Day 2 in Baltimore was about as good as the previous day. I had a lot of fun, and it was a memorable night. Lets get started…
We (Mateo and I) actually showed up to this game on time, and parked without any issues. After arriving at the gate, Mateo took some pictures. Here is one of Avi (on the right): making fun of Mateo shooting photos. In the middle is Grant who was in yesterday’s post. Also, a special thanks to Avi for lending me his season ticket holder pass so I could get in to the seats early: I ran inside upon entering and for some reason I cant remember, I got to the seats way later than everyone else. So, here were my views of competition: Not the worst, but they were experienced. I did, however, have a nice aisle to my right: During Orioles BP, I caught one homer. It was a J.J. Hardy liner that ricocheted off of some seats that I grabbed on the run. I wish I could make it sound more exciting than that, but…. yea. A few minutes later, they ran off the field. The Mariners were already tossing, so after they were done, I got Kyle Seager: to toss me my 2nd ball of the game. It was also my 150th career ball. Exciting! He threw it to me before this was taken, and walked down the line more. It took me some time to get the photo. I moved further up the line towards the foul pole: …where I got Tom Wilhelmsen to throw me my 3rd ball of the day. I felt that I’d exhausted my resources in foul territory with toss ups, and now that the Mariners were finally beginning to put some balls out into the seats, I headed out to left field. It was very crowded, likely because it was Friday night. Check it out: I was pretty much boxed in. But the night before, I saw a man stand in this exact spot and catch three homers on the fly by the bullpen fence. So, I figured why not. After about 10 minutes or so, I caught a Humberto Quintero homer on the fly. I couldn’t tell who hit it at the time, but I knew he was a short, stocky, Spanish player. When this player on the right came out and matched that description: …I put two and two together. I was getting bored out in left and there weren’t really many more opportunities to snag, so I headed over by the dugout: and after watching the end of BP and hanging out for a bit, I got Mariners coach Mike Brumley to toss me my 5th ball of the day. BP was cut short a bit early due to a pregame ceremony with Roberto Alomar which I could have cared less about, so since the day before was so time strapped and rushed, I decided to do my usual self-tour of the ballpark and take some photos. I headed up to the upper deck and shot this photo of the concourse, overlooking M & T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens: Which was nice. What I didn’t understand was that when I headed up here to take a photo: …I was asked to show my ticket. Seriously? There’s 4 people up there! I also took this panorama photo which you can click to enlarge: I love that background. If it weren’t for me living a good 3-4 hours away, I’d be at OPACY a lot more often than I am now. I also like how stadiums look when they are empty, so I took one in the corner here: And if you look to your right, you get a good view of the action down on Eutaw Street: Nice. I’d love to go to that every time I went to a ballgame. Back down on the ground, here was a different view of the action: I wanted to go back to the visiting bullpen like the previous day, so I took a walk through the concourse since I hadn’t seen it the day before and snapped some shots: As for the action on the field, some semblance of a ceremony was going on: As outgoing of a guy that Alomar seemed like when he played, he seemed the opposite here, almost like he didn’t want to be there. I stopped paying attention and ran back over to the Mariners bullpen: I like that picture because the ball is in mid-air. It was around this time that…now, I’m the only person in the section in the very last row, mind you – a woman usher who had the attitude like she needed to police every single thing asked me for my ticket and said that I couldn’t stand there by the bullpen. Even though about 50 people were also standing there watching Aaron Harang warm up. I felt like telling here that once she made everyone else move, then I would too but instead, I ran over near the flag court for the game: Ballhawking up to this point was pretty routine, get on the flag court for lefties and watching until another lefty came up. That was, of course, until this happened:
As you can see, Chris Davis homered again for the 2nd night in a row when I was there. And, for the 2nd night in a row, I came close to snagging my first ever homer. If you watch the video, you can see that Alex (remember him from yesterday?) got the best head start, followed by Mateo who was running from the second gate in the middle, followed by me who got the latest jump out of the three. I’m not sure where Grant was, but he was there as well. My initial mistake was watching the ball soar over my head. The homer landed on Eutaw Street and bounced. From there, it was a mad dash for the ball until Alex leaped up and two handed it and came down onto the pavement and held on for the snag. Here is another video of it courtesy of “Cut 4” from mlb.com:
Unfortunately, I can’t embed the video. Here is a screenshot from the video though shortly after: So as you can see, there was me on the left (sweet Mariners shirt, I know, right?), Grant (who was hidden behind Rick Gold) and Alex with the ball in his hand. I labeled the picture as “sigh” because not only was I disappointed that I didn’t snag the ball, but also because Orioles management asked for the ball. It was Chris Davis’ 40th, and only the 5th time an Orioles player had done so. So essentially, Alex was going to meet Davis.
We all put ballhawking on a collective hold and followed Alex to a special area behind home plate where he handed the ball to someone in Orioles management. It was there that he asked for a Davis jersey, but the man said he wasn’t able to do that: He said that he’d more likely be able to do a batting helmet and some balls, so Alex settled for that. We (or he as far as we knew) had to meet him back there at the end of the game. We were on our way back to the flag court when Mateo ran ahead and almost snagged a Ryan Flaherty home run. Eventually, the game was over and we headed back to the spot we were in before. The man you saw in the previous photo met us and said we could all go with Alex, so we were led down a staircase… …into a hallway… …right outside the Orioles locker room doors: Where we waited… ….and waited… A few other players walked by with their families, and even Buck Showalter, but I didn’t want to bother them. A couple next to us had caught Nate McLouth’s grand slam during the game and got to meet him: Most of the Mariners walked by too, until eventually, the man of the hour came out: Davis seemed kind of disinterested and tired, but I guess I would be too. He took a few more pictures with Alex and was cool enough to let us take one with him too and let me shake his hand: I feel bad for Grant – he was to my left but got cut out of the picture! Here’s a look at the helmet Alex got: It wasn’t until then that I noticed the “19” on the back and we found out that the helmet was in fact game used. I forgot to mention I also got Davis’ autograph. All in all, a great night at OPACY. And oh, how could I forget my stadium photo? I almost did. Here it is: I had originally been to OPACY in 2009, but that was before I was ballhawking and had the picture idea that I stole from Zack Hample. So there ya go. Ballhawkfest ’13 next! By the way, final score:
- 5 balls at this game
- 153 career balls
- 32 straight MLB games with a ball