Results tagged ‘ Citi Field ’

4/24/11 Diamondbacks at Mets: Citi Field

Today was the first day of trying a new strategy. I first went out to left field but once I got there, I saw that the season ticket holder bp field spot had actually grown:

sth bs 42211.JPG
On Friday, it stopped before the Shea sticker on the wall. Here it covers a whole new section.
As you can tell by where I took this picture from, I decided that I would go to right field because no one was there and the Mets were going against a righty pitcher in Armando Galaraga (more people taking bp left handed).
There I got rejected in my request for a ball from five different players and a bullpen catcher in three different languages (Ouch!). Yeah, most of them *did* hear me.  I got laughed at by Ryota Igarashi and his translator, flat out denied by DJ Carrasco (although it occurs to me that he might not understand spanish as he was born in Arizona), and probably not heard by R.A. Dickey and Dave Racaniello.
Back to left field… I came back to left field as the Diamondbacks started hitting and the season ticket holders started to vacate the field. I wish I had been there for Mets bp as although there were not many balls thrown or hit I forget that with some bp before people get there, there are now easter eggs to be found.
Even with the elapsed time this:
left bp 42411.JPG
was the view to my left.
This to my right:
right bp 42411.JPG
but the person who shagged the most balls by far in the outfield, J.J. Putz, did not throw a single ball into the stands (while I was there). Here he can actually be seen asking for a ball from another player so that he can throw it in:
JJ Putz 42411.JPG
(He’s the one in red)
Couple that with the fact that the Diamondbacks only hit two Home Runs while I was there and you have a slow day in straight away left. My first ball actually came when I saw a player hit a line drive to left center, ran over and was rewarded by Chris Young (of the Diamondbacks) for being the only D-Backs “fan” in that section for ball #1 on the day.
While taking the picture of that ball is when my camera died so the rest of the entry is writing.
My next ball came when Gerrardo Parra cam across a ball, was about to throw the ball back, and heard someone that actually knew his name ask him for a ball in Spanish. That fan would be me. So he tossed me the ball for #2 on the day.
Nothing else came my way for the rest of the day because of Mr.Putz and his crew of Barry Enright and David Hernandez. I was satisfied but did not want to be stuck in left field as the Mets would be 2/3 lefty and the D-Backs had 4 lefty hitters. So at 12:20 I made my way over to foul ground to go for third out and foul balls.
The very first inning I got Xavier Nady’s third out ball for ball#3. Getting that so quickly made me skeptical that I would get another so I moved back a little and played foul balls but despite the fact that it was Easter Sunday and only 22,232 fans showed up it was not reflected in the field level seats. There were no balls that I had a realistic chance of getting.
Then a foul ball dribbled down the line, the ballboy picked it up, tossed it to Don Baylor, the D-Back’s hitting coach, who tossed it to me after the inning ended as I was the only one who recognized him as “Don” instead of “Mr.Baylor” or “Number 25″. I then handed this ball to a girl who had been racing up to the dugout every inning with her glove but had come up empty every time that far. For those keeping score at home, that would be ball #4 on the day.
And Presto!I had turned a slightly below average day into a slightly above average day.
The game was even more surprising as the Mets swept the Diamondbacks by pouring on the runs and made it 4 straight.(?)
Diamondbacks 4 Mets 8
Stats:
  • 4 Balls at This Game (3 Pictured because I gave one away)
Balls 42411.JPG
Number 76-79 on the Career:
sweet spots 42411.JPG
  • 18 balls in 7 games = 2.57 balls per game
  • 32 straight games with at least 1 ball
  • 19 straight games at Citi Field with at least 1 ball

4 balls* 22,232 fans= 88,928 competition factor

  • Time at game: 10:26-4:05= 5 hours and 39 minutes
Now this is tentative on my Fordham Prep baseball schedule but the plan as of now is to be at Yankee Stadium Tuesday through Thursday and possibly Friday Saturday (the Fordham Prep schedule has conflicting information. One way I can go. The other I can’t.) So I’ll go to my game today and update this tomorrow. That would be this entry. I don’t think I’ll create a separate entry for this information

4/22/11 Diamondbacks at Mets: Citi Field

Looking to redeem myself for yesterday’s weather anomaly. The spirit of redemption was in the air. I could just feel it (well actually not in the air because it was absolutely fafafafreezing). I thought this would be a great day for snagging:

Welcome 42211.JPG
This was definitely NOT the case. Here is the view of the outfield to my left:
Outfield 42111.JPG
Looks harmless great for a day of redeeming,right? Well, the view to my right in the Outfield:
Right Outfield 42211.JPG
Well that’s pretty bad too but below was the stupid season ticket holders batting practice on the field made toss-up almost impossible for all of Mets Bp.
Diamondbacks Bp:
DBacks Bp 42211.JPG
 is best summed up as, “They (weren’t) throwing anything and (weren’t) hitting anything” I thought it was just the left field guys but when I went over to right field, the Major League coach (whatever that is),Wilson Valera, was hitting back every ball that came to the wall with a fungo:
Don Baylor 42211.JPG
Every… Single… One.
That was it. Nothing for the duration of Bp.
The plan as for the game was, go back into foul territory for the Diamondbacks’ at-bats and go for third out balls when the Mets were hitting.
Zack Hample was in Left Field (yeah he was at yet another of my games) for the game but I did meet two other ballhawks:
Group Photo take 2 42211.JPG
They would be: Howie (a ballhawk/autograph collector) in the Happy Youngster shirt and Jordan Elkin (ballhawk just this season who has already caught a Russell Martin Home Run and is averaging 3.33 balls per game)  in the red and balck sweater. Yes I did crop myself out of the picture because the person taking the picture couldn’t check to make sure he got the picture right because of my cracked camera screen.
Anyway, I used my, whatever shade of Red the Diamondbacks gear is now, hat to get Russell Branyan to throw me the third inning third out ball for #1 on the day. Sweet relief! I now went almost solely for foul balls over here:
Foul View 42211.JPG
I actually should have had two and learned a valuable lesson, Never Give Up On A Ball. The first Foul ball:
1st Foul 42211.JPG
went about three people deep in the row started by the kid in the Navy blue hood and black windbreaker. Rushing down only by looking at the ball, I stopped chasing once I got to the row it was going to land in because I couldn’t go any further into the row. The ball was then dropped into the row in front of the people, which I could have easily entered and caught the rebound had I been aware of the fact.
The next foul ball, bounced of the electronic video strip:
Video strip 42211.JPG
Fell down:
Rush down 42211.JPG
And landed a row behind me:
Thumbnail image for Foul ball spot 42211.JPG
It actually landed in the chair of the gentle man in the jeans but everyone (including Jordan) rushed to a spot they thought it landed two seats to the right. I didn’t want to get in that mess (if you look carefully, you can see the result of the spilling of various beverage and food items) nor deny Jordan of his first foul ball if he got it.
Turns out, they were chasing a phantom ball as the man leaning over the baby carriage:
Foul Catcher 42211.JPG
snatched it from underneath their noses.
That was pretty much it for the night. The umpire, Greg Gibson, only gave out one ball that was designated to one person in the stands.
One other thing of note, though. I got partial documentation of it while I was taking this picture:
Keith Olbermann? 42211.JPG
of a poster saying, “Why leave a city with six professional sports teams and the Mets?” (so true now that the Knicks are relevant again). The poster is towards the upper part of the picture (left if oriented properly) but after taking it I realized the person cut off by the bottom of the picture looked like Keith Olbermann. It may indeed have been him as the person was carrying a briefcase and wore a mlb.com credential holder but the person also had a cane and broken/fractured foot. So can anyone who follows Olbermann tell me if something happened. Obviously, it doesn’t make much of a difference now but it would be a fun story to tell/know. Matt, do you read ballhawking entries or just the “Offseason Recap and Preview”s?
Oh, and the Mets won their third straight.
Diamondbacks 1 Mets 4
Stats:
  • 1 measly ball at this game (#75)
Ball 42211.JPG
  • 14 balls in 6 games this season= 2.33 balls per game
  • 31 straight games with at least 1 ball
  • 18 straight games at Citi Field with at least 1 ball
  • 26,546 fans * 1 ball= 26,546 competition factor                                                                
  • Time at Game 4:55- 10:23= 5 Hours 28 Minutes
  • 6 straight games with Zack Hample/other ballhawks ruling my decisions sub/abconcious.
Just a warning, the entry about Sunday might not go up quickly because I have no charger for my battery.

4/21/11 Astros at Mets: Citi Field

Finally a normal day for snagging (last year the majority of my games were Citi Field Weekday games). I was excited enough to notice the outer beauty of Citi Field (well I guess it’s not technically outside but can be seen from outside) :
42 in JRR 42111.JPG

Yep, that’s it the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

Although, I don’t have a picture of the line as of yet (because I was too busy getting my copy of The Baseball signed by the author). Though I think it was due to the fact that there were fans who still thought the gates opened at 4:40.

The view as I got to left field:
DSCN2072.JPG

For a long time it was surprisingly empty there considering the line at the gates.

But if you have really good eyes you noticed that:
ze flags 42111.JPG

the flags show the wind was blowing directly in. None of the balls were carrying.

Normally this wouldn’t have been a problem because the players would still toss balls up but when I looked to see the balls that had rolled to the wall I saw this:
stupid season tickets 42111.JPG

That would explain why none of the players made an effort to get the balls at the wall. This would continue until Astros batting practice. The wind however, would continue all of Batting Practice.

As my running lanes got clogged up and the hitting group of Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee came up, I decided I wanted to get at least one ball on the day. So I moved up to the second deck in left field and hoped the winds would swirl just as someone hit a high Home Run. Unfortunately I can’t get my exact section because of the sun but this picture should give you an idea of how empty it was:
 
2nd deck 42111.JPG

Right after I got up there (Don’t let the distance between the decks fool you. It was a trek in it’s own), a ball got hit two rows behind the exact spot I was standing in on the first level. Nothing was even coming close to my level as it was being knocked down by the wind but I decided that two go down would be a double waste of time. So, I decided to wait until the group finished hitting or I caught a ball, whichever came first.

Surprisingly, Carlos Lee absolutely launched a ball, through the wind, and I easily caught it on the fly (but it only got to the third row of the section). I then quickly ran down, decided that the left field section wouldn’t yield much, and decided to go to the right field bleachers. On the way, I stopped at the top of the center field section pondering whether or not to go down. While I talked to the Security Guard at the top, a ball got hit behind Bud Norris who was patrolling that section. Mid-sentence, I broke off going down to convince him t give it to the only Astros fan in the section. Guess what, it worked.

I came back up to the congratulatory guard (even though I was wearing Astros gear) and continued out to right field. This was a mistake. Although I was the only one wearing Astros gear, there was only one lefty in the final group, Michael Bourn, and he was working on hitting the ball the other way. Even if there was a Home Run in that section, I feel I wouldn’t have caught it because of the sun:
Sun 42111.JPG

 Feeling accomplished and not feeling like being locked out, I moved into right field foul territory to try and catch a foul ball considering there were tow lefties, Chris Capuano and J.A. Happ, starting:
Foul bp 42111.JPG

There I came to recognize Nelson Figueroa as one of the more fan friendly players. He was patrolling left field during bp. Immediately after that ended, he gave some one his glove and signed autographs all the way from the corner in right field to the Mets’ dugout. That is about 200 ft of autographs. He signed my ball:
Nelson Figueroa signing ball 42111.JPG 

and even granted my ridiculous request of taking a self portrait for the 2011 http://www.mygameballs.com scavenger hunt  (which I am still undecided on whether or not I will enter but he seemed like a friendly guy):
Nelson Figeroa self-portrait 42111.JPG
Sorry it is sideways but Mlblogs undoes any rotations a person does to a picture (if you want to see proof of the “self” part, look in his sunglasses.

The game itself was surprising as the Mets actually routed someone else. In the process, Mike Nickeas collected his first career Home Run . Now, I don’t know what there is in the video as I can’t watch them myself for whatever reason but it was Zack Hample that caught the ball. As far as what he told me it is a great story to what happened afterward. Here is the link.

No foul balls anywhere near me but at least I had a great view of the game for a $25 ticket:
View 42111.JPGMax 42111.JPG

If you can’t tell because of my unsteady hand, that is my backpack loaded with free soda. It might be a fun thing to collect in addition to baseballs.

Stats:

  • 2 Balls at this game

Balls 42111.JPG

Numbers 73 and 74 for the Career:
Sweet Spots 42111.JPG
  • 13 balls in 5 games this season= 2.60 balls per game
  • 30 straight games with at least 1 ball
  • 17 straight games at Citi Field with at least 1 ball
  • 32,819 fans* 2 balls=65,638 Competition Factor
  • Time at Game  4:45-10:00= 5 hours 15 minutes
  • 5 straight games with Zack Hample ruling my subconscious decisions

New Year’s Resolutions

First, Happy New Years to every one.

Second, I was thinking of my new year’s resolutions and realized that they were all ballhawking related. So, I thought I should share them with anyone who cares. Hey! I heard that thought. You don’t hear me thinking mean thoughts like that about your hopes and aspirations. Then again, you don’t have my powers of super awesome mind reading.

Anywho, here are my goals for the following season in ballhawking. Not necessarily in this order.

1. Go to AT LEAST 40 baseball games.- I went to 20 games last year and started about half way through the season so this should be do-able.

2. Average 4.0 balls per game.- I was hovering around 3.5 in the last two months. So, I think this could be achieved. Note: at this point I am still a pitcher. Ergo, I am absolutely horrid at tracking balls in the air and catching them. For example, my only game ball was a ball that I overran and then scrambled to get. This can obviously be improved by pure experience.

3. Go to 10 stadiums.- I am definitely going to the 3 South-East stadiums. There are 8 stadiums that I can get to otherwise. That is eleven by my count. This definitely depends on how my dad is feeling in the summer (whether or not he is in the mood to schlep me or not) . However, the 3 South- East are a definite as this is the Marlins’ last year in Dolphins… no Land Shark…. whatever that Stadium is called now, and I want to get me a commemorative baseball.

4. Get 100 baseballs.- This is dependent on how many games I go to, but if I go to 40 and keep my pace for last season. I would… finish… just… shy… of 100. Wow, that was deflating.

5. Catch a game homer at Citi field (preferably, before anyone else does it).- It has never been done before by a mygameballs.com member because of the ballhawk’s death valley that is right field and the left field furthest from home plate in the major leagues, but Citi Field ballhawks tend to lie closer to the dugouts and therefore there is no professional competition in left field. However, there is an over hang that prevent a home run from going more than ten rows back. So, I can see why they are by the dugout but, I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

6. Get five game-balls total.- Now this one, I’m not too sure of. If I sit in a spot to do it, t’will be a piece of caketh. But if I don’t, then it will be near impossible because only 7 people achieved this feat last year. And that, is why you never start a sentence with a conjunction.

7. Lead the mygameballs.com community in Umpire balls for my first full month of ballhawking.- The only reason this would be difficult is if I am going for Home Runs in Citi Field there is an evil gate that prevents fans from going to the dugout seats (umpire tunnel) from the outfield. Therefore, I would have to get to the dugout seats by getting tickets from exiting fans, a fickle source. Besides that, I have a secret weapon to get umpire balls. This is why I only expect to lead for my first month because I know Citi Field ballhawks will want to know where I got it and then have just as good of a chance to get an umpire ball as I do.

8. Be in the Top 10 for mygameballs.com at some point in the season (preferably after the last game of the world series).- Now if I average 4.0 balls per game. I would only have to go to… 35 games to be in the 2010 top 10. Like I said, many of these (if not all) are dependent on the degree to which the first goal is accomplished.

9. Post entries regularly. This is the hardest goal yet. This goal depends not on whether I know Spanish or can catch a baseball. It is a matter of pure sit-down-and-write-itness. I was previously known as the “if only he applied himself he could do well” kid. This might shine through if I am tired from running around and blogging on back-to-back-to-back-to-back games which will probably happen if I want to go to forty games (considering I will lose most of April, May, and September to Fordham P Baseball).

10. Aaand a Paaartriiidge iiin a peaaar treee.- I like round numbers and nine doesn’t really accomplish this goal. So, I wanted to have a tenth goal but had no actual tenth goal and so this is just to fill up space and satisfy my round number goal and… Why am I still writing?

Anyway, I hope your New year’s resolutions are accomplished as well (unless they make mine even a degree harder ’cause like I said, I don’t feel like applying myself that much more.) and I’ve said it a million times to other people but what ever you never, ever, exaggerate anything, especially your goals.

Season end review

I know I haven’t written anything in a while. I started a world series preview but this was as far as I got by the first game

I personally prefer a good pitcher’s duel to a shoot out. That’s why I love this series. Four good pitchers for the Giants, three for the Rangers, it will be amazing.

 

Giants

MVP: Matt Cain-

t1_cain_si.jpg

This may seem strange as a choice for MVP. Now, I am not saying that he will be voted MVP of the series or even that he will be the best pitcher on his team. I do not think Cain’s scorless streak will last the world series but will pitch close too that quality. I predict Tim Lincecum will pitch almost as well as Cain if not as well. However, Tim Linceucum is going against Cliff Lee two, possibly three times. I think that Lee will pitch better than Lincecum and beat him in at least one of those games. Cain on the other hand, is pitching against C.J. Wilson twice and will not have to pitch as well as Lincecum to win a game. I think the Giants will get two wins out of cain, which is pretty valueable in a best of seven series.

Cy Young: Tim Lincecum-

g_LincecumTimCyYoung200x300.jpg

“But mister, why would you have one pitcher as the most valuable player and the other as the Cy Young while they are on the same team?” Well young grasshopper, the logic behind this is that I predict Lincecum will pitch better but Cain’s preformance will be worth more because he will get more wins out of pitching to the quality that I think he will pitch to. Thus, he will be more valuable to his team than Lincecum. If Lincecum wins 2/2 or 3/3 games in this series against Cliff Lee than this all changes but I think winning 2/2 games is more valuable than 2/3.

Silver Slugger: Tim Lincecum!!! … Or maybe Buster Posey/Pat Burrell

 
195147_Giants_Cubs_Baseball.jpg

Some of the old with some of the new. Pat Burrell will get many more at-bats with the DH spot in three out of the first five games. He had the second highest slugging percentage on the Giants despite being close to the end in batting average. Buster Posey has shown only improvement under pressure and shouldn’t stop now.
 

X-FactorBrian “fear the beard” Wilson 

This article is not about that. This article is an end of the year review of my ballhawking. This one will be interesting for the fact that I only blogged about one game but here it is.

Obviously
I got somethings wrong to this point i.e. Lincecum and Lee will be
amazing. If they pitch well tonight I am partially redeemed. But I
digress.

Balls: 56

Autographs: 17

Games: 20

Avg: 2.8 balls per game

Hit: 15

Thrown: 41

Retriever: 0 (no retrievers allowed in NYC) but for those who are wondering I will use both a cup and a glove trick. For some things I have a really unimaginative mind.

July-
Balls: 1
Thrown: 1
Hit: 0

August-
Balls: 24
Thrown: 17
Hit: 7
Games: 9
Avg: 2.67

 
September-
Balls: 24
Thrown: 16
Hit: 8
Games: 7
Avg: 3.43

October:
Balls: 7
Thrown: 7
Hit: 0 ( At the end of September I went to games
in which bp was rained out and stayed in the habit of getting thrown balls into October which you can see on my mygameballs.com profile http://www.mygameballs.com/baseballdata?db=fischerm )
Games: 2
Avg: 3.5

Citi Field-
Balls: 41
Thrown: 32
Hit: 9
Games: 13
Avg: 3.15

Yankee Stadium-
Balls: 13
Thrown: 7
Hit: 6
Games: 3
Avg: 4.33 ( wow how’d I do that)

Nationals Park-
Balls: 1
Thrown: 1
Hit: 0
Games: 1
Avg: 1.00

AT&T Park-
Balls: 1
Thrown: 1
Hit: 0
Games:1
Avg: 1.00

Competition factor for the year: 1,985,159

I will blog about the off-season moves of the different teams but the volume of articles will pick up very much in the spring and summer when baseball starts up again.

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