8/29/12 at Yankee Stadium (TOR @ NYY)

It was a bit unexpected and last minute, but I was here early Wednesday morning:

Image… I was about to board the Metro North with my dad to go to Yankee Stadium for the 2nd time in 2 nights.He hasn’t been to a game all season, plus he was off from work, so what the heck. I don’t normally take the train to the game, but when I got off, I never realized the awesome view of Yankee Stadium you get when you make your way out:

Image… nice. I knew I wasn’t going to see much of anything on the field, being this was a day game after a night game, but when I entered the park, I was surprised to see the cage was out:

Image… Turns out a few guys were hitting grounders to Alex Rodriguez. If there was to be batting practice for the Jays after, It was going to be another toughie. Here’s how it looked in the left field seats:

Image… it was only going to get more crowded. After about 20 solid minutes of Jays tossing, I played the patient waiting game, spotted out Ricky Romero, called his name, and got him to toss me ball No. 1 for the day:

Image(Romero is the one throwing in the photo.) My dad has never been to a game yet with me where I was ballhawking, so he was amazed at how I managed to get that ball. To my credit, I was the only one who recognized any of the players and actually asked for one. What a concept. Here is the ball in all its beauty:

ImageSweet. Streak alive. There were other Jays tossing:

Image… but I didn’t bother. They were ignoring everyone, and Romero, the awesome guy that he is, gave away 4 balls to kids and then stopped for some of these:

Image… I couldn’t manage my way in there, or else I’d have him sign my ticket. I was then bored and took an artistic photo:

ImageFeel free to use that. I hung out with my dad for a bit, we got some grub, then I took him upstairs to show him “The Harkey”. Just look at all the space I had:

ImageWhat a view. I mean honestly, he could absolutely sail one to the left, and I could run over uncontested and grab it. I couldn’t believe for a day game crowd how empty this area was, but I wasn’t complaining. Here was my view down to the bullpen to give you perspective on height and distance, keep it in mind:

ImageNow. Harkey came over, did his usual 4 or 5, then looked up at me. I waved my glove a few times, (I mean really, who else could he look at) and we made eye contact and he chucked it up. It was falling short, and quick. I decided to make a move. I took my right hand, grabbed as much of the stone wall as I could, and lunged over the wall. I would have to estimate that I was at least hanging over the wall up to my kneecaps. I almost over-judged the ball, as it smacked into the heel of my glove. I couldn’t believe it. To date, it was the sickest snag I’ve made. My dad couldn’t believe it. The bleacher section below shown in the photo above gave me a round of applause and cheers. People were high-fiving me, even cops were telling me how nice the grab was. It was a pretty surreal moment.

As quick as that escalated, that’s how quick it died down. So we headed up to our seats. On the way, I noticed the Yankees museum had NO line to get in. I’ve been wanting to check that place out for 3 years now, so we went in quick. Here are a few photos:

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Okay. Thanks for getting through that. Of those pictures, we have:

1) the 2009 World Series ring the Yankees received

2) a signed Rickey Henderson ball. The Yankees have almost every signature they could get from the superstars to the mop-up relievers, one on each ball inside a glass case. I picked Rickey’s because he was just an awesome player.

3) A collection of rings the Yankees earned from 1977-2009

4) The model of Yankee Stadium that the Steinbrenners proposed to the city of New York

5) Thurman Munson’s old locker from the Old Yankee Stadium

Here were our seats:

ImageIt was nice to just hang for a few innings.  I was bored so attempted a panorama picture:

ImageBut you know me, I was thinking of snagging opportunities. I took myself down here:

Image… and got denied a few times. The seats were pretty empty (it was pretty hot out), but nothing was hit my way. The game ended. Jays 8, Yanks 5. Since it was getaway day, the Jays hi-tailed it out of there. However, I spotted one of these bad boys on the wall:

ImageI asked the groundskeeper if I could have it, and he looked at me nasty. Here’s how the situation panned out:

Groundskeeper: “I just gave you one yesterday.”

Chris: “No, you didn’t. That was Zack.” (Sidebar- I was standing next to Zack Hample when he got the lineup card the night before, as you can see here. See? I was there.)

G: “Yes, you did. Why do you gotta lie to me?”

C: “I swear to you, it wasn’t me! I was there, but you gave it to Zack.”

G: “You don’t gotta lie, man, I’m gonna give it to you anyway, but don’t lie to me man.”

…… what the heck?

I wasn’t going to let that ruin my day though. I snagged more balls today with no BP than the night before. And I got a lineup card. Here it is in all it’s glory:

ImageSweeeeet. I love the highlighting and the abbreviations and the sharpie editing, it’s all great.

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  • 2 balls at this game
  • 71 career balls
  • 9 straight games at Yankee Stadium with a ball
  • 13 straight MLB games with a ball
  • Yankees record when I attend: 35-22 (9-4 in 2012)
  • Blue Jays record when I attend: 2-7 (1-2 in 2012)

I’m thinking of going Friday vs. the Orioles, but I’m not sure just yet.

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4 comments

  1. Zack Hample

    Sweeeet! And that’s hilarious about the mixup with the groundskeeper. I wish I’d known about this before today’s game, or I would’ve said something to him to . . . ease the tension.

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