

Ben signed that ball.

I am not affiliated!



Birmingham's new ballpark, still under construction a few weeks ago
Full Season 70 game price: $850

Parking pass: not listed
Discount on Family Fun Park Pass ($250 savings)
Invitation to take batting practice at Regions Field
VIP seating at Rickwood Field for the annual Rickwood Classic
Season Ticket Holder ONLY entrance to Regions Field
In game wait service

Magnet schedule
Breaking BBoy McCoy appearance
Grill Giveaway
50cent hot dog nights
Crawfish boil
Tshirt giveaway
Rickwood Classic
Hat giveaway
Rally Towel giveaway
Kids T Shirt giveaway
Birzerk appearance
Bobblehead night
Fur Circus appearance
Kids Hat giveaway
Myron Noodleman appearance
Puzzle giveaway
Jersey giveaway

The Barons open the newest ballpark in the Southern League this week, and have done a nice job of preparing great promotions to accompany their new home. Several teams are on board with BBoy McCoy and Fur Circus, the Barons among them. 

I like the Grill Giveaway, if done right its a really good idea. Crawfish boil is a traditional favorite and could be a nice alternative to hot dogs at the park. Towels and Tshirts and hats and bobbleheads make for standard giveaways and fans always LOVE coming away with a freebie. 

Its a pretty good price for the value of a ton of giveaways and a brand new ballpark for a team with a long history. Oh, and I believe it includes tickets to the Rickwood Classic, only the coolest vintage baseball park that still hosts actual games that count! Pretty cool, B'ham, well done!

Rickwood hosting Biscuits vs Barons way back in 2005, somebody get that photog guy off the field!

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