As I write this blog entry during my lunch break, the Greensboro Grasshoppers are battling the Rome Braves in the first of two 7-inning games scheduled for today. (It’s currently the top of the 8th, with the score tied at zero, so the first game of the double-header gets extra innings today….) Why a double-header? Because yesterday’s game was called on account of rain. So while the boys are playing today’s game, I’m happy to bring you a few pictures of Brian McCann from Friday’s game. The Hoppers fell to the Braves Friday night (box | recap), due in large part to an RBI double from Brian McCann in the 9th.
These pictures come courtesy, once again, of Patrick Abbott. Patrick was enjoying the game from Suite 210. Patrick reports that “McCann was very gracious when it came to autographs…. He even delivered a bunch of baseballs to fans eager to get an autograph or photo by the player entrance/exit immediately after the game.” Sounds like a great time, and I’m glad so many baseball fans in Greensboro got a chance to see a first-rate big-league player in our ballpark.
Thanks again for that great pictures, Patrick!
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Brian McCann is currently rehabbing with the Rome Braves, playing against the Greensboro Grasshoppers this weekend. The Hoppers Fan blog is thrilled to be able to share photos from his rehab stint taken by Dano Keeney, the Hoppers’ Team Photographer. Dano is in his 8th season with the Hoppers and has captured several memorable moments such as Christian Yelich jumping on home plate after the 15th inning walk-off in 2011 and the five first round pitchers in front of the “Greensboro” sign in 2006. Dano has also done most of the team cards since 2006. In addition to serving as the official photographer for the Hoppers, Dano does weddings, family photos, kids sports games, baby photos, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Visit the Dano Keeney Photography website to see his portfolio and get in touch with him if you want to have your event photographed.
Dano sent the following photos from Friday’s game, which was Brian McCann’s first rehab assignment.
Thanks again for that great pictures, Dano!
Remember, you can click on any of the pictures in the post to embiggen them. Send us your pictures and/or stories from Brian McCann’s visit to email@example.com, and we’ll try to feature them on the blog. Join the conversation by leaving a comment — what are you thinking?
Brian McCann is rehabbing with the Rome Braves, who are playing the Greensboro Grasshoppers here in town this weekend. I talked a little about that in my last post. Several folks have responded to our call and sent some photos of McCann to share on the Hoppers Fan blog. The next several blog posts will feature those pictures. This installment comes to us thanks to Patrick Abbott and Debbie Rodriguez. I’ve known Patrick for several years — he and his son Eli can often be found at the ballpark taking pictures, collecting autographs, and just enjoying the game. Patrick sent this pictures from Friday’s game, which include both McCann swings that resulted in home runs. Debbie’s been a loyal Hoppers Fan fan for several years, too, and she sent us a picture of McCann signing autographs at the tunnel.
As for tonight’s game (box | recap), the Hoppers took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd and held it until Brian McCann brought in the tying run in the 9th with a double and Levi Hyams drove in the winning run. The Hoppers were unable to respond and went down 1-2-3. Check out the Bill on Baseball blog for more details, including reactions to the loss from the Hoppers manager and pitching coach.
The Hoppers are scheduled to play the Braves again tomorrow afternoon at 4:00. Weather might be an issue, with the forecast calling for rain. Let’s hope the rain stays in check and the field stays dry and it’s a great day to be at the ballpark. Show up early for a chance to get McCann’s autograph. Reports from both yesterday and today are that McCann is being generous, signing lots of autographs for the fans. Hoppers Fan Debbie Rodriguez sent in this picture of McCann signing autographs at tonight’s game.
Thanks for that great pictures, Patrick and Debbie!
Remember, you can click on any of the pictures in the post to embiggen them. Send us your pictures and/or stories from Brian McCann’s visit to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll try to feature them on the blog. Tune in to the blog tomorrow for some pictures from the Hoppers’ Team Photographer, Dano Keeney.
Join the conversation by leaving a comment — what are you thinking?
It’s not often that a Major League player gets a rehab assignment that brings him to Greensboro. I can’t remember the last time a Marlins player ended up on the Hoppers roster. A couple of years ago, first baseman Ryan Howard was rehabbing for for Philadelphia with the Lakewood Blueclaws. In one of his games in Greensboro, he stopped a potential no-no with an RBI double in the sixth. I can’t remember seeing anyone rehabbing in Greensboro since then.
Well, starting this weekend, Brian McCann, the catcher for the Atlanta Braves, is rehabbing with the Rome Braves. McCann has been on the DL with a shoulder injury. As luck would have it, Rome is playing Greensboro this weekend, so this is an opportunity for the Hoppers fans to see a great major league player in action.
OK, McCann’s not a Hopper, but his brother Brad McCann played in Greensboro in 2005, so we can consider him family, right?
“It felt good,” he said. ”I got some pitches to hit and luckily I didn’t miss them.”
He was most pleased about the way his shoulder felt behind the plate and how fast he got the ball out of his glove and on the way to second base. The Hoppers tested McCann on the basepaths, stealing four bases, and he made two throwing errors. But accuracy is something he said he can iron out.
Neither Jordan nor I were able to make last night’s game, and we’ll probably miss all of the games against Rome. (Yes, it’s very sad. McCann is my favorite Brave, and I’d love to see him in our small park (I’ve seen him in Atlanta many times!) and have a chance to get his autograph, but other obligations trump baseball this weekend.) So this is the perfect time to enlist the Hoppers Fan Army! If you were at last night’s game, or make it out to any of the games when McCann is playing, we’d love to hear from you! Send us your pictures and/or stories from the game to email@example.com, and we’ll try to feature them on the blog. We’ve already received a handful of photos from a few fans, so look for those coming up in the next few blog entries.
Join the conversation by leaving a comment — what are you thinking?
The Greensboro Grasshoppers trounced the Delmarva Shorebirds tonight with an impressive 10-7 come-from-behind victory. It has me wondering if this is a fairy tale. With this win, it’s a sweep of the Shorebirds. With this win, it puts the Hoppers only 3 games out of first place for the 2nd half. With this win, the Hoppers have a legitimate — but still difficult — chance at the playoffs. It may be a fairy tale in the making.
The Hoppers started out well, scoring the first run of the game in the 2nd inning. And then the third inning came and everything fell apart. Delmarva scored seven runs, putting the Hoppers six runs behind. Fortunately, those were the only runs Delmarva scored, and the Hoppers managed to score a run in the fifth, another run in the seventh, and six big runs in the eighth to pull the score to 10-7. It was a nail-biter of a game and there were several times I was concerned that the Hoppers wouldn’t make it. Like the time when they loaded the bases with only one out, and managed to strand all three base runners. But, in the end, a win is a win. And this win is exactly what the Hoppers needed to do to stay alive with a shot for the playoffs. Kannapolis also won against Rome tonight, so we didn’t gain any ground against them.
What does this all mean? It means that the final five games of the season are the games it will boil down to. What’s even more exciting is that those games are against Kanappolis. Every one we win, we are guaranteed to pick up a spot against them in the standings. I ran into Hoppers announcer Jim Scott in the score after the game and he said that the Hoppers need to win 3 out of 5 in order to make it happen. Kannapolis is a great team, so it’s going to be difficult to accomplish that — especially in Kannapolis — but it’s possible. If the Hoppers aren’t able to win the 2nd half outright, they still have a wild card chance if Hickory stays on the top of the standings. It’s going to be an interesting game of divisional standings chess between now and Labor day. Bill on Baseball has a great recap of tonight’s game and details about what needs to happen in various situations to allow the Hoppers to get in the playoffs: Hoppers’ scintillating run continues. Be sure to check it out, as well as the official box score and game recap.
The win was great, but what made this an extra special night for me is that I got to spend the evening with about 40 of my friends in the Party Deck on the third base side. A few weeks ago, I won a drawing sponsored by Sheetz where the prize was a free night on the Party Deck, including supper. It was AWESOME. Here’s a picture from the deck:
The folks at the ballpark took real good care of us. We had an all-you-can-eat hot dog and bbq buffet. We had a great view of the ballpark. I even arranged with Pat Taylor, owner of Taylor Made Kettle Corn, to have enough kettle corn up in the seats for everyone to enjoy. I’ve always maintained that the kettle corn is the best deal in the ballpark, and I was excited to be able to share it with my friends tonight. I got upstairs, and there was a bag on every table, with a couple of extra bags on the buffet line. Several of the Hoppers staff, including Todd and Tim, also stopped by to check on things. Even Guilford stopped by:
As you can see, I was wearing the Kyle Winters jersey I won at the Tropical Jersey Night auction a few weeks ago.
At one point, my wife Meredith went down to the field to take some pictures because we knew some of the folks who were going to participate in one of the on-field promotions. Here’s a cool shot that she took of Mark Canha swinging hard. I don’t know if he connected on that particular swing or not, but it was his three run homer that put us in the lead in the eighth.
Since it was the last home game of the regular season, the Hoppers put on the best fireworks show of the year. Every explosion was really cool, and the show lasted a bit longer than usual. It was really neat to be able to watch the fireworks from the second level.
It was sad to leave the park when the game was over, but with the excitement the team has been building by maintaing such a long winning streak, I won’t be surprised if I find myself back in the park for a playoff game in a week or so. I’m planning to head down to Kannapolis for the entire series. If you’re planning on making it out to any of the games, leave a comment on the blog and let me know. We’ll definitely catch up with each other at the game.
It’s an exciting time to be a Hoppers fan.
Remember, you can click on any of the pictures in the post to embiggen them. Check out the photo album on Facebook for all the pictures. Join the conversation by leaving a comment — what are you thinking?
With the Shorebirds series behind us ending on a high note, the Hoppers moved into the Rome Braves series tonight. It was a good game, and the team looked pretty good. They went on to win, 4-3.
Almost as soon as I got in the ballpark, I went over to visit Pat at his Taylor Made Kettle Corn stand. This was the first time this season I stopped by where he wasn’t slammed, so we had a few minutes to chat for a bit. On my way over, I noticed for the fist time that his kettle corn stand is right next to the popcorn stand. That’s pretty weird, putting two similar products right next to each other. Last year, they were in different areas in the park. I think it’s confusing, since the popcorn and the kettle corn look so similar. It kinda makes me feel bad for the popcorn guy, though, because the kettle corn is so much better: you get more, it tastes better, and it costs less. At less than $5 for a huge bag of kettle corn, it’s the best deal by far in the ballpark (except for Mondays, when hot dogs are $1.) It really was great to catch up with Pat again after the offseason. I hope he continues to do well at the ballpark.
After visiting with Pat, I headed to the Dog Pound to try another one of the new hot dogs. Tonight, I had the Milwaukee Brat — a foot long dog with special Milwaukee sauce and onions all over it. Click on the picture to the right to see a bigger picture of it. It was delicious, but the Chicago Dog is still my favorite so far.
I settled in my seat, glad that the seats were in the shade — I got some sun at yesterday’s day game and my face has been warm ever since. Before long, my friend Zoot called me. We discovered we were only a section apart, so I moved over to join him and his sons. Later in the game, Bryan from the K-Zone and his girlfriend came to join us as well.
The game was fairly uneventful, despite getting off to a rough start with a homer by Rome’s 2nd batter. Rome kept a lead for most of the game, but the Hoppers tied in the 6th, pulled ahead in the 7th, and kept the lead through the end of the game.
The promotions were, as always, fun. The theme for the night (only loosely executed) had to do with Reality TV. Keeping with the theme, the Sausage Race tipped its hat to “The Bachelor” between the 2nd and 3rd innings, and Country Sausage won:
Season Stats For Games I’ve Seen:
Country Sausage: 2 wins
Hot Sausage: 1 win
Hot Hot Sausage: 0 wins
Sage Sausage: 0 wins
A few innings later, in the middle of 4, Red Sumo takes the Sumo Match with an authoritative smack-down.
After the game, I headed to the tunnel to vie for a broken bat and/or an autograph. I didn’t see anyone carrying a broken bat off, but I did get Isaac Galloway to autograph the card I had for when he was on the 2009 team. Here’s a picture of it, along with the Marcell Ozuna autograph I got yesterday.
Looking forward to the rest of the series, and seeing some good ball.
Saturday, May 1 was the final game for the most recent Greensboro Grasshoppers home stand. It was against the Rome Braves, who beat the Hoppers 2-6. The Hoppers got a run in each of the first and second innings, but stayed off the board for the rest of the game. Even with the loss, I had lots of fun at this game because my wife and several of our friends joined us for the game. I love going to baseball games, but it’s even more fun to go with friends.
We got to the ballpark and I entered the Home Run Derby drawing, like I do every game. This time, my name was drawn when Jose Torres was up to bat. The way it works is that a name is drawn for every Hoppers batter in the fourth inning. If the batter makes a home run, the person whose name was drawn receives the ever-increasing jackpot. For this game, I think the jackpot was up to about $450. Sadly, Torres didn’t homer, so I didn’t win the money. I don’t think anyone’s won the money yet this year. I’ll keep trying.
Sumo (between 1st and 2nd): won by Blue Sumo
Sausage Race (between 4th and 5th): won by Hot Sausage. Sage was doing pretty well, and looked to be in line for the win. However, on the third base side, Country Sausage blocked her, allowing Hot Sausage to secure the win.
I managed to get a few interesting photos. Here’s one of Chad Cregar. I like how you can see the bat in motion, and the blur of the ball after it left the bat.
Here’s one of Chase Austin, who successfully made it to safely to first base after laying down this bunt.
Finally, here’s a series of Edgar Olmos pitching.
Since we were running a tiny bit late to the game and since I was visiting with friends as well as watching, I didn’t score the game this time. Check out the complete recap and box score on the Hoppers site.
All of my pictures from the game are on Facebook. This was the last game I had my buddy’s telephoto lens to use, so I’ll be back to my normal lens for the next home stand.