Results tagged ‘ twitter ’

5/14/13 White Sox at Twins: Target Field

First of all, before I get started, I forgot to tell all of you that the BallhawkFest video I did a while ago came with it’s fair share of bloopers, so here’s that video:

It’s unlisted, so you can see it here, but the only other place to see it is I’ll have an annotation for it in the main BallhawkFest video.

Now that we have that out of the way, here’s your semi-regularly-scheduled entry. Well actually, while we’re posting videos up here, I made a Before The Gates Open video for here. Yes, I coming back with this video series in 2013, re-doing all the stadiums I did last year and any new ones I visit this year. (Except for the Cell because those two games I went to the weekend prior to this game were probably the last I’ll be there this season.) But anyway, without further ado, here is the 2013 version of Before The Gates Open- Target Field:
Click here to go to that video, since it’s being stupid and doesn’t want to embed on this page.
After that, Sean and I stood in line and waited for the gates to finally open:
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Once we got in the gates, it was Sean and not I who snagged the first baseball. See Sean had been in contact with either Hector Santiago or Brian Omogrosso—I can’t remember which— on Twitter and had gotten whoever it was to follow him. He had also asked the player if the player could toss Sean a ball at the game later on. When Sean asked him for a ball, the player recognized him and obliged his request:

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He then rubbed the fact that he had snagged infinitely more baseballs at this game than I had for the next five to ten minutes. But, being Sean, that was his day of ballhawking as he went and got food soon after that.
While he was gone eating, I was snagging. The first ball I got was in right-center field. When a ball rolled to the wall, I got Matt Thorton to toss me my first ball of the game:20130530-135257.jpg

After I got this ball, I headed to the back of the section I was in and gave the ball to the usher instructing him to give the ball away to the next kid with a glove he saw.

I then headed out to the standing room for one reason: Adam Dunn was hitting. Just as I got there Dunn put a ball right in the middle of the triangle created by Gate 34, the program vendor, and the beer stand in the following picture:20130530-135933.jpg

(Normally I would draw an arrow for you, but I’m writing this entry on my phone.) I chased after this ball, but it bounced outside of the gate, so I couldn’t pursue it any further. After I gave up on the chase, I went back to the flag pole of the American flag. A few pitches later, Dunn launched a ball almost directly at me. I took a couple steps forward before I saw a man in front of me in the wheelchair section reaching up for the ball with his hand. Since I’ve narrowly missed getting clocked by a couple deflections, so I simply put my glove where the ball would go with no deflection and turned my face away from the ball. Thankfully the guy completely whiffed and the ball landed in my glove:

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Given that I’m one of—if not THE worst ballhawks I’ve seen in the outfield at judging fly balls, this was a nice proud moment for me. Unfortunately it would be my last ball of batting practice. I would head off to left field after that, and had an open row to run:

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But everything that cleared the wall was going in the first two rows. There was also room deeper in the section:

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But of course it pretty much takes a line drive to reach back there, so it’s not a great place in general. Fast-forward to after batting practice, Sean and I met up with one of his dorm room floor friends, Mikey in left field. Mikey—like most sane people—got to the game after batting practice given the fact that it was 99 degrees. We then decided that all three of us needed to document our group with each of us taking a different form of social media. Sean took Vine, Mikey took Snapchat, and I picked putting the picture of this blog:

51413 Group picture

When the White Sox coaches came to the bullpen, I headed over there to try to get a ball from them as they cleared the balls that had gone in there during batting practice. Then, I got a ball from the back-up bullpen catcher, whose name I don’t know, tossed me one of the the baseballs in the bullpen:

51413 Ball 3

We then stayed in left field for a couple innings until the seats got crowded. Sean and Mikey then went to seats in third base foul ground, and I headed out to the standing room in right field:

51413 View from Standing room

I don’t need to sit when I have a view like that.  Of course no one hit a ball anywhere near me, but it was a nice game to watch.

At the end of the game I headed down to the umpire tunnel and got a ball from home plate umpire Jordan Baker for my fourth and final ball of the game:

51413 Ball 4

So yeah. Overall a fun day at the ballpark. I would then meet Mikey and Sean, and we would head out of the stadium and back to campus where Sean and I would say goodbye until probably September as I would spend the next two days preparing for my final on Friday, which I would still find a way to not do that well on.

STATS:

  • 4 Baseballs at this Game (3 shown because I gave 1 away)

51413 Baseballs

Numbers 509-512 for my career:

51413 Sweet Spots

  • 66 Balls in 14 Games= 4.71 Balls Per Game
  • 4 Balls x 32,023 Fans(Nice palindromic attendance number)= 128,092 Competition Factor
  • 76 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 3 straight Games with at least 2-3 Balls
  • 117 Balls in 26 Games at Target Field= 4.5 Balls Per Game
  • 24 straight Games with at least 1 Ball at Target Field
  • 4 straight Games with at least 2-4 Ball at Target Field
  • Time Spent On Game 3:32-10:47= 7 Hours 15 Minutes

Observing Baseball Trivia

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

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

1. Rollie Fingers-signed baseball:

Rollie Fingers autographed baseball

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

Yankees 2009 Wordl Series DVD

3. Mr. Met Bobblehead:

Mr. Met Bobblehead

4. Radar Gun:

Radar Gun

Rankings:

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

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

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

4. Kimberly Imiola- 8

5. Jared Serre- 3

6. Sean Bigness- 3

7. Joey Orr- 2

8. Danny Chojnacki- 2

9. Brendan Weingarten- 2

10. Pascale Badders- 2

11. Tony Voda- 1

12. Matt Huddleston- 1

And here is the first question:

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

a. Walter Johnson

b. Ty Cobb

c. Babe Ruth

d. Honus Wagner

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

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

A. 8/24/12

B. 7/4/11

C. 10/2/10

D. 7/17/12

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

A. Nick Pelescak

B. Zack Hample

C. Garrett Meyer

D. Erik Jabs

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

tropicana-field_display_image

A. Rogers Centre

B. Tropicana Field

C. Tokyo Dome

D. Metrodome

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

A. Max Scherzer

B. Justin Verlander

C. Lance Lynn

D. Zack Grienke

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

A. A Mini Donut Stand

B. A Gold Glove

C. A Plaque Commemorating the Home Run

D. His Statue

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

A. A Brewer hits a home run

B. The Brewers score a run

C. An opposing batter strikes out

D. All of the above

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

A. 8.83

B. 8.65

C. 9.33

D. 9.5

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

A. Chris Perez

B. Rick Ankiel

C. Jeremy Hellickson

D. Jaime Garcia

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

A. Streaks

B. Competition Factor

C. Time Sent On Game

D. Balls Per Game

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

A. Washington Yankees

B. New York Knickerbockers

C. New York Highlanders

D. Baltimore Orioles

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

A. Normal red and white

B. Purple and turqouise

C. Gray and black

D. Gray and teal

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

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A. New Yankee Stadium

B. U.S. Cellular Field

C. Old Yankee Stadium

D. Citizens Bank Park

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

A. Angel Pagan

B. Luis Hernandez

C. Nate McLouth

D. Justin Morneau

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

A. Miami-Dade County Courthouse

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

C. Pro Player Stadium

D. Old Orange Bowl Site

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

A. Zack Hample

B. Ben Weil

C. Greg Barasch

D. Avi Miller

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

A. Tropicana Field

B. Chase Field

C. Minute Maid Park

D. Safeco Field

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

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

B. I out-ran an usher for it

C. I gave the ball away

D. All of the above

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

A. Its outfield measurements are in meters

B. It only has three levels of seating

C. It is next door to the CN Tower.

D. There are hotel rooms in the outfield

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

A. Right Field Porch

B. Outfield Redbird Club

C. Diamond Club

D. Bank of America Club

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

A. Boston Red Stockings

B. Boston Braves

C. Milwaukee Braves

D. Milwaukee Brewmasters

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

A. Nationals Park

B. Citi Field

C. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

D. New Yankee Stadium

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

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A. Nationals Park

B. Citi Field

C. Target Field

D. New Yankee Stadium

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

A. 1,367

B. 730

C. 579

D. 1,504

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

A. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

B. AT&T Park

C. Minute Maid Park

D. Chase Field

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

A. December 2011

B. March 2012

C. October 2011

D. January 2012

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

A. Third Base Gate

B. Center Field Gate

C. Home Plate Gate

D. Right Field Gate

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

B. Roy Halladay

C. Justin Verlander

D. C.C. Sabathia

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

A. 3/29/12

B. 9/13/11

C. 4/29/12

D. 4/11/12

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

A. Citi Field

B. O. Co Coliseum

C. Petco Park

D. U.S. Cellular Field

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

A. Target Field

B. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

C. Citi Field

D. Marlins Park

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

A. Adam Dunn

B. Joey Votto

C. Kevin Youkillis

D. Joe Mauer

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

A. Denard Span

B. Josh Willingham

C. Ben Revere

D. Justin Morneau

D. Justin Morneau

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

A. 1961

B. 1958

C. 1949

D. 1965

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

A. 7/6/11

B. 4/14/11

C. 7/4/11

D. 8/15/11

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

A. Jaycob Porter

B. Donny Haltom

C. Zack Hample

D. Joe Faraguna

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

A. AT&T Park

B. Progressive Field

C. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

D. Fenway Park

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

A. 8, 7, 2

B. 5, 5, 5

C. 7, 6, 2

D. 7, 3, 6

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

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A. Target Field

B. Sun Life Stadium

C. Citi Field

D. Nationals Park

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

A. New York Yankees

B. Los Angeles Dodgers

C. Milwaukee Brewers

D. Boston Red Sox

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

A. AT&T Park

B. PNC Park

C. Citi Field

D. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

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

A. Woodrow Wilson

B. Herbert Hoover

C. William Howard Taft

D. Calvin Coolidge

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

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

A. 34%

B. 21%

C. 29%

D. 26%

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

A. 10

B. 15

C. 16

D. 18

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

A. AT&T Park

B. Turner Field

C. Miller Park

D. Coors Field

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

A. 7/29/11

B. 8/12/11

C. 7/23/11

D. 6/24/11

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

A. I caught it on the fly

B. It was hit by a Yankee

C. It was on Derek Jeter’s birthday

D. I ran into a tunnel to get it.

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

A. Target Field

B. Citizens Bank Park

C. Citi Field

D. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

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

A. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

B. New Yankee Stadium

C. Citi Field

D. Sun LIfe Stadium

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

A. Progressive Field

B. U.S. Cellular

C. Comerica Park

D. Kauffman Stadium

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

A. 7/7/11

B. 6/9/11

C. 7/13/11

D. 7/23/11

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

A. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

B. U.S. Cellular Field

C. Coors Field

D. Miller Park

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

A. New Yankee Stadium

B. Tropicana Field

C. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

D. Rogers Centre

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

A. 9/13/11

B. 9/12/11

C. 9/13/12

D. 9/14/12

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

A. Lou Gehrig

B. Babe Ruth

C. Mickey Mantle

D. Joe DiMaggio

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

A. 8/5/12

B. 9/15/11

C. 7/7/12

D. 6/24/12

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

A. John Witt

B. Rick Gold

C. Tim Anderson

D. Shawn Bosman

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

A. Albert Pujols

B. Chipper Jones

C. Manny Ramirez

D. Alex Rodriguez

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

A. Marlins Park

B. Tropicana Field

C. Citi Field

D. Petco Park

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

A. 4, 4

B. 3, 3

C. 4, 3

D. 5, 3

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

A. Dodgers Stadium

B. New Yankee Stadium

C. Coors Field

D. Rogers Centre

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

81311 cross aisle

A. Turner Field

B. Metrodome

C. Tropicana Field

D.  Miller Park

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

A. 14

B. 16

C. 17

D. 20

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

A. 8/24/11

B. 5/18/11

C. 8/13/11

D. 8/23/11

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

A. Target Field

B. Citi Field

C. Marlins Park

D. New Yankee Stadium

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

ball 104

A. 7/2/11

B. 6/24/11

C. 7/4/11

D. 7/5/11

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

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

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

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

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

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

A. Oriole Park at Camden Yards

B. Nationals Park

C. Citi Field

D. Target Field

RULES FROM THIS POINT ON:

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

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

A. Watching Baseball Smarter

B. The Baseball

C. Moneyball

D. The Extra 2%

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

A. 1951

B. 1949

C. 1955

D. 1957

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

Old Yankee Stadium

A. Alex Rodriguez

B. Babe Ruth

C. Curtis Granderson

D. Mickey Mantle

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

7512 Rick ball

A. Nationals Park

B. Turner Field

C. AT& T Park

D. Miller Park

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

A. Dodgers Stadium

B. Marlins Park

C. Petco Park

D. AT&T Park

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

A. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

B. Busch Stadium

C. Kauffman Stadium

D. Angels Stadium

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

A. Stan Musial

B. Carl Yastremski

C. Don Mattingly

D. Hank Aaron

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

A. Zack Hample

B. Ben Weil

C. Greg Barasch

D. Rick Gold

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

A. Prince Fielder

B. Barry Bonds

C. Andy Pettitte

D. Ryan Howard

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

A. Leigh Barratt

B. Tony Bracco

C. Rick Gold

D. Don Chilcote

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

A. 2005

B. 2009

C. 2007

D. 2008

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

A. Good boy, Roy

B. A Plethora of Pitchers

C. Pure Genius

D. The Phantastic Phillies

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

A. Clayton Kershaw

B. Gio Gonzalez

C. R.A. Dickey

D. Adam Dunn

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

A. 1,252

B. 1,138

C. 967

D. 1,504

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

A. Installation of bullpens

B. A room for grounds crew materials

C. Foldable seats to stow away for baseball games

D. Shatter-proof glass in outfield boxes.

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

A. Lower-level right Field

B. Lower-level left field

C. Behind the third base dugout

D. Foul ground left field

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

A. Atlanta Braves

B. Baltimore Orioles

C. Oakland Athletics

D. Milwaukee Brewers

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

blank stadium

A. Riverfront Stadium

B. County Stadium

C. Crosley Field

D. Sportman’s Park

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

A. 7/23/12

B. 7/30/11

C. 7/17/12

D. 8/26/11

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

A. Angels Stadium

B. Wrigley Field

C. Sun Life Stadium

D. Safeco Field

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

A. AT&T Park

B. Chase Field

C. Sun Life Stadium

D. Petco Park

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

A. Zack Hample caught Mike Nickeas’ home run

B. I got my copy of The Baseball signed

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

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

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

A. Miguel Cabrera

B. Buster Posey

C. Mike Trout

D. Andrew McCutchen

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

A. 8.00

B. 8.65

C. 9.33

D. 7.00

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

A. Progressive Field

B. Turner Field

C. PNC Park

D. Minute Maid Park

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

A. Sean Bigness

B. Chris Cositore

C. Jonathan Mueller

D. Alex Pistolesi

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

A. Denton Young

B. Babe Ruth

C. Barry Bonds

D. Walter Johnson

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

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

A. Turner Field

B. Target Field

C. Citi Field

D. Nationals Park

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

A. 8/28/12

B. 8/09/11

C. 8/10/11

D. 9/8/12

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

A. AT&T Park

B. Fenway Park

C. PNC Park

D. Marlins Park

 

Not proofread.

238,481 Words Written so far…

The Bergino Baseball Clubhouse

A while ago, when I was writing an entry about all the stuff I had collected over the couple of years I have been ballhawking, I found a unique ball that had all (or close to all) of the MLB ballparks. This particular ball was still in the package, so I could see who made it.At the time, I was tweeting out a bunch of pictures of what I was finding while going through my collection of  “stuff”. I wanted to mention the maker if they were on twitter, so I looked them up and mentioned that they had made that ball. The owner, who also runs the twitter account, then replied and followed me.

Later, I saw the Bergino Baseball clubhouse on a slideshow made by CNBC of the “Baseball’s Greatest Attractions”. Right after I saw this, my thought was, ” This is one of the top baseball attractions in the country, and the owner follows me on twitter. How have I not already been down there? I should really go before I start going to a bunch of games.” As many of you know, my schedule really starts up next week when I got to 8 games in 9 days, so I figured this week would be as good as any to go.

After some walking and forgetting what side of Manhattan I was, I arrived at The Bergino Baseball Clubhouse:

For the record, this wasn’t a picture I took, but rather, a screen shot of a video I took of me getting lost in downtown Manhattan. Long story short, I was planning to make this a vlog entry, but my last vlog reminded me how long a process uploading a video to YouTube is, so I probably won’t upload that video.

Once I got in, a man greeted me inside. Since there was no one else in the store, I presumed it was the owner, Jay Goldberg. I introduced myself as Mateo Fischer, and by his reaction, he recognized the name. I then spent the better part of what must have been close to two hours taking pictures and having Jay explain the different items in the store to me.

Before I get started, I must say, do check the blog’s Facebook page. I will include various pictures of the store in this entry, but there are several pictures I took that I can’t segue into and aren’t in the entry.

As you enter the store, there are the following things set-up in your path:

A game-used base stool.

Some mostly generic baseballs.

Some more specific baseballs.

Of course, these baseballs were just the ones on display; here are all the baseballs that were for sale:

Yeah, and you thought *I* had a lot of baseballs.

To the left of that shelf of baseballs, was this wall:

The items there are pretty self-explanatory, right? I should note, though, that it is not an actual glove you are seeing, but rather a wooden sculpture of one.

Opposite this wall is a wall Jay described as having different pieces of “baseball art”. I use quotations because although, he and I both consider the items on the wall art, they aren’t all what most people would consider pieces of art. You know what, I’ll just include a picture so you can see for yourself:

Since I’m all out of transitions between pictures, I just want to include four more things, so here they are:

1.

This is a Bob Gibson poster from what appears to be a game at Forbes Field. What’s so special about that? Well as Jay pointed out, it’s that it is just that- a Bob Gibson poster from a game at Forbes Field. Can you imagine if that was today? There would be at least one sponsor’s logo on the poster. Heck, this poster doesn’t even have Bob Gibson’s name on it. You’re just supposed to know it’s Bob Gibson.

2.

In addition to the balls they design, Bergino also makes specialty baseballs for companies or events. For example, the middle ball is for a kid’s bar mitzvah. As you can also see, there are mini-gloves that they also make. They are designed to be business card holders, but according to Jay, people get creative with their usage, e.g. as gloves for babies.

3. Jay wants Jackie Robinson to always have the strongest presence in the clubhouse- I don’t know how many pieces relate to Jackie Robinson on the “wall of baseball art”, but there are several, and here is one of them:

Another piece I photographed in the store relating to Jackie Robinson is this one:

4.

You may recognize this painting, but regardless, the story behind it could very well be more interesting. The artist is a French woman who came over to America. She had never seen baseball before, but she went with a friend to a Mets game, and although she had no clue what was going on, she loved the energy in the stadium. She then became a baseball fan, and now, she only paints about baseball (I think I got that last part right, but I may have one of those Andy Pettitte “misremembering” incidents).

Anyway, that’s it. I bought two hats; an Oakland A’s hat and a Bergino hat, and because I had told my schedule, and he knew I would be at 4 different stadiums this week, he gave me a bag tag for free that is on my backpack as I write this entry:

I then got a picture of Jay with the store before I left:

(Notice the TV in the corner. As far as I can tell, it is turned on constantly to MLB Network.)

That was it. It was a really great experience. It is a really great store for any baseball fan contrary to what you would think for a store that really isn’t that big. Again, I urge you to check the blog’s Facebook page, which can be accessed by clicking on the link in the sidebar over there —>. There are far more pictures, and as I always do with pictures that have an entry attached to them, I add a caption for almost every picture.

MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference 2012- Day 2

For those wondering why it took me so long to get this posted, last week (March 4th- 10th was National Procrastination Week), and I was… er… celebrating until this past Sunday. So anyway, here is the entry…

Ah, day 2. This conference couldn’t get any better, right? Well, it didn’t. It simply maintained its awesomeness from the first day, but before we delve into the events of the second day, here are some items I got on the first day that I would like to share. First, here is the ID I used to enter the convention center. It might look familiar to those of you who follow me on Twitter (If you don’t follow me on Twitter and would like to do so there is a button to do so over there —> It is near the top of the page):

Pretty self-explanatory, right?

At the door, in addition to giving us those spiffy IDs, we also got a “goodie bag” of sorts:

The lower right item is the bag all this other stuff came in. The labeled items going clockwise from the bag are: an ESPN the magazine you may recognize from my introductory entry to this conference, the “handbook” is really a book that explains everything about the conference. Mostly, it has all of the panels and bios of each of the participants, a list of all of the participants in the conference (about 2,200) sorted by organization, and finally, a mouse pad that is basically a square cut out of some thin plastic sheet ( I actually don’t know if it is a mouse pad, but I assume so with how it looks). The other two things are a metallic bottle and some book I still haven’t figured out the theme of.

So anyway, NOW let’s get to the action of the day. There was no common panel for everyone to watch this day. It was just “go directly from breakfast to your first session”. That first session for me was “Measuring Belief in Sports Performance Research”. Since it wasn’t Baseball-related, here are only a few of the slides:

Just to give you an idea of the “globality” of this conference, the talk was given by this guy, Peter Blanch:

Yeah, well he’s from Australia.

The next talk was sort of a spin-off of a talk I had heard the previous day in that Peter Fadde helped research for this company.

Anyway, it was “Training Above The Neck”. The company was Axon Performance and the talk was given by their vice-president, Jason Sada:

The idea of the company is to enact Malcolm Gladwell‘s idea of getting mastery of something with 10,000 hours of practice, but instead of having a player go on the field and wear down their body’s mileage and risk injury, the athletes master the mental aspect of the game through their products. An example of the mileage thing being the case is, for those who pay attention to football, Quarterbacks will almost always say after they’re retired that once they started figuring out the mental part of the game, their body started failing them. An example of the usage of these products is that Minor League Baseball Players, who have eons of time traveling on buses, could actually see 5,000 pitches and practice identifying the first 1/8th of a pitch’s flight instead of just being bored out of their mind. This really was a presentation meant to be experience and not read, so I actually won’t post any of the slides. For example, the presentation started off with a movie about the company.

Not to belittle the other sessions, but next was by far my favorite session of the day and quite possibly the conference. Actually, though, it wasn’t as easy a choice as you might have thought. Right up until the end of Axon Sports’ presentation, I still didn’t know whether I was going to either: Franchises In Transition, or Box Score Rebooted. Right at the end of the session I thought to myself, “Hey, doofus, what are you even debating? You are a stat-oriented Baseball fan. Go to Box Score Rebooted!” So not only did I go to that one, but it was boxed lunch time so I was able to out-race people and get in the first row of seats. Check out the view I had:

Mind you, this shot was taken with the camera zoomed all the way out.

You may be able to recognize one of the panelists, but let me introduce them all:

John Walsh (moderator):

- Executive Vice-President ESPN.

Bill James:

- I already introduced him in the previous day‘s entry.

Dean Oliver:

- Director of Production Analytics ESPN ( if you have seen TQBR in football used, he was part of the team that invented it).

John Dewan:

- The founder of STATS Inc.

John Thorn:

- Official Historian for MLB.

Trust me when I tell you they had some very interesting things they talked about, but unfortunately I don’t have my notes with me as I lent them to someone else who wanted to know about the conference. Like the Ron Shapiro video, I’ll tweet it out when I update the entry. However, here is a video if you want to watch the whole panel:

Also, here’s the panel I was thinking of going to. You can tell me if you think I made the right choice:

Next up was a session that I really didn’t expect, and it was disappointing as a result. It was a competition between business schools when I thought it was going to be a presentation or panel on business. So, I’ll show the competitors and that’s it.

Here are the three people from the first school I forgot the names of, even though they were sitting right next to me prior to, and during the competition:

University of Chicago Booth School, the eventual winners:

So anyway, after that it was time for “Building the Modern Athlete: Performance Analyitcs“. This panel was made up of:

Peter Keating (moderator):

- Senior Writer for ESPN the Magazine.

Mark Verstegen:

- CEO of Athlete’s Performance.

John Brenkus:

- Co-Founder of BASE Productions.

Mike McCann:

- Legal Analyst for Sports Illustrated.

Kevin Pritchard:

- Director of Player Personnel for the Indiana Pacers.

Angela Ruggiero:

- Four-time Olympic Ice Hockey Medalist.

This panel really didn’t talk a bout Baseball at all, so I’ll refrain from writing about the content of it.

The next panel I went to was entitled, “Fanalytics“. It was either that or “Fantasy Sports Analytics”. The deciding factor was that the former was held in the Ballroom, so I would have an easier time finding a good seat for the closing ceremonies. So, I left the previous session a tad early and managed to grab a seat in the section directly in front of the stage. Unfortunately, it was towards the back so all of my pictures were taken through the heads of people in front of me and some of the “good” pictures were ruined as a result, but anyway, here are the panelists:

Bill Simmons (moderator):

- Writer for ESPN. Listed, though, as the editor-in-cheif for Grantland, which is that mysterious book in the middle of the second picture of the entry.

Jonathan Kraft:

- President of the Kraft Group.

John Walsh:

- I already introduced him in this entry.

Nathan Hubbard:

- CEO of Ticketmaster.

Tim Brosnan:

- Executive Vice President of Business for MLB.

It really wasn’t a Baseball panel per say, but I think its better moment came from the Baseball related banter going on between Bill Simmons and Tim Brosnan. For example, Bill complaining about the fact that you can’t watch Baseball clips on Youtube and then Tim responding to it. If I ever get around to posting the footage I have of this panel, I’ll tweet it that the entry has been edited, but it’s pretty crumby because of all the people’s heads I had to constantly move my camera out of the way of. So if you want to watch it just for the entertainment value of that (and it was entertaining to those of us present), here is the video if you want to watch:

Next up was the First Annual Alpha Awards, which were awards in the field of analytics made for the conference. There were a bunch of them, so I’ll just highlight the most notable ones.

First (I believe), was Bill James winning the “Lifetime Achievement” Award. Here is a video I took of the occasion. I apologize for the blurriness, I had a telephoto lens all the way zoomed-in, so I wasn’t exactly close, and the camera was feeling heavy at this point:

Next was the Tampa Bay Rays winning the prize for best-run organization (this being in terms of analytics, of course):

The last notable award was for the University of Chicago Booth school winning the business competition I was at earlier:

I really have no idea whether those events actually took place in the order I presented them, but I do know that after the awards, there was a “Live B.S. Report” with Mark Cuban.

First of all, it was a completely non-baseball “session”, so I won’t share anything besides the pictures, but it was a unique situation that I want to describe in that this was Mark Cuban’s only session of the conference (it was the last session of the conference period). Even though he was supposed to be there the whole weekend. So he basically flew out from wherever just for this session. The only other panel I attended he should have been in was the “Fanalytics” panel. So, here are the pictures:

After the BS Report itself ended, Cuban and Simmons got mobbed on the stage by all of the MIT students who organized the event and personally thanked/ shook the hand of each one of them. If you are a Basketball or aspiring Sports Business person, it may be a session to listen to as both involved are “personalities”. So for those of you who do want to take a look/listen, here is the video:

They were then nice enough to pose for me to take a picture. Don’t let their eyes fool you, the whole set-up was for me:

Oh and when I say “mobbed” it’s not that much of a stretch. The stage was pretty small and there were a lot of people. This next picture is just me moving the camera to the left to show all of the people outside of the shot, and that’s not including the people out-of-frame to the right:

…and that was your conference. I went out in the halls to film a video you will probably never see and went back to my hotel room already planning to comeback next year.

So obviously, I extremely recommend this conference if you are really into sports and live in the North-eastern region of the United States. Even if you don’t, it might be worth it. It was just THAT amazing for me.

Lastly, there may be a few more entries regarding this conference coming up, so if you’re waiting for the rest of the “Offseason Recap and Preview” entries, bear with me. I wanted to keep writing them all the way up until the beginning of the season and this conference provided the perfect excuse to do so. I will actually be doing an in-school internship involving this blog, so expect entries done during the month of April to be a tad more developed along with me experimenting with a few things. Also, if you want to check out the video page, here, is the link. They used some of my pictures as the shots for the videos. See how many you can pick out that are my pictures from these two entries.

P.S. I really didn’t want that to be the last word, just because the conference was so awesome so here are the final word: What a way to spend two days.

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