I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to today’s game at Progressive Field. After continuously checking the weather forecast throughout the morning, it looks like rain that had been moving through Cleveland would be gone.
Afterwards, Zack, Nick, Bryan and I went to Heritage Park to see if any balls had landed in the trees there. There was nothing to be found, but we did take a few photo opportunities:
Showing the Target Field balls:
and an even better picture, with a clear view of the Target Field Balls:
Afterwards, we would all go our separate ways. I chose to go to the Twins bullpen area. I had noticed a ball laying in the bullpen.
It was a little too far out to do the glove trick, so I elected to wait and see if I could get the ball tossed up to me.
For lefties, I sat over in right field.
And I stayed on the home run porch occasionally for righties.
I stayed until the very end of the game – the 11th inning.
And watched the Indians win in exciting walk off fashion:
Also, this was likely the last game that I’ll have the #1 game on mygameballs.com, as Zack Hample is poised to remove me from the top spot on Monday.
Here are today’s baseballs:
And the sweet spots:
Game: 8 balls (5 hit, 3 thrown)
Season: 69 balls (43 hit, 13 thrown, 7 device, 6 found)
Games: 10 games
Average: 6.90 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 647 balls
Streak: 106 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
I decided to make one final trip this week to see a baseball game outside of Pittsburgh. My brother joined me for the four hour drive down to Baltimore. We arrived about an hour before the gates opened, and were the first ones in the park.
I ran to the right field foul pole to get early entrance with the season ticket that I had bought, and sprinted around the seating bowl. When I got to left field, I had it all to myself for about 2-3 minutes.
I found ball #1 laying in the front row.
Ball #2 was a home run hit by Adam Jones into the section closest to the bullpen. I sprinted over and back several rows to pick up my second ball of the day.
Minutes later, Matt Wieters hit a line drive home run in my direction. I ran to the spot where I thought the ball was going to land and got there just in time to make the catch of ball #3. I was aided by the fact that there weren’t many season ticket holders that come to week day games. Look at the crowd at 5:15:
Game: 6 balls (4 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device)
Season: 198 balls (98 hit, 72 thrown, 28 device)
Games: 38 games (5 of which didn’t have BP)
Average: 5.21 balls per game
Career: 364 Balls
Today was the Mets’ second of four games in Pittsburgh, and my second attempt at getting a commemorative ball.
I got to the gates a little after 4 PM and was second in line. When the gates opened, I jogged into the bleachers and was the first one there. I saw a ball as I entered one of the sections. I quickly ran down and grabbed ball #1, as other ballhawks were right behind me. Much to my surprise…
it was a Shea Stadium commemorative ball from last year. Nice! I still would’ve rather had a Citi Field ball, but I’ll take it.
Moments later as I moved towards the foul pole, I found ball #2. Finding two Easter eggs is an awesome start, usually there aren’t any.
Ball #3 came from Tony Beasley. He made sure that all of the regular ballhawks got a ball today. What a good guy.
When the Mets came out to hit, there weren’t many pitchers shagging in the outfield. A ball was hit to the 410 sign in center field. It was very glove “trickable.” I started to make my way over to get the ball. Just as I got to the bullpen, a deep ball was hit right at me. Mike Pelfrey ran back and made the snag. I thought, “Great. He’s going to pick up that ball too.” Luckily, Pelfrey didn’t see it, and walked back to center field. Moments later, I reeled up ball #4.
I went back towards the foul pole when a fellow ballhawk and PNC Park regular, Dan, pointed out another ball to me. It must have rolled to the 410 sign when I was walking back to my spot. I went over and reeled in ball #5 after one failed attempt. I think I will need a new rubber band soon. The one I have might be getting to stretched out.
In the middle of the Mets batting practice, Gary Sheffield launched a deep home run to my left. I could tell it was a bomb, so rather than positioning myself in line with the ball, I ran back to the cross aisle that seperates the lower bleachers from the upper deck bleachers. The ball hit in the cross aisle and rolled partly under the overhang of the upper level bleachers. I reached down and gloved ball #6.
I made a huge mistake by heading over to center field for the last group. The final group taking batting practice was predominently left handed, so I figured I’d have a better shot. There was only one right handed batter.
Check out how empty batting practice was. There aren’t many people in the left field bleachers.
Within minutes, he was surrounded by security guards. A man in a suit came out with a clipboard and the negotiating began. It lasted about an inning. I’m not sure what the kid asked for, but there were about 4 things written down on the sheet of paper on the clip board.
It got me thinking what I would ask for if I had caught the home run. I decided that I’d ask for a game ball signed by Jaramillo, the chance to deliver the ball to him in person, and his word that he’d toss me 1 ball at any batting practice I attended (if he was in the outfield and I asked for one.)
Later in the game, I was getting
thirsty. I decided to go fill up my water bottle. As I was passing this Nacho Express stand, something caught my eye.
Yes, you guessed it. Another Easter Egg.
I had to almost lay on the ground to get that picture. I had to reach around the side of the stand to get ball #8. People probably thought I was a big weirdo for laying on the ground and reaching under a Nacho Express stand, but when they saw I pulled a ball out, I saw a few surprised faces.
I went back to center field in the ninth inning to try and get Nate’s warm up ball. His throw hit some guys arm, richoted right in front of me, but I wasn’t ready and misplayed it. Some one picked the ball up 2 rows ahead of me.
I then headed to the dugout. I had to run half of the way there, because Matt Capps got 3 quick outs. I just barely made it to the dugout as umpire Ted Barrett was coming off the field, but was in a terrible spot, off to the side of the tunnel. He gave two balls away, but not to me.
That was it for today.
When I arrived home I had this waiting for me:
I had been waiting all day for it, since I was off work today, but it didn’t arrive until after I left for the Pirate game. It was my Super Deluxe copy of Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King, Dave Matthews Band’s new album.
The CD was released today, and I had ordered it off of the Warehouse (fan club) so I could get some bonus items.
I spent the rest of my night looking through the booklets and watching the DVD. I didn’t listen to the CD the whole way through until the next day because I wanted to blast it, and it was too late to do that. I’d reccommend picking it up at Target or Best Buy for $9.99 this week. It’s their best album since 1998. Seriously.
The sweet spots:
Game: 8 Balls (4 hit, 2 thrown, 2 device)
Season: 151 Balls (67 hit, 62 thrown, 22 device)
Games: 30 Games (26 with BP/4 without)
Average: 5.03 Balls Per Game
Career: 317 Balls
I got to the gates a little after 4 PM and was first in line. When I entered the stadium, there were no Easter eggs to be found.
I got ball #1 off the bat of Robinzon Diaz. He hit a home run to the section to my right. I battled the sun and snagged the ball without incident on the fly.
Ball #2 came off the bat of Craig Monroe. It was a deep home run to my right. I could tell that it was going well over my head, so I raced up the stairs. The ball bounced and disappeared under the rotunda/bleacher area.
Game: 5 Balls (2 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device)
Season: 143 Balls (63 hit, 60 thrown, 20 device)
Games: 29 Games (25 with BP, 4 without)
Average: 4.93 Balls per Game
Career: 309 Balls
I have been in a slump recently. The last decent day I had was May 11th in Cleveland when I snagged 9 balls. The past 2 weeks it has seemed like all I could manage was 2 balls. I needed to get back on track. I’d seen my average dip from 5.7 per game to 4.8 per game. Not good.
I attended today’s game with my wife. We were third in line, and I was the first one into the seats, but there were no Easter Egg balls to be found.
I got 2 balls during the Pirates portion of batting practice, which isn’t bad, since they only hit for 10-15 minutes while the gates are open.
Game: 8 Balls (5 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device)
Season: 130 Balls (57 hit, 56 thrown, 17 device)
Games: 26 Games (22 with BP, 4 without)
Average: 5.00 Balls per Game
Career: 296 Balls