7-20-09 PNC Park

There was some rain forecast for today, but when I arrived at the ballpark at 3:55, the sun was shining, and there were only a few measly clouds in the sky.

While standing in line, I noticed a Brewers fan who randomly had a MLB baseball.  He didn’t have a glove or a bag or anything.  He had just walked up from the Riverwalk area.  Had he just gotten a ball out by the river?  Possibly.

Rather than standing there, I decided to head down to the Allegheny River and see if I could get on the board before the gates even opened.  There is some tall grass landscaping on a slope that leads down to a 20 foot wide walkway which borders the river.  Occasionally balls will get stuck in there that get hit out of the stadium or bounce on the stadium.  I looked, but found nothing.
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I stood outside the stadium until 4:50, when I returned to line.  There was only one ball that I saw that had a realistic chance.  I caught it out of the corner of my eye and watched it hit the top of the Clemente wall and stay in the ballpark.  Like clockwork, within a minute, an usher appeared and picked up the ball.

When I returned to the line at 4:50, it began to drizzle.  Great.  Just great.

The drizzle was persistant, and was rather annoying.  I was worried that the groundscrew would put the tarp on the field and batting practice would be canceled.  Luckily, this wasn’t the case.  The rain was light enough that it allowed BP to continue. 

I got ball #1 of the day from Joel Hanrahan.  He fielded a ball, and didn’t throw it back towards the infield, so I stood in the front row with my glove up for about a minute.  He finally decided he didn’t want the ball anymore, and fired it at me.  It was a little high and away, but I was on the board.

I got ball #2 from Mike Defelice.  I remembered Shawn from Milwaukee giving me the tip of calling him Deefer.  It worked.

There wasn’t a ton of home runs hit.  And its a shame too, because there weren’t many people there during the first 30 minutes of season ticket holder time only. 
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STATISTICS:
Game:  3 balls (1 hit, 2 thrown)
Season: 238 balls (125 hit, 78 thrown, 38 device)
Games:  49 games (5 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.86 balls per game
Career: 404 balls
Attendance:  11,471 (very April/May’ish attendance figure)

3 Comments

Remember a couple days ago, I said I was gonna be at 7/21 vs. Brewers, well I didnt go cause of weather.com said rain and thunderstorms at 7, I was just gonna go for BP, and then leave, but I didnt trust the weather.

Hey Erik,check out my blog that I just made a few days ago. ballhawking.mlblogs.com

Ian,
I didn’t go either on Tuesday. I was reading an article in the Post gazette today about Mike Cameron going looking for Delwyn Young on Tueday, but there wasn’t batting practice for them to have a chance to cross paths. Sounds like we both made a good decision from a ballhawking perspective.

Blake,
Cool blog. You’ll have to get a camera to add some pictures. Maybe a cell phone that takes pictures? I’d be interested in seeing some pictures of the minor league field you visited. I’m coming back to the Cleveland Area twice within the next week.

Erik

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