9-24-09 PNC Park

Thanks to the G20, I was off work today.  If I had to work, I wouldn’t have been able to attend this game.  Since I’m on a quest to get 400 balls – I decided to add a bonus game to my ledger today.  The plan was to attend today’s game, and leave and drive to Cleveland for a nightcap.

After snagging 14 balls yesterday, I was hoping to hit double digits again between these two games.

Once again, Pittsburgh was a military zone.  Check out this scene right outside PNC Park:
When I got in line, I was shocked to see that I was about 15th-20th in line, even though I had arrive a half hour early.  Autograph seekers were there bright and early because Thursdays are alumni autograph days at PNC Park.

10:30 rolled around and the gates should’ve opened, but it didn’t.  The Pirates were taking extra precautions, and had to wait for the head security guy to come help set up tables.  Upset at the lost time, I noticed that the Trib Total Media Hall of Fame club line was slowly moving.  I ran down there to get in.  After emptying my pockets into a container and being throroughly wanded my a Pittsburgh Police officer, I was let in. 

Despite being 20th in line at the outset, I was the first one into the left field bleachers.  There was nothing going on.  No batting practice today.

Eventually, Daniel McCutchen came out to throw with Herbie Andrade.

When they were finished, Herbie (shown in the upper right) – turned and threw the ball directly at me.  It was a little high, so I had to hop up to make the catch of ball #1.
and started rolling through the aisle to the left.  The ball rolled an entire section, and I was in hot pursuit.  Unfortunately, I got blocked off by a railing.  The ball came to a rest no less than four feet from me, but the railing was blocking me.  I hesitated for a split second, deciding if I should dive over the railing.  The hesitation cost me the ball, as a man ran back and grabbed the ball.

I left the game after the 3rd inning to head to Cleveland.  I wanted to get there at 3:30, so
I could be first in line…..

Today’s baseballs:
Sweet spots:
Game:  4 balls (3 thrown, 1 device)
Season:  379 balls (200 hit, 115 thrown, 64 device)
Games: 77 games (9 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.92 balls per game
Career:  545 balls
Streak:  92 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  15,892 (again, 2,000-3,000 in attendance)
Race for 400 in 2009:  Need 21 in 4 games,  5.25 per game