Category: Uncategorized

4/19/14 at Citi Field (ATL @ NYM)

So it’s been quite some time since I made a post… I attribute that to being busy with grad school, and mostly being lazy. But, I plan on catching you up to speed (if you’re still there), so here goes:

April 19th I went to Citi Field with Natalie for the Braves/Mets. 

When I ran inside, I got Tom Goodwin to toss me one fairly quick for the 1st of the day: 101_0674

 

Fun. 

As for BP, it was crowded enough, for an April game with the Braves in town: 101_0678

 

I also got another ball from Kyle Farnsworth before the Mets ran off. I got shut out during Braves BP, and sat here for the game: 

 

101_0679

 

Mets lost, 7-5. I wish I remembered more. 

101_0685

 

  • 2 balls at this game 

3/29/14 at Olympic Stadium (NYM @ TOR)

Game 2 of the Olympic Stadium series was going to be as exciting as the previous day. The game plan for today was to meet Todd and his kids, Avi, and Michel at the same gate and hope that batting practice would be scheduled for today, a day game after a night game. I figured it would still be on, since the series was a special occasion. After the quick subway ride up to the stadium, we were in the familiar spot again waiting for the gates to open: Image When the gates opened, I ran inside and was excited to see the cages were still up. The Blue Jays were off the field already if they even hit, and the Mets were out tossing: Image Since there was nobody hitting in the cage immediately, I decided to head over and find Scott Rice and see if he remembered his promise from the day before. He was over on the end tossing: Image Do you see the two balls in his back pockets? He turned around when he got the chance, saw me, and tossed me one and just like that, I was already on the board on a day where there was an expected crowd of 50,000 people plus. Not bad. To make things more exciting, it was a Red Sox  Fenway Park 100th Anniversary ball! 

BP was about to start, so I headed out to left field: Image One of the negatives about this game was that since there was an incident in the game before, the cross aisles were off limits to fans. this was going to put a huge blow in everybody’s totals, since it would take quite a home run to reach the seats without landing in the cross aisles or below. There were also too many fans for toss ups. It was going to be a tough day for sure. I’ll show you what I mean: Image See the cross aisles? Empty. A few minutes later, someone on the Mets who I couldn’t identify hit a homer that landed in front of the bleachers, and rolled under the seats and back to the back end where there really isn’t anything. I ran up the stairs, looked over the back railing and noticed that it rolled to a stop by the “Genie Boom:” Image This semester I happened to be taking a course in French. I knew it would come in handy at some point on this trip. Walking by was a newspaper photographer (I assume, he had a camera in his hand and looked official). I called over to him…

Excusez-moi, monsieur! 

Puis-je avoir la balle s’il vous plaît!

S’il vous plaît!

Merci beaucoup!

He tossed the ball up to me, but it was too short. I was nervous others would catch on and take it from me, but he got it to me in time: Image As you can see, it was a Marlins Park commemorative. Shortly afterwards, the Mets jogged off and BP was over. 

We all decided that it was time to explore Olympic Stadium, something I didn’t get to do the day before. This was alright with me, since it was still a spring training game. Kellan wanted to have a catch (maybe it was Todd) in the concourse, so to kill some time that’s where we all headed: Image …the best part of this was that several security guards walked right past us, even through us at times and didn’t say a word. Could you imagine doing that at Yankee Stadium? You’d spend the night at Rikers. We kept walking around, and I saw a lot of Expos gear: Image I somehow got down low by the field for pregame warmups, along with Avi and Greg. Avi snagged something special from Stade Olympique as well, but you’ll have to ask him about it. Nobody got a pregame toss up, so we decided before we get kicked out of the seats, we all wanted to head up to the furthest spot up in left field: Image It was hilarious sitting up there. It was dusty. The seats were dirty. We all actually got kicked out of our seats in the last row of the stadium. Cross that off the bucket list. It was time to walk around the entire stadium to the other side. Check out the concourse: Image Weird. Ugly. Bizarre. Beautiful. 

Check out the cool panorama I took from right field: Image The structure is so interesting to me. You have the arching step like roof, the blue colored roof, the weird lighting structures, the hanging speakers, the random center field scoreboard jutting out and obstructing view… I loved it. it’s a shame there isn’t more baseball here. On the concourse, they even had doors built into the walls: Image  When we got down to the second level, we went behind the right field bleachers until we were told to leave: Image I decided to try and snag a ball over where todd did the day before in left: Image I didn’t have much luck. We did however, see a Melky Cabrera home run come sort of our way as you can see on tv: Image That’s us circled, obviously. There’s also all of this random stuff behind the center field batter’s eye: Image Renovating for future MLB games? I can only hope. By this point, we missed like 7 innings of the game. We headed down by the dugouts for the end of the game, and the Blue Jays pulled off the win. Final score: Image

I also forgot to throw in this great panorama Todd  took, since I always take one in new stadiums but forgot here for some reason: Image

I saw this on one of the seats… wishful thinking, perhaps:  Image …since it rained/snowed the day before, and today was sunny (but still 29 degrees), i had to walk around the outside and take some pictures like I always do. Check it out: Image 

We then navigated through about a foot of snow and ice, and got over to this area which was a lovely place to take some pictures: Image 

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We walked together and hung out on the subway, and said our goodbyes (for now). Image

  • 2 balls at this game
  • 3 balls this season
  • 3 commemorative balls
  • 188 career balls

 

 

August Reader Rankings

Quick post, just wanted to get this out:

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Pictured above is the rankings for the most read blogs in August. As you can see, I cracked the top 50. I did not think that that would ever happen. For those of you who take the time to read my blog every time I make a post, I appreciate it. It lets me know that my work doesn’t go unnoticed. MY next game will be on Saturday  the minor-league team near me clinched a division title/playoff spot for the 1st time in 12 years! So you KNOW I’ll be there. Until then, thanks again. 

Looking back: 5/24/12 at Marlins Park (MIA-SF)

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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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

Welcome

First, thanks for reading my blog. I know some other guys have some as well who have more balls than me, but it inspired me to make one of my own. For starters, my name is Chris and I’m 23. I got into ballhawking after stumbling across Zack Hample‘s blog. He has caught around 6,000 balls. Me? Currently I am at 47. I started last year, and like they say, practice makes perfect. My goal this year is to end up around 75 at season’s end. Some ballhawks don’t include minor league balls, and some do. I prefer to because sometimes I think it is harder at minor league parks (smaller capacity, players remembering you). In case you are interested in how I got my first 47: Here is the list in chronological order (#, player, how I obtained it, date, location) Also, I still have yet to physically catch a hit ball into my glove! And it’s killing me. Others do it so easily. >:O All my balls were either easter eggs or toss-ups. Enjoy!

Ball 1 – HV Renegades – unknown – Dutchess Stadium
2010 (can’t remember!)
Ball 2 – Daric Barton, Oakland A’s, toss-up, Fenway Park, 6/4/11
Ball 3 – Lance Pendleton, NY Yankees, Yankee Stadium
6/13/11
Ball 4 – Kevin Whelan, NY Yankees, Yankee Stadium
6/13/11
Ball 5 – Mark Bailey, Batting Coach, Tri-City Valley Cats,
Dutchess Stadium 7/6/11
Ball 6 – Found 3B seats, Dutchess Stadium, 7/7/11
Ball 7 – HV Renegades – unknown – Dutchess Stadium
Ball 8 – Brett Gardner, NY Yankees, Yankee Stadium
4/18/09
Ball 9 – HV Renegades – unknown – Dutchess Stadium
Ball 10 – HV Renegades – unknown – Dutchess Stadium
Ball 11 – Livan Hernandez – Washington Nationals,
Nationals Park 7/30/11
Ball 12 – Unknown BP Home Run – Washington
Nationals, Nationals Park 7/30/11
Ball 13 – Chad Qualls – San Diego Padres, Citi Field
8/11/11
Ball 14 – Dave Racaniello, Bullpen Catcher – NY Mets,
Citi Field 8/11/11
Ball 15 – Juniel Querecuto, SS – HV Renegades, Joe
Bruno Stadium 8/12/11
Ball 16 – Chris Winder, 2B – HV Renegades, Joe Bruno
Stadium 8/12/11
Ball 17 – Tri-City Valleycats Ballboy, Joe Bruno Stadium
8/12/11
Ball 18 – Carolina League Ball, Myrtle Beach Pelicans
(friend) 8/2011
Ball 19 – Ray Church, HV Renegades 2B, Dutchess
Stadium 9/3/11
Ball 20 – Frank Francisco, Toronto Blue Jays, Yankee
Stadium 9/4/11
Ball 21 – Derek Jeter BP HR, Thrown by Pat Hentgen
(Toronto Bullpen Coach), Yankee Stadium 9/4/11
22 – Alex Burnett – Minnesota Twins – Yankee Stadium –
4/19/12
23 – Tommy Hunter – Baltimore Orioles – Yankee
Stadium – 5/1/12
24 – Glenn Sherlock – Arizona Diamondbacks – Citi Field
– 5/5/12
25 – Brandon Allen – TB Rays – Yankee Stadium 5/10/12
26 – Jeff Niemann – TB Rays – Yankee Stadium 5/10/12
27 – Andruw Jones – NY Yankees – Yankee Stadium
5/10/12
28 – Stan Boroski – TB Rays – Yankee Stadium 5/10/12
29 – Tim Collins – KC Royals – Yankee Stad. 5/22/12
30 – Jeff Francouer – KC Royals – “”
31 – Aaron Crow – KCR – Y.S.
32 – Y.S. Groundskeeper – HR – Y.S.
33 – Marlins Park – 5/24/12
34 – Freddy Garcia – NYY – 6/6/12 – YS
35 – Jose Lobaton – TB – 6/6/12 – YS
36 – Burke Badenhop – TB – 6/6/12 – YS
37 – Miguel Cairo – Cincinnati Reds – 6/17/12 – Citi Field
38 – Francisco Diaz – West Virginia Power – hit off of
bat from Josh Ludy (Lakewood Blue Claws), FirstEnergy
Park 6/26/12
39 – Felix Gonzalez – HV Renegades, 7/2/12, MCU Park
– Brooklyn NY
40 – Found (3B) – Dutchess Stadium – 7/11/12 Dutchess
Stadium
41 – Patrick Wisdom – Batavia Muckdogs – 7/11/12
Dutchess Stadium
42 – Jesus Montero – Batavia Muckdogs – 7/11/12
Dutchess Stadium
43 – Reinaldo Lopez – HV Renegades – 7/11/12
Dutchess Stadium
44 – Leonardo Reginatto – HV Renegades – 7/11/12
Dutchess Stadium
45 – DeShun Dixon – HVR – 7/16/12 Dutchess Stadium
46 – Charlie Valerio- Mahoning Valley Scrappers –
7/16/12 Dutchess Stadium
47 – Dan DeMent (batting coach)HVR – 7/16/12
Dutchess Stadium (Reginatto walk off single)