Today was a frustrating day at PNC Park. I didn’t arrive until 5:17 due to coaching, and when I entered the bleachers, the Astros were already hitting.
I thought I was going to get my first ball of the day in center field, but as I set up to do the glove trick, coach Al Pedrique ran the whole way out from the infield as he saw me setting up, grabbed the ball, and hit it back into the infield.
I only ended up getting two baseballs, both in left field, and they were both hit, but I have no idea who hit them. Frustration has set in. I was hoping for a big game, but couldn’t make it happen.
Game: 2 balls ( 2 hit )
Season: 535 balls (255 hit, 131 thrown, 72 device, 77 found)
Games: 85 games
Average: 6.29 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 6
Career: 1,113 balls
Streak: 181 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Balls needed to break single season record: 9
The day began for me at 4AM. I had spent the previous week in South Carolina at Myrtle Beach.
I arrived at PNC Park at 3:45 PM and I was back in action for the first time since July 3rd, exactly two weeks off from ballhawking.
It was a much needed break. But I was ready to get back to one of my hobbies.
Upon entering the stadium at 4:30, batting practice had not yet begun.
After 5-10 minutes, it got underway and I snagged a ground rule double from Bobby Crosby, who was hitting in the first group. The ball barely cleared the wall, as it was a line drive.
I lined up with the ball and made the snag about three rows back.
Things were really slow during the first two groups, and I had the opportunity to talk to two of the Pirates relievers.
Things then slowed down to a ridiculously boring pace. The Astros weren’t hitting many home runs, as they appeared 100% dedicated to taking inside out swings to hit the ball to right field.
Luckily, near the end of batting practice, I snagged a ground rule double off the bat of an unknown Astro.
Also, at the end of batting practice, I got ball #7 thrown by Matt Lindstrom as the Astros were running off the field.
At the end of batting practice I gave one of my extra balls that I bring from home away to a young fan with a glove who had gotten shut out.
I left right after Batting Practice to go home and get caught up on some sleep.
(PS: As for Sunday, Nick and I went to the stadium, waited outside for over a half an hour and then left, as there were no signs of cages in sight. I’ll be back in action on Monday, and Milwaukee’s best ballhawk will be in attendance at the game…)
Game: 7 balls (3 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device, 2 found)
Season: 287 balls (153 hit, 67 thrown, 27 device, 41 found)
Games: 45 games
Average: 6.38 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 865 balls
Streak: 141 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
I figured I would take a trip to Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati today to snag a few baseballs and get three Joey Votto figurines (I had three tickets as I traded in two tickets from my 13 game plan that I couldn’t use). I planned to sell the Figurines to help pay for the gas.
The gates opened at 5:10 to season ticket holders, so I rushed in, only to find a large tour group already occupying right field. Fantastic. No easter eggs.
I got ball #1 of the day off the bat of Jay Bruce in right field.
Game: 5 balls (1 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device 2 found)
Season: 148 balls (87 hit, 33 thrown, 10 device, 18 found)
Games: 23 games
Average: 6.43 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 726 balls
Streak: 119 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Today was day 2 of the Spring Training trip and my dad and I were back at Osceola County Stadium to see the Astros and Yankees.
It was the only ball I would get for about the first half hour or so. When the Astros second string started hitting at the practice field directly adjacent to Osceola County Stadium, I was ready.
Rodriguez would go on to knock in a run with a base hit here. I captured it all on video:
Spring Training Statistics:
Game: 8 balls
Trip: 22 balls
Spring Training Career: 30 balls in 5 games
I attended my first Spring Training game of the year today with my dad. We traveled from Orlando to nearby Kissimmee FL to see the Blue Jays take on the Houston Astros. Of course, we arrived early.
Although Osceola County Stadium has no access points to get behind the outfield wall, it doesn’t matter because the Astros take their BP on the adjacent practice fields. One is easily able to walk behind any of those practice field fences and await balls to sail out.
Check out the aerial view of the complex:
When we arrived, two fields were being used by minor leaguers, and the Astros were using two fields. They were just running and stretching, so there was some time to hunt for Easter Eggs. After not too long, I found one. It had sailed over the centerfield batters eye on the ‘9 oclock field’ (if you look at the 4 practice fields as 12, 3, 6, 9 oclock in the photo above). It likely had landed on the road, bounced, and settled in the grass. It had likely been there a day or two as it was a bit damp.
Today was a Sunday game, a day game after a night game, so there was a good chance of there being no batting practice.
I was pretty happy when I peered into the gate and saw the cage set up.
Upon entering the stadium, the Pirates were warming up in left field. I walked over and sat down in this section.
It is a handicapped section. Its a good spot for catching over throws.
I got ball #1 of the day from Ian Snell. When he was done catching, he simply turned and threw me the ball. I didn’t even ask for it. Just another reason why Ian Snell is awesome.
I waited behind John Grabow, who was catching with Sean Burnett, for an overthrow, but it didn’t happen.
Batting practice was beginning,
Game: 3 Balls (1 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device)
Season: 138 Balls (61 hit, 59 thrown, 18 device)
Games: 28 Games (24 with BP, 4 without)
Average: 4.93 Balls Per Game
Career: 304 Balls
Today was the first of three Skyblast dates throughout the summer at PNC Park. Basically its an hour long concert/fireworks show. The bands are always “B” List bands, with past bands being Smash Mouth, Styx, Live, PovertyNeck Hill Billies, etc. The band tonight was the Zac Brown Band.
The stadium was sold out, so there would be some more competition than usual during batting practice. I attended this game with my wife. We were the 4th and 5th people in line. Unfortunately, by the time the gates opened, the 3 people ahead of us had swelled to 11 through the process of sparing/cutting. There went any chance for Easter Eggs out the window.
After about 5 minutes of batting practice, I got ball #1 from Ian Snell.
Ian gets a lot of crap for his inconsistencies, but he’s one of my favorite Pirates. He’s definitely not stingy when it comes to giving away baseballs, so you have to respect that.
One of the groups that came up was mostly lefties, so I abandoned left field and went into foul ball territory.
Game: 5 Balls (3 hit, 2 thrown)
Season: 135 Balls (60 hit, 58 thrown, 17 device)
Games: 27 Games (23 with BP, 4 without)
Average: 5.00 Balls Per Game
Career: 301 Balls
Attendance: 37,167 (sell-out)