6/24/09 @ Miller Park

It was blistering-hot in Milwaukee.  I had not even started to ballhawk and I was already drenched in sweat.  Disgustingly drenched. 

When the gates to the stadium opened at 5:30 pm, I ran in and searched for “easter eggs.”  As luck would have it, I found not one, but two!!  One in the right field bleachers (field level) and one in the right field loge level bleachers (2nd level). 

BALLS #1 & #2 were in the bag. 
Good start.

BALL #3 came (on the bounce) off the bat of this young phenom…
mat gamel profile photo.jpg
Brewers 3B MAT GAMEL.
 

If you don’t know the name, you will.  He’s an absolute hitting machine with a bright future.

How I snagged #3 was actually a bit interesting. 

It landed (on the fly) in the Toyota Tundra Territory out in deep right-center field.  It then bounced out of that section and landed on the concourse below.  It rolled about 10-15 feet (with me giving chase) into a restricted, gated-off area.  I thought it was lost before it rolled back out into the concourse where it was claimed.  I have the slight pitch/slant in the concrete that leads to a drain to thank for it rolling back to me.
 
Even a bit more odd was the fact that it was a Twins commemorative ball.  Somehow, the Twins commemorative found its way into the Brewers ballbag. 
Hmmm…

yovani gallardo profile pic.jpg

The Brewers were finishing up their portion of BP when Brewers ace
YOVANI GALLARDO ————————————————>
fielded a baseball.  I yelled for the ball and he
turned and looked up into the bleachers.  He wasn’t looking at me.  So,
I waved my glove and yelled again.  I was standing in about the 15th
row of the right field loge bleachers (2nd level).  He spotted my position and
lofted the ball to me.  It fell about 4 rows short, but, I ran down and easily claimed BALL #4.

The Twins were now on the field.

The Twins right handed hitters (Crede, Cuddyer, Gomez, Young) had hit well the previous day.  So, I headed to the left field loge bleachers.

Soon, Twins RF MICHAEL CUDDYER hammered one in my direction that I caught on the fly for BALL #5.  When I inspected the baseball, it appeared to have once been a gamer that was retired to the BP bucket. 

A few more baseballs were hit up in my area but it had gotten crowded and hard to move.

NOTE:  For those that think Miller Park is an easy stadium to ballhawk in, guess again. 
Try ballhawking in a stadium that averages nearly 40,000 but only opens up 1 & 1/2 hrs. before gametime.  Not to mention, there’s no real spot at Miller Park that’s open and easy to roam around in.  Strict ushers/security add insult to injury. 

Sheesh.

The Twins righties were finished hitting.  I headed back to right field.

When I made it out to right field, I noticed Twins pitcher FRANCISCO LIRIANO was standing in centerfield shagging BP.  I congratulated him on the victory the night before.  When the next baseball was hit to him, he turned and tossed it to me for BALL #6 on the day.
When I inspected it, I noticed it was almost brand-spanking new.  Not as new as the Cuddyer BP homer I had caught the day before, but, almost.

In the next 15 minutes, I managed to snag 3 more baseballs (all on the fly) from the following players…                                              
jason pridie.jpg

JASON PRIDIE – BALL #7 (given away to a young Twins fan)

                       
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for brian buscher.jpg     BRIAN BUSCHER – BALL #8

Thumbnail image for jose morales.jpg     JOSE MORALES – BALL #9

That was it for BP.

Did I mention it was hot??
6_24_09 Twins vs. Brewers @ Miller Park 001.jpg
90 degrees with a heat index of over 100…hotdamn!

During the game, a very special family stopped by my seat to say “hello”…
6_24_09 Twins vs. Brewers @ Miller Park 005.jpg
…that’s “Brewer Jamie,” his awesome wife-Mary and their adorable daughter Rachel.

Another Miller Park regular stopped by the section…
Thumbnail image for 6_24_09 Twins vs. Brewers @ Miller Park 006.jpg

…the young man’s name eludes me at this time. 
In his hands, he held the newest addition to his growing memorabilia collection. 
A Jason Kubel gamer bat cracked during BP and given to him directly from Mr. Kubel.
Cool stuff.

I didn’t mention it in my last game blog (6/23/09), but I had the chance to formally meet another fellow member of our BALLHAWK LEAGUE. 

Big Glove Bob was in the house. 

For those of you who don’t know, Bob is a diehard Twins fan who has gained notoriety for sporting an oversized glove at the Metrodome. 

Hence, the nickname “Big Glove Bob.”

Bob’s blog tells it like it is and is always a funny read.
If you haven’t already, check his blog out here.

I had met Bob (briefly) back on 5/23/09
But, this time…
6_24_09 Twins vs. Brewers @ Miller Park 011.jpg

…we talked at length.

What a great guy!

The game ended with the final score:

Happy – 9
Brewers – 4
Twinkies – 3
6_24_09 Twins vs. Brewers @ Miller Park 012.jpg
                     Only 8 are shown (1 was given away to a small Twins fan).

A final look.
6_24_09 Twins vs. Brewers @ Miller Park 014.jpg

PICTURED TOP LEFT:  #850 (Michael Cuddyer-caught on fly) was my 200th baseball of the 2009 season.

Yeah, baby.

2009 BALLHAWKING STATS

  • 9 total balls 6/24/09

7 batted baseballs (4 caught on fly)

2 toss-up baseballs


ATTENDANCE: 
34,480

2009 TOTAL BASEBALLS

4/7/09   = 5   baseballs
4/8/09   = 10 baseballs
4/9/09   = 10 baseballs
4/10/09 = 3   baseballs
4/11/09 = 5   baseballs
4/12/09 = 5   baseballs
4/13/09 = 11 baseballs
4/14/09 = 6   baseballs
4/21/09 = 5   baseballs
4/27/09 = 15 baseballs
4/28/09 = 9   baseballs
4/30/09 = 4   baseballs
5/01/09 = 7   baseballs
5/02/09 = 4   baseballs
5/08/09 = 11 baseballs
5/09/09 = 1   lousy ball
5/12/09 = 14 baseballs
5/13/09 = 12 baseballs
5/19/09 = 8   baseballs
5/22/09 = 3   baseballs
5/23/09 = 2   baseballs
5/26/09 = 3   baseballs
5/29/09 = 6   baseballs
5/30/09 = 5   baseballs
6/01/09 = 1   baseball
6/02/09 = 9   baseballs
6/09/09 = 4   baseballs
6/10/09 = 0   baseballs
6/11/09 = 2   baseballs
6/12/09 = 9   baseballs
6/23/09 = 6   baseballs
6/24/09 = 9   baseballs
___________________

204 baseballs (32 games)
6.375 average per game

8 Comments

Happy… the fellow with the game-used bat’s name should be easy for you to remember… its Nick!

Whew! It was a hot one! I agree that Miller Park is not an easy park to ballhawk in. I didn’t get around too much but getting from point A to point B to get balls isn’t fluid and the ushers were pretty ill tempered from what I saw. I just booked a trip to K.C. to see the Twins play in late September. I am already looking forward to coming down next year to Miller!
Bob

We’ll take some of that heat here! I think we are into week 92 of rain/cloudy/cool. Love the big glove!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

Sweet haul! It’s rough snaggin’ in the heat. Texas is brutal. Got my 1st glove trick ball ever yesterday (6/28)! Still trying to get the entry finished, it should be up tomorrow (6/30). Bob seems like a cool guy.
Brian
http://txbaseballfan.mlblogs.com

Got my entry up now. You need to check out the photo I took of Heath Bell kicking his glove like a football. Great stuff! Stay cool (temperature-wise I mean)!
Brian

so how did your blog get so popular anyway?

http://eatsleepmlb.mlblogs.com

SHAWN…
thanks.

BOB…
looking forward to meeting up again.

JULIA…
Now, Wisconsin has no heat! Up/down/up/down.

BRIAN…
Congrats on the glove-trick ball. I took a peek at your blog. 1 is better than none.

The Heath bell photo is cool. From what I hear, he’s a cool dude.

JONNNNNN…
because of loyal readers like yourself! :)

“Happy”

Hey happy,

I work at Miller Park, but when I do get the chance to see a game here and there, I always go to the left-field loge area. Sections 233- 235 are the best in my opinion, just inside the foul pole. Stop by and get some ice cream next time you’re here.

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