Monday, January 05, 2015

Back to July- The All-Star Game

Okay, it's the first Monday of January. 
We are in a Winter Storm Warning Weather Advisory
The wind is howling around another polar vortex. 

It is the kind of day I have been saving these pictures for. 

 Let's go back to the "relative" warmth of a nice
July Tuesday evening at Target Field. 

Here are some of the pictures from
the Derek Jeter All Star Game 2014.

Pre-Game Festivities

It is not hard to remember that the All-Star Game is a BIG event. The press coverage (left) is amazing. Everywhere you look you will see interviews, people looking important, etc. On the street outside the field there were special buses to bring people to the game, trailers that house people monitoring all the different radio frequency usages and on and on.
As we walked around the field there were names that we have heard many times. Sure, you get to see some of these during the regular season, but not all in one place. Even the pitcher who would end up being the star of the World Series. They all know each other, obviously, and they take the opportunity to stand around.

All  the different colors of all the different teams and a lot of standing around as the teams are about to be presented.
But the star of the show for most fans was the Yankee star, Derek Jeter who had announced that this would be his last season. This was, therefore, his last All-Star Game. No. 2 walks along the row of non-starters (above left) and tips his hat to the crowd's ovation as shown on the big screen (above right).

Yep, that's us from above as shown on the big screen.
The National Anthems (Canadian and US) were part of the festivities. Above left is the big flag across the outfield. Compare the size of the people holding it and you get a sense of its size. Above right, on the big screen, a close up of the trumpet players (of course) from the symphony.

The banner photo above of the jet flyover as the national anthem came to an end. (Think about the timing that takes!)

Final action- the honorary first pitch. That's Twins Hall of Famer Rod Carew waving to the crowd as he is announced.
The Game

Names, names, more names. If you are the type that wants to collect names you have seen, this is the place to be.

Bottom of the first and the past and present of Major League Baseball stand together- Mike Trout (left) and Jeter (right)
Jeter in motion. Here he is rounding first (right). Notice that the first base coach is in focus as Jeter flies by.

Yep, he got a hit- a double.

Below- the hit. Notice the ball a few feet in front of the bat. It's the blur down the third base line.
Darvish pitching (above)
Greinke (right)
Puig not connecting. The ball is in the glove already. (below)

Utley ready to hit (above).

Post-hit, he is standing with 1st baseman Cabrera. (left) Notice he didn't take his foot off the bag.
Neshek showing his very unusual pitching movement. It almost looks like a submarine pitch but then comes back up. He is fun to watch.

As Derek Jeter left the game he got one more extended standing ovation. He has been a class act and truly one of the  great names in the game. It's amazing how we can "dislike" the Yankees but continue to support a player like Jeter!
Baseball is entertainment and lives on the media. All pro sports are not played for the players. They are all played for the spectators entertainment- and the BIG money for the networks. Any way to promote the game, promotes them all. The signs above left with ESPN in Spanish, Fox Sports (with Joe Buck), and Fox's Latin American network were but three of seemingly countless broadcasters.

It has also become standard operations to show support for and highlight American soldiers. The Fox feed from Afghanistan on the big screen (above right) got it's appropriate and deserved salute from the crowd.
I love to try to catch action shots. Here was one of the better ones. Action at second base. The ball is just about to enter the glove of National League shortstop Castro as Ramirez slides in.
With the American League leading it was only fitting that they put in or Twins closer, Glen Perkins. They also put in his catching partner, Kurt Suzuki. Yes, he got the save and a fine ovation from the hometown crowd. (Note: He has since gotten a very big deal with the Twins.)

In the end it was the American League that took away the victory with little difficulty. It gave the AL the home field advantage in the World Series. Unfortunately it didn't help as the Giants took that.

The post-game interviews happen quickly. Jeter, (#2) naturally at the center. But so were the two locals, Perkins (#15), behind Jeter, and catcher Suzuki, still with his catching gear on (far left.)
It was a joyous time. The fun, the atmosphere, just being in a good ball park on a nice evening watching baseball. Sure, it was just for show. Which is why we go to games... for the show. I had at one point seen a baseball fans bucket list. Going to an All-Star game was in the top part of the list. I didn't think it would be that much fun. But it was. I'm glad we did it.

Give me some time and I will also post some of the pics from the celebrity game from the Sunday before the All-Star game. Gotta save some for another day when the warmth of The Summer Game is again needed.

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