The Last Opening Day for Derek Jeter

I took my son, Jack, on a roadtrip to see the Yankees play the Astros for the last opening day for Derek Jeter.

Jack Collins at Houston Astros opening day 2014

It was a much different atmosphere from the final three games of last season when the Yankees closed things out in Houston.

This time around, the Houston fans showed up, and they were excited.

It didn’t hurt for them that CC Sabathia got lit up and it was 6-0 after the second inning.

At first, I was bummed, but then I figured it’s a long season, so let’s enjoy the game, and that’s what we did.

The Yankees did have a couple potential rallies and at the end of the day, it was a nice experience to be there together with my son for a little bit of history.

Plus, he got to have a lot of junk food.

Jack in the last row of the upper deck in Houston

I’m looking forward to seeing Jeter in Arlington, TX later in the season, and I’ll see at least one home game when I’m in NYC for business in August.

And maybe the very last home game!

I’m Not Ready to See Mariano Rivera Retire Just Yet

Mariano Rivera had an emotional last appearance at Yankee Stadium last night, as Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter headed to the mound to take him out of the game.

Mariano Rivera is honored before his last regular season game in Arlington, TX

What a great moment in his last appearance at Yankee Stadium.

But it’s not over, yet. There are three more games in Houston to end the season, and I’m hitting all of them to see Mariano before he retires.

Hopefully, he’ll get his wish and playing in the outfield in one of those games.

As of now, Pettitte is scheduled to start on the second to last game. That would be pretty sweet to see Mariano get his last save on Andy’s last start.

Just so you know, Jimmy Dugan says it’s OK to having crying in baseball this weekend.

We Saw the Last Two Games of the Yankees at the Rangers

My fellow New York Baseball Fan, Jeremy, and I took a roadtrip last Wednesday morning from Austin to Arlington, TX to see the Yankees in their last two games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington this season.

The first night (Wednesday, July 24) we got some seats up in the “all you can eat” section in upper right field.

All You Can Eat seats at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

Good view and the ticket includes all you can eat hot dogs, nachos, sodas, peanuts, popcorn, and grilled chicken sandwiches. Nice deal for a game where we got caught up at Happy Hour and didn’t have time for dinner.

That game was a loss with absolutely dead bats – it didn’t help that the Rangers had just picked up Matt Garza and he pitched well. Still a fun night, despite the 3-1 loss.

After the game, we walked over to Cowboys Stadium to check out the semi-finals for the CONCACAF Gold Cup (soccer) with Mexico playing Panama.

The ticket office was closed, so we couldn’t get in, but we ended up stumbling up on Mariano Rivera, as he headed in to see his Panama team.

Very cool to see him, and we managed not to be knuckleheaded fans trying to chase him down for a picture (I sort of wish I did).

I was feeling good about the final game with Kuroda on the mound, though it certainly wasn’t a lock, since he was facing Derek Holland.

As we got in the stadium, we heard “Enter Sandman” playing and were thinking that was not cool that they were song-jacking Mariano. It turned out they were seeing him off with a nice ceremony for his last regular season game in Arlington.

Mariano Rivera is honored before his last regular season game in Arlington, TX

It was a cool thing, as they brought in John Wetteland and Joe Nathan, and presented Mariano with some cowboy boots emblazoned with the Yankees logo, as well as a black cowboy hat.

We had a great view in some VIP Infield Seats near the Yankees dugout. By the way – wow, you can get amazing seats for good prices at this stadium. These cost $120 each.

VIP infield seats for the Yankees

The game was a gem, though stressful with the lack of scoring (scoreless through the 5th).

Around the middle of the game, we ran up to get some lunch, which ended up being a Flintstone’s sized turkey leg. Delicious.

Turkey leg at the Rangers game

It was a relief when the Yankees tacked on a couple runs, and fans of the Yankees and Rangers were crossing their fingers for a save from Mariano. And we got it! The last one that will happen in the regular season for Rivera in Arlington.

Mariano Rivera's final save in Arlington, TX

What a fantastic way to end the series, and a fun 48 hours of baseball and beers.

Time to start scouting out some tickets for the final series of the season in Houston. That would be cool to see Mariano’s last save ever (in the regular season – hoping for more in the playoffs).

Heading to Arlington to See a Couple Yankees Games

We’re heading north to Arlington, TX from Austin this morning to see the final two games of the four game series between the Yankees and Rangers.

Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

I haven’t seen the Yankees play since last August in the Bronx, so I am excited to get back to a game.

I’m most looking forward to seeing some nice swings from Cano, a healthy Jeter, and a close or two from Rivera.

Robinson Cano playing the Texas Rangers

Derek Jeter playing the Texas Rangers

Mariano Rivera shutting down the Texas Rangers

Stay tuned for a roadtrip recap.

Watching the Yankees on the Road

I was born in New Jersey, but moved to Maryland when I was 6, so I saw a whole lot of road games for the Yankees when I was growing up.

Shawn chomps a turkey leg at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

Most games I saw as a kid and on through college were at the Baltimore Orioles old Memorial Stadium, and later at Camden Yards.

But then I moved back to northern Jersey when I was 24, and spent a decade and a half going to tons of games at the old Yankee Stadium, as well as the new Yankee Stadium.

In 2010, I moved my family to Austin, TX, and I’ve been making roadtrips up to Arlington when the Yankees are in town.

It’s a bit of a difference to see road games out here vs. the northeast. That’s because the fans are friendly, even though I’m wearing my Mickey Mantle home jersey and fitted cap.

This is the third season I am living in Texas and my third roadtrip to see the Yankees at the Rangers. I actually had good timing and saw a game when I was in Dallas on business when the Yanks happened to be in town in May 2009, too.

The one series of the year (unless we get a playoff matchup) is next week, so it’s time to hit the road.

Luckily, the Yankees also end the regular season in Houston, so that’s another trip. It would be cool to see Mariano’s last regular season save.

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