Today got off to a really slow start. I didn’t snag my first ball until near the end of Pirates batting practice.
Lastings Milledge hit a home run that ended up in the upper bleachers. As I ran up to get it, another ball narrowly missed hitting me on my way up the stairs. I continued up the stairs to snag ball #1.
At the end of Pirates BP, Ross Ohlendorf tossed me ball #2.
That was all I got from the Pirates in the first 30 minutes. A bit frustrating.
Not long after the Brewers started hitting, Rickie Weeks hit a home run ball that was directly in the sun. I tracked the ball most of the way, but lost it at the last second. Luckily, the ball landed right next to me in the front row. Another ballhawk inexplicably threw his glove at the ball, which missed and ended up on the field, so I was able to dodge the glove and snag ball #3. It had the number ’8′ written on it.
I used the glove trick to snag ball #4 near the bullpen.
A ball had settled up against the wall and made for an easy snag. All I had to do was make sure Marcus Hanel, who despises the glove trick, wasn’t watching.
I left after the third inning as I still needed to get to the gym and it was already almost 8:30pm.
Here are today’s baseballs:
Game: 9 balls (4 hit, 2 device, 3 thrown)
Season: 304 balls (160 hit, 70 thrown, 31 device, 43 found)
Games: 47 games
Average: 6.47 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 882 balls
Streak: 143 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
The Brewers were in town, which is a good thing. The Brewers and Reds are my two favorite BP teams, as they put a good deal of balls into the seats.
Also in town was Milwaukee’s top ballhawk, The Happy Youngster. If you’re not familiar with him, you can read his blog here. Happy came in third place in the ballhawk league last year with 372 balls.
I had to exchange some tickets for games that I wasn’t going to attend, so I left early for the stadium – I ended up being first in line.
The first group for the Pirates produced nothing. They were all lefties except for Andy LaRoche – who rarely if ever hits home runs anymore in BP.
When the Pirates final group came up containing the likes of Jose Tabata, Lastings Milledge, Ronny Cedeno and Neil Walker – I was ready.
I got ball #3 of the day from Cedeno. It was a high fly ball that landed on the warning track and bounced over the wall. I was three rows deep and got up on the bleacher.
Game: 8 balls (5 hit, 1 device, 2 found)
Season: 295 balls (156 hit, 67 thrown, 29 device, 43 found)
Games: 46 games
Average: 6.41 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 873 balls
Streak: 142 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
The day began for me at 4AM. I had spent the previous week in South Carolina at Myrtle Beach.
I arrived at PNC Park at 3:45 PM and I was back in action for the first time since July 3rd, exactly two weeks off from ballhawking.
It was a much needed break. But I was ready to get back to one of my hobbies.
Upon entering the stadium at 4:30, batting practice had not yet begun.
After 5-10 minutes, it got underway and I snagged a ground rule double from Bobby Crosby, who was hitting in the first group. The ball barely cleared the wall, as it was a line drive.
I lined up with the ball and made the snag about three rows back.
Things were really slow during the first two groups, and I had the opportunity to talk to two of the Pirates relievers.
Things then slowed down to a ridiculously boring pace. The Astros weren’t hitting many home runs, as they appeared 100% dedicated to taking inside out swings to hit the ball to right field.
Luckily, near the end of batting practice, I snagged a ground rule double off the bat of an unknown Astro.
Also, at the end of batting practice, I got ball #7 thrown by Matt Lindstrom as the Astros were running off the field.
At the end of batting practice I gave one of my extra balls that I bring from home away to a young fan with a glove who had gotten shut out.
I left right after Batting Practice to go home and get caught up on some sleep.
(PS: As for Sunday, Nick and I went to the stadium, waited outside for over a half an hour and then left, as there were no signs of cages in sight. I’ll be back in action on Monday, and Milwaukee’s best ballhawk will be in attendance at the game…)
Game: 7 balls (3 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device, 2 found)
Season: 287 balls (153 hit, 67 thrown, 27 device, 41 found)
Games: 45 games
Average: 6.38 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 865 balls
Streak: 141 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Shawn B edges out Greg Barasch by three balls to capture the week 14 title.
Shawn had possibly the greatest week of his ballhawk career, catching a home run , ground rule double, getting thrown two additional home run balls, and registering his 1000th career baseball.
Additionally, the Happy Youngster caught a home run along with Greg Barasch and Donny Haltom.