Results tagged ‘ Albert Pujols ’

9-12-11 PNC Park

Amy pointed out that I forgot to mention that we attended a Renaissance Festival over the weekend.  Here’s a picture from that.

Shooting arrows was the highlight because I was surprisingly good at it.  Anyone, this really doesn’t tie in at all, unless I made some weird caption like, “Erik Jabs aims for 413 as the season winds down, to break his 2nd best single season mark.”

The Cardinals are in town now and have been really stingy this year at tossing up baseballs, so I was going to need some luck today.

Upon running in, I spotted a ball in the front row.  I ran over to snag it when out of no where a ticket seller who works at the windows on the first base side of the Honus Wagner statue shot out of his chair in the handicapped seats and raced down and grabbed the ball.  He literally snatched it as I was closing in and not but five feet away from grabbing it.  Nick Pelescak was right there too and might have grabbed it also.  We both gave him a look like, “Are you serious?”  He said he was going to give it to a little kid (even though he had already been there since God knows when and had a whole bag full of baseballs that he had already picked up from the hour of batting practice when there were no fans in the stadium).  Nick started saying some stuff to him, and I’ll try and get his name and picture tomorrow.  Anyhow, that ball was kind of important because it would end up costing me my first double digit game since June.

I got my first ball of the day from Jason Jaramillo:

Then I went on a hit-ball snagging rampage from the end of the Pirates BP through the Cardinals BP.  Every ball I snagged the rest of the day was a batted ball.

I caught a Pirates home run as I walked up the bleachers one after the other and made a pretty difficult clean catch here:

When the Cardinals came out, I snagged two Matt Holliday home runs within 20 second of one another.  They may have been back to back.

One was a home run that landed on a staircase and stayed on the steps.  I scrambled up the steps and grabbed it with my bare hand as another ballhawk reached for it a split second late with his glove.

The next pitch a ball landed about twelve rows up into the upper bleachers.  I raced up and snagged it as a few other ballhawks raced after it

It happened up here:

Ok, I’ll admit those two snags were kind of lucky.

My fifth ball of the day was a home run that I picked up after it bounced off a bleacher.  A young ballhawk who was maybe 10 years old tried to rip it from my glove, so after I had possession of it I asked if he’d gotten a ball yet.  Nick Pelescak standing nearby said, “Yeah he got one already,” so the ultra aggressive young fan just walked away.  There was a lot of random non-regulars there getting lots of baseballs today.

Ball #6 was really ridiculously lucky.  A deep home run landed in the wheel chair section and as I was drifting over, it hit something and took a soft ricochet right at me.  I snagged it immediately in the air.  That was truly lucky.

I was later told by Nick that ball #6 was hit by Albert Pujols.

After spending an unsuccessful round in right field for a group of solely left handed hitters, I made my way back to left field and immediately snagged a ground rule double near the bullpen:

Immediately, I thought it would be pretty cool to get one more ball.  I had gotten 8 balls on Saturday and Sunday, and wanted to continue that streak to three games.

By the way, look how EMPTY it was at 6 o’clock!

Anyhhow, ball #8 happened when Tony Cruz launched a deep fly ball that sailed way over my head.  Realizing it was headed toward the rotunda.  I just turned and ran underneath the rotunda, and when it started bouncing around the concourse, I tracked it down for ball #8.

For good measure, Cruz lifted another home run at the very end of batting practice that I caught right behind this lady’s head.

Amy and I had club seats for today’s game, but I didn’t feel like staying, even though I was on 9 balls and only needed one more for double digits.  I sold the seats after we left the park, and then we went and got dinner and I went to the gym.  I felt it was a better usage of my time than running all over the ballpark trying for one more ball.  Plus, we plan on staying at tomorrow’s game as we have tickets in a section that I’ve never sat in before…

Here are today’s baseballs:

Statistics:
Game: 9 balls (8 hit, 1 thrown)
Season: 390 balls (167 hit, 84 thrown, 87 device, 52 found)
Games: 72 games
Average: 5.42 per game
Career: 1,512 balls
Attendance: 13,278
Remaining games to reach goal of 413: 4 (maybe 5 if I do an away game next weekend)
Needed to reach goal: 23 (5.75 per game)

1-23-11 Cooperstown NY

This weekend, I went to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY.
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Cooperstown is a little over 7 hours from Pittsburgh, so we drove most of the way on Saturday afternoon and stayed overnight in Binghamton NY.

The next day, we braved the 8 degree weather and snow and made our way to Cooperstown.  There were lots of baseball shops lining Main Street on the way to Cooperstown.  Unfortunately, since it was Sunday, most of them were closed.  The Hall of Fame is open 9AM-5PM daily though.

Here I am outside of the Hall of Fame.  (I know, Where’s my coat?!)
100_6482.JPGFrom Ebbets Field:
There was a large portion on this floor for Hank Aaron
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And another section of the third floor was dedicated to Statistics.  It featured all major statistical categories with the all time career record holder and active leaders:
100_6831.JPGHere’s a short video of that section of the Hall.

Also nearby was a display case of a ball from every No-Hitter thrown in the major leagues since 1940. 
100_6840.JPGAnother brief video:

The next exhibit was a display of World Series rings dating back to the early 1900′s.
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It was pretty cool.

Here are two short videos of the rings:

Near the exit of the third floor was a large display of baseball cards that included all different kinds of cards from baseball’s history.  There was another Honus Wagner 1909 card in there.
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Another brief video:

We finished our trip by heading over to the library on the first floor which we missed the first time through.

Here is a view of the Gallery from the library entrance:
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And the courtyard of the hall of fame with some 18 inches of snow or so burying the statues there:
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There wasn’t much in this section. 

There was a small area devoted to movies:
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that had old baseball movie posters
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and displays:
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The library section was a ghost town, everything was closed there.  The Giamatti research center, the museum, the bullpen theater.  All of it.

After several hours it was time to go.  We left a bit before 3PM and got back home around 10.
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It was well worth the trip.  I wouldn’t buy a membership and go all the time, but it’s a must for any baseball fan that has never been there.  I’d say there’s pretty much something for every hardcore baseball fan there.

Coming up next:  Pirates Winter Caravan and Piratefest entries.

8-25-10 PNC Park

Today got off to a terrible start. 

When I entered the park, Lastings Milledge was in the cage, taking his final cuts.  Milledge is in the last group of Pirates players to bat.  Minutes later, at 5:03, the field was empty, as the Pirates ran off the field, leaving the PNC Park regulars stunned.

I hadn’t snagged anything yet, and I was prepared to face the fact that I might get shut out.

Half way through the Cardinals BP, I got Trever Miller to toss me a ball in center field to put me on the board. 
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Luckily, I had brought my Cardinals gear, whereas yesterday I just left it at home figuring that the Cards were too stingy to toss any balls up to their own ‘fans.’   However, Miller is a veteran, and older players typically seem to be more generous in throwing balls into the stands.

Later on in batting practice, I attempted to glove trick a ball in the corner spot in center field.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  3 balls ( 3 thrown )
Season:  487 balls (239 hit, 110 thrown, 72 device, 66 found)
Games: 76 games
Average:  6.41 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,065 balls
Streak:  172 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 12,686
Balls in the month of August:  136 (3 needed to break 1 month record)
Balls needed to break single season record: 57

8-24-10 PNC Park

Things got off to a great start before the gates even opened.  Someone on the Pirates hit a home run that hit off of the song whale tent on the riverwalk, took a bounce, and then landed in the tall grass here:
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Once the gates opened, the Pirates were already into their final round of batting practice, and they were all hitting opposite field, so I didn’t get a single ball from them.

That’s when Adam Wainwright came in and helped me out.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  6 balls ( 1 hit, 1 thrown, 4 device )
Season:  484 balls (239 hit, 107 thrown, 72 device, 66 found)
Games: 75 games
Average:  6.45 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,062 balls
Streak:  171 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 13,302
Balls in the month of August:  133 (6 needed to break 1 month record)
Balls needed to break single season record: 59

5-8-2010 PNC Park

When I got out of my car around 3:45, the skies were looking rather overcast.  It wasn’t raining, so I was hoping batting practice would still be on.
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It wasn’t.  When it became obvious that batting practice wasn’t going to happen, I was faced with a decision.  Go home, or put my 109 consecutive game streak on the line.  I decided to stay, because I was hoping it would rain, and people would stay home.  Also, there was a Penguins playoff game, so I hoped folks would stay and watch that.  However, Pittsburgh crowds love fireworks, and 25,000 people still showed up.

Upon entering the stadium, I got ball #1 rather quickly from coach Ray Searage.

I then noticed several Cardinals playing catch in right field, so I went over. 

Kyle McClellan, Mitchell Boggs, and someone else were playing catch, but when they finished, they were having an intense conversation as they walked off the field about different grips, so they ignored my polite request for a baseball.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  5 balls (5 thrown)
Season:  102 balls (61 hit, 21 thrown, 10 device, 11 found)
Games: 14 games
Average:  7.29 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  680 balls
Streak:  110 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  25,047

8-7-09 PNC Park

Today wasn’t a banner day for me.  The Cardinals were in town, and they are historically a tough team for batting practice.  Although they have a decent amount of right handed batters, they work exclusively on hitting the ball the other way for a majority of their cuts.  This results in less home runs being hit to the left field bleachers, which is where I normally patrol.

I did manage to get on the board early, as I spotted bench coach Gary Varsho teaching Lastings Milledge how to correctly catch a fly ball.
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I’m sure many parents with young children were real thrilled with FSN’s decision to show this man with blood pouring down his face.

At first I was thinking, “What a freaking idiot.”  Then, my disdain for the man turned to remorse when I saw he had a disabled son who was with him.

Albert Pujols was the first one to the man, and stayed with him, holding his neck on the ground, the entire ten minutes.  It tells you a lot about Albert Pujols as a person. 

After ten minutes, they stabilized the man on a stretcher, and carted him off the field.

Predictably, the Pirates would go on to blow the lead and lose their sixth game in a row.  The Washington Nationals are only seven games ahead of the Pirates now in the worst record in baseball category.&nb
sp; Uh oh.

Today’s baseballs:
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Sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  2 balls (2 thrown)
Season:  255 balls (131 hit, 84 thrown, 40 device)
Games: 54 games (5 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.72 balls per game
Career:  421 balls
Streak:  69 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  24,854

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