4/8/12 Twins at Orioles: Camden Yards

Guess how I spent Easter. I had my bonnet:

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I had my peeps:

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and of course spent it at my cathedral:

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Now I was only here for my one, maybe two balls from the pitchers warming up since there would be no bp, but wait what’s this?:

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Apparently, as explained to me by Matt Hersl, early in the season, teams actually do hit a day game after a night game, or the Orioles anyway.

My first ball came when a ball hit down in the row where there is a gap in the railing:

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Avi Miller could have raced me for the ball, but as he said, he’s not up for knocking each other down. Another ball landed there a little while after and I “passed on” Avi’s act of kindness and let another fan get the ball even though it had bounced closer to me after hitting the seats.

My second ball, I believe, came from me running down the row that disappears into the upper-right corner of this next picture:

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I caught the ball, but I stumbled, because I chipped a cup holder and would have fallen on my face had I not grabbed a handrail on my way down.

My third ball, I believe (I know I caught my 2nd and 3rd balls this way, but I don’t know in which order) came from me running across and catching a ball right in front of Matt Hersl. I was right about where Matt is in this picture when I caught the ball:

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(Matt is the one in the gray shirt while Avi is the one in orange)

I then moved over to the flag court for Joe Mauer’s hitting group and sadly the only thing of note that happened was a vendor on Eutaw Street got nailed by a Joe Mauer HR. I don’t want to share the pictures of him, but here they are cleaning his blood off the ground:

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I then went into the CF seats where I got my 4th ball off a ground-rule double that rattled in the seats a bit in the rightmost section.

Then came an interesting scenario in that a person was trying to glove trick a ball, who was not a Ballhawk I recognized, and had no idea what he was doing. Can you identify why?:

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That’s right. He was doing the glove trick without a pen and was wondering why it wasn’t working. So I gave him my pen and as a result he handed me the ball. I then looked around for a person to give the ball to. After about five minutes, I found this little girl (she’s partially hidden by her mother):

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Normally, I can’t stand people who wear a team’s gear that isn’t playing in the game, because it’s a big “FU” to the teams playing, but an exception was clearly in order for this fan decked out in pink Nationals gear.

That was it for bp. Once again I was out in the flag court and thought the baseball gods had set me up with the perfect scenario to catch my first game HR with 12 of the 18 hitters hitting from the Left side of the plate, but sadly they were only baiting me and got me, hook, line, and sinker. You see there was a pretty good wind blowing in from RF, so even if a player managed to get the angle of his hit high enough, which is the challenge with getting a RF HR, it would be knocked down by the wind. There were two balls that looked good directly off the bat, but absolutely died, one of which still managed to get Justin Morneau a hit.

To top it off, the Twins nearly escaped a no-hitter with the previously mentioned Morneau hit being the first hit, but still lost the game, completing a less-than-desired start to the season for my Twins. I went to the umpire tunnel to try and get a ball from Bill Welke (I think his name is “Bill”, but a voice in my head is telling me Tim (I only memorize umpire’s last names). Avi told me he only gave away one ball, so I guess I’m not as embittered, not that I was before. This is, of course, if he only had one ball to give away, but I think he did, because I called him out by last name and was wearing this hat:

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After the game, I had two hours before my bus was scheduled to leave so I wandered all the places I had been with my dad on our trip to Camden Yards in 2008. So like the Harbor Area, our hotel, and things like that. I am now writing this from said bus and extremely regretful of that wandering since everything is tired. Throughout the whole day I was lugging around this backpack:

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As you can infer from its size, it is doubling as my suitcase back to New York.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get some sleep as I have to get up at 3:30 AM tomorrow to go to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina…right after I post the stats.

STATS:
• 4 Balls at this game (3 pictured, because I gave one that I counted away)

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Numbers 228-231 for my career:

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• 9 Balls this season in 2 games= 4.5 Balls Per Game
• 11 straight games with at least 1 ball
• 2 straight games with at least 4 balls
• 4 balls*14,738 fans= 58,952 competition factor
• Time at Game 10:58- 4:07= 5 hours 11 minutes

18 Comments

Bonnet? Peeps? I love it! Very clever! Looks like you had a great time and a decent haul, especially when only one team was really contributing to your chances once the game started.
– Kristen

Kristen- Thanks, it really all fell into place once I thought of the church analogy. The one thing, though that would have made it a perfect segue into the “action” prior to the game is if I had found one or more “Easter Eggs”, which are a term we ballhawks use for balls that are found in the seats that were hit there prior to the gates opening. As for the Twins, I’m glad to report that we not only have a win, but are also rocketing up the standings into fourth place. Sorry the last win was at your Angels’ expense.

Yeah, I was kind of aware of that win…and the one that followed. Ouch!…I mean, good game…Nah, I pretty much really meant ouch. Ouch definitely covers it, LOL.
– Kristen

Kristen- All I have to say is that you have a bad record with evidence to suggest that it is an anomaly, the Twins have a horrible record with evidence to suggest that it will be the norm for the season, but we did double all of our offensive statistics for the season in that game *tihee*. Sorry, had to get it out of my system.

Nice job on the balls, givin some away and the writeup. So many things can happen during BP. You need to keep your eyes on the ball. Some of the of the security and ushers that are closer to the action are wearing batting helmets at Dodger Stadium starting with BP. I will be watching the Twins late in June. -Emma

Emma- Thanks. I actually wish I would have given away more in the first game. I was planning to give away the the third ball, but it was a perfect commemorative ball and the person I offered my fourth ball to denied my offer. An interesting aspect in Baltimore of bp ushering is in the flag court, because they are *in* the actual section instead of at the top of the stairs like most OF sections. I believe the protocol is “when you see people running, hide behind a flagpole.”

Okay, I’m going to the game somehow. My dad’s car broke down and might not be ready for tomorrow, but my mom said that if it is not ready, we will take a cab. So, I’ll be there at 6 when the gates open. Hope to see you there. Oh wait, one question: What game where you at when you said that you catched 13 foul balls on your Twitter. Did you go to a Pelicans game tonight or was it a different game.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Quinn- I write this now, but I guess you took the cab and now know it was at high school games that I caught the baseballs.

nice start to the year, nice game, nice pics, nice writing, glad you didnt get balled up on that one play, for the home run, it will come, when its ready

Nick (mlblogssteelcityballhawk)- Thanks, it definitely has been a good start to the season, and it looks like I’ll need it with the decreasing “ballhawkability” of Citi Field. I was actually kind of hoping Sean Burroughs would give me a shot at a gamer snag, though. His last HR, which was his first in 5-6 years bounced off of me (off a deflection).

Nice snaggin’! I hear the Twins could use a sure handed outfielder ;-)
–Jeff

Jeff- I can see the Twins desparate need for outfield fielding prowess, but I think they can do better than a high schooler who’s a pitcher by trade.

Okay. It was a 14 hour drive for my family and I and we didn’t stop. Being next to my 3 year old is sister is not fun……
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Quinn- I know the feeling. As a person with two older step-siblings, I’ve been in the middle, uncomfortable seat many a time.

My sister was in the middle in a car seat and everytime I came close to her, she slapped me in the face. She was really annoying. So are you going to the Pelicans game tomorrow?
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Quinn- Aitch, sounds like a long trip. I’m pretty sure I’m going to the game tomorrow, since our last game starts at 3:00 pm, but can’t make any promises.

Looks like you had a great time. I noticed your tweet about how you didn’t even realize you where seeing a no hitter until it got broken up. Where do you live again? I life in Buffalo New York and it was a 14 hour drive. Just wondering how long the trip will be for you.
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

Quinn- I *did* have a great trip aside from the Twins’ losses, and yeah, I truly didn’t know there was a no-hitter going since I’m not really into “the game” up in the flag court since you can’t actually see the game. Had you asked me, I would have told you the Twins hadn’t had a hit, but I didn’t realize there was a no-hitter in progress. I live in Manhattan, so I’d say it’s a nine-ish hour drive. I remember last year we left after school (4 o clock) and had to stop for the night in North Carolina, before completing the last 2 hours or so, if that helps any.

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