I’M GOING TO SPING TRAINING! Hey guys as you probably already know, I’m SUPER excited to attend spring training. I will see the Phillies @ Twins on Sunday, then Braves @ Phillies on Monday, and Phillies @ Braves on Tuesday. I have good seats behind the dugouts so I will hopefully snag some gamers. The first recap will probably be up the Saturday after I come home. If anyone has any tips lmk in the comments.
My dad and I decided to go see the Phillies play the Giants on the last game of the three game series. The Phillies had beaten the reigning World Series Champs 7-3 in the first game, but they were blown out 9-2 in the second game. Obviously, I didn’t think they would win. Matt Cain was taking the bump for the Giants and Cole Hamels was pitching for the Phillies. I predicted that it would be a low scoring game were one of the pitchers would allow 1 run and then it would be up to the bullpens. I was correct, but more on the later. I had received a special buy one get one offer from the Phillies by voting for them for the ASG. My dad and I found some nice seats in left field and decided to purchase them. About 15 minutes before we left, I called the BP hotline because it had been raining all day. The rain was supposed to pass through Philly by 4, which it did, but the BP hotline said there would be no BP because the field was soaked. As you can imagine, I was not very happy with this news. We still left on time and arrived at the stadium around 4:15. The Ashburn Alley gate opens at 4:35. Most stadiums don’t open that early so I’m glad that the Phillies do. It was Brad Lidge retirement night so we grabbed our Brad Lidge Prints and headed in. Once we put the Lidge Prints in my binder we went to left field to find our seats. We were the only people in the outfield except for another dad and son. A Giants pitcher was warming up with a coach near the foul pole. I couldn’t tell who the pitcher was because he didn’t have his jersey on. The quality wasn’t very good on my camera because I had to adjust a setting. If you know who it it please leave a comment. Notice the tobacco in his pocket. He finished warming up shortly after and I asked the coach for the ball. He flipped it to me where I was standing in foul territory just left off the foul pole. It was a practice ball and it also happened to be the first MLB practice ball I’d ever snagged. I was glad to snag a ball and keep my streak alive because I knew it would be tricky without BP. My dad took a picture of me with the ball. Pablo Sandoval was jogging on the warning track and he told a kid with a panda hat that he would sign autographs today. I got his attention and hoped I could get him to sign my card. Since there was no BP I walked around and took some pictures. I went into the camera area and spotted two baseballs in the batters eye. I briefly thought about using the glove trick but I decided against it for obvious reasons.
1. I probably had enough string, but the angle was really tough.
2. The sharpie would probably fall out.
3. My glove could get stuck.
4. I could get thrown out.
Here is a look at the cameras. After this, I searched through all the flowers for baseballs, but I didn’t find any as I expected. We went to Ashburn Alley for a little bit and looked at all the neat things they have there. Here is Dallas Green’s plaque. Me in front of the visitors bullpen. Then we went to the Ashburn Alley store for a little bit. Not much was going on, but I met some graphers from California who told me about their impressive collection. The rest of the stadium opened at 5:35 so I headed over to the barrier to wait. All the other gates opened on time so they let people through as soon as the all clear was given on the radio. I ran over to get a good spot for Giants autographs, but NOBODY came out for about an hour. I did get Joe Savery to sign the ball I snagged earlier. He was in the tunnel signing autographs for some people. I didn’t know it was him, but the kid next to me asked him who he was and he said Joe Savery. He only signed for 2 people. Thanks Joe. I could see Pablo Sandoval in the dugout on his phone. You might have to zoom in to see him. Panda ended up not signing autographs and the only Giant who signed was Hunter Pence. He signed for me and about 10 others. He signed my card sideways but oh well. I was still really excited. Unfortunately, I missed Brad Lidge’s first pitch because Pence was signing my card. My dad and I headed back to our seats for the start of the game. Here was my view. I had plenty of space behind me and some space to my right if a homerun was hit at me. The game was a pitching duel. Matt Cain and COle Hamels were both lights out. Cain had a perfect game through for innings until Chase Utley singled. Cole Hamels decided to get himself some runs because whenever he pitches the offense gives him NO run support. Hamels got a RBI bloop single over Sandoval’s head. The game was going very fast and it was only 8:30 at the start of the 6th inning. During the seventh inning stretch, my dad and I moved by the bullpens in center field. We stood by the bullpen railing in-between innings. I was hoping to get a ball from the Giants. The ushers told everyone to move away from the railing, but this man stayed and the Giants flipped him a ball. Oh well. Here is Papelbon warming up. I moved down and sat next to the bullpen when Papelbon came in. He promptly blew the game, allowing the Giants to score 2 runs. Antonio Bastardo had been warming up for a while and had thrown about 30 pitches. All the fans were yelling for Bastardo to come in. I kept waiting for a pitching chance but it never came. Papelbon finally got out off the inning. After the inning ended, Erik Kratz flipped me a baseball from the bullpen. He threw me the ball sitting in the water. I moved to the tunnel on the third base line because I thought it was the umpire tunnel (I had never been near their before so now I know its at the end of the visitors dugout.) Romo came in to close the game for the Giants. Delmon Young reached on an error, Cody Asche recorded his first MLB hit when Romo slipped after picking up Asche’s bunt. Mayberry was hit to load the bases with no outs. Ruiz flied out but not deep enough for the runner to tag. Laynce Nix struck out. 2 outs. Erik Kratz pinch hit for Papelbon Look at the scoreboard LOL. I have no clue why Kratz pinch hit. Charlie Manuel should’ve used Kevin Frandsen, who has come through with many pinch hits this season. Romo is a righty and Kratz and Frandsen are both righties. I don’t know what Manuel was thinking. Anyway, Kratz grounded out to end the game. What a TERRIBLE blown game. I headed down to the dugout hoping for a ball from the bullpen pitchers walking in. Matt Cain is being interviewed in the picture. Nobody threw up any balls at my end of the dugout and then security started asking people to leave. We went to the Majestic Clubhouse store and a fan joked, “Get a free Papelbon t-shirt with any purchase.” LOL. Overall, it was a fun game despite the 9th inning collapse. Here are all the things I got.
4 CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH A LEAST 1 BASEBALL
2 CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH AT LEAST 2 BASEBALLS
AVERAGE 2.00 BASEBALLS PER GAME
AVERAGE 1.5 BASEBALLS PER GAME.
My dad took my cousin Jack and I to the Blue Rocks game on 7/8/13. We parked here again. This is bettter than some of the other lots because you can look for foul balls on the way in and out of the stadium. The lines for tickets were long so Jack and I headed towards the visitors bullpen while my dad purchased tickets. The visiting Frederick Keys’ bus. Check out what we found next! The garage doors were open and we discovered the indoor batting cages. Very cool. We asked the Keys bullpen players for some baseballs, they didn’t throw us any but they seemed pretty friendly. We headed back to the entrance and entered the stadium. We setup shop in the bleachers behind the metal bleacher behind the Blue Rocks dugout. When the Keys flied out to right field to end the inning, Jack and I get the best position behind the dugout. No other people were trying for the ball, because not many kids were there yet. Jorge Bonifacio flipped us the ball as he ran in. Jack somehow snuck his glove behind mine at the last second and robbed my catch. Oh well, I’m not sure that was a clean play but whatever. Shortly after, Bonifacio retrieved a foul ball and I ran towards him incase he over threw the kids in the front row. He did but only by a few rows. I probably could have snatched the ball off the ground, but it was at their end of the row so I let the kids grab it. Even if I did get the ball I probably would have given it to them, but that way I could count it in my stats. I moved to the bleachers behind the Keys dugout. As I sat there, I watched Jack lose a ball in the sun on the other side of the stadium. Despite the sun shining in his eyes he should have easily snagged it. I just sat there laughing. Right after that, a foul left the stadium and saw him sprint after it to redeem himself. My security guard friend ended up giving it to him. I snagged the third out ball from Keys second baseman (I think it was Travis Adair). This guy in his 50s with an O’s hat wasn’t happy that Adair tossed me the ball. Here is my first ball. We had a combined total of 3 balls in the first inning, which put us on pace for 27 total balls. As we went back to camp out at the top of the firstbase gate, an employee told us (but mainly Jack) that he wouldn’t let us chase after foul balls into the parking lot. Staff is starting to recognize us and watch us very closely. Jack saw a staff member point at another staff member and make the “I’m watching you” motion with his fingers. We decided to lay low near the bullpen. The staff worker followed us and stood by the railing watching us. When he left we greeted the players and sat down. After a little while, Jack moved and starting checking for ball in the picnic area. A foul ball bounce off the wall near the bullpen and rolled out onto the field. Cory Hall retrieved the ball and he flipped it to me for my second ball of the day. The Blue Rocks weren’t playing very well. But shortly after this picture, my man Dennis Raben hit a 3 run bomb to tie the game at 4. We went back to find my dad and Jack noticed 2 people signing autographs behind homeplate. They were using the radar gun and keeping the boxscore. We figured they were players with the night off and quickly determined that they were Kyle Zimmer and John Lamb. Kyle Zimmer is the Blue Rocks ace and is currently ranked 24th overall prospect by Bleacher Report and I think that he will be in the majors within the next two or three years. He struck out 13 batters in his last outing. We knew we had to get him to sign a ball so we headed to the team store. We each bought an Official Carolina League Baseball and I also bought some baseball cards, which I will show you later. John Lamb was also there. Lamb pitched for the Royals in September last year, but then he had Tommy John surgery and is rehabbing. Zimmer signed our balls on the sweetspot and inscribed 2012 1st Round Draft Pick on the side. This is my second player to sign a ball, who was drafted in the first round of an MLB Draft. The other player is Marcus Stroman with the Jays organization. Here John Lamb and I. I will have pictures with Zimmer at the end of the post. Lamb signed a mini helmet, but it didn’t really turn out. I will get him on something besides a mini helmet later, but that was all I had at the moment. Here is John Lamb and Jack. He was a really cool guy and we talked for a little bit. You can see Zimmer’s elbow on the right. After this, we headed outside the stadium to try and snag foul balls off the roof. None were hit out so we went to look for Dennis Raben’s homer from earlier. It was gone which was no surprise, but we didn’t find any BP balls either. Jack left and I went to the visitors bullpen. I asked them for a ball a few times and then just watched them through the gate for a few minutes. I didn’t have the Keys roster because Jack had it. I asked #28 to throw me a pop fly over the fence and he did. He said nice catch and I said thanks. I later found out that Zach Fowler tossed me the ball. This was my third ball, which tied my record yet again. I reentered the stadium and as soon as I walked to the 1st base gate Raben went deep with a 2 run blast. I sprinted outside and got the best jump even though there were people in the parking lot. They beat me by about 15 seconds. Ugh. Oh well. If I had come back the other way around the stadium the ball would have been mine. I walked back and Jack showed up hoping to find the ball. I still had the ball in my hand from the bullpen so I showed i to him and we did a chestbump. LOL. Then I told him it wasn’t the ball. I stood on the base of the lightpost right next to the Blue Rocks bullpen. Here was my view. Cody Fassold asked me if I snagged the homer and I said almost but no. We were talking for a while and he asked me if I found any other balls behind the fence and I told him I got one from the Keys bullpen. Fassold is now my eyes and ears for snagging baseballs outside the stadium. When I was standing on the pole, a little girl walked by and said, “Mommy that’s not safe is it?” LOL. I headed back into the stadium and found my dad. We grabbed some seats near Kyle Zimmer behind home. When I was sitting there a foul ball went out of the stadium, I went out and looked for them but I didn’t see any. Another ball was hit out (2 or 3 total in the last 5 minutes) I started walking around in the parking lot and spotted one lying in front of a car. I hurried and over and scooped it up for my 4th ball of the day. 4 BASEBALLS IS MY NEW RECORD. I walked back inside and watched from next to the Blue Rocks tunnel. The game went into the bottom of the 10th inning and the Blue Rocks loaded the bases with NO OUTS. A sac fly tied the game at 7. Now it was runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. The Blue Rocks tried a suicide squeeze but the batter couldn’t put down the bunt. The runner on third was trapped. When he ran back to third the catcher threw the ball past the third basemen and in to the outfield. The runner broke for the plate and was safe. WALKOFF WIN!!! I hung around the tunnel and slapped Mr. Celery as he ran by in a craze. I filmed the walkoff but it isn’t worth showing because the stadium lights messed up the quality. I congratulated the players as they walked through the tunnel. I was hoping for the lineup card, but tonight it wasn’t going to happen. We were handed free tickets for the next day as we left (I think it was because the weather was supposed to be terrible), but we weren’t able to use them. Kyle Zimmer was outside the player entrance and we got pictures with him. He was really nice and he signed a whole page of cards AND a ROMLB for a grapher outside. Overall, this was a great night of baseball because I broke my record, meet Kyle Zimmer and John Lamb, and watched the Blue Rocks walkoff. My next game is tomorrow night vs. Myrtle Beach. That entry will probably be up late next week. I may also be going see a Phillies game next week so stay tuned!
(4 balls at this game, notice the Practice Ball)
3.00 BALLS PER GAME
19 CAREER BASEBALLS
Someone from the Blue Rocks PR staff asked me to post this information about their upcoming book drive.
Beginning Thursday, July 18th through Sunday July 28th , The Wilmington Blue Rocks are hosting a LundyLaw Library Express book-drive to benefit patients at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
If you bring 2 or more brand new books for children ages 2-18 to Frawley Stadium, 801 Shipyard Drive, Wilmington, you will receive 1 complimentary ticket to the July 28th game. If you bring 4 brand new children’s books, you will be entered into a drawing to win VIP game tickets, access to on-field pre-game batting practice with the players, and the chance to throw out the first pitch of the game! The winner of the drawing will be announced by Judy Lundy, President of The LundyLaw Foundation, during the July 28th game.
All books will be collected at the Frawley Stadium box office from July 18th-July 28th. We look forward to seeing you at the LundyLaw Library Express book night on July 28th!
The books collected are part of The LundyLaw Library Express at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to provide patients with brand new books. These books will be distributed to children on colorful mobile library carts, allowing patients restricted to their rooms to choose a book which will be theirs to keep! More information is available at the Blue Rocks website and the Lundy Law website.
My family went to see the Blue Rocks vs Potomac Nationals doubleheader at Frawley Stadium. Here we are on the road.Here is were we parked. My cousin Jack and his family came with us. We tried to go the the game on Friday night but it was postponed because of severe rain and a tornado watch. Doubleheader games in the minors are 7 innings each. On our way to the entrance a man approached us and tried to sell us picnic porch all you can eat tickets. They are normally $25 each and he was selling them for $10, which was a good deal. We didn’t have any cash so we went to get in line for GA tickets. It was Bark in the Park day and lots of people brought their dogs. There were a bunch of tents with free dog toys, treats, and all kinds of dog stuff. Just then, our cousins showed up. Jack is thrilled for ballhawking. The lines for tickets were pretty long so Jack and I walked around part of the stadium. We walked past the Potomac bus and found something EPIC! We found a Minor League Official Baseball 12 dozen box. I guess the Nats brought it and it was sitting outside by the bus. We picked it up and walked to the visitors bullpen. We didn’t see any baseballs but I took this picture through the bullpen gate. We asked the Nats for a ball but they didn’t throw us any. We stashed the box by the bullpen so we could pick it up after the game. We headed back and made our way into Frawley Stadium. The game had already started. The Nationals already batted and didn’t get any hits. As we walked to our seats Lane Adams blasted a homer of the top of the left-centerfield wall. I made a mental note of were the ball landed and planned to retrieve it later. Our seats were up in GA but Jack, his little bro and I sat down the left field line near the groundscrew tunnel for the next inning. Here is a random observation. Lenny Dykstra’s son Cutter was playing third base for the Nationals. No balls were hit near us but we did see some serious IP graphers. I took my little cousin’s picture with Rocky Bluewinkle. We headed over to the first base side next. We didn’t have any luck with third-out tossups because there were lots of little kids. Jack snagged a t-shirt between innings. Kyle Zimmer was dealing and he had a no-hitter going. Sometime in the 3rd or 4th inning Blue Rocks’ first baseman Dennis Raben broke his bat on a foul ball. The big part of the bat landed near first base. I was two sections down from the Blue Rocks’ Dugout and I quickly ran to their dugout. Geulin Beltre retrieved the bat and I made it to the top of the dugout entrance right before he came back in. I asked him if I could have the bat after the game (they don’t usually give out broken bats until after the game). He looked at me for a second and then he just handed me the bat. This was my first ever bat! I will show you more pictures later. Right after this picture was taken a foul ball went into the parking lot. I sprinted after it while holding the bat, not a good idea btw. A couple walking their dogs showed me where the ball landed and I scooped it up for my first ball of the day. I didn’t take a pictures because my hands were full from holding my bat and glove. Jared Schlehuber had homered and Kyle Zimmer lost his no-hitter in the fifth on an error by himself that was ruled a hit. Then they got a hit off him but he pitched all 7 innings and shutout Potomac. In the sixth inning, the man who tried to sell us the picninc tickets earlier gave us 10 for FREE! Thanks man. Here is a picture of the picnic porch. Jack snagged a tossup from Robinson Yambati in the bullpen while I was getting food, but I was supposed to eat before doing more ballhawking anyway. I didn’t eat to much because I was getting autographs between games on a team ball. My sisters helped get the giveaway hats signed. Dennis Raben signed his broken bat for me. Geulin Beltre gave me his warmup ball, which I gave to my little cousin. Here is Sam Selman throwing his pre-game bullpen session
Robinson Yambati LOL. We stayed for the first three innings of the second game. I didn’t get any balls, but I did purchase the game-used lineup card from the home opener from the Quarry (Blue Rocks Team Store). I attended the home opener and it was only $3 so I knew I should buy it. Sam Selman was not pitching well and was pulled in the second or third inning (I can’t remember because this game was a while ago). All in all, this was my best ever day at Frawley Stadium. My post from the July 8th game should hopefully be up within the week. Here are more pictures of the bat.Here is the lineup card.
(2 balls at this game, 1 pictured here because I gave 1 away)
2.6 BALLS PER GAME
15 CAREER BALLS
So my dad and I arrived at Citizens Bank Park about 20 minutes before the gates opened. It was my first regular season game of 2013 and I was super excited! We parked in a different spot than usual because we were there early, which gave a chance to take some cool photos of this statue of an old Phillies player. Here’s another picture. We headed over to the Ashburn Alley gate and were third in one of the lines.. They check your bags before they open the gates that way you can get in faster, which I really liked. Also, tonight was hat giveaway night. I didn’t really care that much because I usually just wear snapbacks but it was still cool. This was my view while waiting. They opened the gates a few minutes late, but it turned out fine. I ran to left center and it was just me and one other kid for a minute. I looked at the cage only to discover (at my dismay) that the Phillies were behind schedule and had not yet started BP. I searched for easter eggs just because I had to, but I found nothing.I attempted to get Domonic Brown to throw me a ball, but it didn’t work. By then, the other people had arrived and there were lots of little kids so I knew it was going to be tricky. Here is Cole Hamels He wouldn’t throw me a ball either. He apparently throws balls to little kids, but nobody else. At this point, they weren’t hitting homeruns so I ran to the bullpens to see if anyone was over there. Nope. There weren’t any balls I could glove trick either. As usual, right field was closed off and tightly guarded. It opens at 5:35 except there are always a few people out there with a bunch of security so I guess they are special ticketholders or something. That is the place to be if you want to snag homers with barely any competition. If anyone knows about this please leave a comment. There were a bunch of tossups; most to kids but a few to adults and teenagers. Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Johnathan Papelbon all signed for two or three fans each. They each signed for this one kid who had some kind off custom phillies fireman helmet, which already had a bunch of signatures on it. They all loved it and signed it. Homeruns started flying, but I couldn’t catch any. This was only my second time at BP and my first time attending all of it so I still need some practice. I hope to get at least one BP homer, preferably on the fly, this season. I didn’t drop any or anything just none came to me. I was happy to get Antonio Bastardo to sign my brand new baseball I had brought. When Antonio was walking on the warning track, I asked if he would sign and he just kinda put his hand out for the ball. He didn’t really say anything, but I just threw the ball down and he signed for me and one other dude. Thanks Antonio! The Phillies were still batting, but I didn’t catch any homers. I went to check with my dad to see if he snagged any. He said he almost caught a few, but he had just missed. Here is a random photo I took. The Phillies finished up and the Indians took the field. Here are some of the Indians pitchers. I watched the pitchers for a while because there weren’t any homers to left field. There were the older ladies who came down and started yelling at the Indians. They had a sign and one of them said, “I drove 8 hours to get here!” Some of the players applauded. Then the other lady said, “Come on, just give her a ball!” Then they just walked away. I thought it was pretty funny. When the pitchers finished running I asked Michael Shaw for a baseball and he looked at me, but then he just walked away. Now that right field was opened, my dad and I headed over there where it was a little less crowded. He set up shop in right-center while I ran all over the place. A ball was hit into the Phillies bullpen, but it wasn’t close enough to glove trick and nobody was in the bullpen. Eventually, I settled down in the right field corner next to the groundscrew gate. The Indians player snagging balls wouldn’t throw any into the crowd. Then an Indians batter hit a ball which got stuck behind the gate up against the wall in foul territory. I forgot to take a picture because I was formulating a plan to get the baseball. There was this kid, who had already got a bunch of balls, and he asked worker (either a groundscrew or security worker) for the ball but he said no. I asked an usher if ball retrieval devices were permitted and she told me that she had seen people use them. It sounded to me like there wasn’t really a rule either way about them, so I prepared to set up the glove trick. FIrst I got my dad to come over that way he could warn me if any less friendly security or staff members approached. Just then, another groundscrew or security member walked by and I asked him for the ball. The friendly worker tossed me the ball for my first baseball of the day! Here I am shortly after snagging the baseball. Here is one of the protective nets. After this, I headed over towards the Indians dugout and I saw Justin Masterson signing autographs. I got a good position and took out my cards notebook. I got him on my 2013 Topps and I told him thet I really liked his John 16:33 Bible verse inscription he puts under all his autos. You can read the verse here. He signed for about 20 minutes, took pictures, and even showed a fan how he gripped a certain pitch. I headed over to see if Terry Francona was signing and he was talking, but signed later. I helped some people throw baseballs down to him and I didn’t really have anything for him to sign so I just got him on an index card in my cards notebook. He was using this really cool sparkly pen. I will probably just take the card out. I headed back to our seats to meet up with my dad. It was about 6:30 and I headed over to the bullpen after dropping my backpack with my dad. Rich Dubee, Rod Nichols, and one other coach who I didn’t know were sitting in the bullpen. I asked Mr. Dubee for a baseball and he said, “Ask Santa Clause.” I didn’t know if he meant Rod Nichols or the other guy. The other guy choose a ball from the bullpen bag and walked through the gate out onto the field right beneath me and flipped me a ball. This was my second baseball of the day! He could have just thrown it to me from the bullpen, but I guess he didn’t think that I could catch it. It was a pretty dirty baseball. With that baseball I set my new record for balls at a game with 2 and I would hopefully get more later on. The guy on the right threw me the baseball. Please leave a coment if you know who he is. I watched Johnathan Pettibone (the starting pitcher for the Phillies) and Carlos Ruiz warm up. They long tossed in the outfield and then Pettibone threw a bullpen session. Click here to watch the video! Please subscribe to my youtube channel if you have an account. I couldn’t decide if I should stay and try to get Pettibone’s warm up ball or head back to our seats and try to get some autographs. I watched them for a little and realized that even if they did tossup up the warmup ball the coaches would probably say to give the ball to someone else since they had already given me one. I headed back to our seats in time for the game’s start. My dad said that Kevin Frandsen had signed but oh well. We had brought subs to the game (yes it is allowed and we ate those during the first inning). The Indians didn’t score any runs in the top of the 1st, but Kevin Frandsen hit a solo shot into the flowerbed in the bottom of the 1st. The place went WILD! Later on, Domonic Brown homered. Pettibone pitched very well. Just a picture I took from my seat. Johnathan Papelbon saved the game! He got Bourn to ground out for the final out.
This was my 6th Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park and it was the first time that I had seen them win! My dad took a picture of me at the Diamond Club Entrance.
My next game will probably be in July..
2013 Ballhawking Stats
Average per game – 2.00
Consecutive games with at least 1 ball – 1
Consecutive games with at least 2 balls – 1
Antonio Bastardo, Justin Masterson, Terry Francona
Sup fellow ballhawks. I just bought tickets for the Phillies vs Indians game tomorrow May 14. Johnathan Pettibone is pitching for the Phillies and the Indians are sending Scott Kazmir to the mound. This is Pettibone’s 4th ever MLB career start and he is 2-0 with a 3.63 ERA. Kazmir is 2-1 with a 4.87 ERA. Two weeks ago the Indians trashed the Phillies in Cleveland so we are looking for REVENGE! We are sitting in section 112, which is baseline, row 9 and seats 5 and 6.
So I went to the Blue Rocks game with a couple pals for my friend Marshall’s birthday. It was a beautiful night for some baseball, unlike the last game. After the game, there were going to be fireworks. We parked behind the fence and did a quick sweep for baseballs in right field. No luck. It was around 6:50 so I wasn’t really expecting to find any. As you can see there is a double fence. One fence is first and then there is a small gap and another fence. Baseballs sometimes land in the gap. On our way to the entrance, we said hello to the Blue Rocks starting catcher Parker Morin and he said hello back. This the unofficially official standing room area where you can watch the game for free. The starting lineups
Royals #15 prospect Kyle Smith was on the hill for the Blue Rocks. We were playing the Winstom-Salem Dash (Whites Sox Affiliate). We were sitting halfway down the third base line about 5 rows from the field. Here was my view. I snagged the first ball of the game. Here’s how it happened. On Kyle Smith’s second or third pitch, the Dash batter fouled it off down the third baseline. The Dash
manager Ryan Newman was the third base coach and he scooped up the ball. (In the minors the manager is always the third base coach). I forgot my rosters at home, but I remebered his name. I called to him and he looked surprised that someone away from his home stadium knew his name. He flipped me the ball and I was on the board early! My streak of at least 1 ball a had game increased to 3. The ball had an awesome bat mark on it. About three pitches later a high pop up landed in the row behind me about 4 seats to my left. I had a pretty good shot at it until some kid ran up behind me as I hopped the aisle and slammed into my knee. Not cool dude, not cool. Ballhawks never run into other people. Anyway, instead of me diving on the ball, it bounced up and a little girl snagged. LOL kid who ran me over. I mostly stayed in my seat for the next few innings cause I was hanging ou twith my friends. The Blue Rocks took a two run lead. In the third inning, I looked at the scoreboard and was very happy to see this. The Eagles had drafted Stanford TE Zach Ertz. He’s a great player. So back to the game. The Dash hit a three-run homer that just cleared the fence and took a 3-2 lead. The ball actually bounced off the second wall and the Blue Rocks outfielder ended up with the ball so some people thought it wasn’t a home run. Then my friend Mitchell and I headed down to the groundscrew tunnel. I spotted a ball underneath the party deck and quietly asked for it so as not to attract the attention of all the kids hanging out nearby. Sorry, this isn’t very good quality because I took this on my iPod and I zoomed in. But anyways, that is a baseball. I asked one of the guys for it and he asked one of the other guys if he could give it away. I don’t think they were supposed to but since they saw I was going to give away he let me have it. The ball was kinda far under the deck and the guy picked a piece of pipe and said this isn’t a baseball. I told him it was further under. He found it and flipped it up. I handed to Mitchell and he was pumped. He is only 8 and I am training him to be a ballhawk. Then after watching Marshall’s name be put on the scoreboard since it was his birthday, Marshall and I headed to the Blue Rocks pen on the first base side. The catcher, who I am friends with said he could give us foul balls or balls after the game but not balls from the bullpen supply. When I went to snag a powerade and wait for an out of the park foul ball, Marshall snagged his first ball of the night. Ironically, it was a foul ball into the bullpen which they tossed up. Only one ball was hit out and it was near the bullpen so I didn’t get it. Marshall and Mitchell left, but I waited near the pen. The game was in the eight and I think it was tied 3-3. Look at this absolute mobscene for a ball near the dugout. They were screaming at the ump to pick up this ball and then player came and tossed it up. The kid who was going to make the play was shoved and the ball fell back on the field. The player had to just hand the ball to a fan.(that is only some of the kids, there were more). I set up back near the bullpen and got a ninth inning warmup ball. The right fielder was keeping lose between innings with one of the pitchers and they were long-tossing. I got the ball when they were done. The game went into the bottom of the tenth and the Blue Rocks had a really good chance to win it. They had a leadoff triple, down 5-4. They eventually loaded the bases with two outs, but then grounded out to end the game. The catcher was dejected so I didn’t bother asking him for a post-game ball. I got a few autos after the game before the fireworks. Then the fireworks started and I met up with everyone else to watch.Fireworks Click to watch the video. Overall It was a great night. Here is a cool cake for Marshall It was a Pirates cake but I was hungry so I ate it anyway. Thanks for reading guys. Here are the two balls that I kept. Here is the bat marked ball again.
Average – 3.00
Games with at least 1 ball – 3
I got my blog after I went to this game but I figured I would write about it now that I have a blog. Also, I am typing this on my ipod so there may be a few small errors and it won’t be a long entry. It only has a few pictures but at the next game I go to I will take a lot of HD pictures. So anyway, my cousin and I, along with his mom and little brother went to Wilmington Blue Rocks Opening Night ( Royals high-A affiliate). It was our first Blue Rocks Opener and we were pumped to sart ballhawking! We were unable to arrive early enough to get autographs before the game because of traffic and weather. But we made it in time for the opening ceramonies and first pitch. They were playing the Frederick Keys(Orioles affiliate). Royals #1 prospect Kyle Zimmer was on the hill for us. We started out the game down the thirdbase line and watched as we had two errors and a run scored. But after that it was a pitching duel. The keys pitcher had a perfect game until it was broken up in the 5th. Anyway, I got my first ball of the season in the 2nd or 3rd inning after a third-out tossup from Blue Rocks first baseman Julio Mateo. Shortly after, a foul ball went out of the stadium and ran after it. Me and this other semi-ballhawk went for it. He went one way and I went the other. Turns out the security guard had picked it up and gave it to me when I told him a Blue Rock fouled it off. Later he gave one to my cousin Jack. I have a feeling I will be getting more balls from him later this season… On a hot streak, I quickly snagged my third ball behind the Keys dugout, tying my record. I’m friends with an usher and he let us sit right behind the dugout. A Keys batter hit a drive right into the dugout which hit a bat and landed in the row next to me. I dove over and snagged it. A lady got made at me for hurrying to get the ball. Lol. The usher didn’t care and was happy I snagged it. The next inning was uneventful. Later I was trying to get another 3rd out ball and these guys asked if they could get it but I needed to snag one for my little cousin and future ballhawk. Turns out that Jack got that ball anyway and ended up giving a ball to his bro so it worked out. I tried snagging a ball from the pen but they said they weren’t allowed to give any balls away, despite having a bag filled with balls. But it was still fun watching the pitchers warm up. Jack snagged his second ball on a tossup from the Keys catcher. We each ended up with three balls. In the bottom of the eighth the ran picked up and we left. The game was delayed and then suspeneded shortly after. It was a great first game if the season. Here are some pictures.
All Time Record – 3 Balls
1 Games With At Least One Ball