There was a threat of rain throughout batting practice today.
In fact, it rained lightly for at least 15 minutes, usually a death sentence for batting practice at PNC Park. The groundscrew was certainly ready to pull the plug.
But we made it through and got a full BP today.
Upon entering, I found ball #1 laying in the front row near the foul pole.
Throughout the rest of the game, I split time between left and right field, but Lastings Milledge was being inconsistent with his mid inning
toss ups. Sometimes he would throw the ball to the crowd, other times he was content to let the bullpen pitcher take it.
I decided to try Tabata one more time in the 8th inning. I took my hat off to alter my appearance, hoping he wouldn’t remember me from four innings early.
Here are today’s baseballs:
Game: 10 balls (5 hit, 4 thrown, 1 found)
Season: 374 balls (192 hit, 84 thrown, 43 device, 46 found)
Games: 57 games
Average: 6.56 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career: 952 balls
Streak: 153 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
I got a Club level seat tonight. The last time (link) I sat in the Club level, I caught two foul balls, and the visiting team was the Milwaukee Brewers. This was the Brewers final game at PNC Park this year.
Batting Practice was very frustrating.
I only got two balls during the Pirates portion. One was a Lastings Milledge home run that landed underneath the left field rotunda.
(Ball #3 says Blood Pressure Rising, which I responded “You’re telling me,” after snagging it – in regards to the frustrating BP)
Game: 6 balls (4 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device)
Season: 318 balls (171 hit, 71 thrown, 32 device, 44 found)
Games: 49 games
Average: 6.49 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career: 896 balls
Streak: 145 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
There was some rain forecast for today, but when I arrived at the ballpark at 3:55, the sun was shining, and there were only a few measly clouds in the sky.
While standing in line, I noticed a Brewers fan who randomly had a MLB baseball. He didn’t have a glove or a bag or anything. He had just walked up from the Riverwalk area. Had he just gotten a ball out by the river? Possibly.
Rather than standing there, I decided to head down to the Allegheny River and see if I could get on the board before the gates even opened. There is some tall grass landscaping on a slope that leads down to a 20 foot wide walkway which borders the river. Occasionally balls will get stuck in there that get hit out of the stadium or bounce on the stadium. I looked, but found nothing.
I stood outside the stadium until 4:50, when I returned to line. There was only one ball that I saw that had a realistic chance. I caught it out of the corner of my eye and watched it hit the top of the Clemente wall and stay in the ballpark. Like clockwork, within a minute, an usher appeared and picked up the ball.
When I returned to the line at 4:50, it began to drizzle. Great. Just great.
The drizzle was persistant, and was rather annoying. I was worried that the groundscrew would put the tarp on the field and batting practice would be canceled. Luckily, this wasn’t the case. The rain was light enough that it allowed BP to continue.
I got ball #1 of the day from Joel Hanrahan. He fielded a ball, and didn’t throw it back towards the infield, so I stood in the front row with my glove up for about a minute. He finally decided he didn’t want the ball anymore, and fired it at me. It was a little high and away, but I was on the board.
I got ball #2 from Mike Defelice. I remembered Shawn from Milwaukee giving me the tip of calling him Deefer. It worked.
There wasn’t a ton of home runs hit. And its a shame too, because there weren’t many people there during the first 30 minutes of season ticket holder time only.
Game: 3 balls (1 hit, 2 thrown)
Season: 238 balls (125 hit, 78 thrown, 38 device)
Games: 49 games (5 of which didn’t have BP)
Average: 4.86 balls per game
Career: 404 balls
Attendance: 11,471 (very April/May’ish attendance figure)