Unfortunately, I lost half of my pictures from the beginning of batting practice due to a malfunction of my camera. I must’ve left it on in my pocket, and when I went to take a picture half way through batting practice, it was in Chinese. The format option must’ve been pressed, and everything got erased from my camera.
So, ball #1 was a home run hit by Ryan Braun to the handicapped seats in left field. I jumped over a railing and picked it up for my first ball of the day.
My second ball was snagged in the ivy in center field.
Ryan Braun hit it there about 5:20, and I kept my eye on it the whole time, thinking it might be reachable. It was, and at 5:30 when the rest of the stadium opened, I ran over and grabbed it.
My third ball was pointed out to me by one of the ushers in center field. Both ushers in center field are really cool guys.
Ball #4 was fielded off the bat of Craig Counsell. I decided to head over to foul territory for a bit as there were three weak left handers up, and there was no screen protecting third base. I figured that they would try to go the other way a few times. The strategy paid off, as Counsell sliced a grounder right at me.
Ball #5 was a ground rule double off the bat of Wil Nieves. I chased it down and grabbed it with my barehand as the ball was rolling all over the place under the bleachers:
That was it for batting practice. Five baseballs. It was pretty disappointing, but the Brewers were focusing on a opposite field approach, perhaps expecting Paul Maholm to work them outside all night.
As for the game itself, I wandered around and took a picture from the upper deck during pregame.
Then I sat in the club section for a couple innings waiting for a foul ball that wouldn’t come.
I then returned to the outfield areas hoping to snag a warm up ball.
An inning later, I snagged Jose Tabata’s 8th inning warm up ball for ball #7.
The ball was bobbled by these college aged kids in the front row.
I seized the opportunity by snatching it with my glove as it was being dropped by one of them.
Season: 54 balls (21 hit, 11 thrown, 14 device, 8 found)
Games: 8 games
Average: 6.75 balls per game
Career: 1,176 balls
The Brewers were in town, which is a good thing. The Brewers and Reds are my two favorite BP teams, as they put a good deal of balls into the seats.
Also in town was Milwaukee’s top ballhawk, The Happy Youngster. If you’re not familiar with him, you can read his blog here. Happy came in third place in the ballhawk league last year with 372 balls.
I had to exchange some tickets for games that I wasn’t going to attend, so I left early for the stadium – I ended up being first in line.
The first group for the Pirates produced nothing. They were all lefties except for Andy LaRoche – who rarely if ever hits home runs anymore in BP.
When the Pirates final group came up containing the likes of Jose Tabata, Lastings Milledge, Ronny Cedeno and Neil Walker – I was ready.
I got ball #3 of the day from Cedeno. It was a high fly ball that landed on the warning track and bounced over the wall. I was three rows deep and got up on the bleacher.
Game: 8 balls (5 hit, 1 device, 2 found)
Season: 295 balls (156 hit, 67 thrown, 29 device, 43 found)
Games: 46 games
Average: 6.41 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 873 balls
Streak: 142 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.