Results tagged ‘ Dbacks ’

6-8-11 PNC Park

After a dismal two ball day yesterday, things got off to a much better start.  I snagged two balls within the first fifteen seconds today.  That’s right, it took a full BP to get just two yesterday.

Upon running in, there were several fans already in the stands for a season ticket holder batting practice viewing event.  They were near the bullpen, so I ran towards the foul pole, where I found ball #1 in the third row back.  Also, a home run landed near the foul pole as I entered the bleachers and was picked up by a Pirates season ticket representative.  He tossed it to me for ball #2.

My third ball was glove tricked directly behind the left field foul pole after the Diamondbacks came out to hit.

(By the way, the Pirates ran off the field at 5:05.  Perhaps at 90 degrees it was too hot to take a full BP?)

By the way, the entire first group of Diamondbacks were ALL left handed, so there was virtually no chance of any batted balls landing in left field.  Rather than go over and play the Riverwalk for deep home runs, I elected to stay in left field and hope for a toss up.   It paid off as Josh Collmenter tossed me ball #4 of the day.

I had planned on running over to right field as four home runs landed there during the Diamondbacks first group, but I watched as the ushers systematically scanned each and every row and picked up all four.  So, figuring that there wasn’t much to be found in right, I ran over to foul territory to see if a foul ball that had been hit earlier in batting practice was still there.

It paid off as I found ball #5 in the handicapped section in foul territory.  As I was leaving to return to the right field bleachers, a batter hit a foul ball into the upper seats.  I simply turned around to go claim it.  I had seen where the ball landed, but I couldn’t find it.  Two other ballhawks started to come over to look and claim it for themselves, so I pulled some trickery and bent down as if I had found it, and stood back up holding the previous ball that I had found.  This bought me another minute or two, as the other ballhawks went back to their spots along front row in foul territory.  Eventually, I found the ball, it had rolled the whole way down to row A in section 130.  It was ball #6.

Back in left field, there wasn’t much action to be had.  I went the next twenty five minutes without anything until Xavier Nady hit a ground rule double that I snagged here:

The entire batting practice there were three home runs to left field.  That’s it.  It didn’t help that the Diamondbacks were being frugal and were tossing up precious few baseballs.  Nick Pelescak capped off batting practice by shouting at the Diamondbacks as they ran off the field, “You’re all a bunch of cheapskates!”

The D’Backs BP has been the worst I’ve seen this year.  One more game with them this year on Thursday, and then the Mets come into town for 4.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Today’s baseballs:

Sweet spots:

STATISTICS:
Game:  7 balls (2 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device, 2 found)
Season:  186 balls (71 hit, 42 thrown, 48 device, 25 found)
Games: 31 games
Average:  6.00 balls per game
Career:  1,308 balls
Attendance: 14,015

9-19-10 PNC Park

It was a Sunday day game, and there was no batting practice.  I still went to the game though.  Surprisingly, it would be my best game of the week.

From 11-11:30 on Sundays, fans have to stay on the Riverwalk.  They are not allowed to enter the main seating bowl, even if they are season ticket holders.  While I was waiting near the bullpens, Chan Ho Park got my attention and threw me a ball.  He threw it from center field, so I moved back 20 feet before he threw it to give myself plenty of room to make the catch.
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Park then motioned for me to give it to a little kid, so I did.  He hooked me up with a second ball for me to keep a minute later.  However, it was a little short and bounced off the flag pole base and over my head.

Luckily, few people were in the park at the time, so I chased it down easily here:
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I took 2 rounds on the field with 310-340-360-340-310 dimensions and had one home run – over the 340 sign in left center.

9-18-10 PNC Park

Ballhawking wise, today was a tough day for me.  It was a Saturday, which means that we have an extra half hour of BP, but it would yield very few opportunities.

The Pirates were missing Lastings Milledge, who isn’t allowed to participate in BP until his strained oblique muscle heals.  The rest of the Pirates were doing an awful job of driving balls into the seats.

I got one and only one ball during the Pirates entire portion of batting practice, and it was a Pedro Ciriaco ground rule double that I chased down here:
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When the Diamondbacks came out, I moved over to center field, as their first two or three groups feature primarily left handed batters.

In center field, fellow ballhawk Nick Pelescak and I were getting out ballhawked by two random teenagers, who kept getting lucky bounces or balls hit right at them.  Nick told me, “These d-bags have four combined and we only have three.  We need to step our game up.”  A bit later, I snagged a ground rule double that took a room service hop right at Nick’s glove.  One of the teens, featured here walking up the steps,
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STATISTICS
:
Game:  4 balls ( 1 hit, 2 thrown, 1 found )
Season:  525 balls (252 hit, 124 thrown, 72 device, 77 found)
Games: 82 games
Average:  6.40 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,103 balls
Streak:  178 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 25,981
Jabs/Pelescak Combination in 2010: 926 balls
Balls needed to break single season record: 19

8-6-09 PNC Park

Today, I was the first one in to the left field bleachers.  I had the whole area to myself for at least sixty seconds.  However, there were no Easter Eggs, and no home runs sailing into the bleachers.  Alas, I failed to get any balls during the Pirates portion of batting practice.

When the Diamondbacks came out to hit, I disappeared for a moment underneath the general admission bleachers to change.  However, I realized that I had left my Diamondbacks shirt at home.  I had taken it out of my bag last night so it wouldn’t get all wrinkled, and neglected to re-pack it today before I left.  I was grumbling at myself for being an idiot for a good part of the D’backs BP.

The crowd today was 17,000 – which doesn’t seem like a lot.  Unfortunately, during batting practice, fans managed to clog up all of the rows in the bleachers.  Most sections in the bleachers are only six rows deep, so once 5:30 rolls around, and all of the non-season ticket holders come in, it gets pretty jammed up.    It just takes one person to block a whole row.  Most people who come to batting practice just stand there and only react when a ball is hit right at them.
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I’d prefer to always have a row open to my left and my right.  Today, it didn’t matter though, as I couldn’t move after any balls anyway due to my extremely slow-in-recovering back.

I did manage to snag two balls during the Diamondbacks portion of batting practice.  They were both in left field, and they were both with the glove trick.

I went to right field and center field during BP, but was shut out there as well.

After batting practice ended, I checked out the batters eye area in center field.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  3 balls (3 device)
Season:  253 balls (131 hit, 82 thrown, 40 device)
Games: 53 games (5 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.77 balls per game
Career:  419 balls
Streak:  68 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  17,311

8-5-09 PNC Park

When I woke up this morning, I was paying the price for staying for the entire game yesterday.  Also, it didn’t help that I lifted weights for an hour when I got home (just dumb bells – and it didn’t hurt my back at all at the time when I did it.)

When I took my first step to go downstairs this morning, my body locked up with another round of back spasms.  Will these ever go away?

Luckily, by the time the afternoon rolled around, I was able to somewhat walk, and went to the game.

I was probably the 3rd person into the bleachers, managing to execute an award jog/walk to pass by other ballhawks that might feel silly sprinting in.  There were two balls to be had, and Bryan Pelescak, another top notch ballhawk at PNC Park, got both of them.  He would go on to snag at least seven balls today.

I got my first ball about fifteen minutes into batting practice.  Mark Reynolds hit a monster shot into the second deck of the bleachers.  Home runs rarely ever go up there.  If balls do land there, its usually after bouncing off of concrete in the lower section.  Reynolds’ home run landed about four rows back, and I scurried up the stairs after it.  Luckily, no one else gave pursuit.

Before picking up the ball, I snapped a picture of ball #1.
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A bit later in the round, another Diamondback came up and hit a home run right down the line.  Luckily, I was standing nearby and was able to walk over and pick up ball #2 in the walkway between the left field rotunda and section 133.

I tried asking a few Diamondbacks for balls, but without luck.  There was one D’back that was particularly devilish.  He kept turning to the crowd and waving.  Several times he flaunted the ball towards the crowd, before hurling it back in towards the infield.  He gave up one ball, and it was one that he tossed into the second deck of bleachers.  He likely just wanted to see a scramble for the ball.

I tried chasing down another home run, but it was picked up by an employee who handed it to a kid.

Walking back, I caught a home run (ball #3) at the very back of section 135, just below the second set of bleachers.  I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time.

When 5:30 rolled around, and the rest of the stadium opened, I went over to center field to claim a ball from the center field batter’s eye.  The area is covered in ivy, and spells the word Pirates.  There is a fence that prevents any fans from entering the area to get balls.  Well, yesterday, there was a ball about eight feet in that would’ve been reachable had I brought my ‘Cleveland Stick’ – that collapsible measuring device that I use to get balls out of Heritage Park.  Unfortunately, the ball mysteriously had vanished. 

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Sweet spots:

STATISTICS:
Game:  6 balls (4 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device)
Season:  250 balls (131 hit, 82 thrown, 37 device)
Games: 52 games (5 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.81 balls per game
Career:  416 balls
Streak:  67 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  11,470

8-4-09 PNC Park

Today got off to an awful start – I was denied entrance upon the gates opening.  I had arrived at 4:15, waiting in line for 45 minutes, and when it came time for my ticket to be scanned, I heard that heart stopping sound, “beep-beep-beep-beep-beep-beep.” 

After attempting to scan the ticket thrice more, the employee told me that I couldn’t enter the park, and had to walk halfway around the park to Customer Service.  I was unbelievably irritated. 

On Monday, I had traded in several tickets that I won’t be able to use for a future game.  Of my three season tickets, I traded in two from today’s game.  The man who made the exchange hastily canceled the tickets in the computer system, and canceled the wrong seat numbers. 

By the time I got a ticket reprinted and got back into the ballpark, the Diamondbacks were already hitting.  I had missed the Pirates batting practice – and I wasn’t happy. 

To show my displeasure, I flung my backpack about eight feet, hoping it would slam off the bleacher, as to let the world know that I was ****** off.  Of course, the strap from the bag caught on the back support of the bleacher and caught the bag.  I couldn’t even slam my backpack down in disgust right today.

Once I entered the bleachers, I immediately spotted a ball on the warning track.  After flinging my glove out onto the field several times to nudge the ball closer, I reeled in ball #1 of the day.

Ball #2 came from (I think) Conor Jackson.  He came over to the warning track after I had used the glove trick.  I kept my glove out of view and on the bleacher, to look helpless.  I also got an assist from my Diamondbacks gear, as he happily tossed me ball #2.

After wasting some time in foul ground at 5:30, I headed over to the right field wall.
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The wall, dubbed the Clemente Wall, is dubiously steep, and tough to catch balls because of it.

I did manage to get ball #3 off the bat of a D’backs lefty.  It was hit a section to my left, and I walked over to get it.  Keep in mind, I am still suffering from bad back spasms, so I can’t move quickly.  Another ballhawk, Harold, was going for the same ball.  He pulled up and let me get this one, possibly aware of the fragility of my back.

Harold is widely known by the PNC Park faithful as having caught 830 some balls over the past 30+ years at PNC Park and Three Rivers Stadium.  He attends nearly every game and can be seen roaming the top of the Clemente Wall throughout BP.

Near the end of batting practice, I snagged ball #4 on the ricochet.  It bounced several rows back and shot up in the air, sailing back towards the field.  I braced myself against the railing seen in the picture below, and gingerly leaned out, snagging the ball barehanded. 
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STATISTICS:
Game:  4 balls (2 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device)
Season:  244 balls (127 hit, 81 thrown, 36 device)
Games: 51 games (5 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.78 balls per game
Career:  410 balls
Attendance:  11,294

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