Tag Archives: Florida

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Michael Jackson Songs’

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Michael Jackson Songs’

A very entertaining and energy-filled conversation broke out in the breakroom at lunch the other day.  And it all started with a cell phone ring tone…

One of the girl’s eating with us got a call and our ears were filled with Michael Jackson while her phone rang.  The conversation among the rest of us quickly turned to MJ and soon after the question was asked, ‘What is your favorite Michael Jackson song?’

Well, there were seven of us in there, and six different songs were named as favorites.  But we all left the conversation with the conclusion that everyone has a favorite tune by Michael.

So, without further ado, here are my ‘Top Ten Michael Jackson Songs’.

Honorable Mention:  Say Say Say, Remember The Time, This Is It, Bad, Black or White, Working Day & Night, You Are Not Alone, Off The Wall, Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, and Man In The Mirror.

10 – Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough

9 – Will You Be There

8 – Thriller

7 – Billie Jean

6 – The Way You Make Me Feel

5 – Another Part Of Me

4 – Dirty Diana

3 – Pretty Young Thing

2 – Beat It

1 – Smooth Criminal

*

WOW!!!  Great stuff from an iconic performer!

Next week, it is back to baseball…  I promise!

30 Days Until Pitchers And Catchers Report!!!

We’re just 30 days out from the start of the 2010 Spring Training season.

From all the offseason activity that has happened so far and that will continue to happen over the next few months, the 2010 season is shaping up.  And it should be very exciting!!!

In one month’s time, pitchers and catchers will begin meeting with their coaches as they begin to prepare for the start of Spring practice.  Hours and hours of time will be put into getting physically fit and mentally ready for the start of the regular season in April.  Jobs will be won, and jobs will be lost.  And as always, the cream will rise to the top as each and every team decides on who will make their opening day rosters.

Spring is around the corner and I cannot wait!!!

Remembering Michael Jackson.

I’m not trying to report this news days after the world was shocked and saddened by the death of Michael Jackson.

I, like many of you, have spent a lot more time in the last few days thinking about Michael and the incredible talents he shared with us.  I dug out my CD’s and have been glued to the constant stream of programming that has been airing about Michael since Thursday.  And while I became less of a fan of his work after his ‘Bad’ album, there is no denying the impact he has left on the music, pop, and dance industries.   He will always be remembered as an entertainer first, which is exactly how a ground breaking artist should be thought of!!!

It has taken a few days to dig out, and that is the reason this post is a few days late, but I have found a ticket stub from my very first concert.  As a 9-year old boy, my family went to the Orange Bowl in Miami to see Michael and the Jackson 5’s Victory tour.  My memories of the show are vague, but I do recall a sold out stadium of 60,000+ fans screaming for hours as the ‘King of Pop’ and his talented brothers entertained us for a few hours on that night.  I remember the screaming girls, the lights, and what stands out the most was the reaction of the crowd when Michael was alone on the stage performing ‘Billie Jean’ for all of us.

It was an amazing night, and even though I was very far away from the stage I had an awesome experience and it is one that I will never forget.

Here is the ticket from that amazing concert. jacksons

Rest in peace, Michael!!!

My Florida Marlins Spring Training Report – Part #8 – The Recap

All in all, I had a great time at my first Spring Training practice event.  I would have enjoyed the access that many fans had on prior days, but I cannot complain as I know I am taking home a sack full of memories from this day.

When so much of baseball’s talk is focused on the guys that are messing up the game, it is a wonderful feeling to know that there are just as many, if not more, guys out there that are willing to do the little things to bring the fans back to baseball.

If I had to re-live this experience again the only thing I would change would be the day of the week that I attended and next time I would put on a little sunscreen before leaving the house.

Now I am just waiting for one more thing – Please, somebody please yell – “PLAY BALL”

umpires

My Florida Marlins Spring Training Report – Part #6 – Dan Uggla Is The Best!!!

The lone member of the media at practice was the MLB Network.  None of their big-name, on-air talent was there but I did chat it up with a few of their workers.  The lady that appeared to be in charge told me that she was conducting 2 interviews – the first was going to be Dan Uggla.

Around 1:00, Uggla made his way out of the clubhouse and headed for the makeshift interview area that they had set up.  But first he made a little detour and signed for about 6 of us that stood waiting for him.

I was the last one to get him, and I put myself into a position to talk to him for a minute.

Our Dialogue:

30-Year Old Cardboard – Hey Dan, on a personal note, I sent you a picture of me and my son that we got taken with you at the FanFest a few weeks ago.  I wanted to let you know that I got the picture last night at home and it looks great.  I cannot ‘Thank You’ enough for doing that for us.  It really means a lot to me, and I appreciate you taking the time to send it back to me so quickly.

Dan Uggla – Oh yeah, I remember that.  I’ m glad it turned out well.

30-YOC – Thanks again Dan.  As a dad I cannot tell you how special that piece is to me.  Best of luck this season!

DU – No problem.  See you at the ballpark. 

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Right after signing these 2 beauties for me, he was off to his interview for the MLB network. 

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And then he was gone…

My Florida Marlins Spring Training Report – Part #5 – Meeting Andre Dawson Again!!

I got to the field at 7:40 in the morning.  After finding a good parking spot, I headed for the main gate which passes by the main entrance and player parking lot.  There sitting in the first spot was a gorgeous, White Range Rover with incredible rims and chrome accents.  As soon as I saw the license plate, I knew that Andre Dawson was on the premises!!!

I saw Andre go back and forth through the clubhouse doors to the main field a few times.  And when I got into the stadium for those brief minutes, I quickly spotted him standing along the third base line chatting with a few of the guys.

Around 11:00, I was talking to my new buddy on the security staff when Andre and another coach left the field and headed for the clubhouse.  I called out his name and he waved.  I took that as him saying hello to me and was cool with that.  I have to say that it was awesome to see him in a uniform again.  Flashbacks to his days with the Expos and Cubs raced through my head.

As it got closer to Noon, the players all started heading into the clubhouse, probably for lunch.  At this time, almost all of the other fans had bailed on the Marlins and went to try to see Albert Pujols and the Cardinals…

Again, I was chatting with the security guard when out walks Andre Dawson by himself in his street clothes.  I waited for him and then quickly introduced myself to him and asked if he remembered me from the Homestead stop on the Marlins caravan tour from a few weeks ago.  We chatted a bit as he walked to his car and even told the security guard that it was ok that I followed him into the ‘Players Only’ parking lot.

I asked for his autograph, and he signed 2 beautiful cards for me.  I also told him that I mailed a special package to his foundation of the picture of he and I and asked if he would sign it for me.  He stated ‘No Problem’.

And then I hit him with the question – ‘Would he consider doing an interview for my blog?’  We spoke about my blog a few weeks ago when we met for the first time.  And I reminded him of it again.  I told him that in the package I sent was a piece of paper that would introduce him to ’30-Year Old Cardboard’ and that I would love to sit down with him sometime to talk baseball.  He said he would review it and respond back to me.  He’s got my cell phone number and email address so hopefully he reaches out to me.  I have my fingers crossed on this, and the list of great questions I have for Andre are overflowing my brain right now.  I really hope this works out!!! 

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My Florida Marlins Spring Training Report – Part #4 – Tony Perez

Of all of the guys I saw come and go throughout the day, there were 2 that I didn’t see at all – Jeff Conine & Tony Perez.  Both of these men work as ‘special assistants’ for the team, but I had heard that they were at camp almost every day.

Finally I saw Tony arrive, but it was well into the afternoon.  He did not park in the player’s lot.  He went straight into the loading area avoiding everyone and everything.  The only other player that I saw park in that area was Hanley Ramirez(the superstar). 

Around 2pm, we could see Hanley in his street clothes talking to a few of the guys as he was preparing to leave.  All of a sudden, the entire group of 15 or so people that were there to meet the players took off for the gate he had to exit from.

Except me.  I stood back and watched knowing that it would be close to impossible to get close to Hanley.  Lucky for me, I turned around at the right moment and acted quickly as this Hall of Famer tried to escape without me noticing.  Lucky for me it was just him and I…  I have heard that he can be kind of rude but he was pretty gracious to me…

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My Florida Marlins Spring Training Report – Part #3 – Stadium Access Granted

Once I realized that I wasn’t going to get to watch the players on the roster practice, I decided to stroll around the campus a bit and check out the area.  At this time, the rookies and camp invitees had started their training regimen, and the guys on the roster were inside getting all of their photos done.

I actually struck up a pretty good conversation with a security guard as I told him I had never been there prior.  Within minutes he was informing me that no other gates were guarded since the crowed was so small.  He was guarding the gate where delivery and maintenance trucks accessed the main field, but he was the only one covering an entrance.  He told me that if I played my cards right and went by myself, I may be able to get inside and sneak a few pictures.

So that’s exactly what I did…  until I was asked to leave.  But  I still got some good shots… 

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Here’s a picture of the Marlins logo at the main gate entrance.

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 The outfielders and infielders were doing drills when I entered.  All of the outfielders were along the warning track,  The coach would yell “1 out, man on first” and then he would throw the ball into the outfield as the guys practiced hitting the cut-off man.  It was pretty cool to see this kind of practice; I have never seen a drill like this before.

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The last drill I was able to photograph was a pitcher’s drill where they would work on covering as the back up to home plate as the cut-off men were firing home to throw out potential runners.

All in all, I was probably in the stadium for 7-8 minues.  But in that time, it was a very nice reminder that this is still a kid’s game and that everyone does what the coach says!

My Florida Marlins Spring Training Report – Part #1 – The Sights & Sounds Of Spring

I attended the Florida Marlins practice yesterday as they wrap up their practice sessions and get ready for games against other clubs in the next few days.

Spring is definitely here!!!  The freshly cut lawn.  Perfectly painted lines on the field.  The grounds-crew keeping the infield clay wet.  Baseball is back – FINALLY!!!  The only thing missing was the smell of popcorn in the air…

This was my first ever trip to Jupiter, Florida where both the Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals share their Spring Training headquarters.  The facility is immaculate, and is much larger than I had imagined.  There is one main field that both the Marlins and Cards call ‘home’ for their games.  In addition to that, each team has 6 practice fields. 

RIGHT PLACE, WRONG TIME

I knew it wouldn’t be too busy on a Tuesday, but I didn’t realize that the Marlins wouldn’t be too busy either.  From what I have read and have been told over the last few weeks is that the players are all very accessible as they move from field to field to hit the different stations around the complex to work on running drills, fielding drills, and hitting in the cages.  But because today was picture day for the team, all of the ‘regular’ roster guys stayed away from the practice fields.  They worked solely in the batting cages and on the main field which were both closed to the public.  Any other day and it would have been perfect.  There were just 6 of us in the morning and the crowd max’ed out at about 15 by the middle of the afternoon.

I still had a great time watching the guys get from one place to the next and scored some pretty great autographs and pictures in the process.

This is post #1 of this series.  Get ready to relive my Spring Training experience with me… 

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Ticket Stub #18 – Florida Marlins vs. Tampa Bay Rays – 06/26/2008

Ticket Stub #18 – Florida Marlins vs. Tampa Bay Rays – 06/26/2008

Dolphin Stadium – Miami, FL

Rays 6, Marlins 1

This is the most recent game that I have been to and concludes this series of posts highlighting the baseball games that I have attended.  I have offered up 18 games, but in reality have probably been to 30 or so.  Careless moments and ticket stubs in the washing machine don’t mix when you are trying to relive past events.  I hope that you have enjoyed this series and I will certainly present to you any games I attend in the future.

On to game #18…

I scored these tickets using a 2-for-1 coupon.  I was able to get seats right alongside the Marlins bullpen so I made sure I arrived extra early to grab some up-close pictures.  When we arrived, Scott Olsen was was firing away in the pen and was quickly joined by most of the Marlin’s starters and several of the bullpen players.  It was nice to be there so early with little noise.  I clearly remember being able to hear the ‘zip’ of the ball as it raced 60 feet from Olsen to the bullpen catcher.

The game was great, if you were cheering for the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Rays’ bats were hot and were led by Evan Longoria’s 3 for 5 performance which was capped off by a home run.  I have to say that it is kind of cool to say that I saw the American League Champions play.  The Marlins were terrible, both on offense as well as pitching.  The bats were cold, cold, cold…

Now onto the big story of the game – Matt Garza!!!  This kid was awesome.  He was getting batters out at will and racked up hitless inning after hitless inning.  As the game went on, and the hits were not coming  and I started to get flashbacks of the Al Leiter no-hitter I witnessed several years prior.  4th inning – no hits.  5th inning – no hits.  Do I tell my buddy that I have seen a no-hitter before?  Do I mention thosewords?  How many people have been to 2 no-hitter in their lives??  WoW!!!  6th inning – no hits.  Oh my, it’s going to happen again; too bad there is noone at the park to enjoy this…  7th inning – CRACK!!!  Hanley Ramirez launches a deep home run to left field.  Gone is the no-hitter.  Gone is the shutout.  Gone is history.  This Marlins only accounted for 1 hit in this game.  1 pitch is what separated my second no-hitter in person from my 1 no-hitter and 1 1-hitter.  One hell of an effort by Matt Garza though…

 

Tampa Bay Rays AB R H RBI BB SO BA NOTES
Iwamura 5 0 2 1 0 0 0.274  
Aybar 4 0 1 0 0 1 0.250  
Crawford 4 0 0 0 0 0 0.279  
Upton 3 2 1 0 2 0 0.284  
Longoria 5 2 3 1 0 2 0.261 HR, (2)2B
Gomes 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.206  
Gross 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.232  
Riggins 3 1 1 3 1 0 0.246  
Zobrist 3 1 1 1 1 1 0.292 HR 
Garza 3 0 0 0 1 2 0.000  
  33 6 9 6 6 6    
                 
Florida Marlins AB R H RBI BB SO BA NOTES
Ramirez 4 1 1 1 0 0 0.294 HR
Hermida 2 0 0 0 1 1 0.274  
Cantu 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.280  
Jacobs 3 0 0 0 0 2 0.236  
Uggla 3 0 0 0 0 1 0.290  
Gonzalez 3 0 0 0 0 1 0.272  
Ross 3 0 0 0 0 2 0.217  
Hoover 3 0 0 0 0 2 0.231  
Hendrickson 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.276  
Waechter 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.167  
Helms 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.248  
  27 1 1 1 1 10