4-8-12 PNC Park

I got to PNC Park at around 10:45 AM, and the Pirates were already hitting.  Such an early start meant that both teams would likely take batting practice.  Sunday day games have always been a bit different, because there’s no season ticket holder time.  The Riverwalk opens at 11 AM (2.5 hours early), and the bullpen to the lower seating bowl always opens at 11:30 AM.  The rest of the gates open at noon.  It’s always been done that way.

This Sunday was different.

Security came out at 10:50 AM, right on time and checked bags and unlocked the gates.  However, no ticket scanners or gate supervisors showed up.

The gate supervisor showed a little bit before 11:30, and the gates to the Riverwalk opened at 11:30, that’s 2 hours before first pitch.

I went to the Pirates A to Z guide (link) and lifted this little nugget:

GATES OPEN  Gates open one and one half hours (1 1/2) prior to game time (Monday through Sunday) and two hours on Opening Day. The Riverwalk will open two (2) hours before weekday (Monday-Friday) games and two and one half hours (2 1/2) prior to weekend (Saturday-Sunday) games.

Somone messed up.  Maybe the A to Z guide isn’t current.  But since bags were checked at 10:50 AM by security, and the gates unlocked ( then security left for 20 minutes, then came back at 11:30) makes me believe that not everyone is on the same page.  Hopefully this gets ironed out because otherwise attending Sunday games aren’t really worth it for ballhawks.

It ended up basically ruining BP.  We missed all of the Pirates and almost all of the Phillies BP.

I stood here during the Phillies portion of BP from 11:30-noon.

Since it was the only vantage point to watch BP for a half hour, there were lots of fans standing around in this spot.  Three home run balls hit nearby, but I couldn’t get close enough to any of them.  One of them I should’ve caught, but I was out of position attempting to reach a ball that was inside the gate with the Cleveland stick.  It was out of reach anyhow.

When the park finally opened at noon, I went to center field and found two baseballs.  The ushers are being kind and not confiscating all of the balls.  Since I got the only two balls in the section, the usher asked me if I could give one to an elderly ballhawk, which I did.

After finding the balls in center field, I searched right field, but found nothing, so I spent the only 10-15 minutes of batting practice that I got to see in left field.

Of course it was super crowded.

Besides the two Easter Eggs, I got nothing else.

Here’s today’s baseball (one pictured because the other was given away):

2012 Stats:
Game: 2 balls
Season: 27 balls
Lifetime: 1,571 balls