With the Pirates having an off day, and Cleveland facing a 60% chance of storms, I decided to take a trip to a stadium I had yet to visit. Nationals Park.
I recruited several ballhawks from PNC Park to make the trip with me – Nick, Andrew, and Jamie.
After four hours and twenty three minutes, we were at the park.
And were the first ones in line at the Center Field gate, which opens at 4:35.
Game: 11 balls (4 hit, 1 thrown 6 device)
Season: 305 balls (155 hit, 91 thrown, 59 device)
Games: 63 games (7 of which didn’t have BP)
Average: 4.84 balls per game
Career: 471 balls
Streak: 78 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Since there was a lengthy delay last night, the game ended late. I knew there was a good chance that there would be no batting practice.
I was right.
My mission was to avoid getting shut out for the first time since August 2008. I began the day in the bullpen area waiting for two Rockies pitchers to finish their side sessions. When the pitchers were done throwing, they handed them to the bullpen coach, who then tossed them into the bag. I put in a request, but it was ignored.
I then went to the right field line as Rockies pitchers began to throw. Many pitchers threw in doors today, but some came outside to catch. I first lined up behind Jason Hammel and Taylor Buchholz (? i think).
Game: 1 Ball
Season: 120 Balls
Games; 24 Games (20 with BP, 4 without)
Average: 5.00 Balls per Game
Career: 286 Balls
There isn’t much to write about.
Today was a Saturday and was Nate McLouth All Star bobblehead. The biggest crowd since opening day was expected. Here’s the view from General Robinson and Federal Street.
The Pirates made an alteration to their batting practice gate opening starting today. The gates still opened at 4:30 on Saturday, but center field and right field didn’t open until 5:30 PM, meaning all fans wanting to see batting practice would have to cram into 6 rows across 7 bleacher section in left field. Not good.
I got ball #1 from Matt Capps during the season ticket holder only portion of batting practice. That was it for the day. I got robbed twice by fans who were standing a row ahead of me. Had they not been there, I would’ve made the catches easily.
I made my first glaring error of the season. I had to jump for a home run ball, but I barely got off the ground. It hit my glove and some other fan got it. Rule of ballhawking, if a ball hits your glove, you should come away with the ball.
Left field was getting way to crowded, so I headed over to center field when it opened up. I still got shut out. None of the Rockies pitchers were showing me any love. Not surprising, since I got blacklisted yesterday by a jealous ballhawk snitch who told the Rockies I change my clothes to get more balls.
I tried for a ball at the bullpen and in the first inning from Nate McLouth. No luck.
Then, the rains came. The game was delayed for an hour and 37 minutes.
Game: 1 Ball (1 thrown)
Season: 119 Balls (51 hit, 54 thrown, 14 device)
Games: 23 games (20 with BP, 3 without)
Average: 5.17 Balls per Game
Career: 285 Balls
I attended today’s game with my wife. She was looking forward to getting some reusable grocery bags. I was looking forward to snagging some baseballs.
I was about the 6th one into batting practice.
Soon,Craig Monroe fired a perfect strike at me for ball #1.
That was it for the Pirates section of batting practice. I changed into my Rockies gear and talked to a few other ballhawks.
Game: 5 balls (1 hit, 3 thrown, 1 device)
Season: 118 balls (51 hit, 53 thrown, 14 device)
Games: 22 games (19 with BP, 3 without)
Average: 5.36 balls per game
Career: 284 balls