9/11/12 at Citi Field (WSH @ NYM)

It was a very unlucky, yet lucky day for me at Citi Field, if that makes sense. Let’s get started. I somehow made it to Citi before the gates opened at 5:10. From there, after the gates opened, I subsequently fell going up the stairs and banged my knee. It still hurts as I write this. I then hobbled to left field, and saw the Nationals stretching. The Mets were in right field finishing BP, so I headed over there:

ImageWhen I got there, here was the view behind me:

ImageIt’s hard to get a ball into these seats. But Bryce Harper was getting ready to go into the cage, so I wanted to be there for it. If one was going up there, it was mine. The Mets ran off, and Sean Burnett came out to right field:

ImageBryce Harper then hit one down the line, Burnett came over, I asked him for a ball, and he rewarded me with this:

Image… and it was only 5:18. Good pace so far.

I headed to the Center Field seats, and took the following photos:

Image

Image… I would only wait so long for someone to come out. Nobody did, of course. I headed over to left field. The righties were hitting, so I figured this was the best spot to be in. Now, after reading from Mateo Fischer’s entry from a few weeks ago, the Nationals were for some odd reason using 2008 Shea Stadium Commemorative balls, and 2008 Nationals Park Commemorative balls.

While I was in Right Field, someone on the Nationals hit one right at me. I tried to lean over to the Party City Deck to reach for it, and just missed. Then, another home run surprised everyone who was trying to get the first ball, so now there were two. I noticed one of them was the Shea commemorative. I asked the security guard if I could have it, and he looked at both balls, tossed me the regular one, and pocketed the commemorative.

W. T. F. Here’s the scene of the crime:

Image

Now that you have a visual, the ball smacked around the staircase. Last time I checked, the guards aren’t allowed to keep the balls they get, but whatever.

Here was my view to the left:

ImageTwo balls were hit into the batters eye, but the security guard gave them to  other people. I decided to move further down towards straightaway left. Heres where more bad luck comes in to play. I went to the game with my friend Bryan. He doesn’t do the whole ballhawking thing, so he was just hanging out in left. When I got there, he already snagged a ball from someone he cant remember. Then, a National (I don’t know who) absolutely crushed a homer to the 3rd deck in left. It hit off the top of the scoreboard strip in between the two “We Remember” spots located here:

Image… and fell down right in our row. There was a scramble, and Bryan was closer then I was, so he got to it before me. And wouldn’t you know it, it was a Nationals commemorative. So I now missed out on each the Mets and Nats balls. Which was, of course, the only reason I went to this game to begin with. Here was the second scene of the crime:

Image…the ball landed right behind “Seat 14″.

I got a toss up from Gio Gonzalez for ball No. 3, and I even got a “Whoa!” compliment from him as I made the lunging catch. Kinda cool.

I then headed here:

Image…and proceeded to get nothing as the players were busy trying to launch balls into the upper deck, and the coach, Jose Martinez, was busy trying to get this woman to  give him her phone number (I kid you not). I headed to my usual spot:

Image…and got nothing. I did, however, get Ian Desmond’s autograph. This is where some of the *good* luck came in.

I was still standing in my spot when the groundskeepers were coming out to spraypaint the NY on the mound, and fix the infield. I look over to the tunnel, and one of them looks up at me and flips me Ball No. 4 on the day. Cool.

It was, of course, 9/11. So we took a moment of silence:

Image… it was a reminder of  how each day is a privilege to have freedoms. Here I am complaining about commemoratives, while this went on. I felt selfish.

Moving on…

During the game, I got a good picture of Bryce Harper:

Imageand here was Bryan with his Nats commemorative:

Image

Image… it was a perfect stamp too. Of course.

It then occurred to me that I could try the bullpen. It was a long shot but I was willing. So I headed over to the Nats bullpen:

Image… and proceeded to get ignored by the pitchers and the coach Jim Lett. I’m not sure if it was just me, but he purposely ignored me. It was ridiculously quiet out there, and it’s not the first time he’s done that. After 2 innings I gave up and headed back to my seats and looked over at the dugout. Maybe there was a commemorative in the dugout still from BP:

Image… Edwin Jackson looked over and for the hell of it, I flapped my glove. He came back 15 seconds later with a ball, pump faked, then threw it to me for Ball No. 5 on the day. Another bit of good luck. I already extended my new Citi Field record from 3 to 4, now it was up to 5.

The Nationals hung on to win, 5-3. Later, umpire Rob Drake headed over:

Image… and gave me this:

Image… No. 6. Doubled my record! Bittersweet day at the park. I’m not sure when my next MLB game is. I hope this wasn’t the last one of the season. I have a few minor league games left, though.

Image

  • SIX (SIX!!!) balls at this game
  • Personal Citi Field record
  • Personal overall record
  • 78 career balls
  • 8 straight games at Citi with a ball
  • 14 straight MLB games with a ball
  • Mets record when I attend: 2-7 in 2012 (12-16 overall)
  • Nationals record when I attend: 3-0 in 2012 (4-2 overall)

2 Comments

Congrats on the SIX at Citi Field. Even though it’s a lot better with the diminished crowds, that’s still quite a feat. My guess for the guy who hit the ball into the third deck would be Michael Morse. The dude absolutely bombs the ball.
-Mateo
http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

Thanks. I’ll take 6 at Citi any day. Bummed about the commemoratives though. And as for Morse, the hitter was a righty, so you’re probably right.
- Chris

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