After some deliberation, I decided to attend this game. The game was to begin at 6:05, an hour earlier than normal. Gates open on weekdays at 4:30 for 7:05 games, so I was expecting the gates to open at 3:30.
My wife and I got to Cleveland early, and picked up our tickets at the will call window around 3 and got in line at the gate. A girl came out and set everything up (tables, ropes, garbage cans, signs). She told some people that the gates were to open at 3:30. Yes!
Imagine my displeasure when the girl left to find the workers at 3:30 and returned with, “Uh, the gates aren’t opening until 4:30.”
I had to stand there, already in a bad mood, and listen to an autograph hound talk about his autograph exploits for an hour. He was talking obnoxiously loud. One of those people that wants everyone to hear his conversation.
Evan Longoria takes a big rip:
Carlos Pena takes a lead:
Today’s baseball(s): only one pictured because career ball #288 was given away.
Notice the nice scuffing from where it hit the concrete?
And the sweet spot:
Game: 2 Balls (1 hit, 1 device)
Season: 122 Balls (52 hit, 55 throw, 15 device)
Games: 25 Games (21 with BP, 4 without)
Average: 4.88 Balls per Game
Career: 288 Balls
We were third in line at the gate, but the two people in front of me sort of got out of line by standing in front of another gate. So, I was first into the stadium. Upon entering, I found ball #1 in the right field seats. I watched helplessly as an usher picked up another ball I had spotted.
Travis Hafner batted at the beginning of batting practice and peppered the right field seats with home runs. I was able to grab ball #2 and ball #3 off of his bat within about the span of a minute.
It helped that the crowd looked like this for the first 30 minutes or so:
Game: 9 Balls (8 hit, 1 device)
Season: 98 Balls (43 hit, 44 thrown, 11 device)
Games: 18 Games (15 with BP/ 3 without)
Average: 5.44 balls per game
Career: 264 Balls
With the Pirates on the road for a full week, I decided to add two games at Progressive Field. I checked the weather today and since the forecast was favorable, I hopped in my car and took the 2:15 drive to Cleveland.
Since it was Saturday, I had some things working against me:
1) Gates don’t open until 5:30 on weekends
2) Cliff Lee bobblehead day
3) The skies darkened up and it looked like it was going to storm.
When I arrived at Progressive Field around 4, the cage was set up, but I was afraid BP would be wiped out due to the menacing dark clouds. (The lights were on at the stadium).
I walked to the box office and bought the cheapest ticket I could, $9. I then made my way back to the right field gate. It was about 4:15, and a large crowd was gathering. I was about 15th in line. It turns out that there were hundreds of people there for faith night. They were going to hear testimony from Indians player Jamey Carroll.
Imagine my surprise when a supervisor announced that they would be opening the gates an hour early at 4:30! Thank you Jesus!
And stood in line for 10 minutes to buy a cheeseburger combo meal for $9.25.
When the game started I first sat by the foul pole in right field.
But eventually moved to the left field home run porch. Notice all of the fans are standing at the fence.
If a home run were hit, they would have a slim chance of catching it. I stood by the garbage cans, awaiting a home run that would never come.
The Tigers won the game 4-0.
A look at today’s baseballs:
And the sweet spots:
Game: 5 Balls (3 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device)
Season: 89 Balls (35 hit, 44 thrown, 10 device)
Games: 17 Games (14 with BP, 3 without)
Average: 5.24 balls per game
Career: 255 Balls