Before I get started with this entry, I’ve been posting entries pretty quickly in the last 48 hours, so you may not have been able to read the entires that preceded this one. Here are the links to the two entries, so you can give them the love they deserve:
1. The Bergino Baseball Clubhouse– A couple of weeks ago, I went to this baseball store, so I wrote an entry about my trip there using the pictures I took. Please, if you are a baseball fan, read the entry; even more so if you live in New York.
2. 6/25/12 Indians at Yankees: Yankee Stadium– When I publish this entry you are reading, this entry will be less than 24 hours after the entry I am talking about, I want to make sure all you readers who check every so often know that I did indeed write an entry before this that you can read if you to.
Onto the account of the game…
I arrived a little late Yankee Stadium for my taste, and expected a bit of a line in front of me, but c’mon, this is ridiculous:
Thankfully, there were some other ballhawks at the front of the line, so I not so discreetly slipped into line with them. We all talked for the ten to fifteen minutes I was in line, and I actually found out, when I said I was going to the University of Minnesota, that one of them was originally from Minnesota; more specifically, a suburb of the Twin Cities by the name of Apple Valley. It was great that I had people I could stand in line with. However, when it came to the gates opening, two of the other ballhawks had announced they were going to right field. Therefore, I decided to try my chances in left field. In all likelihood, this cost me a ball. I remember one of the ballhawks named George coming over to left field after a few minutes and saying, “Yeah, there were only a few balls hit over there.” To this I responded, “There haven’t been ANY over here yet.” Whatever, all I needed was two baseballs and I was set for the game. I was currently sitting on baseball #298, and I really wanted to get #300 on what would have been my deceased dad’s 70th birthday.
This was my view of the field from my spot in left field:
It was pretty evident early on the pitchers in this part of the ballpark weren’t going to be throwing up many balls. Myself and George were yelling out their names, but they kept throwing balls into the infield ballboy (who was the one I went to high school with).
Just soon after that, a ball got hit to my right, and…well I’ll just diagram what happened in this picture:
The dotted lines are the path the ball took in the air and then when it hit the ground, the solid line emanating from the bottom of the screen is my path to the ball, and the other solid guy coming from the guy in the Yankee jacket (which I also own) is his path as he was really the only one competing with me for the ball. As I ran after the ball, it bounced off the concrete and thankfully didn’t bounce away, so I picked it up before that guy got to the ball.
Then Andruw Jones stepped up to the plate. H hit a ball so far to my left, I was considering not even chasing it because I thought it would go into the visitors’ bullpen. For some reason, though, I went half way through my row in semi-pursuit. I’m guessing my thought was it might bounce off the bleachers and come back to me. The ball narrowly missed both of those and went into the tunnel right next to the bullpen and cutting into the bleachers. I ran in after the ball and retrieved number 300. SUCCESS:
I didn’t really celebrate; instead I asked the kid who called me a “son of a…” were his glove was, making sure to say I might have given him a ball if he had a glove on. Of course I wouldn’t have given him #300, but I might have pulled out the previous ball. I’m not really strict about giving balls to kids with gloves, but the older the person, the more they need a glove, in my mind, before I give them a ball.
After this, I lined up in foul territory behind the Indians pitchers and position players:
Remember how the previous day I was having trouble getting players to toss me a ball because I only had an Indians hat? I came up with a little solution to that:
I printed out the Indians logo and simply taped it to my shirt, so it would kind of look like I had Indians stuff on. Right then, I got to see it work for the first time:
The player I have pointed out with my arrow threw me a ball right as he left the field. Anyone have an idea who he is. He’s probably a position player, if that helps at all.
After that, I went over to try to get a ball from one of the pitchers. While I was walking over there, Zack Hample was already calling out to the pitching coach, Scott Ridinsky, telling him, “Scott, show me the gun!” Ridinsky then threw a ball clear over his head, and I was in just the right row that I was able to jog to the right spot and make the catch. Sorry, Zack. Zack then looked back at Ridinsky with a look as if to say, “What happened?” Ridinsky then pointed as his arm as if to say, “I guess it’s too strong.”
I then messed around trying to get Chris Perez to toss me a ball with the University of Miami shirt I had on, but when I gave up trying this, I moved over to the right field seats (because the left field side was checking tickets), where I caught a home run off the bat of Travis Hafner. I then went to the left field bleachers where I got Chris Perez to toss me a ball. Both balls are pictured in the next picture:
The smaller arrows show what happened on the first ball, and the larger arrows show what happened on the second:
1. Travis Hafner hit a ball to my right, so I moved over and even though I thought the ball was clearly going over my head, I took a little jump and amazingly the ball was in my glove when I came back down. I then looked back to see I had robbed Zack of a ball a second time. Don’t worry for him, though. He still managed to set the Yankee Stadium record this game. The thing that stunk about this ball for me was there was an Indians player on the field who had told me he would throw me the next ball he got, but just as he fielded this ball, I caught the Hafner home run, so he didn’t throw me the ball. Had that ball been hit two seconds later, I would have had two balls from the right field seats.
2. Soon after the Hafner ball, security cleared out everyone in the right field seats who didn’t have a ticket, so I went up to my ticketed section in the left field bleachers. After I got there, a ball got hit to Chris Perez, who is one of the friendliest players in the league, so I called out to him, he turned around, and threw me the ball. Pretty simple, right? I then gave that ball away to the kid in the “Ruth” t-shirt in the next picture:
I spent most of the rest of my time in the bleachers trying to get an overthrow from another Perez toss-up, since he was tossing so many balls up.
That would be it for batting practice. After batting practice, I would first try to get a ball from the groundskeeper in the visitors’ bullpen:
After that failed I went up to the top of the batter’s eye, where this was my view:
Why? Do you see the guy wit the arrow pointing at him? That would be Yankees bullpen coach, Mike Harkey. After the day’s starter has finished warming up, he usually tosses around five balls into the stands. I obviously had a ticket in the left field bleachers, so this was as close as I could get. When he looked my way, I waved my arms like crazy, so he tossed the ball my way. Here is the ball:
Why do I have that usher in the picture? I told him beforehand I was trying to get a ball from Harkey, so when Harkey threw the ball up to me, it was drifting to my right and this guy caught it and then handed it to me. So yeah, technically I didn’t get the ball from Harkey, but I would have caught the ball had this guy not been there. Just then I realized I had set my record for most ball in a game when Yankee Stadium had cleared both sides of the outfield seats before batting practice had ended. Not a bad way to celebrate June 26th at all.
As for the game, this was my view:
You see the player in the lower right picture? That would be Dewayne Wise. He made a very controversial catch in this game, so I feel almost obligated to mention I was at this game. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the link. Other than that, Phil Hughes pitched an incredible game, going, I believe, eight scoreless innings before the Yankees bullpen nearly gave the game back. The final score was 6-4. Oh and want to see what my “Indians” shirt looked like after the game?
I just wanted to share one more picture from the game:
The special thing about this picture is Justin Masterson was at 100 inning pitched on the season. This may seem uneventful, but how many people actually reach 100 innings in a season before the All-Star break? I mean you can count out all relievers. To make it even more unusual, he had two outs in the inning, so I really only had a few seconds to realize it. Also, I think it’s pretty special that we both passed milestones this game. Masterson with his 100th inning and myself with my 300th ball. I don’t know, maybe i’m trying to manufacture something, but I love it when numbers match up like that.
Speaking of which…
- 7 Balls at this Game (6 pictured because I gave 1 away)
numbers 299-305 for my life:
- 83 Balls in 17 Games= 4.88 Balls Per Game
- 26 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
- 2 straight Games with at least 2 Balls
- 7 Balls x 43,006 Fans= 301,042 Competition Factor
- 61 Balls in 17 Games at the New Yankee Stadium= 3.59 Balls Per Game
- 17 straight Games with at least 1 Ball at the New Yankee Stadium
- 2 straight Games with at least 2 Balls at the New Yankee Stadium
- Time Spent On Game 4:13- 10:17= 6 Hours 4 Minutes
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:
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.
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:
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.