Strong storms swept through the Pittsburgh area around 3:30 PM, putting batting practice in jeopardy. However, they moved off to the east and the skies cleared by 4:30, so BP was a go for today.
I came into today needing six balls to reach the exclusive 500 balls snagged in one season club. It had only been done twice, by Zack Hample in 2008 and 2009.
Upon running in, I found ball #1 in the front row. I almost passed it by, but noticed fellow ballhawk Nick Pelescak running quickly towards the spot, so I double checked, and it was right in front of me. I leaned over and grabbed it for ball #1.
My second ball was thrown to me by Chris Resop. That’s the first ball that I ever got from Resop, so I was glad to add another player to my thrown list. Thanks Chris.
Season: 503 balls (243 hit, 116 thrown, 72 device, 72 found)
Games: 78 games
Average: 6.45 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career: 1,081 balls
Streak: 174 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Balls needed to break single season record: 41
Not the smartest move due to my bad back, but I went to this game. I had looked at the weather for this week, and not surprisingly, there were scattered thunderstorms predicted for several days. Today turned out to be a rare beautiful day in Pittsburgh.
I parked my car on the North Side around 3:50. Usually, it takes me about eight minutes to walk down to the stadium and get in line. Today, it took three times as long. I couldn’t walk normally on account of the severe back spasms I’ve been having. I have to walk slightly bent forward, and with my knees bent slightly. In other words, I walk like a 95 year old man.
When I got to the gate, I put on a back brace that I had purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods earlier in the day. I also had a bag of ice that I was going to strap in place underneath the brace, to keep my back muscles numb, and hopefully reduce the pain felt. Luckily, another ballhawk saw me struggling with the ice back and belt, and came over to help me get it on correctly.
When the gates opened, I was the first one through the turnstile. Usually I sprint to the bullpen to be one of the first ones down into the bleacher seating area. Not today. I was pushing myself, but was motoring along at a speed that was half a regular walking speed.
Surprisingly today, there were three Easter Eggs in the bleachers. Throughout the past month, it seems as the ushers have been picking them up and pocketing them all. Not today. Unfortunately, because of my limited abilities, I was too slow to find any of them.
I stood in the front row and hoped for toss up balls during batting practice. Typically, I can cover at least a full section to my left or right and make a home run catch. Home Runs usually hang in the air 3-4 seconds. Today, I was only going to be able to cover maybe five feet in either direction, rendering it pointless to play for any batted balls.
Game: 2 balls (2 thrown)
Season: 240 balls (125 hit, 80 thrown, 40 device)
Games: 50 games (5 of which didnt have BP)
Average: 4.8 balls per game
Career: 406 balls
Streak: 65 consecutive ga
mes attended with at least 1 ball