When I got out of my car around 3:45, the skies were looking rather overcast. It wasn’t raining, so I was hoping batting practice would still be on.
It wasn’t. When it became obvious that batting practice wasn’t going to happen, I was faced with a decision. Go home, or put my 109 consecutive game streak on the line. I decided to stay, because I was hoping it would rain, and people would stay home. Also, there was a Penguins playoff game, so I hoped folks would stay and watch that. However, Pittsburgh crowds love fireworks, and 25,000 people still showed up.
Upon entering the stadium, I got ball #1 rather quickly from coach Ray Searage.
I then noticed several Cardinals playing catch in right field, so I went over.
Kyle McClellan, Mitchell Boggs, and someone else were playing catch, but when they finished, they were having an intense conversation as they walked off the field about different grips, so they ignored my polite request for a baseball.
Game: 5 balls (5 thrown)
Season: 102 balls (61 hit, 21 thrown, 10 device, 11 found)
Games: 14 games
Average: 7.29 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 680 balls
Streak: 110 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
What’s worse than attending a Sunday afternoon game?
Attending a Sunday afternoon game with the Cardinals taking batting practice.
When I got to PNC Park, I stood outside for awhile and looked in. There were no cages set up, and the garage doors to where the screens and cage were kept, were closed.
After talking to fellow ballhawk Nick Pelescak before the gates opened, I decided to not enter the park, and just go home. I didn’t feel like running all over the place to try and get a ball. I would basically have to beg players to throw me a warm up ball, which is something I’m not fond of doing.
On my way walking back to my car, I got a call from Nick. The groundscrew had just rolled out all of the screens. I stopped in my tracks and turned around to head back towards PNC Park.
Unfortunately, the team taking batting practice on this Sunday was the St Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals are notorious for their line drive, opposite field approach, making home runs rare.
Luckily, when they began hitting, one Cardinals batter hit a ball to the left center field wall. I threw my glove out on the field twice to roll the ball to the base of the wall, and used the glove trick to reel up ball #1.
Game: 1 ball (1 device)
Season: 344 balls (181 hit, 101 thrown, 62 device)
Games: 71 games (7 of which didn’t have BP)
Average: 4.85 balls per game
Career: 510 balls
Streak: 86 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.