January 2013

Martin Luther King Day Tribute Video

Hello. Welcome to Martin Luther King Day. Or I guess it’s possible that you’re reading this after then. Anyway, with it being Martin Luther King Day and the third ever World Baseball Classic around the corner, I thought it’d be fun to put together a tribute to the great minority figures in baseball throughout the years. Now I realize that Jackie Robinson paved the wave long before Dr. King, but I think we can all see how it would have been much more difficult for the magnitude of the influx of non-white players would have been without his push for civil rights. I thought it especially important in today’s game with the minimization of–well, everyone–but especially blacks in youth baseball and thus professional baseball, because it is that much easier to forget how rich a history it is. So anyway, here I give you, boys and girls, my tribute to…aw, I’m too lazy to look it up, so just read the title of the video:

Here’s your chance to vote for the next entry (even though the Friday entry won’t be any of these):

Here are the already-exhausted ideas:

1. Ballhawk Interviews- 33 votes

2. Stadium Profiles- 26 votes

3. Ballhawk Profiles- 33 votes

4. Dissect (a) Baseball(s)- 26 votes

5. Tour Target Field when there’s snow on the ground- 26 votes

6. Weird Observing Baseball Facts and Records- 28 votes

7. New Observing Baseball Icon- 17 votes

8. MLBlogs I Recommend- 33 votes

9. Observing Baseball Trivia- 32 votes

10. My Favorite MLB Players- 28 votes

11. Characters of Observing Baseball- 29 votes

12. Gate Opening Times of MLB Stadiums- 30 votes

Proofread; not proof-watched.

243,922 Words Written so far..

Gate Opening Times 2013

I just wanted to have a single place where people can see all of the 2013 gate times for all 30 stadiums because I know that especially in my first year ballhawking, it was a pain to look for the times thttp://mlblogsmateofischer.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.phphe gates at different stadiums opened. And before you say anything, I know this is a complete rip-off of Erik Jabs’ entry. The reason I write it is that entry is two years old, so I figured we needed an updated version of it for the 2013 season. Disclaimer: these times are unofficial and are derived from a combination of personal experience and researching the teams’ websites as of January, 15, 2013. If you want to be 100% sure this information is correct and current when you plan to go to the ballpark, contact the team beforehand. So here we go:

Angels Stadium:

Home Plate Gate opens 2 hours before first pitch is scheduled, except on day games (12:35p, 1:05p and 4:05p). On day games it will open 90 minutes before first pitch. All other gates open 90 minutes before first pitch every day.

AT&T Park:

All Gates open 2 hours before game time. (Pro Tip: You can see through the RF wall, so you can possibly get toss-ups even before the gates themselves open. If you’re hoping to get something during normal BP, though, you need someone to hold your place in line at one of the gates before you do this, because especially this year the bleachers get packed really early, so you should try your hardest to be the first person in the stadium.)

Busch Stadium:

All Gates open 2 hours before game time.

Chase Field:

Chase Field opens one and a half (1.5) hours before each game Monday through Thursday and two (2) hours before each weekend game.”

(Pro Tip: You can get into the stadium even earlier by going through the “Friday’s” in left field.)

Citi Field:

Monday-Friday/Weekday GamesRotunda and Hodges VIP Entrance open 2 hours before the game. All other gates 1 1/2 hours prior to the game.

Saturday & Sunday GamesRotunda and Hodges VIP Entrance open 2 hours before the game. All other gates 1 1/2 hours prior to the game. Rotunda opens 2 1/2 hours before the game for Mets Season Ticket Holders.”

(Pro Tip: The Mets don’t allow guests, so you must actually have your own season ticket to get in early on the weekends.)

Citizens Bank Park:

Ashburn Alley Gate opens 2.5 hours prior to first pitch every day.

All Other Gates open 1.5 hours before game time on weekdays and 2 hours before game time on Saturday and Sunday.

(Pro Tip: When Ashburn Alley opens, you can only be in the left field of the bleachers. When the other gates open is when the rest of the stadium opens to the public.)

Comerica Park:

“Start Time – Gates Open
1:05 P.M. – 11:30 A.M.
3:05 P.M. – 1:30 P.M.
4:05 P.M. – 2:30 P.M.
7:05 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.
8:05 P.M. – 6:30 P.M.

The starting times of all games are tentative and subject to change due to Major League Baseball television agreements with ESPN and FOX. Time changes can potentially occur up to 10 days prior to a scheduled game date. Guests should be advised that game tickets will be honored on the game date listed regardless of the time change. Guests should be aware of this possibility. Log on to tigers.com or check other local media outlets for the time changes that may occur.

The Tiger Den, Tiger Club, Beer Hall, The Labatt Blue Light Jungle, MotorCity Casino Champions Club and Suite Levels open two (2) hours prior to the scheduled game time.

On select days throughout the year Season Ticket Holders have an exclusive early entry allowing them in the ballpark 2 hours prior to game time to watch batting practice from left field behind the bullpens to the statues in left-center field. Entry is through Gate C located on the corner of Adams and Brush Streets.”

Coors Field:

“Gates A (Rockpile entrance) and E will open 2 hours prior to game time for Guests who want to view batting practice. Guests will be required to stay in the Left Field Pavilion area until the remaining ballpark gates open. Gates B, C and D will open 1 1/2 hours prior to game time. Gate opening times may vary if game is rescheduled.”

Dodgers Stadium:

“Third base side Field & Loge Level and Left Pavilion gates open 2 hours prior to the start of the game. All other gates open 1 1/2 hours prior to the first pitch. All parking gates open 2 hours prior to the start of each game. Gate times may vary for special events such as Opening Day and the Postseason.”

Fenway Park:

“The ballpark opens two hours (120 minutes) before game start time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and 90 minutes before game start time Monday — Thursday.”

(Pro Tip: Last year–although there’s no information for the upcoming season–members of Red Sox Nation got to enter the stadium on the Green Monster 2.5 hours early. The price–again, because there’s still no information about the 2013 season–last year was $15 for a one-time membership fee.)

Great American Ballpark:

All Gates open 90 minutes before the game.

Season ticket holders get to get into the stadium 2 hours before first pitch.

(Pro Tip: In 2012, I believe–there wasn’t anything on the site–there was a “BP Tour” where people could get in 2.5 hours early, so be on the lookout for that in 2013. The tickets to the tour are $15, but it could be well worth it with an extra hour of essentially ballhawking alone.)

And here are some great nuggets of information the previously mentioned Erik left as a comment: “In Cincy, there is a BP tour that leaves at 4:30 from the Hall of Fame Club and costs $17. Season Ticket Holders come in at 5:10 – at that time folks on the tour are permitted in the seating bowl to the Reds dugout, and 5:40 you can go anywhere when the rest of the gates open – usually a dash to left field for all the easter eggs.”

Kauffman Stadium:

All gates will open 1.5 hours prior to game time Fri – Sun. Gates A & E in the Outfield Experience will open 1.5 hours prior to game time Mon – Thurs. All remaining gates (Gates B, C & D) will open 1 hour prior to game time Mon – Thurs.”

Marlins Park:

Premium Gates open 2 hours before game time. All Other Gates open 90 minutes before game time. (Pro Tip: There are ways to get tickets that can get you in through the “premium” gates.

Miller Park:

  • “Gates open 2 hours prior to the scheduled start for all Marquee Games.
  • In April, May, and September, gates open 90 minutes prior to the scheduled start of non-Marquee Games, 7 days a week.
  • In June, July, and August, gates open 90 minutes prior to the scheduled start of non-Marquee Games Sunday-Friday and 2 hours prior on Saturdays.
  • All gate opening times are subject to change.”

(Pro Tip: You can get into the stadium early through Friday’s Front Row Grill in left field. However, know this: There is a one-hour table limit, and there is a minimum bill (it was $30 when I went there last) so pre-arrange  a meet-up with SOMEone to split the bill with, because 1. That’s a lot of extra money to spend. 2. One should probably not ingest $30 worth of food and beverage before ballhawking.)

Minute Maid Park:

All Gates open 90 minutes before game time.

Nationals Park:

Center Field Plaza Gate opens 2.5 hours before first pitch.

All Other Gates open 1.5 hours early.

(Pro Tip: When the main gate opens, people are always allowed into the left field and Red Seats in center field. However, they sometimes have the lower and upper seats in right field open when the main gate opens. If they aren’t open when the main gate opens, they, along with the rest of the ballpark will open with the rest of the gates. Foul territory is (almost) never open until 1.5 hours before game time.)

Oakland Coliseum:

Gates open 1.5 hours before game time Monday-Friday, and 2 hours early Saturday & Sunday.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards:

The Eutaw Street Gates (A and H) open 2 hours before game time. (Pro Tip: Season ticket holders are allowed to go into the main seating bowl at this time while “regular ticket holders” must wait until 1.5 hours before game time, so see if you can get tickets from them. They’re nice people, so I’m sure you can get hooked-up.)

Petco Park:

“Many ballpark gates open for admittance one and one-half (1 1/2) hours prior to the first pitch for Monday through Thursday games, and two (2) hours before the first pitch for Friday through Sunday games. The Park at the Park opens two and one-half (2 1/2) hours prior to the first pitch and allow guest access to the Park at the Park and the Padres Power Alley.”

PNC Park:

“Gates open one and one half hours (1 1/2) prior to game time (Monday through Sunday) and two hours on Opening Day. The Riverwalk will open two (2) hours before weekday (Monday-Friday) games and two and one half hours (2 1/2) prior to weekend (Saturday-Sunday) games.” And a bit of information Erik himself gave about the gate situation”PNC Park Riverwalk opens at 4:30 Mon-Sat for night games. For day games, it opens 2 hours early, but there is no early entrance to left field during BP. You have to stay out on the riverwalk until 90 mins before first pitch.”

(Pro Tip: When the Riverwalk opens, Pirates season ticket holders into the left field seats. Like Oriole Park at Camden Yards, these holders are nice people too, so you can/should see if you can get one of them to bring you in (ideally beforehand) too, because they are allowed to bring in guests.)

Progressive Field:

“For all night games at Progressive Field (Monday – Saturday), Gate C will open at 4:30 p.m. to allow fans access to the Market Pavilion, Heritage Park and the Right Field Lower Reserved seats until 6:00 p.m. This will enable fans to watch the Indians take Batting Practice, as well as time to enjoy Heritage Park in the center field area. At 6:00 p.m. ALL gates will open. For 1:05 p.m. day games, all gates will open at 11:30 a.m. For all 12:05 p.m. day games, gates will open at 11 a.m. Special gate times exist for Terrace Club and Premium Seating guests.”

Rangers Ballpark:

“First and Third Base Gates open two hours prior to game time for night games and one and one-half hours prior to game time for afternoon games. Home Plate and Center Field Gates at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington open one and one-half hours prior to game time for all games. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to watch batting practice, infield workouts and pre-game ceremonies. Gate openings are subject to change.” (Pro Tip: I’ve heard that season ticket holder get to go in a half-hour early and get to bring in a guest, so see if you can make friends before the gates open to possibly get in a little early.)

Rogers Centre:

They actually have *nothing* on their site about the gates, so I’m going to go out on a whim and say they haven’t changed since when Erik wrote his entry, but if you’re reading this sentence, Malcolm, please enlighten us on the truth. By the way, if you want to check out Erik’s entry, this whole excerpt from it is linked to the entry itself:

“Guests can enter the stadium 90 minutes before the first pitch on any weekday home game. On Saturday and Sunday home games, the gates to Rogers Centre open 2 hours prior to game-time.”

Safeco Field:

Center Field and ‘Pen Gates open 2.5 hours before first pitch.

All Gates open 2 hours before the game starts.

(Pro Tip: Like most stadiums with one gate opening earlier than the others, when the ‘Pen and Center Field Gates open, you are limited to that part of the stadium and when the rest of the gates open, you can access the rest of the stadium.)

Target Field:

Gates open 90 minutes before the game Monday-Thursday.

Gates open 2 hours before first pitch Friday-Sunday.

(Pro Tip: Unless you have a particular spot that is essential to your ballhawking strategy, there is a small chance that you can get a ball from outside of the gates at Gate 34 in right field.)

Tropicana Field:

See Target Field…minus the Pro Tip part.

Turner Field:

“Main gates (Plaza, Museum & Guest Relations gates): 2.5 hours prior to game time

Bowl Seating gates: 2 hours prior to game time”

(Pro Tip: Again, you are limited to the left and center field seats for the first half-hour– the former of which is fortunately is one of the best sections of outfield seating in all of baseball–but 2 hours before the game begins, you can go into foul ground and the right field seats. So if there are a bunch of lefties or the left field seats are just packed, that’s when you can get out of there.)

U.S. Cellular Field:

“The U.S. Cellular Field gates open 90 minutes prior to game time, unless otherwise noted. On Kids Days, the gates will open two (2) hours prior to game time.”

(Pro Tip: This is only in the case of tickets being waaaay out of your price range; don’t try this if you can help it. But at “the Cell”, it is their policy that you *need* a field-level ticket to access the field-level seating no matter if it’s right as the gates open or anything. However, if you find yourself without a ticket for there, you can ask to visit something that only exists on the lower level–like a hat store or something; do your own research! And then, depending on the humanity of the usher, you can maybe get in there. (Credit: Sean Bigness))

Wrigley Field:

All Gates open 2 hours before the game.

(Pro Tip(s): Like the other Chicago park, be conscious of where your ticket is. I have heard of some exceptions (although no one who has done it seems to know how they did it) but for the most part; if you buy a bleacher ticket, you can only be in the bleachers for the whole game, and vice-versa for a seating bowl ticket. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is: the bleachers are general admission. That means the first person gets the best seat. Naturally, this means people show up earlier for the bleachers. Thirdly, Wrigley Field–renovations and all–is still small in the left field bleacher portion of the stadium, so it’s possible to snag baseballs before you get in the stadium on Waveland Ave. Additionally, there are some (although substantailly fewer) fences in the outfield wall where one can see into the stadium, so it is also possible to get a player to toss you a ball while out there before the gates open.)

Yankee Stadium:

All Gates open 2 hours before first pitch.

(Pro Tip: Don’t let this fool you, unless you can splurge for a field-level ticket–because of the Yankees’ suckiness when it comes to fan relations–it’s more like a ballpark that opens 1.5 hours before the game because it’s there policy to kick anyone without a ticket for field-level seats 45 minutes after the gates. (So during the beginning of visitor’s BP.))

Sorted By Earliest Gate On Weekdays:(This discounts early-access stadium tour and such like those at Fenway Park and Great American Ballpark.)

2.5 Hours Early:

Citizens Bank Park, Nationals Park, Petco Park, Progressive Field, Safeco Field, and Turner Field.

2 Hours Early:

Angels Stadium, AT&T Park, Busch Stadium, Citi Field, Comerica Park, Coors Field, Dodgers Stadium, Marlins Park (Premium Gates), Oriole Park at Camden Yards, PNC Park, Rangers Ballpark, Wrigley Field, and Yankee Stadium.

1.5 Hours:

Chase Field, Fenway Park, Great American Ballpark, Kauffman Stadium, Miller Park, Minute Maid Park, Oakland Coliseum, Rogers Centre, Target Field, Tropicana Field, and U.S. Cellular Field.

Sorted By Earliest Gate Opening Time On Weekends:

2.5 Hours Early:

Citizens Bank Park, Nationals Park, Petco Park, PNC Park, Progressive Field, and Safeco Field.

2 Hours Early:

Angels Stadium, AT&T Park, Busch Stadium, Chase Field, Citi Field, Comerica Park, Coors Field, Dodgers Stadium, Fenway Park, Marlins Park (Premium Gates), Oakland Coliseum, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Rangers Ballpark, Rogers Centre, Target Field, Tropicana Field, Wrigley Field, and Yankee Stadium.

1.5 Hours Early:

Great American Ballpark, Kauffman Stadium, Miller Park (? Read the whole Miller Park thing; it’s semi-confusing, and makes it impossible to categorize properly.), Minute Maid Park, and U.S. Cellular Field.

Oh, and before we even entertain the possibility, I’m not making this next year, so I suspect one of you reading this will have to pick up the torch next offseason. However, while you’re here, you can vote for what you’d like to see me write about next, if you haven’t already. Keep in mind you can vote for more than one entry topic. This is especially important this time because I’ve already begun writing the next entry by the time you read this:

And here’s the entry ideas that have been exhausted already:

1. Ballhawk Interviews- 33 votes

2. Stadium Profiles- 26 votes

3. Ballhawk Profiles- 33 votes

4. Dissect (a) Baseball(s)- 26 votes

5. Tour Target Field when there’s snow on the ground- 26 votes

6. Weird Observing Baseball Facts and Records- 28 votes

7. New Observing Baseball Icon- 17 votes

8. MLBlogs I Recommend- 33 votes

9. Observing Baseball Trivia- 32 votes

10. My Favorite MLB Players- 28 votes

11. Characters of Observing Baseball- 29 votes

12. Gate Opening Times of MLB Stadiums- 30 votes

Not Proofread.

243,658 Words Written so far…

Characters of Observing Baseball: Zack Hample

Zack Hample COB

Entries with Zack in them: 27

How I met Zack: I don’t know if there was a single time I heard of Zack. The first distinct event I remember, though, was this: I was known–among other things–as the baseball-obsessed kid in my pre-teen years. (Trust me; I have the years worth of baseball books I never read to prove it.) Anyway, as I alluded to in that last sentence in parentheses, this lead everybody and their grandmother to go with baseball-related books when in doubt as gifts. One such book was “Watching Baseball Smarter”. Unlike most of the books that I have been given–which I convinced myself I’d read later as I put them on my bookshelf, only to be left, still unread–it seemed interesting, so I started reading it. While it ended up not being a book I particularly enjoyed, when I saw the author’s picture on the back, I thought, “Hey, that’s that guy who catches baseballs that I’ve heard of a few times.” (Again, because I was “the baseball kid”, a couple of people had told me about Zack before that point, but it was never more than a mention until I realized *he* had written the book.) After I read the book, I went on two road trips with my dad and snagged a combined four baseballs in 18 games. While it’s true that I didn’t get to the gates before they opened, didn’t really ask players at all for baseballs, and didn’t read Zack’s blog, I was kind of feeling, “You know, this whole do-it-yourself snagging thing really isn’t working, so I should learn directly from the expert himself.” So, that next year I saved up the whole year to A. Go to a “Watch With Zack” game, and B. Go on a third baseball road trip with my dad where I would have a clue as to how to snag a baseball. And that Watch With Zack Game was where I met Zack (more specifically, the 79th street subway station). I would write more about the experience, but I’m saving it for the “Blast from the Baseball Past” entry I hope to write on the game eventually. In the meantime, here’s Zack’s entry on the game.

First of all, since this is the first entry of its ilk, let me go through what this series of entries unofficially is. There are many people who I mention or just appear in my ballhawking entries, so these entries are to give you some background into the person and my relation to them. (So why they are even appearing in the entries.) Zack, for the .0000009% of you who don’t know, is the snagger of 6,459 baseballs (as of January, 14, 2013), and as such has appeared in a ton of my ballhawking entries since we are often at the same game in New York.

If you didn’t pick it up in the paragraph where I described how I met Zack, Zack was the one who taught me how to ballhawk. He was the inspiration for me starting to ballhawk and the reason this blog exists in general. Granted I haven’t written any other of these “Character of Observing Baseball” entries yet, but I’d say this is probably the hardest to write since there is so much known about Zack already out there, so most things I would write would be redundant. That, and my encounters with him are numerous enough that I can’t just narrate to you those one or two times I’ve been to the same game as him. My best advice is to click the “26” earlier in the entry and simply read a few of the entries for my experiences at game with him. So, good people, I give you a few links to somewhat get to know Mr. Hample yourself:

1. Blog

2. Website

3. Twitter

And, for fun: 4. Wikipedia Page

Now, just because I think you were too lazy or whatever to click the “26”, here are some of the synopses of the games we have both attended:

1. 4/9/11 Nationals at Mets- Every ballhawk in the New York it seemed came to this game because back then everyone went to Citi Field instead of Yankee Stadium only to find out that the reason they had gone there had been taken away from them by the Mets in that the Mets pushed the gate opening time from two-and-a-half hours before first pitch to two hours before it.

2. 4/14/11 Orioles at Yankees- Zack formally introduced me to Ben Weil forcing my first memory of Ben being the scrapes on his legs from the Yankee Stadium ground.

3. 4/17/11 Rangers at Yankees- I showed up half way through batting practice for this Sunday Night Baseball game only to almost out-snag Zack for the first time ever.

4. 4/21/11 Astros at Mets- I got Zack to sign my copy of “The Baseball and got Nelson Figueroa to sign a ball and take a self-shot with my camera. What did Zack snag? Only the first ever mygameballs.com-recorded Citi Field home run snag, which just so happened to be Mike Nickeas’ first career home run.

5. 7/24/11 Angels at Orioles- Zack caught Mike Trout’s first ever home run, so I got to have a semi-behind-the-scenes look at OPACY and got to see a 19-year-old Trout in person as he met with his family for the first time after hitting his first major league home run.

6. 8/1/11 Marlins at Mets- This time it my turn to snag a game ball. I snagged an Angel Pagan foul ball which Zack, myself, his half-brother, and his half-brother’s son had fun taking pictures of (none of which show up in the entry, but I that was the main interaction during the game).

7. 8/15/12 Rangers at Yankees- There was a bunch of rain , so Zack explained to me the difference between him and Mickey Mantle, helped me snag a ball from a groundskeeper, and provided almost half of the pictures I used in the entry.

8. 8/24/12 Astros at Mets- Since it was my last game before going off to school in Minnesota, I rode back the entire subway journey back with him and Greg Barasch.

9. 8/14/11 Rangers at Yankees- I did a “Before The Gates Open” video in which Zack made a ridiculous cameo–from which the picture up top is a screen cap of.

I think I could write more about the other games, but again, check them out. Mostly because I don’t feel like transcribing the entries all into this one single entry. And if you were wondering…Yes, making it so you can find every game I attended with any given ballhawk through tags is one of my mini-projects under the larger project of re-doing the blog this winter. I already have it so you can see every entry a certain player hit or tossed me a ball, but I realize now that I had no clue what tagging entries actually meant. So if you notice, as of late, I haven’t really been tagging the entries myself; I’ve just been using all fo the tags WordPress suggests for me. That’s because I’m trying to figure out what I actually want my tags to be used for. Once I have a concrete idea and get up the motivation to undertake the project, I’m going to re-do almost all of the tags. That’s yet another reason why I got rid of so many entries from the past. Anyway, if you couldn’t tell, the main part of the entry is over, so this is the part where I tell you to vote for the entry(s) you would like to see next if you haven’t already:

And here are the already-exhausted entry ideas. For those who don’t know, after all of the items on the poll get written, I will put some of the exhausted entries back up and we’ll do this all over until Opening Day (yes I capitalize it; it’s a national holiday) rolls around:

1. Ballhawk Interviews- 33 votes

2. Stadium Profiles- 26 votes

3. Ballhawk Profiles- 33 votes

4. Dissect (a) Baseball(s)- 26 votes

5. Tour Target Field when there’s snow on the ground- 26 votes

6. Weird Observing Baseball Facts and Records- 28 votes

7. New Observing Baseball Icon- 17 votes

8. MLBlogs I Recommend- 33 votes

9. Observing Baseball Trivia- 32 votes

10. My Favorite MLB Players- 28 votes

11. Characters of Observing Baseball- 29 votes

Not proofread.

240,670 Words Written so far…

Favorite MLB Players

Just to have it on the record who my favorite MLB players are and were as of January, 12, 2013. That, and maybe for you guys to get a better idea of me as a baseball fan:

Vote for who you think the next entry should be about:

And of course, if you haven’t already, vote for what you think the next entry should be after that:

Exhausted entry ideas:

1. Ballhawk Interviews- 33 votes

2. Stadium Profiles- 26 votes

3. Ballhawk Profiles- 33 votes

4. Dissect (a) Baseball(s)- 26 votes

5. Tour Target Field when there’s snow on the ground- 26 votes

6. Weird Observing Baseball Facts and Records- 28 votes

7. New Observing Baseball Icon- 17 votes

8. MLBlogs I Recommend- 33 votes

9. Observing Baseball Trivia- 32 votes

10. My Favorite MLB Players- 28 votes

11. Characters of Observing Baseball- 29

Not Proofread/watched.

239,315 Words Written so far…

Houlihan Park Tour and Snagging Analysis

So that was that. I hope you enjoyed it. And here is that poll I promised you about which person you’d like me to write about for the “Characters of Observing Baseball” entry that I’ll write about two entries from now:

I left off ushers and family off, but if you’d like to see me include them or any other people, let me know before you vote.

Observing Baseball Trivia

Since I can’t write “Ballhawking Gear” until I get back to Minnesota in three weeks, here is your next-most-voted-for entry: Observing Baseball Trivia. Here’s how it will go:

  • 100 Questions total
  • 10 on Historical Baseball Stuff, 10 on Contemporary Baseball Stuff, 30 on Ballpark Trivia, 10 on Ballhawk Stats, 10 on Name That Ballpark, 10 Trivia about the content of the blog itself, and 20 on Moments in Observing Baseball History.
  • Each question will be multiple choice.
  • You don’t need to write out the question, but please include the number to the question in your answer.
  • Each person only gets to take one guess for each question. If a person takes a guess at a question that is wrong, they can no longer answer that question. They will, however, be allowed a guess at any subsequent questions.
  • I will try to post a question on every hour or half-hour that I am up between today and Monday.
  • The contest will be taking place not just here on the blog, but also on my Twitter account, the Observing Baseball Facebook page, and on the newly-made Instagram account (because EVERYone said I should make one. Well, not everyone, but family, people on Twitter, and people in the comments of this blog). Twenty-five of the hundred questions will appear on each medium. I won’t announce which questions will be on which, but every set of four questions will have one question on each medium. In other words, you will always be able to predict on which account the fourth, eight, and so on questions will be one, but you won’t be able to predict the three questions preceding
  • The questions won’t close until someone answers question #100.
  • The people credited with answering the question will be decided by *my* time stamp. I’ll try update the standings below as I get the results.
  • Only one person can get credit for answering the question correctly. The person to get it is the first person to answer it correctly.
  • I’ll post questions from other places on here after they’re answered.
  • Correct answers will be bolded.
  • To be accredited with the right answer one needs to answer on wherever the question is… unless you let me know before the question is posted that you don’t have an account on any of the sites listed above. In that case I’ll allow you to answer by commenting on this entry. So, to be clear, if I post the question on the blog, comment the answer; if I post the question on Twitter, reply to the tweet (or one tweet in the series of tweets containing the tweets, since I probably can’t fit a whole multiple-choice question in 140 characters) with the answer; if the question is on Facebook, comment on the post where I ask the question with the answer; and if the question is on Instagram, comment on the picture I ask the question in.
  • The winner of this contest will get their choice of *one* of these four prizes. And for every ten people who submit an answer throughout this contest, I’ll add on an extra winner (i.e. If more than ten people submit an answer, I’ll give away two prizes. If more than twenty people do, I’ll give away three prizes etc. If more than forty people submit an answer–which I *highly* doubt–I’ll pick some more prizes for them to possibly pick from.) Anyway, here are the prizes:

1. Rollie Fingers-signed baseball:

Rollie Fingers autographed baseball

2. Yankees 2009 Commemorative World Series DVD (unopened):

Yankees 2009 Wordl Series DVD

3. Mr. Met Bobblehead:

Mr. Met Bobblehead

4. Radar Gun:

Radar Gun

Rankings:

1. Nick Badders- 29. Received: Radar Gun.

2. Paul Kom- 24. Received–by winning the tie-breaker 3-2-1: Rollie Finger autographed baseball.

3. Quinn Imiola- 24. Received: Mr. Met bobblehead.

4. Kimberly Imiola- 8

5. Jared Serre- 3

6. Sean Bigness- 3

7. Joey Orr- 2

8. Danny Chojnacki- 2

9. Brendan Weingarten- 2

10. Pascale Badders- 2

11. Tony Voda- 1

12. Matt Huddleston- 1

And here is the first question:

1. Who received the highest percentage of votes in the Baseball HOF’s inagural class? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

a. Walter Johnson

b. Ty Cobb

c. Babe Ruth

d. Honus Wagner

2. (on Facebook) What year was Fenway Park’s construction finalized? ANSWERED (by Bredan Weingarten)
A. 1912
B. 1924
C. 1909
D. 1918

3. (on Instagram) What is the date of the longest time I’ve spent “at the ballpark”? ANSWERED (by Matt Huddleston)

A. 8/24/12

B. 7/4/11

C. 10/2/10

D. 7/17/12

4. (on Twitter) Who is the only ballhawk in mygameballs.com history to have four consecutive 400+ ball seasons? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Nick Pelescak

B. Zack Hample

C. Garrett Meyer

D. Erik Jabs

5. (on Facebook) Name That Ballpark! ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

tropicana-field_display_image

A. Rogers Centre

B. Tropicana Field

C. Tokyo Dome

D. Metrodome

6. (on Twitter) Which pitcher lead the league in 2012 in K/9? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Max Scherzer

B. Justin Verlander

C. Lance Lynn

D. Zack Grienke

7. At Target Field, Harmon Killebrew’s longest home run ever (at Metropolitan Stadium) is the spot of______? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. A Mini Donut Stand

B. A Gold Glove

C. A Plaque Commemorating the Home Run

D. His Statue

8. (on Instagram) The Brewers mascot, Bernie the Brewer, slides down the slide in left field every time… ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. A Brewer hits a home run

B. The Brewers score a run

C. An opposing batter strikes out

D. All of the above

9. What is the single-season record for Balls Per Game on mygameballs.com? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. 8.83

B. 8.65

C. 9.33

D. 9.5

10. Who tossed me my 100th baseball? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Chris Perez

B. Rick Ankiel

C. Jeremy Hellickson

D. Jaime Garcia

11. (on Twitter) Which stat comes at the end of the “stats” portion of each ballhawking entry? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Streaks

B. Competition Factor

C. Time Sent On Game

D. Balls Per Game

12. (on Facebook) What was the original name of the New York Yankees franchise? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Washington Yankees

B. New York Knickerbockers

C. New York Highlanders

D. Baltimore Orioles

13. (on Facebook) In 2007, the Arizona Diamondbacks dumped which color scheme in favor of sedona red and black? ANSWERED (by Brendan Weingarten)

A. Normal red and white

B. Purple and turqouise

C. Gray and black

D. Gray and teal

14. (on Instagram) Name That Ballpark ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

20130104-174404.jpg

A. New Yankee Stadium

B. U.S. Cellular Field

C. Old Yankee Stadium

D. Citizens Bank Park

15. (on Twitter) Who hit the first foul ball I snagged that I wrote about on this blog? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. Angel Pagan

B. Luis Hernandez

C. Nate McLouth

D. Justin Morneau

16. Marlins Park was built on the site of which former building? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Miami-Dade County Courthouse

B. Miami Hurricane’s Mark Light Field (baseball stadium)

C. Pro Player Stadium

D. Old Orange Bowl Site

17. (on Twitter) My first Observing Baseball-documented snags came as a result of a loan from which ballhawk? ANSWERED (by Danny Chojnacki)

A. Zack Hample

B. Ben Weil

C. Greg Barasch

D. Avi Miller

18. (on Instagram) Before Marlins Park, what was the only ballpark with a pool? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. Tropicana Field

B. Chase Field

C. Minute Maid Park

D. Safeco Field

19. Which of the following are true concerning my 200th career ball? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. It was a ball hit in the second deck of Nationals Park

B. I out-ran an usher for it

C. I gave the ball away

D. All of the above

20. Which of these is not a feature of the Rogers Centre? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. Its outfield measurements are in meters

B. It only has three levels of seating

C. It is next door to the CN Tower.

D. There are hotel rooms in the outfield

21. (on Instagram) Which of the following *is* a seating section at Busch Stadium? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. Right Field Porch

B. Outfield Redbird Club

C. Diamond Club

D. Bank of America Club

22. What was the original name of the Atlanta Braves organization? ANSWERED (by Kimberly Imiola)

A. Boston Red Stockings

B. Boston Braves

C. Milwaukee Braves

D. Milwaukee Brewmasters

23. I snagged my first Observing Baseball-documented commemorative baseball at which stadium? ANSWERED (by Kimberly Imiola)

A. Nationals Park

B. Citi Field

C. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

D. New Yankee Stadium

24. (on Twitter) Name That Ballpark! ANSWERED (by Jared Serre)

A_0NRsvCcAAlWq7.jpg_large

A. Nationals Park

B. Citi Field

C. Target Field

D. New Yankee Stadium

25. (on Facebook) PNC Park leads the next-highest ballpark on mygameballs.com by how many baseballs?ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. 1,367

B. 730

C. 579

D. 1,504

26. This Ballpark has a see-through fence in one of its outfield walls so that people can see the field from outside the stadium. ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

B. AT&T Park

C. Minute Maid Park

D. Chase Field

27. (on Instagram) What month and year did I upload my first–admittedly awful–video for Observing Baseball? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. December 2011

B. March 2012

C. October 2011

D. January 2012

28. (on Twitter) Which gate at Citizens Bank Park opens earlier than all of the rest? ANSWERED (by Tony Voda)

A. Third Base Gate

B. Center Field Gate

C. Home Plate Gate

D. Right Field Gate

29. (on Facebook) Which of the following is *not* in the top-5 active pitchers in terms of WAR? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)
A. Mariano Rivera

B. Roy Halladay

C. Justin Verlander

D. C.C. Sabathia

30. What was the date of my first ever Observing Baseball-documented minor league game? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. 3/29/12

B. 9/13/11

C. 4/29/12

D. 4/11/12

31. (on Twitter) Which of the following ballparks moved in its fences for the 2013 season? ANSWERED (by Jared Serre)

A. Citi Field

B. O. Co Coliseum

C. Petco Park

D. U.S. Cellular Field

32. (on Instagram) Which of the following does not have the majority of its seats green? ANSWERED (by Kimberly Imiola)

A. Target Field

B. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

C. Citi Field

D. Marlins Park

33. (on Instagram) Which of the following is in the top-5 active leaders in terms of OBP? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. Adam Dunn

B. Joey Votto

C. Kevin Youkillis

D. Joe Mauer

34. (on Facebook) Who hit the walk-off hit in the game I caught Trevor Plouffe’s game-tying home run? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Denard Span

B. Josh Willingham

C. Ben Revere

D. Justin Morneau

D. Justin Morneau

35. What year did Roger Maris break Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. 1961

B. 1958

C. 1949

D. 1965

36. (on Twitter) What date did I first encounter the “Tomahawk Chop”? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. 7/6/11

B. 4/14/11

C. 7/4/11

D. 8/15/11

37. (on Facebook) Who leads mygameballs.com in Balls Per Game? (minimum 10 Games) ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Jaycob Porter

B. Donny Haltom

C. Zack Hample

D. Joe Faraguna

38. (on Twitter) Which of the following ballparks doesn’t have a standing room-only section in the field level of the outfield? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. AT&T Park

B. Progressive Field

C. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

D. Fenway Park

39. I caught what sequence of baseballs in my three games in Miami in 2011? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. 8, 7, 2

B. 5, 5, 5

C. 7, 6, 2

D. 7, 3, 6

40. (on Instagram) Name That Ballpark! ANSWERED (by Kimberly Imiola)

20120804-144216.jpg

A. Target Field

B. Sun Life Stadium

C. Citi Field

D. Nationals Park

41. (on Facebook) Senator George Mitchell is a part of which baseball organization? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola and Paul Kom)

A. New York Yankees

B. Los Angeles Dodgers

C. Milwaukee Brewers

D. Boston Red Sox

42. (on Instagram) Name That Ballpark! ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)
62411 ball #2 path

A. AT&T Park

B. PNC Park

C. Citi Field

D. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

43. (on Twitter) Who was the first president to throw out a ceremonial first pitch? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. Woodrow Wilson

B. Herbert Hoover

C. William Howard Taft

D. Calvin Coolidge

44. How many sports has Wrigley Field played host to? ANSWERED (by Joey Orr)
A. 2
B. 4
C. 3
D. 5

45. (on Facebook) What percentage of balls have I given away since I started Observing Baseball? ANSWERED (by Joey Orr)

A. 34%

B. 21%

C. 29%

D. 26%

46. (on Twitter) How many ballparks have I been to? (MLB) ANSWERED (by Kimberly Imiola)

A. 10

B. 15

C. 16

D. 18

47. (on Instagram) In which ballpark can you find this? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)
20121119-140823.jpg

A. AT&T Park

B. Turner Field

C. Miller Park

D. Coors Field

48. What was the date of my first double-digit game? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. 7/29/11

B. 8/12/11

C. 7/23/11

D. 6/24/11

49. Which of the following is not true about my 300th ball snag? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. I caught it on the fly

B. It was hit by a Yankee

C. It was on Derek Jeter’s birthday

D. I ran into a tunnel to get it.

50. (on Facebook) Which of the following doesn’t have a double-decker bullpen? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Target Field

B. Citizens Bank Park

C. Citi Field

D. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

51. (on Instagram) Name That Ballpark! ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)
6712 People in tunnel

A. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

B. New Yankee Stadium

C. Citi Field

D. Sun LIfe Stadium

52. (on Twitter) What is oldest ballpark in the AL Central? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. Progressive Field

B. U.S. Cellular

C. Comerica Park

D. Kauffman Stadium

53. (on Twitter) What was the date when I tied for most baseballs snagged in the inaugural Ballhawkfest? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. 7/7/11

B. 6/9/11

C. 7/13/11

D. 7/23/11

54. (on Instagram) Which Ballpark was top in the league in 2012 in terms of HR Park Factor? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

B. U.S. Cellular Field

C. Coors Field

D. Miller Park

55. (on Facebook) Which is the third oldest ballpark in the AL East? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. New Yankee Stadium

B. Tropicana Field

C. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

D. Rogers Centre

56. On what date did I snag my first career home run? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. 9/13/11

B. 9/12/11

C. 9/13/12

D. 9/14/12

57. (on Twitter) Who is the Yankees’ career RBI leader?ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Lou Gehrig

B. Babe Ruth

C. Mickey Mantle

D. Joe DiMaggio

58. (on Instagram) During which game did I get this ball signed? ANSWERED (by Kimberly Imiola)
Instagram Picture

A. 8/5/12

B. 9/15/11

C. 7/7/12

D. 6/24/12

59. (on Facebook) Who holds the record on mygameballs.com for most home run snags in a season? ANSWERED (by Kimberly Imiola)

A. John Witt

B. Rick Gold

C. Tim Anderson

D. Shawn Bosman

60. Who is the active leader in WAR? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. Albert Pujols

B. Chipper Jones

C. Manny Ramirez

D. Alex Rodriguez

61. (on Twitter) Where can you find a “Cuban Sandwhich”? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. Marlins Park

B. Tropicana Field

C. Citi Field

D. Petco Park

62. (on Facebook) How many home stadiums and cities have the Oakland A’s had? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. 4, 4

B. 3, 3

C. 4, 3

D. 5, 3

63. Which current MLB stadium has the highest Seating Capacity? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Dodgers Stadium

B. New Yankee Stadium

C. Coors Field

D. Rogers Centre

64. (on Instagram) Name That Ballpark! ANSWERED (by Jared Serre and Quinn Imiola)

81311 cross aisle

A. Turner Field

B. Metrodome

C. Tropicana Field

D.  Miller Park

65. (on Twitter) How many *numbers* have the Yankees retired? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. 14

B. 16

C. 17

D. 20

66. When was the first time I was let into the stadium over a half-hour after I should have? ANSWERED (by Danny Chojnacki)

A. 8/24/11

B. 5/18/11

C. 8/13/11

D. 8/23/11

67. (on Facebook) What’s the newest MLB stadium? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. Target Field

B. Citi Field

C. Marlins Park

D. New Yankee Stadium

68. (on Instagram) What game did I snag this baseball? ANSWERED (by Sean Bigness)

ball 104

A. 7/2/11

B. 6/24/11

C. 7/4/11

D. 7/5/11

69. What were the dates of my first consecutive games with one game ball? ANSWERED (by Kimberly Imiola)

A. 7/5/11, 7/6/11

B. 7/31/11, 8/1/11

C. 8/13/12, 8/14/12

D. 7/22/12, 7/23/12

70. (on Instagram) What stadium is this from? ANSWERED (by Sean Bigness)

A. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

B. Nationals Park

C. Citi Field

D. Target Field

RULES FROM THIS POINT ON:

We will do the normal question every 30 minutes until we reach total question. After that, we will take a break and I will post the remaining 25 question on the blog in a free-for-all comment war. I will only post this group of 25 questions on an hour (so 1:00, 2:00, etc.) it will not be on any random time like 3:49 and won’t be on the half-hour either. It will most likely go up tonight, but if I can’t finish the list by 12:00 AM EST, the list will wait until Monday   (tomorrow) and go up between 6:00 PM and 12:00 AM EST, again, on the hour. I’d say we’ll resume the “regular” 30 minute trivia at around 6:00 EST today. If it doesn’t resume by then keep checking back every half hour on either Facebook or Twitter, since those are the only two remaining possible mediums for questions 71 and 72.

71. (on Twitter) Which book did I review in March of 2011? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. Watching Baseball Smarter

B. The Baseball

C. Moneyball

D. The Extra 2%

72. (on Facebook) What year did the Giants and Dodgers come to the west coast? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. 1951

B. 1949

C. 1955

D. 1957

73. (on Instagram) Which player has hit the most home runs in this stadium? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

Old Yankee Stadium

A. Alex Rodriguez

B. Babe Ruth

C. Curtis Granderson

D. Mickey Mantle

74. Name That Ballpark! ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

7512 Rick ball

A. Nationals Park

B. Turner Field

C. AT& T Park

D. Miller Park

75. (on Twitter) Where can you find “The Beach”? ANSWERED (by Sean Bigness)

A. Dodgers Stadium

B. Marlins Park

C. Petco Park

D. AT&T Park

76. Where might one find “Greene’s Hill”? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

B. Busch Stadium

C. Kauffman Stadium

D. Angels Stadium

77. In getting the hitter’s Triple Crown, Miguel Cabrera was the first player since whom to do so? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Stan Musial

B. Carl Yastremski

C. Don Mattingly

D. Hank Aaron

78. Which notable ballhawk has been my next-door neighbor for 18 years? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. Zack Hample

B. Ben Weil

C. Greg Barasch

D. Rick Gold

79. Which player was responsible for my first ever batting practice baseball? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. Prince Fielder

B. Barry Bonds

C. Andy Pettitte

D. Ryan Howard

80. Which ballhawk has the lowest Ball Per Game average on mygameballs.com? (Min 100 Games) ANSWERED (by Pascale Badders)

A. Leigh Barratt

B. Tony Bracco

C. Rick Gold

D. Don Chilcote

81. The renovations to Kauffman Stadium were completed by commencement of what season? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. 2005

B. 2009

C. 2007

D. 2008

82. In this entry I wrote about the process Ruben Amaro Jr. undertook to get three aces on the Phillies rotation. What was the name of the entry? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Good boy, Roy

B. A Plethora of Pitchers

C. Pure Genius

D. The Phantastic Phillies

83. Who lead the National League in Strikeouts in 2012? ANSWERED (by Pascale Badders)

A. Clayton Kershaw

B. Gio Gonzalez

C. R.A. Dickey

D. Adam Dunn

84. Which of the following ball totals would get one number 10 on the mygameballs.com career totals? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. 1,252

B. 1,138

C. 967

D. 1,504

85. What detail was first overlooked in the renovations of Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum by the Oakland Raiders? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Installation of bullpens

B. A room for grounds crew materials

C. Foldable seats to stow away for baseball games

D. Shatter-proof glass in outfield boxes.

86. The usher who lets me into his section at Nationals Park works in which part of the ballpark? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. Lower-level right Field

B. Lower-level left field

C. Behind the third base dugout

D. Foul ground left field

87. Which of the following franchises originated in Milwaukee? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Atlanta Braves

B. Baltimore Orioles

C. Oakland Athletics

D. Milwaukee Brewers

88. Name That Ballpark! ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

blank stadium

A. Riverfront Stadium

B. County Stadium

C. Crosley Field

D. Sportman’s Park

89. When did I ask Josh Thole to return an item to me and he did? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. 7/23/12

B. 7/30/11

C. 7/17/12

D. 8/26/11

90. What ballpark was supposed to host the 2000 All-Star game? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. Angels Stadium

B. Wrigley Field

C. Sun Life Stadium

D. Safeco Field

91. Which stadium used to be called Pac Bell Park? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. AT&T Park

B. Chase Field

C. Sun Life Stadium

D. Petco Park

92. Which of the following didn’t happen on 4/21/11? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Zack Hample caught Mike Nickeas’ home run

B. I got my copy of The Baseball signed

C. I got Nelson Figueroa to take a “self-shot” with my camera

D. I got reprimanded for trying to get too many “Pepsi Max” samples

93. Who lead Major League Baseball in WAR in 2012? ANSWERED (by Nick Badders)

A. Miguel Cabrera

B. Buster Posey

C. Mike Trout

D. Andrew McCutchen

94. What was the best Ball Per Game average in 2012? (Min 10 games) ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. 8.00

B. 8.65

C. 9.33

D. 7.00

95. Where would someone encounter the “Tomahawk Chop”? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. Progressive Field

B. Turner Field

C. PNC Park

D. Minute Maid Park

96. Who accompanied me on the night of my first home run snag? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. Sean Bigness

B. Chris Cositore

C. Jonathan Mueller

D. Alex Pistolesi

97. Who is the all-time leader in WAR? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom)

A. Denton Young

B. Babe Ruth

C. Barry Bonds

D. Walter Johnson

98.Name That Ballpark! ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

screen-shot-2011-10-12-at-6-43-42-pm

A. Turner Field

B. Target Field

C. Citi Field

D. Nationals Park

99. When did I first come to Target Field? ANSWERED (by Paul Kom and Nick Badders)

A. 8/28/12

B. 8/09/11

C. 8/10/11

D. 9/8/12

100. Where is McCovey Cove a main attraction? ANSWERED (by Quinn Imiola)

A. AT&T Park

B. Fenway Park

C. PNC Park

D. Marlins Park

 

Not proofread.

238,481 Words Written so far…

Resolutions/Goals for 2013

So typically I post an entry on or around the new year setting out my goals for ballhawking the next year like this and this. Well, given this is the definition for resolution:

the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.

And this is the definition for goal:
the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
And since it’s pretty obvious most of the things in those prior two lists were mostly goals, my first change to this year’s list was obviously the title of the entry itself as you can see above.
Secondly, ballhawking will no longer be my sole focus. For this entry, I will be establishing goals and resolutions for many different things. I haven’t thought of them all while I write these words, but I’m going to think of them later and write all of them below. For each different category, I will have 10 different goals/resolutions.
Ballhawking:
1. Have multiple double-digit games- I never have in a season before. The most games I have ever had in a season where I snagged 10 or more baseballs is one. In 2013 I think that needs to change one way or another.
2. Snag 4 or more game balls- In the past three seasons I have snagged 1, 2, and 3 game balls, respectively. I’d like to keep that growth going. It’ll probably easier to do it if I don’t wait until July 23rd to snag my first game ball.
3. Snag multiple game home run balls- This may not jive with my previous goal–since that is most easily achievable in foul territory–but I’d like my Plouffe home run snag to not be a one-time thing.
4. Snag 100 thrown baseballs,100 hit balls, 50 on the fly, 10 Easter Eggs, and 5 Glove Trick balls- I came pretty close last year with all of these, but I have still never done most of them. The only one I passed last year was the thrown ball mark. I would be willing to give away some in this department to supplement the other categories.
5. Give away a third of my baseballs or more- Since I tell everyone that I give away about a third of my baseballs, I figure I should make it a point to actually live up to that figure. I did last year, so I’m hoping to repeat.
6a. Average 4.5 Balls Per Game
6b. Average 5 Balls Per Game- Towards the end of the season it felt nearly impossible for me to do this (I averaged 4.21 Balls Per Game this season.) but we’ll see if I got better. I, for whatever reason, seem to struggle when the calendar hits August; but I think that if I can get off to the same hot start I did this year and then just not fall off the cliff at the end of the season, I can achieve one, if not two parts of goal 6. I would like to say that I was above both goals at one point or another. True, I was only averaging more than 5 balls a game for one game, but I still was doing it.
7. Go to a new stadium- I didn’t last year, and I’m very disappointed that I didn’t. I, like so many other baseball fans, would like to see all 30 stadiums, and I’d rather not take 25 years to do it, so stepping it up next season is a must.
8. Go to 50 Games again- I could up the ante by raising this goal, but I like milestone numbers and the next one I think I could make a case for is 75. And as far as I can tell you right now, I’m not going to 75 games next season.
9. Make it to 100 straight Games with at least 1 Ball- I’ve often mentioned that I will stop caring about which games I go to once I reach this mark. Frankly, having to worry about it every game I go to is limiting and stressful, so I want to get it done as quickly as possible.
10. Do all of this with a new glove- I can’t say too much as I want to save it for the “Ballhawking Gear” entry, but I got tired of using my mom’s glove since I wasn’t able to find my glove from this game forward. I definitely went “out there” with my selection of glove, but it wasn’t without reasons behind the purchase. It could go very well or it could go horribly wrong.
Writing:
1. Write at least 10 entries each month in 2013-(FAILED) It’s really easy to do during baseball season, but I want to keep things consistent all the way through the year. Now that I’ve written this goal down, I think I can do it.
2. Write 100,000 words- It just seems like a good, round number to shoot for. I won’t research it because it’s annoying to do it, but I would guess that I’ve never done it in a single year before. It’s possible I did it last year. We’ll see if it’s on WordPress’ statistical report this year (I’ll be making it visible for you guys tomorrow. I may have seen the report by the time you read this, but I’m writing the entry ahead of time, so I have no clue how many words I wrote this year.
3. Proofread at least 10% of my entries- Besides my internship in spring of 2012, I didn’t proofread a single one of my entries and I can’t imagine how many mistakes. If I proofread an entry, I will try to remember to put something at the end by the “x Words Written so far” line; this will be my means of tracking my success in this goal. (Note: Perhaps it’s due to inexperience, but I am awful at proofreading my own writing, so just because I proofread something does *not* mean it is perfect.
4. Write ballhawking entries all within a week of the game (FAILED)- When you’re going to game after game, it is really easy to just give up on trying to keep up with entries. And by no means do I feel I have to. I mean, there was a time during the season last year when I was getting the entries written the day after I went to the games, but that’s just frosting. What I want to avoid is getting extremely backed-up on entries. Those scenarios are the killers. So, my goal is to never publish an entry a week or more after the game took place.
5. Write 20 entries in one month- Sure it’s harder when I don’t have any cheapy entry series’s like Offseason Recap and Preview or Re-view of the Preview to pad my entry numbers, but it’s been a while and I want to have one month this year where I just go absolutely bonkers and put a twenty spot on the board.
6. Write 6 mygameballs.com columns- I’m supposed to be writing one every month (whoops)and I realistically know that will not happen with everything else going on, but I’d like to fulfill at least half my requirement.
7. Read 5 baseball books- Yes, this goes under “writing” because part of writing is reading. And although I’m not a huge reader of books–they’re just too long. I read tons of things via blogs and other websites, but they’re all delivered in small doses. I guess that’s just the nature of the generation–but I’m not a huge writer either. I figure if I can write a baseball blog, I can read five books on my own. I realize that’s not much, but it really is nearly impossible to read for recreation while doing all of the things you would like to do in college, and in the summer I’m off going to baseball games and blogging.
8. Average 1,000 Words Per Entry (If I capitalize a series of random words like this, it usually doesn’t mean I messed up, they usually have some sort of significance behind them. In this case it’s that “Words Per Entry” is a statistics that I made up on the spot.)- I figure that if I average 823 words with small-entry series’s like the two I previously mentioned, I can average this much in the long run.
9. Write a 4,000-word entry- It seems crazy, and I have no clue what I would write it about, but I would like to write a super-crazy-long entry this year.
10. Go on a streak of 5 days in a row publishing an entry- The past three days I have published an entry each day. I don’t think it would be *that* hard. It’s just a little more difficult when trying to average 1,000 Words Per Entry and managing all of the other stuff that gets in the way of writing for five consecutive days. I think I’ve gotten into double digits with consecutive days posting an entry ( I’m pretty sure my record for most entries in a single day is four), but they were mostly short entries, so it should be interesting to see if I can do it with “real” entries.
Video:
1. Average less than 5 Minutes Per Video- Right now the average is 6:20, and I know I personally don’t want to watch a video that long, so I would like to lower the amount of time my videos take up.
2. Upload 100 Minutes of video- That means what? 20+ videos? I think I can do that.
3. Re-do the “Before the Gates Open” videos for all of the ballparks I visit in 2012- I think I can do them better now that I’ve had some experience doing them, so I want to take another stab at them. I’m saving the details for the Ballhawking Gear entry (which will have to wait until I get back to Minnesota to be done, since I have most of the “gear” there). However, I can say that I plan to do have them a little more “professional-looking”, or at least that’s the plan.
4. Not do a video over 15 Minutes- Ideally I wouldn’t have any videos over ten minutes, but there will be those nuggets that have things that can’t be cut; making the video longer than ten minutes. However, that leads me to my next resolution….
5. Not include things I don’t have to- It would be one thing if my videos were masterpieces of entertainment value, but I don’t think ANY of my videos needed to be over ten minutes this year. I should have been more selective about what I included in the videos.
6. Use more appropriate transitions and effects- I feel like many times I didn’t include things when I could’ve, but other times I feel I used effects, music, and other things just for the sake of having them instead of using something that actually fit the situation.
7. Do one all-video ballhawking entry- This maybe the 10+ minute video, but I wan to do one entry where really the whole entry is done by video. It should be interesting.
8. Do a ballhawk highlight video- I meant to do this last year, but it was supposed to be during BallhawkFest, which I never ended up attending. We’ll see. I don’t feel like I’m ready to do the video yet, but you never know how far I can progress during this first half of the year. I just don’t want it to be a video I end wishing I did later when I was better at filming/editing, so it wouldn’t be a tragedy if I didn’t do it this year, but the main goal of this list is to remind myself of things, and this is one of those things I’d like to remind myself about.
9. Do the “stuff people say to ballhawks” video- see above.
10. Get to 50 subscribers on Youtube- I mean I only have 14 as of right now, but I plan on producing better content, so maybe more subscribers? I’m trying to stay away from goals I can’t control, but this is one of those that I can’t help but stay away from.
Twitter:
1. Get to 300 followers- I’m at 167 as of right now. I mean there aren’t a ton of people out there that haven’t already followed me that are likely to, so this is pretty hard, and again, not in my control, but I thought it’d be fun to have this goal. Plus, I can’t think of many goals for Twitter.
2. Not reach 7,000 tweets- I’m at 3,555 right now, and while I can’t control how much people tweet me–thus how many times i respond to them I don’t want to be an account that spams others’ feeds, which brings me to number 3…
3. Be an account I would want to follow- While most tweets are driven by whatever is happening around me, I’d like to just remind myself of this. I want people who follow me to enjoy the experience. I don’t want people to regret following me every day and going back and forth on whether they should unfollow me.
4. Tweet more from the games I go to- At least I think I should. If you guys who follow me on Twitter think that I should actually do that less, feel free to tell me. I just think that sometimes I think I let the idea of making each blog entry almost a complete surprise gets in the way of using Twitter what it’s for and letting people know what’s happening. Usually I go a long time without tweeting at a game and then I’ll just go berserk one game with the tweets. I’d rather just keep it consistent throughout the season–dependent on the interesting-ness of the game.
5. Focus on quality and not relevance- With Twitter it’s easy to get caught up in only focusing on things that are relevant within the past three days or so. I’d like to instead of focusing on that, focus on what people might find interesting. This isn’t really quantifiable, but that’s why this particular number is a resolution and not a goal.
6. Not manufacture material- Often it feels like I *need* to tweet something every day or whatever. I need to remember that I tweet plenty as it is. There is no need to even send out a tweet every day if I don’t actually have anything related to baseball that is interesting. Many times I’ll send out these “manufactured” tweets because I feel like “hey, I haven’t sent out a tweet in a while; I should probably do that.” I need to remember that it’s more than okay that I haven’t sent out a tweet as I spend more than enough time reading my timeline.
7. Reference Twitter context in entries- Sometimes I forget that not everyone who reads my blog entries follows me on Twitter, so I need to remember to reference any Twitter context that I superimpose into any entries I may do so on.
8. Spend less time on Twitter- I’m not judging anyone who does this, because I am currently one, but I need to not feel the need to read EVERY. SINGLE. TWEET. On my feed. I seriously don’t know if I’ve missed a tweet since around November or earlier. I mean remembering them is a whole other thing, but it is for me, my morning newspaper and my afternoon/every other time of the day entertainment platform. If I haven’t checked it in a while, I seriously do feel the need to scroll through and skim all of the tweets I missed. It’s because of a psychological thing that most all of us humans have–but I won’t get into that right now. I just need to be okay with maybe not needing to be so attached to the internet world.
9. Welcome followers- Oftentimes a person will follow me and/or I will follow a person and we’ll never converse. Spam-bots aside, I think it’s because we’re both nervous about looking completely awkward initiating conversation out of nowhere. However, if I greet all of my followers, it will give them some talking material if they really did wan to follow *me*. So, it would help me get to know people on Twitter a lot easier.
10. Meet three people I’ve only known over Twitter/ the internet- Sure, Twitter and the e-community is a great, but real life is, well, real life.
Facebook:
1. Post pictures from games within a week of the entry for the game being up- I really fell behind last year. I’d like for that not to happen to anywhere near that extent this season. Especially when I only use Facebook for ONE thing, which brings me to my next point…
2. Figure out another thing I can use Facebook for besides a behind-the-scenes look at the games- With just this present, the blog page doesn’t really present something unique other than it’s another medium to get to my blog from. I want it to provide something unique so people actually want to “like” and experience the page. Any Suggestions?
3. Get 30 “likes”- This number is because that’s the number of “likes” it takes to get analytics on the page. I currently have 14, so I think it’s do-able.
4. Interact with people slightly more on Facebook- With Facebook and myself it’s pretty much a “drop my content and then peace-out” thing. I don’t really know Facebook since I don’t actually use it outside of the page, which everyone who has ever “friend request”ed me on Facebook ever will know. I don’t exactly know how, but I’d like to interact with people on there that I don’t get to interact with on Twitter because they simply aren’t on Twitter.
5. Not accept a friend request- You may be like “Whoa; mean person here,” but it’s not so much a goal as it is a statement. Simply put, I *don’t* use Facebook the way you are “supposed to use it; I use for my page and that’s it. So I guess it’s kind of just a statement of my resoluteness. If only they had a word for that (yes, that is sarcasm. I think you can figure the word out).
6. Maybe post some non-game pictures- I feel bad for the Facebook people now that’s it’s winter, because all that really happens on the page is a post (is that what it’s called?) pops up on the page anytime I publish a new entry. Really the main idea of creating an account on Facebook was to post the pictures I took at games but couldn’t put on the blog because it would take forever to do so. I never thought there would be people whose only window into my blog was the Facebook page. An example of this would be like when I was working on the icon I might’ve posted something on the Facebook page’s timeline with a rough draft of the icon or the original picture I used for the icon. I don’t know, I’ll build on this as it solidifies in my mind.
7. Maybe dip into some other social networks- I realize that it is *the* biggest social network in the world, but before Facebook I never realized that through opening accounts on social networks I would meet new people and expose new people to my content. I always thought that it would just be a new way to connect with the people who were already reading. A couple people have mentioned Instagram, and I was right on the cusp of creating an account when there was the split between them and Twitter and the mass-exodus of people when someone misunderstood a change in their terms and conditions and spread it to the world (I may be altering the story in my paraphrasing of it, but this is just what I’ve heard). Anyway, I wanted to wait and see what happened when all the commotion had subsided. And it has, so what does everyone think? Should I go ahead with the Instagram creation? (What is this? Like item number 3 or 4 on your comment homework? Feel free to leave monster comments if you want to answer all of them or a small one if you want to just answer one. Or don’t comment at all. Whatever.) I’ve also thought about, well, many other social networks, but I’ve always talked myself out of them like I did with Twitter and Facebook a few years ago.
8. Try to respond to things on a timely basis- I have done this so far–or so I believe. However, it’s been mostly luck that I check the page the days on or after people post stuff on there. I think I should check more often to be able to maintain this level of responsiveness.
9. Maybe write longer things on Facebook- On Twitter there are a bunch of things I wish I could write but they are just too long for the 140 character limit. Then I think of putting them on the blog, but they don’t deserve their own entry either and aren’t really long enough either to stand on their own. Facebook could be the place for these in-between pieces.
10. See if there’s a way to integrate Twitter and Facebook- Like I said, I’m rarely on Facebook and I’m constantly on Twitter. And it’s not like they’re mutually exclusive to each other. They are just two different forms of social networking. So, if there was a way to link the two together (besides publishing tweets to the Facebook account. I’ve thought of that and may do it.) I could better devote excess time to Facebook and thus be more active on there.
So that’s it. I know I have a ton of things on the list, but if at any point while reading this you stopped and thought, “Wait, why didn’t he put that as a goal/resolution?” feel free to suggest to me in the comments any resolutions/goals you think I should include. You can even suggest a whole new category for me to write 10 goals/resolutions for if you’d like to. I can’t guarantee that I’ll say yes to ANYthing, but if it seems reasonable/cool, I more than likely will tack on to the entry.
Two last things. First, Paul Kom, Nick Badders, and I had a thing going today where we would all publish our entries on the same day and give each other a plug. Paul has already published his entry, so you can go check that out here. And Nick hasn’t published his entry as of me writing this, but he said he would around noon today. So if it is after noon on the first day of 2013, you can click this link and it will most likely take you to his entry. And if not, that’ll at least take you to his blog where you can find the entry/homepage by clicking the name of the blog (7000 Coliseum Way) at the top of the page.
Oh, and now that I’m done with holiday-season stuff, I will go back to writing more of the entries from the poll I have set up. If you haven’t yet voted and you would like to, here’s the poll:
“Ballhawking Gear is currently the most voted-for item on the poll, but I can’t do this until at least January 22nd when I get back to Minnesota–since a ton of said gear is in Minnesota–so I’ll skip over it for the time being. So, unless there is some objection to the following entry (I still won’t do Ballhawking Gear from New York if there’s objection) will be Observing Baseball trivia. This would begin Friday and most likely span the whole weekend. The winner of the trivia contest would win…I don’t know. That’s another part of your comment homework: tell me what you think the winner of the trivia should get. Please keep it to reasonable things, though. After all I *am* a broke college student.
As a part of your poll homework, here’s a poll those of you who voted on the main poll two months ago and have been fed up that you can vote on it can partake in. I want you to tell me what kind of questions you’d like to see on the Observing Baseball Trivia. I will make it so you can vote for as many items on the poll as you would like. And if you hate all of my suggestions or have a great idea of your own, you can insert your own idea along with or as a substitute to your other choices:
I also won’t be able to do “Ten Minutes With Two GMs” until the 22nd either, so if/when that becomes the second option, I’ll write the third option on the list–whatever that may be at the time.
And actually in writing this entry, I completed one of my goals on the list. This entry is over 4,100 words long. If you stuck around this long, thank you and have a great 2013.
Oh, and if I didn’t formally mention this yet, I picked the new Observing Baseball icon. It was number 5, or this one:
Icon 5
So this is the image I get to bombard you with for the next year or so.
Not proofread.
234,941 Word Written so far
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