Royalty Tours USA

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Royalty w/o 5/20 in review

Monday night after work I went to Taste of Dolly's for dinner on my way to Citi Field to see the Mets open a three game series with the Cincinnati Reds who were making their only appearance in the New York area.
When I got to Citi Field, I was greeted by my pal, Sam Citron who was happy to see me by the Rotunda entrance. After we exchanged pleasantries, I went inside and up to section 515 where the rest of the royal court was sitting on this night. Among those we were there included Phil Butleman, David Sack and his friend Ben, Vincent Ascanio, Bryan Gilligan, Al Linderman, Frank Anichiarico, Pat Gorman, Martin Caamano and Michael Abrams.

As for the game we saw, the Reds jumped on Shaun Marcum who started for the Mets. He gave up a lead off walk to start the game to center fielder Shin-Soo Choo. After he recorded the first out, he proceeded to give up three straight hits which scored three runs. He then struck out the next two batters. The Mets came back in the bottom of the third inning and they tied the game at three as right fielder Marlon Byrd hit a three run homer off of Reds' starter Johnny Cueto to give the Met fans some hope. The Reds' broke the tie as right fielder Jay Bruce hit a solo homer to start the top of the sixth inning to make it 4-3. The Mets were unable to answer again as they dropped the first game of the series.

Tuesday night after work I went to Checkers for my pre game meal as I returned to Citi Field for game two of the series.

This time the royal court sat in its usual spot in section 516. We were joined by Manny Morales, Phil Butleman, Al Linderman, Pat Gorman & Martin Caamano. We also had in house entertainment in section 513 as the Hooligan's were present & accounted for. They have great chants for different Met players as they come to bat. In addition, they love to join in with the King when a Met pitcher strikes out an opposing team's batter. In that regard, the King's signature strikeout call has become a staple among the fans who sit around us.

As for the game we saw, the Mets once again dug a hole for themselves early. This time starter Jonathon Niese got the first two outs then he lost his control. Three walks, a few hits and a costly error by David Wright opened the door for the Reds as they scored three runs in their first at bat for the second game in a row. Unfortunately the Mets couldn't touch Mike Leake who threw seven shutout innings. The Reds added another run in the ninth inning as catcher Devin Mesoraco hit a solo homer to lead off to give the Reds a 4-0 lead. The Mets failed to score against the Reds' bullpen as they fell again.

Wednesday during the day I was working so I couldn't attend the finale of the series which was an afternoon affair. The Mets wound up losing again. After work, I went home and I made myself dinner then I went out and I did my laundry.

Thursday night after work I came home. I made myself dinner and I relaxed & watched TV. It was nice to live like a normal human being for a night.

Friday night after work I went home since I got out of work early. I was able to pick up some warm clothes so I could be ready for the cool dreary night ahead.

Since I had a big lunch I decided to skip a pre game meal. I went right to Citi Field to see the Mets open the Memorial weekend with a three game series with their division rivals, the Atlanta Braves. Thanks to mother nature, the start of the game was delayed slightly. The first pitch was thrown by Mets starter Jeremy Hefner at 7:26PM.

As a result, I wound up wandering around the ballpark before the game began. When I got up to the Royal Court in section 516, I was joined by David Sack who was with his friend Andrew, Frank Anichiarico, Vincent Ascanio, Bryan Gilligan, Pat Gorman, Michael Abrams and Alan Gimpel who all decided to brave the elements.

As for the game we saw, the Mets trailed right off the bat again as first baseman Freddie Freeman hit a two run homer in the first inning to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. The Mets slice the lead in half as left fielder Lucas Duda hit a pop up to left that fell in for a run scoring single thanks to the brutal wind that was blowing. The Mets evened the score at two in the fourth inning when catcher John Buck lead off with a solo home run. The Mets took the lead in the fifth inning when right fielder Marlon Byrd singled in a run. The Braves responded with a lead off solo homer by Dan Uggla in the seventh inning. The Braves regained the lead with a few runs in the top of the eighth inning as pinch hitter Evan Gattis delivered a clutch two out hit as the rain started falling again. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Mets tied the game again with a single by Daniel Murphy and a wild pitch while Rick Ankiel was batting. Ankiel wound up striking out and the umpires decided to put the tarp on the field with the game tied at five. The game didn't resume after they waited 75 minutes. As a result, the game was suspended. They were going to resume the game Saturday night before the regularly scheduled game at 7:15PM.

As for the King, Bryan Gilligan, Frank Anichiarico and I, we wisely left once they put the tarp on the field. We went to Donovan's Pub for a post game meal. It turned out to be a great decision. We wound up meeting the King's brother Charlie there. It was great to see him again. We all enjoyed our meals, drinks and each other's company.

Stay tuned for a special post that will recap our Memorial Day weekend which was filled with personal milestones for the King & I as well as for another ballpark chaser we've met along the way.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Monday, May 27, 2013

Royalty schedule w/o 5/27

Here's the game plan:

Monday May 27th Yankees at Mets 7:10PM

Tuesday May 28th Yankees at Mets 7:10PM

Wednesday May 29th Mets at Yankees 7:05PM

Thursday May 30th Mets at Yankees 7:05PM

Friday May 31st Red Sox at Yankees 7:05PM

Saturday June 1st Red Sox at Yankees 7:15PM

Sunday June 2nd Brewers at Phillies 1:35PM

                           Red Sox at Yankees 8:05PM

Check back to see how it turned out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 5/20 in review.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Royalty w/o 5/13 in review

Monday night after work I came home and I made myself dinner. After I ate, I went out and I did my laundry.

Tuesday night after work I went up to the Bronx to see the Yankees open up a three game series with the Seattle Mariners. 17 years ago to the day was the anniversary of Dwight Gooden's no hitter which ironically was against the Mariners who had A-Rod in their line up at the time. It was the first no hitter I ever saw live in person. It was a very memorable night for me.

This time on paper history looked like it could repeat itself with Felix Hernandez starting for the Mariners and CC Sabathia going for the Yankees.

Before I went into the Stadium, I stopped off at Burger King a few blocks away to have a pre game meal. When I got done, I went up to my seat in section 420B row 7 where I was greeted by my pal and avid reader of my blog, Greg Venuto who came down from Norwalk, Connecticut to see his Yankees play. He told me he was in Washington DC over Mother's Day weekend. He went to visit his friend who lives down there. While he was there he went to see the Capitals play the Rangers. He also saw the Nationals host the Cubs. He enjoyed his time away. It was great to see him again.

It should be noted our friends Steve Tepperman and Pat Gorman were also in attendance on this night.

As for the game we saw, it didn't exactly live up to the billing. It turned out to be an ordinary occasion between two of baseball's best pitchers these days. The Mariners got to CC but they couldn't capitalize on their opportunities. They wound up getting ten hits off of him in six and a third innings before he departed. He allowed three runs only two of them were earned and he did strikeout ten in the process. Former Yankee Raul Ibanez felt right at home as he hit a two run homer to give the Mariners a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning. The Yankees finally scored a run off of Felix Hernandez who had kept the Yankee bats quiet as he struck out eight over his six innings of work. Once he left for the night, the Yankees bats awoke. In the seventh inning, they scored three runs to take the lead, 4-3. Robinson Cano delivered a two run double and Lyle Overbay hit a sacrifice fly to put the Yankees ahead for good. Mariano Rivera came on in the ninth inning and he closed it out. As a result, he notched his 624th career save as the Yankees took the opener of the series.

Wednesday night after work I went back to the Bronx for game two of the series. I stopped off at the Court Deli Restaurant first so I could pick up sandwiches for the King and I. I had a corned beef and he had turkey. After I rounded up some snacks at a few different stores in the area I went into the Stadium.
When I got up to my seat in section 420B row 7 I was joined by our pals Vincent Ascanio, Larry Peim, Phil Butleman, David Sack and Rich Wolber who were also present & accounted for.

I want to congratulate our pal Vincent Ascanio aka the Kid who saw his 700th live baseball game on this night.

As for the game we saw, the Mariners jumped on Yankee starter Phil Hughes who failed to finish the first inning as they scored seven runs which included a grand slam by former Yankee Raul Ibanez. He also hit a two run homer in the fifth inning. Kyle Seager added a three run blast in the sixth inning as the Mariners cruised to a 12-2 victory.

Despite the blowout it was an historical night because the Yankees called up third baseman David Adams earlier in the day and he made his major league debut on his 26th birthday. He became the 30th player in MLB history to do so. In addition, he was the first Yankee to do it since 1916. I got that fact from our pal Michael Abrams who has been to over 900+ consecutive Yankee home games. To cap off his memorable special day, David Adams got his first major league hit in the sixth inning.

Thursday night after work I went back to the Bronx to see the rubber match of the three game series between the Yankees and the Mariners. I wound up eating dinner at Burger King again.

As for the game we saw, the Mariners held on to beat the Yankees, 3-2 to take the series two games to one. I was happy because I was thinking about a few ballpark chasers I know from Seattle who like the Mariners.It should be noted that Yankee starter Andy Pettitte left the game with two outs in the top of the fifth inning with an injury. Former Yankee Raul Ibanez finally cooled off after destroying them in the first two games. This time he was held hit less in four at bats and he struck out three times.

Friday night after work I went back to Yankee Stadium as the Toronto Blue Jays came back for a weekend series in the Bronx. Since I had a big lunch I didn't eat before the game. I went up to my seat and I was joined by our pal William Frank Guthrie who was there. It was nice to see him again.

It should be noted that this day marked the 15th anniversary of the first perfect game I saw live in person as David Wells accomplished the feat against the Minnesota Twins on a Sunday afternoon at Old Yankee Stadium.

As for the game we saw, the Yankees got a stellar pitching performance from starter Hiroki Kuroda who threw eight shutout innings. He allowed just two hits as the Yankees beat the Blue Jays, 5-0.

After the game, Bryan Gilligan drove the King and I to Donovan's Pub in Woodside, Queens for our usual post game meal. We were also joined by our friend Frank Anichiarico who met us there. It should be noted that Donovan's recently changed ownership but many of the people we know are still there and the menu has been expanded. In addition, they now accept credit cards too.

Saturday afternoon the King and I took the subway up to the Bronx for game two of the series with the Blue Jays. We were joined by Vincent Ascanio and Bryan Gilligan who were there as usual along with our pal Pat Gorman.

As for the game we saw, the Yankees got two home runs from Robinson Cano, one in the third inning and the other in the fifth as the Yankees built a 5-1 lead. In the top of the eighth inning, the Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion hit a solo homer to make it 5-2. In the bottom of the eighth, Travis Hafner hit a two run homer that made the score 7-2. As a result, Mariano Rivera who had been warming up was forced to sit down since it was no longer a save situation. The Yankees got the last three outs as they beat the Blue Jays again.

Since the game was played in a timely fashion, Bryan who was driving us decided to skip going to Trenton, NJ. Instead he drove the King, Vincent & I to Allentown, Pennsylvania. By doing so, we got to go to Coca Cola Park, which is the home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies' Triple A affiliate. They were hosting the Rochester Red Wings, the Minnesota Twins farm team. After we parked the game, we walked over to the right field gate. We decided to ask around for tickets before we walked down to the box office. We lucked out. We came across different people who had extra tickets and they were kind enough to give them to us. We were very grateful. I wound up getting one in the Red Robin Tiki Terrace area which is located out in left field. The best part of it was it included free food. I was able to help myself to hot dogs, burgers and pulled pork. They also had chips and cookies along with soft drinks. Since we had time before the game started, I went out there and fed myself. When I had enough, I walked back to stand behind the plate with the King, Bryan & Vincent. We also had a guy who is a big fan of the King's signature strikeout call on hand which made for a captive audience.

As for the game we saw, the IronPigs broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning thanks to a costly error which allowed the winning run to score by journeyman Ray Olmedo who has seen limited tours of duty in the major leagues from time to time from 2003-2007. For the most part, he's been a Triple A player the last five years. He continues to play in hopes of getting another shot at the major league level.

Sunday afternoon the King and I took the subway back to Yankee Stadium hoping to see the finale of the three game series with the Blue Jays. As we were getting ready to cross the street to go to the Stadium, we found out that the game was postponed due to rain. We got back on the train and we went home. We wound up watching TV unexpectedly.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Royalty schedule w/o 5/20

Here's the game plan:

Monday May 20th Reds at Mets 7:10PM

Tuesday May 21st Reds at Mets 7:10PM

Friday May 24th Braves at Mets 7:10PM

Saturday May 25th Braves at Mets 7:15PM

Sunday May 26th Norfolk Tides at Lehigh Valley IronPigs 1:35PM

                             Braves at Mets 8:05PM

Check back to see how it played out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 5/13 in review.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty sees plenty of baseball over Mother's Day weekend!

Saturday afternoon May 11th the King & I went back to Citi Field for game three of the series between the Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates. We met up with Jean Ann Harrison, Bryan Gilligan, Frank Anichiarico, Manny Morales, Pat Gorman, Rich Wolber, David Sack and Michael Carson who were also in attendance.
As for the game we saw, the Pirates beat up the Mets. They raced out to a 9-0 lead after five innings. They lit up Mets' starter Jonathon Niese who gave up eight runs in four and a third innings. The Mets finally broke the shutout in the sixth inning when they got a run off of starter Francisco Liriano who was making his first start for the Pirates after overcoming injuries to get back to the Major Leagues. Liriano went five and a third innings. He walked two and struck out nine. He earned the victory as the Pirates cruised to a 11-2 victory.


With rain on its way to the area, we wisely left after eight innings at 4:01PM so we could get to the car without getting soaked since the King was driving us to Scranton, Pennsylvania to see a minor league baseball game. We almost avoided the rain. As we got close to the car, the sky opened up. Luckily we didn't get too wet.

The game was delayed after the Pirates batted in the top of the ninth inning. As a result, we made a sound decision leaving when we did. After a 47 minute rain delay, the game resumed. We wound up missing a lead off homer by Andrew Brown of the Mets which made it 11-2 Pirates.

As we got further away from NYC, the weather improved for us. We wound up getting to Scranton with plenty of time to see the first pitch at newly renovated PNC Field which is the home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. It's the Yankees' Triple A affiliate in the International League. On this night, they were playing the Gwinnett Braves, the Atlanta Braves farm club on Bark in the Park night. It should be noted there were dogs galore.

Jason Heyward playing for Gwinnett Braves
Curtis Granderson playing for the RailRiders

In addition, we wound up seeing a few Major Leaguers play because they were on rehab assignments. I'm referring to Jason Heyward who was playing for the Braves and Curtis Granderson who played for the RailRiders. Furthermore, we also saw former Major Leaguer Chien-Ming Wang start for the RailRiders as he attempts to make a return to the big leagues. He pitched well on this night as he allowed three runs in seven and two third innings. He didn't get a decision because he left with the game tied. The RailRiders got the winning run in the bottom of the eighth as Melky Mesa delivered a double that proved to be the difference as the RailRiders beat the Braves, 4-3.

Trevin Jaggars & I at PNC Field in Scranton, PA
During the game I got to meet another person I follow on Twitter who was also there. I'm referring to Trevin Jaggars. His Twitter handle is @Trevin8. Please feel free to follow him.

What a week it was for tweets and greets.

Sunday May 12th was Mother's Day. The King & I went back to Citi Field to see the Mets and Pirates wrap up their four game series as Matt Harvey tried to get a split for the Mets.

We were joined by Jean Ann Harrison, Phil Butleman, David Sack, Al Linderman & Alan Gimpel. In addition, we also had our friend Alvin Pachter and his father from Scranton there. They weren't able to join us Saturday night so it was nice to see them Sunday instead.

As for the game we saw, the Mets got Matt Harvey off the hook for the loss as Mike Baxter came through again as he tied the game at two in the seventh inning with a run scoring single. The Mets' bullpen gave up the go ahead run in the eighth inning. By doing so, it gave Jason Grilli a chance to get another save. He pitched a 1,2,3 ninth inning as he struck out two Mets to preserve the 3-2 win for the Pirates as they took three out of four from the Mets.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty meets up with Jean Ann Harrison at Citi Field as the Pirates came to play the Mets!

Jean Ann & I at Citi Field
Thursday night May 9th the Mets opened a four game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. I was informed earlier in the week that our friend Jean Ann Harrison who happens to be a business partner and friend of Jason Grilli was coming back to NYC. When I heard that, I was all excited. Unfortunately I didn't get to see Jason this time around before any of the games. Jean Ann did though. She told him I said hello.
Jean Ann is a big Met fan. She was dressed in her Met gear. She didn't want to sympathize that Jason was playing against her team. On the other hand, I wanted to see Jason have success. I've met him on a few occasions thanks to her. He's a good guy. Jason has overcome a serious knee injury to get back to the Major Leagues. He's a preserver. I don't have the heart to see him fail even if it's against my team since I like the Mets too.

Jason is now the Pirates' closer. With that being said, he normally comes into a game only when the Pirates are ahead late. On Thursday night, he was summoned from the bullpen with the score tied at two going to the bottom of the ninth inning. He proceeded to give up an infield single to second base to Marlon Byrd who lead off for the Mets. He was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Andrew Brown. With one out, Mike Baxter pinch hit for center fielder Juan Lagares and he became an instant hero for the second time this week as he delivered the game winning hit which made a loser out of Jason Grilli. As a Met fan, Jean Ann was thrilled. As for me, it was bittersweet since I didn't want to see him fail in front of me.

Friday night Jason Grilli got some revenge on Jean Ann. The Mets trailed the Pirates, 7-1 going to the ninth inning. They called on former Yankee Jose Contreras to finish the game but he wound up giving up three hits and a walk while recording just two outs. As a result, he wound up creating a save opportunity. Jason was called on to get the last out with the tying run on deck which meant it was a save situation. He got shortstop Ruben Tejada to fly out to center field. By doing so, he recorded his 14th save of the season. After the game, he wrote JeanAnn a text message and he said and I quote "that was easy." It was a small payback for the night before.

Jean Ann wound up joining us as we went to Donovan's Pub for a post game meal.

Over the weekend, she joined us again as the Pirates played the Mets.

Stay tuned as I'll go into further detail about how those games played out.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman


Royalty meets up with a few ballpark chasers at Citi Field for the White Sox!

Me with Jen Obirek  & Jim Wood at Citi Field
I was wandering around Citi Field before the game on Tuesday night May 7th when the White Sox made their first ever visit to Queens to play the Mets. As I was, I found out someone I follow on Twitter was also at the game thanks to my pal and fellow ballpark chaser Tike Narry who lives in the Bay area. His Twitter handle is @eddiesofficials. Please feel free to follow him on Twitter. He tweeted me with the heads up. I'm referring to Jen Obirek. Her Twitter handle is @keribo1. Please feel free to follow her. She lives in Chicago on the South Side. She likes the White Sox and the Blackhawks. She was at the game which was her first "road" game for the White Sox she said. Ironically she wound up sitting in section 516 row 3 which happens to be where the King & I have our season tickets. We usually don't sit in our seats though. We prefer to sit up near the top of the section so we can have more space. In addition, people we know can sit there with us without a hassle.

On this night, Matt Harvey was pitching a perfect game until there were two outs in the seventh inning. As a result, I decided to stay in the seat I sat in for the whole game. When the game ended, I went down to row 3 and I introduced myself to Jen. She was there with a guy named Jim Wood, who I've seen on the ballpark chasers website. Jim said he was originally from the South Side of Chicago but he now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's been to 44 major league ballparks as well as an impressive number of minor league ones too. Jen introduced us. Jim's twitter handle is @BWB2013. Please feel free to follow him too.

I wound up walking out of the ballpark with them. They were taking the 7 train back to Manhattan where they were staying. We got to talk to one another. I gave them my contact information. I couldn't get theirs because my phone died on me. I told them to contact me if they needed any assistance getting around while I was at work.

They said they were coming back for the game Wednesday night May 8th. I told them to come up to section 516 near the top which they did. I was glad to see them because I didn't hear from them all day. I made sure I took down their contact information so we can stay in touch in the future. We got to enjoy the game together. Unlike Tuesday night, this time the White Sox beat the Mets. It worked out well for all of us that both teams won a game. They went home early Thursday morning. We enjoyed each others company. We said our goodbyes and we hope to meet up again down the road.

Stay tuned for another special post that we recap another visit by a special guest as the Pirates came to town for the weekend to play the Mets at Citi Field.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Friday, May 17, 2013

Royalty w/o 5/6 in review

Monday night after work I got to go home and relax for a change. There were no baseball games to attend in the area so I did the next best thing. In other words, I was able to catch up on my blog. I didn't want to fall further behind. As time goes on, I unexpectedly find new things and people to write about. So I need to use my free time wisely.

With that being said, I'm going to summarize the week I had then when I have some spare time I'm going to do some special posts about some people, new and old, I got to meet and greet along the way.
Tuesday night after work I went to Taste of Dolly's for dinner on my way to Citi Field to see the Mets open a two game series with the Chicago White Sox who quite amazingly were making their first ever visit to Queens to play the Mets.

Upon arrival, I got to see my pal Sam Citron who greeted me by the Rotunda entrance. He told me that a lady came in earlier with her son. He was describing Rebecca Herman who I met at Yankee Stadium over the weekend. She took a picture of him because I saw it on Twitter. Rebecca said and I quote "Sam is a very nice gentleman." That tweet made me feel real good. Shortly thereafter, I saw another tweet that another person that I follow thanks to other people I know was also at the game. I got all excited about the potential tweet and greet. For some reason, my phone decided to act up. As a result, I couldn't get in touch with Rebecca Herman aka The Baseball PHD. She told me she had seats in the Delta Suite with her son, Trevor who's afraid of heights. With that being said, I decided to go upstairs to section 516 so I could get ready for the game.

We had a nice gathering in the Royal Court if you will as the King and I were joined by the usual regulars, Bryan Gilligan and the Ascanios, Ralph & Vincent aka the Kid. In addition, we also had our friends Frank Anichiarico, Phil Butleman, Pat Gorman, Martin Caamano & Charlie Vitanza in attendance.

As for the game we saw, Matt Harvey was starting for the Mets. With that being said, we knew we had a chance to see a great game. He was opposed by Hector Santiago who started for the White Sox. As advertised, this match up turned out to be a beauty. Matt Harvey out pitched Hector Santiago but neither one got a decision as the game was decided in extra innings. Matt Harvey in fact was almost perfect for the first nine innings. He allowed an infield hit to shortstop Ruben Tejada who couldn't put enough on the throw to get Alex Rios who barely beat it out at first base with two outs in the seventh inning. He struck out twelve batters too. He was simply amazing. Unfortunately the Mets couldn't score a run off the White Sox pitching for the first nine innings either. Santiago pitched well for seven innings. Matt Lindstrom pitched the eighth. Then Nate Jones came on for ninth and he pitched into the tenth when the Mets finally broke through to ultimately win the game, 1-0 thanks to a game winning pinch hit by Mike Baxter to make a winner out of reliever Bobby Parnell who pitched a scoreless tenth for the Mets.

Wednesday night after work I went to Subway and Carvel for dinner and dessert on my way to Citi Field.
On this night I was joined by Rich Wolber, Phil Butleman, Frank Anichiarico, Pat Gorman and Charlie Vitanza as well as the usual regulars.

It should be noted that the Hooligan's were present & accounted for in section 513. They made their presence felt when they chanted "Where's the King?". He was talking on his cell phone at the time. As a result, they caught him off guard. It was quite a scene.

As for the game we saw, the White Sox finally got a run in Queens. Lead off batter Alejandro De Aza hit a home run to right field to make it 1-0 right off the bat. The Mets tied it in the second inning when Lucas Duda returned the favor hitting a homer to right. In the third inning, the White Sox got four straight hits after the first out which scored three more runs off Mets starter Jeremy Hefner. They tacked on another run in the seventh and the ninth innings while the Mets added one in the eighth and another in the ninth but they fell short as the White Sox won the game, 6-3 to earn a split in the two game set.

Thursday night after work I went to Checker's for my pre game meal on my way back to Citi Field to see the Mets open a four game weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

When I got upstairs I was joined by Phil Butleman, Manny Morales, Michael Abrams, Pat Gorman, Alan Gimpel and Martin Caamano.

As for the game we saw, the Mets and Pirates played a seesaw battle as both teams took turns scoring single runs. The game was tied at two going to the bottom of the ninth inning. The Pirates decided to bring in their new closer this year my pal Jason Grilli in a tie game. He gave up an infield single to Marlon Byrd to start the inning who was then bunted to second by Andrew Brown. With one out, Mike Baxter pinch hit for center fielder Juan Lagares who made a nice catch to end the top of the ninth. Baxter became a hero as he delivered the game winning hit to give the Mets a 3-2 victory. Since it came against Jason it was bittersweet for me because I want to see him to do well every time he pitches.

Friday night after work I went back to Citi Field to see game two of the series with the Pirates. I wasn't hungry so I decided to go straight to Citi Field in hopes of seeing Jason Grilli after batting practice ended. Unfortunately I heard Jason went in by the time I arrived. I was surprised but being in a new role this year, he has other responsibilities.

After I struck out, I went upstairs so I could get ready for the game. I had some company. The King, Bryan Gilligan, Vincent Ascanio as usual were already there. In addition, our pals Frank Anichiarico, Al Linderman, Pat Gorman and Alan Gimpel were there too.

As for the game we saw, the Pirates took a 6-0 lead midway through the game. Catcher Anthony Recker hit a solo homer to break the shutout to make it 6-1. The Pirates added another run in the ninth to go up, 7-1. In the bottom of the ninth inning, former Yankee Jose Contreras came in to finish the game. He couldn't get it done. Instead he wound up setting up a save for my pal Jason Grilli who got Ruben Tejada to fly out to center field to end the game as the Mets came up short as they lost, 7-3.

After the game, Bryan Gilligan, Frank Anichiarico, the King and I went to Donovan's Pub for a post game meal.

Stay tuned for the special posts I plan to write about the people I met along the way. In addition, I'm going to do another special post that we recap the weekend as well.

Thank you for reading & following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman


Monday, May 13, 2013

Royalty sees another MLB doubleheader and meets another ballpark chaser over Cinco De Mayo weekend!

Saturday morning I got up after I got a good night sleep and I made myself breakfast. When I got done I got ready for another busy day. The King went out to have breakfast with at his mother's house. He told me he'll meet at Yankee Stadium.

The Hermans meet - Gary & Rebecca
I wound up getting to the Stadium a little earlier than I normally would have because during the week I arranged to meet up with another ballpark chaser who was planning to be at the game too. Ironically she has the same last name as me. Her name is Rebecca Herman. She was visiting NYC with her son Trevor. They live in San Diego. I got wind of her excursion on Facebook through the Ballpark Chaser group that I belong to. She said she had seats in section 320B in the Jim Beam Suite. That was perfect because the King and I sit in section 420B which is right above where they were sitting. When I arrived at the Great Hall, I sent her a text message so I could see where she was. They were in the Jim Beam Lounge eating at the time. With that being said, I headed upstairs. When I got nearby, I called her and she came out to meet me. We got to speak briefly because she left her son alone and she didn't want him to think she got lost. She told me she's in the process of writing a baseball book. She said her friend is doing it with her. They have interviewed 18 different managers so far. It sounds like it's going to be a great read. I look forward to staying in touch with her. We follow each on Twitter. Her handle is @TheBaseballPHD. Feel free to follow her too especially if you like baseball. She's a very intelligent person who can teach you a thing or two about baseball and life. Please feel free to read her blog for all the details and pictures about their visit to the Bronx.

After I said goodbye to her, I went to my seat. I got to see our pals Phil Butleman, Vincent Ascanio, Bryan Gilligan and Rich Wolber who were in attendance among the announced crowd of 41,349.

Jessica, Luis Nunez & I at Yankee Stadium
In addition, we met up with a few people who came from California to visit. They were Luis and Jessica Nunez. They were Oakland A's fans. Luis is from LA and his wife Jessica is from Oakland. They wound up sitting a few rows behind us. During the game, we started talking to each other. Luis had some time off so they took a vacation to come East for 10 days. They said they were planning to go to Boston and possibly Niagara Falls while they were here. They didn't have a set game plan though. We did exchange contact information so if and when I do get back to the West Coast which should be in the near future, we can hopefully meet up again.

As for the game we saw, the Yankees got a great pitching performance from their starter, Phil Hughes who pitched eight shutout innings. In the process, he struck out nine Athletics. The Yankees gave up a few runs in the ninth inning but they held off the A's to take game two of the series by a score of 4-2.

After the game, Bryan drove the King and I as well as Vincent Ascanio down to Philadelphia for game two of the day. We got to Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phillies with plenty of time to spare. It helped that the Yankee game was nice and crisp. We wound up sitting up in section 419 which is just to the right of home plate. They announced a crowd of 40,091 which was short of a sellout so we had just enough room to sit and relax.
View from Section 419 at Citizens Bank Park 
As for the game we saw, the Phillies were hosting division rival, the Miami Marlins, who are off to a terrible start after they dismantled their team again in the off season. On this night, they sent rookie Jose Fernandez to the mound to pitch against Cole Hamels of the Phillies. It was a great pitchers' duel as Jose Fernandez allowed just one hit and a walk both to Freddy Galvis. He threw seven shutout innings while he struck out nine as he earned his first major league win. He got run support from rookie right fielder Marcell Ozuna who hit his first major league home run to lead off the second inning to make it 1-0. In the third inning, second baseman Chris Valaika added a solo shot to make it 2-0. The Marlins made those runs stand up as they beat the Phillies, 2-0. Cole Hamels went eight strong innings but he was the hard luck loser.

Sunday was Cinco De Mayo, the King and I spent it at Yankee Stadium. We saw the rubber match of the three game set with the Athletics. We were joined by our pals Pat Gorman, Rich Wolber, Larry Peim and Phil Butleman.

As for the game we saw, Andy Pettitte started for the Yankees. He pitched better than he did his last time out against the Astros but he wasn't great. He allowed four runs, three earned in five innings of work. He left the game with the Yankees losing 4-1. The Yankees rallied to tie the game at four as they scored three runs in the sixth inning to get Pettitte off the hook for the loss. The Athletics got a solo homer with one out in the eighth inning as Josh Donaldson hit a ball into the left field stands which turned out to be the game winner as the Athletics won, 5-4. As a result, they left the Bronx taking two out of three.

Stay tuned for my w/o 5/6 in review.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman



Royalty schedule w/o 5/13

Here's the game plan:

Tuesday May 14th Mariners at Yankees 7:05PM

Wednesday May 15th Mariners at Yankees 7:05PM

Thursday May 16th Mariners at Yankees 7:05PM

Friday May 17th Blue Jays at Yankees 7:05PM

Saturday May 18th Blue Jays at Yankees 1:05PM

                               Bowie Baysox at Trenton Thunder 7:05PM

Sunday May 19th Blue Jays at Yankees 1:05PM

Check back to see how it turned out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 5/6 in review. In addition, I plan to finish doing a special post that will recap the weekend of 5/4-5/5.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Royalty w/o 4/29 in review

Monday night after work I went up to the Bronx. I stopped off at Burger King for a pre game meal before I went into Yankee Stadium to see the Houston Astros make their first appearance at the New Stadium. This was their first ever American League game against the Yankees since they just changed leagues this year.
Back on June 11, 2003, we saw them play at the Old Stadium in an interleague match up. They wound up using six pitchers to no hit the Yankees. An injury to starter Roy Oswalt forced him to leave after pitching just one inning. Technically it was a historical night. This was another one.

The King and I were joined by a few regulars, Bryan Gilligan & Vincent Ascanio aka the Kid. We also had our pal Steve Tepperman aka Princeton Steve who made an appearance. He comes to a game every so often. It was nice to see him again.

As for the game we saw, the Astros had their hitting shoes on this night like they did when we saw them play in Houston on Opening Night when they beat the Rangers, 8-2. This time they beat up Yankee starter and former Astro Andy Pettitte who got lit up for eight runs in four and a third innings of work. Catcher Carlos Corporan was 4 for 5 with two singles, a double and a home run. He also reached on an error and he drove in four runs to carry the Astros to a 9-1 victory. With that being said, the Astros look like world beaters in our presence. We should see them more often.

Tuesday night after work we did just that. After work, I went back for more. Like any addict, you can't get enough of a good thing. I went to the Court Deli Restaurant and I picked up sandwiches for the King & I for dinner. I walked over to Yankee Stadium and I went inside. I met up with the King in our seats in section 420B row 7 where we enjoyed our meals. This time we were joined by our buddies Rich Wolber aka Staten Island Rich & Larry Peim who were present & accounted for.

As for the game we saw, the Yankees scored early & often as they gave starter Hiroki Kuroda the run support he needed as he threw seven shutout innings as the Yankees held off the Astros, 7-4. Our Astro luck finally ran out. We knew it was a matter of time.

Wednesday night after work I went back to see the rubber match of this three game series. Before I did so, I went to a nearby Chinese restaurant for dinner. I wound up having fried scallops and fries. It was really good. When I was done I went to the Stadium. I did my usual routine. When I got upstairs to our seats, I saw our pals Frank Anichiarico and Manny Morales who both made rare appearances in the Bronx.

As for the game we saw, the Yankees jumped on the Astros early again. They scored four runs in the first three innings. In the third inning, Robinson Cano & Ben Francisco who the King & I met on a one day cruise while we were in Alaska on a real vacation if you will back in July 2001 and again in Hawaii in February 2002 when he played his college baseball at UCLA. The Bruins of UCLA were playing the University of Hawaii while we were there so we got to see him play this time. On this night, Ben delivered a solo homer to make it a 4-0 Yankees. The Astros fought back as they tied the game at four after four innings as they roughed up Yankee starter David Phelps after the Yankees did the same to Astros' starter Erik Bedard. The Yankees scored the go ahead and eventual winning run in the sixth inning as Ichiro Suzuki hit into an inning ending double play but the run scored before the third out was recorded. That was the difference as the Yankees won the game, 5-4. By doing so, they also won the series taking two out of the three games.

Thursday night after work I went home since it was a night off for the local teams. As a result, I was able to come home and make dinner. After I ate, I went around the block and I did my laundry.

Friday night after work I returned to the Bronx as the Yankees were opening a three game series with the Oakland Athletics. I stopped off at Burger King so I could have a light meal to hold me over.
The King and I met up with Bryan Gilligan inside the Stadium.

As for the game we saw, CC Sabathia started for the Yankees. His very first pitch was hit over the fence by Adam Rosales, the Athletics lead off hitter. It gave the Athletics a 1-0 lead. They added another run in the sixth inning to make it 2-0. Starting pitcher A.J. Griffin threw seven shutout innings. He left after giving up a bunt single to Brett Gardner in the bottom of the eighth inning. Reliever Sean Doolittle got the next five outs and closer Grant Balfour recorded the last one as the Athletics blanked the Yankees, 2-0.

After the game, Bryan drove the King and I to Donovan's Pub in Woodside, Queens for our post game meal. Our friend Frank Anichiarico met us there for the festivities.

Stay tuned for the special post I'm going to do that will recap how we spent our weekend.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman


Friday, May 10, 2013

Royalty meets up with the Ultimate Sports Family at Citi Field before going to Yankee Stadium for more baseball over weekend in NYC!

Thanks again to the quirky schedule makers, the Mets and Yankees played at home on Saturday, April 27th. The Mets were playing the Philadelphia Phillies at 1:05PM on Fox and the Yankees were scheduled to start at 4:05PM against the Toronto Blue Jays. With that being said, barring a miracle there was no way humanly possible for anybody to see both games start to finish.

Since the King & I and our friend Bryan Gilligan have season tickets for both teams we wanted to see as much as we could of both games that day.

Here's how things turned out for us. We met up at Citi Field and we sat in section 515 on this day. We had a number of people we knew that showed up. I'm referring to our pal Manny Morales who was there with his buddy Marc Beck in section 516 which is where their Saturday plan seats are located. In addition, we had our friends Phil Butleman, David Sack, Al Linderman, Pat Gorman, Bill Graven and a guy we know from going to Islander games named Donovan who made a rare appearance.

Last but definitely not least we got a visit from the Ultimate Sports family, the Van Cleves. Our good friend and fellow roadtripper Andrew brought both of his sons to the game. They are known as the Ultimate Sports Brothers, Dylan & Micah. Thanks to Andrew, these lucky little boys have seen a number of live sporting events already at such a young age. Dylan is almost three years old and Micah is a year and a half. This game was Dylan's 11th MLB park and it was Micah's 2nd. As always, it was great to see them all again.

Andrew, Micah, me, Dylan and the King
As for the game we saw at Citi Field, the Mets took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning. The Phillies came back with three runs in the third inning as rookie pitcher Jonathan Pettibone got his first major league hit to ignite the comeback. The Mets cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth inning. The Phillies responded with five more runs in the top of the fifth inning as they hit a few homers, one from Domonic Brown, a three run shot and John Mayberry Jr. added a solo blast after Ryan Howard delivered a run scoring single to break open the game as the Phillies took a 8-2 lead. The Mets got one back in their half of the fifth inning. The Phillies tacked on another run in the top of the seventh inning. After the Phillies batted, the King, Bryan & I decided it was time to leave so we could get to Yankee Stadium. We departed at 3:28PM with the Phillies up , 9-3. The Mets went on to lose, 9-4 as John Buck hit a solo homer in the ninth. It should be noted that Phillies' starter Jonathan Pettibone pitched the first five innings to earn his first major league win.

As for the Yankee game we saw, we arrived there at Yankee Stadium at 4:16PM. We got great service from the MTA which enabled us to get there so fast. As a result, we missed just the top of the first inning as CC Sabathia got the Blue Jays out 1,2,3. We went upstairs to our seats in section 420B and we watched the rest of the game. The Blue Jays went up 3-0 with a run in third and two more in the fourth inning. The Yankees took advantage of a few walks from J.A. Happ to lead off their half of the fourth inning. Travis Hafner made Happ pay by hitting a homer which tied the game at three. In the sixth inning, Brett Lawrie of the Blue Jays hit a solo homer to make it 4-3. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Yankees tied the game again on a run scoring single by former Blue Jay Vernon Wells. Two batters later, Travis Hafner delivered the game winning blow as he hit a two hit triple to give the Yankees the lead for good, 5-4. Apparently Mariano Rivera was overworked so I was surprised he didn't come in to pitch the ninth inning after CC Sabathia went the first eight innings. Instead Joba Chamberlain gave up a few hits but he worked himself out of trouble as the Yankees held on for the 5-4 victory.

After the game, the King and I went home and we had dinner.

Sunday afternoon we returned to Citi Field for the finale of the Mets and Phillies series. We were hoping to see the Mets salvage a game. We were joined by our pals Frank Anichiarico, Al Linderman, Alan Gimpel, David Sack & Michael Carson who were present & accounted for as well.

As for the game we saw, the Mets took an early 1-0 lead with a run in the first inning. The Phillies tied the game at one in top of the fifth inning when left fielder Freddy Galvis hit a solo homer. In the top of the seventh inning, the Mets got the first two Phillies out. Then catcher John Buck failed to catch a foul pop up which proved to be very costly as it extended the inning. The Phillies capitalized as they got four straight hits that led to three runs to make it 4-1. They tacked on another run in the eighth as they went on to sweep the Mets, 5-1.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Royalty w/o 4/22 in review

Taste of Italy No. 2
Monday night after work I came home. I made myself dinner and then went out & I did my laundry.

Tuesday night after work I stopped off at a restaurant called Taste of Italy No. 2 which is located at 40-05 Junction Blvd in Corona, Queens. It's right off the 7 train which makes it nice & convenient to go to. I want to thank my pal Vincent Ascanio for the royal recommendation. I wound up getting chicken parm and spaghetti which came with three garlic knots for $5.95. They have waitress service too so you can sit down, relax and enjoy your meal. I certainly did. When I got done, I hopped back on the 7 express train one stop to Citi Field where I went to see the Mets open a three game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Chicken Parm and Spaghetti
When I got off the train, I went to see my pal Sam Citron who greeted me with a handshake. As always, it was a pleasure to see him again. I went upstairs to section 515 because that's where the rest of the people I know were sitting on this cold, windy night. Amongst us regulars were our friends Steve Tepperman, Pat Gorman and Martin Caamano who were present and accounted for as well.

In addition, we had some musical entertainment in section 513 as the Hooligan's were at the game too. They always make the game experience more amusing. In fact, they chanted out during the game, Where's the King? He was near me. He said and I quote "they're asking for me." I told him, yes they are. They're also big fans of his signature strikeout call which they join him on. Regardless of the lousy weather, it turned out to be a great night out.

As for the game we saw, the Dodgers got a three run homer from Mark Ellis in the seventh inning which broke a 2-2 tie to make it 5-2. In the eighth inning, they added a few more runs thanks to a two run double by A.J. Ellis. The Mets wound up losing the game, 7-2. The one bright spot for the Mets was that former Brooklyn Cyclone Juan Lagares who was called up from the minor leagues got his first major league hit, a single in the seventh inning.

Wednesday night after work I went to Subway and Carvel for my pre game meal before I went to Citi Field for game two of the three game series between the Mets and Dodgers. This time we sat in our usual section 516 up near the top. We had a nice gathering on this night which was also cold & nasty. Thankfully Matt Harvey was starting for the Mets so we had a chance to see a good game.

As for the people who joined us, we had Manny Morales, Charlie Vitanza, Phil Butleman, David Sack, Rich Wolber, Alan Gimpel and Martin Caamano. In addition, we had some special guests who used to show up more often. I'm referring to my good friend James Gabriele who was there with his son Andrew and our pal Mike Klein who came out as well.

As for the game we saw, Matt Harvey pitched well. He went six innings. He allowed three runs & four hits while he walked just one and he struck out seven. He left the game down 3-2. The Mets rallied to tie the game with a run in the bottom of the ninth inning thanks to a clutch two out hit by David Wright which got Matt Harvey off the hook for the loss. The game was decided in the tenth inning as the Mets got a game winning grand slam from Jordany Valdespin which gave them a 7-3 win.

Thursday night after work I went up to the Bronx. I stopped off at the Court Deli Restaurant. I got a roast beef sandwich for dinner. I took it into Yankee Stadium and I ate it. I was joined by the King.

The Yankees were opening a four game series with the Toronto Blue Jays. Thanks to the horrible scheduling the Mets were home over the weekend too at the same time Friday and Sunday.

As for the game we saw, the Blue Jays took an early 3-0 lead thanks to Edwin Encarnacion who hit a two run homer in the first inning and Brett Lawrie who hit a solo shot in the second inning. The Yankees answered back in their half of the second inning as former Blue Jay Vernon Wells hit a solo homer to make it a 3-1 game. In the third inning, Robinson Cano hit a three run homer with two outs to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead. They added another run in the fourth inning when Francisco Cervelli hit a rare homer as home run derby continued. The Yankees and Blue Jays didn't score the rest of the way as the Yankees won the game, 5-3.

Friday night after work I went to Taste of Dolly's for a pre game meal on my to Citi Field as the Mets opened a three game series with the Philadelphia Phillies. Since the Yankees were also home, we had a smaller than usual crew amongst us on this night. Those who were present & accounted for were Pat Gorman, Frank Anichiarico, Alan Gimpel, Martin Caamano and Michael Carson. In addition, the Hooligan's were in the house again too which is also a welcome addition.

As for the game we saw, the Mets and Phillies were scoreless until the sixth inning when the Phillies finally broke through. They roughed up Mets starter Dillon Gee who gave up four straight hits which resulted in four runs before he recorded an out. Michael Young got a run scoring single and Ryan Howard cleared the bases when he hit a home run to center field to give the Phillies all the offensive support they needed as starter Kyle Kendrick pitched a gem. He went the distance as he shutout the Mets on just three hits. He walked one and struck out five as the Phillies took the opener, 4-0.

After the game, Bryan Gilligan, Frank Anichiarico, the King & I went to Donovan's Pub for a post game meal.

Stay tuned for a special post that will recap the way we made the most of our weekend in NYC.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman



Monday, May 6, 2013

Royalty sees a Major League doubleheader with Dave Block, the Gratitude Guy!

Me & Dave Block Outside Citi Field
Sunday afternoon the King and I went to Citi Field to see the rubber match of the three game set between the Mets and the Nationals. We wound up meeting up with fellow roadtripper, Dave Block who lives in San Diego. He calls himself the Gratitude Guy. I met up with him a few years ago and we've seen each other a number of times since. Dave is always grateful especially when he can spend some time with the King & I.

He told me earlier in the week that he was going to fly into New York early Sunday morning. He wanted to go to see the Met game with us and he also wanted to join us for the Phillie game that we were going to see at Citizens Bank Park that night as the Phillies were hosting the Cardinals. It was going to be his first time there. At first I didn't think we were going to have room in the car for him but since our friends who expressed interest bailed out, it turned out to be a golden opportunity for Dave as we were able to drive him to and from Philadelphia. He was very grateful that it worked for him. I'm glad it did too.

Dave Block, me & The King
As for the game we saw, the Mets got a solo homer from John Buck and a sacrifice fly from Mike Baxter as starter Dillon Gee and four relievers combined to shut out the Nationals, 2-0 as the Mets won the series, two games to one.

As for Dave, I got to introduce him to some of the regulars who were on hand for the game. They included Bryan Gilligan, Vincent Ascanio as well as Frank Anichiarico.

In addition, I got a visit from Bob Deal who's another roadtripper I've met on a number of occasions in the past year. He came up to say hello. I introduced him to Dave. We got to catch up on our recent travels. It's always a pleasure to see Bob. He said he plans to come back to Citi Field again in late August when the Mets play the Tigers.    

After the game, the King drove us down to Philadelphia for the Sunday night game as the Phillies were playing the Cardinals. On the way down, we wound up stopping off at McDonald's and we got some food since we were all very hungry. We didn't have a lot of time because it took us a while to get out of New York. As a result, we ate it in the car.

We got tickets thanks to our buddy Frankie Centola who hooked us up. When he comes up to New York, we'll return the favor by taking care of him.

We showed Dave some royal treatment as we said hello to our friend Lisa Wilson who works at the right field gate. We told her we plan to bring the Phillies luck. She always treats us like royalty when we see her.

When we finally got upstairs we stood behind section 319 where we were joined by our pal and fellow roadtripper, Andrew Van Cleve who was by himself. He normally has one of his sons with him. He was able to enjoy the game and our company without having to worry about taking care of his children.

Dave Block & I at Citizens Bank Park
As for the game we saw, the Cardinals scored first as Matt Carpenter, the second batter of the game hit a solo homer to make it 1-0. The Phillies responded with a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead after the first inning. The score stayed that way until the top of the sixth inning when the Cardinals scored a run on a ground out by David Freese to tie the game at two. The Cardinals broke the tie when they took advantage of a two base error and they got a run scoring single from Allen Craig to go up 3-2. The Phillies came right back as they got a pinch hit double by Laynce Nix that tied the game again at three. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Phillies broke it open as Ben Revere got a run scoring single that was followed by a three run homer by Erik Kratz which gave the Phillies the lead for good as they beat the Cardinals 7-3.

On the way back home, we dropped off Andrew who lives nearby then we dropped off Dave at a subway in Queens so he could take a train to JFK airport to catch a flight home early Monday morning.

It was great to see Dave and Andrew again.

Stay tuned for my w/o 4/22 in review as I continue to play catch up.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman


Royalty meets up with roadtripper David Cordell who came to Citi Field with his family to see the Nationals play!

Nationals Lineup
Saturday afternoon I went to Citi Field to see game two of the three game series with the Washington Nationals which started at 3:05PM thanks to Fox. With that being said, the King and I couldn't possibly see a second game so we went home after the game. We ate dinner and relaxed.

I wound up meeting up with a guy I met in Washington a few times at Nationals Park. The first time we met was last September and then I saw him again on Gio Gonzalez bobblehead doll day. His name is David Cordell. His Twitter handle is @dcinwashington. He's originally from England and but he's taken a liking to the game of baseball. He came up to see the Nationals play on the road with his wife Janice who's originally from Bellmore, Long Island and their son, Sam. It was great to see him again. It was also nice to meet his wife and their son.

As for the game we saw, Gio Gonzalez started for the Nationals. With that being said, I'm glad it worked out that I saw him after batting practice Friday night. When I did see him he was complaining about the weather, he said and I quote "it's too windy." Saturday afternoon was more of the same. As a result, Gio had trouble with his control. He threw a lot of pitches but he was able to get in & out of trouble for the first three innings. He didn't allow a run and he had a 3-0 lead thanks to home runs by Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper. In the fourth inning, Gio got himself into trouble. The Mets batted around as they scored five runs off Gio who walked three including Lucas Duda who had two pitches land behind him. I was sitting with my pal Manny Morales who was there. He was with his buddy Marc Beck who thought Gio was throwing at Duda. I told Marc he wasn't. Gio was just wild. He has a tendency to lose control when he's on the mound. This was one of those times. Gio got through the fourth inning but that was it for him. Thankfully the Nationals got another home run, this one was a three run blast by Adam LaRoche which gave the Nationals a 6-5 lead. I jumped for joy because it got Gio off the hook for the loss. In the seventh inning, John Buck tied the game again at six with a clutch two out double. It was short lived because Bryce Harper led off the top of the eighth inning for the Nationals by breaking the tie as he hit his second homer of the game which gave the Nationals a 7-6 lead. Former Yankees Tyler Clippard & Rafael Soriano held the Mets in check as the Nationals held on to beat the Mets, 7-6.

Stay tuned for another special post that will recap the doubleheader we saw with another special guest on Sunday.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman


Royalty meets up with Jacob Landis again at Citi Field!

Jacob Landis & I at Citi Field
After I saw Gio Gonzalez, I went out to right field to section 307 where I got to meet up with Jacob Landis who was at the game with his cousin Jack Riddle as they were continuing their quest to see a baseball game in every Major League ballpark this season by riding a bicycle. They're doing so to hit a home run for hearing. You can follow them on Twitter. Their handle is @JacobsRide2013. If you want to donate please feel free to do so.

I knew they were going to be there so I wanted to make sure I stopped by to see them again. They were with a group of people who also suffer from a hearing disability. I told them that I gave Gio their business card and an envelope because Gio always says and I quote "anything for a foundation." Hopefully Gio makes a contribution to this great cause.

After I spoke to Jacob and Jack, I went upstairs to my seat in section 516 so I could watch the rest of the game with the King and the rest of the royal court that were present & accounted for.

As for the game we saw, we had two of baseball's rising stars pitching. Stephen Strasburg started for the Nationals and rookie Matt Harvey got the nod for the Mets. On this night, the rookie out pitched the highly touted Nationals star pitcher. The Mets scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning as they took advantage of an error that allowed lead off hitter Jordany Valdespin to get on base. A hit and a wild pitch wound up scoring him. John Buck delivered a clutch two out hit to make it a 2-0 game after the first inning. Strasburg settled down until the sixth inning when he allowed a pair of solo home runs to Ike Davis and Lucas Duda which gave the Mets a 4-0 lead. As a result, Strasburg was done for the evening. He allowed four runs only three were earned but he couldn't match Matt Harvey who departed after seven strong innings allowing a run as Chad Tracy got a run scoring single after a lead off walk and single to start the seventh inning for the Nationals. Harvey was able to pitch out of any further trouble as he gave way to the bullpen. He struck out seven and walked three as he earned the win. The Mets added insurance runs as Ike Davis and Lucas Duda both homered again in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Mets a 7-1 victory.

After the game, the King and I went to Donovan's Pub for a post game meal with our pals Bryan Gilligan and Frank Anichiarico.

Stay tuned for a few more special posts that will recap the visits I got from other roadtrippers over the weekend.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman


Royalty catches up with Gio Gonzalez at Citi Field!

When the 2013 Major League Baseball schedule came out back in the middle of September 2012, I marked April 19th down as the next time I would get to see Gio Gonzalez because the Washington Nationals were visiting Citi Field for the weekend. The last time I saw Gio was a few days before the schedule was actually released. As the off season went on, I was counting down the days. Despite being accused of using PED's in late January I was confident that Gio would be cleared of any wrong doing like he wrote on his Twitter account which is @GioGonzalez47. A week or two later, the truth came out that Gio wasn't involved in the scandal. Gio is used to facing adversity in his baseball career. He's been knocked down a number of times as he continues to try & climb up the major league ladder to stardom. With his attitude and his positive outlook, it's only a matter of time before gets there.

After work I went straight to Citi Field so I could be in position to see Gio again after batting practice ended. I went down to the railing in left field. I spotted Gio and I yelled out to him. He heard me and he acknowledged my presence. I waved the box which had his bobblehead doll in it that I got the week before when the King and I went to Nationals Park. I moved over closer to the tarp so it would be easier to speak to him and get another picture together once batting practice was over. There was a bunch of people waiting to try and get autographs. I told them that when batting practice ends all the players are going to run off the field except for Gio. As I predicted, that's exactly what happened.

Me & Gio Gonzalez at Citi Field
It was 6:24PM and Gio came over to me first and he shook my hand and we greeted each other. He wound up signing the box of his bobblehead on both sides which had pictures of him. I wanted him to sign the bobblehead but there wasn't a good place to do so. I was immediately harassed as people of all ages were jumping and climbing all over me trying to get Gio's autograph. The security guard who was there told them to back off once he signed for them. Gio knows how to draw a crowd even on the road. While I was trying my best to get my balance, some people who were by the left field foul pole had some choice words for Gio. I couldn't hear what they were saying to him. I assume it must have been related to the PED story. Gio being the down to earth human being he is was all bend out of shape over the heckling he was receiving. I tried to calm him down. The security guard told him I have your back. Gio has to learn how to tune out those kind of people. His reaction spoke volumes to me. I felt bad for him but it comes with the territory. We live in a cruel crazy world. We're all human beings with feelings regardless if we're gifted with athletic talent.

I couldn't talk to Gio as much as I wanted to because he attracted such a crowd. The last time I saw him in September it was rather empty which made it a pleasure to see him two nights in a row. Gio wound up signing autographs for 19 minutes on this night. He finally walked back to the dugout at 6:43PM. Before he left, I made sure I gave him a business card and an envelope from Jacob Landis who was also at the game as part of his bicycle tour in an attempt to see a baseball game at all 30 MLB ballparks.

Speaking of Jacob, when I got done visiting Gio, I went up to section 307 to see him before I went up to my seat in section 516.

Stay tuned for the special post I'm going to write about seeing Jacob again.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman


Royalty w/o 4/15 in review

Monday as you already know from reading along that the King and I spent our time in Boston and Pawtucket, Rhode Island experiencing another horrific day in our lives. It reminded us of 9/11/01 on a smaller scale. For no good reason, three innocent people lost their lives and others lost limbs which have altered their lives for forever while others were treated for various injuries as a result of this terrible act. Life is short enough. You never know when the next lunatic is going to strike again. With that being said, we have to be grateful for those who we consider our friends and family. Some of us have more than others. Regardless of what you have, you should count your blessings and savor your time together. My thoughts and prayers are with those people affected directly and/or indirectly. With that being said, we say stay strong, Boston. We're all behind you in this time of need.

Tuesday night after work I went up to Yankee Stadium to see the Yankees open a three game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks who beat them back in the 2001 World Series which ironically occurred right after 9/11 here in NYC.

Earlier that afternoon, the Yankees announced that they were going to honor those affected in Boston by having a moment of silence. In addition, the flags were all at half staff in remembrance of the tragic events that took place. Furthermore, after the third inning, they played a Boston favorite these days at Fenway Park. I'm referring to Neil Diamond's song, Sweet Caroline. It was a nice classy touch by the Yankee organization to acknowledge those who are in need of everybody's support during this unfortunate time.

Yankees & Boston Unite - Stay Strong
It was an emotional night at the ballpark. Once the game started, things seemed back to normal for us in the stands. It should be noted that in honor of Jackie Robinson Day which was also on Monday, the players all wore his number 42 as a tribute to him breaking barriers back in 1947. The Yankees made sure that they put up the player's real number on the scoreboard so people like us who keep score could figure who the players were. For whatever reason, they didn't do that at Fenway Park on Monday morning.

As for the game we saw, the Yankees fell behind 2-0 as the Diamondbacks scored twice in the top of the third inning. The Yankees responded in the bottom of the fourth as Robinson Cano hit a three run home run to give them a 3-2 lead. They added an insurance run in the seventh inning as Eduardo Nunez hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2. Fittingly the real number 42 these days, Mariano Rivera came on in the ninth inning and he retired the Diamondbacks 1,2,3 to notch another save which was his third of the season and the 611th of his legendary career as the Yankees closer. Ironically the Yankees won, 4-2 which symbolized the theme of the number 42 for Jackie Robinson on this night.

Wednesday night after work I returned to the Bronx for game two of the three game series with the Diamondbacks. This time things were getting more back to normal if you will but Boston is still and be in our prayers for the foreseeable future.

As for the game we saw, CC Sabathia started for the Yankees. He got roughed up early as first baseman Paul Goldschmidt hit a two run homer to give the Diamondbacks a 2-0 lead. They tacked on another run in the fifth inning as left fielder A.J. Pollock hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. In the seventh inning, the Yankees offense finally awoke. They rallied to tie the game at three as Diamondbacks' starter Wade Miley unraveled with two outs in the inning. He wound up walking in a run to make it 3-1. After he departed reliever Tony Sipp came in and he gave up a two run single to Brett Gardner which evened the score. The Diamondbacks escaped further damage for the time being. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Travis Hafner came up as a pinch hitter with two out and nobody on. He proceeded to hit a homer to right center field which turned to be the difference as the Yankees won again, 4-3. Sabathia allowed three runs in eight innings as he picked up the victory. Mariano Rivera threw another 1,2,3 ninth inning to preserve the win as he recorded his 612th career save.

Thursday night after work I repeated the process again. This time the Diamondbacks did their best to lose again. They took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Didi Gregorius who was recently called up from the minor leagues hit his first major league home run. The King and I saw him play back in March 2012 for the Cincinnati Reds in a spring training game in Goodyear, Arizona. In the sixth inning, Martin Prado, a former Atlanta Brave, hit a solo homer to make it 2-0. The Yankees answered back in the bottom half of the sixth as Robinson Cano hit a solo shot to get the Yankees on the scoreboard at 2-1. They evened the score again with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning when catcher Francisco Cervelli who's not known for his power hit a home run to left field to send the game into extra innings. After both teams threatened but didn't score in the eleventh inning, the Diamondbacks finally broke through with four runs in the top of the twelveth inning as Cody Ross got a single to drive in the first run and former Yankee Eric Chavez delivered a bases clearing three run double to give the Diamondbacks a 6-2 victory as they avoided getting swept again like they did in the 2001 World Series which they won by winning all their home games.

Stay tuned for some special posts that will recap the weekend we spent mostly at Citi Field with a side trip to Philadelphia for Sunday night baseball.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Royalty schedule w/o 5/6

Here's the game plan:

Tuesday May 7th White Sox at Mets 7:10PM

Wednesday May 8th White Sox at Mets 7:10PM

Thursday May 9th Pirates at Mets 7:10PM

Friday May 10th Pirates at Mets 7:10PM

Saturday May 11th Pirates at Mets 1:10PM

                               Portland Sea Dogs at New Britain Rock Cats 6:35PM

Sunday May 12th Pirates at Mets 1:10PM Mother's Day

Check back to see how it played out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for the rest of my w/o 4/15, w/o 4/22 & w/o 4/29 in review. In addition, I plan to finish doing a series of special posts that will recap visits from some special people I got to see along the way. Please bear with me as I try my best to play catch up. It's going to take some time though. Trust me it will be worth the wait.

I also want to wish all the mothers out there a very Happy Mother's Day.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty goes to Pawtucket, Rhode Island for minor league baseball after Boston Bombing!

View from McCoy Stadium
After the King & I and our pals Vincent Ascanio and Phil Butleman had dinner we drove back to McCoy Stadium, home of the Pawtucket Red Sox who are also known as the PawSox.

We wound up parking on the street for free a few blocks away. We walked over to the box office area so we could get tickets. As we were trying to find out the ticket prices, a lady said she had five extra tickets that she was giving away. We told her we needed four. She said here you go. She said make sure you don't sell them. We told her we definitely won't. We thanked her very much. Apparently tickets cost $8 because she told us she just saved us $32. We were very grateful especially after the horrific afternoon we endured in the Boston area.

We lucked out in more ways than one on that day. We count our blessings that we continue to find good people that exist in this crazy world.

We all proceeded to go inside and we enjoyed the game. We saw the PawSox, the Red Sox Triple A affiliate in the International League play the Lehigh Valley IronPigs who are the Philadelphia Phillies farm team.

As for the game we saw, the IronPigs scored first as Josh Fields, their first baseman hit a solo homer to make it a 1-0 game in the second inning. In the third inning, the PawSox responded with three runs to take a 3-1 lead after three innings. It stayed that way until the top of the eighth inning when the IronPigs batted around as they scored five runs to take a 6-3 lead. In the ninth inning, Josh Fields hit another home run, this time a two run blast that make it a 8-3 game. That's the way it ended as the announced crowd of 5,299 went home unhappy. Since it was a family oriented crowd I'm sure they enjoyed the festivities regardless of the outcome of the game itself.

Stay tuned as I continue to play catch up as I will do the rest of my w/o 4/15 in review. Please bear with me.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty escapes Beantown just before the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon!

When we were at Fenway Park on Patriot's Day we walked out to left field for the ninth inning in anticipation of getting out of the ballpark without a hassle.

The Rays tied the game at two in the top of the ninth inning. When they were doing so, I mentioned to the King that there was a game at 6:15 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. We were originally planning to go to New Britain, Connecticut to see another baseball game. I told him to make a decision since he was doing the driving. He consulted with Phil, Vincent and I and we decided to change our game plan.

With that being said, we were fortunate that the Red Sox wound up winning the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, 3-2 as Mike Napoli doubled in the winning run. As a result, we raced out of the park.
We wound up getting to the car around 2:30PM give or take. We drove away and we eventually got on I-95 South which goes towards Pawtucket. As we were driving, we were listening to music until we suddenly heard a breaking news story just before 3PM that there was a bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. We thought they were joking around. Unfortunately they weren't. We were in shock when we heard the report. We were near Foxboro on I-95 when we got the update. Thankfully the game ended when it did and we were able to escape the area since we were only a mile or two from where the incident took place.

Vincent has an I-Phone so he was able to pull up CNN and he showed us videos of what had happened. It was a scary sight to say the least. We kept getting updates as we continued to drive towards Pawtucket. I was charging my phone at the time while people I knew were contacting me to make sure I was alright. We called up the ballpark to make sure the game was still on. The person who answered the phone said yes it is.

We wound up driving to McCoy Stadium, which is the home of the Pawtucket Red Sox. We saw a restaurant right next to the ballpark but we didn't like the menu so we decided to get back in the car and we drove a mile or so around the nearby neighborhood and we came across a place called the Roast House, which was a Pub and Restaurant. We parked the car and we went inside. There was a Pub in the front and a dining room in the back. We walked in and we tried to gather our emotions because we were still shook up over the sudden turn of events that occurred 50 miles away in Boston.

Roast House Restaurant & Pub
We all sat down and we tried to relax. We did the best we could by enjoying a full course meal. As for me, I had a complete dinner that consisted of baked haddock which came with mashed potatoes & mixed vegetables and an iced tea. In addition, it also came with a choice of soup or salad. Since I wanted New England clam chowder soup there was an additional $1.50 charge. It turned out to be an excellent decision. For dessert, I got to choose from a number of different cakes to cap off my meal. I decided to have a slice of oreo cookie cake. I might add the piece of cake I had was gigantic. The meal cost me $11.99 plus the extra charge for the soup. What a deal it was. More importantly, the food was delicious.

If and when the opportunity presents itself again, I know where to go for an amazing pre game meal. They have an extensive menu and daily specials everyday of the week.

Stay tuned for another post that will recap the game we saw after we made the best of this horrific afternoon.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman