October 2010

10-10-10 Great American Ballpark

I came into today needing just six baseballs to break the single season record of 543 baseballs snagging in one season.  After a dismal performance at my last game on September 29th, I was determined to bounce back.

Amy and I arrived at Cincinnati around 3PM, in plenty of time before the 5:07 gate time.
100_4561.jpgWe parked a ways a way and made the walk along the Ohio River, but had fun goofing around on the way to the stadium:
Amy was along to keep me company and take pictures to document today’s possibly record setting game.

Coming into the game, I needed six balls to break the all time single season record of 543 set by Zack Hample in 2008.

We killed some time before the gates opened by walking around Great American Ballpark, including wandering around the team store.

Here we are outside of the main gates:
I was able to secure a ticket through my Baker’s Dozen Partial season ticket plan.  Since I only had one seat in the plan, we went to Cincinnati hoping to buy an extra ticket for Amy.  Since the game was sold out, we had to turn to scalpers.  The cheapest ticket available was $250, and Amy refused to let me pay that.  She insisted on sitting outside Great American Ballpark while I went in and did my thing.  I reluctantly agreed and rushed inside when the gates opened.

Upon entering the stadium, the Reds were warming up.

Including Aroldis Chapman, the 105 mph throwing rookie.

I tried to get one of them to toss me a ball but failed.  And since BP was getting underway, I darted out to the left field seats to get to work.

There, I caught ball #1 on the fly off the bat of catcher Corky Miller here:

I was to chase down my second ball soon after as it rattled around a seat in the same general area.

I used the Cleveland stick to prod a ball on the batter’s eye close enough to reach for ball #3.

And returned to left field to snag a Jonny Gomes home run here:

That was the last ball I got during the Reds portion, and the seats were really starting to fill up when the Phillies came to bat.

After getting shut out by the first group, I headed over to right center field in hopes of snagging a Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard or Chase Utley home run ball to tie the single season record.  It happened, and I happened to be video taping when it did.  The ball hit behind me and ricocheted down towards me, and I was able to smother it just as several other fans reached for it.  Here’s the video evidence!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTdHPeEtoug

So, at the very least, I would finish the 2010 season tied for the single season record.

In the meantime, I didn’t get anything else from that group, and my hope rested on the final group of bench players.  Since they were mostly right handed, I headed back to left field.

That’s when this guy:

I don’t know who:

Launched a deep fly ball.  It was going over my head, so I started running up the stairs in the open aisle.  I was able to make the catch as I headed up the stairs in a reaching back hand fashion.  It was a great catch, and it set the single season record at 544 balls in a single season!

After making the catch, I asked a nearby fan to take a photo for me with the ball.

I left after batting practice to meet Amy, I didn’t want her to be alone for too long.  I showed her the record setting ball:

She was really happy for me:

Re-enactment of the catch of 544:
It was getting late, so I bid farewell to Great American Ballpark,
and the 2010 season, as this was my final game.
Today’s baseballs:
Sweet spots:
Game:  6 balls (5 hit, 1 device)
Season:  544 balls (261 hit, 131 thrown, 75 device, 77 found)
Games: 88 games
Average:  6.18 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 6
Career:  1,122 balls
Attendance: 44,599

9-29-10 Progressive Field

I decided to head up to Cleveland today to break the all time mygameballs record of 543 baseballs.  Since it was a Wednesday, it should’ve been easy, right?


I got to the stadium at 4:35, and thought nothing of it when there was no line at the gate to get in.  Then I walked into the main concourse and heard an eerie sound.

An announcer was announcing a baseball game.

What the hell?

I proceeded to see that a game was in progress.

I had checked my Indians pocket schedule before leaving.  One game.  7:05 start.

What was going on?

I couldn’t turn around.  I had entered the stadium.  It was an official game.

I was screwed.

I figured out that last night’s game had been rained out, and the Indians and Tigers were playing a double header.

I sat down in a section behind third base.
I had room to track down a foul ball to my right:

But nothing came close, and the Indians ended up winning the game.

I left after game 1, just giving up on my consecutive game streak and forfeiting it.  182 games down the drain.  I was feeling really sick and would land in the emergency room a few days later.  In hindsight, I should’ve done something, anything to get one ball.  I was just so pissed that I didn’t even want to ballhawk anymore.  I thought I’d come to Cleveland and triumphantly break the single season record.  Now, the regular season is over, and there’s no other games I can attend unless I go to a playoff game.

Game:  0 balls
Season:  538 balls (256 hit, 131 thrown, 74 device, 77 found)
Games: 87 games
Average:  6.18 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 6
Career:  1,116 balls
Streak:  0 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 12.227
Balls needed to break single season record: 6


9-25-10 PNC Park

A bad day.  I’ll be brief.

Ball #1 was chased down to my right off the bat of Pedro Ciriaco:
Ball #2 was glove tricked off the warning track in left field.
Ball #3 was also glove tricked in basically the same area.

That was it.

Game:  3 balls ( 1 hit, 2 device )
Season:  538 balls (256 hit, 131 thrown, 74 device, 77 found)
Games: 86 games
Average:  6.26 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 6
Career:  1,116 balls
Streak:  182 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 25,350
Balls needed to break single season record: 6

9-24-10 PNC Park

Today was a frustrating day at PNC Park.  I didn’t arrive until 5:17 due to coaching, and when I entered the bleachers, the Astros were already hitting.

I thought I was going to get my first ball of the day in center field, but as I set up to do the glove trick, coach Al Pedrique ran the whole way out from the infield as he saw me setting up, grabbed the ball, and hit it back into the infield.
100_4490.JPGI only ended up getting two baseballs, both in left field, and they were both hit, but I have no idea who hit them.  Frustration has set in.  I was hoping for a big game, but couldn’t make it happen.

Game:  2 balls ( 2 hit )
Season:  535 balls (255 hit, 131 thrown, 72 device, 77 found)
Games: 85 games
Average:  6.29 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 6
Career:  1,113 balls
Streak:  181 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 22,279
Balls needed to break single season record: 9