4-9-11 PNC Park

Amy and I got to the stadium about an hour early.  Before heading into the bleachers, Nick and I caught on the Clemente bridge.  Amy was snapping photos as we threw.
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We probably caught for about 20 minutes.
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Its always a good warm up before going into the stadium and running around for five hours or whatever it may be.
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When the gates opened at 4:30, I ran in and found a ball by the bullpen.

Since it was Saturday, the entire park was open for business at 4:30, so I made my way over to foul territory to look for any potential ‘easter eggs.’

There were two balls there.  I marked in the photo below where I found them. 
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I had only been in the stadium two minutes and had three balls on the day.  Unfortunately, things started to slow down.

Despite having an extra half hour of batting practice today, things were slow.  The Pirates batting practice is not nearly as good as last year.  Home Runs into the bleachers were few and far between.

I got ball #4 of the day, and #1,150 lifetime off the bat of new Bucco Matt Diaz.

The ball bounced on the cross aisle in the picture below and up into the second deck of bleachers.  Several of us ballhawks ran up, and after a short search, I spotted it and grabbed it.
DSC01209.JPGMy fifth ball was a home run catch off the bat of Ronny Cedeno.  If the catch would’ve occured during the game, it would’ve been ruled a double however.  I had to scale two bleachers to get into the front row, and reach low to catch the sinking liner before it bounced off of the left field wall.  I was there though in time to make the catch here:
DSC01211.JPGThat was it for the Pirates BP.

The Rockies then came out to hit, so I moved over to center field, since they have a good bit of left handed power bats.
DSC01213.JPGWhile in center field, there were a few glove trick opportunities, but I decided not to try it.
DSC01214.JPGI didn’t get a single ball during the Rockies portion of batting practice.  It was one of those days.

When the game started it was packed, so there was virtually no chance at an outfielder’s warm up ball between innings,
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so I wandered the concourse for a bit.
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I collected a few posters that people didn’t want.
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Checked out some memorabilia for sale at a booth.
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Some of the baseballs were interesting.  There was Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, etc autographed baseballs for sale.

As for the game, I stood here most of the night,
DSC01227.JPGbut headed over to left field just in time to miss a Seth Smith home run ball that landed RIGHT where I had been standing.  That’s the way it goes sometimes.  Wrong place at the wrong time.

One could argue I was again in the wrong place at the wrong time a few innings later.  I was hanging out near the Prize Wheel when I noticed a disturbance in the bleachers above my head.  Police officers and security guards hustled up the stairs to confront a man who was seated in the front row, aisle seat in Section 236.  He’s the bald man:
DSC01238.JPGI did not see the incidents that led up to him being asked to leave, but when I saw the police officer take out his taser, I started filming.  Check it out:

The man eventually was escorted down the stairs.  A fellow fan tried to high five the man wearing the USA windbreaker, which was thwarted by one of the security guards.  So, the man in the USA jacket threw an elbow at him.  At this point I was pretty much right on top of everything that was going on.  I was also boxed in, as there were railings to my right and left, and concrete tables behind me.  I had no where to go except where all the action was taking place.  I kept my camera at chest level or so, so as not to draw attention to myself and slowly backed away.

Anyway, after throwing the elbow, the police officer discharged his taser, which appeared ineffective.  You can hear the electricity in the video.  The USA jacked man seemed to mock the officer.  Going ‘ohhh’ when he was tased.  That’s when the officer hit him.  You can watch the rest of the video and make your own judgements.

It set off a string of USA chants and at least one more arrest that I saw.  There were also several other verbal arguments that broke out.  Security was everywhere for the last three innings. 

Typically, ushers handle disturbing fans.  If the fans don’t comply, then PNC Park security is called.  If the fan is still belligerent, the cops are brought in.  I attended 75 games in 2009, 88 games in 2010, and never have seen anything this escalated.

Anyhow, the video went viral and has over 9,000 hits today on youtube.  I was also interviewed by KDKA-TV and WPXI.  My interview is on wpxi’s website.
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You can watch the story by clicking this link.

It’s a shame that drunk fans like that ruin baseball games for the real baseball fans.  I’m so tired of Fireworks nights and Concert nights.  Let’s Promote the team and baseball.  Let the drunks stay home!

Here’s today’s baseballs:
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Sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:

Game:  5 balls (2 hit, 3 found)
Season:  29 balls (10 hit, 6 thrown, 7 device, 6 found)
Games: 5 games
Average:  5.80 balls per game
Career:  1,151 balls
Attendance: 25,398

6 Comments

please email me at dbondy@wpxi.com as soon as you can

Hi, could you contact me at ericscotshow@gmail.com .. Thank you. – Eric Scot

On the bright side that idiot got your blog a ton of publicity. Saw the address in the corner while they showed your video on SportsCenter.

blackandyellow12.wordpress.com

wow those cops are douches. clearly the guy was not a threat. why was the cop’s first reaction to whip the guy in his face. that should never be ok. just handcuff the man if you have to detain him. he didn’t even look drunk or especially douchey like most pirates fans so i don’t see what the big deal was.

Wow. Many years ago after I got out of the military I was a police officer for a few years in Florida. The actions those officers took were incredibly unprofessional in my opinion. It actually looked criminal what they did to that arrestee. I hope he sues them in civil court. I’m not condoning his drunk, stupid actions, but he did not pose an imminent threat to the officer’s safety. There was more than one of them and they could have subdued him easily. No need to EVER strike a suspect in the FACE with a baton. They definitely violated his civil rights in my opinion. I hope the people of Pittsburgh hold these officers responsible for their actions. Call or write the Chief of Police and demand action. Terrible. If this happened in California or Florida there would be serious repercussions.

Well, I just saw the video. Good stuff. You captured it well. Crazy stuff. Glad you’re okay.

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