Results tagged ‘ Reds ’

8/26/09 @ Miller Park

My wife was running late from work, therefore, I was now running late to the ballpark.  I did not get to the ballpark until 5:55 pm.  There was nothing I could do to avoid it, so, I had to suck it up and make the best of it.  Batting Practice usually ends around 6:20/6:25 pm.  That gave me 25-30 minutes.

I’ll describe how I snagged Ball #1 with a few pictures…
8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 008.jpg

…the black wall is approx. 5′ feet high and separates my row of seats from the Toyota Tundra Territory seats.  The yellow smiley face depicts where I was standing when DREW SUTTON was taking his cuts.  Soon, Sutton would lift one in my direction. 

Unfortunately, it would carry over my head and bounce in the front row of the Tundra Territory where it came to a rest.

In my overly zealous state, the following picture shows the route I took to obtain the ball…
8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 010.jpg

…you guessed it.  Straight over the top of that wall.  I did it from a standing position without a running start and without falling. 

I had to or one of these two would have…
8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 002.jpg
…Casey and Matt.  Two young ballhawks with similar enthusiasm.

Who says white men can’t jump??

I’ll tell you who-
the usher in my section. 

He immediately came marching over and demanded that I throw the ball back on the field.  I cocked my arm back to throw it onto the field and then I paused, wondering if he was for real??  He then snatched the ball out of my hand and threw the ball back onto the field himself!!  Wow.  Take it easy.
I understand he has a job to do, but, c’mon…don’t take it so personal.

I would go on to snag three more baseballs (all on the fly).
Ball #2 was off the bat of LAYNCE NIX (easy grab).  
Balls #3 & #4 were off the bat of JOEY VOTTO.  The cool thing?  They were on consecutive pitches.  That rarely ever happens.

BP ended I somehow managed to snag four (4) baseballs in 25 minutes without asking a single player for a ball.  Some days I just don’t feel like begging for a baseball.  I rarely ever feel comfortable doing it.  But, this season I’m doing it for the sake of the Ballhawk League.

During the game, I hung out a bit with two of my favorite Brewers fans…
8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 005.jpg

…”Big Joe” and his cute little niece Madison.

The game went into extra innings for the 2nd consecutive day. 
Brewers lost in ten…4-3. 

I did not try for any warmup balls.  I did not try for any tossups, foul balls, ump balls, etc.
As is usually the case, I only focused on game home runs.

Blahblahblah…the Brewers season has been a major disappointment.

One of the cooler things of the day…
8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 014.jpg8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 013.jpg
…analyzing the marks on this baseball.

Three staggered green marks across one of the side panels?!

How do you think that got there??

Day’s snags…
8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 012.jpg

only three (3) are shown because one crazy usher tossed one of them back onto the field.

Okay, he’s not crazy, but, he was pretty **********…

2009 BALLHAWKING STATS

  • 4 total balls 8/26/09

4 batted baseballs

ATTENDANCE:  35,084

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
___________________

306 baseballs (50 games)
6.12 average per game

…400 baseballs snagged this season is within reach…

“Happy”

5/30/09 @ Miller Park

When the gates to the stadium opened, I went up to the loge level bleacher area.
When I arrived, I claimed BALL #1 via the coveted easter egg.

The Redlegs pitchers were warming up in the left field corner.
arthur rhodes.jpg

When he was finished tossing, I asked lefty reliever ARTHUR RHODES for the baseball.

He tossed it up for BALL #2.

BALL #3 came via one of the finer grounds crew members in the National League.  It was lying in the Brewers bullpen.  If he wouldn’t have tossed it up, I would have glove-tricked it. 
I’ll take it the easy way, that’s fine with me.

Reds outfielder CHRIS DICKERSON was shagging BP out in centerfield.  When one was hit close to the wall, I asked him for it.  Chalk up BALL #4.

I was standing in an area the Brewers call “the point” when RYAN HANIGAN launched one out to deep left-centerfield.  I was tight against the railing and caught it on the fly for BALL #5.

That was it for BP.

I wandered over to the Reds dugout where I saw this guy signing some autographs.
adam rosales.jpg

That’s Reds 3B Adam Rosales.  Adam was extremely friendly with the surrounding fans.  He seemed genuine and was signing autographs for about 10 minutes.  At one point, a kid (around 10 yrs. old) told Adam, “I have 4 baseballs to sign.”  Adam just laughed and signed all 4!

Here’s what I had autographed…
5_30_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 005.jpg…next time, I’ll use a blue sharpie.  Will probably show up better.

Five (5) home runs were hit in this game but nothing within 100 feet.

The Miller High Life guy made an appearance late in the game…
5_30_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 003.jpg                                           …for a common-sense check. 
                     He had thrown out the 1st pitch (spiked 5 feet in front of home plate).

Finals on the day…
5_30_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 004.jpg5 baseballs
1 autographed Adam Rosales ticket stub
The Miller High Life-Barrelman logo cooler bag.

2009 BALLHAWKING STATS

  • total balls 5/30/09

 

2 batted balls (1 caught on fly)

3 toss-up balls




ATTENDANCE:  44,172

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
___________________

164 baseballs (24 games)
6.83 average per game

5/29/09 @ Miller Park

Straight to the point.

BALL #1 – Nick Masset toss-up after initial warmups.
nick masset.jpg

BALL #2 – David Weathers toss-up during BP. 
ONLY after I yelled, “Roll Tide!” (He’s a huge Alabama Crimson Tide fan)
david weathers.jpg

+       CRIMSON TIDE         =        BASEBALL

BALL #3 – Aaron Harang tossup during BP.
aaron harang.jpg

My favorite Redlegs player.

BALL #4 – Jonny Gomes BP homer on bounce.
BALL #5 – Jonny Gomes BP homer on fly (given to Ethan – see below).

BALL #6 – glove trick out of Brewers pen near end of Reds portion of BP (given to nearby kid).

So, do you remember this little dude…??
5_29_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 009.jpg…that’s Ethan.  He stopped by to say “hi” and was given BALL #5 (Gomes BP homer).

Here’s a few random pics of a sasquatch sighting at Miller Park…
5_29_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 002.jpg…in the picture above, the hairy mammal can be seen imitating some sort of “safe” sign…

…and below…
5_29_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 005.jpg…some sort of menacing mating stance…

…finally…
5_29_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 007.jpg…they’ve gone and multiplied AND they drink beer.  Whowouldathunkit??  No harm-they’re just having a good time.

Someone get that man a brassiere.

People say ballhawking is weird?  Wow.

Finals…
5_29_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 010.jpg…6 total baseballs (4 are shown – 2 were given away to kids).

2009 BALLHAWKING STATS

  • 6 total balls 5/29/09

 

2 batted balls (1 caught on fly)

3 toss-up balls

1 device




ATTENDANCE:  42,186

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
___________________

159 baseballs (23 games)
6.91 average per game

4/21/09 @ Wrigley Field

Since the Brewers had been on the road all week, I was
baseball-starved and in desperate need of some ballhawking action. 
After gaining the blessing of my lovely and understanding wife, I found
myself on a train to Chicago at 1pm.

After a 1 1/2 hr. train ride, I was in downtown Chicago.  I hoofed it
about 9 blocks to the RedLine subway and jumped on another train that
dropped me off at the front door step of Wrigley Field.

Here was my view as I popped out of the ADDISON ST. station…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 001.jpgThis is the southeast corner of the stadium at the intersection of SHEFFIELD AVE. and ADDISON ST.

Here’s a look down SHEFFIELD AVE…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 002.jpgThe centerfield scoreboard at Wrigley is purely nostalgic.  New stadiums are great, but Wrigley has that old-school flair.  See the flags?  The wind was blowing hard to the right field corner.   
I walked another 50 feet and peered through an open chain link fence.
Here’s what I saw…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 003.jpg            A rain soaked field with a rain jacket on.  There would be no BP on this day.

So, I wandered around the ballpark and took a few photos.

Here’s a famous intersection…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 004.jpg                                                   WAVELAND/KENMORE

Here’s a view of the left field bleachers standing underneath the above intersection sign…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 005.jpgThe guy in the blue coat is walking underneath that overhang for a reason…rain, rain go away!

My walk continued past the players parking lot (3B side) and back behind home plate where I purchased my ticket.  I went up to the window and asked for the cheapest ticket available.  He told me it would be in the Terrace Reserved-Section 233/Row 16/Seat 12. 
$24, please.  Okay, whatever.  Just get me in the stadium.

The lines were starting to lengthen.  I’m thinking…wow, 30 degrees and rainy and these fans still line up to see their team.

Until I found out it was a giveaway day.  I’m certain the freebie brought many out early as the Cubs were only handing out one to the first 10,000 through the gates.

What were they giving away?

This worthless thing…
zambrano statue giveaway.JPG

I’m sure it has some value.  I decided to keep it because I’m a bit of a pack rat.

My walk around the ballpark came to a halt when I spotted this fella…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 006.jpg                                                      Zack Hample.

I had met Zack for the 1st time a few weeks back when we were both in Toronto.
I had read on his blog that he had planned on being in Chicago this week.
Zack’s one cool dude.

The gates to the BPless Wrigley Field opened two hours early.  I grabbed my Zambrano statue and headed into the seating area. 

Upon entering, this was the scene…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 008.jpg              I’m not a fan of rain.  Especially when it takes the place of Batting Practice.
 

After a few minutes, the Reds pitchers started coming out onto the field…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 007.jpgBASEBALL #1 came fro
m an unknown Reds pitcher.  I wanna say it was MIKE LINCOLN.  Not positive.  It was his warmup ball.

BASEBALL #2 came about 30 seconds later from EDINSON VOLQUEZ.  He was walking back toward the dugout and launched it 30 rows back right to where I was standing.  Of course, wearing all Reds gear and waving my arms like I’m trying to put out a fire didn’t hurt.

The players had all retreated to the clubhouse.  I had some time to burn, so, I wandered.

Look at that beautiful runway on the lower level to snag foul balls…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 009.jpgOld-school charm…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 010.jpgLeft field bleachers…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 012.jpgRight field bleachers…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 013.jpgPre-game view from the seat I was SUPPOSED to be sitting in (more on this later)…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 014.jpg                                          SECTION 233 ROW 16 SEAT 12

I wandered some more-ending up in the upper deck.  I had to show my ticket about 50 times to get up there!  The ushers at Wrigley are Nazis.  Just doing their jobs, I guess.

A view of centerfield from the upper deck…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 017.jpgA view to the right from the upper deck…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 018.jpgand a view to the left…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 019.jpgSee that overhang??  A ton of baseballs get fouled off and bounce onto that roof.  Their final landing spots are the surrounding streets below.  Now, that’s old-school.

A look onto Waveland Ave. from the furthest seat from home plate…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 022.jpgRooftop seats in left field…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 026.jpg
The seagulls in Chicago are on a timer.  They swoop in every day around 5-6pm.  They’re used to day game buffets.  They were a tad early on this day…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 028.jpgThe only thing more annoying than seeing seagulls everywhere is seeing Cubs fans everywhere.

Uh-oh!!  Game time!!
Get that oversized slip n’ slide off the field…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 030.jpgnicely done…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 032.jpgLet’s play ball!!

Right before the game was about to begin, I took a look where I was SUPPOSED to be sitting.  It was way up and underneath the overhang.  There was no way I was going to sit there for the game.  So, I did what any ballhawk would do.  I looked down to the dugout seats above the Reds dugout and saw a few empties.  So, when the Gestapo wasn’t looking, I snuck down and assumed an empty seat in the 2nd row directly above the Reds dugout.  Decked out in all Reds gear, I was definitely in enemy territory.  Only a few Reds fans to my left.  I struck up conversations with everyone around me and acted like I’d been there before.

Reds infielder ALEX GONZALEZ was warming up with Brandon Phillips directly in front of me.  After he was finished throwing, I asked for the baseball.  Alex looked at me and faked like he was going to throw it 90 mph at my head.  He pulled it back, smiled and then gently tossed it to me for BASEBALL #3.

Here was my view to start the game…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 037.jpgNot too shabby (I think this was the only time I blinked in 3 hours). 

More pics…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 038.jpg     Derrek Lee…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 045.jpg

1st inning…2nd inning…3rd inning…4th inning…5th inning all go by.  I’m still sitting in the 2nd row!  I think the late Harry Caray said it best, “holy cow!” 

In the bottom of the 6th inning, Cubs LF ALFONSO SORIANO was at the plate.  He hit a nubber down the 1st base line.  It rolled right up to 1st base, struck the base, then rolled into shallow right field.  Jay Bruce picked it up and fired it into second where Soriano slid safely for a double. 

The ball was thrown out of play to this man…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 051.jpgCubs 1B coach MATT SINATRO.  Mr. Sinatro looked in my direction.  I was the only fan who stood up AND had a baseball glove on.  He made eye contact with me and tossed the game ball to me for BASEBALL #4.  A toss-up for official statistics, but a gamer hit nonetheless.

Here’s the Soriano game used hit ball…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 058.jpg                                     ALFONSO SORIANO CAREER HIT #1406

After the bottom half of the seventh had ended, Reds 1B Coach BILLY HATCHER tossed BASEBALL #5 to me on top of the dugout. 

I had been trying to get a 3rd out ball all game but for whatever reason, Reds 1B Joey Votto would not look to the crowd.  He would simply jog off the field and on his way to the dugout, he would toss the 3rd out ball to Billy Hatcher.  Billy would then toss him a different one.  I’ve noticed this becoming a trend.  From what I gather, the players are using the previous innings game ball for the infield warmup ball between innings.

Upon further inspection of the Billy Hatcher toss-up, I could see it was a game ball but it had too many grass and dirt stains to be the 3rd out of that inning.  It had been the previous innings 3rd out used for infield practice.  Ahah!!

Here’s a look at the Billy Hatcher toss-up ball…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 059.jpgThe ball was certainly “rubbed” for game action.  This particular ball just saw some extra action in between innings.

After getting that 5th baseball, I reached into my backpack and dug out the Mike Lincoln toss-up and handed it to a very friendly Cubs fan who actually HAD tickets in those seats.  I felt almost obligated to do that because I had sat in those seats all game without a ticket there.  Unbeknownst to anyone around me, of course.

Here’s me in the 9th inning…
4_21_09 Reds vs Cubs @ WRIGLEY FIELD 052.jpgStill sitting in the 2nd row on the dugout with a $24 ticket.  Yeah, I beat the system.

Finals for the day…
                             5 toss-up baseballs (4 shown-1 given away)
                                                           +
                                1 Carlos Zambrano bathroom ornament

2009 BALLHAWKING STATS

  • 5 total balls 4/21/09

5 toss-ups

ATTENDANCE:  38,403

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
___________________

60 baseballs (9 games)
6.667 average per game

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