6-30-11 Camden Yards

Today was our last day in

We spent the first half of the day walking around, seeing the nice parts,

and the not so nice.

We spend an hour or so in Barnes and Noble to stay out of the heat.  And then went to Best Buy where we messed around with the organ.

Unfortunately, the guitars were missing strings – I am much better at guitar than piano.

At 4PM we arrived at the park and were first in line, which resulted in me being first to the left field seats.

By the way, shortly before 4, we were allowed into the Ballpark Early to use the bathroom.  I was tempted to stand on Eutaw Street and wait for home run balls, but no one was hitting yet, and I didn’t want to get into trouble so we exited the stadium again (we were told to anyway by the nice worker that let us in) and went and got in line.

Oh, and take notes PNC Park, the workers at Camden Yards are actually ready with the giveaway before the gates open.

Amy was behind me and took a few shots on her way over to the left field seats:

The cage.

I should note that I didn’t find any balls in the seats.  There were some folks that were guests of the ballpark that were just leaving the LF seats as I entered the seating bowl, so I assume they picked up any balls that may have been in there.

My first ball of the day was thrown to me by ex-Pirates pitcher Chris Jakubauskus.

My second ball of the day was a home run hit by Robert Andino.  I caught it cleanly after running down the stairs a few rows and reaching down to my left to make the basket catch here:

The group featuring Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds came up and didn’t hit nearly as many home runs as yesterday, but there still were a few homers here and there.  I caught a Mark Reynolds home run on the fly.  The ball carried on me and I stepped over the seats to get a better angle on the ball and an extra six inches of height and inadvertintly robbed another ballhawk, while stepping on his foot.  I felt a bit clumsy.  I’m so used to hopping up on the bleachers and snagging balls.  Not a big fan of the seats.

My fourth ball was a clean catch of a Tony Cruz home run somewhere in here:

Amy was taking some pics for me, but it was too dangerous to be too close, especially 8 months pregnant.  She took cover near the left field foul pole in the shade.

It was JJ Hardy T-Shirt day at the stadium, so over 28,000 people showed up on a Thursday to take advantage of the promotion.  Things got real crowded after 5:30.

So, I checked on Amy,

and then went over to center field, since there was a group with three Cardinals in it.   Plus, as you can see, it was less crowded there, so I decided that was my the highest percentage area to get another ball or two.

I picked a row and waited.  Can you find me?

The spot paid off as an unidentified Cardinals batter hit a ground rule double that I snagged here:

I went back to LF for Holliday and Berkman, but got shut out.  It was just too crowded.  I finished batting practice in right center field, and nothing happened.  Batting practice then ended.  Before leaving, I spotted something in the gap!

I ran up the stairs to Amy and my backpack to get the ‘Cleveland Stick.’

And proceeded to use it to fish out a brand new

JJ Hardy T-Shirt that someone dropped!

No one claimed it, so finders keepers.

We left right after batting practice and headed to Annapolis, one of Amy’s favorite childhood spots.  We checked into our hotel, and then went down to the water.

It was peaceful there.

We sat on a dock and let our feet hang down and enjoyed our evening together.

Once the sun set, we went into town and bought ice cream cones.

I got mint chocolate chip.

Baltimore turned out to be a great two days, now on to my next game tomorrow…

Today’s baseballs:

Sweet spots:

Statistics:
Game: 5 balls (4 hit, 1 thrown)
Season:  264 balls (111 hit, 55 thrown, 61 device, 28 found)
Games: 45 games
Average:  5.87 balls per game
Career:  1,386 balls (I numbered all the balls wrong – off one.  God.  I’ll make my next one 1382, then skip ahead to 1388.)
Attendance: 28340

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