Today wasn’t a great day for me.
I arrived to the ballpark late, around 4:55PM, and was at the back of a massive line. I probably was going to miss the first 7 minutes or so of batting practice. (There is only one guy who scans tickets for the first half hour or so).
Luckily, my friend and fellow ballhawk Jim, spotted me walking up to the line. He came and got me and let me stand with him in the front of the line. Thanks to Jim, I now had a very good chance of getting a ball early. Unfortunately, there were no Easter Eggs to be found.
Throughout the Pirates batting practice, there were a handful of home runs, but they carried farther than usual, over my head. I ended the Pirates portion of batting practice with nothing.
No worries, the Cubs had Soriano, Lee, Soto, Ramirez, etc. I’d be fine. However, all of the Cubs top hitters were practicing an opposite field approach. Very few home runs at all were hit into the left field bleachers.
I stayed in left field until the last group came up to hit. It was 5:45 or so, and I still had nothing to show for my efforts. I had maintained a streak of around 60 games of getting at least 1 ball. I started to feel that this streak would end today. It started in August of 2008.
In left field, I waited for my chance to snag a home run ball. The Cubs lefties weren’t hitting with much power, and the home runs they did hit, were hit to the right field seats.
6PM, still no baseballs. I had decided that I was going home after batting practice anyway. I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to get shut out, and my streak was over.
However, Kosuke Fukudome lined a home run ball to section 141, the section directly against the right field wall.
My friend Jim took off after it and was first to the spot. The ball hit off of his hands, and fell to the floor. I was right behind him and saw the ball bouncing around in the aisle. Jim wasn’t able to locate it right away. I reached down and picked up my one and only ball of the day. Luckily, Jim beat about three teenagers in a race to a ball in left field earlier, so he was already on the board.
It was a rough day for BP. The top four ballhawks in PNC Park recorded tallies of 2, 2, 1, and 1.
Maybe tomorrow will be better. I hope.
Today’s one baseball.
Game: 1 ball (1 hit)
Season: 217 balls (113 hit, 74 thrown, 30 device)
Games: 44 games attended (5 without BP)
Average: 4.93 balls per game
Career: 383 balls