Tagged: snagging

Looking Back: 6/21/08 @ Old Yankee Stadium (CIN @ NYY)

I was looking through some old pictures and was thrilled to find some old pictures of me at the old Yankee Stadium, and coincidentally, this was the last “game” I attended at the stadium (I was at the 2008 All-Star Game, but that is an interesting story for another day in a future post). Also, I’m sure you remember Natalie from earlier posts. This was actually one of our first dates, so that’s exciting as well. I’ll have to give her credit for tagging along with me to baseball games from the get go. It was her first (and last) time at Old Yankee. Believe it or not, I actually tried ballhawking at this game (with no glove). Here we go…

ImageWe entered at the home plate gate, and I saw this:

ImageSo batting practice was a go. Afterwards, we headed to right field…

ImageAnd hung out there for a little while. I knew that this was probably my last time there, so  I tried to savor every moment of it. It was such a historic place, and it was going to be gone forever. I can still remember it now. I took some artistic photos:

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Image… and shortly afterwards I laid eyes on this:

ImageOh come on. I had to have it! Of all people, Hall-of-Famer Ken Griffey, Jr. was walking over to me. At the the time, I had zero balls snagged in my life. What a name to get your first from, huh? So here he was:

ImageBut for some reason, he was too busy worrying about some kids cap who fell, so in the meantime, Gary Majewski ignored me:

Image… and threw the ball in the other direction.

WELP.

After BP had ended, I headed up to my seats:

ImageLike I said, I was just enjoying it while I could. Here was a view to my right:

ImageAnd fittingly, the Reds beat Dan Geise (who? I remember. Do you?) and the Yankees 6-0:

Image…at my last game ever. I discreetly scrounged together some pieces of concrete wall from the outside and some infield dirt before they tore it down, so I’ll always have a piece of the REAL Yankee Stadium forever.

Stats:

  • 0 balls at this game (I was a rookie!)
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Looking Back: 7/30/2011 at Nationals Park (NYM @ WSH)

I was looking through some old pictures and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t posted about when I went to Nationals Park back in 2011.

I went with Natalie and her brother and sister. You’ve probably seen them before in my entry on 7/28/12.  Earlier in the day, we did some tourist-y things around Washington D.C.:

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Yes, I took that. Feel free to use it.

Here’s some more:

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The reason we look so miserable is that it was around 102 degrees and humid for the day. Tack 5 hours or so of that and you get some cranky people. Onto the ballgame…

I took the Metro to the “Navy Yard” station:

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… and when I got off, I was greeted with this:

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Sweet. As usual with any new stadium I visit, I walked around the outside and snapped some pictures.

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The years listed on the ground are specific milestone years in Washington baseball history. I’ll spare you the history lesson for when you go yourself. Here is one for example:

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Here I am in my sweaty, tired glory:

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And I walked around to the First Base gate:

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And ran into a “Nats-Mobile”:

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But finally it was time for snagging. I ran inside and got my bulky Jayson Werth bobblehead and made my way here:

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(Note the ridiculous David Wright shirt the Mets coach has on.) The Mets were in their usual un-friendly mood, so I waited for Nats BP to start:

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I maneuvered a bit and positioned myself in front of the “Red Porch”:

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The sun was beating down on me at this point. I’m not kidding, I don’t know how people down here live like this. Probably the hottest I’ve ever been in my life. But I kept going. I almost caught 2 home runs, and missed a Drew Storen toss-up.

Keep in mind, at least at the time I was here, Nationals Park only opens the left field side of the park for the first 45 minutes or hour or whatever the policy was. So, when it was time to head to right field, I started making my way over. There was already a line of kids ready to make a rush for Easter eggs, so I decided to head upstairs and try my luck there:

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Not gonna lie, Nats Park is a pretty looking place. BP continued, and I noticed Livan Hernandez shagging flies in Center. I decided to try the “name trick”, since we both shared the same last name. He thought it was funny, since I told him  I had the i.d. to prove it. Which would be ridiculous, since I was in the upper deck… you get the idea. But most importantly, it worked, and he tossed me my first ball of the day. After that, things quieted down, and the Nationals were done. I headed down to the lower deck, which calmed down as well, and hung out here:

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One of the Met players (can’t recall who) hit a shot to center field, and it fell between where I was, and the batters eye. I couldn’t reach it, so I asked a groundskeeper:

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… and he tossed me my 2nd ball of the day. I then headed over by the Mets dugout, mainly because it was so oppressively hot. I was sunburned, and I needed some shade.

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Shortly after, BP was over, and it was time do do some exploring.

Here were our seats for the game:

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… and I was completely fine just relaxing. It was a looooong day, and I was pleased with my total of 2. Later, I got to see my first “Presidential Race”:

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Poor Teddy still had none (he’s won by now). After a few innings, I decided to walk around and take some pictures and take advantage of the free “cooling station” the Nationals were offering:

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See that cup of ice? Heaven. We walked around to the back concourse, full of concessions:

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I broke and bought a “Curly W” pretzel, which I thought was cool:

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Later, I headed up to the top to take my usual stadium picture:

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and a lovely panoramic shot:

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…and here I am with Natalie:

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How cute. And before I knew it, the game was over. Here I am with my #6 sign, at the time it was the 6th stadium I had visited. Note the high level of tired-ness:

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Overall, I like Nationals Park a lot. I give it an A.

Final score:

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  • 2 balls at this game

9/25/12 at Citi Field (PIT @ NYM)

It was most likely (maybe not) my last game of 2012, and I was spending it here since the Yankees were on the road in Minnesota:

ImageYay.

I ran to the left field bleachers and positioned myself here:

Imageand here was my field view:

ImageThere wasn’t much action to begin with, but there were a few homers. My view to the left was the same as the one to my right in the photo above, so when David Wright hit a home run into the eye black, I ran over to my left, and stood by the edge of the railing. The following picture is an old photo of the eye black, but I’m using it to give you perspective:

ImageSo, obviously, I was standing where the arrow says “me”, and the ball was where… well, yea. I asked the guard if I could go get it since the rumor was you were allowed to go down there. He said no, but then he went down and tossed it up to me for #1 on the day. As he tossed it up, a kid in Pirates gear was running around from the other side of the apple. I guess you’re allowed to run  on to the eye black as long as you don’t go down the Party City Deck. Whatev.

The Mets ran off the field after a whopping 7 minutes. So I took some time to enjoy my free box of Cracker Jack:

ImageYay for free food (Even though it was so old the bag inside was stuck to the box).

Then, the Pirates came out:

ImageLots of homeruns, no action towards me. For some reason, the crowd in BP was immense for a Tuesday night September 25th game between the 75-78 Pirates and the 70-83 Mets. It was just one of those nights. Eventually I was surrounded by kids, then a family of like 24 surrounded me on my left, and I kept barely missing home runs, and I got too fed up. I tried to move myself over here:

ImageNothing. I moved around the corner:

ImageAnnnnnnd nothing. This was quickly becoming a dud.

I headed over by the dugout, when this caught my eye:

ImageI assume this is the Pirates equipment guy, but I’m not sure. But, he was tossing balls to folks in Pirates gear, and wouldn’t you know it……

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I had some time to kill after BP, so I took some pics:

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ImageExciting stuff, I know. The Pirates came out to toss pregame, and I was there:

ImageBut none of them had any baseballs. Eventually, Pedro Alvarez (who would’ve been a GREAT name to add to my list) had a ball in his hand, autographed it and then threw it to a little kid. Dayyyyyum. I sat here during the game:

Image…and spent THREE dollars for my ticket on Stub Hub. HA HA, Mets!!!!

I also got this cool picture of Andrew McCutchen:

ImageLater in the game, I got to see some Mets history:

ImageDavid Wright has really been the only Met I’ve ever liked, so I’m happy for him. I was hoping he’d get up again to break the record, but he didn’t.

I moved over here to try and get a ball from umpire Greg Gibson:

Image…but he gave them to kids (Which is okay).

The Pirates made their way out:

Imageannnnnd nothing.

Final score:

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I had set out earlier this year in April to have a personal goal to snag 50 baseballs this season. To start the season, I had 21 career balls. Now, I have 81. I snagged 60. Some people snag this in a  4 game series.  But I’m proud of myself. 2012 has been fun, It’s going to suck big time to wait until 2013. Unless I sneak one more game in this year 😉

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  • 2 balls at this game
  • 81 career balls
  • 9 straight games at Citi with a ball
  • 15 straight MLB games with a ball
  • Mets record when I attend: 2-8 in 2012, 12-17 overall
  • Pirates record when I attend: 1-0 in 2012, 1-1 overall

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:

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…Cooooooooooooool.

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

9/11/12 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)

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.

Coooool.

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:

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… (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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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  • 1 ball at this game
  • 72 career balls