Tagged: carlos paulino

GSO v LAK Game 3 (7/6/2010)

Game 3 of the Greensboro Grasshoppers – Lakewood BlueClaws series came Tuesday evening, July 6. The Hoppers fell to the BlueClaws again, on a close 6-7 game. My Rally Cap was out and in force, but must have been just too little, too late. This brings my Rally Cap record to an even 2-2 since I started keeping track. It was an exciting game, though, especially towards the end when the Hoppers were starting to rally.

The Hoppers highlight of the night goes to Chase Austin, who hit two homers. One came in the 3rd inning and the 2nd came in the 9th inning, putting the Hoppers just one run short of tying. Pitching for the Hoopers was Chad James (2.1 innings, 4 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 4 strikeouts), Natividad Dilone (2.2 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs, 1 strikeout), and Ramon Benjamin (4 innings, 1 hit, 3 strikeouts). I love watching Benjamin pitch — he’s so efficient.

The highlight of the game for me was off the field, collecting autographs. Before the game started, I was thrilled to find Carlos Paulino (catcher) signing autographs at the table by the playground area. I had a couple of baseballs I’ve been carrying around to get Paulino to sign — the only Hoppers game ball I have is a foul ball Paulino hit that I scrambled to pick up about a month ago when it went into the stands, and the ball I threw when I threw the first pitch last month. Paulino caught my pitch, and I thought it would be cool to have his autograph on the ball I threw. So I took them to the table and he was happy to sign them for me. When I told him where each ball came from, he seemed to get a kick out of it. After getting Carlos’ autograph, I headed over to the Hoppers bullpen area to watch the team warm up in the outfield. There, I got both Michael Pasek (2B) and Erick Carrillo (P) to sign their cards. Later in the game, I spotted Curtis Peterson (P) in the stands and got him to sign his card, too. I’m hoping to get all the cards in the team set autographed before the season’s out.

Paulino Autograph First Pitch Ball

Autographs on Cards

Promotion Results
Sumo (between 2nd and 3rd): won by Red Sumo.
Sausage Race (between 8th and 9th): won by Hot Sausage. Hot entered from center field instead of by the Hoppers dugout with the other two sausages. It was kinda weird.

The “Fry Guy” Strikeout promotion was in full effect today. Here’s Spaz encouraging the third base side to coax BlueClaws batter Buschini into a strike:

Fry Guy Promotion

Remember earlier when I said I saw Curtis Peterson in the stands? Guess what he was doing. He was filming Ramon Benjamin pitching. I guess they analyze the tapes to see how they can improve.

Curtis Peterson

Check out the complete recap and box score on the Hoppers site. There’s also a game story over there.

I used iScore to score the game. Here’s how I had it (click each picture of the scoresheet to embiggen):

GSO v LAK Game 3 - 7:6:2010 (GSO)
GSO v LAK Game 3 - 7:6:2010 (LAK)
GSO v LAK Game 3 - 7:6:2010 (Pitchers)

All of my pictures from the game are on Facebook.

See ya at the ballpark!


GSO v DEL Game 4 (6/4/2010)

The Hoppers just completed a four-game series against the Delmarva Shorebirds last night. With last night’s win, they took the series 3-1. It was probably the coolest night of baseball for me so far this year. Besides getting to watch a great win for the home team, I got to sit with a group of folks from my church who all came out for family night at the ballpark and I got to throw out the first pitch!

Let’s look at that first pitch again:

So, how did that happen? It’s all because I enter lots of contests and drawings at the ballpark. For several weeks, they’ve been promoting a Fritos Friday Night contest. The prize was to throw out the first pitch and stand on the field through the National Anthem. At the game Tuesday night, I signed up for it. Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from Laura at the ballpark telling me that I had won. I was absolutely thrilled! Since I was already planning on going to the game, I didn’t have to change my schedule. And since it was the night my church was sponsoring an outing, my wife was already planning to come. Laura told me to meet her at the fan information booth at 6:30 before the game and we’d head down to the field.

I got to the game as early as I usually do, which gave me enough time to copy the starting lineup for scorekeeping purposes and just wander around the concourse a little, signing up for various contests. When 6:30 rolled around and it was time to go to the field, I gathered with all of the people who were going down for pre-game festivities: the little league team who was being featured, some inductees in a sports hall of fame, the McDonald’s small fries, and the Sheetz “Play Ball” kid of the game. With all of the things that the Hoppers do before a game, it’s kinda like controlled chaos. It’s amazing that all of the pre-game activities come off as smoothly as they do — a real testament to the Hoppers staff. Once we were all gathered, we headed down to the field. Going down to the field was very cool — we got to go through an “off limits” area and come out through the tunnel under the left field concourse. Underneath the concourse is a batting cage. One of the Hoppers pitchers was hanging out down there. They had all the props for the between-inning promotions (sumo suits, wigs, etc.) lined up against one of the walls. The walls were covered with paintings of baseballs. It was really cool. I was just taking it all in and didn’t think to take any pictures. I figured I’d snap a few pictures on the way back up, but we went up by the dugout instead of back through the tunnel. Oh, well, maybe some other time I’ll have a chance to be back there again.

Once on the field, there was lots to see and do. Laura was busy directing activities:

Directing Pre-Game Activities

Directing Pre-Game Festivities

I took some pictures of various on-field objects. Here’s the home team on deck circle and some bat weights, e.g.:

On Deck Circle


And the view of the player introductions from the field is just different enough than the view from the seats to make it seem like you’re *really* part of it (pictures include Jose Torres, Justin Bass, and Kyle Skipworth):

Player Introductions

Player Introductions - Jose Torres

Player Introductions - Justin Bass

Player Introductions - Kyle Skipworth

Greg and the First Pitch Ball

When I went to throw the first pitch, Laura gave me the ball to use. I was kinda surprised to see it was a souvenir Grasshoppers ball like they sell in the gift shop and not an official South Atlantic League ball like they play with. When it was my turn to throw the ball out, they described the Fritos contest I won that garnered me the first pitch, announced my name over the loudspeaker, and put it up on the scoreboard in big letters. It was very cool to see my name up on the scoreboard like that. Spaz accompanied me to the mound, further introducing me. Catcher Carlos Paulino headed to home plate to catch for me. I thought it was pretty cool to have a catcher behind the plate — often the catchers are busy warming up pitchers and they have another player catching. When I looked at Carlos, the distance between me and the plate didn’t appear to be as long as I practiced, so I was feeling better about that and more confident. When it was time to throw, I aimed right at Carlos and let the ball fly. It was a little low, but Carlos was able to easily grab it before it hit the ground. All in all, I’m happy with my performance — it wasn’t flat-out embarrassing! And I’d like to give a huge thank you to my wife, who was on the field with me and took a video of me throwing the first pitch.

A little bit later, they had a “second” first pitch by one of the officers at Syngenta (the company who sponsors the field conditions of the ballpark). His pitch fell a few feet short of the plate and bounced away. It helped make my first pitch look even better.

After all of the pre-game festivities were over, we all headed back up in the stands, where I joined all the folks from church. Some of them were pretty silly, asking me for autographs and whatnot. It was great fun.

The game started, and the Hoppers were off to a great start. They looked good the whole night, scoring three runs in the third inning, and a fourth run in the seventh. The Shorebirds only managed one run in the eighth inning, so we had a very tidy 4-1 win. There’s a new player with the Hoppers, Jose Duarte. Apparently, the Royals released him earlier this week (where he was on their AAA team), and the Marlins picked him up and assigned him to Greensboro. He debuted in Thursday’s game, and I was only slightly impressed with his performance. However, he improved as Thursday’s game went on, and he looked great last night, with a 2-RBI homer in the third. I wonder how long he’ll be in Greensboro before the Marlins start moving him up the ladder.

Promotion Results
Sumo (between 1st and 2nd): won by Red Sumo
Sausage Race (between 4th and 5th): won by Hot Sausage, who was so smoking that he ran in for the win backwards, taunting the other sausages. Sage had an early lead, but squandered it by talking to the ump between 1st and 2nd, where she was apparently asking him out to dinner.

Check out the complete recap and box score on the Hoppers site.

I used iScore to score the game. Here’s how I had it (click each picture of the scoresheet to embiggen):

GSO v DEL Game 4 - 6:4:2010 (GSO)

GSO v DEL Game 4 - 6:4:2010 (DEL)

GSO v DEL Game 4 - 6:4:2010 (Pitchers)

All of my pictures from the game are on Facebook.

See ya at the ballpark!

First Pitch!

Tonight was a very exciting night at the ballpark: I got to throw the first pitch before the game! I’ll write more about it tomorrow, when I’m not so exhausted, but here’s the video:

It was really awesomely exciting. And I’m thrilled that I made the ball go all the way to the catcher (Carlos Paulino), over the plate and without any bounces. I guess that makes me a better first pitcher than President Obama.

Until I get a chance to write up real entries for the blog, check out the pictures from the last four games that I’ve posted to Facebook:

See ya at the ballpark!

GSO v LAK Game 4 (4/27/2010)

The Greensboro Grasshoppers played their fourth game against the Shorebirds last Tuesday, and it was a day game. Day games are always fun. To make it even more exciting, this game was one of the Guilford County School Days at the ballpark. The stands were filled with about a hundred million second graders. OK, maybe not that many, but it sounded like there were that many once they started screaming and yelling.

School Days 2nd Graders

Since there were kids all over the place in the main section of the ball park, including where my season ticket is, the Hoppers had all the season ticket holders that attended the game sit up in the Yes! Party Deck. That was really cool. I’d never been to the 2nd level, and it’s a whole different experience checking out the game from up there. I liked it, and I hope that when they have school days again, they put the season ticket holders in the Party Deck. It was lots of fun. I even made a new friend who won tickets to the game from his employer. We ended up sitting next to each other for the last couple of innings and really enjoyed chatting as the game wound down. That made the loss easier to bear.

It was a tough loss, 2-3. The Hoppers got on the board with a run pretty quickly in the 1st inning. No more runs were scored until the 4th, when the BlueClaws scored a run. The Hoppers didn’t respond with a run of their own until the 7th, but the BlueClaws tied it in the 8th with a run and scored another run in the 9th to secure the win. The bottom of the 9th was particularly disheartening: Kyle Jensen walked. Kyle Skipworth walked (then Michael Pasek replaced him as a pinch runner). With Chase Austin at bat, the BlueClaws had a pitcher substitution, who allowed both Jensen and Pasek to advance on a wild pitch. Then the pitcher intentionally walked Austin, loading the bases. It was exciting. I was hopeful that we’d at least tie, if not secure the win. How could we not? Bases loaded, no outs! Then Carols Paulino flies out. Then Jose Torres strikes out. Then Terrence Dayleg strikes out. It was a rough inning.

Promotion Results
Sumo (between 1st and 2nd): won by Red Sumo
Sausage Race (between 4th and 5th): won by Hot Sausage


Sausage Race

A note about parking. Since it was a day game, the lot across the street where I normally park for free was not available. Nor was street parking, since the meters were all in effect. All of the lots near the stadium were also full. It was difficult to navigate the streets due to the large number of busses. I finally gave up and parked in a city lot a few blocks away from the stadium. Much to my surprise, when I got out of the deck after the game, the parking was less than $2. Next time there’s a day game, I might just skip hunting for a spot and head straight for the parking deck. It was only a couple blocks away from the stadium. Nice and easy.

Once again, I used iScore to score the game. Here’s how I had it (click each picture of the scoresheet to embiggen):

GSO v LAK Game 4 - 4:27:2010 (GSO)

GSO v LAK Game 4 - 4:27:2010 (LAK).png

GSO v LAK Game 4 - 4:27:2010 (Pitchers)

Check out the complete recap and box score on the Hoppers site.

All of my pictures from the game are on Facebook.

See ya at the ballpark!