9-17-11 Nationals Park
I wanted to attend a game this weekend, and I had to choose between Baltimore, Cincinnati and Washington. My #1 choice was Baltimore, but I wasn’t able to secure a season ticket to get in early, so it wasn’t worth going. Cincinnati was having a Johnny Bench ceremony and statue unveiling, and I was worried that batting practice may not occur because of it. So, in consultation with Nick Pelescak, we headed to Washington DC.
Gloomy skies and chilly air greeted Amy, Olivia, Nick and I when we arrived in Washington DC.
To make matters worse, the Washington Nationals didn’t take batting practice, despite having a picnic in the park for season ticket holders. Basically, they opened up the park for season ticket holders early and let them go wherever they wanted, except for the field. You’d think that the season ticket holders would want to enjoy some batting practice. But no. The Nationals suck. I hate Nationals Park, this was my fourth trip there this year, and its going to be the last one for awhile.
Luckily, I found a ball above the bullpens as I made my way over to foul territory.
In foul territory, I picked a spot about 20 rows back in the middle of a sea of empty sections and called out to Henry Rodriguez who threw me a ball.
It was my second of the day, but more importantly, it was my 400th of the season. In 2009, I snagged 412 baseballs. Last year, it was 544. It marks the first time that any ballhawk had snagged at least 400+ baseballs three consecutive years, so it was a special ball.
Anyhow, the Marlins finally began to hit after I had walked around the park looking for Easter Eggs.
I didn’t find any more.
Anyhow, I spent most of batting practice in the center field seats in Center Field. There’s only two small sections out there, but left field was annoyingly crowded.
Every row was pretty much blocked up, leaving no routes to home run balls.
Oh, I forgot to mention Stephen Strasburg was starting for the Nationals, bringing out 33,000+.
In the center field seats, I was decked out in my Gawd-awful Marlins teal, hoping to get a toss up ball.
After getting ignored by Burke Badenhop several times, I snagged a ground rule double for ball #3. The ball was hit by a lefty, perhaps Logan Morrison, and it was juggled by two other fans, before falling into an empty row behind me, where I grabbed it. This was the view of the field from the spot of the snag:
And here’s where I snagged it:
What a bust. Nick and I, who have snagged over 2,600 between the two of us managed only six combined today. Should’ve gone to Baltimore… or Cincinnati.
Goodbye Washington, I hope I don’t see you next year.
Game: 4 balls (1 hit, 2 thrown, 1 found)
Season: 402 balls (173 hit, 86 thrown, 87 device, 56 found)
Games: 74 games
Average: 5.43 per game
Career: 1,524 balls