Tagged: Yan Gomes

2015 Fan Fests of the AL Central Division

Over the last few years I have annually posted an entry about the upcoming Fan Fests that will be hosted by the teams in the AL Central Division. If you’d like to see last year’s entry, click here. This is the entry for 2015.

sox

Date: January 23-25, 2015

Hours: Hours have not yet been announced.

Location:

Hilton Chicago

720 South Michigan Avenue

Chicago, Illinois, 60605

Parking: Hotel Parking

Admission Ticket Pricing:

  • Single Day Passes:
  • Weekend Passes: $40 for adults, $20 for children 13 & under. 3 & under are free of charge.

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND

Jose Contreras, Jon Garland, “El Duque” Orlando Hernandez, Bobby Jenks, Geoff Blum, Joe Crede, Tadahito Iguchi, Scott Podsednik, Aaron Rowand, Jose Abreu, John Danks, Zach Duke, Adam Eaton, Tyler Flowers, Avisail Garcia, Conor Gillaspie, Dan Jennings, Jake Petricka, Jose Quintana, Alexei Ramirez, David Robertson, Jeff Samardzija, Don Cooper, Todd Steverson, Herold Baines, Robin Ventura, Tim Anderson, Courtney Hawkins, Micah Johnson, Carlos Rodon, Bo Jackson, Ron Kittle, Carlos May, Bill Melton, Minnie Minoso and Billy Pierce.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Player Autograph Stations
  • Player Photo Stations
  • SoxFest Garage Sale
  • Additional activities are also in store for SoxFest.

Autograph Voucher Pricing: Included in admission price

Things that have improved from last year:

  • The White Sox lowered the price for a weekend pass by 45% compared to last year.
  • Although not confirmed, it seems as if SoxFest will offer more activities to fans.

If I was the GM I would…

  • Make it mandatory for the 40-man roster to attend SoxFest.
  • Donate a part of the proceeds to charity.

My Overall Grade of SoxFest LAST YEAR: B-

My Overall Grade of SoxFest THIS YEAR: B

tribe

Date: January 24-25, 2015

Hours:

  • Period 1: Saturday, Jan 24, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Period 2: Saturday, Jan 24, 4-8 p.m.
  • Period 3: Sunday, Jan 25, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Location:

Progressive Field

2401 Ontario Street

Cleveland, OH 44115

Parking: “A limited number – due to a Monsters home game on Saturday night and a Cavs home game on Sunday afternoon — of $3 parking spots will be available in the Gateway East Garage. Those parking passes can be purchased online while fans purchase their event and autograph tickets. Fans are encouraged to purchase their Gateway East parking passes early, as supplies are limited.” – Indians.com

Admission Ticket Pricing: GA is $10 for adults and free for children 12 & under.

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND

Corey Kluber, Michael Brantley, Yan Gomes, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Kipnis, Cody Allen, Mike Aviles, Trevor Bauer, Michael Bourn, Lonnie Chisenhall, TJ House, Roberto Perez, Jose Ramirez, Marc Rzepczynski, Danny Salazar, Carlos Santana, Bryan Shaw and Nick Swisher.

Additional TribeFest 2015 participants will be announced at a later date.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Player Autographs
  • Kids’ Activities
  • Batting Cages
  • Clubhouse Tours
  • Q&As with Tribe Broadcasters and Players

Autograph Information:

  • “Fans can guarantee an autograph by purchasing an Autograph Ticket. Autograph tickets much be purchased IN ADDITION to a General Admission ticket. You will be allowed to select which autograph session you’d like to attend within your Tribe Fest event. In order to maximize the amount of fans able to experience each autograph session at Tribe Fest, the purchase of autograph tickets has been limited to four per autograph session per transaction. Additionally, only one autograph session ticket per person will be honored at each autograph station.” – Indians.com
  • “Fans can purchase an Autograph Ticket in two different tiers: Indians Alumni or Roster Player. These sessions will take place at an assigned time, and fans are encouraged to ARRIVE EARLY for these sessions. There is a cap of 250 fans per session, and each session will be closed once all tickets are sold.” – Indians.com
  • “Anyone holding an autograph ticket is guaranteed to receive at least one autograph, but specific players and alumni are not guaranteed. Player assignments will not be determined in advance, and are subject to change.” – Indians.com

Things that have improved since last year:

  • Last year children were $5 at the door. This year they’re free.
  • It seems like the Indians made it easier for fans to obtain autographs since last year. I still don’t like the autograph system, but it’s a bit better from last year.

If I was the GM I would…

  • Improve how the autograph tickets & sessions are set up.
    • The way the Indians have it set up now is unorganized and way more complicated than it needs to be.
    • I would model TribeFest autograph sessions after the Twins’ autograph sessions.
  • Make it mandatory for the 40-man roster to attend TribeFest.

My Overall Grade of Tribe Fest LAST YEAR: C+

My Overall Grade of Tribe Fest THIS YEAR: B

tigers

Date: January 24, 2015

Hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Location:

Comerica Park

2100 Woodward Avenue

Detroit, MI 48201-3470

Parking: There are numerous other privately owned parking facilities within a 5-20 minute walk of Comerica Park.

Admission Ticket Pricing:  $28 for adults, $14 for kids 12 & under

*Tickets are sold out.*

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND: Justin Verlander, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez will be among over 30 Tigers players and coaches who scheduled to appear. The Tigers have not yet released the 2015 appearance schedule.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Autograph Booths
  • Fantasy Play-by-Play Broadcast
  • Main stages will host Q & A sessions and seminars.
  • Player Photos
  • Clubhouse Tours
  • Dugout Tours
  • Self-guided Tours
  • Display of historical baseball artifacts
  • Batting Practice in the cage
  • Detroit Tigers ice sculptures & LIVE sculpting demonstrations
  • David Chandler will operate an authentic bat lathe & provide LIVE bat carving demonstrations.
  • Detroit Tigers Authentics
  • Tigers Foundation Fire Sale.

The Detroit Tigers Kids Zone featuring:

  • Kids-Only Autograph Booth.
  • Miniature Comerica Park Stage
  • Free face painting and caricatures.
  • Baseball-themed games and activities for kids.
  • Video Game Bullpen.
  • Official 2015 Kids Club enrollment.

Autograph Voucher Pricing: The Tigers have not yet released this information. Autograph Prices will most likely not be included in price of general admission.

Things that have improved since last year:

  • All fans attending will receive a free TigerFest beanie style hat, courtesy of 97.1 FM The Ticket.
  • New activity: Fantasy play-by-play broadcast

If I was the GM I would…

  • Turn TigersFest into a weekend event. The one day event is already sold out this year. Instead of hosting TigersFest on Saturday only, host it from Friday to Sunday.
  • Lower the price of admission from $28

My Overall Grade of TigerFest LAST YEAR: A

My Overall Grade of TigerFest THIS YEAR: A

royals

Date: January 30-31, 2015

Hours:

  • Friday, January 30
    • 12-2 p.m. Exclusive access for Season Ticket Holders
    • 2-9 p.m. Open to all fans
  • Saturday, January 31
    • 9-11 a.m. Exclusive access for Season Ticket Holders
    • 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Open to all fans

Location:

Bartle Hall at the Kansas City Convention Center

301 W 13th St #100

Kansas City, MO 64105

Parking: There are many parking options close to Bartle Hall

Admission Ticket Pricing:

  • In Advance:
    • 1 Day Pass: Adult – $14; Youth – $8
    • 2 Day Pass: Adult – $20; Youth – $11
  • Day of Sale:
    • 1 Day Pass: Adult – $16; Youth – $10
    • 2 Day Pass: Adult – $22; Youth – $14

Youth prices are for children ages 6-17. Children five and under will be admitted for free.

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND:

Lane Adams, Willie Aikens, Jaime Bluma, George Brett ^, Lorenzo Cain, Louis Coleman, Christian Colon, Wade Davis, Brandon Finnegan, Al Fitzmorris, Joel Goldberg, Alex Gordon, Terrance Gore#, Jeremy Guthrie, Shane Halter, Luke Hochevar, Greg Holland, Eric Hosmer, Rex Hudler#, Ryan Lefebvre, Dennis Leonard, Mike Macfarlane, Denny Matthews, John Mayberry, Brian McRae, Kris Medlen*, Kendrys Morales, Mike Moustakas, Dayton Moore, Les Norman, Marty Pattin, Bill Pecota, Salvador Perez, Steve Physioc, Greg Pryor, Jamie Quirk, Shawn Sedlacek, Steve Stewart, Jerry Terrell, John Wathan, Willie Wilson, Yordano Ventura,Edinson Volquez, and Ned Yost.

^ Royals Awards only, * Friday only, # Saturday only (As of January 16th, 2015)

Fan Activities Include:

  • Player Autograph Sessions
  • Player Photo Sessions
  • Commerce Bank Main Stage
  • Teva Royals Diamond
  • Interactive games for children
    • Accuracy Pitch
    • Bunting Challenge
    • Batting Cages
    • Little Sluggerrr’s Playground
    • Speed Pitch
    • Steal Home Challenge
    • Video Baseball Simulator
  • Majestic Team Store & Authentics
  • Royals Charities Silent Auction
  • Royals Charities 50/50 Raffle

Autograph Voucher Pricing: The Royals have not released this information.

Things that have improved since last year:

  • According to Royals.com, RoyalsFest 2015 has a heavy focus on what fans have requested in the past – autographs.

If I was the GM I would…

  • Schedule Royals FanFest for the whole weekend instead of just Friday and Saturday.
  • Prior to the event, publically announce which team members are scheduled to attend FanFest, and how much money autographs will cost.

My Overall Grade of Royals FanFest LAST YEAR: B+

My Overall Grade of Royals FanFest THIS YEAR: B+

twins

Date: January 23-25, 2015

Time: Friday: 4:00-9:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location:

Target Field

1 Twins Way

Minneapolis, MN

Parking: There are numerous parking garages around Target Field. Multiple public transit options are also available.

Admission Ticket Pricing: Adults: $20; Kids (14 and under): $10

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND:

  • Friday, Jan. 23:
    A.J. Achter, Neil Allen, Oswaldo Arcia, J.O. Berrios, Bert Blyleven, Tom Brunansky, Byron Buxton, Rod Carew, Logan Darnell, Butch Davis, Brian Dozier, Brian Duensing, Tyler Duffey, Eduardo Escobar, Casey Fien, Eric Fryer, Kyle Gibson, Dan Gladden, Gene Glynn, Nick Gordon, JR Graham, Nate Hanson, Mark Hamburger, BJ Hermsen, Aaron Hicks, Kent Hrbek, Phil Hughes, Torii Hunter, Jacque Jones, Corey Koskie, Mike Kvasnicka, Gene Larkin, Joe Mauer, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Tommy Milone, Paul Molitor, Max Murphy, Ricky Nolasco, Chris Parmelee, Mike Pelfrey, Brandon Peterson, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Jorge Polanco, Ryan Pressly, Stephen Pryor, Eddie Rosario, Taylor Rogers, Miguel Sano, Danny Santana, Ervin Santana, Jordan Schafer, Roy Smalley, Blake Schmit, Kurt Suzuki, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Tonkin, Kennys Vargas, Joe Vavra, Tanner Vavra, Treysen Vavra, and Jason Wheeler.
  • Saturday, Jan. 24:
    A.J. Achter, Neil Allen, Oswaldo Arcia, J.O. Berrios, Bert Blyleven, Tom Brunansky, Byron Buxton, Rod Carew, Logan Darnell, Butch Davis, Brian Dozier, Brian Duensing, Tyler Duffey, Eduardo Escobar, Casey Fien, Eric Fryer, Kyle Gibson, Dan Gladden, Gene Glynn, Nick Gordon, JR Graham, Jim “Mudcat” Grant, Nate Hanson, Mark Hamburger, BJ Hermsen, Aaron Hicks, Phil Hughes, Torii Hunter, Jacque Jones, Corey Koskie, Mike Kvasnicka, Tim Laudner, Joe Mauer, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Tommy Milone, Paul Molitor, Max Murphy, Ricky Nolasco, Chris Parmelee, Mike Pelfrey, Brandon Peterson, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Jorge Polanco, Ryan Pressly, Stephen Pryor, Eddie Rosario, Taylor Rogers, Miguel Sano, Danny Santana, Ervin Santana, Jordan Schafer, Blake Schmit, Kurt Suzuki, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Tonkin, Kennys Vargas, Joe Vavra, Tanner Vavra, Treysen Vavra, and Jason Wheeler.
  • Sunday, Jan. 25:
    A.J. Achter, Neil Allen, Oswaldo Arcia, Tom Brunansky, Byron Buxton, Rod Carew, Logan Darnell, Butch Davis, Brian Dozier, Tyler Duffey, Eduardo Escobar, Casey Fien, Eric Fryer, Kyle Gibson, Nick Gordon, JR Graham, Nate Hanson, Mark Hamburger, BJ Hermsen, Aaron Hicks, Phil Hughes, Torii Hunter, Mike Kvasnicka, Joe Mauer, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Tommy Milone, Paul Molitor, Max Murphy, Ricky Nolasco, Chris Parmelee, Mike Pelfrey, Brandon Peterson, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Jorge Polanco, Ryan Pressly, Stephen Pryor, Frank Quillici, Brian Raabe, Eddie Rosario, Taylor Rogers, Miguel Sano, Danny Santana, Ervin Santana, Jordan Schafer, Blake Schmit, Kurt Suzuki, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Tonkin, and Jason Wheeler.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Auctions
  • Player Autographs
  • Player Photo Sessions
  • Sports Memorabilia and Collector’s Show
  • Self-Guided Clubhouse Tours
  • Twins Yard Sale
  • BINGO
  • Reading with Twins mascot TC
  • Fan Feud
  • Special Panel Discussions
  • Boardwalk-style Amusements
  • Behind-the-scenes Fan Experiences
  • 10th Annual Diamond Awards

Autograph Voucher Pricing: There are multiple autograph stations spread out through Target Field. You pay “x” amount of dollars to get everyone’s signature who is in the station.

Things that have improved since last year:

  • The Twins have added a few new fan activities.

If I was the GM I would…

  • Lower the Admission price from $20.

My Overall Grading LAST YEAR: A

My Overall Grading THIS YEAR: A

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Indians vs. Twins @ Target Field (09-20-14)

This was the second game of the series that took place over fan appreciation weekend. There was a lot that happened at this game so i’ll try to save you from all the details and just give you what’s important. Since it was a Saturday night game, the game would start at 6:10. When the gates opened at four o’clock I quickly got a ball from Oswaldo Arcia:

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With that, I snagged my only ball during the rest of batting practice. Not just the Twins portion, but that was it for all of batting practice. Oh, but my day was only beginning! As soon as the Indians left the field their bullpen catcher, Armando Camacaro, tossed these two balls to me:

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I thought that was really neat that he tossed two balls to me. After looking around for a bit I decided to give them both away. I gave one to a little girl near the dugout and I gave the other to an usher so that he could give it to a kid during the game.

Did you see the Indians player in the previous picture? That’s Zach Walters. Earlier this season he signed a ball for me at Kauffman Stadium, but it wasn’t an official major league baseball. This time I got an official ball signed:

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Maybe you couldn’t tell from the last picture, but by the end of batting practice there were storm clouds rolling in. It wasn’t to long before the heavens opened up. This caused an hour and ten minute rain delay before the game even started! When the rain stopped, the grounds crew went to work on the field:

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Shortly before the game started I made my way out to the standing room area above the bullpen. One of the Twins bullpen catchers, Ben Richardson, retrieved two baseballs to throw to me and the guy next to me. Ben tossed the first ball to the guy next to me, but the guy dropped it. Look where the ball ended up:

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Ben would’ve thrown the ball back up, but there was no second chance because the ball was stuck on the beam. It would’ve been easy to get the ball if I would’ve had an umbrella but it was nearly impossible otherwise. Ben threw the next ball to me – my fourth of the game. Normally I wouldn’t give a ball to a grown man, but I did this time because I felt bad for him. I didn’t feel bad that he dropped the ball, I felt bad because he dropped the ball in front of his attractive girlfriend. That’s gotta be tough!

Keeping track? I’d now snagged four balls and given three away. A few minutes later I got my fifth ball from Lester Oliveros:

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This was one of those signed tee balls that the Twins players always give away over fan appreciation weekend. I’ve gotten a few of these in previous fan appreciation games at Target Field over the years.

After what seemed like an eternity, the game finally started around 7:30. Trevor May took the hill for Minnesota and T.J. House took the hill for Cleveland. By the end of the second inning the Twins were losing 3-1.

Remember the Twitter giveaway that the Twins were doing the night before? The Twins hold the contest all weekend. Today I won a ball in the third inning:

9-20 top 3

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This ball was signed by Alex Presley. One of the balls from yesterday was also signed by Presley. His last appearance with the Twins was on September 29th, 2013. By the end of the third inning the Twins were losing 4-2.

I won another ball in the sixth inning:

9-20 top 6

 

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This ball was signed by another former Twins, Pedro Florimon. Florimon was never very good, but I liked him for the short time that he played for the Twins.

Later in the game I decided to get a better view. I thought this was pretty good:

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Brian Dozier hit a home run in the eighth inning, but the Twins still trailed 7-3. After the game I got my 8th ball from Umpire Brian Knight:

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Wow! Everything seemed to be going right today. Everything went right except for the score of the game. Here’s the recap:

I got my ninth and final ball of the day from Armando Camacaro as he entered the dugout after walking in from the bullpen. It looked pretty good:

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That was now three balls from Armando today! After getting that baseball I began walking through the seating bowl towards gate 34 to exit the stadium. As I passed the Twins dugout I noticed that Casey Fien was signing autographs for people. I took the extra minute to get one of my baseballs signed:

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Casey Fien is a cool guy. Whenever I see him at the ballpark he is always interacting with fans in some way. Here’s the final haul from today:

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Seven baseballs were pictured, but only six were from the game. The ball signed by Casey Fien was a ball I’d brought from home in case of an autograph opportunity. Otherwise, six balls were pictured because I gave three away. Nine baseballs and five autographs – i’ll take that any day!

Indians vs. Royals @ Kauffman Stadium (8-31-14)

Mateo and I were back at Kauffman for the second and final game of our trip. While the two of us got to Kauffman for batting practice, Garrett decided he would join us at game time.

Coming into the day Kansas City and Detroit were tied for the division lead. Cleveland, winning six of the last seven, was just 3.5 games back. With just under a month left in baseball, the American League Central Division race was tightening up. That was reason enough to move this Sunday afternoon game to Sunday Night for ESPN’s broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball.

The Royals were still on the field when we entered the stadium, but they had a pretty quiet batting practice and there wasn’t much excitement.

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With Vargas, Guthrie and Davis (all very fan friendly players) snagging balls in left field I was hopeful to get on the board early but the players were seemingly as quiet as their bats were in batting practice.

It wasn’t long before the Royals visited the clubhouse and the Indians took over on the field:

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Although there was a different team on the field, batting practice still remained quiet. I quickly noticed that although the gates had just opened, there were already crowds of people pouring into the stadium. Soon there were so many people who the outfield was almost unnavigable. This made it much more difficult to get a baseball.

By no means did it ruin the game, but it was still frustrating that this was the third game in a row at which I was shutout. Towards the end of batting practice I made my way over to the Indians dugout where I got Zack Walter’s autograph on a baseball that I had brought with me. Here he is signing it for me:

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Instead of finding a seat when the game started, Mateo and I found our way here:

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Since Kauffman Stadium has mini golf, pitching and batting cages, and a few other activities beyond the outfield walls, we decided we would try something new. That meant us playing mini golf in a professional baseball stadium. I was able to snag this picture while Mateo was in deep concentration as he was about to tee off on the first hole:

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If he ever gets bored of ballhawking in the future he could always pick up mini golf. After spending some time at the speed pitch and in the batting cages, we did tune into the game.

The Royals scored a run in the first inning, but the Indians tied it up in the third. The Indians went on to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning when Mike Aviles hit a sac fly to center field. Entering the 9th inning the Royals were still down 2-1, but Alex Gordon tied the game when he homered to right center field. His 462 foot shot was the longest of his career, the longest home run by a Royals hitter in 2014 and the 2nd longest by a Royal’s player since ESPN began tracking homers in 2006. Because the Royals couldn’t make the extra push for a walk off victory, the Indians and Royals entered into extra innings for the second night in a row.

Rain interrupted the game in the 10th inning and forced both teams off the field. Most fans left, but Garret, Mateo and I endured the rain delay. We were ready to stake it out through the bad weather, even if that meant waiting for a few hours for the game to resume. Unfortunately this was shown on the big screen after a lengthy delay:

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The Royals lost the game 22 days later and 790 miles away from Kauffman Stadium.  I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas (City) anymore. Did anyone catch that reference?

If you’d like to see how the game finished in Cleveland, I suggest watching this recap of the game:

It was great to see a few games at Kauffman Stadium. It’s just too bad we didn’t get to see the Royals win. The trip went very well – The driving was good, the games were fun, and the weather was arguably fair. On behalf of Mateo and myself, a huge thank you goes out to Garrett for letting us stay with him on Saturday and Sunday night. You made this trip very enjoyable!

Indians vs. Royals @ Kauffman Stadium (8-30-14)

I had been hoping to go back to Kauffman Stadium ever since I had visited it with my dad in September of 2012. It didn’t work to visit during 2013, but everything fell into place when Mateo Fischer and I make a somewhat spontaneous trip. Here’s the route that we took:

Google Maps

We left my house in the morning, drove for nearly six hours, and arrived around four o’clock in the afternoon. It had been a chilly morning in Minnesota, but the 86 degree sunny weather in Kansas City was just about perfect. Before we went to far we each got a picture with the stadium in the background. Arrowhead can be seen on the left, while Kauffman is on the right.

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Some day I’d like to make the trip to KC to see a football and baseball game in the same day. Maybe a Royals Monday Matinee and then a Monday night Chiefs game? Or possibly attend a Sunday afternoon Chiefs game and Sunday night baseball on ESPN? Whatever the combo is, I’d like to do it sometime.

Once we got our tickets from the box office we found a spot in this surprisingly long line:

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I knew it would be busier than normal because it was Saturday, but I didn’t expect this many Royals fans to attend a game. A lot of Royals fans are fair-weather fans – meaning they only go to games when the Royals are doing well. Otherwise they don’t stick around. Royals fans have traditionally not been the most loyal fans. I’m not being biased, that’s actually what a Royals fan told me! To be fair, the Royals were giving away a mascot bobble head. What was really surprising, however, was the length of the line BEHIND us:

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Any who, the Royals were still on the field when we got inside the Stadium:

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If you look at the flags in center field you can see the wind was strongly blowing into the park. There weren’t many home run balls, so I went for toss ups. I didn’t get any balls while the Royals were on the field, but I was more hopeful when the Indians took the field:

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I’ll save you from the very low level of suspense – I got shut out. Almost all the toss ups were going to little kids. That was alright though, because I expected that to would happen. While we were planning this trip Mateo and I could figured out that we could only visit Kauffman Stadium if the games were on Saturday and Sunday. We knew ahead of time that these games would be bad for ballhawking because weekend games are filled with children. Today’s game had a bobblehead giveaway, and Sunday’s game was featured on ESPN’s Sunday night baseball broadcast. We knew these games wouldn’t be good for ballhawking, but we still wanted to visit the stadium.

The sun began to set behind home plate shortly after the game began the sun. The whole place seemed to be glowing:

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Trevor Bauer got the start for the Indians, and James Shields for KC. They both pitched well, but neither of them got the win. The game wasn’t terribly exciting, but the Indians and Royals both put up a good fight.

Ironically, even though I was ecstatic to be at Kauffman, in the 3rd inning I remember thinking that all I wanted to do was lie down and go to sleep. After a full day of driving and then running around the ballpark, I was completely exhausted.

Later in the game we met up with our friend Garrett Meyer. In July Garrett had come up to Minnesota for the All Star Game. Don’t remember? Here’s a picture, and here’s another. Garrett was more than generous to let Mateo and I stay with him for the two nights we were in town.

The Indians scored the first run of the game in the fourth inning when Jason Kipnis scored off of Yan Gomes RBI double to left field. It wasn’t until the eighth inning when the Royals finally tied the game, 1-1. Any guesses to what happened next? The game went into extra innings. If you know me at all, I love extra inning baseball! I just wish it would’ve been any other day but today. Oh, how I was beyond tired out.

The game had been pretty boring up to this point, but things got interesting in extra innings! Here, see for yourself:

When the game ended I made sure to get a few pictures of the fountains before leaving. I like this one a lot:

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I especially like this view:

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As we were leaving the ballpark we decided to stop at IHOP on the way back to Garrett’s house. Here they are talking it over:

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Since Garrett drove to the game we decided we would just meet him there. The funny thing is that Mateo and I got lost on the way and we ended up at the wrong IHOP. It took an extra 20 minutes to get to the right one, but we made it there sometime after one. Overall, it was a great day in Kansas City!

2014 Fan Fests of the AL Central Division

Every year now (really only last year) I do an entry about the Fan Fests that are hosted by the teams in the AL Central Division. If you’d like to see last year’s entry, here it is. This is my version for 2014.

soxfest

Date: January 24-26, 2014

Hours: Friday: 4-9 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Location:

Palmer House Hilton

17 East Monroe Street

Chicago, IL 60603

Parking: Hotel Parking

Admission Ticket Pricing:

  • Weekend Passes are $75
  • Premium Upgrade Packages are $200 each.
    • Special MVP SoxFest Pass(es) for the weekend
      • Three premium autographs without waiting in long lines (Details to be provided upon check-in). The MVP Pass is valid for two premium autographs on Saturday and one premium autograph on Sunday. (MVP Pass holders are not guaranteed a ‘no wait’ experience, but the wait time will be reduced.) Participants will be confirmed closer to actual SoxFest show dates.
      • Access to private autograph session.
      • Access to private photo session. No autographs.
      • Access to private seminar.
    • Limited-edition SoxFest sling back bag
    • Official MLB baseball
    • White Sox scarf
    • Special SoxFest discount coupon for Majestic Custom T-Shirt Shop for use at SoxFest (redeemable only at SoxFest; not redeemable for cash)
    • Two complimentary lower deck reserve tickets to an April/May 2014 White Sox home game

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND

Current players Paul Konerko, Adam Eaton, Jose Abreu, Adam Dunn, Avisail Garcia, Josh Phegley, Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Alexei Ramirez, Dayan Viciedo and Addison Reed, past stars Ron Kittle, Carlos May, Minnie Minoso, Tom Paciorek, Gary Peters and Frank Thomas, manager Robin Ventura, and coaches Don Cooper and Todd Steverson, along with White Sox prospects Erik Johnson, Micah Johnson and Marcus Semien.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Player autograph stations
  • Player photo stations
  • Comcast sportsnet autograph stations
  • Seminars
  • More activities are in store for SoxFest (The WhiteSox are keeping it a surprise).

Autograph Voucher Pricing: Included in admission price

Things I like about SoxFest:

  • SoxFest takes place over three days.
  • It is held at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel.
    • Provides fans with a fun, and exciting environment. Fans have the option to buy Package deals that that include a hotel room and ‘x’ amount of tickets for Sox Fest. Bored of SoxFest and want to relax? Hit the hot tub!
  • Over 25 (current and former) players & coaches are scheduled to attend

If I was the GM I would…

  • Lower the price of admission in order to make SoxFest more affordable for fans.
    •  $70 for a single day pass (if autographs are included in admission price)
    • $15 for a single day pass (if autographs are not included in admission price)
  • Offer more activities to fans.
    • Suggestions include memorabilia dealers, games, mini baseball clinics for kids, auctions, Q&A with player and coaches, and possibly tours of the hotel (the tour guide could be a white sox player)
  • Donate the part of the proceeds to charity.
    • I did not find any info about the White Sox donating any of the proceeds to charity. As far as I know, the Whitesox do not.
    • Donating part of the proceeds might encourage more fans to go to Sox Fest.

My Overall Grade LAST YEAR: C +

My Overall Grading THIS YEAR: B-

indians

Date: January 25-26, 2014

Hours:

  • Period 1: Saturday, Jan 25, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Period 2: Saturday, Jan 25, 4-8 p.m.
  • Period 3: Sunday, Jan 26, Noon-6 p.m.

Location:

Progressive Field

2401 Ontario Street

Cleveland, OH 44115

Parking: The Gateway East Garage (located in between Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena) will be open similar to a normal Indians game in the summer.

Admission Ticket Pricing: Adults are $10, Children (12 & under) are free in advance, & $5 at the door.

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND

Manager Terry Francona, current Tribe players including Michael Brantley, Mike Aviles, Carlos Santana, Danny Salazar, Yan Gomes, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister, David Murphy and others, Indians prospects (including former No. 3 overall pick Trevor Bauer and 2012 top pick Clint Frazier), and several prominent Tribe alumni including, Kenny Lofton, in attendance for autographs, interviews on the KeyBank main stage and more.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Player Autographs
  • Kids’ Activities
  • Batting Cages
  • Clubhouse tours
  • Q&As with Tribe broadcasters and players
  • Concessions will be available in the Club Lounge

Autograph Voucher Pricing:

  • Saturday – Group 1
  • Minor League Prospects ADULT: $21.50
  • Minor League Prospects CHILD (12&under): $10.00
  • Active Roster Location A ADULT: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location A CHILD (12&under): $15.00
  • Active Roster Location B ADULT: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location B CHILD: $15.00
  • Saturday – Group 2 & 3
  • 90’s Alumni Adult: $31.50
  • 90’s Alumni Child (Ages 12&under): $20.00
  • Minor League Prospects Adult: $21.50
  • Minor League Prospects Child (Ages 12&under): $10.00
  • Active Roster Location A Adult: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location A Child (Ages 12&under): $15.00
  • Sunday – Group 1 & 3
  • Minor League Prospects Adult: $21.50
  • Minor League Prospects Child (Ages 12&under): $10.00
  • Active Roster Location A Adult: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location A Child (Ages 12&under): $15.00
  • Active Roster Location B Adult: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location B Child (Ages 12&under): $15.00
  • Sunday – Group 2 & 4
  • 90’s Alumni Adult: $31.50
  • 90’s Alumni Child (Ages 12&under): $20.00
  • Active Roster Location A Adult: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location A Child (Ages 12&under): $15.00
  • Active Roster Location B Adult: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location B Child (Ages 12&under): $15.00

Autograph sessions include general admission into the Fanfest. Alumni will only autograph one photo supplied by the Cleveland Indians. Autograph sessions include general admission into the Fanfest. Children tickets are valid for children 12 and under. General Admission tickets do not include player autograph sessions. 

Things I like about TribeFest:

  • The General Admission price is cheap enough to make people want to come back next year.
  • Events take place within Progressive Field
    • In areas including the service level of the ballpark, The Collection Auto Club, Kids Clubhouse, Club Lounge, KeyBank main stage, and the 1994 Party Suite for autographs.

If I was the GM I would…

  • Change the way Autograph Vouchers & Sessions are set up.
    • The way the Indians have it set up now is unorganized and way more complicated than it needs to be.
    • General Admission tickets should be separate from the autograph voucher because it is very confusing to correctly purchase the Indians’ voucher passes.
    • At TribeFest there are three periods for autographs, but only one group signs during each period. Because there is a cap of 250 fans per session, not everyone in line will be able to get an autograph. This problem could be fixed by providing more autograph stations.
  • Make it mandatory for all current Indian players (40-man roster) to attend TribeFest.
    • In my opinion Fan Fests are all about player interaction. Why have a Fan Fest if there are only 12 players “officially” attending?
  • Make the TribeFest webpage easier to manoeuver.
    • It’s kind of a mess, which makes it difficult to gather information about TribeFest.
  • Donate part of the proceeds to charity
    • I did not find any info about the Indians donating any of the proceeds to charity. As far as I know, the Indians do not.
    • Donating part of the proceeds might encourage more fans to go to Tribe Fest.

My Overall Grading LAST YEAR: C+ / B –

My Overall Grading THIS YEAR: C+

Tigers

Date: Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Location:

Comerica Park

2100 Woodward Avenue

Detroit, MI 48201-3470

Parking: Olympia Development, OR there are numerous other privately owned parking facilities within a 5-20 minute walk of Comerica Park.

Admission Ticket Pricing:  $25 for adults, $14 for kids 12-and-under

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND: The Tigers have not yet released this information. I will update this as new information is released.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Autograph Booths
  • Main stage, including a special “Fan Conference” Q & A Session.
  • Tigers player photo area
  • Clubhouse tours
  • Dugout tours/Photos
  • Self-guided tours
  • Display of historical baseball artifacts
  • Batting Practice in the cage
  • Detroit Tigers ice sculptures & LIVE sculpting demonstrations
  • David Chandler will operate an authentic bat lathe & provide LIVE bat carving demonstrations.
  • Detroit Tigers Authentics
  • Tigers Foundation Fire Sale.

The Detroit Tigers Kids Zone featuring:

  • Kids-Only autograph booth.
  • Miniature Comerica Park stage
  • Tigers player book readings, games and interactive activities.
  • Free face painting and caricatures.
  • Baseball-themed games and activities for kids.
  • Video game bullpen.
  • Official 2014 Kids Club enrollment.

Autograph Voucher Pricing: The Tigers have not yet released this information. I will update this as new information is released.

Things I like about TigerFest:

  • There are over 30 (current and former) players & coaches scheduled to attend
  • The Admission price is cheap enough to make people want to come back next year.
  • With so many activities to experience, fans won’t want to go home.
  • Events take place within Comerica Park
    • In areas including the Ernie Harwell Media Center, luxury suite, the Champions Club, and select Detroit Tigers executive offices.

If I was the GM I would…

  • Donate part of the proceeds to charity.
    • I did not find any info about the Tigers donating the proceeds to charity. As far as I know, the Tigers do not.
    • Donating part of the proceeds might encourage more fans to go to TigerFest (ironically, it is sold out)

My Overall Grading LAST YEAR: A

My Overall Grading THIS YEAR: A

royals

Date: Friday, January 31 – Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hours:

  • Friday, January 31
    • 12-2 p.m. Exclusive access for Season Ticket Holders
    • 2-9 p.m. Open to all fans
  • Saturday, February 1
    • 9-11 a.m. Exclusive access for Season Ticket Holders
    • 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Open to all fans

Location:

Bartle Hall at the Kansas City Convention Center

301 W 13th St #100

Kansas City, MO 64105

Parking: There are many parking options close to Bartle Hall

Admission Ticket Pricing:

  • In Advance:
    • 1 Day Pass: Adult – $13; Youth – $7
    • 2 Day Pass: Adult – $19; Youth – $10
  • Day of Sale:
    • 1 Day Pass: Adult – $15; Youth – $9
    • 2 Day Pass: Adult – $23; Youth – $13

Youth prices are for children ages 6-17. Children five and under will be admitted for free.

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND: The Royals have not released this information. They are keeping it a surprise until the day of FanFest.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Player autograph sessions
  • Player photo sessions
  • Commerce Bank main stage events
  • Royals Awards
  • Teva Royals Diamond
  • Interactive games for children
    • Accuracy Pitch
    • Bunting Challenge
    • Batting Cages
    • Little Sluggerrr’s Playground
    • Speed Pitch
    • Steal Home Challenge
    • Video Baseball Simulator
  • Majestic team store & authentics
  • Royals Charities Silent Auction
  • Royals Charities 50/50 Raffle

Autograph Voucher Pricing: The Royals have not released this information. They are keeping it a surprise until the day of FanFest.

Things I like about Royals FanFest:

  • The Admission price is cheap enough to make people want to come back next year.
  • Events take place within the Kanas City Convention Center
    • Better than holding it at Kauffmann Stadium because of the ballpark’s limited indoor space.
  • There are plenty of activities for children to partake in.
  • The Royals donate a portion of the proceeds to charities
  • “A portion of the proceeds will again benefit Royals Charities.” – Royals.com
  • “Royals Charities and the MLB Players Alumni Association have teamed up to host several auctions during the event giving fans lots of opportunities to add unique items to their baseball memorabilia collections! Proceeds will benefit Royals Charities and the MLBPAA.” – Royals.com

If I was the GM I would…

  • Schedule Royals FanFest for the whole weekend instead of just Friday and Saturday.
  • Prior to the event, publically announce which team members are scheduled to attend FanFest, and how much money autographs will cost.

My Overall Grading LAST YEAR: B

My Overall Grading THIS YEAR: B+

twins

Date: January 24-26, 2014

Time: Friday: 4:00-9:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location:

Target Field

1 Twins Way

Minneapolis, MN

Parking: There are numerous parking garages around Target Field. Multiple public transit options are also available.

Admission Ticket Pricing: Adults: $20; Kids (14 and under): $1

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND:

  • Friday, Jan. 24:
    Andrew Albers, Jason Bartlett, Jose Berrios, Bert Blyleven, Tom Brunansky, Jared Burton, Byron Buxton, Rod Carew, Kevin Correia, Samuel Deduno, Scott Diamond, Ryan Doumit, Brian Dozier, Brian Duensing, Casey Fien, Pedro Florimon, Eric Fryer, Ron Gardenhire, Kyle Gibson, Dan Gladden, Mudcat Grant, Nate Hanson, B.J. Hermsen, Chris Herrmann, Aaron Hicks, Kent Hrbek, Phil Hughes, Kris Johnson, Max Kepler, Kyle Knudson, Mike Kvasnicka, Gene Larkin, Austin Malinowski, Darin Mastroianni, Joe Mauer, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Ricky Nolasco, Tony Oliva, Chris Parmelee, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Alex Presley, Ryan Pressly, Roy Smalley, Terry Steinbach, Anthony Swarzak, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Tonkin, Vance Worley and Josh Willingham.
  • Saturday, Jan. 25:
    Andrew Albers, Jason Bartlett, Jose Berrios, Juan Berenguer, Bert Blyleven, Jared Burton, Byron Buxton, Rod Carew, Kevin Correia, Samuel Deduno, Scott Diamond, Ryan Doumit, Brian Dozier, Brian Duensing, Casey Fien, Pedro Florimon, Eric Fryer, Ron Gardenhire, Kyle Gibson, Dan Gladden, Dave Goltz, Mudcat Grant, Nate Hanson, B.J. Hermsen, Chris Herrmann, Aaron Hicks, Phil Hughes, Kris Johnson, Max Kepler, Kyle Knudson, Mike Kvasnicka, Scott Leius, Austin Malinowski, Darin Mastroianni, Joe Mauer, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Ricky Nolasco, Tony Oliva, Chris Parmelee, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Alex Presley, Ryan Pressly, Tom Quinlan, Roy Smalley, Terry Steinbach, Dick Stigman, Anthony Swarzak, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Tonkin, Vance Worley and Josh Willingham.

Sunday, Jan. 26:
Andrew Albers, Jason Bartlett, Jose Berrios, Julio Becquer, Jared Burton, Byron Buxton, Rod Carew, Kevin Correia, Samuel Deduno, Scott Diamond, Ryan Doumit, Brian Dozier, Brian Duensing, Scott Erickson, Casey Fien, Pedro Florimon, Eric Fryer, Ron Gardenhire, Kyle Gibson, Nate Hanson, B.J. Hermsen, Chris Herrmann, Aaron Hicks, Phil Hughes, Kris Johnson, Tom Kelly, Max Kepler, Mike Kvasnicka, Austin Malinowski, Darin Mastroianni, Joe Mauer, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Paul Molitor, Tony Oliva, Chris Parmelee, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Alex Presley, Ryan Pressly, Frank Quilici, Brian Raabe, Terry Steinbach, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Tonkin, Vance Worley and Josh Willingham.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Autograph stations
  • Photo stations
  • The region’s largest sports memorabilia and collector’s show
  • Self-guided tours
  • “White Glove” tour
  • Showcase of the 2014 MLB All-Star Game
  • Inaugural Twins Yard Sale
  • Special Panel discussions
  • Boardwalk-style amusements
  • Behind-the-scenes fan experiences
  • Walking tour of Target Field

Autograph Voucher Pricing: There isn’t a voucher. You pay for “x” amount of dollars to get everyone’s signature who is in the station.

Things I like about TwinsFest:

  • TwinsFest takes place over three days
    • I like this because it allows me to go to TwinsFest multiple days.
  • Events take place within Target Field
    • In areas including the Metropolitan Club, the Delta SKY 360 Legends Club, the Thomson Reuters Champions Club, the Town Ball Tavern and various areas in the service level including the home clubhouse.
    • I like the face that TwinsFest is at HOME, in Target Field. I’m excited to be able to explore the parts of Target Field that are not usually open to the public.
    • I don’t know if  Twins Fest at Target Field will be as great as it was at the Metrodome, or if I’ll enjoy it as much as I have in previous years, but I’m still excited for the Inaugural TwinsFest at Target Field
  • There are over 60 (current and former) players & coaches scheduled to attend
  • The Twins donate a portion of the proceeds to charities
    • “TwinsFest, one of the largest team-run fan festivals in professional sports, is an annual fundraiser for the Minnesota Twins Community Fund. Since its inception in 1989, TwinsFest has raised more than $4.2 million for programs and organizations       supported by the Twins Community Fund.” Twins.com

If I was the GM I would…

  • Lower the Admission price. I understand that the price got higher because TwinsFest moved to Target Field, but $20 is a bit much for one adult admission.

My Overall Grading LAST YEAR: A

My Overall Grading THIS YEAR: A

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