Here were my Sunday plans:
… I was excited to just take in a smaller atmosphere, lately I’ve been chasing commemorative balls, and rushing, etc., so I was looking forward to just going to a ballgame with a small crowd, doing my thing, and just overall enjoying a ballgame. Since I had season tickets for today’s game, you don’t have to wait in line at the main gate and you can enter at the side. There was nobody there, so I was excited to run in and potentially see BP with nobody in the stands and easter eggs for the taking. Instead, here was the view when I got in:
… and got Felix Gonzalez to toss me my first ball of the day:
Since I was the only one who was actually asking for a ball, I didn’t want to seem greedy in front of the other fans and headed over to the IronBirds (Orioles A-Affiliate) side to try to get a ball. There were a few guys tossing, but I was only able to head over so far towards left field without a “Picnic Area” ticket. Therefore, a bunch of balls were tossed into the crowd in that area. I was busy getting an autograph (I never usually do autographs, so I don’t know what compelled me to here) from Jose Nivar when 2 more balls were tossed into the crowd. Later, there was one sitting up against the wall, so I asked Jose to give it to me and he kid of playfully said no. I thought he was kidding so I gave him a yes-nod and he threw it to the bullpen catcher.
After that, I headed to my seats for the game…
… and got Cameron Edman to toss me the 3rd out ball from the bottom of the 2nd inning. It was a grounder to third, which was scooped up at first. Nice.
I was satisfied with my totals for the game, and decided to just hang for the rest of the day. I was walking around the concourse when I ran into a stand ran by the Dutchess County Sports Museum. I was going to keep walking, until this caught my eye:
… I could barely get the glove shut around the ball. That alone made me respect old time ballplayers even more. I couldn’t imaging catching a liner down the line or a deep fly ball with this thing. There was plenty of padding, but not a lot of mobility with it. I thought it was really cool.
I tried getting a ball from the home plate umpire after the game:
My next game is probably Tuesday (Jays @ Yankees).
- 2 balls at this game
- 68 career balls
It was a bit last minute, but I was here Monday night:
Sorry for the dark picture, I forgot to take one during daylight. It is Dutchess Stadium, the home of the Single-A short season Hudson Valley Renegades. They are the affiliate for the Tampa Bay Rays. I’ve been here plenty of times, and my personal record here is 5. You have a good chance of finding an easter egg or two here, and a toss up. The Renegades were playing the Williamsport Crosscutters. Since it was last minute, I didn’t get in when the gates opened. When I did get in, I headed over to left field because this was going on:
Catcher Kevin Quaranto was having a long toss with some other player, and I got him to toss me his ball after he was done. Minor League balls get used a LOT more often than MLB ball, just take a look:
A few of the Renegades recognize me, so they always say hi when I go. I figured I’d try my luck over on the 1st base side:
A few minutes later, there was a whole group of kids from a camp in front, so I knew the players wouldn’t throw me one and risk hitting someone. Once the game started, my two friends (Brian and Rich) and I hung out here:
…Where I narrowly missed getting a foul ball. It hit off the gutter on the roof behind me and darted to the right. So close. Later we moved down by the dugout (where I’ve gotten a few third out balls before):
…because the clubhouses are behind the right field wall, and tried to ask the home plate umpire Blake Carnahan for a ball. I saw he threw a bunch by the dugout, and when he got to me, he was all out. There was a father/daughter dance on the field, so that was my cue to head out.
- 1 ball at this game
- 54 total balls
Next game – 7/31 Baltimore @ NYY