2012 Milestone Homeruns + First day of Spring

Have any of you ever been on a home run chase before?  Where you’ve attended a game just for the chance of catching a player’s milestone home run?

I attended 3 games in Cleveland in 2010 in pursuit of Alex Rodriguez’s 600th home run and a possible $250,000 payday.  I had it played perfectly too.  The first two games, I waited alone down in Heritage Park in dead center field.  I couldn’t see the game, but it the ball landed in the trees or flew into the monument sections, I’d have a good 20 second before anyone else could get down there to corral it.

Like most home run chases, it ended in disappointment, A-Rod failed to hit #600 in Cleveland.  I also was in on Albert Pujols when he was at #399 at PNC Park, and Derrek Lee & Alfonso Soriano when they were both stuck on #299 at PNC Park.

If you caught a milestone ball what would you do?  Would you give it back, no questions asked like this guy did?   Or would you sell it, like this fan did?

Personally, I’d sell it.  To give it back to the player would be nice and all, but to a regular fan, it’s like hitting the lottery.

So, here is a look at players who are approaching milestone home runs in 2012:
In parentheses are the home runs still needed to reach the milestone.

650 Home runs – Alex Rodriguez (21)
450 Home runs – Albert Pujols (5), Vlad Guerrero (1)
400 Home runs – David Ortiz (22), Adam Dunn (35), Paul Konerko (4)
300 Home runs – Ryan Howard (14), Miguel Cabrera (23)
250 Home runs – Derek Jeter (10)
200 Home runs – Jose Bautista (44), Curtis Granderson (33), David Wright (17), Nick Swisher (15), Justin Morneau (15), Chase Utley (12), Travis Hafner (11), Dan Uggla (10), Adrian Gonzalez (5)

Looking over my master schedule, I could possibly have a shot a Miguel Cabrera’s 300th if he gets out to a hot start near the end of May in Cleveland.  If Adam Dunn rebounds, I could have a shot at his 400th at the end of the season, also in Clevelnad.  If Justin Morneau can recover from his concussion symtoms, he could be around 14 homers when the Twins visit PNC Park in June.

Will any of you alter your plans this summer for a particular chance at a milestone?

In other non-baseball news, its the first day of spring.

It was 80 degrees in PA, so Amy, Olivia and I headed out to Linn Run state park near Ligonier PA.  Olivia was loving the water at this area known as flat rock, which is a giant flat rock over which a rushing stream flows.  It’s a natural water slide – but I didn’t swim.  I just held Olivia as she kicked in the water.

We were having a blast.

Olivia couldn’t get enough of the water.

Anyway, the wonderful day then took a turn for the worst.  Three college aged girls came and joined us at the rock.

There really wasn’t anyone else around.  Moments later, two random guys walked up the trail and stopped at the rock too.  Our tranquility had been ruined.   The girls kicked off their sandals and waded onto the flat rock, just to get their feet wet.

We were about to leave, when one of the girls slipped on the slippery rock and face planted hard onto the unforgiving rock and got washed downstream a bit.  Her friends thought it was funny at first.  However, her face was split open and it was gushing blood.

It was ridiculous.  And gruesome.  Blood was running down her arms.  Amy offered a diaper to keep on it to absorb the blood, but was turned down, as the girl decided to remove an article of her clothing to use as a compress.  She couldn’t walk because she was losing so much blood.  The walk back to the parking lot was at least a half mile.  Craziness.  Thankfully the two random guys carried her back.

I didn’t think it was right to take a picture of it, but there was blood everywhere.  After we got back to our car and left, I did snap a photo of the ambulance that came.

Just thought I’d share about my first day of spring.  Sheesh.

There’s only 16 more days until Opening Day, and you can win this DAVID WRIGHT shirt on Sunday – the more you comment and read, the better your chances are!  And, I’m thinking about doing another one of those 24 hour contests soon…

13 Comments

I hope you catch one of those HR balls. I would also sell that baseball if I caught it.

Catching a milestone HR ball for me is a dream and if I did, I would sell it. Sounds like you had a crazy first day of spring. Hope that girl is alright. Please do another 24 hour contest also!
-Quinn from nybisons
http://www.nybisons.mlblogs.com

If he has a great year, I might get the chance to catch A-Rod’s 600th in Oakland at the end of July or Swisher’s 200th. If David Ortiz isn’t up to par this year, I might catch his 400th in September. If Paul Konerko has a good April, he might hit his 400th in Oakland. But I would give a milestone ball back to the player, I would want to hand it to him, and maybe a bat or something in return.

If it’s a record breaking ball I would give it to the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown because future fans deserve to see history.

It would be amazing to catch a milestone home run ball. That is a crazy story at that river.

I aggree with Griffin. Fans should see the ball.

Philadelphia and Griffin,
I agree that fans should see history, but if you caught Alex Rodriguez’s 763rd home run ball and were offered a million for it? Wouldn’t you take it? I would.

Nick,
I could see handing the ball back if it was something like a players first career home run or maybe a first career grand slam, but for a huge milestone- such as Jeter’s 3000th hit, I’d have to sell it.

NYBisons,
I’m thinking about doing the 24 hr contest this week with easier questions, all trivia related to baseball rather than primarily this blog.

Kim,
Me too. The money would benefit my family more – they come first.

I hold no ill will against anyone who would sell the ball..who knows what the financial situation would be, Me personally, I’d request to personally give the ball back to the player. I feel like it’s his achievement and should be able to enjoy the memory of it.

I’d give it back to the player for some signed swag.

Also, poor girl. Head injuries are no laughing matter.

Erik- Very good points. It really would depend how much they want it back at all. I would give it back, no questions asked for a first career HR or grand slam. If it is for example Nick Swisher or Travis Hafner 200th home run, I don’t think it would sell for very much and I would rather mabye dougout seats for a series and a jersey than say $10,000. As much as te money could help go to my college fund or something, I would rather havea one-in a lifetime experience than $15,000. And If it were A-Rod’s 763th Hr, I would sell it for sure, no questions asked- I mean, you could get a lot of money for something like that. And if i had caught Jeter’s 3000th hit, well, the guy who caught it got season tickets, jerseys and stuff, and he is on a Topps baseball card…

Would love to snag Paul Konerko’s 400th! In fact my short/long term goal is to snag a milestone home run!

Erik- Come to think of it, forget the fans, I’d take the cash!

I’d totally ask for memorabilia from the player/team but I don’t think I’d sell it.
~Matt

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