This is where I found myself Saturday morning:
Just for the record: I HATE snagging at Citi. It’s just too hard. Dimensions are too far, lots of restrictions/rules, but I make it work sometimes. My CitiField record is a measly 2, and I’ve heard of other ballhawks getting into the double digits. Envious is an understatement. Today my goal was just 1. I was here to enjoy the game and hang out mostly, and I was sitting on 49 balls. I just wanted to get to 50, and I’d be happy.
I went to the game early with my best friend Rich, and his cousin Alison. They are both Met fans so it didn’t take much leg-pulling to get them to go. Since we were early , we decided to partake in some of this:
Since it was a day game after a night game, I didn’t expect the Dodgers or Mets to be taking BP. Because of this, there was no real urgency for me to get in on time. Here was the line for bobbleheads:
We wound up getting one. When we headed into the stadium, I noticed a batting cage was up. I walked over to the seats and noticed the Dodgers taking BP. Figures. By the time I got down there, I had a chance to ask Ronald Belisario and Kenley Jansen for balls, but Belisario threw his over the Party City Deck, and Jansen pointed to a kid next to me and made sure the kid got it. Fair enough. I didn’t even have time to snap a pic, since that was the end of Dodgers BP. Sigh.
I decided since I was wearing Dodgers gear, I would head over to this area:
I’ve snagged balls here before, so I figured I’d give it a go. For a while this was the only action – Andre Ethier stretching.
Yawn. After a few minutes, Adam Kennedy came out, ball-less mind you, to do some wind sprints and stretch. Me and Rich were having fun and yelling to him for attention, and yelling “2002 ALCS MVP!!!!” Which got some laughs and a wave from him. It was fun to interact with him. I decided to look over once more toward the Dodger dugout to see if there were any coaches (Don Mattingly, in particular – as a big Yankee fan I thought it would be sick to get a toss-up from him) or players who I could ask:
Nothing. As I look back towards the field, out of nowhere a ball is flying right at my face. I had almost no time to react, but the ball smacked off my glove and onto the ground behind me. Rich quickly smacked the ball back down towards us since people were grabbing for it, and then as he handed it to me, not only was I happy that I snagged a ball, but more importantly, this was staring me in the face:
SCORE!!!!!! A Dodgers 50th anniversary commemorative ball!!!! I guess Kennedy had a ball in his pocket or got one from Ethier, but either way I was thrilled. I now have 2 commemorative balls out of the 6 this year (MIA, LAD) and I’d love to get the others, but it’ll be tough. It was smudged, but look at it, simply gorgeous. It was then that I just realized the awesomeness of snagging a 50th Anniversary ball for my 50th career ball (I’m a dork, I know).
It was also pretty surreal to get acknowledged by superstar Matt Kemp:
I asked infielder Luis Cruz for a ball he had since he had just hit his 1st career homer the night before – But he told me he was already giving it to somebody behind the dugout. If you look in the picture, you notice the Mets were wearing their black home jerseys. They had all but scrapped the jerseys this year, but on the Alfonzo bobblehead I mentioned earlier, he is wearing the black home jersey, so that could be my only explanation for why the Mets did this. I thought it was a nice homage to him. They could also have been trying to break that losing streak they have 😉
We decided to hang out here for the game, and as I took the picture Ronny Cedeño had just homered, so the apple is up:
Towards the end of the game, something that I was not used to had happened: A Mets usher was friendly and actually let us move down lower for the end of the game. Here was the view:
I had actually never sat here yet, so it was exciting to sit somewhere new for once. Here was my view to my right:
If someone was parking one out here, I was getting it.
The Mets had blown through their *awesome* bullpen again this game, so we got treated to this guy running out from the bullpen in the top of the 9th inning:
NL All-Star, 13-1 R.A. Dickey came in to pitch the 9th. Relieving aint’ his bag though, and he gave up a homer to Juan Uribe to extend the lead. The Mets didn’t have a comeback in their bones though, so here was the final score:
I tried getting a ball as the Dodgers walked out of the bullpen, but to no avail. I was content with my 50th though. We took one last picture to cap off what I would say was a successful day at CitiField (I don’t say that much so enjoy it. Rich is on the left, you’ll see him frequently on the blog, his cousin Alison in the middle, and then me on the right).
- 1 ball at this game
- 50 career balls
- 5th ball at CitiField
- Mets record when I attend: 10-13
- Dodgers record when I attend: 1-1
Next game will be Monday night, Nationals @ Mets.