Rain would wash out batting practice today, making it a struggle to get baseballs.
However, sometimes in the hobby of ballhawking, you’ll have luck on your side. I had a lot of luck today. Upon entering, I went to the main seating bowl and found ball #1:
They were likely overthrows from the Pirates warm up session before the gates opened.
The Cardinals came out soon after and I was able to get JC Romero to toss me ball #4 when he was done:
And Fernando Salas threw me ball #5:
I decided to get out of the way so that fellow ballhawk Zac Weiss should get a ball or two. I went halfway up into the empty seats to sit down and number my baseballs.
Just when I sat down, about 20 some rows back, I noticed Lance Lynn had finished throwing, so I stood up and help up my glove. He fired a perfect strike at me for ball #6.
Moments later, Mark Rczepzynski randomly fired his ball into the empty seats, so I just had to walk over and pick it up for ball #7.
When Kyle McClellan finished his warm ups, rather than give in to the polite request from the two Cardinals fans for a ball, he turned and fired his warm up ball into the right field seats, which were off limits until 5:30. Since I couldn’t get over there, I went into the upper deck on a scouting mission so I could see down into the right field seats so that I could know exactly where the ball was in case someone else was also going for the same ball. Can you spot it?
At 5:30, I ran up to the exact spot where the ball was waiting for me and snapped a pic. It was ball #8:
At 5:35, I went into the upper deck and found a Mark Rzepczynski ball that he had randomly just thrown into the upper deck.
There was no BP, and yet after about an hour, I had already snagged 9 balls. There wasn’t much action for the next 90 minutes, so I took a pic of the field:
Took a pic of this fan’s Cardinals jersey:
And watched AJ Burnett warm up before his first Pirates start:
I sat for a few innings in right field, but couldn’t snag another baseball. After a few innings, I went home to my family and watched the rest on TV.
By the way, today was fittingly umbrella night.
Here are today’s baseballs:
Game: 9 balls
Season: 53 balls
Career: 1,597 balls
It definitely wasn’t a good day for ballhawks. Before the rest of the stadium opened at 5:30, only one pair of pitchers threw. That’s it. It was Bronson Arroyo and another Reds player. When they were done, they threw their baseballs into the stands – which were quickly retrieved and pocketed by ushers.
Luckily, an usher had found two baseballs in center field and tossed one to Ian Weir, who was closing in on his 100th lifetime baseball, and me. The ball was soaked, but it didn’t matter – I was on the board.
There was a ball on the grass near the Reds dugout which was picked up by the head groundskeeper as the groundscrew took the tarp off the field. It was obviously soaked. He was pulling the tarp off of the infield with his co-workers and had the baseball in his other hand, looking at it.
Then he glanced up into the stands.
I was basically the only one around, and I was half way up in the lower seating bowl. I held up my glove. He threw the ball in my direction off balance, kind of like a third baseman throws a bunt that he is charging and picking up barehanded.
I only stayed until 6PM. I was content with two baseballs. I only really came down to the stadium because I had 17 extra tickets and I just figured I’d get the shirts by getting the tickets scanned. Plus, I wanted to go be with Amy and Olivia!
Here are today’s baseballs, soaked – they are staying in my garage:
Game: 2 balls (2 thrown)
Season: 411 balls (173 hit, 88 thrown, 87 device, 56 found)
Games: 76 games
Average: 5.41 per game
Career: 1,533 balls
There was an 80% chance of rain forecast for today, and sure enough it rained all day long.
Being the first game of a homestand, Amy and I went to the game.
When we parked at 4:15, it was raining. When we got to the gate, it was still raining. We took cover under one of the overhangs.
It was still dreary and drizzling as 5pm approached,
and I took a few minutes to familiarize myself better with the Nationals pitchers in case any of them were out throwing or in the bullpen.
At about 4:53, we got into line, and everything looked normal. The ticket scanners and giveaway hander-outers were all in place.
However, 5PM rolled on by, and the supervisor was no where to be found to open the gates.
Also, rather than get no batting practice, now there is a chance to get an extra BP in for the Monday game, so it’s not all bad.
The weather is looking pretty bad for Pittsburgh the next three days though. Hopefully Mother Nature cooperates.
Some Rockies came out to throw along the right field line.
Once the rest of the stadium opened, I went over and snagged my first ball of the day from Franklin Morales. I flashed him my glove after he had finished tossing, and he threw me ball #1.
Ball #2 came from Matt Reynolds. I asked for the ball and he tossed me his warm up ball as he was coming off of the field.
The balls were from the Rockies’ new Spring Training home.
There was no more action until game time. The Pirates didn’t even come out to throw.
Here’s a few pictures from the game: Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies best player:
The crowd, where most of the seats were $1 (you can tell the sections that weren’t a dollar)
Ross Ohlendorf, before exiting the game with a sore shoulder:
Amy and I, who were pretty cold:
The poster given away to all fans:
The shirt given away to all fans:
The Chuck Tanner jersey, to me from a distance looks like an Oakland Athletics Jersey, it makes the 7 appear green since it is surrounded by green. The Pirates should’ve put a black background box around the jersey.
Amy and I left in the 5th inning. The game went 14 innings, and the Pirates won, thanks to 11 1/3 scoreless innings from our bullpen.
Season: 24 balls (8 hit, 6 thrown, 7 device, 3 found)
Games: 4 games
Average: 6.00 balls per game
Career: 1,146 balls
Here’s a brief video of the storm, for you fans of bad weather.
I would get shut out for the first hour or so, until I discovered that there were three balls laying on the visitor’s bullpen bench.
The balls had become soaked by the storm, so when things cleared up, a few groundskeepers came out to check things out around the warning track. I asked one of them for a ball, and he handed me balls #1 and #2.
Game: 4 balls (4 thrown)
Season: 170 balls (90 hit, 47 thrown, 11 device, 22 found)
Games: 28 games
Average: 6.07 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 748 balls
Streak: 124 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.