After a weeks rest from my crazy 5 games in 5 days trip, I was ready for some more baseball. Today was a trip that my friends and I were planning for some time. We were heading to Rockland County, NY to see the new Can-Am League Rockland Boulders take on the Trois-Rivieres Aigles (3 Rivers Eagles, in Paris talk) for some good old fashioned action. My main goal for this game was to just get one ball, and more importantly, see what kind of ball they used for gameplay. Was it an official Rawlings ball? A cruddy Wilson ball? They weren’t affiliated with the MLB so I was interested in finding out, and opted NOT to google it and wait for the surprise. I knew going in that there’d definitely be no BP, since the gates were opening 4 hours early for some crappy Jimmy Buffett cover band and a little league game on the field. Which was ok. When I got there, here was the main gate: Not bad, I guess. I was still feeling under the weather at this point, so I hoped I’d be ok for the game. I kept walking past the “Lightpath Luxury Level”, which was empty: …Around to the back, where if there was BP, would probably be an ideal spot for balls that cleared the seats: There was nothing there. I had a feeling that once I kept walking around that I’d see a lot more of nothing, and I was right. I passed the team bus in the parking lot, walked through a gate which I probably shouldn’t have, and saw this: Looks like a prison. But, a real baseball prison looks like this, am I right? Heyyyo!!! Anyway, I looked in a few more spots for leftover Easter eggs and came up short. When I entered the gates, There was no action going on, so I took a lap and scouted some areas to snag, and took some photos. Provident Bank Park has some interesting architecture and angles. Check it out: Look at all that concourse space! And the wall in right field was about 4 feet high, I couldn’t believe it. I was pretty sure I’d found my spot for the game, but kept looking anyway. I just needed one to be hit there…. The bleachers in right center had an “old school” feel to them: I tried to run in those aisles, but it was too cramped. No good for ballhawking. Remember how I mentioned the weird angles? Take a look: It’s got a little bit of everything in there. I see some Fenway, some Citi Field, some Citizens Bank Park, a whole bunch of quirkiness. The left field seats seemed a little more realistic to ballhawk: Not too bad. Take a closer look at that foul ball haven beyond the foul pole: That reminded me of Tropicana Field. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about. We headed down there for some adult beverages to pass the time, until I finally saw some action back on the other side of the field. I knew we were early when I was passing players walking on the concourse. Here was some guy warming up: He was doing a serious bullpen session, so I didn’t bother him. Instead, when it was finally game time (one of the little league teams lost 24-6…) I headed back over here: I was almost guaranteed a ball, but when a little kid came by, the player looked at me, tossed it to him, and shrugged. I gotta borrow someone’s child sometime as an experiment. The game was about to start, so after a few innings, I headed out to that glorious right field spot: There wasn’t much competition at all. There was, however, a random mannequin without legs dressed in Boulders gear. Was it a joke? Was it to make it look like there was someone sitting out there? I don’t know, but I was acting stupid with my friend Bryan (you might remember him from other posts) with it: Like, seriously, WTF is that for?? We were talking to outfielders for both teams and joking around all night, so I knew I”d get a ball. And in the 7th inning, Trois-Rivieres center fielder Steve Brown tossed me his warmup ball, and… Sweeeeeeeeeeet. It was a perfect ball, too… so I’m glad to add it to my collection. To be honest, I’m surprised it was a Rawlings official ball, but hey. Here was the final score: For some reason, the Boulders were calling themselves the “Bergen Boulders” that night only. More randomness. I guess you can get away with it in that league. At the end of the game, I noticed the umpires walking towards the big Green Monster type wall in center, so I ran out there and asked for a ball from home plate umpire Lance Schoenwalt, and he told me to go on the other side of the wall when he’d be outside the park, so he wouldn’t get in trouble. So I did. And he threw it to me. And I had 2 balls. The end.
- 2 balls at this game
- 158 career balls
- 9 straight MiLB games with a ball (I’m counting it as MiLB, wanna fight about it?)