August 2010

8-17-10 PNC Park

Luck wasn’t on my side today.  There were at least 8-10 balls that I came up two feet short or less of snagging.  Either balls that were just out of my reach, or snatched up at the last second by random fans.

That said, I did find ball #1 laying near the bullpen when I ran in to get on the board early.

I managed to get Sean Gallagher to toss me a ball, but the ball sailed high, and despite my best effort to catch it by hopping up on a bleacher, it tipped off of my glove and landed several rows behind me.

I tried to grab the ball, but this ballhawk raced over and grabbed it a split second before I could, despite the ball clearly being tossed to me.
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He also cut my arm with his long fingernails.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  6 balls ( 2 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device, 1 found )
Season:  447 balls (224 hit, 96 thrown, 61 device, 60 found)
Balls in the month of August:  96
Games: 68 games
Average:  6.57 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,025 balls
Streak:  164 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 14,156

8-16-10 PNC Park

Today kicked off a 10 game homestand at PNC Park.

When Nick Pelescak and I ran in at 5 PM, some ushers were coming out of the bleachers and said “There’s a bunch of balls in there.” 

I found balls #1 and 2 in the left field bleachers.  The first one was in the front row of Section 136 and the other one was about four rows back closer towards the foul pole.

Ball # was hit by Neil Walker.  It was a home run that landed in the crosswalk area, bounced off the white facade of the upper bleachers,
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and right into my glove in the third row in the lower bleachers.  I heard Jeff Karstens murmur, “Got the rebound.”
 
Ball #4 and 5 were caught in this area, both off the bat of Lastings Milledge.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  10 balls ( 3 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device, 4 found )
Season:  441 balls (224 hit, 96 thrown, 61 device, 60 found)
Balls in the month of August:  90
Games: 67 games
Average:  6.58 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,019 balls
Streak:  163 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 13,396

8-13-10 Progressive Field

Yet another day at Progressive Field.

When I entered the stadium I found my first ball of the day in the second row back in the second section from the visitor’s bullpen.
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I had to be sneaky about it because there were several people in the front row, so I casually walked over to the ball without looking at it and picked it up.  Had I jogged toward it looking at it someone may have noticed and turned around and grabbed it.

(The ball extended my snagging streak to 162 games with at least one ball snagged.  162 is an important number in baseball – its the number of games each team plays total during the season.)

My second ball of the day was a ground rule double hit by Shelley Duncan.  It bounced into the trees, and was waiting in Heritage Park when I got there,
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STATISTICS:
Game:  6 balls ( 4 hit, 1 device, 1 found )
Season:  431 balls (221 hit, 95 thrown, 59 device, 56 found)
Balls in the month of August:  80
Games: 66 games
Average:  6.53 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,009 balls
Streak:  162 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 26,424

8-12-10 Progressive Field

I was back at Progressive Field today, hoping to snag my one thousandth career baseball.
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I was planning on returning yesterday, but radar showed storms moving through Cleveland all afternoon, so I would wait until today for another shot at 1,000.

When I walked by a bar across the street,
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pick them all up.
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He tossed the ball up and I had to lean out over the railing to just barely make the catch.  When I caught it, I asked Brad if the ball was for me or the kid next to me, who’d also asked for one.  Brad nodded toward the kid, so I turned and gave the ball away.

So, I’d ended the day with five balls snagged.

Here I am in the shadows by the bullpen with ball #1000:
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Today’s baseballs:  (4 pictured because one was given away)
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Sweet spots: (#1,003 was given away)
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STATISTICS:
Game:  5 balls (1 thrown, 4 device )
Season:  425 balls (217 hit, 95 thrown, 58 device, 55 found)
Games: 65 games
Average:  6.54 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,003 balls
Streak:  161 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 14,533

8-10-10 Progressive Field

I started the day just six balls away from 1,000.

I was happy to see that the Indians were taking early batting practice when I arrived and looked through the left field gate:
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And they were left handed.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  4 balls (2 hit, 1 thrown, 1 found)
Season:  420 balls (217 hit, 94 thrown, 54 device, 55 found)
Games: 64 games
Average:  6.56 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  998 balls
Streak:  160 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 13,541

8-9-10 Camden Yards

With the Pirates hitting the road for San Diego, I thought about flying along with them to snag my one thousandth baseball at a stadium I’d never visited before.  I decided against it, since it’d be cheaper to do a couple day trips to Baltimore on Monday and Cleveland on Tuesday.  And so, I hit the road for Baltimore.
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I never fared well at Camden Yards.  Prior to today my ballpark high was six balls in one game.
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8-8-10 PNC Park

My plan for today was to go and search the Riverwalk weeds/tall grass for baseballs.  If I found one, my streak in tact, I would enter the stadium and try and get a few more baseballs, regardless of if there was batting practice or not.

There were a good number of balls that left the stadium the previous two days, and I had not yet searched outside to see if any got caught up in the grass.

After about five minutes of searching, I saw this:
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It was ball #1.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  5 balls (3 thrown, 1 device, 1 found)
Season:  408 balls (211 hit, 91 thrown, 52 device, 54 found)
Games: 62 games
Average:  6.58 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  986 balls
Streak:  158 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 22,716

8-7-10 PNC Park

It was a Saturday game at PNC Park – but it was also a Skyblast (Fireworks + George Thorogood concert), so there would be a sellout crowd on hand today.

My goal was to snag seven balls to give me 400 on the season.

I was second in line at the gate and was the first one into the bleachers.  There wasn’t anything going on in the cage, but a few Pirates must’ve taken some early swings because I found two balls laying in the front row here:
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I then made my way over to foul territory as a few of the Pirates position players were warming up.  New Pirates catcher Chris Synder threw me his ball as he walked off the field for ball #3.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  10 balls (6 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device, 2 found)
Season:  403 balls (211 hit, 88 thrown, 51 device, 53 found)
Games: 61 games
Average:  6.61 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  981 balls
Streak:  157 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 38,147

8-6-10 PNC Park

Today was Andrew McCutchen bobblehead night, so I was in for a bit more of a crowded BP than the previous few days.

After entering the bleachers first, only to find two fans already there (with special vip guest passes), I would eventually catch an Andy LaRoche home run on the fly in the second row here:
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I would only get one other ball during the Pirates BP, and it was a ground rule double off the bat of Pirates future star Pedro Alvarez. 
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STATISTICS:
Game:  6 balls (2 hit, 3 device, 1 found)
Season:  393 balls (205 hit, 87 thrown, 50 device, 51 found) *fixed totals after checking mygameballs.com
Games: 60 games
Average:  6.55 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  971 balls
Streak:  156 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 30,711

8-5-10 PNC Park

The slumping Colorado Rockies were in town for the first game of a four game series.

They weren’t the only ones slumping.

I managed only one ball for the entire Pirates batting practice, thrown to me by Evan Meek.  Evan, if you’re reading this – you’re the man.
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I had plenty of opportunities, but the ball just wasn’t bouncing my way today.

That would change when the Rockies came out.

Fellow BHL member Zac Weiss alerted me to a ball at the base of the wall, which I glove tricked here:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  8 balls (4 hit, 2 thrown, 2 device)
Season:  387 balls (197 hit, 86 thrown, 46 device, 49 found)
Games: 59 games
Average:  6.56 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  965 balls
Streak:  155 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 17,131

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