Tagged: foul balls

6/1/13 Tigers at Orioles: Camden Yards

Wanna see my view more or less as the gates of Camden Yards opened?

6113 Opening Picture

While Avi and I had gotten to the train station at a time that normally would have gotten us to the gates by the time they opened–and by Avi, I mean Avi Miller, the person in the foreground of the picture–the train was having problems with the signals art a couple stations, so instead of taking 20 minutes or so, the train took over an hour to get to our final destination from the time it pulled into Avi’s stop. Long story short: we got to OPACY over half-an-hour late. Had it been Yankee Stadium, I would have turned around and let Avi, but the way I saw it I still had the power-hitting Tigers’ BP to rely on, and if I didn’t manage to snag a ball then, I could always play the dugouts for third-out balls and the cross-aisle for foul balls in between that, with the security blanket of the umpire tunnel after the game.

When I entered the ballpark, the seating bowl was already opened up and the Tigers were already hitting, so I didn’t even try to go to the left field seats. Actually, correction: I went towards the left field seats right as I entered the stadium, but when I saw the seating bowl had already been opened, I turned around and made a beeline for the center field seats. And by “beeline” I mean slow jog, because I had essentially all of my stuff for my whole trip in my backpack since I planned to go back to Washington directly from the game. There I asked a couple of players for balls such as Luke Putkonen and Don Kelly, but got rejected by both of them. Then a ball got hit almost directly in line with me in the stands. I went down to the first row, but it fell about a foot out of my reach. Thankfully though, since I don’t have a ball-retrieving device made this year, it went back onto the field where Rick Porcello got it:

6113 Porcello in the OF

And apparently he had seen my Tigers gear as I had lunged out to reach for the ball because without me even asking he tossed the ball up to me. I then immediately handed the ball to a kid whose dad had been begging Don Kelly for ball as well. Kelly’s response to all of us was, “I’ll hit a couple out here when it’s my group’s turn to hit.”

After getting the ball form Porcello, I headed out to the flag court in right field. It was packed and I couldn’t get any toss-ups, but I justified it by telling myself, “You got more than enough toss-ups in Minnesota and can go for toss-ups any other day. Today one of the best hitting teams in the league is here, so you might as well go for hit baseballs.” This picture doesn’t do the crowd in the flag court any justice, but it was my view until pretty much the end of batting practice:

6113 View from the flag court

I’ll cut to the chase and say that I didn’t snag anything for the remainder of batting practice, but the star of the show, who I would have had an extra baseball had he not been there, was Alex Kopp. Here he is in this picture with his glove shading his eyes:

6113 Alex in the flag court

He caught three balls on the fly while I was there including one that was right in front of my glove. I believe it was an Andy Dirks home run. I tracked the ball perfectly off the bat, and had my glove in position to make the catch, but all of a sudden I saw two gloves go up in front of mine. They were of Alex and another person. Alex, though, had his glove in the right spot, so he caught the ball, and all I could do was smile because that was his third catch out there. He was just putting on a clinic. I mean the Tigers were going pretty crazy with all of the baseballs they were hitting up there, but it was also insanely packed given the size of the flag court. Every time a ball was hit up there, it was like a mini-stampede erupted. I was actually pretty concerned a little kid was going to get seriously injured out there, because while I check to make sure I have a clear running lane to the ball every five seconds or so, I knew there were people that were just reacting to the ball and keeping their eye on the ball and not where they were going–which is a recipe for disaster; either for the kids of the area or for the person, because there were the flag poles to be run into.

During the Tigers position players’ infield warm-ups, I should have snagged my second ball of the day. What happened was I got Omar Infante’s attention despite being fifteen rows up in the stands by waving my arms, so he tossed the ball to me:

6113 Omar Infante

but he was off with his aim, so the ball sailed above me and to my left. I reached, but I tried to be careful because reaching full-extension would also involve me elbowing the woman standing next to me in the head. So with all of this happening, the ball tipped off the edge of my glove and into the lap of a person behind me. Bleh.

An even more frustrating thing happened during the game. I don’t know how many home runs there were in this game (a lot) but only one made its way out into the flag court. It was the fourth inning, and Victor Martinez was the hitter. I happened to be looking away because a person said something to me in the flag court, but suddenly I heard a roar in the crowd and a ball whizzing towards the foul pole. I then ran towards the ball and played the ricochet I have always failed to do in the home run balls I have botched in the past. Unfortunately the ball bounced back towards the field after landing in the flag court because it hit the beer stand out there. Had it kept going towards Eutaw Street, I’m 95% sure I would have had the ball because I was the only one in the back of the flag court who even saw the ball, much less reacted. Are you a little confused? Here, I drew up a diagram from the perspective of where I started out when the ball was hit. The dotted line is the flight of the ball, and the solid line is the path that I ran:

6113 Diagram

And if you want, here is the link to the video. At the first point you can identify where I am when they cut to the view of the flag court, I am here:

6113 Video 1

You can then pretty easily identify as the person running across the flag court for the ball. It looks like I was going pretty fast from the video, but I remember that I was purposely taking it slow in case the ball did bounce to the back of the flag court, which I expected it to do, because I didn’t want a repeat of the ball that hit me in the head during my first game here in Baltimore or anything of the sort. The next time when you can more clearly see me is after the ball had bounced back to the fence:

6113 Video 2

After this you can see I’m one of three people actively going after the ball. I can also say I probably would have had it had the person who eventually got the ball was a foot taller. It was actually a kid who got the ball. And I say I would have gotten the ball had he been taller because he had to go under one of those rope-type dividers that you see at airport/bus terminal check-in lines. You know what I’m talking about, right? The black poles that connect by rope in order for people in line to zig-zag their way through. Well anyway, the kid didn’t have to duck much to get the ball, but had he been a foot taller, that half-second he would have taken to duck underneath was all I would have needed to get the ball. But oh well. Palante.

I then spent the rest of the game awaiting another home run that never came, all while this great view of the game and all its action:

6113 Flag Court view

(Yay?) At the end of the game I headed down for one last try at an umpire ball this series, and whaddaya know, I got it:

6113 Ball 2

As I got to the umpire tunnel there were actually kids in the corner spots on each side of the dugout, so I had to go a little further up. Home plate umpire, Hunte Wendelstedt(?), gave out a couple of baseballs to the kids at the front of the tunnel and then moved on. Just in case he still had a ball with him, I called out to him, “Mr. Wendelsedt, do you have any extra baseballs?” He was already past me in the tunnel, but upon hearing his name, he turned right around and tossed me the baseball you see above. I then headed to the Tigers dugout, but I didn’t get anything there, so I walked up to Baltimore-Penn Station and took the next Amtrak train back to Washington.


  • 2 Baseballs at this Game (1 pictured because I gave the other 1 away)

6113 Baseball

Numbers 536-37 for my “career”:

6113 Sweet Spot

  • 91 Balls in 22 Games= 4.14 Balls Per Game
  • 2 Ball x 38,965 Fans=77,930 Competition Factor
  • 85 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 45 Balls in 11 Games at OPACY= 4.09 Balls Per Game
  • 11 straight Games with at least 1 Ball at OPACY
  • Time Spent On Game 12:47-10:48= 10 Hours 1 Minute

4/10/12 Fordham Prep at Elmira: TicketReturn.com Field

Okay, so I know that I said I wouldn’t be blogging about Fordham Prep Baseball anymore, but at the moment I took these pictures, I was more sure than not that this would be my only game at this stadium, and brought my “professional” camera in addition to taking a boatload of pictures as a result.

This particular day started very early for us (The Fordham Prep Varsity Baseball team). The game was scheduled for 8:00 AM and we usually get to the field around an hour early for warm-ups and what not. It was early enough when we got on the bus that when I checked the ballpark’s live webcam, it was a black screen. It wasn’t just some error; I had checked earlier in the day to see if it had worked and also looked on the webcam later. It was just THAT dark. Once we got to the field and found an entrance that was actually open, it was light enough to the point where I, the first person from my team to enter the playing area,  could take a few pictures of the field (I did so via an opening in the RCF fence):

The scoreboard in LCF.

The backstop from the CF warning track.

I tried to make a couple of panoramas for you in Photoshop, but failed miserably, so here are the pictures I took starting from the LF foul pole and rotating counterclockwise:

After that I popped in the dugout and took a picture of something interesting:

That’s right: the whole Pelicans’ roster was up on the wall.

Check out the scoreboard as the game began:

It’s a pretty cool feeling to see your high school team’s name on the scoreboard of a stadium where professionals usually play.

As the game started, I took my seat right behind Home Plate. Here was my view of the game:

However, I sit right behind Home Plate for all of Fordham Prep’s games, and decided to get up and try for some foul balls, as practice, in case I did in fact make it to a game during the Pelicans’ series against the Potomac Nationals.

There are two tunnels at TicketReturn.com Field through which one can access the main seating bowl. Conveniently, they are both right on the cross-aisle and are just about the right angle for foul balls. Here is the view from the tunnel where I stood when a right-handed batter was up at-bat:

And here, is what the tunnel looked like from the concourse (this one is where I stood for left-handed batters):

Now I’ll let you guess right now how many foul balls stayed in the stadium.  Choose your number and I’ll announce it later on it the entry, but in the meantime, here is the view looking towards the outfield from the concourse behind the “righty tunnel”:

Here is the view looking towards the area behind Home Plate:

Finally, here is a sign in one of the tunnels that I liked:

Okay, so you’ve had a little time to think of how many foul balls there were during the game that stayed in the stadium. Are you ready to guess? There were a total of three balls hit foul that fit that criteria. All were hit by righties. Here is a picture of the path of all three:

1. The ball went straight over my head and bounced on the awning/roof type thing and rolled down. I lined myself up perfectly with the ball and it was coming straight at my glove, but hit the heightened portion of guardrail before it got there, and since I was on the cross-aisle, I couldn’t have reached over it. I then climbed up a few stairs and grabbed it.

2. The ball looped over my head and I ran after it, but I didn’t have time to look back at the ball. Since it was too late, I just stuck out my glove hoping the ball would land there. Not surprisingly, the ball bounced out of my reach where I later picked it up.

3. This ball missed the protective netting completely, but was also a little loopy. I should/would have run over and caught it had I not been playing with my camera. Some parent picked it up.

That was it for foul balls. I did do some exploring, though. Between innings, I went out to both the left and right field bleachers. Here are the pictures from my journey to RF:

The view of the RF seats and picnic area preceding it from the “righty tunnel”.

Once I got to the picnic area, I decided I should take a picture from there. What you see is the result.

A look inside the Home Bullpen, just because I thought it was interesting that you could see right into it as a fan. Even more interesting is that the RF seats are right above the bullpen.

An artsier shot of the seats up in the RF section.

The view from the seat closest to CF in the RF section.

A picture from the seat that is directly on the foul line.

Now, here are the pictures from my venture to the LF seats:

One of those things where you put your head int it and take a picture that way. Behind it, I learned from my game while the Pelicans were playing, are some deflated bouncy castles. This was down the LF line in foul territory.

This picture was taken  in “just foul territory”. It shows the beach area (pretty self-explanatory, right?), the visitors’ bullpen just after that, and then the dugout/Home Plate area.

The view from straight away LF.

A mysterious staircase leading out the left side of the section. There was some fecal matter in the seats themselves, but I didn’t take a picture for your wellbeing. I think (read: hope) that someone brought their dog, but I thought to myself right then, “…and on that note, I think it’s time to get back to the seats behind Home Plate.”

As for the game, I’ll let the scoreboard speak for itself:

So the game ended, and the teams shook hands:

That’s it for this game, but I’d just like to include a few things about the trip itself:

  • We went 5-2 for the trip’s entirety.
  • I snagged a total of 65 balls at the games I attended over the trip. 5 of which were tossed to me by various players/ people. For example, when a foul ball went over the artificial river on the complex that I obviously couldn’t cross, I convinced people in the parking lot to retrieve and toss me the ball.
  • My record for one game was 19 in a game at Griffith Field. That particular game started at 9ish Thursday, April 12th, and it ended after 12:00 AM Friday, April 13th. I actually had the opposing team’s fans cheering for me by game’s end.
  • Let me explain something about the Ripken Experience’s policy on foul balls. If you return them to a booth behind Home Plate, you are given a coupon for some restaurant e.g. get a free chicken sandwich at Chick-Fil-A. Since they were all for meat dining options, I gave all of them all away to random people in the stands or on the team.
  • My top streak of 3 foul balls snagged on 3 consecutive pitches was during the “19” game, and on the second of these, the guy in the booth said to me, “Since you’ve gotten a hundred for me already, here’s one for you.” He then pulled a ball right out of the plastic wrapping and gave it to me.
  • The JV team also accompanied us on this particular trip, and they went I believe 1-5. All was not bleak, though. They lost *every*one of their first 5 games. The worst loss came on the fifth where they were up 7-2 and lost 8-7. In the last game of the trip, it seemed like they were headed down the same road, down 7-0. Then, in the sixth inning (we play 7 inning games), they scored 8 runs to take the lead. They, like every other team competing, were starved for pitching, so they put in their rightfielder to close the game. From what I heard, he was throwing absolute heat and also broke out a “Knuckle-Change” that had the hitters absolutely baffled.

A nice trip, yes, but I also was away from Wi-fi the whole time and have a lot to catch up on. The next entry I write will be that which details my trip to the game between the Pelicans and the Potomac Nationals the next night. Would I be able to use my experience from this game to snag a foul ball?

Collected Baseball knick-knacks

Over the past year and a half, I have gone to a whole mess of baseball games. While my primary focuses at these games have been to collect baseballs and watch the games themselves, I have acquired a lot of items. This entry is to show exactly how much I have acquired throughout not just the past year and a half, but my 17 year old lifetime of going to baseball games. Before I get started on listing the things, I want to clarify that I didn’t get all of these things at the games, but rather, these were all things that I acquired because I go/went to games and am interested in baseball. Really, this is just miscellaneous baseball stuff that I have come into ownership of through one way shape or form.

Although I have come across many unique items, my baseball collection is the one that has brought me to most of the games I have gone to. Therefore,

it is worthy of the first (even though it is of lower quality than the other) picture.

Over my “career” going to games and catching baseballs, I have snagged 222. This photo does not show all of them, only the ones I have kept. The two are different because I have given away a substantial amount of the 222 to different kids and others at the games that I have gone to.

Next are the foul balls that I have gotten during the game itself:

(isn’t the quality a lot better on that picture?)

The balls are as follows:

1. A foul ball hit by Chuck Knoblauch when I was about five or six. I was sitting in the third deck of the Old Yankee Stadium.

2. A Luis Hernandez ball, there was an article written about it.

3. A Nate McLouth foul ball and my first caught on the fly. Here is a link to my blog entry on that game.

4. An Angel Pagan foul ball. Here is the link to the article written about it, and here is the link to my blog entry on that game.

To highlight a particularly interesting ball in my collection, here is a ball I suspect is from the 1950s or 60s. This is because it was found in my grandfather’s things and he lived close to San Francisco (which didn’t get an MLB team until then), and because I found out, through e-mailing a few credible people, that it was signed by commissioner Giles who had his name on the ball from 1951-1969.

Next are my baseballs that were not snagged at a baseball game, but bought or given to me as a gift to me. I would go through them and explain each one, but some are self-explanatory and most are not worth explaining.

I do have other baseballs that fit into this category, but they were more beat up balls that I have made their way into my collection from baseball teams I have been a part of throughout the years, and I didn’t want to make it seem like those were the majority of my non-MLB collection, because if you click on that picture and zoom in, there are some pretty cool baseballs. For example, the bottom one is a Babe Ruth ball i.e. if you flip it horizontally and then vertically, you will get a bio of Babe Ruth.

Next in my completely arbitrary order of importance are framed baseball things. Among those, the first picture is of the item that is pictured in my gravatar profile picture (that would be the picture that shows up next to me when I comment on another blog within the realm of WordPress):

The story behind this is that, my dad was looking for a Christmas present for me in 2010 and either found this picture or remembered of it. The original actually started with “I’m a hawk”, but my dad inserted the “ball” part to individualize it for me.

Next, I have a portrait of David Cone given to me by a friend who knew how much I loved baseball and knew I would take care of it.

But wait, there’s more! The backside is signed by a few people, two of which I can somewhat recognize:

Finally, the last framed item is a map of all major league stadiums that I got from my dad that same Christmas (Yes, he was very generous to me.).

If you can see, there are White pins placed in certain cities. This means that I have visited a stadium in that city. The Black boxes on either side of the map specify which stadium I have visited when it comes to that franchise that city and league i.e. I have visited both the Metrodome and Target Field and so both of those boxes should be Blacked- out (even if I still haven’t marked that I have visited Target Field). The Yellow flag shows the next stadium I plan to visit, the Green represents my favorite stadium, and the Blue my last stadium visited.

Next are the non-framed baseball things. What do I mean by this? For example, this Joe Mauer head would be a non-framed baseball thing.

I got this while at the Minnesota State Fair. I was in town to go to the Metrodome for three games before the Twins moved into Target Field and my dad and I decided to go because a) he was from Minnesota and b) the State Fair is the second largest in the country behind Texas (everything’s bigger in Texas). They have an unofficial theme of anything your heart desires being available on a stick. I don’t know if this is a play on that, but I got it at the Qwest stand as they were handing them out for free.

The next item, I guess, is this random Fenway Park sign.

I honestly have no idea how I got this. It was probably another scenario where a friend of my parents knew I was really into baseball and gave me this thing that they had. Other than that I can’t explain it. I was raised a Yankee fan and still don’t care that much for the Red Sox. I tried actually rooting for them for a season, but it just felt wrong. I no longer have the same love for the Yankees and I still respect the Red Sox (chicken murdering and all), but by no stretch of the imagination do I root for them to succeed. Nevertheless, this banner type thing does allow me to do a few photographic gags.

Next in the, seriously I’m making this up as I go along, order of items is my baseball card “collection”. I really only bought cards for half a season. Maybe it’s because I’m of the computer generation where a player’s stats can be found within three clicks, but they really didn’t do anything for me. So, the majority of my collection comes from people who were collectors in their younger years giving me their baseball cards.

I think the highest stack (upper left) is about  75 cards, and you can kind of tell how tall the other ones are in relation to that one. For the record, I DO have more cards, but they are somewhere in a box or underneath my bed and I have no desire to go looking for them as I have enough things to do. I would say my entire baseball card collection is in the 500 range.

Just to be clear, these are no longer non-framed baseball things. I am now just going in the random order that I took the pictures of the things in. The next item in said order is the Gatorade towel Josh Thole gave me at Nationals Park on 7/30/11.

It is actually a pretty good story as to how that happened. so click the link I provided for you on the 7/30/11 and scroll about 80% of the way down the page.

As a ballhawk, one of the tricks of the trade is to own a hat and shirt of both teams. Here is my collection of baseball related hats.

The next item is a result of my strategy. I actually don’t know how many other ballhawks do this, but I do it, probably as a result of my paranoia in always thinking that players will recognize me. Anyway, I bring a neutral hat and shirt to most games. Here are all of the neutral hats that I wore in 2011:

Finally, here are all my MLB shirts:

For whatever reason, all the pictures of the shirts came out blurry. I would take a few more shots, but it is REALLY annoying to take all of the shirts out of my drawers and align them for a few pictures before putting them all back.

And what is being a Yankee fan without having two mugs for the coffee I never drink?

The one on the left I think I got around the same age I got the Chuck Knoblauch foul ball. The one on the right, is a pretty recent headline and this is one of those where I have no recollection of how I got it.

Sticking with the cup theme, here is a cup I bought with my dad the first time I went to the baseball Hall of Fame (I have gone 3-4 times since and could probably go another 20 if it weren’t a 6 hour drive).

Note the indentation in the bottom of the glass.

Next is (partially)my collection of programs and pocket schedules. I write partially because I have about ten others, but can’t find them. I hope they’re not lost because there were a few good ones. Like a Phillies program when they won the World Series and a Giants program with Tim Lincecum on the cover from the April after he won his first Cy Young, entitled “So Good, So Young.”

Next are the tickets individual to the first baseball trip I ever took. It was: drive down to Philadelphia for two games against the Dodgers, drive back up right after the second game ended, fly to Detroit that same morning, watch the Tigers take on the Indians, take a bus to Pittsburgh, and watch the Brewers take on the Pirates for three games.

All of the series were sweeps and the highlights were, Pedro Feliciano hit a 3 run walk-off HR in I think double digit innings, Cliff Lee got his 19th win of the year to go along with only 2 losses at that point. At that point he was a one-year wonder and the Ace to replace CC Sabathia who had been traded to the Brewers and had been doing amazing as he was 5-0 at this point with the Brewers. Speaking of Sabathia, my next highlight came when he threw what should have been a no-hitter, but the Pittsburgh scorer gave one of the “Laroche”s a hit on a dribbler that Sabathia dropped, citing that it was an above average play for the man who had barehanded a line drive to him the previous inning. I may eventually get around to blogging about these games, but it probably won’t be until next year as I am and predict to be very busy until then.

Next are the variety of rosters I have printed out to know who the players are on the teams in the game that I happened to watch that day.

Notice that some have pictures. Usually this only happens on trips because when I am at home I am more pressed for time, and yes, I did print out a roster for the umpires (third from the top and left).

If you’re thinking that all the games I go to must produce a lot of tickets, here is an emphatic “YES!”

I apologize for the shoddy lasso job, although I am mildly skilled in the art of Photoshop, I can’t afford it for my home computer.

Ha, you thought those were all my tickets.

Those were only my electronic tickets. Pictured above are my “stubs”, I guess you could call them. These aren’t necessarily  only tickets to baseball games, but they are pertaining to baseball. For example, I took two excursions while I was in Atlanta. Can you find the tickets to these two separate places’ tickets?

Next is my (partial) collection of signed items. Partial because I had 17 signed balls at the beginning of the year, but gave away about 15 of them.

Andy Pettitte

Luke Gregorson and Mike Adams (as you may be able to read from the little tabs that I have with every signed ball)

Rollie Fingers. Yes, his mustache does look just a little bit funnier in person.

Tony Cruz a.k.a. the back up catcher for the Cardinals.

Ryota Igarashi

Jonny Venters

Doug Slaten and Emilio Bonifacio

Drew Storen

Now we begin the cycle of random baseball things with two Mets bobbleheads.

Pretty self-explanatory, right?

Starting in 2006, I vote for the All-Star Game via the paper ballots every stadium has out. I also have kept a few from the last few years:

This next one I received for my birthday and didn’t think it quite fit in with the MLB T-Shirt picture. So I decided to make it its own picture.

Again, here are two framed cards that I didn’t think quite fit in the “framed things” category nor the “baseball cards” picture.

The first is explained by the fact that my two favorite players growing up were Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire. Sad, I know. The second was given to me in conjunction with the Babe Ruth ball I elaborated on in the “non-MLB baseballs” picture.

Here, are two pitching figurines I have no idea how they came into my possession. What I do know is that they are supposed to be Don Drysdale and Roger Clemens, respectively.

Here is another figurine of the (Old?) Yankee Stadium with a baseball for perspective.

Here are the Ice Cream Helmets I used to collect with my dad when we went to stadiums.

I may continue this in the future, but probably won’t remember to do so for every stadium.

Next are the gloves I used in 2011 and 2010, in order of usage.

Now we get into the items I have received as part of promotions by teams. Starting with the Nationals’ schedule for 2012.

Here we have a fan type thing the Yankees gave away. The Yankees don’t have many promotions and they usually aren’t that good, because they are usually companies just trying to advertise. There are exceptions, but for the most part, the Yankees don’t need promotions to get people to come to the ballpark.

Next are some sunglasses that the Mets gave out early in the year. I usually brought them to games as a further affirmation of my paranoia that players would recognize me (another disguise).

The next picture is a lunchbox that I got on that same trip to Philadelphia in 2008.

Did I mention that Manny had just gotten to the Dodgers recently before that series and the Phillies fans were already booing him. When my dad asked a fan in the upper deck, “Why are you booing him? He just got here. He couldn’t’ve done anything to you ALREADY, right?” the Phillie fan responded, “Oh, we boo everyone.”

Next are two promotional items I got when I was in Pittsburgh on that same trip. The first is a wall-clock. The second is a commemorative plate.

Next are my three non-Met baseball bobble heads. They should be pretty easy to identify considering the names are on the bases.

Here, is a link to a picture of the Jose Reyes cape I got for the Mets’ promotion, Fiesta Latina. This comes because the pictures I took of mine are blurry beyond belief.

Here are two shirts (front and back) that I got by going to Nats games at the end of the year. The first is a promotional “Strasburg Returns” shirt and the second is a “PNC Virtual Wallet T-shirt Toss” shirt.

Finally, my last baseball items that I have photographic proof of are… my baseball books.

For the record, I *do* have Moneyball, but I usually recommend it to people and said recommendation usually ends in me lending that book to said people.

If you got to this point in the entry, I commend you. I hope that you at least got a chuckle off of how much a person can be obsessed with baseball enough to write an entry this long.

8/13/11 Pirates at Brewers: Miller Park

This is pretty much a cautionary entry to anyone going to a game on a Saturday between two teams in contention. I went through the same pre-game ritual this game as I did at my last and was already to redeem myself for lost opportunities the game before by arriving once again at 4:30 for a 7:00 game when I heard the roar of a crowd:

I then took that last picture. When Richard and I were driving to our parking spot of the previous day, he noticed that the parking lot was packed but I had been to Miller Park previously before this trip and attributed it to the fans tradition of tailgating as I had seen it was very prevalent in my last trip. I should have known, though. When there weren’t many people outside the cars themselves. The reason that I showed up late was that when I looked at the game it was scheduled for 7:00 pm central but Fox then took over the game and moved it to their standard 4:00 pm eastern time slot and I had no clue this had happened. Okay, it was on my ticket but I did not even have the slightest clue to check for the time. What makes it even more painful is that Richard and I were doing a whole lot of nothing the whole day waiting for my mom’s flight to arrive and could have easily shown up to the game.

When we got in it was already the fifth inning. Had I not gotten shutout at Target Field I would have turned around when I saw the crowd and walked back to the car. Instead, I tried to get into prime foul ball territory and this was the result:

No one checked my ticket or anything. You see there is a cross aisle behind Home Plate and in front of the press box that is a pretty good spot for catching foul balls and I thought it would take an ID-ing just to take pictures of it but I walked right in without getting anything checked. My only complaint is that the protective netting is too high for baseballs to come back on a line but here I am in the cross aisle:

I will say, though, that with the net being say 5 feet lower it is the perfect height and distance from Home Plate for a foul ball to get there. As you can see, I have an orange circle in the upper right of that last picture. That highlights just some of the hundreds of white spots on the wall caused by foul balls. Of course, a security guard noticed I was shifting back and forth from batter to batter and asked where my tickets were. I showed him that they were standing room only  and he then told me I (and Richard) would have to leave the section.

We eventually made our way to the Left Field Lodge bleachers and sat there for the inning remaining of a 1-0 game. As you can (maybe) imagine, I was pretty angry at myself for not checking the time of the game but I must say that it as the most energy filled game I have ever been to and I grew up a Yankee fan and attended my fair share of games at the old/new Yankee Stadium. Perhaps it was because there was so much tension in the air. The Brewers only had a 1 run lead in the ninth inning and whoever was pitching loaded the bases with no outs and John Axford got three consecutive outs to end the game (I’m not sure if Axford came in before the Ninth started and loaded the bases or if someone else did and he just finished it off). That was the most excited I have ever been at a baseball game.

Lastly I would like to thank Richard for being the best camera person I have ever had (to this point) by far. I know it was a bit of a stretch to be away from home for that long and attend more games than he had in the last century but I would like to thank him for doing so. Even if I couldn’t put up a show for him during any of these batting practices, I might have to go back to the midwest next year just to have him as my photographer.

No stats for this entry as there isn’t anything to write about this particular game.