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Sluggers of the West and Fan Fest (January 28, 2008 - 11:46 p.m.)

Darn. The battery on my iRiver just died. Well...on to Pandora.

I'm going to give a brief update on the events of the past weekend. I'll eventually post some pictures, probably on my Flickr account, because I got some good ones.

Friday night, Stephanie and I went to the "Sluggers of the West" awards dinner for the Texas Rangers. It was a nice event and we had a really good time. We were extremely entertained by the co-emcees of the event, Eric Nadel and Victor Rojas, the two radio broadcasters for the Rangers and KRLD AM 1080.
Awards were given to many players, including player of the year, Michael Young; pitcher of the year, Joachin Benoit; rookie of the year, David Murphy; community service award, Kevin Millwood, and a "good guy award" to Marlon Byrd. Also Eric Nadel received a surprise award celebrating his 30th year as a broadcaster for the Rangers.
We had the privilege of sharing a dinner table with ex-Rangers catcher, Rich Billings, who was with the original Texas Rangers when they moved down here from Washington DC as the Senators. His wife was with him. We had some interesting conversations.
We also shared the dinner table with the locally famous "cookie lady." Let me explain. She is a fan of the Rangers who attends quite a few games. She always brings cookies with her, and brings them to the players and the broadcasters. I've heard both radio and tv announcers talking about her and her cookies. We felt very honored to be at her table. She also promised Stephanie some cookies if she sees us at a game.
After the program, a lot of the players hung out for a bit, and I was able to get Stephanie's picture with a few of them. We got pictures with Hank Blalock, new outfielder Josh Hamilton, General Manager Jon Daniels (I know...I haven't spoken well of him, but Stephanie likes him and he was nice to her, so I'll have to tone it down a bit...), TV broadcaster Tom Grieve (also an ex-player and manager) and ex-Rangers catcher Jim Sundberg together in the same picture. Oh, and another picture with Victor Rojas, who gave Stephanie a very enthusiastic hug! That really warmed my heart. Then we talked a bit to Chuck Morgan, the Rangers stadium announcer, who was standing with retired pitcher Ray Burris (never played with the Rangers, but has a local baseball instruction place). Ray Burris gave Stephanie a very good little motivational talk. I was really pleased with the way he talked to her. I hope she received it well.

Saturday was the Fan Fest at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. For $5 and free parking, we get to go in the ballpark, wander around pretty aimlessly (within reason, of course), get some autographs, listen to some Q&A sessions, see the clubhouse, etc. It's a fun time. We got autographs from Rusty Greer, Tom Grieve, Mickey Tettleton, Ray Burris, Josh Hamilton, and AJ Murray. Then we walked around a little bit, I auditioned to sing "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" at a game this season, and we listened to a Q&A session with some of the players' wives. We heard Janet Sundberg, wife of Jim Sundberg, Tess Kinsler, wife of Ian Kinsler, and Ashley Saltalamacchia, wife of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the guy with the longest name in professional baseball. That was very interesting. Both Jarrod and Jim were in the room, though. They were probably afraid of what their wives would say about them if they weren't there. Hahaha...

After that was over, we went home, to find Rachel and Justin already there, rocking out with "Rock Band." I finished getting stuff ready for church on Sunday, and joined them, then Christi go home from whatever she was doing (she said she was going to her sister's house, but came home with new shoes and clothes(??)) and joined up with us, too. We played Rock Band until almost 10, then some more on Sunday. What a fun game. So far, the most challenging song we have encountered is "Enter Sandman." The drums on that are really hard. Oh, and then there's the stupid Fallout Boy song. Ugh. It's pretty awful when they take a band that has no talent and expect us to be able to play that badly on purpose. Hahahah....

Did I say "brief" up there? Oh, well. Sorry. When I get home later, I'll try to get the pictures posted so I can link to them.

TTFN, y'all!

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