8/04/09 @ US Cellular Field

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Bobby Abreu was sitting on 249 career taters——————————–>

I had the following reasons to go to Chicago:

  1. I could possibly snag #250
  2. I was sitting on 51 careers homers snagged (such an awfully crooked #).
  3. I didn’t have to work the next day.
  4. I had my wife’s blessing.

What other reasons did I need??  So, off to Chicago I went.

I had missed my train from the Waukegan station and time was running out.  I was about to hit Chicago rush hour (******) when a brilliant idea came over me.

Check out where I ended up parking…
8_04_09 Angels vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 003.jpg
…on a street called Waveland Ave. next to some old abandoned warehouse looking building on the North side of Chicago.

It really looked old and dumpy but I thought, what the hell, right?  What are the odds of it collapsing on my truck on that given day?

I walked two blocks to the Red Line train and before I knew it, I was at beautiful US Cellular Field.

The last time I made it to “The Cell,” (7/20/09) I ended up glove-tricking 7 baseballs! 
Would I have similar luck?

When the gates to the stadium opened, I did what I always do at this place.  I did a quick pass behind the right field bleachers to scope out any potential easter egg finds.
There were none.
I continued running behind the batter’s eye and into the left field seats.  I jogged down the 1st staircase in deep left-center field all the way down to the front row.  I checked the “moat” all the way down to the Sox bullpen.  No balls in the “moat.”  I then checked the Sox pen.  There was one sitting near the back wall of the bullpen.  I quickly pulled out the glove-trick and reeled up ball #1.

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It was a WBC ball…

8_04_09 Angels vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 039.jpg

…with a little scuff to the left of the logo…

8_04_09 Angels vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 040.jpg

…and, of course, it had the ridiculous “PRACTICE” stamp on the sweetspot to let everyone know that the ball was only meant for practice.

Really???

I caught Ball #2 on the fly about 10 minutes later.  If I could have seen anything, I might be able to tell you who hit it.  The sun is so brutal at “The Cell.”  If I had to guess, I think it may have been Mike Napoli.

BP dragged on for awhile.  The stands were crowded and there wasn’t much room to roam.  Eventually, I moved over to right field.

I was not wearing an Angels shirt, but, I was wearing an old Angels hat.  A few Angels pitchers were shagging BP out in right-center field.

Angels pitcher Shane Loux fielded one and turned to the crowd.  I could see he was scanning the crowd for one of four things (in order):  an Angels fan (kid), any kid, a woman with D’s or any Angels fan.  He wanted to toss that baseball up.  So, I waved my right arm in a relaxed and non-frantic motion.  It was not working.  So, I took off the Angels cap and held it high in the air.  It was not working.  So, I pointed to the Angels cap that was high in the air.  Still no beans.  So, I started to do jumping jacks…just kidding.  I didn’t do jumping jacks, but, eventually Mr. Loux spotted me (either that or he couldn’t find a better recipient) and tossed it up-Ball #3.

Eventually, I found my way back to left field.  I wanted to do one last scan of the “moat” and the Sox pen before BP was over.  I spotted another ball lying near the back wall of the Sox bullpen and quickly reeled it up for #4 on the day.

Fellow ballhawk Dave Davison of Chicago stopped by to say, “hello.”  I’ve known Dave since the late 90′s.  He’s one of the best ballhawks around.  No doubt.

That was it for BP.  Not a real good showing.

In the 2nd inning, White Sox left fielder Carlos Quentin lifted one high into the air to straightaway centerfield for a home run.

No big deal, right?  Wrong.

Check out where the Quentin home run landed…
8_04_09 Angels vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 011.jpg
…using the red arrows.

It bounced off that metal roof.  No big deal, right?  Wrong.

Look where it came to a rest…
8_04_09 Angels vs<br />
White Sox @ US Cellular Field 027.jpg” src=”http://mlblogsthehappyyoungster.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/8_04_0920angels20vs20white20sox2020us20cellular20field20027-thumb-550×412-14255913.jpg” class=”mt-image-none” width=”550″ height=”412″ /></a></span><br />…do you see it?</p>
<p>How about now…<br /><span class=8_04_09 Angels vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 032.jpg
…holy schnikies!!

That was like baiting the trap.  Believe me, I thought about it…but better judgment kicked in.
I was salivating over snagging that baseball for the rest of the game.
It became a mini-obsession.  I had to let go…sigh.

(sigh)

When Bobby Abreu was at the plate, I was in position…
8_04_09 Angels vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 020.jpg

…but he failed to hit one out.

I tried to ease the pain that was building inside…
8_04_09 Angels vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 023.jpg

…by buying a churro from a friendly vendor named “Jeremiah.”

If you ever go to US Cellular Field, you have to get a churro…they are delicious.

I took in many views during the game…
8_04_09 Angels vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 006.jpg8_04_09 Angels vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 004.jpg
8_04_09 Angels vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 018.jpg

8_04_09 Angels vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 017.jpg

The White Sox ended up winning on a walk-off hit by Scotty Podsednik. 
The crowd went nuts.

After a short train-ride back North on the RedLine, I was back at my truck.

That’s when I posed with a statue of some drunk guy with a microphone…
8_04_09 Angels vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 033.jpg

…take it easy, Cubs fans.  I’m only kidding…

2009 BALLHAWKING STATS

  • 4 total balls 8/04/09

1 batted baseball

1 tossup baseball

2 device baseballs

ATTENDANCE:  30,228

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
8/04/09 = 4   baseballs
___________________

262 baseballs (43 games)
6.09 average per game

Have I lost my mojo??

6 Comments

It was a pleasure to finally meet you. I told some kids pre game to seek you out because you would direct them to the balls. Good luck on getting past that crooked number.

Dave

http://csd72.blogspot.com/

Sorry to respond late to your question on the previous entry, the only Brewers game I will be attending will be August 14. But I will be at Wrigley for the 16th and US Cellular for the 17th and 18th. Please don’t go to US Cellular those days, I don’t wanna compete with another ballhawk at such a great park :)
Alex

Hey Nick, I believe the official name of that statue is “Harry Caray Feasting On The Souls Of Children”

Donny in Houston

DAVE…
It was a pleasure meeting you as well.
Continued success to you!

ALEX…
I’ll see you on the 17th. ;)

DONNY…
That’s some funny stuff. Really funny stuff.

“Happy”

No, you haven’t lost your mojo, it’s August. Hawking is harder in August. BUT, we’re getting close to back to school time, so maybe the BP crowds will start to dwindle!
BTW- What’s up with Hardy getting sent down?
Brian

BRIAN…
I hope so.
Hardy was sent down because he officially blows. He never got it going this season and the Brewers brass finally realized players have to be held accountable.
Better late than never!

“Happy”

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