Results tagged ‘ White Sox ’

9/21/09 @ US Cellular Field

This was going to be my last trek to Chicago for the 2009 season.  Another Milwaukee ballhawk was accompanying me. 
Do you remember Kenny from 9/16/09 at Wrigley Field?  We decided awhile back that we would hit both Chicago stadiums before the season came to a close.

We arrived at “The Cell” around 5:00pm.  We had only 30 minutes before the gates opened, so, we jumped in line outside GATE 5.  I could tell the crowds were thinning compared to earlier in the year.  No pennant race…no passion.  Sad but true.

While we were standing in line, a guy standing at the front of the line asked me,
“are you Nick…The Happy Youngster?”

I said I was and we began to chat it up.  He told me his name is Mike and that he ballhawks from time to time in the Chicago area.  When he told me he was not particularly fond of the “northside team,” things were all good.  It’s kind of like knowing the secret handshake with me.  Ya’ know?  If you know the handshake (or in this case, you don’t like the Cubs), we have something in common. 

We exchanged a few stories, a few opinions and then we went over our game plans.  He told me he enjoys my blog and before we knew it, the gates were opening and the fun was about to begin.

As I was running in, I looked to left field.  There were people already standing out in the left field bleachers.  WTF?!  How the hell did they get in already?  Oh well…there would be no easter eggs because of this.  I also noticed that the Twins were already on the field taking BP.  Usually, I catch the last 3-4 minutes of Sox BP…not this time.

After about 10 minutes of wondering what the hell happened to all the glove-trick possibilities, Orlando Cabrera lifted one high and deep to left field.  I ran up a few rows and when the ball was just within reach, I jumped as high as I could and caught the ball on the fly.  It felt like I really got up there but I’m pretty sure it was all in my head.  (I’m convinced the catch inflated my sense of accomplishment just a tad).

After banging my knees on every bleacher/bench/railing in the place over the next 20 minutes, I began to see the writing on the wall. 
Of the few baseballs that were hit in the stands, I was not meant to snag any more of them…unless I wanted to spend my offseason rehabbing from reconstructive knee surgery.
“The Cell” is awful for running after baseballs.  The rows are long and not spacious.  Half of the bleachers are actual bleachers and the other half are actual seats. 

A total nightmare scenario.

Disgruntled, I took my Jake Taylor knees over to right field.  I took a peek into the visitor’s bullpen.  Aha!  A glove-trick possibility.  It was lying on a rolled up portion of tarp.  I could see it was a Metrodome commemorative ball, too.  After no time flat, the ball was reeled up.

Would you believe that’s all BP would provide today?  Two measly baseballs.  Wow.

Look at how thrilled I am…
9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 004.jpg

Kenny snagged two of his own…
9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 003.jpg

…and was a bit more appreciative of the fact.
A group shot taken after BP…
9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 001.jpg
…of me, Kenny and our new friend Mike.

Kenny showing how easy it is to reach into play…
9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 005.jpg

…down the right field line.

Hey!  There’s no yawning in baseball…
9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 006.jpg

Here’s where our seats were located…
9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 008.jpg

…Section 161/Row 1/Seats 7 & 8.

Irish Heritage Night at the ballpark…
9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 009.jpg
…do you think they paid him a bit extra to wear that?

Nice backpack…
9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 015.jpg9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 011.jpg

…was a bit exciting.

My view during the game…
9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 016.jpg

…not nearly as exciting.

A t-shirt toss casualty…
9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 018.jpg

…yo Zack-the glove-trick work on those?

The game?  No goddamn home runs hit.  No worries, though.  I was able to see a team (Twins) in the thick of a playoff push.  They sure played like it.  Bravo.

Twins won 7-0. 

After the game, Home Plate Umpire Jim Reynolds was kind enough to hook me up by the umpire’s exit…
9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 021.jpg

…with a game ball straight out of his ball pouch.  It had a neat little circular scuff on the sweetspot.

Three baseballs snagged…
9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 020.jpg

…yay.

Hey Nick Punto…
9_21_09 Twins vs White Sox @ US Cellular Field 019.jpg
…nice pants.

2009 BALLHAWKING STATS

  • total balls 9/21/09


1 batted baseball

1 tossup baseball

1 device baseball


ATTENDANCE:  26,541

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
9/18/09 = 10 baseballs
9/21/09 = 3   baseballs
___________________

361 baseballs (58 games)
6.22 average per game

5/19/09 @ U.S. Cellular Field

It was getting pretty hot in the kitchen…I had to go to this game.

I took the train down to Chicago.  When I finally made it to the park, I walked down 35th St. to see if my hot dog stand was still there.  It had been almost 10 years since I made it to a game on the Southside. 

After I passed through the tunnel, I was pleased to see this…
5_19_09 Twins vs White Sox @ U.S. Cellular Field 001.jpg…my little dog stand was still going strong.

After I ate my pre-game meal consisting of a Polish sausage and fries, I walked back to the stadium for a little sightseeing.

My view walking back toward the Cell…
5_19_09 Twins vs White Sox @ U.S. Cellular Field 002.jpg…just like I remembered it.

As I got closer…
5_19_09 Twins vs White Sox @ U.S. Cellular Field 005.jpg…that’s the home plate main entrance.

I continued walking a bit further.  Just moseying around-wasting time.  I was walking around to the right field corner when I heard a voice.
“Are you ‘The Happy Youngster’?” 

Now, I must admit, I was a little reluctant to answer at first.  Until I peered over and read the look on the gentleman’s face. 
(You know when you can tell someone is about to argue/fight/be an ***-even before they say anything?)  The same is true when someone is about to agree/get along/be cool.

It was obvious-this kind fellow was making a friendly contact.  So, I told him I was him and we began to talk about everything baseball. 

He told me his name is Richard, he’s from La Palma, California and he was in town on business.  He said he loves reading my blog and that he’s a Dodgers fan.

Here’s a picture of Richard and I outside U.S. Cellular Field…
5_19_09 Twins vs White Sox @ U.S. Cellular Field 008.jpg…Richard told me he enjoys casual ballhawking coupled with a bit of autograph collecting.  Two great hobbies.  Richard:  it was a pleasure to meet you.  Good luck hawking!

The gates were about to open and Richard was kind enough to invite me to join him at the front of the line.

When I ran into the left field bleachers, I spotted this…
5_19_09 Twins vs White Sox @ U.S. Cellular Field 009.jpg…what a lovely little easter egg.  BALL #1!  Yeahbaby.

kevin slowey.jpg
Twins pitcher KEVIN SLOWEY was shagging balls in left field.  When he
fielded a ball, I asked for it.  He turned and lobbed me BALL #2.

I then told him I thought his blog was cool.  Laughingly, and a bit embarrassed, he said, “thanks.”

BALL #3 was hit by an unknown player.  When I opened my mitt to inspect the ball, I found it to be brand spankin’ new.  Not one mark, not one scuff, not one blemish whatsoever.  One pitch, one swing, one catch-bingo!
I will use that ball for an autograph at some point down the road.

At this point, I heard my first name being called.  Again, I was a bit reluctant to answer.  I didn’t know if it was going to be some crazy fan that hated my guts out to get me.  So, I looped around the person saying my name, sized him up and said, “who wants to know?”  It turned out to be a fellow ballhawk named Adam.  I had met Adam on April 21st when I was down at Wrigley Field.  Adam’s a cool guy with a similar passion for ballhawking.

Here’s Adam and I…
5_19_09 Twins vs White Sox @ U.S. Cellular Field 011.jpg…by the White Sox bullpen.

I told Adam I would catch up with him after BP was over.  I wished him luck and resumed snagging.

BALL #4 was snagged on the bounce hit by an unknown player.  The sun makes snagging in left field at this park difficult.  It also makes player identification pretty hard, too.

I glove tricked a ball out of the White Sox bullpen for BALL #5.

BALL #6 was retrieved on the bounce hit by JOE CREDE.

Thumbnail image for joe nathan.jpg
I felt left field was becoming a bit “used up,” so, I headed over to right
field.  When I arrived, I noticed stud closer JOE NATHAN was shagging some
BP.  Joe fielded one in my vicinity.  The ball looked like it had an
extra-large logo on one of the side panels.  Taking a shot in the dark,
I yelled to Joe Nathan, “hey Joe, can I get that commemorative ball you
got there?”  He looked down at it, turned without hesitation and
fired it into my glove for BALL #7.

Both the Yankees and Twins commemorative baseballs…
5_19_09 Twins vs White Sox @ U.S. Cellular Field 018.jpg…both firsts for me.  The Yankees commemorative ball was gorgeous.  The Twins commemorative was a bit stained.

BP concluded.

When Scott Baker came out to the pen to start his warmup, I joined in watching him from above the visitor’s bullpen.

After Baker was finishing throwing, Twins pitching coach RICK ANDERSON flipped me BALL #8.

Here was my view of the game…
5_19_09 Twins vs White Sox @ U.S. Cellular Field 012.jpg…in Section 103/Row 1.

The only ball hit close was a long fly by Justin Morneau that was caught on the warning track.

White Sox 6 Twins 2.

I was shut out after the game down by the Twins dugout.

Finals…
5_19_09 Twins vs White Sox @ U.S. Cellular Field 017.jpg 

2009 BALLHAWKING STATS

  • 8 total balls 5/19/09

4 batted balls (1 caught on fly)

3 toss-up balls

1 device

ATTENDANCE:  26,696

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
___________________

145 baseballs (19 games)
7.63 average per game

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