Sometimes I think I have bad luck. Everytime I buy a season ticket for a Mets weekend game, it either rains or there is no BP. The point of a season ticket is so you can enter a half hour before everyone else does. Usually this means having an entire stadium essentially to yourself. Gate times were opening at 4:40. I met Greg at the gate, and at 4:35, it started raining.
Greg went home. I didn’t have such luxury, since I live an hour away. So, I went inside, and voila:
As for me? I was soaked and thrilled:
What happened next is exactly why I hate New York stadiums and security. Look at the picture before my angry selfie. See all the people? Well, the usher in my section decided I wasn’t allowed to stand there – I was the only person in the stadium – I was literally standing there looking at my phone – and he had probably the crappiest attitude I’ve ever seen someone have.
Since I had, oh – 2 ½ hours to kill, I walked around the entire park looking for any easter eggs in case either team hit earlier in the day, which sometimes teams do. Here’s a cool shot from the 2nd deck:
See the open space next to the foul pole?
Someone else had the same idea as I did, and while I was up taking pictures in the second deck, he found the only easter egg sitting there.
So for the next 2 hours or so, I popped in my ear buds and listened to music while I watched a 15 minute shower pass by and then some clear sky with no rain:
Eventually, the Marlins came out, and I set up near Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich:
Stanton hooked me up for ball 1 of the night. That felt pretty cool, because I love Stanton. Though, it’d be cooler to catch a BP homer of his.
During the game, it started raining again:
So I didn’t have much competition. When Travis d’Arnaud flied out to end the 3rd inning, Yelich tossed me the ball for my 2nd and last ball of the night.
Final score: Marlins 7, Mets 6
2 balls at this game (#’s 196, 197)
Man, what grad school will do to you. I’m currently writing about these games almost 6 months after I attended these. Life has been a whirlwind with school, taking 15 credits, learning French… oh, and I got engaged. Did I mention that? So you’ll be seeing a lot more of Natalie in my posts. But on to baseball…
I knew that initially when I bought these tickets, It was a 4:05 start. So there was a decent chance of BP. But the night before, it rained and they called for a day/night double header. This was cool because it was single admission, so I got to watch 2 games for the price of 1. But there was likely going to be no batting practice. I’d have to really try to keep my streak alive.
Unfortunately, my laptop between September and now died… and I lost all of my pictures from this game, and the next. Eventually, Todd Cook will send me some pictures he snapped and I can throw them in. But basically I hung out with him and his boys for 18 innings of baseball. It was pretty fun. There was a little BP for this game, it ended early. The Marlins never came out. And I can recall it was “Take your dog to the park” day. But here is what I snagged on the day:
Ball 1 – Dillon Gee toss up
Ball 2 – Homer hit to left field (unknown player)
Ball 3 – Tom Goodwin toss up
Ball 4 – Greg Burke toss up
Ball 5 – Donovan Solano pregame warmup ball
Ball 6 – Jake Marisnick threw me the 3rd out ball when Juan Lagares flied out to end the 6th inning for the Mets. That one felt good 🙂
The Marlins beat the Mets 3-0 in game 1, and the Mets won 3-1 in Game 2. This day was really fun, and I’m disappointed that I lost my pictures.
Rays @ Yankees
Honestly, I don’t remember anything about this game. The only thing I remember was that I caught an Alex Rodriguez BP homer on the fly in what was likely one of his last games as a MLB player. Other than that, I can’t remember a thing.
Yankees lost, 8-3.
Ball 1 (180) – A-Rod BP homer on the fly
Ball 2 (181) – unknown toss up from TB
Ball 3 (182) – unknown toss up from TB
Brewers @ Mets
You’ll never believe what happened at this game, and I have zero pictures to prove it. That’s how life is, I guess. I went to this game last second because there was going to be nobody there. This game meant nothing to both teams, so I thought it’d be a good day of snagging. BP was probably the weakest I’ve ever seen, and I got 1 ball hit into the seats that I caught off a ricochet, and I got a Brewers relief pitcher to toss me a ball in right center during the Brewers’ portion of BP.
I snuck down behind the Brewers’ dugout easily, and watched the game from there. During the course of the game, this kid who was sitting by himself, no more than 13 years old was just heckling all of the Mets players. He was pretty funny too. I can’t remember how, but we got to talking. He showed me that his cousin was Yuniesky Betancourt of the Brewers. They were in town for the last road trip of the year and following the team. He was telling all sorts of crazy stories from the locker room, and told me how they felt about the Carlos Gomez incident, which was pretty cool too.
At the end of the game, jokingly I said “You should take me to the locker room.” And he said he would. So at the end of the game, I found him just as I was leaving Citi Field. I happened to turn around and he was about to enter down by the Jackie Robinson Rotunda with his father (Yuni’s brother). I ran over quick, and got stopped by the security guard. I told him I was with the Betancourts and pointed to them… at this point, the kid turned around and recognized me and waved back, leading to the guard letting me in. So here I am just sitting here in the tunnel outside of the Brewers locker room. All the players are walking past me to the bus, but no Betancourt yet. The kid came back out, said it’d be a few more minutes, but handed me a ball from the locker room. I didn’t care, I counted it. I had to move out of the way so a small cart could get through, and when I did this, the Betancourts came out and were whisked away by security. I didn’t really see any point in hanging around any more, so I went outside and met up with Zack and had a catch in the parking lot for about a half hour:
and later headed home.
Ball 1 (183) Unknown Met
Ball 2 (184) Unknown Brewer
Ball 3 (185) Betancourt’s cousin
I will never lose pictures again. Lesson learned. On to 2014!
I didn’t have the blog up just yet at the time, but I knocked the 2 Florida stadiums off my list earlier this year, going to Marlins Park and Tropicana Field. I like to show about the baseballs I get at the games, but it’s also cool to remember the stadiums I’ve visited as well. I went with my girlfriend Natalie back in May, and this is what happened. Let’s just say I was disappointed.
Here’s what I first saw when we exited the parking garage. It was really really hot that day, and if it hadn’t been our first visit there, I would have sat in the shade until the gates opened. Florida has a whole different kind of humidity compared to New York, it’s terrible. Moving on…
Here’s the gate I planned on furiously running in to start the day, but for the time being there was more exploring to do.
There were these weird looking letters scattered all over the place, but we found out that the new stadium is built on the old grounds of the Orange Bowl, so those scattered letters spell out “Orange Bowl”. Very artsy.
Also, from what I know, Marlins Park is the first stadium to have their own nightclub built inside. Through the opening I could see the Marlins taking BP. I was tempted to ask a worker to get me a ball, I wanted a spanking new commemorative baseball the Marlins use for 2012. I hadn’t planned on seeing the Marlins in New York later this year, so I really really wanted one today. More on that later.
The stadium kind of looks like a spaceship. We worked our way around to the front…
…And found ourselves in front of the team shop. In each stadium I like to go to the team store and check things out, and I also like to collect the pocket schedule for that team/year (Yeah, I’m weird). Here I am in the team store:
Outside, there was a random CPR thing going on, and it was a little weird. The EMT’s doing it were a little pushy.
Finally, it was time to go inside. I was pretty excited. We were the first ones in so I ran inside and looked for easter eggs. Nothing. I walked around to the front by the Marlins dugout, and they were already jogging off the field. Not a good start. It all happened so quick,I didn’t even get a picture. I decided to head to right field for the Giants portion of BP:
See that guy on the left? More on him in a bit.
A few sharp liners flew over my head, but nothing came real close. It was frustrating. Marlins Park is a pitchers park, to be frank. It takes a BIG drive to put one out here. Here was my view after the liners:
…and not one Giant threw a ball to anyone. Not even the kids. Now that’s lousy. I’ve come across a few unfriendly teams. SF, BAL, and the Mets to name a few. It’s not like it was loud and they couldn’t hear us either. It was pretty quiet. Lame.
Remember that guy in the photo? The whole time I was in this section, there was a ball on the ground behind his seat. I was hesitant to take it, but I thought it was an easter egg. I was afraid it was his though. But why would someone put it behind their seat? So I asked him “Excuse me sir, is that yours?” and he said “Uh….. yeah. Yea, thats mine, it uh… fell out of my glove.”
It wasn’t his. I’m just an idiot who tried to be nice. Moving on –
I took some artsy photos of the park on my way behind the Giants dugout to try my luck there.
I was now behind the Giants dugout. I tried several times to get a ball from players and coaches, but to no avail. I also spotted a famous baseball face:
That’s Felipe Alou, for those who don’t know. Pretty cool.
I tried one last time to get a ball from Brandon Belt, who was taking infield practice.
He saw me a few times and looked like he wanted to throw me one, but never did. Unless I caught a game foul ball, I was shut out in BP. Not cool. However, I was there to enjoy my vacation/stadium experience, so we continued exploring until the game started. Here’s some photos and then I’ll explain what they are:
This is an outside concourse that takes you upstairs. It’s far off in the corner and reminds me of a football stadium. I didn’t think it was good placement, it took forever to get upstairs.
Cool view from outside, and heres a view from up top:
I like to take a picture all the way at the top of the stadium looking down, I don’t know why.
The roof was closed because it was 97 degrees and humid. The Marlins either open/close the roof after the game so fans can see how it works. I thought that was pretty cool and yes, we stayed at the end to watch it. It costs 10$ each time they open and close the roof in electric bills. Nuts.
Thought this was a cool vantage point. Impressive architecture with those columns, I think.
This seat is in left field, it’s the last seat they ever installed in the stadium. There is a red one down by the Marlins dugout on the field level, it’s the first seat they ever installed.
There’s the infamous Fish sculpture that goes off when the Marlins hit a home run. It’s big, colorful, and hideous.
Never saw a stadium with vintage video games, that was pretty cool.
The Marlins also have a “bobblehead museum”, it’s a collection of every single bobblehead given out by MLB teams over the years.
Here were our seats for the game:
And we even got lucky and saw the fish sculpture go off after Giancarlo Stanton homered in the 2nd:
We even got lucky and met Billy the Marlin:
Later, we moved down behind the Giants dugout:
Melky Cabrera started throwing everyone in the crowd balls late in the game. I think it was the 9th inning, and I was wearing my Giants shirt and screaming very loud,but He ignored me or didn’t hear me. I was still shut out. It sucked. As for the result of the game: Here it was –
And heres a shot of me:
The 8 stands for the number of stadiums I’ve visited.So far I’m up to 8 (New Yankee, CitiField, Fenway, Baltimore, Washington, Toronto, Montreal, Miami). I’ve also been to Old Yankee and Shea, but am counting them separately for now. I can’t take pictures there because they are both demolished.
After the game, we checked out the Clevelander (only perk was great air-conditioning), and the outside of the stadium one last time:
Fish tank behind home plate! And the pool in the Clevelander:
…I took a coaster as a souvenir. Wasn’t paying 10 bucks for a Bud Light, plus I had to drive 😉
Here’s one final pic outside the stadium:
Later on this trip we went to Tropicana Field. I’ll post that trip later. Overall Marlins Park grade: B+. Gorgeous, a little space-shippy, plus I got no balls (Yea go ahead and laugh).
Final Stats: 0 balls snagged. (1 pictured here because I had to BUY one. Ugh)
Marlins record when I attend: 1-2
Giants record when I attend: 1-1