9/16/09 @ Wrigley Field

Over a week without attending a game…hotdamn I was anxious for this one. 
As you may or may not know, entering this game, I needed to snag only 6 baseballs to reach the 1000 baseball plateau.  I wanted to do it at Wrigley-the birthplace of the ballhawk.

The day started with a train ride to Chicago.

A young man by the name of Kenny was attending the game with me.  I met Kenny back in 1997 at Milwaukee County Stadium.  At the time, he was a shy 13 yr. old kid, who seemingly, went to every game.  He always sat in the bleachers and *always* brought his glove.  Kenny only missed a handful of games over a 3 yr. period back in the late 90’s…incredible, to say the least. 

Kenny and I arrived at Wrigley Field early so we could catch a few of the Brewers coming into the stadium.  Wrigley Field is awesome for autographs because the majority of the players have to walk right past you to get into the stadium.

Here’s where we were waiting…
9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 002.jpg
…on the corner of Addison & Sheffield outside GATE D.

Here’s what we were waiting for…
9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 003.jpg
…taxi cabs containing baseball players.

Here’s a picture of the aforementioned Ballhawk Kenny waiting for the next cab to pull up while standing next to the drunk guy statue (with creepy little heads popping out of his legs)…
9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 001.jpg

…Kenny’s a pretty decent ballhawk.  With 12 career game home runs snagged, he can hold his own with the best of us…no doubt.

Finally, someone arrived…
9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 006.jpg
…Someone with a capital “S.”

All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman had us line up along that green railing. 

After a minute wait…
9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 008.jpg
…I added his autograph to my 2009 Milwaukee Brewers team signed baseball.

Shortly thereafter, Brewers top prospect Mat Gamel stopped to sign autographs…
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 010.jpg9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 011.jpg

…among other Brewers players.

While we were waiting for players, this creepy advertisement rolled by…
9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 014.jpg

…what in the hell is that??

Then, I noticed this cute little sign by Harry Caray’s Tavern…
Thumbnail image for 9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 012.jpg
…piss-off, Chicago.

After a few more autographs, we saved our spot in line and played a little “catch.” 
Eventually, the gates would open and we were perched in the bleachers (we had regular bleacher seats, not the bleacher box-so, we were restricted to the bleachers only).

My 1st ball on the day was an overthrow from an uknown Cubs pitcher.  He was aiming for someone else and sailed it.  I ran about 20 feet to my left and picked it up on the bounce.  Immediately, all of the classy Cubs fans began to yell and shout to “give it away to a kid!” 
I could not find any young Brewers fans nearby, so, I left the area. 

While standing in left-center, I saw a different Cubs pitcher aim for a fan.  This time, I was closer to the intended target.  Like the previous overthrow, this one sailed, too.  But, unlike the previous, I was in position to run about 10 feet to my left and make the catch. 
Sorry Cubs fans…better luck next time.

Finally, the Cubs left the field and allowed a real team to take BP (the Cubs players only hit a couple baseballs into the bleachers in the 1st 30 minutes).

When it was Prince Fielder’s turn, I headed over to right field.  I had been watching him all season long.  I feel like I know his tendencies. 

I was right.

My 3rd ball on the day came on the fly off the bat of Prince Field
er.  I had him played perfectly.  I only had to move up a couple rows and a few feet over to make the grab. 

Fielder would hit one more to me before he was through.  That one was snagged on the bounce and immediately given to a little girl dressed in pink sitting with her parents (having a daughter of my own-I’m a softie for girls in pink).

BP ended without any further baseballs. 
The wind was blowing in intensely…
9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 020.jpg

…as you can see by the flags.

When the game got started, I noticed a few things…
9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 019.jpg

…typical Wrigley Field alcohol abuse.  (that’s like $5 in beer spilled on the ground)

9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 023.jpg

…do all Cubs fans have that stupid look on their faces?

I digress.

Pictures of the basket…
9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 026.jpg9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 025.jpg

9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 034.jpg9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 033.jpg
…the basket rules.

The glove I used on this day…
9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 029.jpg

…my Brother Jon’s mitt.  It was his birthday on this day.  I thought it would bring me luck.

Does anyone recognize the autograph on the mitt?  If you do, I’ll be shocked. 
I’ll give you a hint…former Brewers 3B.

Today’s snags…
9_16_09 Brewers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field 035.jpg

…four (4) total with two (2) shown.

One was given away to a small girl and an additional baseball was given to the usher in our aisle.  He was extremely friendly to us which made the game that much more enjoyable.

2009 BALLHAWKING STATS

  • 4 total balls 9/16/09


2 batted baseballs

2 tossup baseballs


ATTENDANCE:  38,084

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
8/11/09 = 7   baseballs
8/12/09 = 6   baseballs
8/15/09 = 4   baseballs
8/16/09 = 3   baseballs
8/17/09 = 10 baseballs
8/25/09 = 10 baseballs
8/26/09 = 4   baseballs
8/28/09 = 18 baseballs (new Milwaukee record)
8/29/09 = 2   baseballs
9/04/09 = 5   baseballs
9/06/09 = 5   baseballs
9/08/09 = 8   baseballs
9/16/09 = 4   baseballs
___________________

348 baseballs (56 games)
6.21 average per game

…2 away from 1000…

5 Comments

Nice job on the 4! Sorry, don’t know the signature. I guess I need to brush up on my Brewer 3rd basemen. That Harry Caray statue freaks me out, am I the only one? Dos mas, you’re almost there! Good luck!
Brian
http://txbaseballfan.mlblogs.com

I believe he signature is from Jeffrey H Cirillo

Have you seen this? —
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Matt-Carson-will-not-pay-10-000-for-his-first-b?urn=mlb,191874

I guess people will never forget, sorry. They’ll move on.

BRIAN…
You are not the only one.

PCHEFDAD…
Very nicely done.

BRIAN (again!)…
I’m sure it won’t be the last time it comes back. That’s where I draw the line. I’ll never ask for money for a home run ball unless it’s historically significant. I’ll just keep asking for *stuff*…know what I mean?

BASEBALLTOURIST…
Very interesting.

“Happy”

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