In my original schedule of games that I planned on attending, I had penned in five consecutive games in Cleveland this week, Tuesday through Saturday. However, with a new baby and new house, I was only able to make one game. I chose Friday, simply because the Twins have a bevy of left handed hitters, and the rest of the stadium opens at 5:30, thereby thinning out the crowd in right field a half hour earlier than during the week.
I had some issues on the way to Cleveland, as my car overheated (see the gauge up at the H?) and I had to stop and get coolant at a WalMart.
Therefore, I wasn’t first in line, I was ninth. To make matters worse, at 4:30, when the gates were to open – the supervisor realized that he didn’t have the scanners for the tickets. This caused a seven minute delay, meaning I would miss most of the Indians first, and best hitting group.
When the gates did open, the nine people in front of me (five of which had gloves) dilly-dallied getting batting practice T-Shirts – which are given away to the first 100 fans each day. This provided me an opportunity to run around them and be the first one to enter the seating area.
I immediately found two balls in the front row in right field. The first of which had a BP stamp on it.
While standing in line I overheard an Indians fan talking about the BP stamped balls and saying that they could be turned in for gift cards or something. After BP was over, I found THIS article with information about the BP balls, but it was pretty vague, so I’m still wondering what to do when the green stamped balls. Any help? Anyone?
There were a few people running around looking for baseballs, so I ran over to Heritage Park with another ballhawk on my tail and spotted ball #3 within reach just under the wall that separates the Heritage Park monuments from the trees. I reached in and grabbed it without having time to snap a picture.
I returned to the seats to play for home run balls, but not for long, as Travis Hafner blasted one into the trees in Heritage Park. I ran back over and used the Cleveland stick to snag that one.
When the first group wrapped things up around 4:45, I checked the bullpens for baseballs and noticed a real easy one in the visitors bullpen. I glove tricked that ball for ball #5,
and a few minutes later got Chris Perez to toss me ball #6 in center field.
I had only been there about twenty minutes to that point and had already snagged six baseballs. My goal coming into the game was nine, which would’ve given me 250 career balls at Progressive Field, but things slowed way down after that.
The Indians BP sucked the rest of the way, and the Twins had only really one decent group. It was their second group, which featured Justin Morneau, Jim Thome, and Jason Kubel. Those guys wore out the two sections closest to the visitors bullpen with baseballs.
Unfortunately, I was only able to snag one on the fly – a clean catch of a Thome home run for ball #7. I had a lot of close calls, so I headed over to left field for the last group, but failed to snag anything.
I also tried the dugout after batting practice, but all of the balls that were tossed into the crowds went to kids.
So, I went home – and a two hour and 15 minute trip ended up taking about three and a half? Why? Well, because my car overheated three times.
It’s not supposed to look like that under the hood:
Coolant was spraying out somewhere, and I have an obvious radiator problem. The third time I stopped I basically broke down, as my car started clunking and smoking.
After letting it sit for awhile and adding more coolant and water to the radiator, I was able to make it home, but just barely.
I have an appointment to take my car into the shop on Monday, which means that I won’t be able to make batting practice unless I can get a ride. So, are there any other ballhawks that would be interested in giving me a ride to/from batting practice? I’ll pay you. $20. That’s like a half tank of gas. Otherwise, plan B would be to bike 14 miles to PNC Park, which no doubt would suck. Plan C would be to take a bus, but the closest bus stop is a half hour walk away, and I’ve never, ever taken a public bus before.
Anyhow, here are today’s baseballs:
Game: 7 balls (1 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device, 3 found)
Season: 339 balls (141 hit, 73 thrown, 80 device, 45 found)
Games: 64 games
Career: 1,461 balls
After getting a favorable report from Nick Pelescak about Wednesday’s batting practice, I decided to make a third trip to Cleveland. The Indians decided to open the entire outfield rather than just the right field seats on Wednesday, and they did the same thing today.
I began the day in left field and got ball #1 from Shelley Duncan on the left field wall.
Game: 4 balls (1 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device)
Season: 351 balls (178 hit, 78 thrown, 42 device, 44 found)
Games: 55 games
Average: 6.38 bal
ls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career: 929 balls
Streak: 151 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
With the Yankees in Cleveland, and Alex Rodriguez sitting on 599 career home runs, Nick Pelescak and I made the trip to Cleveland. So did pretty much every Yankee fan from New York.
Nick and I arrived at the stadium, hoping to catch an early round of batting practice at 2PM and maybe snag a ball outside of the stadium at the Home Run Porch.
It didn’t happen as this was the scene:
There was a mini baseball field constructed across the street from the stadium, so we spent a good 45 minutes or so throwing there.
After batting practice was over, I checked Heritage Park and found one ball, hidden behind the stump of one of the trees:
I used the Cleveland Stick to snag ball #5 of the day.
Check out the job they did blocking off the trees – I assume so folks can’t run back there to grab A-rod’s 600th:
As for the game, the porch was packed.
So were the left field bleachers.
But A-Rod would not go deep.
Some pictures from the game:
A-Rod did not go deep.
And I’ll be back in Cleveland tomorrow.
Here’s today’s balls (4 show because 1 was given away)
Sweet spots (1 was given away)
Game: 5 balls (1 hit, 2 thrown, 2 device)
Season: 336 balls (173 hit, 75 thrown, 35 device, 44 found)
Games: 52 games
Average: 6.46 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career: 914 balls
Streak: 148 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.