Cleat Geeks

Round Rock Rocks

First I must apologize to the great people of the Round Rock Express. I made this trip about 2 weeks ago, they probably thought I forgot about them. But after the wonderful experience I had at their facility, I will not soon forget about my time at Dell Diamond.

Myself and my brother-in-law decided to take in a minor league baseball game while I was visiting him in Texas from Arizona. So we made the 90 minute trek to Dell Diamond in Round Rock Texas to see the visiting Reno Aces (Diamondback AAA) play the Round Rock Express. It was a late 7:05 start time for the Express as they played their 106th game overall and their 54th at home, but it made for some great pictures and a great view of this wonderful ballpark both in the Texas sun and under the Texas stars.

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Round Rock Express Dell Diamond. Photo by; Michael Ballentine for Cleatgeeks.com

We arrived about 20 minutes before gametime and it took us all of 8 minutes to park, walk to will call and pick up our tickets we purchased on line. We then cleared security, were given our free promotional items, the free program and walked onto the concourse. The grounds were extremely clean, and we decided, since we had just driven 90 minutes we needed to make a final pit stop before finding our seats. The restrooms were modern, clean, and we were in and out in no time. We then walked down the right field corner where we were then looking straight down to see Matt Koch warming up for the Aces.

Then the Hall of Fame ceremony began for the Round Rock’s newest inductee Brooks Conrad. It was a very nice, short but entertaining and knowledgeable ceremony that took place on the wonderfully manicured lawn between the pitchers mound and home plate. When the ceremony was over we went to the gift shop between first place and home plate. When we walked in it was impressive, looking like a major league gift shop. When you walked through the front door it started with a large children’s section and progressed into a mighty wall of quality hats. Then you turned the corner and walked into an adult paradise of shirts, hats and novelty items in a variety of prices with noticeably high quality. They had dry fit, tons of hats, and a discount area if money is tight.

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We then found our seats down the first base line only feet away from the field of play to watch the live game action on the field and on the impressive jumbotron in center field. The big screen with a clear picture also had both team line-ups, replays, and other stats to enhance the great game experience. Of course just like any other great minor league game they had great 3 second sound bytes for such things as strike outs, foul balls, and walks. Plus, they had great fan interaction games all night. After the Aces took the lead in the first inning a lady was given a fish net in the row we were in and she ran out to center field with it. A few nice express workers then loaded a shirt in a slingshot for her to catch in the afore mentioned fishing net in a game they called the shirt shag. The lady only caught 1 of the 3 shirts, but she caught a ton of crowd response as the filling stadium was behind her even in a loosing effort.

At the conclusion of the 2nd inning the score was unchanged, the sun was setting, and we were thirsty. We walked the short distance to Tiki 123 where they took stout beer and chocolate and made a milkshake! Yes, I said a milkshake made from beer! I was communicating back and forth with the club on social media a few days before our visit, and they said it was something I must do while at their ballpark. I admittedly was unsure about the combination of ice cream and beer, but it was excellent, and I would recommend it to everyone. In fact, you may want to visit Dell Diamond for this treat alone, but that was not the only treat in store for us on this fun filled night.

Next we went to Guest Services and met a lovely women named Kathy Wall, who has worked at the ballpark all 19 years the park has been in operation. She stamped our hands which made us feel like royalty and allowed us to take in the sights and sounds of the game like kings in the Intel Club. Located directly behind home plate the Intel Club provided us with an intimate atmosphere where the two of us and up to 298 of our closest friends were able to watch the game around a fully stocked bar, lounging on comfortable furniture watching the game on huge screen televisions or my favorite, in the second deck open air right by the radio and television booths. If you go to Dell Diamond, and you take a group, you can even pre-purchase day passes for the Intel Club and watch the game in this cool air conditioned environment for cheaper than you might think.

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The rockers section at Dell Diamond. Photo by; Michael Ballentine for Cleatgeeks.com

Those are not the only unique experiences offered by the Round Rock Express, the AAA club of the Texas Rangers at Dell Diamond. They have a huge playground for the kids they call playscape where they offer Birthday Bash at the Ballpark starting at only $20.00 a person. They also have picnic areas at playscape, a party deck on the 2nd level down the right field line and suite packages that include the words luxury and party. In the right field corner just beyond the visitor bullpen and the spacious concourse they even have a pool and spa area so you can work on your tan while hearing the crack of the bat starting at only $45.00 each. One of the best concepts we found that is unique to Dell Diamond is in the left fiel lawn area. They have what they call rockers which overlook the green lawn area where we saw an abundance of kids playing having a good old Texas time while their parents relaxed and enjoyed the great sights and sounds in rocking chairs for only $16.00 each. And if the rockers section is not sold out, you can upgrade any ticket to a rocker ticket for only $5.00 while at the game. Speaking of the overall ticket prices, they are quite affordable. Plus, if you plan your outings out like me, Dell Diamond gives discounts for advanced purchases which makes lawn seating only $7.00, the Home Run Porch (a nice section in left field that reminds me of Globe Life Park just above the rocker section) for only $10.00 and any seat in the entire infield on the first level right next to the action only $16.00 each. And if that is not good enough for you, clear your calendar on Tuesday August 21st and 28th where they offer lawn seats for $4.00, the Home Run Porch for $6.00 and any seat in the infield for $9.00!

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Budweiser Party Porch Photo by; Michael Ballentine for Cleatgeeks.com

Two more spots to tell you about at this wonderful ballpark where they begin a long 10 game homestand this Tuesday for your enjoyment. First, the Party Deck, where if you enjoy the game from this section on the 2nd deck down the right field line, you will actually enjoy the exact same view as Nolan Ryan himself once did. You see, as told to us by Fred Cartmill, who has also worked at the stadium since opening day 19 years ago, they moved Mr. Ryan’s suite to make the new Party Deck which offers overhead covering and a fun open atmosphere. We actually visited Fred on the second area I would like to showcase, the Budweiser Party Porch located down the 1st base line on the 2nd level. Which according to Mr. Cartmill provides “Family open atmosphere where you can enjoy the game and the community.” Either of these group areas can be soaked up for tickets that start at only $45.00 each and provide unique ballpark experiences that rival any major league ballpark.

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Relax in the pool in the right field corner of Dell Diamond and see the Round Rock Express play some baseball. Photo by; Michael Ballentine for Cleatgeeks.com

The Round Rock Express is a class Triple-A Pacific Coast League minor league baseball team in Round Rock, Texas, owned by RSR Sports (Nolan Ryan, Don Sanders, Reid Ryan) and founded by Reid Ryan, son of Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.  In 2011, after 6 seasons of serving as the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, and 11 seasons of being affiliated with the Astros overall, the Express became the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The team is named after the senior Ryan’s pitcher nickname, “The Ryan Express.” In 2016, Forbes listed the Express as the sixth-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $40 million.

Lastly, if the pictures look familiar to you, they just might as a majority of scenes from the 2002 Disney film The Rookie, directed by John Lee Hancock, starring Dennis Quaid and Rachel Griffiths were shot around and inside Dell Diamond in Round Rock. It is inspired by the true story of Jim Morris, who had a brief but famous Major League Baseball career.

We had a great time at Dell Diamond in Round Rock Texas. We met a ton of nice people, had good drinks, great fun and enjoyed a wonderful baseball game. It is a can’t miss stop if you are anywhere near the area, or if you love baseball like we do. Follow them on Twitter and get additional information on their user friendly website.

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