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08-29-2011, 12:57 PM #1
Going to Our First Whitecaps Games This Weekend!
Hey There WMWC Fans!
We've been economizin' this year, so we gave our two oldest boys (big baseball fanatics) the option of going to (a) one Tiger game or (b) two Whitecap games.
Somewhat to my (pleasant) surprise, my boys selected the two Whitecap games; this Saturday (9/3) and Sunday (9/4) -- I/we've actually never been to a minor league game, but we like the look/feel of 5/3rd for a family outing. Since we're only going to two games we got some seats in Section 119 for me, my two older boys (ages 11 and 10), my oldest girl (age 9), and for Sunday, my little autistic boy (age 5) will be joining us as well.
I must confess, I'm pretty geeked at seeing my first Minor League game, esp. hopeful to see Nick C.. Best I can tell, Stroud would likely pitch on Saturday and Eichorn on Sunday -- any interesting tidbits about them or any of the other players to watch for?
Any suggestions, tips, etc., for enjoying the ballpark or anything else? I'd like to take them to eat one of those two days, fun ideas?
Thanks!Introibo ad altare Dei
2013 AAT: Jim Price
08-29-2011, 03:34 PM #2
I went over on Friday - big crowd, lots of fun. Neat to see some of the '11 draft choices, including James McCann.
If your kids want to try for autographs, get in right when the gates open and hang out down between the Whitecaps dugout and bullpen. The players also sign outside the player entrance after the game.
If you need a hotel, I recommend the SpringHill Suites North, only a few miles/minutes from the ballpark.
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Hotel | Grand Rapids North, MI Hotel2015 AAT: Hernán Pérez #26
08-29-2011, 07:33 PM #3
Do not just settle for going to the concession stand. take a walk along the concourse and check out all the options first.
On Sunday, get there early. gates open at noon and at 12:15 they open the home bullpen gate to the field so you can go down and play catch on the field and get autographs from the players. this only lasts for fifteen minutes so make sure you get there early. Your kids (if they are among the first 1000 kids) will get a coupon for free food (hotdog, chips n small drink at the concession stand). After the game they will open the gates so your kids can run the bases (again the first base bullpen gates).
Dixon Machado is really getting the job done right now--he will be fun to watch. James McCann (our first draft choice of 2011) is in WM so he will be fun to catch as well. There will be a playoff atmosphere because the Whitecaps are in a playoff chase with South Bend and Fort Wayne--and we will be playing Fort Wayne.
Saturday night the Famous Chicken will be there (make up appearance from a rain out). Oh and fireworks after the game.
You will all definitely have a great time.
08-29-2011, 07:35 PM #4
make sure you stop down and say "hi". I sit down by the Whitecaps dugout just up from the on deck circle (113, row 2, seat 16)
08-29-2011, 09:05 PM #5
Nice hotelchoice is: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Grand Rapids-North....this is off Alpine (behind Target store) and about 3 miles from the ballpark....you might get a good rate if you mention the Whitecaps as it is the team hotel & Ft Wayne team will be staying there....Enjoy you experiance ...We LOVE OUR WHITECAPS!![SIZE="2"]West Michigan Whitecaps:
Midwest League Champs '07, '06, '04, '98 '96
08-29-2011, 11:30 PM #6
Thanks everybody! I will definitely stop by and say "hey" WCW!Introibo ad altare Dei
2013 AAT: Jim Price
08-30-2011, 06:07 PM #7
Sorry totally missed the going out to eat thing. Lots of restaurants to choose from. If you want a local restaurant that is very very good, go to Arnies. It is on 28th street near the two malls. Wonderful food including homemade breads and desserts (it is also a bakery at another location). They have wonderful sandwiches and salads. My favorite salad there is the Riviera salad. Again, if you go there, make sure you leave room for dessert.
Another place that is excellent is Beltline Bar. They are known for their burritos. This is at the corner of 28th street and Division.
09-05-2011, 10:23 AM #8
Wendy and gang:
Saturday and Sunday game reports from "the new guy":
5/3rd Park is great -- very accessible, comfortable, convenient, nice amenities! A very family-friendly atmosphere.
The players --
- Castellanos: had a horrible at-bat to end the game on Saturday, and threw a ball away on Saturday, but had a terrific game on Sunday in all facets. He's obviously a massively talented hitter, someone I could easily see hitting major league pitching effectively in 2 - 3 years. As a fielder, frankly he looked weak. As a plus he showed good soft hands, but as a negative he has a slow first step, klunky footwork and his arm frankly seems weak. I'm not an expert, so I don't know what happens with throwing arms after age 19, maybe that develops a lot. He's such a big kid at such a young age, maybe he'll become good defensively with some physical development and training. His opposite-field HR and line-drive singles to all fields was very impressive.
- McCann: a very weak hitter, pretty accurate throws to second base -- even with a strong pick-off move from Stroud he had a hard time beating the runners to second base. I don't doubt that he's very talented.
- Moya: Saw Lynn Henning comment on him in the paper today, so I thought I'd mention him too. Jose Cerrano-like, Jobu cannot hit curve ball, but on Sunday he reached out to hit a two-strike pitch through the hole on the left side...good stuff. He also laid out for a line drive showing impressive hustle for a big guy.
- Eichorn: impressive array of off-speed pitches, good control.Introibo ad altare Dei
2013 AAT: Jim Price
09-05-2011, 11:44 AM #9
Castellanos--comments cannot end without mentioning that this young man, who was basically 0 for April, recovered marvellously to tie Robert Fick's record of 158 hits and will probably pass that today. ONe thing that really impressed me--they pulled that baseball from play to give to Nick, and he tossed it into the crowd. (His family and girlfriend are going to make sure he understands today that the ball from when he beats that record will not follow the same fate--if he does not want it, they do)
McCann--He is just adjusting from college ball to A ball--actually two steps above rookie league. He is doing a marvellous job defensively, but is facing more advanced pitching than he has ever seen--we will give him time. Remember, Nick was 0 for April.
Moya-- He actually impressed me at the plate today. He has been an either strike out or home run guy. He worked the count patiently in every at bat yesterday, managed a walk and a hit. Yes, he will probably always be a K and homerun guy, but I have been impressed with the patience he is beginning to show
Eichhorn--To me, he was the player of the game yesterday. But we are used to this stuff from him. This has been what we have gotten from him all season long.
may I add one more to this list?
Bennett-- small sample size yesterday as he only closed out the game, but in the short time he has been here, he has given us quality outings in relief.
09-05-2011, 11:54 AM #10
One more comment on Castellanos--he is definitely weak defensively, but that is why he is in the perfect place right now. He is learning third base as a new position, and has a former third baseman as his manager. Ernie has been working hard with him all season as well as many roving instructors. One such roving instructor gave me an assignment during a game a while back to get certain pictures of Nick in the field (when opposing bat was fully extended with Nick in the background).
09-05-2011, 08:09 PM #11
Sorry about not coming by! I thought I had brought your seat number information with me on Sunday, then realized that I had lost it -- when I tried to check this thread on my smartphone, the batteries were dead. Ack! All I could remember was that you were in seat 16, row 2, but I couldn't remember the section....
My kids loooooved the whole experience. I think we have new WC fans in the house now. Will definitely have to look into more games next year.
BTW, they also loved the mascots, and I for one thought they were great. I usually don't like mascots, but these guys were pretty talented, and the dance show that Crash put on was very impressive, esp. with that costume on!Introibo ad altare Dei
2013 AAT: Jim Price
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