4-10-11 PNC Park

Some of you have come across my blog today from the sensational youtube video that I took.  If you’re looking for that game entry, click this LINK.

I uploaded that video last night before I went to bed, thinking that some of the regulars from my blog would get a kick out of it.  When I woke up in the morning, the video had 533 views.  I then left for the game.  (When I returned from the game, it had 26,000)

Throughout the day, I received numerous emails.  We’re talking about one every minute or so, from youtubers leaving comments.   Around 10:30am, I received an interview request from KDKA-TV.  A bit later, WPXI channel 11 contacted me. 

My first instinct was to decline the interviews, but the producers had said that many people were bashing the police, and they were sure that the Pirates and Pittsburgh Police would like me to say something.  I gave a TV interview to WPXI TV and KDKA on camera.  I wasn’t crazy with the result.  The interview was heavily edited and didn’t include any of the positive things I said about PNC Park ushers, security guards, and Pittsburgh Police.

I heavily criticized the man in the USA Jacket, calling the police action justified, and talked about how I was tired of all the fair weather baseball fans that came out for only fireworks, bobbleheads, and concerts.  I blamed the drunks for ruining the game experience for the true baseball fans.  I talked about how a fan like that has no place in PNC Park especially around little kids.

Of course, TV used snippets like, “I’d like to see what started it, etc.”

Anyhow, my blog has received over 11,000 hits today as of 9pm, and the youtube video has gone viral, amassing hundreds of thousands of views within the last two days.

Today, I did brief interviews or talked on the phone with msnbc.com, the Today show, Fox News, CNN, The Tribune Review, the CBS network, and several radio stations.  Most of them wanted permission to use my video and how to credit me.  I just asked that my blog be listed as the source, and not to use my name.

Anyway, as of 9pm, the video had 211,000 views and 1,292 comments.  Craziness.

I’d just like to say that PNC Park security had nothing to do with the arrest of the man, and they were trying to keep all fans safe by keeping them away from the maniac. 

On to the ballhawking that took place on Sunday.

I arrived 2 minutes before the gates opened and snagged my first ball of the day from Chris Resop in the bullpen as soon as I entered the park.

My second snag of the day was just behind the trash can in this picture.
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PNC Park opens the Riverwalk 30 minutes before the rest of the gates, but fans can’t access the stadium.  Not only season ticket holders.  So, all fans are confined to the outfield concourse/walkway.  Luckily, the Pirates were taking batting practice, and left handed power hitter Pedro Alvarez was up. 

He hit a home run that cleared the seats, and the blue gate.  Nick and I both were in position, and I was closer the gate, and he was a foot or two behind me.  I did a full extension leap to make the catch on the fly in the air.  It was easily my best catch of the year.

Nothing else happened as we all awaited 450 foot home runs. 
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One other ball did bounce out of the stadium far to my right, but I was beaten to it by a passerby who had a look-what-I-found moment.

Just before the stadium gates opened so that we could enter the general seating area, I watched an EMS guy pocket at least two baseballs.

Once the stadium opened, knowing that the left field bleachers had been pillaged, I headed over to foul territory.

This was waiting for me.
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Ball #3.

The Pirates batting practice was slow again, with very few home runs being hit.

I was lined up to make an easy catch, when the guy in the Colorado hat reached up with his bare hand at the last second to try to catch the ball that I had measured up. 
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His hand crashed into my glove and the ball fell onto the field.  He apologized.  I was a little annoyed, but it didn’t matter.  The ball was right below me, so I glove tricked it easily for ball #4.

Since Ty Wigginton is absolutely the laziest batting practice shagger I have ever seen, there were plenty of glove trick opportunities. 
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I glove tricked balls #5 and #6 off of the warning track.

One of them turned out to be a Salt River Fields Commemorative Ball, the third such one I had snagged in this series.
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My seventh ball of the day was this gem hiding in the bushes.
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I used a six foot long pole to dislodge the ball from the ivy, then I reached in and grabbed it.

I spent most of batting practice in center field,
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but nothing else happened, so I ended up with seven baseballs.  Not too shabby at all for a Sunday!

As for the game, the Pirates lost, and I spent most of the day in the left field bleachers.
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No, no tasings today folks.

After the game, I was interviewed.  Busy day.
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Here are today’s baseballs:
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and the sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:

Game:  7 balls (1 hit, 1 thrown, 4 device, 1 found)
Season:  36 balls (11 hit, 7 thrown, 11 device, 7 found)
Games: 6 games
Average:  6.00 balls per game
Career:  1,158 balls
Attendance: 18,043

2 Comments

Erik,
Crazy video. I was just on yahoo sports and on the MLB tab, there is a link that reads ‘Pirates’ fan tased’. If you click on it, it brings you to a page with an article and your video. Pretty insane. Here’s the link to the article:
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Pittsburgh-cops-tased-Pirates-fan-after-fearing-;_ylt=Aou1KB_lXV6SnqlLbKFiMN8RvLYF?urn=mlb-wp2993

-Will
http://snaggingautographsandbaseballs.mlblogs.com/

Dude! This is all insane. I was just watching SportsCenter and saw YOUR FREAKIN’ BLOG listed, so I had to come here to see what it’s all about. Gonna go look for the video now. Congrats on the media attention and of course the solid snagging.

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