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I’m on a plane flying to Boston. The ticket ended up being a fraud but stubhub upgraded my seat and gave me a free ticket. If you’d like to read the story just do a search, there’s lots of media outlets that have covered it. More from the World Series later. Follow me on twitter @333greystreet for pics and updates.
It’s been awhile since I’ve update anything on this blog. The blog has become basically useless to me because I can’t upload any pictures since I’ve used 100% of my quota given by WordPress.
One big thing that I haven’t written about is the birth of my son, Erik Jr. He’s a strapping baby – in the 92th percentile for height and 100th percentile for weight. If you wonder why I never stay at the games, its because I am with my kids at home.
I’ve been monitoring prices for World Series tickets over the past few days, looking at which games I may possibly want to attend. I was shocked to see that there was a ticket listed for $6 for Game 1 of the World Series when I checked yesterday evening. Within seconds, I purchased it and received the ticket via email from stubhub, which I printed out. I posted my lucky buy on twitter, and from there, the purchased gained some national exposure. Check it out:
I almost didn’t go to this game. The forecast called for a 50% chance of rain. Nick Pelescak decided not to go. So, around 11 AM, Amy and I were sitting talking about what we were going to do for the day, she really wanted to go to Baltimore as she, like I, enjoy traveling. I looked at the hourly forecast one more time before leaving:
I figured if it did rain, I should at least be able to get a ball from an Athletics pitcher with my A’s jersey with a gold (pirates) sweatshirt underneath.
We arrived at the stadium at 3:55, and there were literally 20 people ahead of us.
Its a good thing that we got there when we did because 30 minutes later, the line snaked far off into the distance out of view.
Everyone was here to see the unveiling of the Frank Robinson statue in center field and get their replica statue giveaway.
The gate surprising opened a couple minutes early, so I made a mad dash around the stadium into left field. You may be able to see me in the picture below, I’m wearing an orange shirt:
I got on the board early as I caught a Robert Andino home run on the fly here:
I had to run a section and a half to make the catch, but it felt good to get on the board early, especially as I was worried about the stands crowding up quickly. Unfortunately, the ball wasn’t a commemorative.
Not long later, an Orioles lefty hit a home run near the bullpen that I ran over and caught barehanded as it bounced off of a seat. Commemorative!
During the Orioles last group, I ditched the left field bleachers because I felt I had a better chance of getting a ball from an Athletics pitcher or two or three.
There weren’t many people there, and I had A’s gear on, so I was hoping that they’d hook me up. Jerry Blevins did when he was done, tossing me a commemorative ball:
But he was the only pitcher to toss me one, so I returned to left field.
Coco Crisp was hitting some bombs, and one of his liners rolled to the warning track. I had told the folks in the front row that I’d give them the ball if they let me get it, so they let me glove trick. When I pulled it up I noticed it was a brand new white shiny Oriole Park commemorative. I asked the guy who moved to his left for me if he’d accept another ball, since I wanted the Orioles Park one, he said he didn’t care, he just wanted a ball, so I gave him one of my decoy ones that I brought from home.
It was only 5:33 and I had 4 balls, not bad for a half hour. But then, the groundscrew came out and put the tarp on, ending the A’s batting practice shortly after it had gotten started. It had been lightly sprinkling, but nothing that the A’s couldn’t have hit through. I was very disappointed. I decided to run over to the dugout to try to get a ball as the A’s made their way off the field, but was too late.
At the dugout, I noticed a player sitting in the corner signing autographs. It was Yoenis Cespedes. Yes, THE Yoenis Cespedes – the player who I came all the way from Pittsburgh to see take batting practice.
I joined the small group of autograph seekers huddled in the front row and passed Yoenis the shiny new commemorative that I had just glove tricked in left field moments earlier.
He signed the ball:
He seemed very quiet and humble – Baltimore ballhawk Avi Miller said that he’d been signing each day for every fan that asked.
The trip was not a waste at all, even though 60% of BP got rained out. Not only did I get four baseballs and a Cespedes autographed baseball, I also got four Frank Robinson statues:
Believe it or not, I sold all 4 statues within 12 hours on ebay for $57 each with shipping included. So, I made $200 on those 4 giveaways. I could’ve made so much more money. As it was raining, I walked around the seating bowl looking for baseballs and came across at least 12 abandoned Frank Robinson statues that I suppose I could’ve just picked up. I didn’t though. I was torn – did the people just forget them? They probably didn’t even care if they were just going to leave them there in the rain… Oh well.
It turned out to be a great trip for Amy, Olivia and I. After BP we went out to eat in Baltimore because we didn’t want to stay at the game if there were going to be off an on showers.
It was a Friday at Progressive Field, and it was brutally cold, with temps in the mid 40’s. Originally, I had planned to go to Baltimore today and stay overnight and see the Athletics there on Friday and Saturday, but after some consultation with fellow ballhawk Nick Pelescak, we decided to go to Cleveland instead as it was the cheaper option.
When the gates opened, I got on the board early thanks to Indians closer Chris Perez. As I was unsuccessfully looking for an easter egg, Perez fielded a ball in center field. I called out to him and he threw me the ball to put me on the board. It had a BP Gas stamp on it, meaning that I can redeem the ball for a gas card by having a representative cross out the stamp.
My second ball of the day was a home run that took a crazy bounce in the front row and shot right at me. It was over my head, so I stabbed at it with my glove and made the catch on the ricochet. It was a reflex type play.
Ball #3 was a home run to center field that bounced in the aisle and took a large hop towards the Progressive car. There wasn’t anyone else around so I scurried up the steps and picked it up.
My fourth ball came from Indians ace Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez finished a side session and walked out of the bullpen. Several people asked him for a ball, including myself, but he ignored everyone. Just as he was about to disappear out of view, he looked back. The other fans had turned their attention back to the field, but I hadn’t, so I held up my glove – and he tossed me his warm up ball for my fourth of the day.
Ball #5 was a ground rule double that I fielded in center field. I just shuffled through an open row and caught it as it bounced off of the warning track.
That was it for the Indians. When the Angels came out, I was expecting a lot of home run balls to be hit to center field, since they are a right handed heavy line up. That really wasn’t the case though. The Angels didn’t hit much of anything to center field that had home run distance.
As BP got underway, I tried to get a ball from a pitcher, but the last place Angels, who have been in turmoil were pretty unfriendly when it came to tossing up baseballs.
After a long drought, I caught a home run on the fly in center field off the bat of who I believe is Mark Trumbo after looking at his batting stance on mlbtv. I caught it here:
Ball #7 was a home run ball that landed in the trees in Heritage Park.
That was just before 6PM. At 6, the whole stadium opened, and I made my way over to left field. An unknown righty hit a home run to my right that I tried to catch, but couldn’t quite get to. In left field there are steep steps and bleachers all over the place, so its difficult to navigate quickly. The ball landed here:
Luckily, it rolled underneath the riser that the seats are on, so I just reached underneath and grabbed it.
I could tell that batting practice was about to end, so I hustled to the Angels dugout, the Angels finished before I got to the dugout, but I got there just in time to yell out ‘DINO!’ towards one of their coaches. It was Dino Ebel, their third base coach. He looked at me and smiled, and then turned away to put a few baseballs away. He then turned back and tossed me ball #9. Luckily I looked over the coaches list when I made my roster. Dino is unmistakeable because he’s rather gaunt. Seems like a cool guy though.
I only needed one more for double digits, but we didn’t hang around, we made the drive back to Pittsburgh with plans on heading to Baltimore the following day.