Sunset

Sunset

Monday, September 26, 2016

AKRON RUBBERDUCKS WEEK 19, 20, 21 & PLAYOFFS

AKRON RUBBERDUCKS WEEK 19, 20, 21 & PLAYOFFS


I'm starting to sound like a broken record ... I have fallen behind in my post and to catch up I've decided not to write about every games, instead to talk about the series as a whole. 

Akron is on the road all week and no home games for week 19.

Week's total: 0 games, 0 balls (0 give-a-way), 0 autographs
Games: 0 day  0 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 0-0

Akron's total: 48 games, 145 balls (63 give-a-way), 140 autographs, 4 bat, 11 SGA,
Games: 10 day  38 night  1 doubleheader   Home record: 30-18

2016 baseball season total: 65 games, 177 balls (68 give-a-way), 225 autographs, 11 bats


22-28 Aug

Ducks won all 5 games on the road last week and are in 2nd place eyeing a playoff berth. Game 6 was postponed by rain until 2 Sep to complete the game in Akron.

The best team in the League arrive for a three game series. This is the series I'm worried about. Two players on the team have 35 and 37 homeruns and are both League MVP candidates.  Time to bitedown and see if we are for real.

Game 1
Got 8 balls at BP and gave all 8 away. Got 3 Reading autographs. Ducks won 5-2.

Game 2
Brought 4 balls from home and gave them away. Got 1 Reading autograph. Ducks won 4-1.

Game 3
Ducks won 4-3.

Richmond (Giants) comes into Canal Park for a four game series.

Game 1
During BP Richmond Angel Villalona broke his bat. All his teammates where ohhh'ing. You're not suppose to brake at bat in BP, that mean you swung at a bat pitch. Needless to Angel was made. I tried to talk to him to get the bat but he was not talking to anyone. The coach Hector Borg who threw BP I asked him for the bat. He said after he plays and jokes about it in the club house. I have faith he would come through. When Hector came out for the start of the game he had the bat in hand and gave it to me. When I looked at the name on the bat my heart skipped a beat as is was an Albert Puljos module bat. I would also get 2 ball from BP and 6 Richmond autographs. Ducks lost 4-7.

Game 2
Saw something new on the field. In the 2nd inning the Ducks had 9 batter come to the plate scoring 4 runs on only 1 hit. Got 2 Richmond Autographs. Ducks won 9-3.

Game 3
Bobblehaed give away night of Miss Lippy from the movie Billy Madison. Hiromi can to the game with me so I got two bobbleheads. No BP. However, I brought 6 balls and gave them all away. Got 3 Duck Autographs. I though instead of just having balls #299 and #300 I would get them signed by the player who threw them to me. A little added bonus to the collection. Ducks lost 3-13. I needed one of the Ducks mascots auto for the team set, she missed the card ... just a bit outside.


Game 4
Brought 6 balls to the game and gave them all away. I caught a screaming line drive foul ball off the the of Richmond's Darren Ford. The weird part was he bats right handed and he pulled the ball to the third base dugout. Usually the ball would go over the first base dugout. After the game I would go to Richmond dugout and ask for the broken game used broken bat.... and GOT IT from Chris Shaw. All the kids were saying, "give me the bat". I said, "Chris can I have your bat please". When I got the bat I said, "Thank you". My mom raised me right, What's wrong with today's youth? Ducks won 8-2


Week 20 Haul


Week's total: 7 games, 11 balls (24 give-a-way), 15 autographs, 2 Bats, 2 SGA
Games: 0 day  7 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 5-2

Akron's total: 55 games, 156 balls (87 give-a-way), 155 autographs, 6 bat, 13 SGA,
Games: 10 day  45 night  1 doubleheader   Home record: 35-20

2016 baseball season total: 72 games, 188 balls (92 give-a-way), 240 autographs, 13 bats

Ducks are on the road fro the first half of the week until they return for the final weekend of the season. The Ducks end the season the way it stared by hosting Bowie Baysox. This will be a five games series as the first game will be a completed from a game stopped due to rain. The season comes down to the final week, if the Ducks win four games they are in the playoffs. If they win all five and Altoona loses 3 of it's last 4 Ducks win the Division.

2-5 Sep
Game 1
There was a lot of roster moves for the Ducks. Need to pull of these card to get signed. Brought 6 balls and gave them all away. Got 2 Bowie autographs. Ducks won 7-4. After the game I ask Henry Urrutia for his broken bat and got, Another former major leaguer bat.

Game 2
Because the game is a double header MiLB rule has these as a 7 inning game. Ducks won 6-3.

Game 3
Last bobblehead giveaway and Hiromi came with me to get two of former Cav and the late John "Hot Rod" Williams. Brought 4 balls and gave them all away. Got 6 Ducks autographs. Ducks won 4-3.

Game 4
Brought 2 balls gave them all away. Got 4 Ducks autographs. Duck won 5-3 and took the first place in the division. Ducks are in the playoff.

Game 5
If the Ducks win they win the Division and home field in the first round playoffs. Brought 2 balls and gave them all away. Ducks won 8-6 winning the Western Division title.

Week 21 Haul


Week's total: 5 games, 0 balls (14 give-a-way), 12 autographs, 1 Bat, 2 SGA
Games: 0 day  5 night  1 doubleheader   Home record: 5-0

Akron's total: 60 games, 156 balls (101 give-a-way), 167 autographs, 7 bat, 15 SGA,


Games: 10 day  50 night  2 doubleheader   Home record: 40-20

2016 baseball season total: 77 games, 188 balls (106 give-a-way), 252 autographs, 14 bats

EASTERN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES

7-11 Sep

Western Division Champs Akron RubberDucsk will face 2nd place Altoona Curve in the best of 5 series. Game 1 and 2 were in Altoona and the teams split the series 1-1. Ducks are back on their home field where they have a winning record.

Game 3
Got 5 balls at BP gave them all away. Got 4 Duck autographs. Ducks won 9-4.

Game 4
Got 3 balls at BP before the rain came that would suspend Game 4 one more night. Return for game 4 (part 2) the next day and Hiromi came with me, I got 2 balls at BP. Hiromi got her first ever baseball, one down 332 to go. 

I got two more balls and gave 5 balls away (three from the rain out yesterday), but we kept Hiromi's. I got 1 Duck autograph of Yan Gomes. Hiromi was able to get a good picture of it too.

This was one of the best games I have ever watched. Both teams knotted at 0-0 and each pitching staff giving up only one hit through 9. We would go into the 10th inning and Eric Haase would play hero with a walk-off single scoring Mike Papi from second base. Clinching the series and sending the Ducks into the Eastern League Championship game. Let the partying begin

An usher threw me a champagne cork from the field,

EASTERN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES


13-18 Sep

Trenton Thunder (Yankees) won the Eastern Division and will play games 1 and 2 in Akron. First team to win 3 games are the Eastern League Champs. There are two former Indians Prospect who got traded to the Yankees for Andrew Miller. I just hope they don't pitch good against us. I would hate to see us lose the title by good pitching from former RubberDucks.

Game 1
Went to BP early and got 8 balls, gave them all away. Got 2 Trenton autographs. Eric Haase was the hero once again with a grand slam in the fifth to put the Ducks in front and win 6-3.

Game 2
Got 4 balls at BP and gave them all way. Ducks won 4-2 and take a 2-0 lead in the Championship Series. Now they head to Trent for three game, all the Ducks have to do is win only one game and they clinch.

Final game of the 2016 season in Canal Park. It's been a great ride watching the Ducks play. My first year ever as a season ticket holder and I could not have asked for anything better. My first All Star and Playoff games in the stands. I set a goal of giving away 100 baseball and accomplished that. I have never got a bat in my life (until this years spring training) and I would add 14 to my collection.

However the Ducks finish this season it was worth ever penny. Do or die, Ducks Fly Together.

Akron went to Trenton and sweep the series and are now 5 times Eastern League Champs.


No more baseball post... until spring training. See ya next year.

Playoff Haul


Week's total: 4 games, 22 balls (22 give-a-way), 7 autographs 
Games: 0 day  4 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 4-0

Akron's total: 64 games, 178 balls (123 give-a-way), 174 autographs, 7 bat, 15 SGA,
Games: 10 day  54 night  2 doubleheader   Home record: 44-20

2016 baseball season total: 81 games, 210 balls (128 give-a-way), 259 autographs, 14 bats


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

DAYTON,OH AVIATION HISTORY & DEVILS BATHTUB

DAYTON,OH AVIATION HISTORY & DEVILS BATHTUB


16-18 AUG

As you can see by the date, I have been working on this post (along with a few other) for a pretty long time. I was afraid this might happen. With about a month remaining in the summer (when I first started this post) we were busy with task that need to be completed so we could leave by mid-late September. It's now September, and we're still busy getting thing in order. The RV stuff is almost done, it's the little things left in OH that I need to get done because we will not be returning until 2019 or later.

With no baseball games this week we took a three day trip to Dayton, OH in the RV. We have not done any traveling all summer and I was itching to get back on the road. Of course we wanted something close, but still far enough away to use the RV. Besides, after the maintenance we want to see how the RV would drive. Good news it drove good. However, when I did a tire check (first week of September) and took the wheel covers off I noticed that the lettering in the tire was coming off and looking like the tire was wearing thin. Something else to add to the TOP of the list before we leave. 

Anyways, back to our trip... I killed two birds with one stone making this my first blog with post and Youtube videos. You can read a little and then watch video to complete the adventure. 

First stop was the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. We saw the Wright Brothers video and 1902 model plane. While I was talking to National Park Ranger, Hiromi noticed a stuff bear and it was free IF we completed getting seven stamps from what we called the Aviation Scavenger Hunt. Just by the look on her face I knew we had to go on this hunt. Bad news, the ranger said there were no more in stock and that when we completed the stamps that the bear would be mailed to us. Two things, One we are RV'ers and spending another day in Dayton would not be a problem and second we have a mailing address. SPOILER ALERT: we stayed in Dayton an extra day....  If you want to see the full story of our trip to Dayton,OH CLICK HERE. to see the video.




Meet Mr. Flyer

After our stay in Dayton, Hiromi asked why are we going South? This is the wrong way!  I had one more surprise visit up my sleeve. We were on the back country roads with no rest stops. We hit the last big size town before sunset and spent the night at Wal Mart before taking the last hour drive to the surprise... Hocking State Park in Logan, OH. Nice little hike were we saw waterfalls, Devil's Bathtub and Old Man's Cave.  CLICK HERE is see the rest of the story,






Tire Update:
Last RV maintenance (finger crossed) of the year. We need two tires, one pictured above and the other was the spare had a nail in it. While we were here we got an oil change too. The thing I like most about  C & B body shop in Louisville, OH is the is right. Because our Class C RV is on a Ford Chassis they charge us for a Ford truck, not like the large RV change store we all love to hate. Two tires $325 and oil change $25. The oil changes I had done in the past in the RV giant stores cost over $100 and the price for one tire was the same as I paid for two. I will never do Chassis maintenance again at a RV shop. If you are in ever in Louisville, OH this is the place to go C&B Body Shop. 
(FYI: not getting paid to advertise just a place where I got good service at a good price and want other to know about). 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

AKRON RUBBERDUCKS WEEK 17 & 18

AKRON RUBBERDUCKS WEEK 17 & 18

1-7 Aug
Akron is on the road all week and no home games for week 17.


Week's total: 0 games, 0 balls (0 give-a-way), 0 autographs
Games: 0 day  0 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 0-0

Akron's total: 43 games, 142 balls (63 give-a-way), 134 autographs, 2 bat, 9 SGA,
Games: 9 day  34 night  1 doubleheader   Home record: 26-18

2016 baseball season total: 60 games, 174 balls (68 give-a-way), 219 autographs, 9 bats

9-14 Aug

Since the All Star break Akron is 6-18 and has falling out of the playoff race. They start the week at 56-59 and 7 games out. The Ducks look and play like a Freshman on the varsity team. With only five weeks remaining in the season, this is a do or die time to start making a run or they will not make the playoffs. Both first and second place teams are playing each other this week. All the Ducks have to do is win and let them two teams beat up on each other and we can sneak back into the hunt.

Game 1: Still busy doing lots of stuff during the day to get ready for our road trip next week. I arrived just as the players were taking the field. At the end of the first inning Ducks pitcher DJ Brown covered first and received the toss from Nellie Rodriguez for the final out of the inning. As DJ returned to the dugout I was the only fan standing asking for the ball and he threw it to me. I'm honing in on another BallHawk milestone. I now stand at 298 baseball and by the end of the week I will be over 300 baseball retrieved. I'm hoping for #300 to be special and no "Easter Eggs" (find a ball just laying on the ground).

The player I called the spark plug of the team was sent down from Columbus to make room on their roster for a player sent down from the Majors. When Eric Stamets plays the Ducks do pretty good. Case in point in the first inning he climbed the ladder to snag a ball from falling into Left Field. Then, he started a rally with a double. I like to see all players get promoted, but I'm glade he's back even if it's only for a short time.

Akron jumped out to a 4-0 lead through the first four inning. In the seventh I saw lighting in the sky and I started to the gate to get home before the storm came. Akron would hold on and win 6-2.


Game 2: Still busy around the RV, no BP or autographs. When I arrived to the ballpark it started to rain. The field was covered and the USA vs Australia basketball Olympic game was being show on the scoreboard. After a 1:33 hour rain delay the game was on. I'm glade I stayed, officially the attendance 3,090 but it looked to be half that (come on the 50/50 total was only $48... 3,000+ people ...NO WAY). After the Ducks starter Julian Merryweather struck out the side in the first inning catcher Danial Salters threw me the ball when returning to the dugout (#299). After watching the first inning with the Ducks at bat I knew it was going to be good game. I have not seen ever batter run down the first base line after hitting the ball hard in months. Take away the 6th inning where Merryweather gave up 2 hits (after I got home they changed a hit to error. I thought it was an error when I saw the play) and 2 runs he threw a gem. Unfortunately, he would only go 8 inning and the game was tied 2-2. I moved to the first base stands as there was fewer fans sitting. As the Ducks took the field in the 7th the last out ball was laying in the outfield and Jordan Smith threw the ball in the stands. I chased it down for my BallHawk Milestone #300. With runners on first and second Jeremy Lucas would have the game winning hit that would break the tie and the Ducks walkoff in the ninth. The play looked like Bill Buckner's 1986 World Series game 6 play, except the ball was hit to the third baseman.

After the game I stood next to the Hartford dugout and when Noel Cuevas was heading to the clubhouse I asked for his broken bat, and I got it. That makes my 10th bat this year.

Game 3: As a Duck fan it was a hard game to watch, but as a baseball fan it was a showcase on how to play small ball and win a baseball game. Hartford is the affiliate of the Rockies and in the National League is know for small ball. Yard Goats bunted, stole bases and scored runner with out the ball leaving the infield.  Ducks lost 4-6, but won the series. I know they can't win every game, but winning the remaining series will put them in good conditions to hopefully make a playoff puch.


Game 4: This was the biggest day for me as a baseball fan. Today would mark the first time for me to be on the field of play with player. First, I got to be on the field to watch Akron's BP. We arrive three hours before the game where as a season ticket hold I used my loyalty point to see BP on the field. Even Hiromi was allowed on the field with me. We stood on track behind the batting cage. Akron was using the pitching machine for BP to hit balls at 90 MPH and Jordan Smith broke his bat. When his round of BP was finished he came to me and thanked us for coming out and gave me his broken bat.

When BP was finished, manager Dave Wallace came over to thank us for coming out too and asked, "How we liked it?". Two weeks ago was Dave Wallace bobblehead give-a-way and I asked if he would sign the bobblehead and he did.


Dark clouds started to roll in and Portland did not get to have BP on the field. Second, I used my first pitch ticket to throw out the first pitch before the game. In front of 7,674 fans (68 from our campground) I threw a strike right down the middle of the plate to Jermey Lucas.

video

In the 5th inning Hiromi and I where on the scoreboard for Kay's Kiss Cam.


 Akron put a hurting on Portland scoring 18 runs on 20 hits. Every started got at least one hit. The top players was Todd Hankins who went 4-5 with 2 HR's (one was a grand slam) 6 RBI's. Nellie Rodriguez was a close second going 2-5 with a HR and 5 RBI's. This was by far the best game they played since the All Star break. I think I have to go to Ducks BP on the field and throw out the first pitch everyday now. I just hope they still have pop in the bat for the remaining two games this weekend.

Game 5:Brown's bobblehead give-a-way of two different players Kevin Mack vs Earnest Byner. Fan have to vote and they got only one bobblehead ticket when they entered the stadium. Good think I had Hiromi come with me. We were able to get one of each. The nice thing is that these bobbleheads are limited to 500 each instead of 1,000 like all the other bobblehead nights. Tonight is also Bradly Zimmer bobblehead give-a-way at Mahoning Valley Scrapper game (about 30 minutes from Akron). I think lot of people would be going to Scrappers game instead.


The rain came and would not stop, at least we got our bobbleheads. We saw a break in the clouds and took off for the gate to head home. When we got home we saw that the game was postponed. Doubleheader tomorrow with first game moved up to 1:05pm start vice 2:05pm with game two to follow. Hiromi will not be going to the games tomorrow. She did two games back-to-back and I thank her for helping me out. Before the rain came too hard I got Eric Stamets to autograph his 2016 Ducks team set I now have all the player (that are on the roster now) only need two coaches, one mascot and the super fan insert (I have not seen him at a game the last two weeks). I have only eight players who are in Columbus to left to complete the set. I hope they are still with the team next year so I can get them to sign at spring training in AZ.

Game 6: It has not rained in three weeks and now it rains six days straight. The last two days the rain has effected the games. Today's doubleheader was looking to be a wash with a four hour rain delay. I guess the two team decided to play only one game instead of two. Portland has a 15 hour bus ride back home and that might had something in the decision.

Jordan Smith had a 2-run homer and the duck won 3-0.

This week of baseball is one I will not forget in long time. I got to see BP on the field, throw out my first ever first pitch, I set a milestone with my 300th baseball and got not one, but two broken bats in one week.

The Ducks looked like the Ducks of old going 4-1 this week. They now stand at 60-60 and only 3 games back of the playoffs.



Week 18 Haul


Week's total: 5 games, 3 balls (0 give-a-way), 6 autographs. 2 Bats
Games: 1 day  4 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 4-1

Akron's total: 48 games, 145 balls (63 give-a-way), 140 autographs, 4 bat, 11 SGA,
Games: 10 day  38 night  1 doubleheader   Home record: 30-19

2016 baseball season total: 65 games, 177 balls (68 give-a-way), 225 autographs, 11 bats