9/13/12 Royals at Twins: Target Field

It was back to Target Field again. Once again, I had a guest to accompany me to this game:

This time, it was my friend who lives two doors down from me, Jonathan Mueller. If you’re wondering, (probably not) I had my “professional camera”, so I gave it to a lady waiting outside the gates to take a picture of the two of us. If you’re new to the blog, I’m on the left and Jonathan is on the right.

Pretty much as we got in, I semi-rushed to the right field seats (I say “semi” because in New York, it’s a straight-up race to the seats. Here in Minnesota, people take their time, so the only reason to run is if you’re going from the left field gate to right field or vice-versa.), and I quickly got Jeff Francoeur(That’s right, right?) to toss me a ball:

I can tell he’s a cool guy, I would have liked to have met him better when he was on the Mets, but his departure coincided with my introduction to ballhawking.

Anyway, I then headed over to left field to try to get a ball over there. First, I asked Jeremy Guthrie for a ball, but he saw my make-shift Royals t-shirt, and just laughed and threw the ball back. It looked a lot like this shirt but with a bigger logo. If you’re wondering why I had to tape a logo to a blue shirt, it was because my actual Royals shirt was still en route. It wasn’t until two days later that I actually got the shirt in the mail. Suffice to say, it wasn’t an impressive job on the part of USPS considering I had ordered it a week prior to these two games:

Sorry for the repeat graphic for those of you who follow me on twitter. (If not, you can over there in the sidebar —->;)

It was at that point that I put my MLB Fan Cave t-shirt back on. Also, in left field, I saw these guys:

I just took the picture because Kelvin Herrera is the guy who tossed me a ball the day prior and Alcides Escobar was the guy who prevented me all day from tying a no-BP record of six balls in a game the previous game. After I figured I wasn’t going to snag any more baseballs from the Royals via toss-up, I headed back two right field. This was disappointing, because given the fact it was the Royals, I was eyeing big numbers when I first got to the left field seats.

There I snagged two balls from the bat of unidentified Royals within a span of a few seconds. The second of which I immediately gave away to a kid. That might sound good, but there were about four hit in a row–all of which I lost in the sun and allowed to hit the seats. These two were just the ones I managed to pick up. It was an interesting situation 1. I didn’t have time to put on sunglasses since they were all consecutive. 2. It wasn’t the sun itself, I guess it was just the brightness of the sky. I saw the baseballs traveling through the air perfectly one second, and poof, it disappeared from my sight. Like I said: weird. 3. On the first, I was running to my left, and I was going to jump up and stop once I caught the ball. However, once I lost the ball mid-jump, my concern wasn’t stopping; it was just not getting my skull hit by a ball. Anyway, because of this, I kind of bumped into a guy. Right after which, I made sure to apologize for bumping into him. Just for that, he gave me a dirty look and told me, “You gotta be more careful.” Sorry, sir, for caring about my mental health.

These two baseballs would be it for batting practice, but I headed back to left field later in batting practice where I managed to do this to my leg on the edge of a bleacher:

Anyway, given all of the circumstances, this was my (blurred) reaction to “only” snagging three balls during batting practice:

I did score a few other items, though:

The shoelaces were to promote cancer awareness and the other scrubby thing was a company’s promotion within the ballpark itself.

During the game itself, I had two main views. This one:

And when a string of lefties came up, this:

Over here, I got stopped by a woman who asked me where I got my MLB Fan Cave shirt. I learned from talking to her that it was because *she* had been one of the nine cave dwellers at the beginning before getting eliminated- as six of the nine have been- since then. Her name would be Lindsay Guentzel, and she gave both myself and Jonathan one of the bajillion baseball cards the Fan Cave had given her upon her departure:

So that was a fun thing. I believe that was around the seventh inning. At that point, the Twins were losing 3-1. In the bottom of the eighth, the Twins managed to score a run off a bases-loaded walk. After which, Justin Morneau struck-out with the bases loaded to end the inning.

The bottom of the ninth rolled around and the Twins were down by a run, so I changed my get-up to fit the situation and took my glove off to take this picture:

Right as I lowered my phone, I saw this happen:

Let’s just say I had a pretty good view of the home run. Here’s the picture of the stands when the cameras first turned to the crowd. I’m in the green circle just having lowered my phone to see a ball flying through the air:

Here I am getting out of my seat, and going down a row, with the arrow pointing to where I was going. I was doing this all while simultaneously making an attempt to put my glove on my left hand:

I judged the ball as perfectly as I have ever judged a ball. Here I am with the ball entering my glove:

Unfortunately, I only had the glove half on, so I couldn’t squeeze it at all and the best I could do was pull the ball towards me as to not have it skip away from me before I could grab it on the ground. Meanwhile, Jonathan was raising his arms in celebration in the green rectangle:

And you just read the account of my first ever home run. Better yet, it tied the home run. As a Twins fan, there was nothing better short of catching a walk-off Joe Mauer home run. Wow. I still can’t believe it.

Here I am right after I snagged it:

I was so excited about it I even took a second while I was chasing a second home run of the game in the standing room:

Yep, a home run snag…….Minnesota Style:

Well, I didn’t get a second home run, but what I saw from the standing room was good enough for me:

That would be the Twins team celebrating around Denard Span after he had the walk-off hit to win the game in the bottom of the 10th:

He was especially celebrated because it was his first game back from a DL stint.

I then stuck around after the game by Anthony Lapanta and Tom Kelly:

While I was out there, a lot of people passed me since I was right by gate 34, the main gate into and out of Target Field. One of those people was the woman who took the opening picture that you saw. She came up to me while I had my camera pressed to my eye and said: “Did you catch the Plouffe home run?”

“Yeah, you saw that?” I said

“I was saying to my husband: ‘ I took a picture of those guys before the game.’ Congratulations!”

But why was I out there? I wanted to get a better look at my home run snag when they showed it on the Jumbotron. (Is that one of those things where the brand has become synonymous with the individual product? You know, like Kleenex.)

Actually, I got a better look at it than when I went home to see the replay:

That would be me in the process of dropping the ball with Jonathan about to celebrate. If you enlarge the picture, you can see my phone in my right hand. And the second picture:

That would be me going down for the baseball and seeing it behind me through my legs before I turned around and grabbed it with my glove since my open hand was occupied with my phone. What made the home run *even* better was it was the first game home run ball snagged in the outfield at Target Field on mygameballs.com. It was just recently that I started calling Target Field because of the University of Minnesota, so it’s nice to be the first one on mygameballs to record a hit game home run snag, and do something I could never in any of my other stadiums.

STATS:

  • 4 Balls at this game (3 pictured because I gave one away)

Numbers 417-420 for my career:

  • 198 Balls in 47 Games= 4.21 Balls Per Game
  • 4 Balls x 28,669 Fans= 114, 676 Competition Factor
  • 56 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 6 straight Games with at least 2-3 Balls
  • 5 straight Games with at least 4 Balls
  • 30 Balls in 8 Games at Target Field= 3.75 Balls Per Game
  • 7 straight Games with at least 1-2 Balls at Target Field
  • 6 straight Games with at least 3 Balls at Target Field
  • 5 straight Games with at least 4 Balls at Target Field
  • Time Spent On Game 3:31- 11:36= 8 Hours 5 Minutes

24 Comments

Awesome! Congrats Mateo! Does it make you ONLY want to go for homers now? And if I kept track of “Time Spent On Game,” I think I’d realize I have to stop going to games lol

Ben- Yeah! Thanks! I don’t know about it making me “ONLY” wanting to go for homers, because I’d say I had a minor obsession with sitting in the outfield seats anyway. If anything, I’d say this would want me make me sit in the outfield LESS. I mean I always knew there were opportunities to catch home runs; I had plenty of them. The only problem is there was always that degree of difference that messed me up ever so slightly. I think I was waiting for things to even out, and for me to finally catch a home run. I’d say I’ve only misplayed one home run that I should’ve had: Zack misjudged a Justin Upton home run, and since I was running into the section just as the home run was hit, I played off of how Zack was playing the ball, so was in the wrong spot too. Had I just looked up, it would have been a semi-easy catch. Every other one has just been that one”thing” being just off. Oh, and you like the “Time Spent On Game?” In the offseason I’m going to see how much total time I’ve spent on baseball games since I started ballhawking so I can come up with meaningless milestones like “In this game, I will be wasting my 10,000th hour of life on baseball games.”

WHOA!!! Sorry for the late comment, but hey, I just found out about this. Many many congrats on the homer. Sorry it turned out to be a semi-blooper for you, but at least you DID get the ball. That’s really what matters most.

Zack- That’s okay, I wouldn’t have expected you to comment “first” on this entry. Thank you. When I was getting SO close to home runs but not coming up with them, I thought it was because I was meant to get my firs home run on the fly. But I’m okay with this for two reasons: 1. I judged the ball as perfectly as I have judged any. It just so happens that I was taking a picture, so I wasn’t able to catch it. I would have been furious if I hadn’t come up with the ball, but I don’t think it was physically possible for me to put on my glove and track the ball at the same time with only one open hand. and 2. Since it was a game-tying home run, I can argue in my own round-about way that I was a VERY important part of the Twins win. If that homer never happens, the Twins lose the game. Plus, according to Alan’s MyGameBalls article, I made a clean catch of the ball :-)

Congrats on the homerun ball! Awesome to get your first hr ball “Minnesota Style”! By the way, nice video. After checking, I saw you on the highlight video for Ibanez’s homer. You’re starting to master locating the homeruns. I’m looking forward to the Tigers game, there should be some power in that game too!
-Paul
http:apieceofthegame.mlblogs.com

Paul- Thanks. It definitely was/is fun. I don’t know if I’d say I’m getting any better at tracking game home runs, though. I do plan to catch multiple home runs next year, though.

I’m going Wenesday and wanted to see you skills in action, although not sure if they will have BP after a night game…

ryanscyankee- Oh. Yeah, I’m going to be in class, and there probably won’t be BP, but the Twins are also weird I’ve noticed.

That’s a pretty awesome feat. Glad it was one that counted! I also gotta get me one of those makeshift KC shirts. Lol.
–Jeff

Jeff- Thanks. As for the Royals shirt: $20 sound good?

Mateo,
Congrats on the homerun catch! Nice work. Are you going to the Yankees Wednesday day game this week?

greg1223- Thanks, Greg. (Did you mean to put two 2s?) I’ll actually only be going to Monday, I’ve got classes preventing me from seeing the other two games. Why?

How do you get the Youtube video in the blog entry? I can only put a link in mine.

cbeltran15- Yeah, I noticed. It’s actually pretty easy. When watching the video on YouTube, click on “Share” (below the video). This will open some options; click “Embed”. This will give you a code; copy and paste this into your entry where you want the video, and wallah, you have a video in your entry.

CONGRATS! I’m so happy for you bro! From Hong Kong. Hope to see you again next year NYC if not in DC to catch some games.

takyi chan- Thanks, Tak. I figured when I saw the comment was you that it was from Hong Kong. I hope you’re enjoying your…four months (?) there. I do hope we can catch up at one of the two locations, but I haven’t yet the faintest clue of what my season’s going to be yet. I predict that’ll be one of my entries during the winter, but I don’t even know what that’ll be yet.

That ‘Minnesota Style’ video was certainly interesting. But anyway, congrats on the HR! I’m sure it won’t be the last one you’ll catch, but I’m glad you finally got the 1st one out of the way.

Matt- I actually just missed the part filmed by Target Field’s golden glove by about ten minutes, but yeah, thanks. I would’ve liked to have caught it on the fly, but like I said to Jonathan, I’m not going to complain about my first home run ball. And I’m definitely relieved to get my first out of the way considering it should be about my fifth. But again, thank you.

Well done!! I’ve said this before, but I am definitely jealous and excited for you that your first HR was a Plouffe bomb. Good luck on your quest to 222!

Tony- Thanks. I definitely will join you on the Plouffe bandwagon. We need to get you and Paul your first game home runs.

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