I was hoping to have a huge day today since the Penguins had a playoff game. Sure enough, batting practice was pretty empty, but I didn’t have a stand out day.
My wife and I arrive at the park at 4:05 PM and were second in line. I went into batting practice and looked for Easter Eggs, but there were none. There were a couple ushers standing around and they must’ve picked up anything that came out. I settled into my spot in left field and waited.
An unidentified Pirate hit a deep fly ball. He hit it right into the sun, but I was able to catch it on the fly… barely. It almost went over my head. Nonetheless, I had ball #1 of the day.
Nyjer Morgan was shagging balls in the outfield and I called his name, he looked at me and tossed a ball, but it was headed for some random guy with a Pantera hat on. The guy was holding a calendar and didn’t have a glove and looked out of place at batting practice. He reached for the ball and missed it. I picked the ball up on the deflection. It was ball #2. He kind of gave me a look like he expected me to give it to him, but I didn’t. Since I called for Nyjer to throw the ball, I felt like I earned it, plus he didn’t have a glove and wasn’t prepared.
The Pirates portion of batting practice ended and the Braves came out to hit. They weren’t hitting anything deep. To make matters worse, batting practice looked like this:
I had so much room to roam and chase down home runs, but none were coming. One finally did come out, but I misjudged the ball and it was over my head. If I had been one row deeper I would have caught the ball. I slammed my glove in disgust and muttered to myself.
Game: 3 Balls
Season: 20 Balls
Games: 5 Games (4 with batting practice, 1 without)
Average: 4.00 Balls per game
Career: 186 Balls
Today was PNC Park’s Opening Day. I went today with my wife Holly. We got to the gates around 10:30 AM, and waited in line for a half hour. When the gates opened, I rushed in and was the 6th one into the left field bleachers.
Things were a little dry at first. Eventually, two balls were hit and Ian Snell came to the fence to get them. I asked him for a ball and he flipped one over his head without looking to me. It was ball #1 of the day. Luckily, for the first 30 minutes, only season ticket holders are permitted into batting practice, so I had plenty of room to roam.
Game: 5 balls (2 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device)
Season: 13 balls (7 hit, 4 thrown, 2 device)
Games: 3 (3 with BP, 0 without)
Career: 179 balls
Hit List: 179 ties me with Willy Aybar for #3809 all time.
My dad and I headed to our last Spring Training game on this short trip: Reds vs Pirates at McKechnie Field in Bradenton FL.
We got to the field around 10:20 AM and the Pirates were already half way through their round of batting practice. Luckily, we were once again able to access the spot behind the left field fence. I was told by a guy on Saturday that during the week the area behind the fence was off limits. He was wrong.
Total Balls: 9
Games Attended: 3
Total Career Spring Training Balls: 9
Note: I do not count these balls in my totals. They will be tracked in a separate category and I will not count them in my career ball totals.