Today’s goal was simple: 3. I needed 3 balls to get to the 50 milestone, and after the past few games I had (5, 3) I thought it was definitely doable. I figured since the Yankees were playing the Blue Jays, my chances could only benefit from making one of these:
I have a whole bunch of these, which I make myself, for almost every team. I haven’t had to make some. And I refuse to make a Red Sox one. Just against the rules. 🙂
I headed down to the stadium early, and was second in line. It was brutally hot, the scoreboard in center said it was 101 degrees down by the field. I didn’t find any easter eggs, so I stood next to monument park in right field.
I have been trying all season to get a ball from Hiroki Kuroda. I’ve used signs in Japanese, yelling in Japanese, flailing my arms, nothing. He just waves to me 15 times. He probably thinks I’m a weirdo. It was slow going for the Yankees portion of BP, until someone (I believe it was Raul Ibanez) hit one into the Yankees bullpen. When the Yankees portion of BP ended, Freddy Garcia flipped it to me over the fence for my first ball of the day.
I ran over to left field and threw on my Jays gear and found some unwanted competition:
Sigh. There were too many Jays fans and kids nearby to try and get anything to keep without getting my head bitten off.
I started talking to Henderson Alvarez and bullpen coach Pete Walker:
….who said they would hook me up, but alas, did not.
I tried talking to Ricky Romero and Francisco Cordero…
… who ignored me also, throwing balls to other parts of the stands.
I decided to try my luck by the Jays dugout, where nobody was really hanging out. (Also, Yankee Stadium security guards are annoying and kicked everyone out at 6. 6:30 I can understand, but 6? C’mon. The businessmen don’t get to the games until the 3rd inning anyway.)
I was pretty much the only one there, aside from a few other Jays fans, and I knew the players could hear me. The music wasn’t playing anymore, and it was relatively quiet. Nothing pisses me off more than when athletes ignore their fans. It takes 1 minute to answer or flip a ball. ANYway, I tried getting a ball from Colby Rasmus and Rajai Davis, but they were busy playing some form of baseball-tennis with their bats. Omar Vizquel just waved to me (which was kinda cool), Brett Lawrie was busy doing an interview for the NHL Network of all channels, and the coaches ignored me. Then, Yunel Escobar acknowledged me after I flapped my glove, and instead of throwing me a ball, he nodded his head toward me and slid his bat over the roof of the dugout and it landed on the ground.
But, since Yankee Stadium is a corporate prison, I wasn’t allowed into the “legends” seats, so I watched helplessly as a usher handed my bat to another Jays fan. All while simultaneously being asked to leave the section because the game is starting in another 45 minutes.
Sigh. I need to go to Baltimore.
I decided to head up to the left field bleachers and see if a groundskeeper attendant could hook me up. Sometimes they do. You have to make sure to wait until after they finish cleaning the bullpen or they ignore you. When I got up there, this is what I saw:
Oh, what a joyous occasion. I knew the drill, and I now had 2 on the day. I only needed one for my milestone 50th.
Yankee bullpen coach Mike Harkey has a pre-game ritual where he throws about 5 or 6 balls into the stands while standing on the bullpen bench, so I headed over to right field and positioned myself for when he came.
In the meantime, I watched CC Sabathia come off the DL and warm up:
I didn’t have time to take a picture while Harkey was doing his thing, and he sailed one to my left and shrugged sheepishly at me when he saw I was disgusted. I went to the game with my friend Brian, who wanted to meet some friends and say hello. Shortly after, we headed to our seats and relaxed for a bit.
Towards the 9th inning, we went down by the Blue Jays bullpen, but failed to get the elusive 50th ball.
Final score – Yankees 6, Toronto 1. (Take THAT Toronto)
After that, we headed home. Next game will probably be Saturday (Dodgers @ Mets).
2 balls at this game, 49 career. 7 straight games with a ball.
|Games With at Least 1 Ball:||15|
|Games at Yankee Stadium with at least 1 ball:||9|
Competition factor for game: 89,950
Freddy Garcia becomes 1st player to throw me 2 balls.
Yankees record when I attend: 32-19 (6-1 this season)
Blue Jays record when I attend: 1-6 (0-1 this season)