Category: Hudson Valley Renegades

7/31/13 at Dutchess Stadium (VER @ HV)

So, this will probably be the shortest post I’ll ever write. BP was slow, there was not much action during the game, and I was feeling under the weather for a while and it was catching up with me. I caught all 3 of my balls pregame out in left field, before the game started: 20130731_193228

I sat here during the game with some friends: 20130731_210634


After the game, I asked the umpires, players, and coaches for balls, bats, and a lineup card, and barely missed out on getting a broken bat: 20130731_215957


And there you have it. The shortest post ever. This was also the first game of a 5 day stretch where I’d go on to see 5 games in the 5 days. Baltimore, Philly, and Scranton. Final score:



My other posts will be more exciting, I promise.

7/11/13 at Dutchess Stadium (JAM @ HV)

It’s funny how things work sometimes. I was really on the fence about going to this game. The night before, I decided I was too tired to go so I stayed home. Also, for some reason a Yankees game vs. Kansas City was way more expensive than it should’ve been, given the talent being put on the field that night. Same thing for tonight’s game. The Yankees had a day game after a night game, so there’d *likely* be no BP there. So last second, I decided to go to the Renegades game vs. Jamestown. I’d never seen the Jammers before, so I figured why not.

By the way, the Jammers have quite possibly the worst logo in professional sports today. Check it out: Image

…are you kidding me? So ugly. Anyway, I got to the stadium decently early. It was replica home jersey night, so the crowd would fill up fast, at least for a minor league game. When I got around to left field, I was pleased to finally see a team out taking batting practice at the Dutch: Image I figured I’d ask the players for a ball later. I wanted to check the woods for any Easter eggs, plus the off chance that someone actually hit one out while I was there. I headed over a little to the left into the woods. As I was walking, I happened to check the support beam for the scoreboard: ImageWell, that was easy. But wait, there’s more! I headed into the woods a few more feet and found these two: Image That was even easier. I found a few more… by a few I mean 4 more. This put me to 7 on the day. I already broke my personal record of 6. You might be saying, “yeah but you had it so easy.” Not quite the case. If you ever ballhawk at a Minor League game, you’ll know that it almost is more difficult than a Major League game. There’s less space to move, less accessibility, and easier ways to be recognized. I usually have a tough time at Dutchess Stadium, so I was relishing this opportunity to really do some damage. I quit searching in the thorn-ridden woods (my legs learned a lesson from last time),  and took in some BP. As luck would have it, someone on Jamestown sliced one down the line. It rolled right out of the stadium into my hands for my 8th ball of the day. One of the players actually asked me if I could give it back to him, which I thought was weird. So I did. Personally, I count this as a snag. But at the end of the day, I don’t officially “count” it in my career totals. I number every baseball I get, and since I threw this one back, I can’t number it and there will always be a missing ball for that number in my collection. Catch where I’m going here? What would you do? Throw it back? Keep it and run away? Count it and skip one? A few minutes later, Elvis Escobar (no way that’s his real name) fielded a liner: Image …and I clapped my hands and he tossed it to me for my 9th ball of the day. I decided enough was enough when a random employee came over and told me I couldn’t stand there, even though that guy I’ve previously mentioned (7 year season ticket holder) always rummages back there for balls, that I headed inside, picked up my replica jersey (which seems to get cheaper every year) and headed over here for the remainder of BP: Image and later got Jeff Roy to throw me my 10th ball of the day. As you can see, even though the Jammers have those lovely green and purple shades for team colors, they are wearing Pirates apparel since they are a Pirates affiliate. Makes sense. I thought it’d be cool to get the warm-up ball from the pitcher, so I headed over to the Renegades side of the field which I haven’t done much this year. This year’s squad doesn’t seem too friendly.Last year’s bunch were very friendly and fan oriented. I built a loose relationship with a few of them, and a few of them even Facebook friended me. Here is where they were: Image The pitcher on the left is Austin Pruitt, and the catcher on the right is Omar Narvaez. Neither of them threw the ball to me. I went back over to the Jammers side of the field: Image but nothing much was going on over there either. I feel like I got my luck out of the way early in the day. Eventually, the game started, and I positioned myself here for a game ball: Image but I didn’t have any luck there either. The catcher for Jamestown seemed like he didn’t speak much English, and in the few innings that ended in strikeouts, he ran straight into the dugout.

If you’ll recall, I had poor luck recently concerning playing on the on-field games. Not today, though. I finally made it on the field for a game: Image

The object of the game was to play the popular game, “cornhole,” but on a larger scale. This was using pillows. I apparently was “on fire” according to the PA announcer, and “thumped” the opposing player 15-7 and won a lovely duffel bag which I am using right now.

I also played foul balls outside for a little as well. The idea is to watch them as they go out here from the bleachers: Image …so you can see where or what car the ball lands on or rolls under. Of course, none were hit on this side, so I headed down to the 1st base area to watch a late Renegades rally fall short. I DID, however, get umpire Matt Winters to toss me a perfect, no smudge, mud rubbed ball to make it 11 on the day and close the night out: Image

Final score:


  • 11 balls at this game (Kept and officially counted 10)
  • 127 career balls
  • 4 straight MiLB games with a ball

Also if you notice, another three MLB balls made it into Single-A ball.

As I finish this post, I’m sitting in a Starbucks outside of Lowell, MA. Mateo Fischer is sleeping in my car. Why you ask? Check back for my next post and find out!

7/2/13 at Dutchess Stadium (ABD @ HV)

I initially wasn’t going to go to this game. I had gotten the tickets for free for starters due to the long rain delay in my last post, plus it was raining all night and day leading up to the game. I decided to go anyway, and headed to the usual spot: Image Not much action there. Neither the Renegades or IronBirds were taking BP, so it came down to looking for homers in the woods if I wanted to keep my streak alive. I wound up finding 2 baseballs in about 15 minutes (and 100 thorn wounds later), both of which were very water logged: Image I made sure to keep those separate because I didn’t want them to smell. I went inside and hung out until the IronBirds came out to toss: Image I joked around with a few of them and later got Trey Mancini to toss me my 3rd ball of the day. This also caught my eye: Image :::Drools:::

The equipment manager quickly snagged those up, and the game started. During the game, Trey Mancini (the guy who tossed me the ball) hit a homer into the woods in left field. I immediately got up and ran out to the area where he hit it. On the way, a few of the bullpen pitchers for Aberdeen whistled at me and got my attention and said they’d trade me a different ball for his home run, since it was his 1st career dinger. I was extra motivated now to find it. There was this other man who retrieves home runs there for about 7 years now who made his way out there and proceeded to find it in like 2 minutes. He was also a bit arrogant, which I didn’t like. I would’ve had it, but I made the mistake of not watching where the home run landed and just running over there because I was excited. Next time I’m getting the home run.

As we headed in, 2 batters later, Jeff Kemp hit another home run to left field. Without seeing where he hit it (because I couldn’t), I ran back to the woods, and wouldn’t you know it… the same guy got that one too. $$%$&*@#@%$ !

I did however, snag this: Image… and handed it to the nearest kid. Another sidebar: the first three Renegades games I’ve been to now this season, I’ve befriended one of the “Fun Team” members. These people run the in between inning games and promotions. Every game so far he promised me I’d do the best contest prize wise with a friend. And every time, it’s been cancelled for some reason. He signed me up again today, and wouldn’t you know it… it got cancelled again. They did hook us  up with some hats and free tickets though: Image Towards the end of the game, I headed over here for an umpire/3rd out ball: Image …but came up short. I almost got a bat, as well, but missed out. Final score:



  • 3 balls at this game (another MLB’er in there again!)
  • 113 career balls
  • 3 straight MiLB games with a  ball

6/24/13 at Dutchess Stadium (BRK @ HV)

On my way to Dutchess Stadium the sky got incredibly dark. I was hoping that the weather would hold off at least for BP, since I took advantage of a special deal the Renegades were having and I had a ticket for a suite for tonight’s game. More on that in a minute. I went around back behind the left field wall, as BP was still going on. Then it proceeded to downpour, thunder, lightning, and hail on me. I took cover under a tree (awesome idea, right?) until the storm passed. I would’ve gotten a shot of the rain coming down (it was impressive), but I didn’t want to risk ruining my camera. After about 10 minutes, the rain passed and I made my way around until I found this guy for ball No. 1 on the night: ImageI continued my way around: ImageWould it kill them to do a little landscaping? Jeez. I found my 2nd home run of the day a little further ahead. Now, the opening night game they were doing post-game fireworks, which were being set up behind the center field wall. I stopped when I got to that point last time, but today there was no fireworks, so I made the full trip around to the right field area: Image(Note the 2012 Champions Flag hung there. Wooot Woot.) I found my 3rd ball of the day there, but it was a weird looking ball. Definitely not a Rawlings ball but perhaps a training ball of some kind. Here it is: ImageI’ll show you a closeup later on. I made it to the right field corner, adjacent to the Renegades clubhouse. Nothing to see here: ImageNothing but a big mud pile, and no baseballs. Now, remember how I mentioned the suite?  Well, yes, I was sitting in a “luxury” suite for tonight’s game. I put luxury in quotation marks because the minor league equivalent of a luxury box is about the equivalent of the Caesar’s Club at Citi Field, except you get free food. Still cool though. The ticket was only 25 bucks, as well. Here’s a shot I snapped as I entered the suite level: ImageAnd here’s the suite itself: ImageNiiice. The most relieving thing of the entire experience was that it was air conditioned. The air was so unbelievably muggy from the thunderstorms that it was pleasant to be in air conditioning. I thought it was pretty nice for 25$. I was waiting for my friend Brian to show up, and from the looks of it, the suite was to ourselves (so far). I spent some time taking photos of the field with the tarp on…which was fine with me because I was inside. Ha HA! I was excited: ImageTired eyes, FTW.

I was reminded of Yankee Stadium (minus the communist-like security) when I was forced to put this on: ImageYet, the game was still delayed. I was curious as to the policy for a rainout if I had a suite ticket on discount. Could I just exchange it for 4 games at 6 bucks a piece for regular seating? Hopefully I wouldn’t have to find out. On my way to the men’s room, I noticed a incredibly large shiny object on this man’s hand. I decided to take a closer look, and: ImageTurns out he was a scout for the St. Louis Cardinals (duh), and he was showing of his bling. How cool is that? The ring was very impressive. The tarp came off finally two hours later… Image

…and to compensate for the wait, the Renegades gave out free tickets for the July 2nd game vs. Aberdeen (which I’m headed out the door to right now). The ‘Gades are awesome.

As for the game:


No bueno. I had plenty of room for foul balls during the game: ImageI narrowly missed out on three foul balls after the 7th inning. But I didn’t get them. I’m so due for a foul ball. I’ll get it soon.


  • 3 balls at this game
  • 110 career balls

It was interesting too, the 2nd ball I got was a Major League Ball. Also, remember that weird ball I was telling you about? Check it out:

ImageThat’s a Wilson A-1030 Ball, used primarily for “High School, Adult Practice and Youth League Play.” How do you think it wound up in there?

6/21/13 at Dutchess Stadium (SI @ HV)

It was my first Renegades game of the season, and it was their home opener. They are defending their championship from last year, and they have a 4-0 start to the season, so I was pretty excited to get there. Of course for some reason, this was my view for an HOUR for what is normally a 15 minute drive from my house to the stadium: pic 1 Therefore, I subsequently missed about an hour of BP and got there when the gates opened. I was not pleased: 20130621_164605 Eventually though, I did get there: 101_0496 Yaaaaaaaaaaaay. I decided to try a trick I read about during the offseason, so I continued past  the front gates around to the side of the stadium: 101_0497 And a little further: 101_0498 …just a little more, until I got here: 101_0499 Since it was the home opener, I wasn’t expecting to find many home runs to be lying around. The Yankees were still hitting, so I made sure to keep my hears open in case a ball sailed over the wall. It was a bit dangerous because you can’t see whats coming. See what I mean? 101_0500 So you pretty much have about a second to look and react if one’s coming over the wall. Nothing did, though, so I kept searching the grass for a bit. Someone had to have hit at least one out today. Eventually, I found this guy: 101_0501 Sweet. I also grabbed a shot of the scoreboard from where I was: 101_0502 It would have been cool if they threw that logo on the game balls for tonight. Then I took another artistic shot of my first MiLB ball of the year: 101_0504Behind center field they were setting up for the post-game fireworks, so I didn’t want to interfere with that. Next time I’m looking forward to making the full loop around and check it out. I went inside, not before being told I couldn’t bring my drawstring bag into the park. It was considered a backpack, and even though I only had a glove in it, given the recent Boston events I wasn’t allowed to bring it inside. Stupid rule. So next time I’ll bring a big ugly shopping bag that takes up twice the space. I did a quick check for Easter eggs, and went over to the area behind the Yankee dugout: 101_0505 A few minutes later, I got a player I couldn’t recognize to toss me my second ball of the day. I hung out for a bit more, until the game started. I was trying for a 3rd out ball in case there was a commemorative logo on the balls: 20130621_194910

After a few innings, I decided I had enough and went to hang out with some friends. I was also supposed to do a between-innings game on the dugout after the 5th inning, but the intern working there made a mistake but promised me I’d get a game in on Monday when I go. So that’s cool. The Renegades went on to go 5-0: final

What was even cooler is that somehow after the game, we got to meet NBA player Deandre Jordan. He plays for the LA ClippersdeandreHow awesome is that? Turns out his brother Cory plays for the Renegades so we introduced ourselves to him, as well. Good times. After that, the fireworks were about to begin: 20130621_212306

And then we hung out in the parking lot for the traffic to dwindle down. Good times.

9/12/12 at Dutchess Stadium (TRI @ HV NY-Penn League Championship Gm 2)

It was Game 2 of the Penn-League Finals, and I was there:
Image(just noticed the guy doing acrobatics in the background) I was only looking to get one ball to start a new streak, and I was looking forward to just watching the game but trying for a foul ball in case one came near me. The Valley Cats came out to toss –

Image…and I later got Joe Sclafani (pictured below):

Image…to toss me my first (and last) ball of the day:



Now, on to the game.

ImageI sat here the whole time. I did not get a foul ball. The Renegades went on to win tonight, and then the next night (I couldn’t make it -___-) they won to become NY-Penn League Champions! Very cool stuff.

I have some things cooking up to close out the season.

  • 1 ball at this game
  • 79 Career balls

9/10/12 at Dutchess Stadium (BRK @ HV SemiFinals Game 3)

This will be a quick post… because from a ballhawking standpoint, nothing really happened for me tonight. The day started off with a bad omen here:

ImageIt was Game 3 of the Semi-Finals. If the Renegades win, they go to the finals. If Brooklyn wins, they go to the finals. Rich and I had to wait for our tickets to show up to the park, and it was nearing first pitch. As each minute passed, I knew my chances at keeping my streak alive got smaller. I then moved down to here for the start of the game:

Image… and nothing. I was getting restless. For one, I was ball-less. and two, this was a elimination game. I headed up to the bleachers, and this was why. Heres the view in front of me:

Imageand to my left:

Image…. Foul. Ball. Heaven. Since it was a school night and 6 p.m.-ish, there was NOBODY there, all things considered for a playoff game. Only problem was, nobody hit any foul balls. At all. You would think maybe one, possibly two, but no. I was still ready in case one sailed over the railing and landed in here:

Image… that’s where the staff park. To the left though, is a smoking area for fans. Normally, during the summer, a ton of little kids hang out here for foul balls, but again – being a school night, there were tumbleweeds drifting by out back. All I would have to do is quick run back and see what car the ball landed by and it was mine.

Of course though, nothing was hit there. I decided to go and stand on the concourse. After one inning, I asked 1st baseman Jayce Boyd for a third out ball. He looked at me, stared, then walked into the dugout.


While I was waiting, I snagged a free bag of peanuts:

ImageHe dropped it on the floor, looked at me and said “Well, I can’t sell these now…” (It’s in plastic, but okay free food) and tossed it to me.

Nothing more really happened snagging wise, and eventually I screamed like crazy when this happened:

ImageThe Renegades won 2-0 on a combined 1-hitter, and will face the Tri-City Valley Cats for the NY-Penn League Championship. Since the Renegades had the best record in the league, Game 1 is in Tri-City tomorrow night, but I am going to Game 2 at the Dutch Thursday night. I am also most likely going to the Nationals-Mets game tomorrow night. Stay tuned!

  • ZERO balls at this game. (DSMFGNLDSFXZ.UGhFDZJSKB!!!!!!)
  • Overall streak snapped, MLB streak still intact.

9/7/12 @ MCU Park (HV @ BRK)

It was a long day on the subways to start:


… (from left to right) I drove down from my house to the Bronx to 242nd Street, caught the A at 168th Street, got the L at 14th Street, got off at Lorimer Street (to meet some friends), got back on the G at Greenpoint Ave, and caught the D to Coney Island and finally wound up here:

ImageI went down to Coney Island to see the Hudson Valley Renegades (my local team) take on the Brooklyn Cyclones in Game 1 of the NY Penn-League Playoffs. It was a last minute decision, but hey… you gotta support the team. If you’ve never been to Coney Island before, it’s actually a lot nicer than it used to be. When you walk in the park, you can look out past left field and see the amusement park:

Image… and past right field you have the famous Parachute Jump, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.

You get a nice sea breeze the whole game. Enough of that though, on to the snagging.

I had my eye on this:

Image…. I knew that they’d be stingy with the balls, mainly because the season already ended and they would be low. Then the players started loosening up –

ImageHere was my view to the left and right in case a throw sailed over a player into the seats:


Image… yep. One of the players told me he’d give me a game ball. Fair enough. I didn’t want to be annoying since I was the only person down by the team, so I figured I’d take the patient route. The game finally began:


Image(Interesting sidebar: See the roof in the picture above? How its a wavy line? It’s a tribute to the old Brooklyn Dodgers, who now play in Los Angeles and use the same style roof at Dodger Stadium. Cool, no?)

A few innings passed, and the player who told me he would throw me a ball, quickly threw one up from the dugout as I was checking the Yankees score on my phone. I looked down for about 5 seconds, and that’s all it took for the guy next to me to get it instead of me. It was the same guy who stole a ball from me the last time I was at MCU back in July.


I wouldn’t stay mad long though, as someone on the Cyclones hit a foul toards the Renegades dugout, and I got Taylor Guerreri (#17) to toss me it:


ImageStreak alive. It was also cool to get a ball from Guerreri, who had a 1.04 ERA in 52 innings pitched this season. Hopefully he makes it up to the Rays someday.

Later, I wandered over by the Cyclones bullpen, mainly because of this:

ImageIf a home run was hit there, it would be mine. Literally zero people in the bleachers (I later found out nobody was allowed out there). Then I looked in the bullpen and saw this:

ImageSince you cant see it, the sign says “Toss a quarter in the cup, get a free baseball”. So naturally I tried it. 50 cents poorer, I headed back to right field in hopes of a foul/toss up from the right fielder:


Image… I didn’t see any action, and then the game ended. Renegades 0, Cyclones 4. Not good. I then took the long, loooong subway commute back home and stared at this for the next 2 hours:

ImageCurse you, MTA. Back at it later today for Game 2 at Dutchess Stadium, Rain/Tornadoes or shine.

*UPDATE* They just called the game. It will be Sunday instead.


  • 1 ball at this game
  • 72 career balls

8/26/12 at Dutchess Stadium (ABD @ HV)

Here were my Sunday plans:

Image… 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:

Image…eh. It wasn’t exactly the end of the world though, because I headed over here –

Image… and got Felix Gonzalez to toss me my first ball of the day:

ImageIsn’t that gorgeous?

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…

Image… 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:

ImageHow awesome is that? It was a glove used by a ballplayer in the 1940s or so. I tried on the glove with one of the balls I caught:

Image… 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:

Image…but came up empty. They were doing some sort of promotion on the field after the game, so we stayed after (any excuse to get on a ball field is a good one to me). Here was the crowd:

Image…and here we are (I’m on the right, obviously) in center field:


My next game is probably Tuesday (Jays @ Yankees).


  • 2 balls at this game
  • 68 career balls

7/30/12 at Dutchess Stadium

It was a bit last minute, but I was here Monday night:

ImageSorry 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:

ImageCatcher 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:

ImageI have a few more MiLB balls in my collection, most look like this. Pretty cool.

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:

ImageA 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):

Image…but came up empty. Later I sat over on the first base side…


…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