Results tagged ‘ Heberto Andrade ’

4-20-12 PNC Park

The Pirates returned home to start a six game home stand.  Looking at this stretch of 6 games, I expected to put up big numbers.  First, all of the games except for Sunday would have 4:30 gate opening times, giving me more opportunities to snag baseballs.  Second, the Penguins had a win or go home playoff game, and since seemingly everyone is a Penguins fan, most Pittsburghers were likely to attend that game or watch it on tv.  Also, perennial top 3 mygameballs ballhawk Nick Pelescak will not be in attendance as he is attending a wedding out of the country.  So, more BP, decreased competition = more balls.  That wouldn’t be the case though.

Also, imagine the look on my face when I was driving to work Friday morning and checked the weather for this homestand.

What a rough break.  Hopefully the patterns chance.  I’m really looking forward to Monday and Tuesday…

Wait, they got worse, now Pittsburgh may get 6 inches of snow Monday.

So, today was important because it was likely the only BP I would get for the entire home stand.  There’s no BP Sundays usually, Monday’s game will get snowed/rained out, forcing a double header on Tuesday, which would eliminate BP, and Wednesday is a day game, so likely no BP.

Anyway, this is what happened for the first half hour:

And this:

And don’t forget this:

Nothing happened!  It was brutally slow.  Andrew McCutchen and Rod Barajas, the two best righties for BP homers must’ve hit in the first group before the gates opened.  I only had one chance for a home run, off the bat of Michael McKenry, but completely lost it in the sun and didn’t end up close to it.  If you come to BP at PNC Park, bring your shades.  I had glasses and they still didn’t help:

Bullpen coach Herbie Andrade must’ve felt bad for me, because he graciously threw me a ball as the Pirates ran off the field at the end of their BP at exactly 5:00.

I caught it here.

Then, there was a lull as the Cardinals didn’t start hitting until 5:15-5:20.  When they did, I used the glove trick in left field to snag ball #2.

When the rest of the park opened up, I headed over to center field and cleanly caught a Carlos Beltran home run on the fly here:

And a few minutes later caught another home run on the fly in the same row.  The only difference is that this time I had to jump to make the catch:

On a side note, most of the Cardinals pitchers were being complete a-holes.  I think they like playing the ‘heel,’ or bad guy.  Jaime Garcia for example, snagged a ball near the warning track and acted like he was going to toss it up.  He went back and forth pointing at two sections in center field to elicit noise so he could decide where to throw the ball.  After getting the crowd to be rather noisy he approvingly shook his head yes, then turned and fired the ball in towards the field.  On my way back over to left field, I heard one of the ushers mutter, “What a jerk!”

I spent the last 15 minutes of BP in left field.  Look how crowded it was at the very end of batting practice:

Anyway, we decided it was too hot for Olivia and left before the first pitch (78 degrees and sunny was the game time weather conditions).  We did come away with a few nice shirts though:

Here’s today’s baseballs:

2012 Stats:
Game: 4 Balls
Season: 44 Balls
Lifetime: 1,588 Balls

8-2-10 PNC Park

With chief competitor Nick Pelescak out of action for the next two weeks, and my favorite BP team, the Cincinnati Reds in town, I was hoping I would have a big day. 

I would – setting a personal 2010 high for balls snagged.

The day would get off to a great start.  When I ran in, I spotted a ball in the front row. 

Before I could grab it, Andy LaRoche hit a home run into the front row.  I tried to make the basket catch leaning forward over two rows, but just missed it.  My glove killed the balls’ momentum and I just needed to pick it up in the front row for ball #1.  Seconds later, I grabbed that easter egg for ball #2 in this area:
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Sweet spots: (1 was given away)
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STATISTICS:
Game:  13 balls (9 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device, 1 found)
Season:  364 balls (187 hit, 80 thrown, 43 device, 45 found)
Games: 56 games
Average:  6.50 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  942 balls
Streak:  152 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 15,172

6-1-10 PNC Park

Today was a little more difficult than yesterday, because far fewer balls were hit into the stands.  Sometimes it just goes that way.

My first ball of the day was off the bat of Lastings Milledge.  He hit a home run that popped out of my glove and I had to scoop up.  I’ve had some bad luck the past few days with balls popping out.  It might be time to get rid of the 40 feet of string that fills up the inside of my glove.

The second ball was another Milledge hit.  This time it was a ground rule double that bounced over the fence.  I ran to my right, and caught the ball barehanded as it bounced off a bleacher.
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My third ball of the day was thrown by bullpen catcher Heberto Andrade.  Someone on the Pirates hit a deep home run that hit off of the steel support of the general admission bleachers.  Herbie looked at the ball for a minute, and then turned and fired the ball to me.

Ball #4 was glove tricked in front of the State Farm sign in left field.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  7 balls (2 hit, 4 thrown, 1 device)
Season:  159 balls (90 hit, 40 thrown, 11 device, 18 found)
Games: 25 games
Average:  6.36 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  737 balls
Streak:  121 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 11,334

5-5-09 PNC Park

100_1175.jpgHappy Cinco de Mayo!

I attended today’s game with my wife.  I had to wait for her to get home for work, so we didn’t get to the stadium until 4:55 PM, just in time before the 5 PM gate opening.

Usually I get 1 ball during the Pirates portion during the week (they only hit for about 10-15 more minutes after the gates open).  Today, though, I had 4 balls by 5:04.  I’ve never gotten off to a start like that in my life.

Ball #1 was tossed from Nyjer Morgan. 
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STATISTICS:
Game:  10 balls (4 hit, 4 thrown, 2 device)
Season:  84 balls (32 hit, 43 thrown, 9 device)
Games: 16 games (13 with BP, 3 without)
Average:  5.25 balls per game
Career: 250 balls
Attendance: 9,775

5-2-09 PNC Park

100_1095.jpgToday was fireworks and Polish night, so I wasn’t sure how crowded it would be.  Luckily, only 22,891 came out, so batting practice was fairly sparse for a Saturday.

I got into line at 3:30 (an hour before the gates were to open), and was the 8th person in the stadium.  I was the third one into the bleachers.  There were 2 easter eggs, but another ballhawk got them first.

About 10 minutes or so passed with no action.  I noticed a ball roll directly to the fence where the stands jut out towards the foul line in left field.  I decided to vacate my spot and go grab the ball.  I ran up the escalator to the main concourse, and then down the stairs and reached over the fence and grabbed ball #1.  Then, I immediately went back to the bleachers.  I snapped this picture when I returned to the bleacher area to illustrate where the ball was.  (The small yellow X)
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STATISTICS:
Game:  6 balls (3 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device)
Season: 64 balls (26 hit, 31 thrown, 7 device)
Games:  13 games (11 with BP, 2 without)
Average:  4.92 balls per game
Career:  230 balls
Average:  22,891

5-1-09 PNC Park

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After a six day lay off to get better after my 4/25 ankle injury, I got back into action today.  I arrived at the gates at 4:10 or so, and was 3rd in line.

When the gates opened, I ran into the bleachers and immediately found ball #1, laying in the front row of section 138.  I walked around in each section before turning my attention to the action on the field, and found another Easter egg in Section 136 about 5 rows back, it was ball #2

The Pirates were hitting for about 10 more minutes, and then the Reds were going to hit.  Near the end of the Pirates portion of Batting Practice, Karstens threw a ball to a kid about 6 rows back.  Either the throw was a little off, and the kid completely missed the ball.  It ricocheted right to me, ball #3.  I was then faced with the choice of keeping the ball, or giving it to the kid.  I decided to be charitable and glove flipped the ball to the kid, who thanked me.

The Reds then came out to hit.  At the end of the Pirates portion of batting practice, a Pirate had thrown a ball into the crowd that someone misplayed.  The ball was laying on the edge of the warning track.  I didn’t even think about doing the glove trick, because it was directly in the sight line of a security guard. 

I changed into my Reds gear, and stood in the front row directly in front of the ball, and waited.  Jerry Hairston came over to left center field.

He walked over, and without hesitation flipped me ball #4.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  8 Balls (4 hit, 4 thrown)
Season:  58 Balls (23 hit, 29 thrown, 6 device)
Games:  12 Games (10 with BP, 2 without)
Average:  4.83 Balls per Game
Career:  224 Balls
Attendance:  14,238

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