Results tagged ‘ Billy Hatcher ’

4/13/09 @ Miller Park

As my wife and I walked up to the stadium, I spotted this…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 001.jpg                                                just lying on the ground. 

So, I bent down, picked it up and placed it into my left front pocket.

I’m a bit superstitious.

When we were allowed to enter Miller Park, I found the Brewers still on the field for BP.  I spotted Brewers relief pitcher JORGE JULIO shagging baseballs out near the left field warning track.  I asked him for a baseball and he tossed one up for a quick BASEBALL #1.

I ran over to take a peek into the Brewers bullpen for any glove trick opportunities.  When I arrived, I spotted one.  I pulled the necessary equipment out of my bag and pulled it up for BASEBALL #2

Now you see it…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 002.jpgNow you don’t…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 006.jpg4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 003.jpg                            That’s me in action with my wife as the photographer. 

After using the glove trick, I ran up to the loge bleachers (200 level) to shag a few.  When I arrived, I started combing through the bleachers in hopes of finding an overlooked easter egg.  There were about 15 people in the bleachers at this point.  I knew the odds were slim but I had to give it a shot.  After looking for about a minute or so…I had spotted one!  It was on the very bottom row of loge bleachers and I did not see it until I had walked about 50 feet away from it.  The angle was just right that it had been overlooked.  I moved toward the unclaimed baseball with a brisk walk.  I didn’t want to give it away to anyone (a few guys were doing the same easter egg hunt as I was).  When I was about 10 feet from it, I sprinted over and claimed it for BASEBALL #3
I love finding easter eggs.

Brewers pitcher MITCH STETTER was shagging baseballs in left field.  I yelled down to him for a baseball and he lobbed one up to me for BASEBALL #4.

Four quick ones and the Reds hadn’t even taken the field, yet.

When the Redlegs did finally start to hit the field, I moved over to right because I knew the big lefty sluggers would be starting things off.

I must admit, Batting Practice is not as fun without Adam Dunn on the Reds, but young sluggers JOEY VOTTO and JAY BRUCE both did their part to make up for his absence.  It didn’t take Jay Bruce long to hit one out.  When he did, I ran over and caught it on the fly for BASEBALL #5.  Hitting in the same group was the aforementioned stud Joey Votto. Joey cranked one out in my direction, too.  In the same fashion, I gloved his BP homer on the fly, too!  That was BASEBALL #6.

I was cruising right along.

I looked down to the field and Reds pitcher AARON HARANG was shagging some BP right below my seats in right-center field.

You can’t really tell by the picture…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 008.jpg                                but, take my word for it…that’s Aaron Harang.

So, I politely called down to him.  I asked him if he would be willing to sign a baseball for me.  He made a “toss-it-down” motion with his glove.  So, toss-it-down I did.

Here’s a picture of Aaron Harang signing one of my game balls…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 007.jpg

                                        Cool dude-that Aaron Harang.

Here’s the finished product…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 012.jpg                           He really took his time, which is rare nowadays.

Autograph obtained…resume ballhawking.

Reds pitcher JARED BURTON was standing out in right-center field shagging some BP.  When he fielded one close to the warning track, I told him that if he left it on the track that I could pick it up.  He asked me if I had go-go gadget arms.  I said, “not exactly, but close to it!”  He took the baseball he had in his hand and tossed it up to me for BASEBALL # 7.  I was a little surprised that he even tossed it, but what the heck…I’ll take it.  I thanked him for the toss-up and then I told him I wasn’t kidding about picking i
t off the warning track.  He said, “next one.”

A minute later, another ball was hit out toward him.  He fielded it and lobbed it back toward the wall where I was standing above.  I had the glove trick ready to go.  He walked back toward it and kicked it closer to the wall below.  I lowered my glove down and picked it off the track for BASEBALL #8.  I thanked him for the opportunity and for being cool.  Cool dude. 

That concluded the BP portion of my day.

Before the start of the 5th inning, Brewers CF MIKE CAMERON was warming up with Brewers LF RYAN BRAUN.  When Cameron was finished warming up, I let go one of my famous whistles.  He turned, took two steps toward me and let it fly from shallow centerfield.  The throw was going to be low so I had to lean way out over the small railing and make the catch.  Of course, I made the catch…for BASEBALL #9 on the day.

When the 9th inning began, I scampered down to the box seats near the Reds dugout.  I wanted to get my 1st ump game ball of the regular season.  It worked in Spring Training for me a bunch of times, but that was exhibition.  I wanted to do it when things counted.  So, after the last out was recorded, I was in place.  I ran down to the front row and called out to home plate umpire MIKE REILLY.  He turned in my direction and reached into his ball pouch.  He grabbed one and fired a strike to my waiting glove for BASEBALL #10

I was glad to get that 1st ump game ball out of the way on this young season.

About 20 seconds later, the players and coaches were exiting the field.  I scanned everyone’s mitts and hands.  I spotted Reds 1B Coach BILLY HATCHER walking off the field.  Billy had a ball in his hands and you could see he was scanning the crowd for a fan in Reds gear.  I was decked out in my Griffey, Jr. #3 Reds jersey and cap.  I yelled out “Billy, Billy Hatcher” and held up my glove.  It was too easy…we made eye contact and he tossed me BASEBALL #11 on the day.

That concluded a pretty good day of hawking at the yard…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers.jpg11 baseballs (10 are shown-1 was given away)  Ump ball bottom middle/Coach Hatcher toss-up bottom right.  I do not # mark game balls.

2009 BALLHAWKING STATS

  • 11 total balls 4/13/09

2 caught on fly (hit)

1 easter egg (hit)

6 toss-ups

2 device

ATTENDANCE:  25,016

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
___________________

49 baseballs (7 games)
7.0 average per game

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