New Year’s Resolutions 2012

Last year, I wrote an entry pertaining to my balhawking goals for the New Year of 2011. That, in my opinion, is one of the great things about Baseball: you always know what season the person is referring to. In all of the three other Major Sports, the season begins one year, and the champion is crowned the next year. Anyway…Getting back on subject, I just put down certain goals I hoped to achieve for that following season. For the record, I managed to accomplish 4.5 of these goals…including the Partridge in a Pear Tree addition at the end.

I enjoyed writing these and using them as a metric to keep track of myself. So, I decided to do another entry of the same idea this year. Here are my goals for 2012:

1. Go to 50 games- I went to 46 games this past season. How I see it, I should be able to make 50, because I will not have to be my school’s baseball manager come September. True, I will be moving in/adjusting to college life, but that doesn’t mean I can’t go to games in September. Just a note to put in here, I may be taking a trip with my family in the summer, and this would take off 1-2 weeks from my Baseball schedule, but I still think I can make this back in September.

2. Average 4.5 Balls Per Game- This may seem a bit ambitious given last year’s average of 3.5, but I would like to point out that my Season High average was 4.48. Also, my average the season prior was 2.56. So if I improve one Ball Per Game like I did last year I should achieve my goal. The only bump in the road is that my first baseball trip boosted my average an incredible amount and I am only going on a trip with tough stadium (snagging wise) on the list.

3. Go to 8 Stadiums- I have the benefit of having 2 stadiums right in my hometown and having a secondary residence in Washington DC. So that’s 3 stadiums right there. I also have a 3 Stadium trip in the works for 2012. It would be: Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia, not necessarily in that order, sometime in June. There will almost certainly will not be a second baseball trip because of the trip with family I mentioned in goal #1.

4a. Double my career total- I have snagged 222 Baseballs to this day. Doubling my career total would be having 444 total Baseballs after the 2012 season. If I got to 50 games like I have as a goal and average 4.5 BPG, I will reach this goal, but i have to reach both goals in order to do this so…

4b. Snag 200 Baseballs- I am not so sure I can average 4.5 BPG. So if I can’t double my career total, I want to at least snag 200 Baseballs.

5. Catch one Game Home Run. Period.- The fact that I went to 46 games last year and failed to catch a single Home Run ball, to me at least, is pathetic. I have had many, many…many close calls, but I NEED to seal the deal and become part of the Baseball game. Sure a Foul Ball is nice, but the only impact that has on the game is that the batter has one more strike on him, a Home Run directly impacts the score of the game.

6. Catch 5 Game Balls total- I know I put this on last year’s list and I only got 2. However, this season I think I will just stop going down by the dugouts period and only sit in places where I have a chance at a Game Ball (except for Yankee Stadium where I can’t afford a ticket in the third deck of the Stadium.

7. Be in the Top 10- To get in this year’s “Top 10” one would have needed 214 Baseballs. This will be one of my tougher goals if that number hovers in the same number. I predict/really, really hope it comes down, but that will still take a lot of work and determination/preparation.

8. Go to 10 games at Nationals Park before June’s end- This one might be tough because I have school until May and then a baseball trip planned for June. The rationale behind it is that I really have high-ish expectations for the Nationals attendance next season once Bryce Harper comes up. If he comes up from Spring Training then this goal is void, but I want to soak up the glory still left in that stadium while he is in MiLB.

9. Average 5.0 Balls Per Game at Nationals Park- Even with Mother Nature doing her best to hinder me every time I went to Nationals Park, I still have managed to post a 4.83 BPG average for my career there. Sure the crowd’s will be a bit bigger in 2012, but I hope the simple fact of having Batting Practice will compensate for this.

10. Average 3.5 Balls Per Game at Citi Field- My career average there is 2.57, but there are also some renovations being done to the Outfield walls (which I will probably blog about once the season nears closer), because the ballhawks there complained the walls were too far. No, just kidding, I wish they held us to one one thousandth of that regard. However, a bi-product of the walls being moved in is that it will be easier to snag hit balls in Left Field and moderately plausible in Right Field. Before, one would have to got to Right Field solely to get a ball thrown to them, because there was about a window of two inches where a non-line-drive Home Run could possibly reach. Now, it will not be easy by any stretch of the imagination to get a ball hit, because of the incline of the seats, but it is at least a semi-viable option when the Left Field seats are too crowded.

11. Average 2.5 BPG at Yankee Stadium- I can see myself reasonably accomplishing this goal, because I know that there is a way to catch Baseballs at this stadium. The only thing is that I think I will be too scared to go to Yankee Stadium most of the time, because it is a shut-out waiting to happen. I think I will have to just resort to buying bleacher tickets and hoping for the best. This stadium/environment is one made for catching the Hit Ball, but this just so happens to be one of my weaker attributes, which segues perfectly into my next goal of…

12. Improve on my HB/TB ratio- I think I focus too much on the strategy of getting players to throw me a baseball. I think I should just try and focus on the Hit Ball more, because this will also help of my Game Ball oriented goals earlier in this entry. Besides this, I still think it is pathetic how bad I am at catching Hit Balls.

13. Go to Camden Yards 3 times- Maybe it was because I went down there for Ballhawk Fest, but even in the near Saharan conditions, it was one of the best environments I have ever been to and it just, I don’t know, was relaxing. It is a place I think I should go more just to appreciate ballhawking and Baseball more. It is almost the polar opposite of Citi Field. Which brings me to my next point of…

14. Enjoy the summer of Baseball- There are not many people that can go to 50 games a year in six different seasons. Last year I was constantly being stressed out by what wasn’t happening: How much more Citi Field security was cracking down on ballhawks, the time I didn’t have in the day because of community service, how many partial batting practices I had rained out in Washington, etc. I just need to remember that this whole experience is for FUN and I need to enjoy it no matter how many things I need to do at once. I can worry about the other problems separately, but baseball problems should be cherished because that mean I’m still going to baseball GAMES.

15. Post Entries Regularly- This will be a little easier this year, because I won’t have my community service 9am-3:30pm taking up a big chunk of my day. However, it is still hard because of the reasons mentioned in last year’s entry.

One last thing, I just hope this year’s resolutions don’t come with a revision like they did last year.


  1. Pingback: Junior Ballhawk of the Year « Observing Baseball
  2. Mateo Fischer

    Well hey, Alex. Good to see you on here and hear from you this time of the year,

    I can see where you’re coming from in that ballhawking is definitely growing, or at least the number of people joining mygameballs, and rational thinking would probably lead me to the same conclusion as you, but I just have a feeling that it will go down or stay within 5 balls of where it is now. In 2010, the number to get in was 137, and yeah, 2011 did see a growth in membership, but there are a lot of people who went to a lot of games in the top 10 last season. I’m not saying that ballhawking is that physically rigorous, but I think we’ll have 2-3 people on this year’s top 10 not make it again this year, at the least. So unless there are 2-3 ballhawks that step-up to replace their numbers, I think the #10 spot will have a lower total than in the past year. I wish you the best of luck in getting to as many games as you can, getting a job, and not getting completely screwed over when Bryce Harper does make Nationals. Unless, or course, your days of being a regular there are over now that you’ll be out of UMD.

    Thanks for commenting,

  3. Alex Kopp

    Hey Mateo,

    I just wanted to quickly comment on goal #7 for the 2012 season. I’m pretty sure that 214 is only going up. I’d predict to be in the top 10 this coming season it’ll take 250 baseballs. I don’t think I’ll be able to do this unfortunately. This summer will be my first year out of college and I need to get a real job hindering the number of batting practices I can make it to haha. Anyway, I hope you reach all your goals and I look forward to running into this coming season.

    -Alex Kopp

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