I was back at Progressive Field today, hoping to snag my one thousandth career baseball.
I was planning on returning yesterday, but radar showed storms moving through Cleveland all afternoon, so I would wait until today for another shot at 1,000.
When I walked by a bar across the street,
pick them all up.
In left field, I would snag one more ball – thrown by Brad Bergesen:
He tossed the ball up and I had to lean out over the railing to just barely make the catch. When I caught it, I asked Brad if the ball was for me or the kid next to me, who’d also asked for one. Brad nodded toward the kid, so I turned and gave the ball away.
So, I’d ended the day with five balls snagged.
Here I am in the shadows by the bullpen with ball #1000:
Today’s baseballs: (4 pictured because one was given away)
Sweet spots: (#1,003 was given away)
Game: 5 balls (1 thrown, 4 device )
Season: 425 balls (217 hit, 95 thrown, 58 device, 55 found)
Games: 65 games
Average: 6.54 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career: 1,003 balls
Streak: 161 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
The weather forecast for today kept calling for thunderstorms, but every time I checked the forecast changed, and the storms kept getting pushed back to later and later in the day.
Eventually, I decided around 1PM to go for it, and hoped the weather would cooperate.
Despite arriving at 3:45, I was still first in line.
The boxes you see in the above photo were Shin Soo Choo bobbleheads. I was a little worried that today would be very crowded because it was a bobblehead night and a Saturday. However, the attendance was below 20,000. Kind of sad for a franchise that once sold out 455 games in a row.
When I ran in, batting practice hadn’t yet begun, and there were no Easter Eggs.
After a few minutes, BP got underway and an Indians lefty hit a few balls into the Indians bullpen.
One of the balls was in a spot at the back of the bullpen that could be retrieved with the glove trick. However, right when I began to set up for the glove trick, Tony Sipp ran by on his way to the bathroom in the Indians bullpen. I decided to hold off on glove tricking the ball and instead asked Sipp for one of the three balls in the bullpen after he finished in the bathroom.
He nodded and flipped me ball #1.
Game: 7 balls (3 hit, 2 thrown, 2 device)
Season: 199 balls (104 hit, 53 thrown, 19 device, 23 found)
Games: 32 games
Average: 6.22 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 777 balls
Streak: 128 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
I didn’t arrive at this game until almost 5PM, as I left after work. The gates had opened at 4:30, so I was operating at a disadvantage from the beginning. Couple that with that fact that only six balls reached the center field/right field seating area from the time I arrived until 6PM, and you have a recipe for a frustrating day.
I got my first ball of the day off the bat of Shin Soo Choo.
The stadium was pretty empty, so I ran over to the section the ball had landed in and waited for the ball to roll down to me as two guys searched frantically where the ball had hit.
I got my second ball of the day from Tony Sipp.
Game: 4 balls (2 hit, 2 thrown)
Season: 139 balls (85 hit, 31 thrown, 9 device, 14 found)
Games: 21 games
Average: 6.62 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 717 balls
Streak: 117 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.