4/21/11 Astros at Mets: Citi Field

Finally a normal day for snagging (last year the majority of my games were Citi Field Weekday games). I was excited enough to notice the outer beauty of Citi Field (well I guess it’s not technically outside but can be seen from outside) :
42 in JRR 42111.JPG

Yep, that’s it the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

Although, I don’t have a picture of the line as of yet (because I was too busy getting my copy of The Baseball signed by the author). Though I think it was due to the fact that there were fans who still thought the gates opened at 4:40.

The view as I got to left field:
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For a long time it was surprisingly empty there considering the line at the gates.

But if you have really good eyes you noticed that:
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the flags show the wind was blowing directly in. None of the balls were carrying.

Normally this wouldn’t have been a problem because the players would still toss balls up but when I looked to see the balls that had rolled to the wall I saw this:
stupid season tickets 42111.JPG

That would explain why none of the players made an effort to get the balls at the wall. This would continue until Astros batting practice. The wind however, would continue all of Batting Practice.

As my running lanes got clogged up and the hitting group of Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee came up, I decided I wanted to get at least one ball on the day. So I moved up to the second deck in left field and hoped the winds would swirl just as someone hit a high Home Run. Unfortunately I can’t get my exact section because of the sun but this picture should give you an idea of how empty it was:
 
2nd deck 42111.JPG

Right after I got up there (Don’t let the distance between the decks fool you. It was a trek in it’s own), a ball got hit two rows behind the exact spot I was standing in on the first level. Nothing was even coming close to my level as it was being knocked down by the wind but I decided that two go down would be a double waste of time. So, I decided to wait until the group finished hitting or I caught a ball, whichever came first.

Surprisingly, Carlos Lee absolutely launched a ball, through the wind, and I easily caught it on the fly (but it only got to the third row of the section). I then quickly ran down, decided that the left field section wouldn’t yield much, and decided to go to the right field bleachers. On the way, I stopped at the top of the center field section pondering whether or not to go down. While I talked to the Security Guard at the top, a ball got hit behind Bud Norris who was patrolling that section. Mid-sentence, I broke off going down to convince him t give it to the only Astros fan in the section. Guess what, it worked.

I came back up to the congratulatory guard (even though I was wearing Astros gear) and continued out to right field. This was a mistake. Although I was the only one wearing Astros gear, there was only one lefty in the final group, Michael Bourn, and he was working on hitting the ball the other way. Even if there was a Home Run in that section, I feel I wouldn’t have caught it because of the sun:
Sun 42111.JPG

 Feeling accomplished and not feeling like being locked out, I moved into right field foul territory to try and catch a foul ball considering there were tow lefties, Chris Capuano and J.A. Happ, starting:
Foul bp 42111.JPG

There I came to recognize Nelson Figueroa as one of the more fan friendly players. He was patrolling left field during bp. Immediately after that ended, he gave some one his glove and signed autographs all the way from the corner in right field to the Mets’ dugout. That is about 200 ft of autographs. He signed my ball:
Nelson Figueroa signing ball 42111.JPG 

and even granted my ridiculous request of taking a self portrait for the 2011 http://www.mygameballs.com scavenger hunt  (which I am still undecided on whether or not I will enter but he seemed like a friendly guy):
Nelson Figeroa self-portrait 42111.JPG
Sorry it is sideways but Mlblogs undoes any rotations a person does to a picture (if you want to see proof of the “self” part, look in his sunglasses.

The game itself was surprising as the Mets actually routed someone else. In the process, Mike Nickeas collected his first career Home Run . Now, I don’t know what there is in the video as I can’t watch them myself for whatever reason but it was Zack Hample that caught the ball. As far as what he told me it is a great story to what happened afterward. Here is the link.

No foul balls anywhere near me but at least I had a great view of the game for a $25 ticket:
View 42111.JPGMax 42111.JPG

If you can’t tell because of my unsteady hand, that is my backpack loaded with free soda. It might be a fun thing to collect in addition to baseballs.

Stats:

  • 2 Balls at this game

Balls 42111.JPG

Numbers 73 and 74 for the Career:
Sweet Spots 42111.JPG
  • 13 balls in 5 games this season= 2.60 balls per game
  • 30 straight games with at least 1 ball
  • 17 straight games at Citi Field with at least 1 ball
  • 32,819 fans* 2 balls=65,638 Competition Factor
  • Time at Game  4:45-10:00= 5 hours 15 minutes
  • 5 straight games with Zack Hample ruling my subconscious decisions

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