Friday, June 27, 2008

A Minor League Detour

As you might expect, based on the title of this blog, every post so far has revolved around Rickey Henderson. But, as might also have been expected, I'm a big baseball and Oakland A's fan as well. So, I therefore reserve the right to add in some non-Rickey related posts, which I'll attempt to connect to Rickey as much as possible.

My wife called me at work today, and asked if I wanted to go the Sacramento River Cats game, the AAA affiliate of the A's, as she could get us some free tickets. Since we didn't have any plans, and my birthday is tomorrow, I thought it sounded like a pretty good idea!

I was a little hesitant at first, as its been 100 degrees out in Sacramento, and like all of California, the air quality has been pretty bad due to all the smoke. But, as soon as she said that the tickets were in the "Raley Suite," I was sold! I've never been in a suite at a baseball game, and since the River Cats play in "Raley Field," I figured this would be a pretty good one!

The suite definitely didn't let me down. I knew that the seats would probably be pretty good, so I made sure to stop by my house and pick up the camera on the way to the game. For no particular reason, other than I had a blast at the game (the Cats beat the Tucson Sidewinders 9-3), I've included some of the best of my pictures below (click the pictures to view them larger, especially the panoramic one, which I think is my favorite).

These were our seats, and I don't think you could have found two that were better! We were almost directly behind home plate, and were right next to the press box.

The game started off slowly for the Cats, who got down 2-0 in the first on a Tim Raines Jr. 2-run homer. But, the best was still to come, and after four 2-run innings and a few homers of their own, the Cats ended up winning in a blow out.

From the stadium you get a really great view of the Sacramento skyline, with its iconic Tower Bridge on the far right.

I could get used to watching baseball like this! To my left you can see the press box, and the row of media guides lined up against the wall.

Since this is a Rickey Henderson blog, I've saved the Rickey connection for last. The River Cats play in the Pacific Coast League along with the AAA affiliate of the San Diego Padres, the Portland Beavers.

It was the Beavers with whom Rickey played for 9 games to start the 2001 season before being called up to the majors (he was signed late in Spring Training and needed to get some more swings in). In 40 at bats with the Beavers he hit .275 with 3 doubles, a walk, and a stolen base.

This is a PGE Park fan guide and schedule for the 2001 Beavers. Along with collecting cards and other oddball Rickey items, I like to collect schedules from the teams that he's played for during the season(s) that he played for them. I also collect all Oakland A's schedules, but I'll leave that for another non-Rickey related post.

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