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Big Daddy Baseball League

O F F I C I A L   S I T E   O F   T H E   B I G   D A D D Y   B A S E B A L L   L E A G U E
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July 30 - August 1, 2010

BDBL Weekend 2010: Denver

The official BDBL Weekend 2010 lineup.

By Mike Glander
BDBL Staff

DENVER -- BDBL Weekend, 2010, began with a few hitches, but ended on a high note thanks to a spectacular game between the Rockies and Cubs and a whirlwind of trading.  The weekend began with the bad news that Bobby Sylvester would not be able to make it to Denver due to illness.  That bad news was compounded when my flight on Friday morning was fully-booked, leaving me stranded in Boston.  For the first time in BDBL history, BDBL Weekend would have to go on without me.

The seven remaining GM's in attendance (Tony Chamra, Matt Clemm, Jeff Paulson, John Duel, Nic Weiss, Greg Newgard and Brian Potrafka) enjoyed the day on Friday by sampling some local cuisine (including elk and bison), hanging out in the local sports bar and doing a little bowling.

Saturday morning, I had a bit more luck securing a seat on the evidently wildly-popular Boston-to-Denver trip.  With an extra ticket now available for Saturday night's game, I decided to take my 14-year-old son Ryan along for the trip.  That decision nearly proved disastrous when the last remaining seats on our flight were scooped up just minutes before take-off.  But luckily, one of those seats belonged to a pilot, who agreed to ride in the cockpit for the duration of that four-hour flight.  That allowed me and Ryan to claim the last two seats on the flight.

We arrived in Denver at around noon, and discovered that the Denver airport is nowhere near the city.  Expecting to see breathtaking views of the Rocky mountains upon arrival, we instead saw nothing but flat land and the faint outline of some mountains in the far distance.  After a 30-minute cab ride, we arrived at our hotel and met up with the BDBL crew.  We then headed off for lunch at John Duel's favorite Denver hot spot, the Tilted Kilt.  The 'Kilt is a pretty typical sports bar with pretty typical bar food.  But when the waitresses arrived wearing tiny plaid skirts and white shirts tied around their waists, it became crystal clear why Duel was so adamant on eating at this particular venue.  (Later, my son called the Tilted Kilt "the Scottish Hooters.")

With the annual trading deadline looming at 8:00 Mountain Time, trade talk was almost constant throughout the day.  By the end of the day, nine trades had been made involving 56 players, including several big names such as Evan Longoria, Justin Upton and Zack Greinke.

Shortly after lunch, we headed to the ballpark.  Coors Field is a pretty typical modern-day Major League ballpark, with the requisite neo-retro architecture, spacious concourses, wide variety of food and drink options, etc..  The stadium was filled to capacity (roughly 48,000), with seemingly half of the fans in attendance rooting for the visiting Cubs.

The view from our seats

The BDBL crew

The hometown team grabbed the lead in the second inning with a three-run blast into the center field shrubbery by Miguel Olivo.  The following inning, Carlos Gonzalez tripled and then scored on a base hit by Melvin Mora, making it a 4-0 game.  Chicago got on the board in the fifth inning thanks to a double by Alfonso Soriano and a sac fly by Giovanni Soto, cutting the lead in half.

A sac fly by Gonzalez gave the Rockies an insurance run in the seventh inning, but a three-run blast by Derrick Lee in the top of the eighth tied the game (to the delight of half the crowd.)  In the top of the ninth, Gonzalez led off the inning, needing only a home run to complete the cycle.  And he did just that, becoming the first player in BDBL Weekend history to win a game by walk-off homer.

The Rockies celebrate the walk-off.

Carlos Gonzalez hit for the cycle.

After the game, Potrafka took the entire group on a 45-minute walking tour of downtown Denver in search of the "real Denver."  We lost a few good men along the way, including Newgard (knee), Clemm (back) and Duel (knee.)  And a few more of us broke off from the pack before reaching Potrafka's final destination.  But we all had a good time taking in the Denver nightlife (which has to rank #1 among all the cities we've visited so far) in our own ways.