6/26/12 Indians at Yankees: Yankee Stadium

Before I get started with this entry, I’ve been posting entries pretty quickly in the last 48 hours, so you may not have been able to read the  entires that preceded this one. Here are the links to the two entries, so you can give them the love they deserve:

1. The Bergino Baseball Clubhouse- A couple of weeks ago, I went to this baseball store, so I wrote an entry about my trip there using the pictures I took. Please, if you are a baseball fan, read the entry; even more so if you live in New York.

2. 6/25/12 Indians at Yankees: Yankee Stadium- When I publish this entry you are reading, this entry will be less than 24 hours after the entry I am talking about, I want to make sure all you readers who check every so often know that I did indeed write an entry before this that you can read if you to.

Onto the account of the game…

I arrived a little late Yankee Stadium for my taste, and expected a bit of a line in front of me, but c’mon, this is ridiculous:

Thankfully, there were some other ballhawks at the front of the line, so I not so discreetly slipped into line with them. We all talked for the ten to fifteen minutes I was in line, and I actually found out, when I said I was going to the University of Minnesota, that one of them was originally from Minnesota; more specifically, a suburb of the Twin Cities by the name of Apple Valley. It was great that I had people I could stand in line with. However, when it came to the gates opening, two of the other ballhawks had announced they were going to right field. Therefore, I decided to try my chances in left field. In all likelihood, this cost me a ball. I remember one of the ballhawks named George coming over to left field after a few minutes and saying, “Yeah, there were only a few balls hit over there.” To this I responded, “There haven’t been ANY over here yet.” Whatever, all I needed was two baseballs and I was set for the game. I was currently sitting on baseball #298, and I really wanted to get #300 on what would have been my deceased dad’s 70th birthday.

This was my view of the field from my spot in left field:

It was pretty evident early on the pitchers in this part of the ballpark weren’t going to be throwing up many balls. Myself and George were yelling out their names, but they kept throwing balls into the infield ballboy (who was the one I went to high school with).

Just soon after that, a ball got hit to my right, and…well I’ll just diagram what happened in this picture:

The dotted lines are the path the ball took in the air and then when it hit the ground, the solid line emanating from the bottom of the screen is my path to the ball, and the other solid guy coming from the guy in the Yankee jacket (which I also own) is his path as he was really the only one competing with me for the ball. As I ran after the ball, it bounced off the concrete and thankfully didn’t bounce away, so I picked it up before that guy got to the ball.

Then Andruw Jones stepped up to the plate. H hit a ball so far to my left, I was considering not even chasing it because I thought it would go into the visitors’ bullpen. For some reason, though, I went half way through my row in semi-pursuit. I’m guessing my thought was it might bounce off the bleachers and come back to me. The ball narrowly missed both of those and went into the tunnel right next to the bullpen and cutting into the bleachers. I ran in after the ball and retrieved number 300. SUCCESS:

I didn’t really celebrate; instead I asked the kid who called me a “son of a…” were his glove was, making sure to say I might have given him a ball if he had a glove on. Of course I wouldn’t have given him #300, but I might have pulled out the previous ball. I’m not really strict about giving balls to kids with gloves, but the older the person, the more they need a glove, in my mind, before I give them a ball.

After this, I lined up in foul territory behind the Indians pitchers and position players:

Remember how the previous day I was having trouble getting players to toss me a ball because I only had an Indians hat? I came up with a little solution to that:

I printed out the Indians logo and simply taped it to my shirt, so it would kind of look like I had Indians stuff on. Right then, I got to see it work for the first time:

The player I have pointed out with my arrow threw me a ball right as he left the field. Anyone have an idea who he is. He’s probably a position player, if that helps at all.

After that, I went over to try to get a ball from one of the pitchers. While I was walking over there, Zack Hample was already calling out to the pitching coach, Scott Ridinsky, telling him, “Scott, show me the gun!” Ridinsky then threw a ball clear over his head, and I was in just the right row that I was able to jog to the right spot and make the catch. Sorry, Zack. Zack then looked back at Ridinsky with a look as if to say, “What happened?” Ridinsky then pointed as his arm as if to say, “I guess it’s too strong.”

I then messed around trying to get Chris Perez to toss me a ball with the University of Miami shirt I had on, but when I gave up trying this, I moved over to the right field seats (because the left field side was checking tickets), where I caught a home run off the bat of Travis Hafner. I then went to the left field bleachers where I got Chris Perez to toss me a ball. Both balls are pictured in the next picture:

The smaller arrows show what happened on the first ball, and the larger arrows show what happened on the second:

1. Travis Hafner hit a ball to my right, so I moved over and even though I thought the ball was clearly going over my head, I took a little jump and amazingly the ball was in my glove when I came back down. I then looked back to see I had robbed Zack of a ball a second time. Don’t worry for him, though. He still managed to set the Yankee Stadium record this game. The thing that stunk about this ball for me was there was an Indians player on the field who had told me he would throw me the next ball he got, but just as he fielded this ball, I caught the Hafner home run, so he didn’t throw me the ball. Had that ball been hit two seconds later, I would have had two balls from the right field seats.

2. Soon after the Hafner ball, security cleared out everyone in the right field seats who didn’t have a ticket, so I went up to my ticketed section in the left field bleachers. After I got there, a ball got hit to Chris Perez, who is one of the friendliest players in the league, so I called out to him, he turned around, and threw me the ball. Pretty simple, right? I then gave that ball away to the kid in the “Ruth” t-shirt in the next picture:

I spent most of the rest of my time in the bleachers trying to get an overthrow from another Perez toss-up, since he was tossing so many balls up.

That would be it for batting practice. After batting practice, I would first try to get  a ball from the groundskeeper in the visitors’ bullpen:

After that failed I went up to the top of the batter’s eye, where this was my view:

Why? Do you see the guy wit the arrow pointing at him? That would be Yankees bullpen coach, Mike Harkey. After the day’s starter has finished warming up, he usually tosses around five balls into the stands. I obviously had a ticket in the left field bleachers, so this was as close as I could get. When he looked my way, I waved my arms like crazy, so he tossed the ball my way. Here is the ball:

Why do I have that usher in the picture? I told him beforehand I was trying to get a ball from Harkey, so when Harkey threw the ball up to me, it was drifting to my right and this guy caught it and then handed it to me. So yeah, technically I didn’t get the ball from Harkey, but I would have caught the ball had this guy not been there. Just then I realized I had set my record for most ball in a game when Yankee Stadium had cleared both sides of the outfield seats before batting practice had ended. Not a bad way to celebrate June 26th at all.

As for the game, this was my view:

You see the player in the lower right picture? That would be Dewayne Wise. He made a very controversial catch in this game, so I feel almost obligated to mention I was at this game. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the link. Other than that, Phil Hughes pitched an incredible game, going, I believe, eight scoreless innings before the Yankees bullpen nearly gave the game back. The final score was 6-4. Oh and want to see what my “Indians” shirt looked like after the game?

I just wanted to share one more picture from the game:

The special thing about this picture is Justin Masterson was at 100 inning pitched on the season. This may seem uneventful, but how many people actually reach 100 innings in a season before the All-Star break? I mean you can count out all relievers. To make it even more unusual, he had two outs in the inning, so I really only had a few seconds to realize it. Also, I think it’s pretty special that we both passed milestones this game. Masterson with his 100th inning and myself with my 300th ball. I don’t know, maybe i’m trying to manufacture something, but I love it when numbers match up like that.

Speaking of which…

STATS:

  • 7 Balls at this Game (6 pictured because I gave 1 away)

numbers 299-305 for my life:

  • 83 Balls in 17 Games= 4.88 Balls Per Game
  • 26 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 2 straight Games with at least 2 Balls
  • 7 Balls x 43,006 Fans= 301,042 Competition Factor
  • 61 Balls in 17 Games at the New Yankee Stadium= 3.59 Balls Per Game
  • 17 straight Games with at least 1 Ball at the New Yankee Stadium
  • 2 straight Games with at least 2 Balls at the New Yankee Stadium
  • Time Spent On Game 4:13- 10:17= 6 Hours 4 Minutes

20 Comments

Quite impressive! Nice to see you show up, Hample! LOL
–Jeff

Jeff- Actually, that was only the first of two times I got a ball meant for him. The second is in the entry I just published. I even have a cruddy diagram to show it this time.

Mateo,
How early should I be at the gates for the braves vs cubs game tomorrow if I want to be the first one in line?
Thanks for the help!!!

John- It’s a 7:10 game at Turner Field, right? If so, I would get there at 3:30 if you absolutely *need* to be the first one, but the usual rule of thumb is half-an-hour before the gates open. Like I said, it depends on how badly you want to be the first one. If you show up extra early, and there’s still no one at the gate, you can always walk around for a little and look at the outside of the stadium. For Turner, I would go to the center field gate. If it is Wrigley you are going to, I’m going to need more information about where you’re sitting, because what time you need to show up depends on where your ticketed seat is for.

It is at turner, it is at 7;10, and thanks for the advice! You mean the main outfield gate, right? Thanks so much! I really enjoy your blog!

John- Thanks. Yep, the main outfield one behind the scoreboard is what I’m talking about. I’m actually not even sure if any other gates open 2.5 hours early.

Congrats on #300! And your Indians shirt gave me a good chuckle. That’s some impressive ingenuity, there.
Malcolm
http://theballparkguide.mlblogs.com/

Malcolm- Thanks. I’m glad you liked the Indians shirt. I did something similar that you will see in the next entry. Although, I did that one while I was on the train to the game, so it won’t be as good as the Indians one.

Looking forward to it!

Malcolm- Working on it right now, but “other” stuff has gotten in the way right now.

Little secret for ya Mateo…when there’s a long line at the gate at Yankee Stadium, try going in through the Hard Rock Cafe. The restaurant has an entrance to the stadium and there’s hardly ever a line, at least there hasn’t been in my experience. Just a small tip for next time…and congrats on the collection!

Kurt- Thanks for the information. Thankfully, at this game (as well as a few others) there were people at the gates I could step in line with, but this is never bad information to have at Yankee Stadium. I actually did know about the Hard Rock entrance, but I started out entering through Gate 8, and then to Gate 6, so I never thought about standing there for a game.

Yeah…every time I go I forget about it. A lot of balllparks have restaurants connected to them, and you can usually go through when there’s a long line. It’s also a way to exit the ballpark and come back in if you need to, depending on the ballpark, not sure if every team allows it.

Kurt- I would very much doubt the Yankees let you come back into the stadium. They are VERY strict about those sort of things.

Really, taken to court? That’s crazy. How did everything come
Out in the court? Did he have to pay money?
-Quinn

Quinn- Eventually nothing happened, but I don’t think it would be as easy to do it this time. Of course, Garrett did it *during* the game, so they still may have no idea someone has stayed until after the game to do so.

I would never do anything like that at a major league stadium but I might climb into the gap like Zack did in Knnsas City if I ever go. I waited until security was left though in Buffalo. Good luck tonight.
-Quinn

Quinn- I actually wouldn’t do that if I ever went to Kansas City, just because I know the ballhawk who was with him when he did it, Garrett Meyer, actually got taken to court by the Royals for doing it later on.

Congrats on the 300th baseball Mateo! That’s pretty cool! I actually got my 100th International League baseball by sneaking onto the left field grass in Coca-Cola Field. I had 14 baseballs onthe day and 99 career and after the game, I thought”I don’t want my 100th ball to be likely an Easter egg at my next game, I want to get it with some fun.”. So I snuck around the fence in left field and got 3 balls back there. It was pretty fun and I’m wondering how the ground screw didn’t see me from 300 ft away. Sure enough, my next game, I found an Easter egg and that would have been my 100th ball of I didn’t sneak out into left field.
I like the “Indians shirt” you have. That was a very creative idea.
-Quinn

Quinn- Wow, that’s an exciting way to get number 100. I don’t know if I’d have the guts to do anything like that at a MLB stadium. Thanks for the complement on the Indians shirt. I’ll be doing the same thing with the White Sox today.

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