Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Rock Cats Blog // Rock Cats 6, Reading 5 [Game 14]
Box Score Here: http://www.milb.com/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2015_07_25_reaaax_nbraax_1&mode=gameday
Before we even went to this game we knew it was going to be special and it was one of our "must attend" games if only because the theme to it was Christmas in July and we were promised the give away of a Rock Cats snowglobe. The last time- and only other time for that matter- we showed up really early was for the Military Appreciation Day at which we got the camo caps, but back then the games started at 6:35 with a 5:05 time for gates. Everything is pushed forward a half hour now as the games begin at 7:05 instead. We showed up around 5:00pm and I cashed in some blue tickets for real tickets. I found a spot in line and we actually weren't that far back but also weren't the first people in the gates.
We had to wait roughly a half an hour to get in but the nice people at Turkey Hill were there giving out free samples of their ice cream and the local band Chalkboard was there as well, playing covers of the Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, etc. While we did hear different songs by Foo Fighters while waiting it was still better than that one band who wanted to only play "Simple Man" on repeat. Although, when that is how low you set the bar... In any event, we got in and as I read online that the snowglobes would be given to the first 1000 children under the age of 18 I was in no particular hurry because there weren't even a thousand people there yet let alone kids.
As we walked through the gates I held my son up with one arm to make the process smoother since he is still not a ticket holder and so he didn't need to walk and slow things down. The guy handed me two snowglobes and I didn't question it. Then as my wife made her way in she gave him one as well. So much for the kids theory- they were giving the snowglobes away to everyone and anyone who entered. True story: We actually left to put them in the car and when we came back in he tried to give us more, which we politely refused because we're not criminals. Almost instantly we found Rocky- who had a Santa hat on for the fesitivities- and at one point my son was even dancing with him in front of the band. Santa was also walking around and there was just an overall nicer theme and display for it being Christmas than what he saw in the past with the TMNT and Jurassic Park nights. (And from what I hear, Minions Night wasn't that great either)
Of course the real reason why we were happy to get there early as well was to try and get autographs from the players before they played. Whether they won or lost tonight, we were not going to be sticking around after the game to try and get them to sign because it'd just be too late. When the players did make their way out, I had my four cards I still needed signed in hand and there were some kids near the dugout trying to get balls signed as well. It felt good to be able to tell the kids who each player was and add in little comments like, "That's Jayson Langfels. He's nice. He'll sign for you". Through some stroke of luck (or fate) I managed to get signatures from Pat Valaika, Mike Tauchman and Kraig Sitton. I even got Ryan Carpenter to sign a baseball for me (Now known as the "Ryan Carpenter Ball") and David Dahl to sign his Top Prospects card.
As good as things were going with the signing, the umpires took the field and so I had to go sit down and, well, I did not get Austin House to sign his card. Yes, we left the game that night with only needing a single autograph to complete our set and that was something I was willing to live with because I knew it would only be temporarily. I also was realizing- as per the announcement over the loudspeaker- that this was Shane Carle going for his tenth win this season something not many other pitchers have been able to do in AA (I think there was only one or two others to have done it) and so that added this certain level of interest to the game. Obviously I want to see Shane Carle win but for him to reach that level of elite while I was there to witness it is a pretty good feeling. And if you happen to read the very subject of this post you'll know that the Rock Cats did indeed win and Shane Carle did notch his tenth season win which is just awesome to me.
Perhaps the best part of this game- as a fan of baseball- was seeing the Rock Cats get down by three runs in the third and then just mount the offense to come back and take the lead and just hold it. The Rock Cats seem to have this same problem as the Mets but I remember in earlier games the Rock Cats would score early and within the first three innings they'd have a few runs up on the board- giving them the lead- but now it was reversed and though Reading was able to put up some runs early they were silent up until the last inning when they tried to come back but still could not. It was just one of those great offensive flurries where hits were strung together to bring runners home and, yes, it was all that much more exciting based upon the fact that it was helping give Shane Carle the win.
The game actually went by fairly quick as well and had I not known we'd be back for the game the next day I might have stuck around and waited for the players to try and find that ever elusive Austin House, but I decided to just call it a night and regroup tomorrow. Funny thing too is that after all we did that day and all the excitement my son had he actually fell asleep on the way home, which is typically the way that I like it when we go to night games with the Rock Cats.