I love October baseball. This was the last game of Bobby's career, and I'm very grateful to my friends who've taken me to so many games this year. Tonight's ticket was from Jenna (THANK YOU JENNA), and Alison joined us for most of batting practice and the game as well.
The gates opened 3 hours before the game started and as we entered the stadium, none of the boys were out yet! So we discussed where to go -- shade here, they'd probably start warming up over there, there's wall space there, do we want to actually go down to the wall today? We never do that, go all the way down to the wall...but it's the best spot for good pics, and we had a feeling it might be the last game of 2010, so what could it hurt? We opted for shade, knowing they'd move around and we could move if we needed to (rather, Alison would move to take pics with her amazing, amazing camera and I'd just avoid sunburn and get what I could with my point-and-shoot). ;)
Gradually they started trickling out...
|Dunn, Beachy, Kimmie|
|Mac & Ske|
Some of our favorite bullpen boys ran out from right field and ended up right in front of us. Hi boys! Heart you!
|Hey, that's a peek of a tattoo! Mike, what's your tattoo? :)|
When Brooksy ran out, it was well-reported in the media that there was an ovation in the left-field stands for him. When he trotted out, he looked... well, he looked a little guarded. Now, I don't EVER hoot at the boys, but Brooks needed some fan support, and I do heart him, so after discussing it with the girls (who were supposed to yell with me), I called out, "LOVE YA, BROOKSY!" (One of my bullpen boys' head popped up - still love you more hon, sorry! didn't mean to hurt your feelings by never hooting at you! Brooks needed it!)
Brooksy may have been a little far away to hear, but the fans around started yelling too, and clapping. At first he didn't turn around, but everyone clapped and yelled and got louder until his teammates were clapping too! Brooks tipped his cap and waved, and there wasn't a boo in earshot. Because Brooks Conrad is awesome, and without him, we wouldn't have been in the playoffs, period.
Adore his dimples here, and Ske's big ol' smile. (click to enlarge)
The next thing we witnessed was one of the coolest things I've ever seen in Braves batting practice. It wasn't wrestling, or a blow pop or a huggy hug or a guy picking out a little kid to play catch...
Billy Wagner walked over to Craig Kimbrel, put his arm around him, and according to the convenient timestamps on my pictures, talked his ear off for 23 minutes (until the end of batting practice). Diory walked away soon after seeing what was going on here, and Kimmie's ears perked up...
There are plenty more pics of them together in the full album. I really loved seeing this pass-the-torch moment, but was sad to see Jonny didn't seem included. (Maybe they had an earlier talk? I don't know.) Rossy seemed to notice that too, and took off from right field (with his awesome playoff beard and his green blow pop!) to hang out with Jonny in the left field corner for the rest of BP. That's a good teammate. Way to make him smiley!
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Watched SF warmups a little, had a funny moment with J Sanchez after A's camera snagged a shot of Zito from really far away and I told her how to tell it's Zito (hee hee), got a little food, and headed to the bullpen to watch Lowe warm up and say hi to Faye and Eddie.
|For CABravesFan - I usually delete these ;)|
Kimmie looks like he's looking right into my camera there, but there were Kimbrel tees scattered all below us in the section and I'm sure he was scanning all his family's faces. Yay for everyone there supporting him for his final game of the season!
My birthday bud Eddie and I had a fun pantomime conversation -- it was really busy / packed / security was on lockdown and even though he kept motioning, I couldn't go down to talk where we usually do. He asked where I'd been (I haven't been to as many games as Alison lately), and tried to get me to sneak down on the other side of the bullpen, but I told him I didn't have any friends on that side of the 'pen. He slammed a ball down and had a fake tantrum, and it was really cute -- I made a heart with my hands for him and told him we'd hang out here at the bullpen for a little while until we got kicked out. That seemed to satisfy him for the time being, and I got a "what up" head nod from one of my bullpen boys as they entered and got settled. (Hi boys.) We anticipated the lower bowl to be sold out, and the handicap seats Faye told us to stay in were unoccupied for a few innings, so we half-danced to the club music and enjoyed the beginning of the game from there, but were kicked out too soon. (Who shows up an hour late for a playoff game?! COME ON.) They asked us to open the game with the tomahawk chop -- here they go!
|Bye boys, see ya next year!|
"Lincecum looks like a 14 yr old Homeless Girl" -- turns out, those guys are pretty hot. Who knew? :D
No one else showed up with tickets for the seats, but the usher's like, get out, and A's friend's like, they're allowed to be here, and Usher's all, someone paid for these seats, and Friend said, I don't see anyone, and Usher was being a butt, and Jenna was just done at this point and wanted to watch the game! I was in love with the view and A doesn't love the nosebleeds, but we couldn't stay with her friend so we took off for our actual ticketed seats and Jenna and I stayed there the rest of the game.
|Bobby, after Lowe convinced him he could keep pitching|
|Good try, DLowe!|
|3 innings! What is this, his first game? :D Good job, Jonny!|
|Replacing Jonny, one of our other bullpen lovvies! Check out those stats! ...and by stats, I mean cheeks. ♥|
Love this so much. :)
No boos for Brooks in his 9th inning at-bat, either! Everyone got the memo, you don't boo your own team! There are a couple of Braves I don't care for, and they don't get boos from me. They get nothing. ;)
|SKE! I super-hope he's back next year!|
|Jenna is nervous; her tomahawk suffers!|
But in the end, we didn't pull out a win. Our boys just had too many injuries to overcome, and our offense seemed to die at the end of the season. A lot of the media called us overmatched, but this team worked their butts off to get Bobby into the postseason one last time, and I'm proud of their efforts. It was exciting and heartbreaking and FUN and ulcer-inducing and wonderful -- isn't that just baseball? I love it.
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The Giants stopped their on-field celebration in the midst of the fans' chant for BOB-BY! BOB-BY! BOB-BY! to come out. This is when I really wish I'd thought to go down to the lower level for the 9th for decent pictures, but it kinda goes back to... I've met Bobby several times, worked with him at charity events, he's been wonderful to me and my family. And I while I appreciate what he's done for us, I don't worship him the way some other Braves fans do. I wouldn't exactly get his face tattooed on myself, you know? ;) But thanks, Bobby. We appreciate you.
And here's a video of the boys filing out for the last time. Love ya, Braves! See you next year!!