Tagged: COMMEMORATIVE

9/11/12 at Citi Field (WSH @ NYM)

It was a very unlucky, yet lucky day for me at Citi Field, if that makes sense. Let’s get started. I somehow made it to Citi before the gates opened at 5:10. From there, after the gates opened, I subsequently fell going up the stairs and banged my knee. It still hurts as I write this. I then hobbled to left field, and saw the Nationals stretching. The Mets were in right field finishing BP, so I headed over there:

ImageWhen I got there, here was the view behind me:

ImageIt’s hard to get a ball into these seats. But Bryce Harper was getting ready to go into the cage, so I wanted to be there for it. If one was going up there, it was mine. The Mets ran off, and Sean Burnett came out to right field:

ImageBryce Harper then hit one down the line, Burnett came over, I asked him for a ball, and he rewarded me with this:

Image… and it was only 5:18. Good pace so far.

I headed to the Center Field seats, and took the following photos:

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Image… I would only wait so long for someone to come out. Nobody did, of course. I headed over to left field. The righties were hitting, so I figured this was the best spot to be in. Now, after reading from Mateo Fischer’s entry from a few weeks ago, the Nationals were for some odd reason using 2008 Shea Stadium Commemorative balls, and 2008 Nationals Park Commemorative balls.

While I was in Right Field, someone on the Nationals hit one right at me. I tried to lean over to the Party City Deck to reach for it, and just missed. Then, another home run surprised everyone who was trying to get the first ball, so now there were two. I noticed one of them was the Shea commemorative. I asked the security guard if I could have it, and he looked at both balls, tossed me the regular one, and pocketed the commemorative.

W. T. F. Here’s the scene of the crime:

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Now that you have a visual, the ball smacked around the staircase. Last time I checked, the guards aren’t allowed to keep the balls they get, but whatever.

Here was my view to the left:

ImageTwo balls were hit into the batters eye, but the security guard gave them to  other people. I decided to move further down towards straightaway left. Heres where more bad luck comes in to play. I went to the game with my friend Bryan. He doesn’t do the whole ballhawking thing, so he was just hanging out in left. When I got there, he already snagged a ball from someone he cant remember. Then, a National (I don’t know who) absolutely crushed a homer to the 3rd deck in left. It hit off the top of the scoreboard strip in between the two “We Remember” spots located here:

Image… and fell down right in our row. There was a scramble, and Bryan was closer then I was, so he got to it before me. And wouldn’t you know it, it was a Nationals commemorative. So I now missed out on each the Mets and Nats balls. Which was, of course, the only reason I went to this game to begin with. Here was the second scene of the crime:

Image…the ball landed right behind “Seat 14”.

I got a toss up from Gio Gonzalez for ball No. 3, and I even got a “Whoa!” compliment from him as I made the lunging catch. Kinda cool.

I then headed here:

Image…and proceeded to get nothing as the players were busy trying to launch balls into the upper deck, and the coach, Jose Martinez, was busy trying to get this woman to  give him her phone number (I kid you not). I headed to my usual spot:

Image…and got nothing. I did, however, get Ian Desmond’s autograph. This is where some of the *good* luck came in.

I was still standing in my spot when the groundskeepers were coming out to spraypaint the NY on the mound, and fix the infield. I look over to the tunnel, and one of them looks up at me and flips me Ball No. 4 on the day. Cool.

It was, of course, 9/11. So we took a moment of silence:

Image… it was a reminder of  how each day is a privilege to have freedoms. Here I am complaining about commemoratives, while this went on. I felt selfish.

Moving on…

During the game, I got a good picture of Bryce Harper:

Imageand here was Bryan with his Nats commemorative:

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Image… it was a perfect stamp too. Of course.

It then occurred to me that I could try the bullpen. It was a long shot but I was willing. So I headed over to the Nats bullpen:

Image… and proceeded to get ignored by the pitchers and the coach Jim Lett. I’m not sure if it was just me, but he purposely ignored me. It was ridiculously quiet out there, and it’s not the first time he’s done that. After 2 innings I gave up and headed back to my seats and looked over at the dugout. Maybe there was a commemorative in the dugout still from BP:

Image… Edwin Jackson looked over and for the hell of it, I flapped my glove. He came back 15 seconds later with a ball, pump faked, then threw it to me for Ball No. 5 on the day. Another bit of good luck. I already extended my new Citi Field record from 3 to 4, now it was up to 5.

The Nationals hung on to win, 5-3. Later, umpire Rob Drake headed over:

Image… and gave me this:

Image… No. 6. Doubled my record! Bittersweet day at the park. I’m not sure when my next MLB game is. I hope this wasn’t the last one of the season. I have a few minor league games left, though.

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  • SIX (SIX!!!) balls at this game
  • Personal Citi Field record
  • Personal overall record
  • 78 career balls
  • 8 straight games at Citi with a ball
  • 14 straight MLB games with a ball
  • Mets record when I attend: 2-7 in 2012 (12-16 overall)
  • Nationals record when I attend: 3-0 in 2012 (4-2 overall)
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8/17/12 at Yankee Stadium (BOS @ NYY)

I got a ticket for this game for 1 reason and 1 reason only:

I wanted a Fenway commemorative ball. Correction: I NEEDED one. I did not feel like going up to Boston just for one ball. I had some previous obligations to take care of earlier in the day, so I was already in the city. I was actually able to make it to the stadium very early for once, and it felt good. Thus, my journey starts here on 51st Street and Lexington Ave:

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I then grabbed the 4 at 59th street, and a few cramped, crowded, sweaty, woman next to yous sweaty armpits minutes later I was here:

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I love being there when nobody else is. I normally go inside Gate 6 (Right Field), but since I had the time, I decided to go inside Gate 2 (Left Field). The line was huge, look where I had to stand:

ImageThat folks, is why you leave early. I hadn’t eaten all day, so here is some shameless advertising:

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I never eat McDonald’s. Today was an exception. I was going to be running plenty to burn that off. Around 4:45 (gates open at 5), this guy behind me all of the sudden decides to cut me. It was the weirdest thing ever. The lady next to me offered to say something but the guy was old, and honestly, did not look like he would be ballhawking. I would get in eventually just like everyone else. I found it funny though because no matter WHAT I do, I am never  the first on line. Anyway, I got my bag checked and ran in to left field. Here was my spectacular view to my right:

Image… and my gorgeous back/left view:

ImageTHIS IS WHY YOU GO TO GAMES EARLY PEOPLE!!!

When I was checking for easter eggs, I could see that a usher had a ball in his hands. I wasn’t going to ask him for it. The next moment, Andruw Jones blasted a home run that hit off the logo next to the “State Farm” to the right in the above picture. I ran over  a few rows, and before I knew it, 2 minutes in I had this:

ImageIt was the first home run that I snagged that was hit into the seats that wound up into my glove. Very cool. 15 seconds later, Andruw smacked one into the walkway tunnel for the section to my right, so I ran up and snagged it before someone running behind me could get it:

Image… and just like that, 3 minutes in I had 2 balls, both of them hit into the stands and retrieved by me, something I have never done before. Very awesome. They didn’t have Fenway commemorative logos on them, so there was more work to be done. I knew it wouldn’t be this easy for much longer, as the crowd was filing in:

ImageI think it’s funny how everyone swarms to the front row. I’m guilty of this myself sometimes, but you usually have better luck standing back further. I usually do this when I get caught up in trying to get Hiroki Kuroda to toss me a ball. Which he will successfully, someday. 5 minutes later, the Yankees were done. The Sox still were stretching, so I ran over to here:

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Where I later got my third ball of the day from Ryan Lavarnway, who was tossing with Cody Ross. I quickly looked at the ball, and there was no logo on it. I moved closer to the cage where Dustin Pedroia was hitting:

ImageI was trying to get his attention because it was his birthday. If he heard me, he might hook me up. But he didn’t.

I avoided trying to go to the field and get a toss up because it looked like this:

ImageSo I stayed back, just in case. It wasn’t much better back where I had started:

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I looked over in the bullpen and saw this:

ImageEh. But look closer:

ImageNeeded to be mine.

But, bullpen coach Gary Tuck was being a jerk the whole night and put them back in his bag. I tried asking Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway for theirs:

ImageNothing.

I did take this cool picture of Franklin Morales warming up:

ImageI’ll save you the reading. I did a lot of begging but came up short. The game started, and the rain came:

ImageHere was my view to my right:

Image… and my immediate right:

ImageBlurf. I was commemorative-less, I was soaked, sweaty, and I flat out stunk from sweating for 15 hours. I wasn’t too happy:

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Later, Derek Jeter apparently “crushed” his 250th home run.

ImageAnd no, I didn’t catch it. It came close, and then I started dreaming of what I would do if I caught it, as he would want it. Maybe I’d ask for a Fenway commemorative.

I tried every half inning for a toss up, and would not quit. I got Alfredo Aceves to acknowledge me:

Imagein the top of the 9th and he said he’d get me. So I waited. And the game ended. Gary Tuck -___- took the bag with him, so that was that.  So I headed down to the bullpen gate, in hopes of asking the groundskeeper for a ball and hoping it was a commemorative. 5 anguish-filled minutes later….

ImageSA-WEEEEET! (One E for each commemorative) I now had FIVE commemorative balls out of the SIX this year, and I have ONE and only one chance to get it next Saturday when the Astros play the Mets. It was smudged, but hell, I’ll take it. Ironically, a short minute later, Aceves actually came through and threw me a commemorative ball, but it fell short hitting the fence. I was busy high-tailing out of there to catch my Metro-North train, and headed home after a LOOONG day in NYC. Following pic taken on the train:Image

  • 4 balls at this game (Ties personal MLB record!)
  • 64 career balls
  • 7 games in a row at Yankee with a ball (new record!)
  • 10 straight MLB games with a ball (new record!)
  • Yankees record when I attend: 34-21 (8-3 in 2012)
  • Red Sox record when I attend: 5-2 (1-1 in 2012)

Next game: Possibly mid-week Rockies/Mets, otherwise Astros/Mets 8/25 to try and complete the Commemorative Set!