9-18-09 PNC Park

The Pirates came home for their final homestand of the season.  It is an eleven game homestand that runs through Monday, September 28th.  Of the eleven games, I will only be able to attend 8 of them.  So, if am I to have any shot at 400 balls snagged in 2009, I need to snag 50 balls in 8 games, an average of 6.25 per game.  (However, keep in mind that 4 of the 8 that I can attend are dreaded day games)   I might be able to do this….

I only got one ball during the Pirates portion of batting practice.  As I was checking for Easter eggs near the foul pole, a home run hit by Robinzon Diaz landed ten feet to the right of where I typically stand. 
I was able to run over quickly enough to pick it up off of the ground.  It was ball #1.

Usually, I get a majority of my balls snagged in a day before 5:30.  The first half hour is for season ticket holders only, and its a ghost town.  However, after the Pirates finished hitting at 5:10, the entire first group of Padres hitters were all lefties – meaning no balls would be hit to left field with any authority.

To make matters worse, the pitchers in left field were extra stingy, and didn’t seem to care that I was the only Padres “fan” in attendance.

At 5:30, I ran over to center field.  I ended up catching the FIRST HOME RUN hit by a Padre batter at around 5:45.  They weren’t putting any balls into the seats at all.    Ball #2 was a high fly ball hit by an unknown lefty that I caught about five rows deep in section 140, in center field.

Moments later, I got Sean Gallagher to toss me a ball, but he woefully underthrew the ball, and it hit a chair two rows in front of me.  This guy ran over and snatched the ball out of a chair, as I was climbing over a row to grab it. 
Game:  5 balls (2 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device)
Season:  355 balls (188 hit, 104 thrown, 63 device)
Games: 73 games (7 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.86 balls per game
Career:  521 balls
Streak:  88 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  26,178
Race for 400 in 2009:  Need 45 in 7 games,  6.43 per game