Results tagged ‘ David Ortiz ’

6-25-11 PNC Park

Today would be the largest crowd ever to witness a game at PNC Park, as 39, 483 would pack the park.

I was second in line behind Nick Pelescak.   Zac Weiss, another Pittsburgh ballhawk would be third.  There was lots of time to kill, so we stood around and talked a bit.

And played some catch in front of the gate.
Erik Jabs
What pitch am I throwing below?  It has to do with the Red Sox starting pitcher tonight…
Erik Jabs
When the gates opened, I found a ball in the front row of section 137 to put me on the board.

A bit later in batting practice, a ball hit off of a the groundskeepers vehicle and settled against the wall in foul territory.

It would’ve been an easy snag – just a reach over the fence.  So I ran over to get it.  Just as I was entering the seating area in foul territory down the line, a Pirate sliced a line drive of home run distance into the seats.  I was in the right place in the right time, as there wasn’t another fan within 100 feet.  I walked over and picked it up for ball #2.

In the meantime, the groundskeeper picked the ball up as I was making my way down the stairs.

My third ball was a ground rule double that bounced over the fence here, and nearly took out pitching coach Ray Searage, who was walking over to the fence to give a ball away.

I wouldn’t snag another ball until 5:30.

At 5:30, the center field and right field seats opened, and I found a ball on the stairs in right field for #4 of the day.

Moments later, David Ortiz blasted a ball way over my head.  I could tell it was going to carry, so I ran up the stairs towards the top of the Clemente Wall, hoping the ball would settle in a seat or empty row.  It hit a seat and completely lost all momentum, and I picked it up a moment later for #5.

In the next group, I noticed a ball had landed in the ivy in center field that might have been reachable.

I made my way down the stairs and as I was under the Clemente Wall walking to center field, I heard WHHHAPPP – the sound of a ball hitting the concrete.  A ball had cleared the Clemente Wall completely and was about twenty feet in the air above my head, as it rebounded off of the back wall.  I jumped up and snagged it for ball #6.

‘Wow, that was lucky,’ I thought.

Not but fifteen seconds later, the same thing happened.  Completely obstructed from the path of the ball, another home run cleared everything, hit a Red Sox fan, and deflected directly to me for ball #7.

Two completely lucky snags in a matter of seconds.  I was later told it was Jarrod Saltalamacchia who hit those two balls.

In the meantime, another ballhawk snagged that ball in the ivy in center field.  Nothing really happened in center field, except David Ortiz sauntered out to receive the adulation of Red Sox nation.
David Ortiz
I spent the last fifteen minutes in left field, and this was the scene.

There was no where to go.  I stayed over towards the foul pole where I had at least a half row of range, but no balls came withing fifty feet of me.

After batting practice, I left PNC Park for a bit.  I checked the bushes to baseballs, but didn’t find any.

I also took one of the best pictures I’ve ever taken after looking through those bushes.

Check it out:
Pittsburgh skyline
During the game, I didn’t do much ballhawking.  I spent a few innings in right center, and a few innings in my ticketed seat in the upper deck.

The Pirates ended up winning the game, setting the stage for a possibly sweep of the mighty Boston Red Sox tomorrow.

After the game Amy and I found a secluding spot in a park during the firework show and

Anyway, before heading home we stopped off at a Giant Eagle and picked up a few snacks for a possible road trip next week… It will probably be the last extended road trip for awhile because… well, we’re so pregnant.

And tomorrow is the baby shower!

Today’s baseballs:

Sweet spots:

Statistics:
Game: 7 balls (5 hit, 2 found)
Season:  251 balls (101 hit, 53 thrown, 60 device, 28 found)
Games: 43 games
Average:  5.84 balls per game
Career:  1,373 balls
Attendance: 39,483

6-24-11 PNC Park

The Red Sox were in town, bringing their well traveled fan base into PNC Park.

I got to the park early, and waited at the gate until I saw the Pirates pitchers begin to take batting practice.

When it got underway, I headed down to the Riverwalk and searched through the weeds, just in case either team took early batting practice.

There was nothing.  And no luck on the Riverwalk today.

When the gates opened, there were already seven people in the bleachers with guest passes, so the Easter Eggs were long gone.

In about the first minute of batting practice, I caught a home run on the fly in section 136.  Here I am labeling it:

My second ball also came during the first five minutes, and it was a glove trick ball.  After adjusting the band twice, I reeled it in.


The Pirates only hit until 5:06, which is a growing trend this year.  They’ve been ending between 5:03-5:06 lately.

During the Boston Red Sox first group, which featured a bunch of lefties, I was able to snag an Adrian Gonzalez ground rules double in the left field corner.

It bounced into the first row in the aisle where I picked it up.

Then BP slowed way down.

There were intermittent rain showers:

And a lot of standing around, while Red Sox lefties took their cuts.

(We are confined to left field until 5:30)

At 5:30, I went over into center field.  Can you find me in the picture below?

I narrowly missed catching a David Ortiz home run, but it was just over my head and landed a few rows back.

For the last group of Red Sox batters, I stood on the Clemente Wall in right field, where I caught a home run on the fly.  I was checking the rooftops below the wall for baseballs (which occasionally there are.  Its rare, but it happens), when I caught the track of a fly ball.  I was just re-entering the seats, and ran to my left and made a snag on the move.  I caught it in front of the guy in the black shirt:

Amy and I left right after batting practice.

Here are today’s baseballs:

Sweet spots:

Statistics:
Game: 4 balls (3 hit, 1 device)
Season:  244 balls (96 hit, 53 thrown, 60 device, 26 found)
Games: 42 games
Average:  5.81 balls per game
Career:  1,366 balls
Attendance: 39,330

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.

6-9-10 Progressive Field

I decided to see the Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field.  It would be the first time I’d see the Red Sox in the regular season (I had seen them several times before in Spring Training).

I got to the stadium after 4PM, but was still the first in line.  The Indians were already hitting, so I was hoping to find a few Easter Eggs.  Unfortunately, when I got into the right field stands, I didn’t find anything, although a young kid did find one.

I checked in the bullpen briefly and saw this:
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I went to work immediately, throwing my glove into the bullpen to nudge the ball closer to the wall, and then glove tricking ball #1.  With the ball in my possession, I ran over to Heritage Park to search the trees.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  10 balls (6 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device, 1 found)
Season:  185 balls (98 hit, 51 thrown, 13 device, 23 found)
Games: 30 games
Average:  6.17 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  763 balls
Streak:  126 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 14,022 (with the Red Sox in town!) Surprising.

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