4/7/12 Twins at Orioles: Camden Yards

So I *was* going to start this entry with a statement along the lines of “Whoo, it feels good to have baseball back! The truth is, it feels like I never really stopped ballhawking. Either that or I haven’t yet realized that baseball has started up yet. It does feel good to be at a baseball game, but it’s certainly not the same butterflies I had on my first game of last year.

Anyway, here is what happened in at the game itself. After a brief stop at the American Visionary Art Museum, I arrived at the gates of Oriole Park at Camden Yards:

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There I met up with Matt Hersl to buy my tickets for these two games: 2 for me at $9 a piece and 2 for this game for my mom and step-dad at $25 a piece. If you’re keeping track, that’s $68 total. I offered Matt $70 since I like to give the people who buy me season tickets SOMEthing for their efforts (I actually should have offered him $80, since he saved me around $10-15 by buying the tickets as a season ticket holder) 99% of other people do what? “Oh thanks” and take the extra two dollars, and that’s if they buy the tickets for you in the first place. What did Matt do? He gave me the $10 bill back, and actually took an $8 hit for buying me a ticket. Not only this, but he was just generally nice to me all day.

After that, we got in line with who I *believe* to be Tim Anderson and Ben Huff. I say “believe”, because we never formally introduced ourselves. We were then were met by Avi Miller, who was a shocker since I was initially going to buy the tickets from him, but he didn’t think he was going to be there for the whole weekend.

So we were all gathered at Eutaw street’s gate H and guess which dolt forgot to take a picture of the group? If you guessed Mateo Fischer, you guessed correctly.

For some reason, even with everyone outside the gates, I arrived at the LF seats before anyone else with Matt maybe three steps behind me, and this was my view:

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It felt nice having all of the Opening Day still up since this is the closest to attending an Opening Day I’ve ever been:

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Orioles was really dead considering Camden Yards is one of the best HR parks in the majors. I probably could have gotten a, if not a few, baseball(s) if I asked the right Orioles, but I held off on it since I wanted to get myself in the groove getting hit balls. I caved into the temptation, though, when the non-season ticket holders were about to be let into the LF seats. I asked Wilson Betemit, Pedro Strop, and Luis Ayala for a baseball and got ignored each time. Finally, a ball bounced off the warning track, and since there was no one around me and it was going over me head, I goofed off and caught it with my back facing the field. Here is the ball:

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I was in the second row of seats and reached back to the third row of seats to make the catch (can be seen in the background).

Almost immediately afterward, I changed into my favorite team’s (Minnesota Twins) gear and stationed myself behind the pitchers that were warming up:

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If you see the rightmost throwing pair, the guy closest to me is Glen Perkins. When they finished throwing, however, the far partner spotted me as a Twins fan and lobbed a ball clear over my head. He then immediately went back to talking with Perkins. By the way in which he did it, I thought he didn’t care about giving me a second chance at a ball. However, I wanted to stay and see if I could get a ball from the last throwing pair since I knew the far partner was Jeff Gray and 95% of baseball fans wouldn’t know that. Also, the number of people in the LF seats didn’t hurt in keeping me in foul territory:

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Now that may not seem like that many people, but considering there had been maybe ten people, I thought it would be worth it to stay and wait the extra few minutes for Gray to finish up throwing. In this time, the guy who missed me fielded a ball and looked in my direction. I realized what was up and crouched down like a catcher where he then proceeded to lob me a ball with no one around me. Here is the player, whose identity I haven’t the fainest clue of. He is the one on the left:

Avi Miller had just arrived on the scene and although he was ten rows below me (jokingly) claimed that the ball had clearly been intended for him. We then both went over to the Left Field seats, during this journey, I was reminded that the Orioles were using 20th anniversary Oriole Park at Camden Yards balls. I mean I remember reading about them in the offseason, but I had not planned this trip in anyway around those commemorative baseballs, so it was a bonus to say the least. The LF seats were pretty crowded, but as if right on the cue of me finding out the Orioles had been using the commemorative baseballs, I managed to range ten feet to my right and snag one on the fly myself:

I didn’t get that much applause, but about five people congratulated me after the fact. As for the ball itself, to say it was in good shape is a gross understatement, it was perfect beyond perfect. If you didn’t know it had been used, you never would have guessed so. Here is a shot I took after the game:

Since the LF seats were pretty crowded, and I acknowledged that I had gotten really lucky in getting that ball hit to where it was, I moved over to the CF seats. There, I got what would be my last ball of bp. A ball hit the seats a little behind me and bounced into seats closer to me. I then beat out a man to it. Seeing as I had outraced him to the ball and it was my fourth ball of the day, I offered it to him, but he told me to “keep it”.

I did then go out to the flag court, but no balls were hit out there, and even if they were, the sun would have made it near impossible to catch one on the fly:

The arrow shows where the sun was during bp ( I took the picture during the game) and the two lines show the general area where the balls were going in the sky. So even though they weren’t going directly through the sun, if you weren’t leaning against the fence at the front of the section, you would have to be staring into the sun waiting for a ball to be hit.

As you can tell, I was in the Flag Court for the game. There were more Righties than Lefties in the game, but as a continuation of my last three games, I’m just going to be there every game I go to Camden Yards until a HR gets hit there. Once that happens, I will either catch it or whiff and I can go on with my life.

Now usually, I change back into the Home Team’s gear, but I stayed in the Twins gear since that is my favorite team:

Now why did I have that look on my face? It was the fourth inning and the Twins were already losing 6-0 (they would go on to lose 8-2). After the game, I headed down to the Umpire Tunnel, and asked the umpire (whose last name I had been repeating since the first inning to remember), whose first name I don’t remember, but after asking “Mister Nelson” for a ball he tossed me up a perfect example of a rubbed-up Oriole Park Commemorative. Here it is right after I caught it:

and here it is when I took a picture of it at “home” after the game:

For the record, I *do* have game pictures, but wanted to get this entry up before I leave for South Carolina, so I’ll upload those to the Facebook page and notify y’all of it when it is done via the twitter page, but for now at least, that’s all that he wrote.

STATS:
• 5 Balls at this game

Numbers 223-227 for my “career”:

• 10 straight games with at least 1 ball
• 5 balls*31,532 fans= 157,660 competition factor (little fun fact: the competition factor from my last game at Camden Yards was 31,352, which is almost exactly the attendance of this game).
• Time at Game 4:04-9:57= 5 hours 53 minutes. Given, I did spend some of the time on the front end just waiting inside the Hilton, it was “at the ballpark” since I was waiting for the gates to open.

19 Comments

I don’t know, I think a hour before the game starts. But, it’s not a high fence, so I might be waiting out of the ballpark during BP to try and catch hr that land out of the stadium. I am not going to the game on Tuesday, as my dads car is still getting fixed. So I might go either Wendesday or Thursday. It all depends on when my dads car gets fixed.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Quinn- A half-year later, but thank you for the tip about “Pelicans’ Park”.

Okay, but if you stay in same hotel, thats how far away everything is. The Pelicans are off tomorrow and have games on the 10th, 11th, and 12th, all 7:05 games vs the Potomac Nationals. They go on a road trip after that. So, just in case, bring Texas Ranagers hat (for Myrtle Beach Pelicans because they are affilaiated with the Ranagers) and bring a Nationals hat for the Potomac Nationals too.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Quinn- Okay, I’ll see if I can find out the schedule for our games. What time are fans allowed to go into the LF seats?

Yes!!! I was walking down there today. So your’e like 3-5 minutes away from my hotel in walking distance and like 15-20 minute walking distance away from Pelicans Park. What is your hotel called? Mine is called the Sandy Beach Oceanfront Resort.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Quinn- I have no idea what our hotel is called. I don’t even know where we a re staying. All of this information is based on the hotel we were staying in last year, and I think this will be my last comment until tomorrow as I have to get up at 3:30.

I ate dinner at the restaurant that is connected to the pier tonight too…
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Yes!!!! The pier!!! It’s a 2-3 minute walk from my hotel room!!!! It’s the pier with the restaurant right by it right? I’m on the right of the pier. Hope that is the right pier….
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Quinn- Well I’ve never actually been to the pier itself, so I don’t know if there is a restaurant, but it’s the really noticeable one that juts out from the beach and is identified with the Myrtle Beach “Beach”.

Did you ever notice a amusment park type thingy a couple blocks away? And yeah, that must be it because it does just jut out of the water.
-Quinn from nybisons

http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Quinn- Yep, I have been down to the boardwalk. It is to the right of the pier you’re talking about, correct?

It’s 4 minutes by car and it would be about 15 minutes by foot from where I am. It all depends on where you are though. You could be 30 minutes away from the stadium from all I know, but I hope we can meet at a Pelicans game too.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Quinn- Hmm. If I remember correctly, my hotel was on the left side of the pier while facing the water, but we’ll see. I’ll do some research for myself once I get there tomorrow and see if it is indeed feasible to do it given my time situation.

Mateo: If the only times you smile this baseball season is when the Twins are winning you are going to be one grumpy looking guy

Gilsdorf- I’m only not smiling when I go to the game, and they’re losing, but yeah, I should probably avoid them as much as I can this season if I want to look happy at all.

Looks like you had a great time except for the Twins losing. Hey, I’m in South Carolina right now. I was not able to go to a Myrtle Beach, Pelicans game yet, because my dad’s car broke down……. Are you gonna be close to Myrtle Beach? If so, you should try coming to a Pelicans game. I’ll be here till the 12th.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Quinn- I’m not in South Carolina currently, but my team’s bus will be leaving at 4:30 tomorrow morning. I don’t know if I’ll be able to catch a Pelicans game, though. We have a game scheduled every day and I’m pretty sure our hotel is on the beach, far enough away from the stadium to prevent me from going on my own. We’ll see, though. If our games get cancelled we might take a trip to the stadium, but I highly doubt that as of now.

Yeah, mine is the beach too and is 4 minutes away from Pelicans Park. It really depends on where you are though. The addresses are really confusing and hard to understand. While, it might be a good thing that it’s only 4 minutes away because right when we got here, my dads car broke down 15 minutes away from our hotel and it was a huge 4 hour process. So I might have to walk about 15 minutes or so to Pelicans park. So Im lucky that my hotel is near the ballpark. Hope your hotel is near the park, so that you may be able to go.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Quinn- Would that be four minutes by car, or by foot, because I remember the ballpark being inland a bit and I would be walking. If it’s by foot I would have a better chance of catching a game. Anyway, good luck and hopefully we can meet up at a game.

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