I got on the board before the gates opened today.
I was standing on the Riverwalk waiting for a home run to land on the concourse, but left around 4:50 to head back up to the gate. Just as I left, a passerby informed me that I had just missed one. I turned and saw fellow ballhawk Nick Pelescak knee deep in the weeds, frantically searching for a ball.
I turned around and jogged back and joined in the search. After a minute, I found the ball in the weeds, for my first ball of the day.
Upon entrance to the left field bleachers, I noticed a ball land near the foul pole, so I ran over and scooped that one up for ball #2.
Game: 7 balls ( 4 hit, 2 thrown, 1 found )
Season: 454 balls (228 hit, 98 thrown, 61 device, 61 found)
Balls in the month of August: 103
Games: 69 games
Average: 6.58 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career: 1,032 balls
Streak: 165 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
I was debating about whether to attend this game, or head to Cleveland with fellow ballhawk Nick. I chose to go to this game because I had ten extra tickets to get Garrett Jones figurines that I could sell for some extra traveling funds.
When I arrived at the park at about 4:20, the tarp wasn’t on the field and the cages weren’t up either. However, by 4:30, the tarp was on. Light rain would arrive just after 4:30 with intense rain beginning around game time.
I was at the end of a pretty long line, so when I finally got into the stadium I made a dash for the foul territory in left field where Brian Burres and Ross Ohlendorf were playing catch.
I was the only one behind them, so it was pretty much guaranteed I would get the ball, I just had to be patient
Game: 3 balls (2 thrown, 1 found)
Season: 130 balls (79 hit, 28 thrown, 9 device, 14 found)
Games: 19 games
Average: 6.84 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 708 balls
Streak: 115 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Today was a tough day for all ballhawks in attendance at PNC Park. There weren’t too many home runs, and of the home runs that were hit, most were to right field and either bounced back on the field, or were gobbled up by fans in the front row.
I was flat out robbed twice by fans in the front row. One by a 50 year old who was in the front row and jumped to make the catch, inches in front of my waiting glove, and another by a college kid who was a row ahead of me and caught a home run barehanded about two inches in front of my glove. In both cases, there was nothing that I could’ve done differently, as I was behind them.
On to the balls that I did snag.
My first ball of the day was a home run off the bat of Steve Pearce. I misjudged the ball a bit. I moved down a row, and barely made a snow cone catch, as I should’ve just stayed put.
My second ball of the day was off the bat of another Pirate. I’m not sure of the hitter, but they lofted a high fly ball towards left center. I could tell it would be short, so rather than getting into a scrum in the front row, I ran back a few rows to about the fifth row back. The ball landed on the warning track and took a 20 foot high bounce and directly into my glove.
The Pirates wrapped things up at 5:20, a little earlier than recently.
Game: 5 balls (4 hit, 1 thrown)
Season: 127 balls (79 hit, 26 thrown, 9 device, 13 found)
Games: 18 games
Average: 7.06 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 705 balls
Streak: 114 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
It was another great day at PNC Park for me.
Ball #1 was off the bat of Andy LaRoche. It was a ground rule double that I snagged on the hop.
My second and third balls were off the bat of Lastings Milledge. The second ball was a home run that I snagged after it bounced off a handicap seat, and the third was a ground rule double that bounced over the fence right next to the foul pole.
There was no pitchers in the outfield today, which was good. They see the regulars get many home run balls and refuse to toss balls to us. Delwyn Young was patrolling left field today, and I got him to toss me ball #4.
That was it for me. I should’ve stayed as Ronny Cedeno hit a home run that bounced onto the lowest rung of the Left Field Rotunda. I would’ve defi
nitely snagged that ball, as I’m used to running up the ramp from my experience in batting practice.
There was probably less than 5,000 people that actually attended the game as there was a Penguins playoff game.
Here’s today’s baseballs:
And the sweet spots:
Game: 11 balls (8 hit, 2 thrown, 1 found)
Season: 113 balls (69 hit, 23 thrown, 10 device, 12 found)
Games: 15 games
Average: 7.53 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 691 balls
Streak: 111 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Those of us at PNC Park during the Season Ticket Holder time were under siege by the Phillies first batting practice group today.
Batting practice started out calmly, well, because the Pirates were hitting. I would go on to get only one ball during this time from Ross “The Boss” Ohlendorf. A ball rolled to the wall and I politely asked for the ball. He looked at me and tossed me ball #1.
The first group yesterday included several lefties. Today, they were all right handed batters, and they were raking. There were only maybe two dozen of us there, since it was still season ticket holder only time, so there was plenty of running around up until 5:30.
I caught ball #2 off of the bat of Pedro Feliz on the fly. I had to run down to the second row to
I can’t operate without my Iphone. They were able to pull the card out and clean it. The phone them worked perfectly – and they didn’t charge me.
Only 7 more balls to go until career ball #500…
Game: 8 balls (5 hit, 3 thrown)
Season: 327 balls (172 hit, 96 thrown, 59 device)
Games: 68 games (7 of which didn’t have BP)
Average: 4.81 balls per game
Career: 493 balls
Streak: 83 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
I hate Sunday games.
I went down to the stadium and peeked inside, and saw that the batting cage was set up. So, I entered the stadium. Had there been no cage set up, I would’ve turned right back around and went home.
Upon entering the stadium, I got ball #1 tossed up from the bullpen by Ross Ohlendorf. I called down and asked for the ball, and about a minute later, he tossed it up. I jumped and made the catch over a portly Cincinnati Reds fan who would go on to give me an evil glare.
The gate would not open until 11:30. Would you believe that while I was standing there, not paying attention, a player would toss up a ball that would actually bounce off of my head? Well it happened.
Later, when the gates did open, I stood behind Jason Jaramillo to try and get the ball when he was finished.
Near the end of Jaramillo and Brandon Moss’ warm up session, Moss would let one sail. It went over Jaramillo’s head and landed on the warning track. The ball took a large hop, which tipped off of my glove and went about ten rows behind me. Awful. I should’ve at least knocked that ball down.
Only the Pirates would hit today.
And this is what I had to deal with.
Game: 1 balls (1 thrown)
Season: 317 balls (166 hit, 93 thrown, 59 device)
Games: 66 games (7 of which didn’t have BP)
Average: 4.80 balls per game
Career: 483 balls
Streak: 81 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
I have been in a slump recently. The last decent day I had was May 11th in Cleveland when I snagged 9 balls. The past 2 weeks it has seemed like all I could manage was 2 balls. I needed to get back on track. I’d seen my average dip from 5.7 per game to 4.8 per game. Not good.
I attended today’s game with my wife. We were third in line, and I was the first one into the seats, but there were no Easter Egg balls to be found.
I got 2 balls during the Pirates portion of batting practice, which isn’t bad, since they only hit for 10-15 minutes while the gates are open.
Game: 8 Balls (5 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device)
Season: 130 Balls (57 hit, 56 thrown, 17 device)
Games: 26 Games (22 with BP, 4 without)
Average: 5.00 Balls per Game
Career: 296 Balls