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,
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and the 2010 season, as this was my final game.
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Today’s baseballs:
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Sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:
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 Comments

There is no bigger cliffhanger in the world than this post.

Ditto, we’re talking about the ballhawking equivalent of Ty Cobb’s single season hit mark. I understand it makes people keep coming back, but you couldn’t have found an internet cafe somewhere in downtown… or something.

We’re on the edge of our seats,
Mateo Fischer
http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com/

Dude! You’re killing me. What the hell happened that day?

Great season, Erik! I really enjoyed reading your blog all season long. Looking forward to next year already!
And thanks for your snagging tips for Cleveland.
http://torontoblogjays.mlblogs.com/

Congratulations Erik,

Before this year I thought that getting the 56 that I got this year would have been impossible. It blows my mind that what was once impossible to me is your season quite literally, decimated ( in the real meaning of the word not what we use it as today). Your 2010 is now the gold standard for a season.

Wow, that’s amazing,
Mateo
http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

Wow. Congrats. I have some work to do in 2011…

Yeah. Everyone needs some work. Congrats Erik.

Congratulations Erik! Talk about the skin of your teeth. Way to set the standard. We all have to try harder now. Great job….

Leigh

Your re-enactment picture doesn’t show up :( so sad!

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