7/3/13 at Citi Field (AZ @ NYM)

Today’s game was a pretty spur of the moment decision. I was celebrating my anniversary with my girlfriend in the city, and decided to take her to the DBacks/Mets game at night. The day started off with a nice picnic at Croton Gorge Park: Image …followed by some ice cream (sidebar: if you’re ever in the city, go to Big Gay Ice Cream on E 7th St. Nevermind the name, the ice cream was fantastic.), some walking around and hanging at Bryant Park. I also came across this: Image

They should make one of those for Citi Field. And then it was game time: Image

The security at Citi does the same thing every time I’m there: They line everyone up in two very long lines even though there eventually are 8 tables you can line up in to get checked. And when you try to start a new line, they tell you that there’s no line there even though there will be. So I stayed where I was, and wound up being one of the first people inside.  I ran over to left field, where I saw fellow NY ballhawks Greg Barasch and Ben Weil. We all separated into different sections, and right away, a player I didn’t think to identify hit a homer into the seats. Greg and I ran for it, and it slammed off a seat and… disappeared for lack of a better word. We looked and looked and couldn’t find it for a good minute or so. Then, I went back down to the front row of the section in case the ball rolled down there. When I got there, a security guard had picked it up, saw that I was actively looking for it, and tossed it to me for my 1st ball of the day. Here’s a visual in case the story was confusing: Image So, as you can see:

1) Ball enters the seats
2) Ball slams seats
3) Ball rolls down
4) Ball gets snagged

And then, at 5:18, eight minutes after the gates opened… Image The Mets ran off the field. EXCITING!

I headed over to the Diamondbacks dugout to try to get a toss up before BP. But, I forgot the stupid rule that the Mets have where you can’t go behind the dugout before the game in case you don’t have a ticket. So instead, I hung out over here – Image …and watched Greg snag his 3rd ball of the day. I initially wasn’t going to go to this game like I said for a few reasons:

The next day was July 4th, so everyone was off from work.
This game was a fireworks game.
Matt Harvey was pitching.

Since that was the case, the left field seats were already mobbed. I decided to head to center field first. Nothing happened there, just kids screaming at Heath Bell for 10 minutes to give them a ball. Instead, I went over to right field: Image and after a few minutes, I *politely* asked him to toss me up a ball, and he did. He’s a cool dude. A few minutes later, I was still there. Either Miguel Montero or Jason Kubel came up to hit. I was in the section closest to the Mets bullpen, under the Pepsi Porch. This section isn’t completely covered, which will be important. A liner came right at me, and I tried to backtrack up the stairs. The steps out here are higher than the average stair, so I tripped going up. I leaned my glove out and narrowly missed the ball. By an inch at the most. That one pissed me off. But as luck would have it, he hit another one right at me the very next pitch. So I quickly set myself, put up my glove, and snagged my 3rd ball of the day. My 2nd homer of the day. It felt good. Natalie was on the other side of the park and intently watches every pitch ever since David Ortiz hit her back in Minnesota, and saw the catch. She even congratulated me through text: Image

I figured I’d outlasted my welcome in right,  so I headed back to left. Too crowded. The DBacks ran off shortly after. I went to my usual spot when this happened: Image Not cool. My main concern was the length of the delay. We had taken the train to this game, and the train I wanted to take the absolute latest left at 12:50. It takes about a half hour to get to Grand Central from Citi, so I needed to leave around 12 in order to make it. To make matters worse, the rain got heavier: Image So there was that. Eventually, the tarp came off the field: Image The players then came out to warm up: Image …and eventually got Cliff Pennington to toss me his warm up ball. I was excited: Image I tried to get a  ball the rest of the game and was positioned here: Image but nothing came of it. There were too many people there and it was nice to just relax. The game ended around 12:30 a.m. afer a 2 hour rain delay, so my initial plan was out the window. Also, the entire stadium was still packed for fireworks. Then to make matters worse, the 7 train rode past the Willets Point station twice without picking anyone up, thus making us two minutes late for our Metro North train, making us wait at Grand Central for almost an hour, thus getting me home at 4:00 am. Thank you, MTA. Thank you.

Final score:

Image

Image

  • 4 balls at this game
  • 117 career balls
  • 27 Straight MLB games with a ball.

One of the balls had an interesting smudge on it. Check it out: Image

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7 comments

  1. alexgiobbi

    Hi, I came across your blog while reading the monthly blog rankings. Really nice, plus I’m glad that you also cover minor league, since that’s my thing. I write for Prospects2pros by the way. Anyway, hope that you get in more Renegades games.

    • ch1088

      Thank you. I love getting feedback from readers, mainly so I know I still have them. xD

      I have a ton of minor league games on my slate this summer. Thanks for the follow.

      – Chris

  2. stevenjacobson16

    Croton Gorge Park is a great place- my cousins live in Croton-on-Hudson, so I’ve been there. I haven’t been to Citi yet, but it’s definitely a stadium I’m anxious to go to. Good job getting all of those balls, man! Where do you keep all of them? Do you think you’ll hit FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, NJ this summer on your minor league park tour? It’s a nice field, it’s around where I live.

    -Steven, http://www.talesfromthediamond.wordpress.com

    • ch1088

      Citi is less intimidating than Yankee Stadium. Easier to snag, too. I have a big wine crate and a bag under my bed so far that I keep ’em in. As for Lakewood, I was actually there 2 summers ago for a Blue Claws game vs West Virginia. That was before I started blogging though. I might get there this year. Thanks for following my blog, I appreciate it.
      – Chris

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