Archive for the ‘ Dailies ’ Category

Tigers/ Twins Roster

I realized in getting ready for Opening Day that I make a lot of rosters. Other ballhawks I know make a lot of rosters. That’s a lot of the same rosters being made. In other words, that’s a lot of lost productivity, as us students of economics like to call lost productivity. In other words, people doing stuff that they otherwise could have easily avoided.

So what’s the solution to this? What I’ll try to do from now on whenever I create a roster is I’ll put it up here for you guys to use in your ball-snagging pursuits, or for whatever else you may need. I’ll keep on doing this until my free trial of Photoshop expires in like two weeks, anyway. Basically, I’m doing the work so you can be lazy. Anyway, here is the first roster for the game I will be attending today between the Tigers and the Twins:

Twins-Tigers Roster

Hopefully this can help you somewhere down the line. Just remember that rosters can change, so just check that the two teams are up-to -date for whichever game you end up planning to use this for. Hopefully I’ll have the entry of the game up for you guys in a couple of days.

MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference 2013- Day 2

A quick update before I get started (because no one reads them when I put them at the end of entries):

I did a couple of videos on my YouTube page in the time since the last entry, if you want to check them out. They haven’t been embedding well as of late, so I’ll first try to embed them and link them if the embed doesn’t work once I publish the entry. Anyway, the first video is one I did for a public speaking class entitled: “How to do a last-minute speech.” And yes, it is what it sounds like:

The second is me saluting the fact that Opening Day is almost here while taking a subtle jab at Spring Training games:

If you liked those and would like to find out about them not weeks after they were uploaded, feel free to subscribe to the channel. I don’t have a regular posting schedule (we all know how well that has worked out for the blog these past few months), but I do plan on uploading videos and making them public there before they ever get on a published blog entry. For example, I may or may not have uploaded the video later on in this entry publicly before I published this entry

Apparently one day of sports analytics wasn’t enough, so I came back for some more in a second day:

SSAC13 Day 2 Panel Room 2

And I got to begin it with this beautiful panel of people:

SSAC13 Day 2 Injury Analytics

That would be the “Staying on the Field: Injury Analytics” panel. It was compromised of the following panelists:

Stephania Bell (moderator):

SSAC13 Day 2  Stephania Bell

Senior Writer, ESPN.

Stan Conte:

SSAC13 Day 2  Stan Conte

Vice President of Medical Services (whatever that means), Los Angeles Dodgers.

Peter Wehlig:

SSAC13Day2 Peter Wehlig

Director of Center for Molecular Medicine and Orthopaedics, Düsseldorf, Germany. You may recognize him better as the surgeon who performed the blood-spinning operation (I think that’s right.) on Kobe Bryant and a couple athletes.

John Brenkus:

SSAC13Day2 John Brenkus

Founder, BASE Productions. Or perhaps known better as the host of Sports Science (is that one word like Sportscenter?) on ESPN.

This was really interesting once it got started, but there were technical difficulties with the Stan Conte’s slides–which while we’re listing off things I didn’t like about the panel, slides don’t integrate well into almost any panel. Probably the one thing I will always take with me from the panel was Conte’s story about Mike Matheny and what eventually convinced him to retire. If you don’t know the gist of the story, Matheny retired due to excess concussions from taking foul  tips to the head. Apparently what happened was Matheny was talking to whoever the Cardinals back-up catcher was at the time and telling him that he blacked-out for a second every time a ball hits his mask, which he described as being perfectly normal. It was upon the back-up catcher telling him that it wasn’t perfectly normal that he black out every time a ball hit his mask that Matheny reconsidered that, shall we say, “sanity,” of him continuing his career any longer.

After that it was back up the Grand Ballroom for Monday Morning Quarterback. This was one of the more entertaining and by far the most engaging panel. It was compromised  of the following panelists:

Tony Reali (moderator):

SSAC13Day2 Tony Reali

Host, Around The Horn (ESPN).

Herm Edwards:

SSAC13Day2 Herm Edwards

Former Head Coach and NFL Analyst, ESPN.

Thomas Dimirtoff:

SSAC13Day2 Thomas Dimitroff

General Manager, Atlanta Falcons.

Jack Del Rio:

SSAC13Day2 Jack Del Rio

Defensive Coordinator, Denver Broncos.

Brian Burke (no not that one):

SSAC13Day2 Brian Burke

Founder, Advanced NFL Stats.

Like I said, this was the most interactive and fun of the panels. What it was is we watched videos of different scenarios of plays (mostly involving the people on the panel) and then the audience voted on what they though the coach should do on that particular play. We then got to see what the statistics dictated the coach should have done. It was a fun time.

Then I went ahead and filmed a mini-tour of the conference grounds. So here that is:

After that I went ahead to the Stying Relevant: Social Media Analytics panel. That was these people:

Gary Belsky (moderator):

SSAC13Day2 Gary Belsky

Columnist, Time.com.

Jayne Bussman-Wise:

SSAC13Day2 Jayne Bussman-Wise

Digital Director, Brooklyn Nets & Barclays Center.

Gary Vaynerchuk:

SSAC13Day2 Gary Vaynerchuk

CEO, VaynerMedia, who for both better and worse completely dominated the speaking time by the panelists.

Omid Ashtari:

SSAC13Day2 Omid Ashtari

Head of Sports and Entertainment, Twitter.

Chad Finocchio:

SSAC13Day2 Dave Finocchio

Co-Founder, Bleacher Report.

This was interesting insofar as how it may pertain to this blog and social media outlets thereof. I may change my New Year’s goals because of it eventually. Like I mentioned, Vaynerchuk completely took over the panel, which was not necessarily a bad thing, because he had knowledge of the subject some good things to say, but also it was a brilliant overall panel and not just him, so I would have liked to hear a lot less of him and a lot more of the other panelists.

Then, for my final panel of the conference, I headed over to Hall of Fame Analytics, which was these people:

Chad Millman:

SSAC13Day2 Chad Millman

Editor in Cheif, ESPN the Magazine.

Buster Olney:

SSAC13Day2 Buster Olney

Senior Writer/Baseball Analyst, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com.

Peter King:

SSAC13Day2 Peter King

Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated.

Dean Oliver:

SSAC13Day2 Dean Oliver

Director of Production Analytics, ESPN Stats & Information.

And sadly, although he was initially slated to be a part of it, John Thorn could not make it to the panel. Thorn, if you did not know, is a fellow MLBlogger. Besides this, the panel was really great. While he may not have been viewed the same way to other people in the audience, Buster Olney stole the show in this panel for me. I’ve disagreed with many of the positions Olney has taken when it comes to Hall of Fame voting in the past, but I realize that this was the case in many scenarios because he was confined by the schmushed time slots ESPN has given him. It was in this panel  where he got to fully explain his point and develop his argument that it became clear he was the baseball writer of decades and I was the jerk at home who thought he was an idiot who I knew more about baseball than. I mean he didn’t convince me that Jack Morris belongs in the Hall over  Bert Blyleven (though he did argue that) but he did get me on his side of the fence on a couple other points  and helped me beter see his perspective on a couple others.

After that it was off to the closing ceremonies and the Alpha Awards for exceptional performances in the field of sports analytics. Whatever that means. I actually don’t have my program with me since I left it in New York, so I can’t tell you what any of the awards were, so I’ll just end this entry with a series of pictures and you can create your own storyline to accompany them.

SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 1 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 2 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 3 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 4 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 5 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 6 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 7 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 8 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 9 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 10 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 11 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 12 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 13 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 14 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 15 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 16 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 17 SSAC13Day2 End Pictures 18

And thus, the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference came to a close. I hope you guys enjoyed that entry. Thank you for reading. And considering I am going to Opening Day in less than 24 hours, be on the lookout for the entry from that game.  While I will miss the free time I have during the offseason, I’ll say it’s about time baseball got here.

MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference 2013- Day 1

Hey. Sorry this entry is up a little late, but you know, National Procrastination Week was the week right after the conference, so I put off celebrating until the week of the 11th to start celebrating… and so, here we are. Here goes the entry of a truly great experience:

MITSloan2013Day1 Logo

Another year, another year having a blast at MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. If you didn’t read my last entry (which may be privatized by the time you read this entry) the difference in this year was that I got to attend the conference this year for free thanks to the conference’s organizers for taking pictures that they ended up using last year.

Anyway, the conference began the same way it did the previous year with opening remarks in the main (ball)room with the main four people responsible for the conference taking about the conference itself:

SSAC13Day1 Opening Remarks

Left to right that is:

1. David Schmittlein- The dean of the MIT Sloan school (of management).

2. Daryl Morey- The GM of the Houston Rockets who graduated from Sloan in 2000 and is the co-chair for the conference.

3. Jessica Gelman- The other co-chair of the conference who is the Vice President of Customer Marketing and Strategy for the Kraft Sports Group (the group that owns the New England Patriots).

4. Jordy DeFelice- One of the two conference’s student co-leads.

5. Jonathan Katz- The other of the two conference’s student co-leads. The conference is a completely student-run operation, so these two are the leaders of that team of I believe around 50 student organizers.

The opening remarks consisted of many things from Jaws music to unloading trucks. But mostly bad jokes that people had to laugh at because they were so bad. You know those ones, right?

Unfortunately I was late for being early, and combined with this being the event people showed up the earliest for the whole conference, this was probably my worst seat for the whole conference. What I forgot is that not many people leave for other rooms during the first time block of the day, so it ended up also being my seat for the Revenge of the Nerds panel that took place immediately after the opening remarks in the ballroom.

That panel consisted of these following people. I will first write the name of the person and then the picture of that person afterwards. I felt the need to clarify that because I often get confused by that myself.

Michael Lewis (moderator):

SSAC13Day1 Micahel Lewis

This should be a familiar to most people reading this blog. He is a best-selling author most notably in the sports world for Moneyball and The Blind Side.

Paraag Marthe:

SSAC13Day1 Paraag Marthe

The COO of the San Francisco 49ers.

Daryl Morey:

SSAC13Day1 Daryl Morey

(Previously mentioned)

Nate Silver:

SSAC13Day1 Nate Silver

Founder of Fivethirtyeight.com. He is probably most famous for correctly predicting the outcome of all 50 states in this past year’s presidential election, raising him–briefly–to an almost Chuck Norris-esque internet adoration.

Mark Cuban:

SSAC13Day1 Mark Cuban

Owner of the Dallas Mavericks.

It was a really interesting panel on a variety of levels. I don’t remember exactly what I was mesmerized by, but I’ll be sure to put the video of the panel when it goes up on YouTube like last year. In addition, with my focus on taking pictures this year, I think I’ll be re-watching a lot more panels than I did last year.

I should also add that, like I mentioned on the Twitter machine during the conference itself:

Nate Silver is being an awesome person by staying to talk to people until the organizers kick him off the stage for the next panel. #SSAC13

— Mateo Fischer (@observebaseball) March 1, 2013

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Nate Silver was the awesomest of the panelists on Revenge of the Nerds by staying to talk with people almost until the next panel began twenty minutes later. Here is photographic evidence of this:

SSAC13Day1 Silver Awesomeness

I think my legs would hurt at that point.

The next panel required no movement on my part as it was also in the ballroom. I however did move to be at a better picture-taking angle since a lot more people left between these two panels than between the opening remarks and Revenge of the Nerds. What was the panel? It’s Not You, It’s Me: Break-Ups in Sports. Here are the panelists:

Jackie MacMullan(moderator):

I definitely took several pictures of her, but I was at a bad angle for taking pictures of the moderator’s chair, so I guess I kept erasing the bad pictures of her and never realized that I never actually got one to put on file. A shame. Anyway,  she now works for ESPN, most notably appearing frequently as a panelist on their show Around The Horn. She made her fame, however, in her twenty years at the Boston Globe. She has also published several books such as When the Game Was Ours–which spoke of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson’s rivalry. She also co-authored Shaquille O’Neal’s autobiography.

Steve Pagliuca:

SSAC13Day1 Steve Pagliuca

Co-Owner of the Boston Celtics.

Brian Burke:

SSAC13Day1 Brian Burke

Senior Advisor to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who was on this panel because he recently got fired from his position as President and General Manager of the team.

Stan Van Gundy:

SSAC13Day1 Stan Van Gundy

Former head coach of the Orlando Magic.

Bill Polian:

SSAC13Day1 Bill Polian

NFL Analyst on ESPN, who was on the panel because he was the former General Manager of the Indianapolis Colts.

John Buccigross:

SSAC13Day1 John Buccigross

Host for Sportscenter on ESPN.

This panel added to a great start for me this conference. It truly was another great one. Bill Polian had some great words of wisdom while Stan Van Gundy was entertain but at the same time informative of his whole situation with the Magic and Dwight Howard, where contrary to expectation, he gave Dwight Howard respect for having played with the most pain he has ever seen a player play with.

In addition to that, it was interesting hearing Brian Burke essentially trash the statistical evaluation of players. I even overheard a “And that’s why you got fired” from the crowd. I wish I had been at the front of the crowd so Burke might have heard that. (Burke, for the record, is on the Honorary Executive Board for the conference–as is Bill Polian. It’s more than likely because his daughter is on the Alumni Executive Board. She even introduced this panel:

SSAC13Day1 Katie Burke

Sorry, Katie. That’s the only picture I got of you.)

Then came time for boxed lunches. As last year, there was only one vegetarian option, so I went with the grilled vegetable wrap. It would have been great, but it’s just not my thing. Whatever. It was a good lunch, so I’m not going to complain.

For the next time block–That’s how the conference worked. There were a maximum of five events going on for each hour-long time block with twenty-minute breaks in between them–there really wasn’t one event that I really wanted to attend, but I wanted to take in as much as I could so I went to Big Data Analytics in the Wide World of Sports. The speaker for it was Will Cairins, a senior data scientist at HP. So here is Mr. Cairins along with a couple of slides from his presentation, which I honestly still have no clue what it was about other than an amazingly big database’s applications to the world of sports:

SSAC13Day1 Will Cairins

Mr. Carins from my way-too-close-to-the-stage-seat. (My biggest challenge was getting a picture that wasn’t looking straight up his nose or blocked by the podium in the middle of the stage.)

SSAC13Day1 Will Cairins 2

A second shot of Cairins that wanted to get just to have the cool background he spoke in front of.

SSAC13Day1 Big Data 1

SSAC13Day1 Big Data 2

A couple of slides from the presentation.

After that I headed off to one of the research paper presentations. It was entitled Live by the Three, Die by the Three? The Price of Risk in the NBA. The presenter of it was Matthew Goldman of UC San Diego:

SSAC13Day1 Matthew Goldman

I guess it was an interesting presentation. (If you want to read the whole paper, click here.) But the most notable part of it for me was that Mr. Goldman, the presenter, was by far the hardest person–with Mr. Cairins from the previous presentation as a close second–to get a good picture of. First of all, he made so many small, ridiculous facial expressions that weren’t detectable to the naked eye but kept showing up on camera. That and he moved back and forth on stage more than anyone else I saw at the conference, so even if he wasn’t making a ridiculous facial expression on camera, the picture would come out blurry. I don’t know exactly how many pictures I deleted of him, but it was closer to the number of all other presenters/panelists combined than you might otherwise think.

Sadly, though, I had to seem like the biggest douchebag in the room as I had to leave extra early from my front-row seat to get a front-row seat for the Baseball Analytics panel in the Grand Ballroom. That panel consisted of the following:

Lindsay Czarniak (moderator):

SSAC13Day1 Lindsay Czarniak

Anchor for Sportscenter on ESPN.

Joe Posnanski:

SSAC13Day1 Joe Posnanski

Senior Writer for NBC Sports.

Jonah Keri:

SSAC13Day1 Jonah Keri

Staff Writer, Grantland; Author – “The Extra 2%”.

Ben Jediovec:

SSAC13Day1 Ben Jediovec

Vice President of Product Development & Sales, Baseball Info Solutions.

Voros McCraken:

SSAC13Day1 Voros McCraken

Statistical Analyst/ Writer.

Farhan Zaidi:

SSAC13Day1 Farhan Zaidi

Director of Baseball Operations, Oakland Athletics.

All in all, I would say that it was a pretty good panel. Someone who was new to the conference would have loved this panel. I, however–and this is not the panel’s fault–couldn’t stop comparing this year’s panel to last year’s amazing Baseball Analytics panel, so that took away from my enjoyment of it. If you weren’t reading my blog at this time last year, you can click here and scroll about half-way down the page to see last year’s all-star panel.

Next up it was True Performance & the Science of Randomness. This panel consisted of the following panelists:

Daryl Morey (moderator):

SSAC13Day1 Daryl Morey 2

Previously mentioned.

Alec Scheiner:

SSAC13Day1 Alec Scheiner

President of the Cleveland Browns.

Nate Silver:

SSAC13Day1 Nate Silver 2

Previously mentioned.

Jeff Ma:

SSAC13Day1 Jeff Ma

CEO, tenXer, who you may best recognize as the person who the movie “21″ was based off of, and who not surprisingly revealed that he can no longer play blackjack.

Benjamin Alamar:

SSAC13Day1 Benjamin Alamar

Professor, Menlo College, whose connection to sports is through him being a consultant/researcher in the field of sports analytics as well as authoring a book on the subject.

Phil Birnbaum:

SSAC13Day1 Phil Birnbaum

Editor, By the Numbers.

This was a very interesting panel to listen to. The brilliance that emanated from its panelists can be seen in the fact that it took half the panel simply to understand the terms they were using to describe the process of deciphering true performance from inherent randomness that occupies any performance and measurement thereof. Oh, and the panel had approximately 1,245 references to Nate Silver’s book, The Signal and the Noise. It was initially just thrown out there as a moving reference, but it quickly became the running jokes of the panel to see how many times they could mention the book in the span of the panel and that the rest of the panel would thus forward receive royalties on any book sales for the number of times the book was mentioned during the panel. (No, it wasn’t actually 1,245 times, but it almost seemed like it.)

Next up was, in that same room, the Ticketing Analytics panel. (I really suspect they tried to make as many panels follow the              Analytics format as possible, because–at least this was the case in the panels I attended–way more followed it this year than last year.) The panel was comprised of the following panelists:

Shira Springer (moderator):

SSAC13Day1 Shira Springer

Special projects reporter, Boston Globe Sports. Oddly enough, she was the only moderator who sat in the middle of the panel. In I believe EVERY other panel I attended, the moderator sat to the far right seat of the panel. I don’t know if this was done unintentionally or to strategically segment the group, but for whatever reason she was in the middle. She was also one of the least active moderators on any of the panels, but I think that was more of a testament to the panel and the direction the panelists took it rather than on her job as moderator.

David Kaval:

SSAC13Day1 David Kaval

President, San Jose Earthquakes.

Bill Chapin:

SSAC13Day1 Bill Chapin

Senior Vice President of Business Operations, Kansas City Cheifs.

Chris Granger:

SSAC13Day1 Chris Granger

Executive Vice President – Team Marketing & Business Operations, NBA. Or at least that is his title in the biography on the website. I recall him speaking extensively about his work with the Indiana Pacers, so I want to say he was in a high-up position with the team.

Danielle Maged:

SSAC13Day1 Danielle Maged

Global Head of Business Development and Partnerships, Stubhub.

Cole Gahagan:

SSAC13Day1 Cole Gahagan

Sr. Vice President, Development & Strategy, NBA/NHL & Arenas – Ticketmaster.

This panel was mostly an entertaining debate between Granger and Kaval as to what the repercussions/benefits of dynamic pricing are with Kaval taking the more fan-friendly perspective and Granger taking the more business-y approach. In my opinion, this comes from the differences between their two leagues, with Kaval having to rely more on the fan experience and Granger having an unconditional fan base (to a certain extent). What I mean by that is that someone is way more likely to “just go” to an NBA game than an MLS game. The other interesting part of the panel was hearing Chapin talk about the Cheifs have implemented paperless ticketing for their season ticket holders through the use of a season ticket holder card. As a dedicated sports attendee myself it both excited and frightened me.

The final panel of the day was the Business of Sports panel. That was the following panelists:

Jessica Gelman (moderator):

SSAC13Day1 Jessica Gelman 2

Previously mentioned. (I think. Right? Right.)

John Walsh:

SSAC13Day1 John Walsh

Executive Vice President, ESPN.

Jennifer Storms:

SSAC13Day1 Jennifer Storms

Senior Vice President of Global Sports Marketing, PepsiCo.

George Postolos:

SSAC13Day1 George Postolos

President & CEO, Houston Astros.

Kathy Carter:

SSAC13Day1 Kathy Carter

President, Soccer United Marketing.

Phil de Picciotto:

SSAC13Day1 Phil de Picciotto

Founder and President, Octagon.

I can’t really remember much at all from this panel. I think it was one of those I-could-have-enjoyed-this-so-much-more-had-it-been-earlier-in-the-day situations. Anyway, that was my very full day at the conference after which I exited through the lobby from whence I came earlier in the day. (The convention center is three floors. The lobby is on the lowest of them and the conference itself took place on the two upper levels.):

SSAC13Day1 Lobby

Anyway, that was my day, so check back for the account of the second day. I plan on having a video tour of the entire conference grounds, but even so I hope it doesn’t take me half a month to get that out. (Or even over a week for that matter.) I plan on writing less in that entry, though. This entry was 2500+ words, just for reference. Then I plan on doing whatever it may be that I do on this blog next week. After that  regular season baseball comes back to Minnesota–hopefully with some snow to accompany it. That obviously means I will shut down “offseason” mode and get into writing about the games I attend.

Complimentary Tickets!

Some of you may remember that I went to the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Yes? No? Here are the links to my entries from Day 1 and Day 2, respectively. You may notice or remember that I took a ton of pictures with my “professional” camera. It turned out that the organizers of the conference found out about the pictures through my entries and ended up using a bunch of them. Most notably (as far as I can tell) for thumbnails for the videos of the different panels.

As a result of me giving them all the pictures I had, the chair of last year’s conference decided to give me a free ticket to this year’s conference. I even got my own specialty promo code (which is awesome):

Promo Code

Even though my business cards won’t get to me in time for the conference, it will be a great to experience all that is the conference once again.

I do have another near-tragic moment this week. This day in fact. You may remember that my good camera had water damage from my tour of Target Field in the snow (a bittersweet idea selection in retrospect). I thought it wouldn’t be repaired in time, but it turns out the camera will be ready in time for the conference. So it will be a lot less awkward than me showing up without a camera given that the complimentary tickets were given on account of me taking pictures last year and taking pictures for this year’s conference as well.

If you want to go ahead and read the two entries from last year, go ahead. That will be more or less what I write this year. I’ll try my hardest to get them out the day after the day that the event took place, but I will be going to the conference itself, so it  may not be that feasible for this to happen considering how long I would have to make the entries as long as I would like. With events like this I keep an especially large emphasis on the quality of the entry, even if that means getting it out a little later than I would like. With baseball games I go to a ton of them, so I can’t really take a week to get each entry out because I would never catch up. I also don’t know how closely I will be working with the event organizers in terms of my pictures or whether that will require me to spend any extra time at the conference itself as opposed to writing/organizing my entries after the conference’s events end.

Anyway, I leave for Boston Thursday morning (which should be fun in terms of homework since I’m going to be missing two days of class: yet another reason I’m not sure I can get entries out the day after the days which I am writing about.) and get there I believe around 7:00 EST. The conference’s Opening Remarks begin at 8:30 AM on Friday and the conferences closing ceremonies, ending with the Alpha Awards, end at 6:00 PM on Saturday. I then head back to St. Paul on Sunday at 10:15, landing at 3:00. If for whatever reason you’re there, come say hi, but look forward to some entries about the conference and possibly videos.

MLB Fan Cave Endorsements

With the voting amongst MLB Fan Cave top-52 closing within the next two days, it’s time for me to official make my push for a couple of the candidates. I personally went through only most, but not all of the videos, so I can’t aptly judge the best of the best, but there are a couple candidates I would like you to vote for (or, if you’ve already voted for them, vote another 50 times for).

 

First of all, if you didn’t know, some resident MLBloggers made the top-52 list. Both of which come from the blog “Three Up, Three Down.” Here is a screenshot of their entry along with the link to the entry right here:

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 12.24.14 AM

That entry has everything that I could say about their campaign. Translation: I’m rushing to get this entry out and their videos are pretty much all you need to capture their essence enough to vote for them. So what are you waiting for? See the videos and vote for them. I’ll wait for you. I don’t normally do this, but I made it so that link opens up in a new window/tab, so you can go, vote for them, and this entry will still be up for you to read about the other contestant I’m endorsing.

 

The other person is actually a person I learned about exclusively on Twitter. So, here is Tom Bentley’s application video:

Go ahead and give him some love by clicking this link right hiagh! Sorry I haven’t been as active in writing as I would like to be/pseudo-promised in the last entry, but school has taken control of me. I do however, have one of two videos done for the next entry. After that I’ll be going back to the ever-popular poll for entry ideas.

So again, give them as much love as you can in 40-ish hours by just stuffing the MLB Fan Cave ballot-box this last day of voting.

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..

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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