With Twinsfest moving from its usual home at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome–which was getting demolished as Twinsfest took place–to Target Field, there obviously needed to be a restructuring of the Twinsfest to be able to hold it indoors away from the Minnesota cold. Thus, one of my projects coming into Twinsfest was to document this new set-up for anyone who was curious about how everything was crammed into Target Field.
There were three levels to the new Twinsfest set-up–with their elevator floors next to them:
3. Suite Level.
2. Club Level.
0. Main Concourse (Only used as an entrance to and exit from Twinsfest. Nothing was actually held there.)
-2. Service Level.
The first day of Twinsfest, I went with Paul Kom, and my college friend Tony Blustein. That day, Paul and I filmed two of the levels. One for each of our channels/blogs and featured each other in them. The next day I went with another college friend who you may more readily recognize, Jonathan, and I did the final level.
Now here from the top level down, are the tours of the floors of Twinsfest:
I do have more footage I have to edit that I filmed at Twinsfest. That will be the next entry where I interviewed two people about there experiences at Twinsfest (first video) and then a three-day vlog of my time at Twinsfest (second video). But until then, keep voting for what you want to see on the blog after that in this poll and leave comments for what concepts you would the new blog icon:
While I’ve always kind of known which teams I like and which I don’t–although even those have changed throughout the years–I truly have never ranked the teams 1-30 as to which I like better than others. So that’s what I’m going to do right now. (Disclaimer: This is a list of how I order the teams in the offseason of 2013-14. While most of my decision in where to put a team in the rankings is based off of the franchise itself, some of it is based on who is on the team right now, so these rankings are subject to change over time.)
1. Minnesota Twins-
My story with the Twins is that I grew up a Yankees fan being from New York, but being that I look at things from a GM’s perspective, I thought that being Brian Cashman and having a $200-million payroll would be a pretty boring job creatively since he could essentially buy any player he wanted to. In thinking this, I thought of a team who had success but doing so with a reduced payroll that required teams to build their team in an innovative way on a much smaller budget. Being as it was the mid-2000s, the Twins was a natural choice seeing as they were a constant playoff team with one of the lowest budgets in baseball. Now don’t get me wrong; there’s a different challenge in being the GM of the Yankees: you’re never allowed to take a year off having success to rebuild your core/farm system, but I was entranced by the building of a successful major league team from a solid minor league core.
2. Washington Nationals-
In going to a ton of games at Nationals Park in 2011 I fell in love with the core of players that went 80-81 as well as the people who inhabited it. Ever since then, I have been a really big fan of the players that made up the core of the teams in the next two years. And because of me falling in love with the Nationals Park environment for whatever reason as well as the people who made it such a special place, I became a fan of the franchise as a whole.
3. Tampa Bay Rays-
Much like the Twins, the Rays endeared themselves to me by being a team that built their team intelligently–allowing them to achieve repeated success on a payroll that can’t compare to that of a larger market team.
4. San Francisco Giants-
The Giants is an interesting case because it started as simply a liking of a specific player: Tim Lincecum. However, as I kept up with Lincecum more and more as he began to turn from the Washington kid who could pitch insanely fast for his size to a household name, I grew to have a liking fro the other players on the Giants as well. I think having shared a hotel with the players in Milwaukee and having a mini-conversation with a couple of them as well as having a personal memory of what Brian Wilson was like pre-beard may have contributed to this connection to the team, though.
5. Texas Rangers-
I truly have no idea how the Rangers managed to climb my list so high. I used to not really be a fan of them in their team with the two Rodriguezes, but as they turned towards a team that relied more on pitching *in addition to* the offense the Rangers always seemed to have, I really liked the teams that they constructed around 2009-10.
6. New York Yankees-
While they have fallen down my list and I hate the franchise past the team itself, they still are my childhood team that I can’t help to root for.
7. Philadelphia Phillies-
While it was not the beginning of my fandom of them, this certainly sealed it for me. They’d be higher on the list for me, but Phillies fans.
8. Toronto Blue Jays-
Part of me always sympathized with our neighbors to the north. Even when the Expos were still a team, I liked the Blue Jays a lot and always secretly as a Yankee fan hoped they would surge up and break the norm of the AL East standings for a while in the early 2000s–which was:
2. Red Sox
3. Blue Jays
5. Devil Rays
I just really always wanted them to have success, and this translated to a fandom of the team when they played teams that weren’t my top-of-the-line favorite teams.
9. Milwaukee Brewers-
My liking of the Brewers began in around 2008 when CC Sabathia joined the team for half a season and did amazing with being in attendance for what should have been a no-hitter, (I might write about this/do a video for a “Blast From the Baseball Past” entry) but then I just had a fandom for the Fielder and Braun teams. My fandom for the team, though, has lessened the past couple of years for obvious reasons regarding one or more of the aforementioned players.
10. Oakland Athletics-
(See Tampa Rays.)
11. Cincinnati Reds-
I think this is kind of a fusion of many of the various teams I have talked about to this point. So in part it’s like the Rays where I liked that a solid major league team was built from the pooling of major league talent, but it is also a lot like the Giants since I really like Joey Votto as a player.
12. Atlanta Braves-
I think this is Nationals-esque in that I loved Turner Field and its atmosphere. I also liked the core and became much more of a fan because of people I have met that are passionate about the Braves. And I can say that the fact that Julio Teheran plays for them doesn’t hurt them at all.
13. Arizona Diamondbacks-
This is one of the teams that I honestly don’t know why I like more than most teams. I’ve just always liked Diamondbacks teams (after the 2001 season, that is.) Yeah, I don’t know.
14. Seattle Mariners-
This has been mostly the product of running into very nice baseball people who are fans of the Mariners. I’m also a fan of how good of a pitching team they have been despite being offensively anemic the past seasons.
15. Baltimore Orioles-
Similarly to the Mariners, I just know a ton of awesome baseball people that are Orioles fans. In addition to that, their stadium is my favorite in baseball. I would say that really the only reason they’re this far down the list is that some Orioles fans became obnoxious as they began to climb out of the AL East cellar.
16. Detroit Tigers-
I know that I’m supposed to hate the Tigers as a Twins fan, but the fact that we beat them in the game 163 we played them helps and I always admired the teams that had success more than most of the teams I am supposed to dislike.
17. Pittsburgh Pirater-
I can pretty safely say that if I weren’t a ballhawk, this team would be lower on the list, but because of the big ballhawk following in Pittsburgh, I have kept up and liked the Pirates and it was incredibly fun watching them have success for the first time in over two decades last season.
18. Miami Marlins-
Ah the Marlins. Those poor souls. I always had an affinity for them especially teams with the 30+ homer infields of Uggla, Ramirez, Cantu, and Jacobs. That said, Jeffrey Loria has made this a team that I can’t root for over half of the other teams. They remain a team that I’m intrigued by and want to root for, and they would skyrocket up this list if Loria ever sold them and kept them in Miami, but right now they’re just not a team I can really get behind.
19. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-
I don’t know about this team. I want to like them in many respects, but they lost me when they started spending a bajillion dollars on free agents, trading for Vernon Wells, and then having success with not with their big free agent acquisitions but with the farm talent they had beforehand.
20. Colorado Rockies-
The Rockies are one of those teams I have a preference towards, but still in a kind of “eh” way. I’ve never disliked them really, but I’ve never really had any passion behind my support of them.
21. San Diego Padres-
I used to like them a lot more in the Trevor Hoffman era, but they’ve dropped a bit since then not necessarily because their lack of success but the players behind these teams. They just haven’t been groups of guys that I’d like to get behind.
22. Cleveland Indians-
Again, never disliked them but never really liked them.
23. Houston Astros-
I actually like the group of people in this team and could see myself liking a lot in the years to come. That said, they have made some pretty bad decisions in the past and it was not a shock that they were as bad of a team as they have been.
24. Kansas City Royals-
I actually like this franchise in terms of their ballpark and look, but then there are the people behind the scenes that ruin this team for me. At the ballpark, I have not heard many positive things about their ushers, and behind the franchise, I disagree on many things with the GM of the team, Dayton Moore. I think that the team could have been competing a long time ago had it not been for his guidance.
25. St. Louis Cardinals-
The main reason for them being this far down the list is the fact that their fans claim incorrectly that they are definitely the “best fans in baseball.” While I don’t think there is a no-doubt group of the best fans in baseball, if my experience with Cardinals fans in baseball has taught me anything, it is that while the Cardinals fan base may be in the top-10, they are definitely not the no-doubt best fans in baseball they claim to be.
26. Chicago White Sox-
I was a fan of the 2005 Astros and 2008 Twins. Enough said.
27. New York Mets-
They’re the Mets. I don’t know how many things I have admired about the Mets the past five years. If it’s any indication, the rendition of “Meet the Mets” that I have adopted begins:
Beat the Mets,
Beat the Mets,
Step right up and,
Sweep the Mets
28. Los Angeles Dodgers-
While I have kind of liked the players on the Dodgers for stretches, their recent acquisition by the Kasten-Johnson group and metamorphosis into baseball’s new Yankees has really turned me off to them. I have disliked them sans Vin Scully for a much longer time than just that, but that’s the most recent thing that provides a rational reason for disliking them.
29. Chicago Cubs-
I have never had any appeal to the Cubs, and I’m not particularly found of how Cubs fans overreact to prospects as well as how in-your-face Cubs fans I have interacted with have been about the most minor successes. Granted, it’s a conditioning that has come with being the fan of a team who last won a World Series when one’s great-grandparents were your age.
30. Boston Red Sox-
This is partially because I grew up a fan of the Yankees, but I also do like their stadium and the atmosphere of it. However, I can’t get over the attitude of their owner John Henry that many fans have adopted without realizing the absurdity of it of that the Yankees have a ridiculous advantage in terms of having a humongous payroll. The reason this argument infuriates me is because for the longest time, there was a gigantic gap in payroll between the Red Sox and the third largest payroll. Thus it was the rich crying poor in order to gain sympathy. The second reason is because the Steinbrenner family is actually a middle-of-the-pack ownership group in terms of wealth. The reason they invest so much money into the team is because they value winning. Therefore, if John Henry truly wanted to win, he could spend the extra money and win. The problem is that if he didn’t win with this extra money invested, he would be losing money. However, George Steinbrenner was taking the same risk when he invested his extra money; it was just that Steinbrenner’s Yankees did win every season and could thus keep spending. So what Henry did by calling out Steinbrenner and the Yankees was criticized him/them for doing what he didn’t have the guts to do with the Red Sox in order to give his fans the winning such a great fan base deserved. However, being the fans that they were, many Red Sox fans backed their owner without truly understanding what was behind these claims.
So those were my favorite teams. I am by no means “right” in any of my judgements. Picking a favorite team–or in my case *teams*–is something of complete subjectivity and can be done for any number of reasons. Also, the next entry is me making a new Observing Baseball Logo. I would actually like to make a clarification. So it’s actually not the logo itself–this:
But it would actually be me remaking the icon itself, which is this:
But besides that, keep voting for your favorite entries. I should mention that I’ll be doing various entries for Twinsfest, but you can vote for the stuff you want to see besides this on the poll below:
First of all, sorry to everyone who is waiting for me to get caught up with the Observing Baseball Trivia leader board. I’ve been in New York doing something at all hours. I’ll get on that once I am out of New York and given some free time to work with.
Now, it is the new year, and that usually means that I make resolutions/goals for what I want to accomplish in the following year. But considering the fact that I checked my goals from last year yesterday for the first time in 11 months and saw how brutal my sticking to them was, I’m going to pass of on making a ton of them this year. Now the success rate for new year’s resolutions is about 12%, and I’m glad to say I passed that, but that’s also because I did a bunch without really thinking about them all year.
Anyway, I find myself in the very peculiar position of not really being sure what I’m going to be doing for the next year of my life (besides school). I mean I’m most likely going to be doing some sort of job-type thing to work towards my eventual career goal of being a general manager, but I’m not entirely sure what that’ll be. So I have no clue whether or if so how much I’ll be ballhawking. While it might’ve seemed terrifying to me a while ago, it actually is really freeing to me right now. A by-product of this, however, is that I can’t really make specific goals like last year. I also found out that the more resolutions I make, the harder it is to keep them. So what I’m going to do is fashion a list of all of my favorite ones from last year’s list and ones I thought of in thinking of good goals for the coming year.
- Go to a new stadium-With 2013 came another year I didn’t visit a new stadium.
- Write more mygamballs.com columns than last year- For the record, three.
- Do my previously-planned ballhawking videos- Highlight video, and an all-video ballhawking entry–even if it’s not mine.
- Meet internet people- Because face-to-face is where it’s at.
Since I still don’t plan on using Facebook that much, I’m going to use this as a sort of wildcard slot.
- Make whatever content creation I do in 2014 a more collaborative effort- It keeps things fresh, exposes people to new things, and to continue doing things on my own is to say that I am the best at what I do in all aspects of it, which is definitely not the case.
Another wild card here.
- Keep making content and being creative about it–even if that means straying from baseball-related topics-It can be hard with school and things, but I do love creating stuff, and hopefully I can get better at doing it by continuing to create things but in different ways.
- Just keep doing it- The top viners are alive and well, but it feels like with an increase in the revine culture, smaller people are being left out. I want to keep that culture alive and well if only in my own small way.
And now, with it being the new year, here is my 2013 WordPress statistical report. It isn’t as traditionally successful as last year’s, but I also think I was a lot better about content creation last year:
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 28,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Even though it has been technically 2014 for over 24 hours now, I may do one more year-end related thing. Either that or I’ll go on to the next entry in my winter writing ideas. That said, keep voting for the things you want to see this winter:
1. Harrison Tishler-28.5
2.Quinn Imiola- 24.5
3. Nick Badders- 10.5
T-5. Paul Kom- 4
T-5. Maddie Landis- 3
7. Robbie Sacunas- 1.5
T-8. Tony Voda- 1
T-8. Brendan Weingarten-1
T-8. Anne Badders-1
T-8. Todd Cook-1
T-8. Max- 1
T-8. Tim Anderson- 1
T-8. David Imiola- 1
T-8. Jonathan Mueller- 1
- Historical Baseball Stuff- 0
- Contemporary Baseball Stuff- 5
- Ballpark Trivia- 9
- Ballhawk Stats- 5
- Name That Ballpark- 3
- Trivia about the blog itself- 7
- Moments in Observing Baseball History- 8
Observing Baseball Trivia. You may or may not remember it from last year, but regardless, there are a couple of rule changes; so I’m going to go over the updated rules as a whole:
- 100 Questions total
- These questions are divided as follows:
- Historical Baseball Stuff- 10
- Contemporary Baseball Stuff- 10
- Ballpark Trivia- 25
- Ballhawk Stats- 10
- Name That Ballpark- 15
- Trivia about the blog itself- 15
- Moments in Observing Baseball History- 15
- These questions can be asked anytime between when this entry is first published and 11:59 December 28th except for the 24 hours of December 25th; there will be a maximum of one question asked during this period. However, the question will be posted ON the hour or half-hour, so you only need to check around those two times and not in between.
- Questioned will be a combination of multiple choice and short answer. Whether a question is to be answered by multiple choice or short answer varies completely arbitrarily from question to question.
- With every four questions, one will be on the blog, one will be on the Twitter account, one will be on the Facebook page, and one on the Instagram profile. However, they will not necessarily be on those sites in that order.
- The first person to answer the question correctly by *MY* time stamp gets the point for the question.
- Each contestant only gets one guess per question. After you have answered the question once, you may not be accredited with getting the question right on any subsequent attempts.
- However, the questions, if unanswered, remain open to be answered correctly until all 100 are answered. The contest does not officially end until all 100 questions are correctly answered, or enough are answered to conclusively call a winner.
- Label all answers with the question number followed by the answer you are submitting. Answers without question numbers attached will not be accepted as submissions.
- To answer the question, reply *on the medium the question was asked. So if the question is on here, Instagram, or Facebook leave a comment on the post with the question in it in order to answer the question. If the question is on Twitter, reply to my tweet that I asked the question in with the answer to said question in your tweet.
- When replying on Twitter, try to use the hashtag #OBTrivia in the tweets regarding this contest to help me see your answers and other stuff regarding the contest.
- After the questions on the other sites are answered, I will put them on here with the correct answer bolded.
- Players will be competing for their spot in choosing from the following prizes. So, the winner gets first choice; second place gets second choice, etc.
- Contestants must have five points in order to qualify for a prize.
Here are the prizes to choose from:
1. Josh Willingham Bobblehead
2. Ball signed by over ten Minnesota Twins players and prospects
3. John Franco Bobblehead
4. (Slightly-faded) Craig Kribrel autographed baseball
5. Mets and Nationals W.B. Mason Collectible Trucks
6. Edinson Volquez autographed ball
7. Two Baseball Trivia Books
8. Your choice of Ice Cream Helmet
Once questions have been answered I’ll put a leaderboard at the beginning of the entry, but with all this said, let’s get to the contest:
What day did I write my first ever entry on Observing Baseball? (You can format the date however you want, but I need the exact date and year in the answer.)
October, 13, 2010 (Answered by: Nick Badders)
2. (on Twitter)
Before Barry Zito, who was the last A’s Cy Young winner?
A) Vida Blue
B) Dennis Eckersley (Answered by: Nick Badders)
C) Catfish Hunter
D) Bob Welch
Name that Ballpark!
Target Field (Answered by: Tony Voda)
4. (on Facebook)
What is the name of the hill in Minute Maid Park?
A. Greene’s Hill
B. Tal’s Hill (Answered by: Larry)
C. Pieta Hill
D. Enron Hill
5. (on Twitter)
Where is the flag pole at Target Field originally from?
B. Metropolitan Stadium(Answered by: Brendan Weingarten)
C. Griffith Stadium
D. 35-W Bridge
6. (on Facebook)
Which of the following ballhawks was undefeated in head-to-head, season-long match-ups in 2013?
A. Erik Jabs
B. Zack Hample
C. Greg Barasch (Answered by: Anne Badders)
D. Rocco Sinisi
7. (on Instagram)
Who is the MLB’s active AVG leader?
Joe Mauer (Answered by: Larry)
What day did I snag my 500th career baseball?
May, 13, 2013 (Answered by: Larry)
9. (on Facebook)
Which of the following stadiums does not have a standing room section in the outfield?
A. Target Field
B. Oriole Park at Camden Yards
C. Progressive Field
D. Citizens Bank Park
None of the above (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
10. (on Instagram)
What series of entries was this photo used in?
Ballhawk Profiles (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
11. (on Twitter)
Which future manager led the Dodgers with a .364 average in the 1916 World Series?
Casey Stengel (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
What game did Tommy Hunter personalize a signed baseball for me and what was the reason?
May 10, 2013, because I got hit in the knee with a line-drive. (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
What was the last year a non-Tiger won the AL MVP?
2010 (Josh Hamilton) (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
Which MLB stadium had the lowest Balls Per Game average in 2013?
A. Oakland Colliseum (Answered by: Nick Badders)
B. Rogers Centre
C. Wrigley Field
D. Citi Field
15. (on Instagram)
Name that ballpark!
Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
16. (on Facebook)
Who came in first place during last year’s Observing Baseball Trivia?
Nick Badders (Answered by: Harrsion Tishler, ironically.)
17. (on Facebook)
Which Cinncinati Reds player won the MVP more than once?
A. Barry Larkin
B. Pete Rose
C. George Foster
D. Johnny Bench (Answered by: Larry)
18. (on Twitter)
Which of the following doesn’t have a giant poster at Nationals Park?
A. Ian Desmond
B. Jayson Werth
C. Stephen Strasburg
D. Gio Gonzalez (Answered by: Nick Badders)
19. How many more games does Zack Hample have until he gets to 1,000 consecutive games with at least one ball snagged?
34 (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
20. (on Instagram)
Name that ballpark!
US Cellular Field (Answered by: Larry)
21. (on Instagram)
What MLB statistical category did these men lead in 2013, and what was significant about that category this year?
Hits, which was significant because no one in MLB got over 200 hits fro the first time since 1995. (Answered by: Harrison Tishler and Nick Badders.)
22. (on Twitter)
Where did I snag my 100th career ball?
A. Citi Field
B. Nationals Park
C. AT&T Park
D. Tropicana Field (Answered by: Nick Badders)
23. (on Facebook)
What role did I have with my high school baseball team when I began the blog?
B. Student Reporter for the high school newspaper
C. Student Manager (Answered by: Nick Badders)
D. Video Production Assistant
How many ballhawks snagged 100 baseballs or more in 2013?
C. 21 (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
What pitcher began his big-league career with 25 consecutive shutout innings?
A. Ed Siever
B. Babe Ruth
C. Nick Altrock
D. George McQuillan (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
26-33. (on Facebook)
Name the members of the 600 HR club.
Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Alex Rodriguez, Jim Thome, Willie Mays, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr. (Answered all by: Quinn Imiola)
34. (on Instagram)
Name That Ballpark!
Citi Field (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
How many MVP awards did Ken Griffey Jr. win in his career?
There are two answers, technically. He won one AL MVP, but won an All-Star MVP also. (Answered by: Nick Badders, Max, and Todd Cook)
In what was the date of the first game of Fenway Park’s existence played, and which stadium did it share this date with?
April, 20, 1912 and Tigers Stadium (Answered by: Quinn Imiola and Harrison Tishler)
37. (on Instagram)
What was the promotion on the day I attended this stadium with Avi Miller?
Manny Machado Garden Gnome (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
Who hit my only home run snag?
A. Chris Young
B. Trevor Plouffe (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
C. Sean Burroughs
D. Jay Bruce
39. (on Twitter)
Which pitcher has the most wins since the start of the 2000 season?
C.C. Sabathia (Answered by: Tim Anderson)
What is the area in right field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards known as by ballhawks?
A. Boog’s Palace
B. Flag Court (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
C. Warehouse District
D. Crush City
41. (on Instagram)
Name That Ballpark!
Turner Field (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
42. (on Twitter)
Who hit my first ever baseball snag?
A. David Justice
B. Jason Giambi
C. Mike Piazza
D. Chuck Knoblauch (Answered by: Robbie Sacunas)
What are the single-season records for most double-digit ball games and Balls Per Game average?
49 and 9.50 (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
How many different stadiums have I snagged milestone baseballs (100, 200, 300, etc) at?
C. 5 (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
Name That Ballpark!
Nationals Park (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
What MLB stadium claims it is the home of “the wave”
A. Oakland Coliseum (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
B. AT&T Park
C. Yankee Stadium
D. Marlins Park
If you even thought about D, I don’t think we can be friends anymore.
What was the first season a ballhawk surpassed 500 baseballs in a season?
2008 (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
48. (on Instagram)
Name That Ballpark!
Tropicana Field (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
What comes out of a hat every time the Mets hit a home run at home?
B. Mr. Met (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
How many seasons of baseball were played at the old Yankee Stadium?
83 (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
What statistics did I write about in “Sabermetrics: The Explanation?”
Ultimate Zone Rating
Ratios per innings pitched
Defense independent or Park independent statistics
(Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
52. (on Twitter)
Which pitchers did I write about in “Pitching Aces in the Playoffs?”
Cliff Lee, Christopher John Wilson, CC Sabathia, Andy Pettite, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
53. (on Instagram)
Where was the counter for Cal Ripken Jr. as he approached Lou Gherig’s consecutive game streak in OPaCY, and what was the number that broke the record?
2131; on the warehouse. (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
54. (on Twitter)
How many names has the stadium known once as Dolphins Stadium had?
Sun Life Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, Pro Player Park, Land Shark Stadium, Joe Robbie Stadium (Answered by: Maddie Landis)
Where did I snag my first ever baseball? (Be specific.)
Old Yankee Stadium (Answered by: Larry)
What was the date of the first rainout I documented on the blog?
May, 17, 2011 (Answered by: Paul Kom)
57. (on Twitter)
Which one of the following did not meet Mike Trout on 7/24/11?
A. Zack Hample
B. Garrett Meyer
C. Tim Anderson (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
D. Ben Weil
58. (on Facebook)
What was the first season the Dodgers played in Los Angeles at LA Memorial Coliseum?
A. 1958 (Answered by: Nick Badders)
59. (on Instagram)
How many baseballs did I snag with the glove trick during the game in which this picture was taken?
2 (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
What ballpark did I compare Nationals Park to the first time I blogged about it?
Citi Field (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
61. (on Twitter)
Where can one find a pool?
A. Citi Field
B. AT&T Park
C. Chase Field (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
D. None of the Above
62. (on Instagram)
Name That Ballpark!
Citi Field (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
63. (on Facebook)
Where did I catch my first foul ball on the fly, and who was I with the game I did so?
Turner Field with my mom (Answered by: David Imiola)
Which of the following did I not think I could snag my 100th ball at?
A. Citi Field (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
B. Nationals Park
C. AT&T Park
D. Tropicana Field
65. (on Facebook)
Whose home run did I feel I should have snagged in my first game at Sun Life Stadium?
Mike Stanton (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
66. (on Twitter)
What game did I meet Paul Kom and Tony Voda at?
August, 28, 2012 Mariners vs. Twins (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
67. (on Instagram)
What time do all of Nationals Park’s gates open?
1.5 hours before gametime (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
The two “D” logos that the Tigers use were defined as what by Todd Cook? (The __ D and the ___ D)
Hat D and Jersey D (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
69. (on Instagram)
What does the position of the golden glove symbolize in term of Twins history?
The distance of Harmon Killebrew’s longest home run in franchise history. (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
70. (on Twitter)
What was the date of my first game at Target Field, and what other “first” happened that day for me?
8/9/11 and I got shutout (Answered by: Paul Kom)
71. (on Facebook)
What gate did I wait at in the first game I wrote about on Observing Baseball? And why did I go there? (include stadium.
New Yankee Stadium Gate 8 (centerfield gate) and because I wanted to avoid the crowd (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
What was the name of my friend who accompanied me for the game during which I snagged my first and only home run?
Jonathan (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
73. (on Twitter)
What was a giant factor in me getting my only 11-baseball game at Target Field?
I got in early because of Tony Voda (Answered by: Paul Kom)
74. (on Facebook)
What game did I get my 200th ball at Target Field at?
September, 29, 2013 Indians at Twins (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
75. (on Instagram)
Name That Ballpark!
RFK Stadium (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
Who did I tie in head-to-head match-ups in 2013?
A. Greg Barasch
B. Tony Voda (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
C. Paul Kom
D. Erik Jabs
77. (on Instagram)
What problem did I run into at the gate of this game?
The Mets had changed their gate times (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
78. (on Facebook) How many people have ever had the most baseballs at a BallhawkFest?
D. 7 (Answered by: Maddie Landis)
79. (on Twitter) I own memorabilia dealing with whose perfect game?
A. David Cone
B. David Wells
C. Roy Halladay
D. None of the above (Answered by: Jonathan Mueller)
What stadium did Don Larsen throw his perfect game at?
A. Dodgers Stadium
B. Ebbets Field
C. Yankee Stadium (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
D. Polo Grounds
81. (on Facebook) What Colombian pitcher did I purposefully try to get a ball from when his team visited Nationals Park in 2012?
Julio Teheran (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
82. (on Instagram)
When he got the triple crown, Miguel Cabrera was the first to do so since who in what year?
Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
83. (on Twitter)
Who is my favorite active player in MLB?
Tim Lincecum (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
84. What was the first game I ever went to with my current roommate, Sean Bigness, and who did we learn spoke Spanish during the pre-game warm-ups?
9/12/12 and Bruce Chen (Answered by: Harrison Tishler)
85. (on Instagram) What was the tempurature below when I got to the gate for opening day?
Sub-30 (Answered by: Maddie Landis)
86. (on Twitter) What was the name of the person who took pictures for me the day I snagged my 100th baseball at Yankee Stadium?
Andy Bingham (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
87. (on Facebook)Which player’s face do I have on a stick?
Joe Mauer (Answered by: Quinn Imiola)
88. What schools did I look at in my 2011 August trip? (More than one point available, but answer each school as a separate comment. You can guess as much as you like, but only the guesses before your first incorrect guess will be counted.)
University of Minnesota
89. (on Twitter) Who accompanied me in my first ever trip to Target Field?
My Uncle (Answered by: Paul Kom)
90. In what year was the first regular season game held at the Metrodome?
1982 (Answered by: Paul Kom)
Also, since it is the next most voted-for category, let me know which stadium you would like me to do a Stadium Profile entry on in this poll:
Since it’s now winter, it’s time for some ideas for what to write about in this time of lull:
So now that you’ve watched the video, here is the poll for you to vote on the ideas:
Remember that you can vote for as many of the ten as you would like. However, I would like to make one revision to the rules I put forth in the video. Instead of the poll opening anew every time I publish a new entry, I’m actually going to make it so you can vote once more every week, since that’s easier to program into the poll. I don’t know when I’ll start writing these entries since I am currently in finals week, but I’ll write an entry putting forth a schedule for writing when the time comes that I feel like I can semi-stick to a schedule.
I first got this idea when Ballhawk Shawn did this entry on the last day of the regular season. So now that it’s actually Thanksgiving (as I wrote the first part of the entry. I suck at getting things done on time. Plus I’m working on four projects at a time in addition to being a full-time college student in the midst of the end-of-semester panic.) and Tony Voda wrote a similar entry, I thought I would do the same for the people I have met this year and I owe a thank you. So thank you to all of the people that I mention in this entry and any others I don’t have time to include but I interacted with this season. You all made this the most special baseball season of my present life. In no particular order…
1. Alex Kopp and Avi Miller– Thank you so much for not only being good friends to greet and make my experience at OPaCY ten times what would have been otherwise, but it also takes great friends to allow someone to stay with them for the equivalent of weeks. Without them I definitely wouldn’t have been able to make 64 games this season since I would have been confined to just Nationals Park during the summer. Also, it was a ton of fun getting to stay and hang out with them. This applies to both of them but in different ways. Avi stayed up until the darkest hours as he, myself, and his sister watched MLB Network or whatever. I spent less time with Alex, but any time I spent between games with him was so much more appreciated since he had to wake up at 6:00 each morning to get to work in order to get off work in enough time to barely make the 5:00 OPaCY gate opening time. I’m sure you are aware of this, but you are welcome to stay with me whenever you need to do so. Thank you, Alex and Avi.
2. Chris Hernandez– It was for a night and technically his girlfriend’s house, but I am again thankful for friends who allow me to stay with them even if for one night. Those couple of days along with your trip here to Washington were a blast to spend with you. It was nice seeing you at more ballparks this season than any other person. Thank you
3. Todd, Tim, and Kellan Cook– Although we were only able to meet up fro two games this season, both were a ton of fun to attend. I would say you guys made added the most fun above replacement per game of any other family in the league. (Sorry; couldn’t resist.) But anyway, thank you
4. Greg Barasch– Although this is the first season not being next-door neighbors any more, that didn’t stop you from being nice and housing me several days and being the only person I know who enjoys playing catch and looking at ballhawk statistics as much as me. Thank you.
5. Ben Weil– Since I was now in Washington, we didn’t get to meet up as often as in past years. But in the, what, four different cities, we were able to meet, it was a blast each time. I’m glad especially thank I was kind of able to be a part of two special moments with you around. Thank you.
6. Zack Hample– Again like Ben, we were only able to meet up with you a couple of times in various different cities. And also like him, you were a part of some particularly large events of mine this summer. Unlike Ben, though, you were a couple of times the reason for the events. You were nice enough to invite me to witness your world record-breaking catch, and I can not thank you enough for being the reason I am a ballhawk, and thus the event known as BallhawkFest. Thank you.
7. Grant Edrington, Ed Lauer, and Tim Anderson– Although you guys didn’t house me during my days going to games at OPaCY and you guys made it maybe a less special place to ballhawk at, you made that community the best one I have ever experienced on a day-in, day-out basis.
8. Paul Kom and Tony Voda– I say day-in, day-out basis, because while we are a smaller community who doesn’t show up to every game, we’ve built a nice community here in Minnesota. Hopefully we can meet up sometime during the winter when our common hobby of snagging baseballs isn’t pulling us every five minutes in different directions and we can actually stay together and talk in person. (Psst. I suggest another sporting event since Paul is doing his entry series and/or Twinsfest. I still don’t know how that’ll work with the outdoor venue this year.) Thank you.
9. Rick Gold and Dave Butler- I don’t know if we count as a “community,” but it was fun getting to hang out with you two at Nationals Park. Rick, I don’t usually go up and ask ballhawks questions directly, but I would say you are the person I have learned the most about ballhawking through observation. Due to weird schedules on both of our parts, we didn’t meet up in ridiculously long stretches like 2012, but it was still great sharing the ballparks we shared this year. Although I saw you at many games last season, it wasn’t until this year that I felt like I really got to know you, Dave. In talking to you and just sharing Nationals Park with you plenty of times this year, it was a pleasure to get to know you and have a friend that I pretty much knew was going to show up to the ballpark. Thank you.
10. Takyi Chan- It’s odd to put an after-season thank you in for a person that you didn’t see all year, but it was very nice keeping in touch with you despite not being able to meet up with you at all during the year. I am disappointed that we couldn’t, but again, I appreciate the effort to keep in touch. Also, if I had a daughter in college, I would also value that over going to baseball games. Thank you.
11. Jonathan Mueller– Even though you “only” went to six of the same games as me, you probably had the biggest impact on this blog in specifically three of those games. I’ve always wanted to be able to get action shots during batting practice, and you really don’t know how nice it was to have someone who could handle and take pictures with the camera. I truly do I appreciate what you did by taking pictures those games. Thank you.
12. Sean Bigness– At the beginning of the season you weren’t, but being my now-roommate, thank you for keeping me sane and not completely internet-entranced by providing an immediately available friend who I could talk about baseball with and not completely annoy within the first three minutes of the conversation. I think as baseball-lovers we can relate to the fact that not everyone out there loves it as much as we do. Thank you.
13. Ballhawk Shawn– It was really nice meeting you for the first time at US Cellular. Hopefully we can talk a bit more this offseason. Speaking of which: Where yo’ collab ideas at?! We’re running out of offseason to work with! But anyways, thank you.
14. Garrett Meyer- Similar to Shawn, it was really nice meeting up with you in Baltimore and getting to talk at Alex’s place after missing you in 2012. Sorry I couldn’t take you up on that offer to go to a Royals game, but logistics got in the way of being able to physically get to Kauffman when a Royals game was taking place. Regardless, thank you.
15. Rocco Sinisi- While I ultimately ended up disagreeing with you more than I agreed and felt you could have done so in a different way, you did make me question what ballhawking really is about and how we should go abotu recognizing those who partake in the hobby. Thank you.
16. The ushers at OPaCY, Nationals Park, and Target Field- While two thirds of you may have bad reputations nationally, coming from primarily New York stadiums in 2012 to having you three as my primary stadiums in 2013 was a much nicer experience since all of you ushers were very kind to me. Now I realize that I went out of my way to make ties with you ushers, but the fact that you allowed me to do so despite the fact that I was a ball snagger is still a credit to your niceness. Thank you.
17. Stubhub and OPaCY season ticket holders- I realize I mentioned all of the latter by name earlier, but this duo I’m thank you for making a hobby that everyone thinks would be extremely expensive into a hobby that is only kinda expensive. So for saving me much of the monies, thank you.
18. Every player who I saw toss a ball up in 2013- I don’t care whether it was to me or to a kid, if it was with a smile, or even if you meant to do it, tossing a baseball to a sometimes-suspecting fan is part of what makes baseball great and distances it from all other sports out there. So great, in fact, that there is a sub-culture surrounding simply the collection of these baseballs. So for being a part of this phenomenon, thank you.
19. All of the Twitter peoples- I feel like I neglect you/we don’t get to talk much sometimes, but whenever we do get engaged in conversation, it seems to mostly be for the better and go well. Including, but not limited to Andrew Miller, for being the reason this entry was published when it was. Thank you.
20. All of the commenters here- I know that I don’t get to responding to the comments as quickly as I should, but I really thing it is a great and awesome thing when you guys leave comments and we are able to have a conversation in the comments section of an entry I post. I hope we can develop the comments sections of these entries in the future. Thank you.
After a rare 10-day break in the month of September from baseball games, I was back at Target for a fun match-up:
This will be a very short entry because there really isn’t much to tell. I got in at the normal time, and this was my view as I got in:
But I then got shutout for all of BP. The only baseballs I snagged were after batting practice was over at the bullpen. Nate Dammann tossed me two baseballs. One was actually meant for me, but the other was for me to give to a kid I know who ballhawks with his dad. I may have taken a picture of them before, but to be clear, there are two pairs of ballhawking father-son teams that I know of at Target Field. Anyway, the dad catches pretty much anything near him, and the kid is almost as good with the obvious added benefit of cuteness, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they snagged more baseballs than me at pretty much every game we’ve been to together. Anyway, he needed no help in catching the ball, but Dammann didn’t know that, so I motioned to him as if I could catch the ball for the kid and then give it to him. And as you can tell, that’s exactly what happened.
After that came the game, and since this was the first game in a week I would be going to games six of the seven days, I stood out on the flag court but wrote my own myth as part of my homework for my Greek and Roman Mythology class:
You probably can’t read, but the myth was about the time Heracles founded the ancient sport of Heraklapala (literally: Heracles–Hercules is his Roman name, while Heracles or Herakles is his Greek name–ball) which then became the modern day baseball. I am pretty proud of it, but the even more interesting thing was how many came up to me for doing homework at a baseball game. All of them, though jokingly, asked me if the game was that boring that I was doing homework. But that semi-questioning of my baseball fandom soon ceased when I explained that the reason I had to do my homework at a baseball game was that I was going to six of the seven games that week being held at Target Field.
And after the game, I went down to the bullpens just in time to see the kid who I gave my second ball away to get the bullpen lineup card. It was pretty awesome:
And with that , a fun day at the ballpark came to an end.
- 2 Balls at this Game (1 pictured because I gave 1 away)
- 279 Balls in 59 Games= 4.73 Balls Per Game
- 2 Balls x 24,647 Fans= 49,294 Competition Factor
- 121 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
- 26 straight Games with at least 2 Balls
- 163 Balls in 33 Games at Target Field= 4.94 Balls Per Game
- 31 straight Games with at least 1 Ball at Target Field
- 11 straight Games with at least 2 Balls at Target Field
- Time Spent On Game 3:07-12:23= 9 Hours 16 Minutes