Results tagged ‘ Andy Dirks ’

5-22-11 PNC Park

I wasn’t planning on attending this game.  I was expecting to drop Amy off at work, and then go home to package up all of the bobbleheads that I had sold.  Making batting practice more unlikely was the fact that it started to rain at 10:30 AM, a half hour before the gates were to open.

I could see the tarp on the field from the center field (Stargell statue) gate.  I thought about leaving, but I thought I noticed that the screens were out on the field in foul territory.

utside the stadium, there were plenty of festivities, including the March of Dimes finish line, right outside the left field gate.

I decided to walk up the Roberto Clemente bridge a little way to get a better look inside the stadium.  I saw the tarp still on the field, but the cage was up.

Obviously, I decided to stick around.

Amy and I stood on the bridge where we had gotten engaged on Valentine’s Day and took in the scenery, and talked until it was time for me to go into the stadium and her to go to work

When I entered the stadium, my first ball of the day came from Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton by the bullpen.

When Morton had finished throwing, I called out for his warm up ball.  A few seconds later, he tossed a ball up, which I caught.  A thirteen year old in front of me was none too pleased, but I hadn’t heard him ask for it.  I was going to give it to him until his dad started b*******.  He got a ball a minute later anyhow.

The whole stadium opened at 11:30AM, and there was still no action.  The tarp had at least been taken off the field, so I walked around the lower level looking for easter eggs, but predictably, there were none.

The Tigers trickled out to loosen up a bit later.  I asked two of the coaches for a ball, but was ignored.  Here’s ex Pirate manager Jim Leyland:

When the Tigers began hitting, I used the glove trick to snag ball #2 here:

And, I used it to snag balls #3 and #4  by the foul pole, as both balls had rolled there within 15 seconds of each other.

Since I was having good luck with the glove trick, I invited Jim to glove trick a ball on the warning track that I could’ve had.  I figured I’d repay the favor for him laying off on a Miguel Cabrera home run catch yesterday.

I made my way over to center field near the end of the Tigers BP and glove tricked a ball off of the warning track.  Originally, the ball bounced on the warning track, and I misplayed it.  The ball hit my glove and fell back onto the field.  There was a little girl right next to me, so when I glove tricked the ball, I turned and handed it to her.

My sixth ball of the day was an Andy Dirks home run that landed two rows behind me.  I hopped over a row and grabbed it

Batting practice ended at 12:15 PM, (The Tigers didn’t take a full BP, they only hit for about 30 minutes) so there was an hour and fifteen minutes until the game was to begin.

I left the game, and went to a nearby park to read my Sunday Papers – the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Tribune Review.  I also bought a ‘water-ice’ drink, which was perfect on this hot sunny day.

I returned to the game, but was met with bad luck.  Garrett Jones tossed his warm up ball to me in the 4th inning, but this guy in the white shirt interfered.  The ball was glanced by his arm, hit my glove, and bounced below where a random fan grabbed it.

Basically the same thing happened in the fifth inning, when McCutchen threw his warm up ball to me.  I was awaiting the catch in the handicapped section in center field when a guy jumped out of his seat and intercepted it.

Here are today’s baseballs: (Five pictured because one was given away)

Sweet spots:

STATISTICS:
Game:  6 balls (1 hit, 1 thrown, 4 device)
Season:  156 balls (60 hit, 36 thrown, 37 device, 22 found)
Games: 25 games
Average:  6.24 balls per game
Career:  1,278 balls
Attendance: 25.124

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