Results tagged ‘ easter eggs ’

8/19/13 Rays at Orioles: Camden Yards

This was a pretty run-of-the-mill day at Baltimore. Avi Miller had some work still to do, so he nicely dropped me off at the subway station in his hometown, where I got slightly lost  but managed to make it to Oriole Park at Camden Yards in time to get into left field with everyone. I didn’t find any easter eggs because Garrett Meyer scooped up the only one. Coming into this game, both Garrett and I wore Rays gear coming into the left field seats, because we figured the Orioles wouldn’t throw us any baseballs anyways and that it would be better for us for when the Rays came out to throw and hit in case they were to see us changing.

I say this because I ran up to the front row for a ball that I thought I could maybe catch in the front row. Instead the ball hit off the wall over the glove of Rudy Arais. Just in case the ball had hit him on the back when he was jumping for it, I asked, “Are you okay, Rudy?” He then looked back smiled, and said, “Yes.” It was at that point that he started to pick up the ball, and I realized he had not seen my Rays shirt yet because the wall was blocking it, so I blocked it with my glove. And when Rudy turned and threw the ball to me, I made sure to catch it with my bare hand as to not reveal my Rays logo:

81913 Ball 1

Most of the other ballhawks were astounded because I had made of point of wearing Rays gear before the gates opened, and yet I still got a toss-up from the Orioles. My next ball came in I want to say the second group of Orioles hitters. Some righty in that group hit a ball a little bit to my right, so I went over and caught it on the fly for my second ball of the day:

81913 Ball 2

If it was indeed the second group, it was probably hit by either Steve Pearce or Alexi Casilla, but I’m not going to guess just for the sake of having a name attached to the ball, so we’ll just call him a UHR (Unidetified Hitting Righty). My third ball of the day came when I went into foul territory to get a baseball from the pitchers and position players warming up. I didn’t actually get the warm up ball of any player, but Jeremy Hellickson was helping Chris Archer guard the pitchers from hit baseballs. (You’ll often see there’s one person doing this, since the pitchers are parallel to–in this case–the invisible line between second and third base and can’t see a ball coming at them without turning their heads sideways. But from my experience, it’s usually a bullpen catcher who guards them and not another pitcher; just because the pitcher has to warm up himself.) Anyway, a ball came to Hellickson, and so I shouted, “Jeremy can…” and before I could finish my request he turned to me, so I put up my glove and he threw me my third ball of the day:
81913 Ball 3

That was kind of awesome for me personally, because I believe the last time before that Hellickson had tossed me a baseball was when he tossed me my 100th baseball ever back in 2011. So yeah, pretty much no one else but me would have found it that cool, but I thought it was great.

My fourth ball of the day came when I headed out to the right-center field section for the Rays hitters. ( I didn’t go over there because a bunch of lefties were up. I just usually head over there when the non-season ticket holders flood the left field seats.) Chris Archer fielded a ball at the wall, and tossed me my fourth and final ball of the day when he saw my Rays gear and I called out to him by name. I then asked a kid to my left if he had gotten a ball, and when he said he hadn’t, I handed him the ball:

81913 Ball 4 Happening

For the game, Grant Edrington, Alex Kopp, and I all sat out on the flag court. There were two home runs, both of which we could have possibly gotten but didn’t. (The first of which I am still mad about since I was eating a strawberry-flavored lemon chill when it happened.) But the coolest thing I would say we did the whole night was walk through the cross-aisle:

81913 Through Cross-aisle

And handed Matt Hersl‘s brother a shirt and piece of paper that all of us participants of BallhawkFest 2013 had signed. Despite the fact that this was my first time meeting his brother, it was special from simply my connection to Matt himself. And by far the weirdest thing I experienced that game was on the way back seeing a person about my age not paying attention to the game because he was playing Pokemon on a Gameboy SP:

81913 Gameboy

After that, Garrett, Alex and I headed back to Alex’s place, where we all stayed, I ate some pizza, and was thankfully the only one of the three who didn’t have to wake up before 8:00 in the morning.

STATS:

  • 4 Balls at this Game (3 pictured because I gave 1 away)

81913 Baseballs

Numbers 661-664 of my lifetime:

81913 Sweet Spots

  • 217 Balls in 50 Games= 4.34 Balls Per Game
  • 4 Balls x 25,044 Fans=100,176 Competition Factor
  • 112 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 17 straight Games with 2 Balls
  • 14 straight Games with 3 Balls
  • 6 straight Games with 4 Balls
  • 89 Balls in 21 Games at OPACY= 4.24 Balls Per Game
  • 21 straight Games with at least 1 Ball at OPACY
  • 11 straight Games with at least 2 Balls at OPACY
  • 9 straight Games with at least 3 Balls at OPACY
  • 7 straight Games with at least 4 Balls at OPACY
  • Time Spent On Game 3:44-11:56= 8 Hours 12 Minutes

8/17/13 Rockies at Orioles: Camden Yards

At this game there were a bunch of ballhawks at the gates, but none of them wanted to take a picture, so here is a list of the people who were there:

1. Garrett Meyer.

2. Tim Anderson.

3. Grant Edrinton.

4. Avi Miller.

My first ball came courtesy of person number three. As Grant ran through a row of seats looking for easter eggs, he reached for a ball, pushed the opening of the bottom of the seat out, and the ball fell out the bottom. Since there was another ball right by him, he let that one go, and so I picked the ball he made drop down up:

81713 Ball 1

And then the Orioles ended their BP very early, so we were just sitting in the left field seats. In this time, I was the only one who went to the Rockies bullpen. So when the Rockies bullpen catcher Pat Burgess made his way to the bullpen, I called him over and said, “Can I ask you a question? Do you guys have any of the commemorative baseballs with you?” Like I’ve said in the past, I don’t usually go out of my way to see if there are any commemorative baseballs, but there were a couple other ballhawks who were trying to get them, so I figured I’d ask. And also, when he said no, I didn’t feel bad at all. But then Burgess went through the bullpen bag to get baseballs for the pitchers to warm up with. And about a minute after I had asked him, I saw Burgess waving at me from the corner of my eye. So I turned and he said, “Sorry, this is the only one we have left in the bag.” and tossed me a perfect Rockies commemorative for my second ball of the day:

81713 Ball 2

On the outside I just said, “Thanks.” But on the inside I was thinking, “Sorry? You just gave me the last commemorative ball in your bullpen bag; why are you sorry?”

My next ball came when the Rockies started hitting. usually the front row in left field is packed with people once the opposing team has started to hit, but because the Orioles ended so early, there was still some room to ask for toss-ups. I took advantage of it by asking Jeff Francis to toss me a ball. But there had been a dad who was holding hs kid up also trying to get Francis to toss him a ball, so I gave the ball away to the kid:

81713 Ball 3 daigram

I point the dad out because he would come into play later. I wouldn’t snag a ball for another couple Rockies groups, but when I went out to the flag court, he, Avi, and Grant were all out there. He first came up to me and offered me the ball back because his son had gotten another one, but I told him he could keep it. He then insisted I keep the ball, so I told him he could just give it away to another kid. He then gave it to me and told me that I could give it away to another kid and have the satisfaction of it. So I got it from him, walked down into the seats besides the flag court, and gave it away to another small kid with a glove.

I tell this story to show that this man was not out there will malicious intent. That said, on the first ball in the flag court, all four of us converged under the ball, but I was camped under the ball. Just as I reached up for the ball, I felt something forcing my glove down. I tried to push past it and keep my glove up, but the ball had tipped off my glove, where Grant then got it on the ground. Obviously I was watching the ball and not what was behind me, but first the dad said sorry after the ball, and then AVi told me what he had seen happened. Apparently I was indeed right under the ball, but the dad had “jumped on [my] back” as the ball was coming in. On the next ball out there, I once again was tracking it, until I realized the ball was slicing back to my left. Long story short, the ball went way past my outstretched glove and back to Avi who had been behind me for most of the ball. But when I turned back to see who had gotten it, what I saw was the dad running away in celebration while Avi was on the ground. Apparently the guy had knocked Avi down on the play and caught it on the fly. All three of us agreed that it’s fun to compete for baseballs, but you also can’t go around knocking people over to get them.

Anyway, the flag court was looking like an increasingly tougher area to snag a baseball, so right before the end of BP, I went down to the Rockies dugout. I then got a ball from bench coach Tom Runnells as the BP baseballs were being transferred from the bucket to the ball bag. Then, since I had not yet marked this ball, when Charlie Culberson started signing at the dugout, I got him to sign that ball:

81713 Ball 4 Signed

And right before I left, there was a kid who had been asking every single Rockies player/coach for a ball, so I asked him if he had gotten a ball yet. And when he said no, I pulled out the easter egg I had gotten because of Grant and gave it to him.

For the game, I spent my time out in the flag court with Tim and Grant. We had one major shot at a homer that we weren’t ready for, but the way the ball bounced, I think we pretty unanimously agreed that we couldn’t have snagged it anyways. So really the most major thing is that when and usher asked Tim if had a couple of baseballs, Tim gave him one, but then asked me if I had an extra baseball. So because I don’t *really* value autographs that much, I gave him the usher the ball Charlie Culberson had signed instead of the Rockies commemorative. I realize I could have just said I didn’t have any baseballs left to give away, but this shows how much I really value autographs. I mean the way I always explain it to people is I’ll get them if they’re convenient and not much else is happening, but I really won’t go out of my way to get them. After the game, I headed down to the umpire tunnel:

81713 Umpire Tunnel

And then got a ball form home plate umpire Chris Conroy:

81713 Ball 5

I tried the Rockies dugout afterwards, but didn’t even ask Pat Burgess for a ball since I figured he would recognize me from our longer-than-normal interaction earlier. And so the Conroy ball was my fifth and final of the day.

STATS:

  • 5 Balls at this Game (2 Pictured because I gave 3 away)

81713 Baseballs

Numbers 650-654 for my “career”:

81713 Sweet Spot

  • 208 Balls in 48 Games= 4.33 Balls Per Game
  • 5 Balls x 31,089 Fans=155,445 Competition Factor
  • 110 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 15 straight Games with 2 Balls
  • 12 straight Games with 3 Balls
  • 4 straight Games with 4-5 Balls
  • 79 Balls in 19 Games at OPACY= 4.16 Balls Per Game
  • 19 straight Games with at least 1 Ball at OPACY
  • 9 straight Games with at least 2 Balls at OPACY
  • 7 straight Games with at least 3 Balls at OPACY
  • 5 straight Games with at least 4 Balls at OPACY
  • 3 straight Games with at least 5 Balls at OPACY
  • Time Spent On Game 1:28-11:17= 9 Hours 49 Minutes

8/16/13 Rockies at Orioles: Camden Yards

Apparently two weeks was long enough a hiatus from Oriole Park at Camden Yards, because two weeks to the day, I was back there:

81613 Opening Picture

The four front people would be:

1. Oliver Francies- A semi-regular who I met because he goes to UND, which is a rival in various sports to UMN.

2. Sir Grant Edrington III- Who I introduced various times when I wrote about the last homestand I was here for. (So, here, here, here, and here)

3. Garrett Meyer- A Kansas City ballhawk, who I hadn’t seen since a game that I didn’t even enter the gates for in June of last year.

4. Avi Miller- With whom I was staying for this Rockies series, and general encyclopedia of all things Orioles.

Going in, I knew I was going to have some competition, but I also wanted to take advantage of the lack of usual competition. Alex Kopp was off on a vacation in Miami, and Tim Anderson wasn’t getting to the game until about 5:30. So when I got in, I first didn’t find any easter eggs, but secondly had the following arrangement of ballhawks surrounding me. Grant was to my left:

81613 Grant

Avi was in front of me:

81613 Avi

And Garrett was to my right:

81613 Garrett

To begin BP, JJ Hardy hit two home runs over my head. Both of which I should have caught on the fly, and both of which I misjudged. Thankfully I go the second one, but right after I took this picture:

81613 Ball 1

I turned to Avi and said, “This could be a looong day for me.” It was shortly after that Hardy hit another home run near me. It was headed to my left and to Avi’s row. So when he went into that row, I went in the row below him and jumped up for the catch right in front of his glove:

81613 Ball 2

Avi then headed out shortly after that and spent the rest of BP drinking his sorrows away for free. (I’m half-joking about that. I’ll leave it to your imagination what half I’m talking about.) I then snagged two baseballs which I apparently forgot to take pictures of.(I came to the realization of this just seconds before I typed those last two sentences.) The first was an Alexi Casilla home run that I ran a section to my right to catch. I also caught this one right in front of a teenager and got grief from a middle aged season ticket holder for doing so even though I had already gotten a ball. (I just ignored him, because I knew the kid was a regular who had no problem getting baseballs on his own. For the record, he would go on to get two baseballs before I got a single other baseball.) My second ball came when I headed down the line for the Rockies warming up. I yelled Charlie when the throwing group of Charlie Blackmon and Culberson were done throwing. Culberson ended up with the ball, so I waved to him. And I don’t know who the ball was intended for, because while I had waved right before he tossed the ball, his throw was tailing towards Garrett for what seemed to be an easy catch. I really don’t know what happened next to him, but Garrett had the ball tip off his glove, and so since it bounced to me, I picked the ball up. Weird. And also, I had no clue at the time, I had no clue that this was my 200th ball of the season. Something I had only done once before.

My next ball came out in the center field section of seating. When a number 35 came to the wall to retrieve a ball, I quickly checked my roster and got Chad Bettis to toss me a ball. I then gave the ball to a kid I had slipped past to get into the first row:

81613 Ball 5 Happening

That was my fifth baseball of the day. My sixth was by far my favorite of the game…and with no game balls this year, I’d say it ranks pretty high up my favorite snags of this year. (Which is kinda sad now that I think of it.) For whatever reason, I was the only ballhawk on the flag court when Todd Helton launched a ball to the extreme right of the flag court. In fact, it was even off of the flag court. Because as I ran after the ball, I had to reach over the railing that divides the flag court from section 98 at OPACY. So had I not caught the ball, it would have landed in the seats:

81613 Ball 6

This would be my sixth and final ball of BP. After BP, I went to the Orioles bullpen.

Now usually Rick Adair is the one who comes to the Orioles bullpen and tosses all of the baseballs in there to the crowd, but this game it was someone different. As he watched whoever the starting pitcher was warming up outside the bullpen, Grant and I figured out that Rick Adair had taken a leave of absence, and this other coach was Scott McGregor. While neither Grant nor I  got a ball tossed to us, McGregor tossed a ball to a kid to my right. Unfortunately, two grown ups stood up, and after go the ball took two convenient bounces to me, I picked it up and gave it to a kid to my left who actually had a glove on:

81613 Ball 7 Happening

That would be my seventh and final ball of the day. For the game I hung out with Tim, Avi, and Grant out in the flag court. I would have a picture, but Avi blocked Tim out of the picture on the first take and then disappeared from frame on the second picture. And while we had a couple close calls, none of us got a home run out there during the game.

STATS:

  • 7 Balls at this Game (5 pictured because I gave 2 away)

81613 Baseballs

Numbers 643-649 for my “lifetime”:

81613 Sweet Spots

  • 203 Balls in 47 Games= 4.26 Balls Per Game
  • 7 Balls x 31,438 Fans=220,066 Competition Factor
  • 109 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 14 straight Games with 2 Balls
  • 11 straight Games with 3 Balls
  • 3 straight Games with 4-5 Balls
  • 2 straight Games with 6-7 Balls
  • 74 Balls in 18 Games at OPACY= 4.11 Balls Per Game
  • 18 straight Games with at least 1 Ball at OPACY
  • 8 straight Games with at least 2 Balls at OPACY
  • 6 straight Games with at least 3 Balls at OPACY
  • 4 straight Games with at least 4 Balls at OPACY
  • 2 straight Games with at least 5 Balls at OPACY
  • Time Spent On Game 1:28-11:17= 9 Hours 49 Minutes

8/14/13 Angels at Yankees: Yankee Stadium

There was one goal for me on this day: Get 4 baseballs. It was my third and final game at Yankee Stadium in 2013, and I was sitting at 96 career baseballs at Yankee Stadium. I think I’m only one of five ballhawks to have gotten 100 baseballs at three different stadium–of which I am *BY FAR* the worst of, and I think I would be one of only 3 to have it at four or more stadiums, but I’m not sure. I just wanted to get 100 at Yankee Stadium, and like Citi Field, not ever *have* to come back to it again. And for my journey to 100, Andy Bingham thankfully showed up at the gates and offered to help document my quest for me. And so here he is one he took of Chris Hernandez and I talking at Gate 6:

81413 Opening Picture

And then of me getting my ticket scanned:

81413 Ticket Scan

And then because I was so far ahead of both of them, a picture of Chris running into the the stands:

81413 Chris Running

When I got in there were already people in the right field seats, but somehow all ten or so of them missed an easter egg in the last row, and I made sure to scoop it up:

81413 Ball 1

Chris’ lateness also might have helped him, because he took a while through the seats as well and found an easter egg of his own by the foul pole. And when Andy got to the seats, this was my happy reaction to already having one baseball on the day:

81413 One

My next ball of the day came when A-Rod, who I coming into this series I completely forgot was still in baseball, hit a ball that didn’t look like it was going to clear the wall near the bullpen, but I kind of jogged in the direction of it just in case. Then, when the did hit the warning track dirt, that jogged turned into a sprint, and I had my second ball of the day:

81413 Ball 2

I then turned and asked the kid in the front row if he wanted the ball. When he said, “Sure” normally I would have just tossed it to him, but Andy told me to go and hand it to him for the picture you are about to see:

81413 Ball 2 Give away

And so while I took my spot at the back of the section:

81413 Back of the section

Chris was towards the beginning of what was a pretty boring day for him in terms of hit baseballs:

81413 Chris Sun

Not that the rest of my time in the right field seats was particularly productive. I had a couple near misses, but no other baseballs. First there was this baseball that I had judged, but was a going to land two rows behind me:

81413 Miss 1

An then this ball that you can see being picked up by another guy:

81413 Miss 2

Then the group changed and both Chris and I–seen by us both having our backpacks on–were ready to head out to left field:

81413 Mateo and Chris

And in a move of friendly competition, when Chris ran to his left towards a ball that was hit that way, I didn’t even go after the ball and instead bolted to left field in order to secure my spot out there:

81413 LF

My third ball of the day was almost a mirror image of my second in that it was another ground rule double right up against the bullpen that I jogged after but then sprinted for once I realized it was going over:

81413 Getting Ball 3

(The “mirror” part being that it was on the other side of the field.)

81413 Ball 3

That was ball 3 for me, meaning the next one would be 100 for me at Yankee Stadium. So while I went into foul ground when the Angels started throwing, there was a huge chunk of me that hoped I didn’t get a ball down there, because I wanted to get a hit baseball. That said, I’m not good enough to have the luxury of getting a specific baseball the way I want it, so I mostly just wanted to not get shutout the rest of the game.

So when the aforementioned huge chunk of me was pleased by me not getting a baseball in foul ground and I headed back to left field:

81413 To the left

It looked like 100 was going to have to be hit. (Side note: Do you notice the man in blue with a glove about four rows below me in that last picture? That’s Erik. He was actually at and commented on the first ever game I wrote about on this blog. Side, side note: If you do click that second link, please excuse my bad writing.)And it was. Mike Trout crushed a ball to my right, and while I knew I wasn’t going to be able to catch the ball on the fly, my hope was if I chased after it, the ball could maybe deflect back to me. It didn’t exactly. Instead it popped up off a seat and I out jumped Erik for the ball that was now literally up in the air:

81413 Ball 4 Happening

Yay! Number 100. And from Mike Trout? Perfect. To celebrate, I went back to my bag, put 100 in a special pocket, and gave the second ground-rule double away to a kid in a Teixiera jersey that you can see in this next picture of me talking to a woman for about something I don’t recall:

81413 Kid of Ball 3

My next ball was also one I robbed ballhawks friends of. See Chris was over to my left for most of the time we were in left field:

81413 Chris to my left

(His expression says everything about how his day was going to that point. He had snagged two baseballs relatively early in BP, but he wasn’t getting much action.) But as the people who didn’t have tickets for left field got kicked out, Chris first talked a little:

81413 Chris and Mateo

But then he went  off to my right to get more space:

81413 Chirs on right

So when Mark Trumbo hit a baseball about two sections to my right, I figured either Chris or Erik would have it, but when the ball took a bounce off a seat away from both of them, I was able to make up the section-long headstart they got on me and get the ball:

81413 Ball 5

Since they had been so much closer to the ball than I had been when it was hit, when I got it, Chris uttered a sentence–in a friendly way (as you can see from him smiling in that last picture)– that I won’t re-write here on the blog.

My sixth ball of the day came as a result of another Mark Trumbo homer that Chris almost definitely would have gotten had I not been there. Trumbo bombed a ball to the back of the LF seats. I came from the right of the ball, and Chris from the left (if you were looking from the field), and we both jumped and came up short. But the ball hit off the wall, and then hit me. I was in pain from the ball hitting me, but I looked down on the ground, saw the ball, and picked it up:

81413 Ball 6

And then I tried to get a ball from Mike Harkey:

81413 Harkey Ball

And then for the game I stayed out in left field. For the game, I headed out to my seat in left field and tried for a home run. But then at about the eighth inning, I got someone’s ticket and sat by the dugout. My main goal was to get an umpire ball at the end of the game, but that wasn’t going to stop me from going for a third-out ball. So when Chris Nelson jogged in from the field, I yelled his name and he threw me this:

81413 Ball 7

That was my seventh and final ball of the day.

STATS:

  • 7 Balls at this Game (5 pictured because I gave 2 away)

81413 Baseballs

Numbers 636-642 for my lifetime:

81413 Sweet Spots

  • 196 Balls in 46 Games= 4.26 Balls Per Game
  • 7 Balls x 38,379 Fans=268,653 Competition Factor
  • 108 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 13 straight Games with 2 Balls
  • 10 straight Games with 3 Balls
  • 2 straight Games with 4-5 Balls
  • 103 Balls in 27 Games at Yankee Stadium= 3.81 Balls Per Game
  • 27 straight Games with at least 1 Ball at Yankee Stadium
  • 14 straight Games with at least 2 Balls at Yankee Stadium
  • Time Spent On Game 3:30-11:21= 8 Hours 20 Minutes

8/12/13 Angels at Yankees: Yankee Stadium

After taking an almost year-long hiatus (the last time I was here before this game was 8/15/12), I was back at Yankee Stadium for a three game series against the Angels:

81213 Opening Picture

And for the first time ever at Yankee Stadium, I had a person to take pictures of/for me during BP. It wasn’t intentional, though. As I waited in line as the first person in line, a man started waiting in line next to me. And after about a minute, he asked, “Are you one of Zack’s boys? I assumed so because you’re here standing in line so early.” It turns out this was Andy Bingham. (Who also has an picture-based MLBlog that you should check out. The link to it is on his name.) Anyway, he told me he has taken pictures of Zack Hample in the past for his blog, so he offered to do the same for me and this blog entry that you’re about to read.

However, right as I got in, I was glad that Andy wasn’t around to take pictures, because some Yankee hit a home run as I was checking for easter eggs, and so I turned towards the field, and then I jumped for the ball, but it tipped off of my glove, hit a seat behind me, and bounced back to the front row of the section, where one of the only other two kids in the section picked it up. A ball then got hit into the bleachers. Everyone else on the field level went back toards the field and snagging looking for future home runs, but I stuck around the bleachers, waited for the usher up there to retrieve it, and asked him for the ball:

81213 Ball 1

I then tried to get a couple Yankees to toss me the baseballs that had gone into the bullpen:
81213 Bullpen Scavenging

But then I headed over to left for the second group of Yankees that I saw hit. Within seconds of me getting there, some Yankees righty hit a ball to my left. So I drifted over to the spot where the ball was headed, and caught the ball on the fly:

81213 Ball 2

It was so soon after I got there that Andy, who was trailing me in the tunnel didn’t get there until I had put the ball back away in my backpack. Although, I pulled it back out for him to take a picture when he got there:

81213 Ball 2 Andy

I will have to say that the catch stung a little. That was because earlier in the day, before I even got to the stadium, I had run down a foresty hill to get to the  train that took me to the stadium. And since everything on said hill wasn’t exactly stable, I fell down and cut my hand on a rock. So when I told Andy about it, he took a picture of my hand slit:

81213 Hand Cut

So yeah, while I was excited to catch the ball, I would have maybe passed up catching ten baseballs on the fly that day. Thankfully, it would be last hit ball of the day. I then headed over into foul ground to try to get a ball from the Angels players who were throwing:

81213 Foul Ground

And interestingly enough, I ran into some fans I had seen the week prior at Nationals Park in the Red Seats:

81213 Other Fans

It’s funny because we had talked for a while; myself, Dave Butler, and the father of the family, so to see him/them at a game in a different state within the span of a week was funny. But as far as the snagging down the line was concerned, there was none. I tried to get players’ attention:

81213 Getting Players attention

but to no avail. And I’m not complaining; that’s just how it is some games, and this happened to be one of those games. It was then that Andy had to meet some Yankees representative for something or other. So that would be the last I saw of him that game.

Meanwhile, I saw that Josh Hamilton was crushing baseballs into the bleachers in right field, so I went up there:

81213 From Bleachers

But by that time, the only home run he hit into the bleachers was actually one that went way over my head. I didn’t take a picture (I should have), but if you’ve ever been to or seen Yankee Stadium, the ball almost cleared the bleachers and went into the concourse/walkway behind them.

My next ball came up in the bleachers, though, when a player I later identified as Nick Mardone fielded a ball in front of the Yankee bullpen and saw my Angels gear, he lofted a ball over the screen in front of the bullpen to me:

81213 Ball 3

Well he actually lofted the ball over me, but I managed to scurry over and get it before anyone else could. That would be my third and final ball of BP. After BP I went to the ticket my “guest” for the game treated me to. And by “guest” I mean I told my former religious studies teacher I was in town and asked him if he wanted to catch a game while I was there. He then said yes and bought me a ticket for section 130. If you’ve never been to Yankee Stadium, this was the view from our seats:

81213 View From Seats

I didn’t take a picture of him because I am always nervous about people being okay with their pictures being taken. I almost never initiate a picture of a person I’m meeting for the first time, so if you ever meet me, let me know if you want me to take a picture of/with you for this blog, because I probably won’t otherwise. I also saw Ricardo Marquez in the stands, but we didn’t talk much because I was hosting my guest, and I really wasn’t going to abandon him to talk to even a former MLB Fan Cave Dweller.Besides that, it was just a beautiful day at Yankee Stadium:

81213 Beatiful Day

And a fun day too. (By the way, Trout’s New Jersey following can be seen in the left field bleachers. They’re the sea of red you can see out there.)

STATS:

  • 3 Balls at this Game:

81213 Baseballs

Numbers 628-630 for my life:
81213 Sweet Spots

  • 184 Balls in 44 Games= 4.18 Balls Per Game
  • 3 Balls x 37,146 Fans=111,438 Competition Factor
  • 106 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 11 straight Games with 2 Balls
  • 8 straight Games with 3 Balls
  • 91 Balls in 25 Games at Yankee Stadium= 3.64 Balls Per Game
  • 25 straight Games with at least 1 Ball at Yankee Stadium
  • 12 straight Games with at least 2 Balls at Yankee Stadium
  • Time Spent On Game 3:13-10:56= 7 Hours 43 Minutes

6/11/13 Angels at Orioles: Camden Yards

Welcome to the entry of quite possibly my worst batting practice performance ever. So I’ll try to keep this entry brief and not make something out of nothing.

When I arrived from Alex Kopp‘s house where I had spent the night, there was already a couple people in line, but thanks to cool people I knew like Tim Anderson and Rick Gold being at the front of the line, I also got to be at the front of the line. As a result of me being essentially the first one in the gates, I found two easter eggs in left field, and actually probably should have gotten three or four, but when I got in, a person cleaning in the seats asked me if I wanted to come and get a ball with him in first base foul ground. I probably should have told him no, but I figured that if I could get an extra baseball out of it, my journey would be worth it. 

Well when we got over there, someone had already gotten the baseball and I saw ballhawks pick up two easter eggs in the time that I stopped and talked to this guy that I probably would have otherwise had. But anyway, when I had my two baseballs to start the day, I was thinking about big numbers for this game. I would then go on to not snag a ball fro the rest of batting practice–hence the lack of pictures from this game. It didn’t look like it was going to be that tough a day either. This was the view of the seats in left field when I got back after making the journey for the potential third easter egg, which besides having Alex and Tim in it, didn’t look that bad:

61113 View to my left

And it wasn’t just me either. Between myself, Alex, Tim, and Rick, we combined for a total of two hit baseballs snagged during BP and no toss-ups. It was just for whatever reason a tough BP. I almost got a ball from Dane De La Rosa, but when he asked me if I had already gotten a ball that day, I replied honestly and said yes. He then kept looking for someone to give the ball to before tossing it back into the ball bucket in center field. I’m thinking I should have replied with a clever response that reflected the fact that I still hadn’t gotten a ball during BP yet, but his question caught me so off-guard that I couldn’t think of anything besides just telling him what he wanted to hear.

After batting practice, I saw a ball inside of where the grounds crew stays during the games, below the right-center field seats, so I camped out there hoping to ask whoever entered there first for the ball. I didn’t take a picture in my time there, but I found out that someone else did while exploring the hashtag “opacy” on Instagram, so here I am waiting right above the spot where the ball was for someone to retrieve it:

61113 Me waiting for ball

I waited there for a solid half-hour as the grounds crew people were just starting to fix up the field post-batting practice when I got there. I watched and got ready every time a groundskeeper crossed in front of me on the warning track, bu none ever actually went inside the gate. Then, a couple people who I didn’t recognize as members of the grounds crew passed by me and into the gate. I was so surprised that they would be entering the area that I didn’t even ask them to go get the ball. What I did do was sit on the edge of my seat and be prepared for when one of them would come back out. When one of the guys came back out, I immediately saw that he had the ball in his hand and asked him before anyone else could get to him. He then tossed it to me for my third and final ball of the day:

61113 Ball 3

I would then give that ball away to an usher at the top of the section and instructed him to give it away to the first kid with a glove he saw. I like to do this because it’s a win-win for myself and the usher. I get to show the usher that I am human and like to see kids go home happy with a baseball, and it lets the usher look like the hero for being the one to give the baseball to the kid and see his/her face light up when he/she gets the ball.

And that was it. I wouldn’t snag another ball for the rest of the game. I would sit out in the flag court pretty much the whole game with Alex and Tim–who managed to get a Mike Trout home run ball tossed up to him–but nothing would be hit up there.

STATS:

  • 3 Baseballs at this Game

61113 Baseballs

Numbers 559-561 for my career:

61113 Sweet Spots

  • 115 Balls in 28 Games= 4.11 Balls Per Game
  • 3 Ball x 22,834 Fans=68,502 Competition Factor
  • 90 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 50 Balls in 13 Games at OPACY= 3.85 Balls Per Game
  • 13 straight Games with at least 1 Ball at OPACY
  • Time Spent On Game 4:08-10:39= 6 Hours 31 Minute

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

Ballhawking Season’s End Review- 2012

If you want to know the context for this entry, here’s last year’s version. I go over stats from the past season of ballhawking. It’s fun for my stat-geek mind. If you’re into stats, it might be fun for you too, but it’s really to have a record of everything. Feel free to leave a comment below suggesting any other stats you’d like to see in the entry.

Here are the overall numbers:

Baseballs (B): 223 (12th on mygameballs.com)

Games (G): 53 (12th on mygameballs.com)

Balls Per Game (BPG): 4.21 (24th on mygameballs.com. Ouch.)

Game Balls (GB): 3 (23rd on mygameballs.com)

Hit Balls (HB): 94

Hit Balls Per Game (HPG): 1.77

Balls Caught On The Fly (COF): 41

Balls Caught On Fly Per Game (CPG): 0.77

Thrown Balls (TB): 119

Thrown Balls Per Game (TPG): 2.25

Easter Eggs (EE): 7 (which is actually less than last year)

Easter Eggs Per Game (EPG): 0.13

Glove Trick Balls (GT): 3

Glove Trick Balls Per Game (GPG): 0.06

Balls During The Game: 5 (less than last year)

Balls After The Game: 16

Average Competition Factor (ACF): 143,718 (16th on mygameballs.com)

High: 11 (14th on mygameballs.com

Overall Snag Tracker:

Stats Broken Down By Month:

April-

B: 17

G: 4

HB: 14

COF: 5

TB: 2

BPG: 4.25

HPG: 3.5

CPG: 1.25

TPG: .5

High: 5

ACF: 130,511

May-

B: 19

G: 4

HB: 8

COF: 2

TB: 11

BPG: 4.75

HPG: 2

CPG: 0.5

TPG: 2.75

High: 8

ACF: 167,425

June-

B: 60

G: 11

HB: 30

COF: 17

TB: 28

GT: 1

EE: 1

BPG: 5.45

HPG: 2.73

CPG: 1.55

TPG: 2.55

GPG: 0.09

EPG: 0.09

High: 11

ACF: 211,817

July-

B: 39

G: 11

HB: 10

COF: 1

TB: 25

EE: 4

BPG: 3.55

HPG: 0.91

CPG: 0.09

TPG: 2.73

EPG: 0.36

High: 7

ACF: 115,158

August-

B: 38

G: 12

HB: 17

COF: 8

TB: 19

EE: 1

GT: 1

BPG: 3.17

HPG: 1.55

CPG: 0.73

TPG: 1.73

EPG: 0.09

GPG: 0.09

High: 9

ACF: 106,822

GB: 1

September-

B: 50

G: 11

HB: 10

COF: 2

TB: 19

EE: 1

GT: 1

BPG: 4.55

HPG: 0.91

CPG: 0.18

TPG: 1.73

EPG: 0.09

GPG: 0.09

High: 8

ACF: 140,522

GB: 2

Balls broken down by Stadium:

New Yankee Stadium-

B: 65

G: 16

HB: 32

COF: 15

TB: 33

BPG: 4.06

HPG: 2

CPG: 0.94

TPG: 2.06

High: 8

ACF: 144,034

Snag Trackers for Yankee Stadium in 2012:

Snag Trackers for just the hit balls:

And for just the thrown baseballs:

Nationals Park-

B: 65

G: 15

HB: 21

COF: 10

TB: 37

EE: 5

GT: 2

BPG: 4.33

HPG: 1.40

CPG: 0.67

TPG: 2.47

High: 9

ACF: 114,684

Snag Trackers for Nationals Park:

Snag Trackers for just the hit balls:

And just for the thrown balls:

Target Field-

B: 53

G: 12

HB: 14

COF: 4

TB: 37

EE: 1

GT: 1

BPG: 4.42

HPG: 1.17

CPG: 0.33

TPG: 3.08

High: 8

ACF: 136,276

GB: 2

Snag Trackers:

Snag Trackers for just hit balls:

And just for thrown balls:

Oriole Park at Camden Yards-

B: 21

G: 4

HB: 17

COF: 9

TB: 4

BPG: 5.25

HPG: 4.25

CPG: 2.25

TPG: 1

High: 11

ACF: 190,801

;

Snag Trackers:

Just the hit balls:

And just the thrown balls:

Citi Field-

B: 14

G: 5

HB: 6

COF: 1

TB: 7

BPG: 2.80

HPG: 1.20

CPG: 0.20

TPG: 1.40

High: 4 (so sad, but so Citi Field at the same time)

ACF: 71,614

GB: 1

Snag Trackers:

Just the hit balls:

And just the thrown baseballs:

Citizens Bank Park:

20121105-035008.jpg

**EDIT/NOTE**: In looking at the image above, I realized I put this into my records incorrectly. I snagged 6 baseballs during this game, as you can see from the entry. That means I actually snagged 224 baseballs this season. I’m dumb for doing that, but I’m just going to leave everything as it is. If you want to see how that extra baseball affects my stats, click the link over there ——> in the sidebar for “my mygameballs.com account”. I got all of these stats from there and the site has more information stored than I could ever write about, so you should check it out anyway and sign-up if you have ever snagged a ball at a baseball game. And to those of you on mygameballs.com, make sure you not only vote for president and all that stuff, but make sure you vote for Ballhawk of the Year and Junior Ballhawk of the Year. Voting is now open for the two awards on your account’s page. Back to the rest of the entry…

In this version because I only attended one game there this season and I didn’t want to do all of the stats stuff for just one game.

As for my New Year’s Resolutions, they’re not really resolutions; they’re goals, but whatever. We’ll see how many of them I managed to reach:

1. Go to 50 games- Yes, I went to 53.

2. Average 4.5 Balls Per Game- No, I averaged 4.21.

3. Go to 8 Stadiums- No, I went to 6, but I could have gone to 8 easily without school getting in the way (both high school and college).

4. Double my career total- Yes, I did it on the last game of the season.

5. Catch one Game Home Run. Period- Yes, Trevor Plouffe’s game-tying home run to be specific.

6. Catch 5 Game Balls total- No, I only got started catching game balls at the end of July and only managed to snag 3. I’ll take game balls in back-to-back games over this goal, though.

7. Be in the mygameballs.com Top 10- No, I was in 12th. You were right, Alex.

8. Go to 10 games at Nationals Park before June’s end- I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote this goal, but no, I didn’t.

9. Average 5.0 Balls Per Game at Nationals Park- No, I averaged almost half-a-ball under this mark.

10. Average 3.5 Balls Per Game at Citi Field- No, I didn’t anticipate Citi Field becoming a worse ballpark due to their additions.

11. Average 2.5 BPG at Yankee Stadium- Yes, I actually blew this out of the water with a 4.06 average.

12. Improve on my HB/TB ratio- Yes, from 0.51:1 in 2011 to 0.79:1 in 2012.

13. Go to Camden Yards 3 times- Yes, I went 4 times in 2012.

14. Enjoy the summer of Baseball- I would say I did. Some times I wasn’t having fun, but overall, the whole summer was a pure blast.

15. Post Entries Regularly- Compared to 2011, I definitely posted my entries a lot more quickly when discounting these past few entries at the end of the season that have taken me forever to get up.

 

If you made it this far: thank you. You are too kind. (And you probably have a longer attention span than I do. Even if I did write this whole entry pretty much in one night.) I will be trying very hard to get a video up Friday explaining my winter blogging plans. I’m very excited the potentiality for awesomeness the stuff I have planned for the winter, so make sure you check the blog sometime during this next weekend November 9-11. If it isn’t up then, that means I decided to post the video November 12th. Anyway, the winter blogging plans are dependent on reader input, so make sure to read and vote on what you want to read. But anyway, I feel like I’m just confusing you. More explanation will come Friday…or Monday. It depends on when the video comes out. I haven’t even fully scripted the video. If you were wondering, I am planning to get on a regular entry-posting schedule; or at least attempt one. That’ll be in the video too, so like I said, watch out for a video coming soon.

7/3/12 Giants at Nationals: Nationals Park

It was my first time back in Washington, and I experienced a first in all my games at Nationals Park. It was sold-out. So, I had to wait in line for the $5 tickets that get released right as the gates open:

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Thankfully, as you can see, I was at the front of the line, so I didn’t have to worry about not being able to get tickets, but not being able to wait AT the gate meant I would have to wait behind a line for the first time in forever at Nationals Park:

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Now, I don’t *know* that this made me miss out on any balls, but all I can say is I’ve had several times at Nationals Park where I’ve snagged baseballs right off the bat.

When I got into the stadium, I initially went to the left field seats:

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I muddled there for a few minutes before going over to the Red Seats, where I would get my first ball of the day:

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Michael Morse hit a ball straight over my head. It then settled in the netting below the seat I have pictured, where I picked it up.

While I was there, I saw a ball fly into the seats in upper right field seats. When those seats opened to fans at 5:00, I ran up and found a baseball in this spot:

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I didn’t photograph it in that spot because I was too busy trying to find other “Easter Eggs” in those seats. When I went back down to the Red Seats, I gave that ball away to a kid I had promised I would give a ball to if I got another (after I snagged the Morse home run). I could have easily pretended to have not found that ball since the kid never saw me find it, but I like to honor my promises, however minuscule they may seem.

I then headed over to foul territory to try to get a ball from the pitchers warming up, but they didn’t toss a ball to myself or any other fans while I was there. Even if they would have, I was just one of many Giants fans:

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so I gave up pretty easily and headed over to the right field seats.

There, I got my third ball of the day. Matt Cain threw a ball over his head, and I jumped for it, but came up just short. It then hit this man in the head:

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and I caught it off the bounce. I then gave the ball to him, since he did take the ball off his head, and you could see the mark the stitches made on his forehead. That would be my last ball of batting practice.

Even though my ticketed seat was in the upper deck, this was my view of the game, by the grace of an usher who lets me sit there:

20120706-135512.jpg
I gave said usher the Morse ball. (He gives away all of the balls I give to him to people in the section, mostly kids.)

I know I don’t usually do this, but here’s a picture of Tim Lincecum delivering a pitch in the first inning:

20120706-135623.jpg
Why? Lincecum is my favorite player in baseball. Also, I was very excited to have seen his 100th strikeout of the year:

20120706-135747.jpg
Unfortunately, as you can see, his ERA was in the 5s, and it went up after this game. I don’t know how many earned runs he gave up (maybe I just don’t want to remember), but it was painful to watch.

In the middle of the sixth inning, it started raining, so the tarp came on the field:

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I saw this as an opportunity to get into better seats, since the ushers wouldn’t be checking tickets due to everyone and their mother leaving the seats, so I made my way thought the extremely crowded concourse:

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and to the Nationals dugout. I also figured many people had left, so I picked up tickets in that area. Once I had tickets in that area, I figured “I might as well see if I can get over to the Giants dugout. Worst case scenario: the ushers are checking tickets, and I have to go back to the Nationals dugout..” Sure enough, the ushers still weren’t. Hacking tickets, so I wandered the seats and found tickets for most of the 1 hour 25 minute rain delay. I also sat by the Giants dugout, just in case I could convince any of them to toss me a ball out of the ball bag:

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That’s actually where I was when the grounds crew finally pulled off the tarp:

20120706-141251.jpg
Truthfully, I don’t know why they delayed the game so long. It was about ten minutes of downpour followed by an hour and fifteen minutes of drizzling.

Anyway, at this point, I had amassed a considerable amount of tickets, so I had fun just running around the stadium, making minute adjustments depending on the hitter and situation. I didn’t get anything, but it was fun trying.

Oh, and here are three pictures showing how empty the stadium was:

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At the end of the game, I headed over to the umpire tunnel and got Scott Barry to toss me a ball:

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It was 11:09 at that point, and the last train left the station at 11:20, so I didn’t even have time to put the ball in my backpack. Right after I snagged the ball, I took off. I literally ran the whole way to the Metro station with a ball in my glove.

When I got to the Metro Station is when I realized the ball was my 100th of the season, so I took another picture of it, in all of its triple digit glory:

20120706-144513.jpg

Sorry for the quality of the picture. I was going through my stats on the platform, so I took a picture right there on the platform. Here is a better picture i took at home the next day:

STATS:
• 4 Balls at this game (1 pictured because I gave 3 away)

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numbers 319-322 for my career:

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• 100 Balls in 20 Games= 5 Balls Per Game
• 29 straight Games with at least 1Ball
• 5 straight Games with at least 2 Balls
• 4 straight Games with at least 3 Balls
• 4 straight Games with at least 4 Balls
• 79 Balls in 16 Games at Nationals Park= 4.94 Balls Per Game
• 8 straight Games at Nationals Park with at least 1 Ball
• 8 straight Games at Nationals Park with at least 2 Balls
• 5 straight Games at Nationals Park with at least 3 Balls
• 3 straight Games at Nationals Park with at least 4 Balls
• Time Spent On Game 2:34-11:44= 9 Hours 10 Minutes

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