When I woke up this morning, I was paying the price for staying for the entire game yesterday. Also, it didn’t help that I lifted weights for an hour when I got home (just dumb bells – and it didn’t hurt my back at all at the time when I did it.)
When I took my first step to go downstairs this morning, my body locked up with another round of back spasms. Will these ever go away?
Luckily, by the time the afternoon rolled around, I was able to somewhat walk, and went to the game.
I was probably the 3rd person into the bleachers, managing to execute an award jog/walk to pass by other ballhawks that might feel silly sprinting in. There were two balls to be had, and Bryan Pelescak, another top notch ballhawk at PNC Park, got both of them. He would go on to snag at least seven balls today.
I got my first ball about fifteen minutes into batting practice. Mark Reynolds hit a monster shot into the second deck of the bleachers. Home runs rarely ever go up there. If balls do land there, its usually after bouncing off of concrete in the lower section. Reynolds’ home run landed about four rows back, and I scurried up the stairs after it. Luckily, no one else gave pursuit.
Before picking up the ball, I snapped a picture of ball #1.
A bit later in the round, another Diamondback came up and hit a home run right down the line. Luckily, I was standing nearby and was able to walk over and pick up ball #2 in the walkway between the left field rotunda and section 133.
I tried asking a few Diamondbacks for balls, but without luck. There was one D’back that was particularly devilish. He kept turning to the crowd and waving. Several times he flaunted the ball towards the crowd, before hurling it back in towards the infield. He gave up one ball, and it was one that he tossed into the second deck of bleachers. He likely just wanted to see a scramble for the ball.
I tried chasing down another home run, but it was picked up by an employee who handed it to a kid.
Walking back, I caught a home run (ball #3) at the very back of section 135, just below the second set of bleachers. I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time.
When 5:30 rolled around, and the rest of the stadium opened, I went over to center field to claim a ball from the center field batter’s eye. The area is covered in ivy, and spells the word Pirates. There is a fence that prevents any fans from entering the area to get balls. Well, yesterday, there was a ball about eight feet in that would’ve been reachable had I brought my ‘Cleveland Stick’ – that collapsible measuring device that I use to get balls out of Heritage Park. Unfortunately, the ball mysteriously had vanished.
Game: 6 balls (4 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device)
Season: 250 balls (131 hit, 82 thrown, 37 device)
Games: 52 games (5 of which didn’t have BP)
Average: 4.81 balls per game
Career: 416 balls
Streak: 67 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.