7/29/09 @ Miller Park

Miller Park is becoming a bit stale.  Then again, so are the Brewers.  That’s another story, though.

Some days, I wish I lived out on the east coast.  With so many ballparks in close proximity, one particular park would never grow tiresome.

Enough complaining…on with the story.

Like I so often do, I grabbed a table out on Friday’s bullpen patio.  This allowed me an extra 45-50 minutes of BP I normally would not have had.

For those that are curious, here’s what the bullpen patio looks like…
7_29_09 Nationals vs Brewers @ Miller Park 004.jpg

…out in left-center field.

You can enter the stadium early for batting practice but you must use the “Hot Corner” entrance located down the left field line.  Just tell the friendly usher (seemingly, the only one) you would like entrance to the park via Friday’s Front Row Bar & Grill.

Voila…you are in!!

It’s not all peaches and cream, though.  It’s always packed and there’s no room to move.  Also, there’s a 1 hr. time limit on the tables.  Did I mention the food is ridiculously overpriced?  Of course.
I’m lucky if I snag 1 ball before the regular gates open.  It’s tough.  I’ve almost entirely abandoned asking for toss-up baseballs, too.  Too many Brewers players recognize me (or maybe it’s the shirt?!).  Either way, asking for baseballs has always felt awkward. 
I’m just sayin’…ya’ know?

Bill Hall profile photo.jpgOne of the worst Brewers players of recent memory (but a total BP
stud), Bill Hall, stepped into the cage.  Soon, Billy started cranking
those 60 mph heaters out of the ballpark.  Eventually, Billy would hit one in my direction.  Since I didn’t have enough room to bend down and tie my shoe without knocking into 4-5 people, I had to jump over a railing to retrieve this one on the bounce.  Either way, it’s all good.

Where have you gone Billy Hall?? 
Awful.

Take a look at the camera platform that’s situated just to the left field side of the hitter’s eye…
Thumbnail image for 7_29_09 Nationals vs Brewers @ Miller Park 006.jpg

…pretty nifty, eh?

Well, one of my favorite (although, underachieving) Brewers, Corey Hart, hit one that landed on that metal platform.  When it landed, it made a huge BANG!  From my viewpoint, I didn’t see where it came to a rest.  So, I walked up those metal steps and found the ball lying behind that blue barstool.  Not quite an easter egg-but pretty close.

A few minutes later, I glanced down the 3rd base line near the tarp area.
This is what I saw…
7_29_09 Nationals vs Brewers @ Miller Park 001.jpg
…do you see it??

How about with a little zoom…
7_29_09 Nationals vs Brewers @ Miller Park 002.jpg
…!!

I had snagged a baseball in this fashion on 7/24/09. 
Could I do it again?

Answer:  No. 
Someone on the field picked it up before the stadium opened. 

Brewers BP ended and I had two baseballs.  If you’re paying attention, that’s one more than luck/chance/opportunity usually grants.

Bring out “The Donkey.”

They brought him out, alright.  But, I think they forgot to feed him his oats. 
NOT 1 BP homer hit by “the Donkey!”

What’s going on at Miller Park this season??  I don’t ever recall such a vulgar display of puniness in my life.  BP homers are fewer and farther between…I guess that’s the price of cleaning up the game.

Near the end of BP, my 3rd and final ball on the day came via tossup from Nationals Bullpen Coach Randy Knorr.  If you recall, Randy tossed a ball my way on 7/27/09.  What a guy.

Before the game started, a very special little person threw out the 1st pitch of the game.
His name is Mack McGehee-the 2yr. old son of Brewers Rookie of the Year candidate Casey McGehee.  Little Mack was recently diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

I took a few pictures to capture the special moment.
7_29_09 Nationals vs Brewers @ Miller Park 009.jpg
7_29_09 Nationals vs Brewers @ Miller Park 010.jpg

In the photo above, you can see Prince Fielder as Mack’s pitching coach.  Mack’s Dad, Casey, is the catcher.  See the ball overlapping the 1st base line?  Good toss kid.

Casey had asked Prince if he would walk out with his son.  Mack’s a big fan of Prince (as most kids are).  This made being in front of 30,000 people a bit easier, I would imagine.

7_29_09 Nationals vs Brewers @ Miller Park 013.jpg

Father & Son.

Read this short article about the McGehee’s (short read).

Finally, the three baseballs…
7_29_09 Nationals vs Brewers @ Miller Park.jpg

Only two (2) are shown. 

The Randy Knorr tossup (training ball) was given away to a Miller Park usher to give to a deserving kid.

2009 BALLHAWKING STATS

  • 3 total balls 7/29/09

2 batted baseballs

1 tossup baseball

ATTENDANCE:  32,992

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
6/26/09 = 9   baseballs
6/27/09 = 4   baseballs
6/29/09 = 3   baseballs
6/30/09 = 5   baseballs
7/07/09 = 6   baseballs
7/10/09 = 3   baseballs
7/20/09 = 7   baseballs
7/24/09 = 6   baseballs
7/27/09 = 8   baseballs
7/29/09 = 3   baseballs
___________________

258 baseballs (42 games)
6.14 average per game


BASEBALLS SNAGGED BY MONTH:

APRIL:  88 baseballs in 12 games (1 game home run ball)
MAY:    76 baseballs in 12 games (2 game home run balls)
JUNE:   61 baseballs in 12 games (0 game home run balls)
JULY:   33 baseballs in  games (1 game home run ball)

One last note:  Has anyone else noticed I haven’t had a double-digit game since the Coghlan HR catch?? 

My luck will change.  I promise you that.  I just need some time to regroup.
400 baseballs on the season is within reach…stay tuned.

“Happy”

4 Comments

hey, those first two stadium picts are great. never seen those angles on your blog yet. nice to see some interesting stadium views.
-Todd
http://cookandsonbats.mlblogs.com

TODD…
thanks-see you guys soon.

“Happy”

Hi Happy….

My oldest daughter has Cerebral Palsey too. Thanks for the article. I hope Casey has success with his son. It was nice seeing the pics too.

Leigh

LEIGH…
It was my pleasure.

“Happy”

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