8/19/12 Mets at Nationals: Nationals Park

Let me just start with this: It was a Sunday game. I knew there would be no batting practice. The only reason I’m attending games like this is to not have to go to a bunch of games in Minnesota to accomplish my goal of going to at least 50 games this season.So I just want to survive these kind of games and get on with my life.

When I first entered the stadium there was absolutely no action on the field, so I headed over to right field to talk with an usher I know pretty well. He told me that before I got to the seats, Ross Detweiler threw a bullpen session and decided to throw the ball into the seats in foul ground. Unfortunately, those seats weren’t open to the public yet. I then saw the Mets warming up on the right field side, so I ran over, put on my ridiculous costume from the day before, and got Ramon Ramirez to toss me a ball like a wide receiver by asking him in Spanish:

20120824-140041.jpg I then headed back to right field. When the rest of the stadium opened, everyone else headed to the dugout to line up for “Signature Sundays”, but I headed right for where I thought the ball I had spotted earlier was. Look what I found there:

20120824-141501.jpgI would/should have had another, though. As I was running through the seats, a guard/usher tried to stop me saying that I couldn’t get to the front of the line by running through the seats. Right as I had to explain that I didn’t care about the Signature Sunday promotion, a Nationals pitcher, probably Stephen Strasburg, threw a ball randomly into the seats. I would have definitely had it had I not been stopped.

So, although I had a decent total for a game without batting practice, my expression in the next picture says it all:

20120824-142021.jpgAfter I found the “Easter Egg”, I lined up for the Signature Sunday thing, and watched in pain as a Mets throwing pair finished their game of catch in left field. What happened to Signature Sunday? It started raining, so the whole thing got cancelled.

I then headed out to right field where this was my view:

20120824-142324.jpgAt that point, I was actually a little happy it was raining. I knew coming into the game that there would be no BP, so rain would only help to drive away people from the stands.

As for the game, Gio Gonzalez had an okay start, allowing 1 run in five and two thirds innings; yet he won his sixteenth game of the season as the Mets’ Jeremy Hefner allowed five runs in an almost similar inning load (5).

The most exciting part of the game though came from this being my view of the game:

20120824-164516.jpgIn I want to say the seventh inning, I heard a collective laughter emanating from behind me; followed by Scott Hairston throw his glove on the field. It was the second time he had done so. He had thrown it on what appeared to be a bird on the field.

Eventually, Andres Torres swooped in and scooped it up:

20120824-184726.jpgYeah, the whole game was delayed for that.

Torres then handed the animal I still wasn’t sure the species of to a security guard who came from the Nationals bullpen with a towel:

20120824-190738.jpgHairston then got heckled for the rest of the game because he acted so afraid of it. Here he is laughing about it himself:

20120824-191033.jpg I had to look at the highlight ( maybe lowlight for Hairston), but I saw that it was actually a praying mantis that had invaded the field of play. See for yourself:

I then headed to a friend’s house for dinner right after David Wright flew out in my direction. It was pretty disappointing since he was THE reason I sat in the outfield for all three games. Actually, though, I stopped to give a ball to the usher I was talking about earlier since he had told me where it was hiding.

STATS:
• 2 Balls at this game (1 pictured because I gave 1 away)

20120824-211952.jpgNumbers 373-374 for my lifetime:

20120824-212806.jpg• 152 Balls in 37 Games= 4.11 Balls Per Game
• 2 Balls x 33, 764 Fans= 67, 528 Competition Factor (yay mental math!)
• 46 straight Games with at least 1Ball
• 2 straight Games with at least 2 Balls
• 112 Balls in 26 at Nationals Park= 4.31 Balls Per Game
• 18 straight Games at Nationals Park with at least 1 Ball
• 2 straight Games at Nationals with at least 2 Balls
• Time Spent On Game 11:03- 6:49= 7 Hours 46 Minutes

8 Comments

Sounds good, i’ll see you then. I usually get there about an hour early; so i’ll probably see you before the gates open. I’m fine being on film if you decide to record.
-Paul
http://apieceofthegame.mlblogs.com

Paul- Okay. I don’t know what exact time I’ll get there, but it’ll be around that time.

Mateo – what gate are you going to be at tomorrow at Target Field? I’m going to the game and will be at gate 34 in right field. Hope to see you there and do a little ballhawking with you.
-Paul
http://apieceofthegame.mlblogs.com

Paul- I think I may start out at Gate 34 a while before the game, but if the crowds are sparse enough, I think I’ll move to… Gate 8 is it? Just before the gates open. I don’t know. It’ll probably be a judgement call. By the way, are you okay being on film if I decide to film a Before The Gates Open video tomorrow? I may wait until I’m more familiar with the stadium, I may just film the video tomorrow, or I may just film two videos for Target Field. Who knows.

MN?! Target Field is my stomping grounds. Hit me up some time and we’ll do some hawking together. I just started getting into hawking, but I do have a few helpful tips about Target Field. Any idea when your first game at TF will be?

Good luck and I hope my fair state treats you well. It’ not a great hawking stadium, but the attendance is dropping like mad, so the opportunities should start to increase.

tonyv433- Oh, nice. My first game will probably be this upcoming Tuesday of the Mariners series. My full schedule is here: http://www.myGameBalls.com/baseballdata?db=fischerm&action=showschedule
I don’t know if I’ll make ALL of the games on there, but I’ll definitely make it to about 7-8. Looking forward to seeing you at Target.

Nice! I’ll have to take a look at my list of games, but i know that I have September 30th for sure (and I believe the 28th). I have tickets for 8/30, but I cannot go. I have a friend checking if they can use them, but if that falls through, would you want them? I will be able to tell you tomorrow if they are available.

Best of luck!

Tony- Oh wow, yeah, of course. That’s the Tigers series, right? Pretty much the reason I want to go is I love those “Fan Appreciation” weekends. I don’t know how good it’ll be for ballhawking, but they’re usually awesome. I understand it’s not a sure thing, but thanks for just the offer, even if it works out for you.

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