Results tagged ‘ Heritage Park ’

8-12-11 Progressive Field

In my original schedule of games that I planned on attending, I had penned in five consecutive games in Cleveland this week, Tuesday through Saturday.  However, with a new baby and new house, I was only able to make one game.  I chose Friday, simply because the Twins have a bevy of left handed hitters, and the rest of the stadium opens at 5:30, thereby thinning out the crowd in right field a half hour earlier than during the week.

I had some issues on the way to Cleveland, as my car overheated (see the gauge up at the H?) and I had to stop and get coolant at a WalMart.

Therefore, I wasn’t first in line, I was ninth.  To make matters worse, at 4:30, when the gates were to open – the supervisor realized that he didn’t have the scanners for the tickets.  This caused a seven minute delay, meaning I would miss most of the Indians first, and best hitting group.

When the gates did open, the nine people in front of me (five of which had gloves) dilly-dallied getting batting practice T-Shirts – which are given away to the first 100 fans each day.  This provided me an opportunity to run around them and be the first one to enter the seating area.

I immediately found two balls in the front row in right field.  The first of which had a BP stamp on it.

While standing in line I overheard an Indians fan talking about the BP stamped balls and saying that they could be turned in for gift cards or something.  After BP was over, I found THIS article with information about the BP balls, but it was pretty vague, so I’m still wondering what to do when the green stamped balls.  Any help?  Anyone?

There were a few people running around looking for baseballs, so I ran over to Heritage Park with another ballhawk on my tail and spotted ball #3 within reach just under the wall that separates the Heritage Park monuments from the trees.  I reached in and grabbed it without having time to snap a picture.

I returned to the seats to play for home run balls, but not for long, as Travis Hafner blasted one into the trees in Heritage Park.  I ran back over and used the Cleveland stick to snag that one.

When the first group wrapped things up around 4:45, I checked the bullpens for baseballs and noticed a real easy one in the visitors bullpen.  I glove tricked that ball for ball #5,

and a few minutes later got Chris Perez to toss me ball #6 in center field.

I had only been there about twenty minutes to that point and had already snagged six baseballs.  My goal coming into the game was nine, which would’ve given me 250 career balls at Progressive Field, but things slowed way down after that.

The Indians BP sucked the rest of the way, and the Twins had only really one decent group.  It was their second group, which featured Justin Morneau, Jim Thome, and Jason Kubel.  Those guys wore out the two sections closest to the visitors bullpen with baseballs.

Unfortunately, I was only able to snag one on the fly – a clean catch of a Thome home run for ball #7.  I had a lot of close calls, so I headed over to left field for the last group, but failed to snag anything.

I also tried the dugout after batting practice, but all of the balls that were tossed into the crowds went to kids.

So, I went home – and a two hour and 15 minute trip ended up taking about three and a half?  Why?  Well, because my car overheated three times.

It’s not supposed to look like that under the hood:

Coolant was spraying out somewhere, and I have an obvious radiator problem.  The third time I stopped I basically broke down, as my car started clunking and smoking.

After letting it sit for awhile and adding more coolant and water to the radiator, I was able to make it home, but just barely.

I have an appointment to take my car into the shop on Monday, which means that I won’t be able to make batting practice unless I can get a ride.  So, are there any other ballhawks that would be interested in giving me a ride to/from batting practice?  I’ll pay you.  $20.  That’s like a half tank of gas.  Otherwise, plan B would be to bike 14 miles to PNC Park, which no doubt would suck.  Plan C would be to take a bus, but the closest bus stop is a half hour walk away, and I’ve never, ever taken a public bus before.

Anyhow, here are today’s baseballs:

Statistics:
Game: 7 balls (1 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device, 3 found)
Season: 339 balls (141 hit, 73 thrown, 80 device, 45 found)
Games: 64 games
Career: 1,461 balls
Attendance: 31,364

7-29-10 Progressive Field

After getting a favorable report from Nick Pelescak about Wednesday’s batting practice, I decided to make a third trip to Cleveland.  The Indians decided to open the entire outfield rather than just the right field seats on Wednesday, and they did the same thing today.

I began the day in left field and got ball #1 from Shelley Duncan on the left field wall.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  4 balls (1 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device)
Season:  351 balls (178 hit, 78 thrown, 42 device, 44 found)
Games: 55 games
Average:  6.38 bal
ls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  929 balls
Streak:  151 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 34,455

7-26-10 Progressive Field

With the Yankees in Cleveland, and Alex Rodriguez sitting on 599 career home runs, Nick Pelescak and I made the trip to Cleveland.  So did pretty much every Yankee fan from New York.

Nick and I arrived at the stadium, hoping to catch an early round of batting practice at 2PM and maybe snag a ball outside of the stadium at the Home Run Porch.

It didn’t happen as this was the scene:
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There was a mini baseball field constructed across the street from the stadium, so we spent a good 45 minutes or so throwing there.
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Curtis Granderson:
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Alex Rodriguez:
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Mariano Rivera:
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After batting practice was over, I checked Heritage Park and found one ball, hidden behind the stump of one of the trees:
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I used the Cleveland Stick to snag ball #5 of the day.

Check out the job they did blocking off the trees – I assume so folks can’t run back there to grab A-rod’s 600th:
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As for the game,  the porch was packed.
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So were the left field bleachers.
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But A-Rod would not go deep.

Some pictures from the game:

View from the bullpen:
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Mariano Rivera to Carlos Santana:
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Mariano Rivera:
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The Yankees won 3-2.

A-Rod did not go deep.

And I’ll be back in Cleveland tomorrow.

Here’s today’s balls (4 show because 1 was given away)
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Sweet spots (1 was given away)
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STATISTICS:
Game:  5 balls (1 hit, 2 thrown, 2 device)
Season:  336 balls (173 hit, 75 thrown, 35 device, 44 found)
Games: 52 games
Average:  6.46 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  914 balls
Streak:  148 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 27,224

6-30-10 Progressive Field

Back in Cleveland yet again.

However, it would not be a fun time in Cleveland today.

It would be a record low tying day for me.  Record low in terms of balls snagged in 2010 and also record tying low for balls snagged at Progressive Field.

After being shut out for over fifty minutes, I snagged a Shin Soo Choo home run in this area:
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It was too deep for me to get to in time to make the catch, so I settled for grabbing the ball off of the concrete.

It was about 5:20.  My next ball wouldn’t come until about 6:15 or so. 

It was that kind of day.

One of the Blue Jays hit a home run that thankfully landed in the trees in Heritage Park.  When I ran over, there it was, waiting for me. 
66347584746783 (2).jpgSTATISTICS:

Game:  2 balls (1 hit. 1 device)
Season:  268 balls (142 hit, 64 thrown, 26 device, 36 found)
Games: 41 games
Average:  6.53 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  846 balls
Streak:  137 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 12,109

5-1-10 Progressive Field

5-1-2010 (54).JPGI wasn’t sure if I was going to go to today’s game at Progressive Field.  After continuously checking the weather forecast throughout the morning, it looks like rain that had been moving through Cleveland would be gone.

I left my house a little before 1PM and was first in line at 3PM.  When I peeked through the gates, I saw this:
5-1-2010 (1).JPG5-1-2010 (51).JPGand an even better picture, with a clear view of the Target Field Balls:
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Afterwards, we would all go our separate ways.  I chose to go to the Twins bullpen area.  I had noticed a ball laying in the bullpen.
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It was a little too far out to do the glove trick, so I elected to wait and see if I could get the ball tossed up to me.

Pitching coach Rick Anderson made his way into the bullpen,
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and tossed me up ball #8 of the day.

During the game, I started in left field foul territory,
5-1-2010 (66).JPGbut eventually started playing the outfield for home run balls.

For lefties, I sat over in right field.
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And I stayed on the home run porch occasionally for righties.
5-1-2010 (76).JPGI stayed until the very end of the game – the 11th inning.
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And watched the Indians win in exciting walk off fashion:
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Also, this was likely the last game that I’ll have the #1 game on mygameballs.com, as Zack Hample is poised to remove me from the top spot on Monday.
progressive leaders.jpgHere are today’s baseballs:
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And the sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  8 balls (5 hit, 3 thrown)
Season:  69 balls (43 hit, 13 thrown, 7 device, 6 found)
Games: 10 games
Average:  6.90 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  647 balls
Streak:  106 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  13,832

8-11-09 Progressive Field

Today was a weird and unconventional snagging day.  I would catch zero balls off the bat, and only snag one ball thrown by a player.  Yet, somehow I managed to break double digits.

I was the second one in line when I got to the gate.  About fifteen minutes before the gates were to open, the old woman in front of me spared two of her friends, a father and his daughter, a little girl of about six years old.  Little did I know that the daughter would go on to snag 12 balls of her own today, and assist me with three of my snags.

When the gates opened, I ran in to the bleachers and immediately found ball #1 about six rows back.  I continued towards the visitor bullpen, and found ball #2 sitting in an aisle seat.  I continued on towards the visitor bullpen and found ball #3 lying in the front row. 

I wasn’t done searching.  I walked over to the Indians bullpen and saw a ball laying in the front row.  There were people standing in front of it, but hadn’t noticed it laying underneath the chair behind them.  I walked in the second row, bent down, and picked up ball #4.  It was extremely water-logged.  I tried to write ‘433’ on it, but it was just too wet.  I’ll have to wait until it dries out to re-label the ball.

When I picked up ball #4, I immediately noticed ball #5, which was about fifteen feet out, on top of the Indians bullpen.
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I went to work.  I tossed my glove out and pulled it in, knocking the ball a good ten feet or so closer.    I took out my ‘Cleveland Stick,’ the collapsible six foot yard stick, and hooked the ball towards me.  I reached over and grabbed the ball, for my fifth of the day.  The father and daughter who were in line in front of me watched me make the snag. 

After finding those first five balls, I tried to play for home run balls. 
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STATISTICS:
Game:  12 balls (4 hit, 1 thrown, 7 device)
Season:  275 balls (141 hit, 85 thrown, 49 device)
Games: 57 games (5 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.82 balls per game
Career:  441 balls
Streak:  72 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  21,870

7-16-09 Progressive Field

I decided to attend this game in Cleveland, seeing as the Pirates were off and I would not be able to attend this weekend’s Friday and Saturday’s games due to a wedding.

I began the day with a career tally of 392 balls snagged.  I would need 8 to get to 400.  It would’ve been nice to get a landmark ball outside of PNC Park for once.

I arrived at the stadium at 3:35, and the Indians were already inside hitting.  It is not unusual for Indians to be taking early BP, I’ve seen it many times, so I didn’t think much of it at the time.

At the gates I was greeted by PNC Park ballhawks Bryan Pelescak and his brother Nick.  They were the first ones in line and had already snagged balls over outside the left field gates.  The top three ballhawks at PNC Park had all made the trip (We all have over 100 balls snagged apiece this season).  There would likely be some stiff competition today.

When the gates opened, I ran into the right field bleachers to search for Easter Eggs.  I ran down the center area of the right field seats, looking around quickly for any balls.  I got down to the front row and spotted a ball to my right.  I picked up ball #1.  On the board.  A few feet further in the same row was ball #2.  Another section over was ball #3.  I then spotted another ball but a police offer hurriedly went over and picked it up.  “I need this,” he snorted.  “It’s cool, I already found some,” I said.  I then ran over to Heritage Park.  This was within maybe a minute or two of the park opening, so I was hoping I would be the first one there.  However, a young ballhawk, maybe 14 years old had beaten me there.  He was trying to reach a ball that was at the back of the wall underneath the fence in heritage park.  He stood up and began to walk away, but then saw me out of the corner of his eye and went back to the spot.  I went over and asked if he had anything to get the ball with, he said he didn’t.  I got out my 72 inch ruler and told him he should also check the tall grass for balls.  It took me only a few seconds to push the ball closer to me, and I had ball #4.  I probably should’ve given it to the kid, but I was in such a hurry to get back to right field to look for more Easter Eggs that I just ran off.  I felt guilty a minute later as soon as I realized that I snubbed the kid.  It was a jerk move on my part.  I didn’t feel so bad after the teen sent me a nasty hateful email (apparently he knows of my blog – how else would he know to run directly to Heritage Park?) filled with swear words and random personal attacks.  (Don’t worry Marty R from Salem OH, I won’t post your message or any of your personal info here (IP address, etc)-I’m not going to sink that low – just think before you go spouting off) I’m sure next time he’ll be better prepared with a device of his own to get those hard to reach balls in Heritage Park.

I continued to walk up and down every row searching for balls while Nick and Bryan did the same thing.  I soon found ball #5, tucked at the bottom of a folded up chair.  Nick also found five.  Progressive Field is an Easter Egg heaven.

Then I realized something was wrong.  There were no Indians on the field.  The groundscrew had come out and started watering the dirt on the infield.
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Not good.  I was off to a fantastic start, and the Indians are a great right field hitting BP team.  I would’ve had an excellent chance at double digits. 

The crowd was sparse too.
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When the ball was in view, I went to work.  I had to be quick because there were policemen in the market pavilion behind me, and a worker who’s supposed to watch the bullpen.  I was able to get the ball on the first attempt, and slowly reeled it in for ball #7.  A few impressed spectators asked me how I was able to get the ball, and I explained the glove trick to them.

I went back to left field, but it was really crowded at this point.  I had little range. 

Luckily, a right handed batter hit a ball that bounced on the warning track, and into the trees in Heritage Park.  I had a chance to nab my 400th career ball.  I ran up the steps in center field and over to Heritage Park.

When I got to the spot, a teenager had a ball and was gloating about his prize.  Oh well.  I decided to check anyway.  Wouldn’t you know it, there it was, a ball that was tucked away at the back of the outfield wall behind the base of one of the trees.  It would be a tough ball to get because one of the monuments prevented me from inserting the collapsible ruler straight on.
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After some finangling, I was able to get the ball close enough to reach in and grab ball #8 (#400).

I ended BP over in left field.  Unfortunately, the last group featured utility players and back ups, so few home runs were hit.

I ended the day with eight baseballs.  I went back to Heritage Park to do one last check for any balls that I may have missed.  On my way there, an old guy, who had been repeatedly pestering me in right field for baseballs offered to buy one off of me for $3.  I turned him down.  “Sorry, I don’t sell them.”  When I was looking for balls in Heritage Park, along with Nick, a teenager offered Nick $20 for a ball.  When Nick turned him down, he made me the same offer.  I also turned him down.  “I don’t sell them, plus I wrote on all the ones I got.  Sorry.”  I told him.  If I had brought along some extras I would’ve sold him one.  I probably have at least 100 MLB balls at home that I didn’t snag, and aren’t part of my official collection.  I use them to give away on occasion, especially in times like the scenario that played out with ball #4 today.

After BP, I took off, hoping to get home before dusk.  Which I did achieve, even with a stop at Wendy’s for dinner. (Small Chili, 1 Grilled Chicken Go-Wrap).
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I haven’t been staying at many games lately.  I don’t have time to with my new hobby.

Today’s baseballs:
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And the sweet spots:
photo(143).jpgSTATISTICS:
Game:  8 Balls (5 hit, 3 device)
Season:  234 Balls (124 hit, 75 thrown, 35 device)
Games:  47 Games (5 of them didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.98 Balls per Game
Career: 400 Balls
Attendance:  22,371

6-10-09 Progressive Field

I decided to go to this game despite a gloomy forecast of rain throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

I had changed my mind several times about going.  I had ultimately decided not to go, until the rain forecast changed from 60% chance to 50% chance at around 1PM.

Getting onto the turnpike in Pennsylvania, there were menacing clouds on the horizon ahead.
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No rain drops though.

Passing into Ohio, it was just overcast.  Still no rain.
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STATISTICS
:
Game:  6 Balls (1 hit, 3 thrown, 2 device)
Season:  157 Balls (68 hit, 65 thrown, 24 device)
Games:  31 games (4 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:   5.06 Balls per Game
Career:  323 Balls
Attendance: 16,257

5-9-09 Progressive Field

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With the Pirates on the road for a full week, I decided to add two games at Progressive Field.  I checked the weather today and since the forecast was favorable, I hopped in my car and took the 2:15 drive to Cleveland.

Since it was Saturday, I had some things working against me:
1)  Gates don’t open until 5:30 on weekends
2)  Cliff Lee bobblehead day
3)  The skies darkened up and it looked like it was going to storm.

When I arrived at Progressive Field around 4, the cage was set up, but I was afraid BP would be wiped out due to the menacing dark clouds.  (The lights were on at the stadium).

I walked to the box office and bought the cheapest ticket I could, $9.  I then made my way back to the right field gate.  It was about 4:15, and a large crowd was gathering.  I was about 15th in line.  It turns out that there were hundreds of people there for faith night.  They were going to hear testimony from Indians player Jamey Carroll. 

Imagine my surprise when a supervisor announced that they would be opening the gates an hour early at 4:30!  Thank you Jesus!

A full batting practice.
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100_1219.jpgThen went to the upper deck.
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Then came back to the main level and asked an usher to take my picture.

100_1212.jpgAnd stood in line for 10 minutes to buy a cheeseburger combo meal for $9.25.
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When the game started I first sat by the foul pole in right field.
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But eventually moved to the left field home run porch.  Notice all of the fans are standing at the fence. 
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If a home run were hit, they would have a slim chance of catching it.  I stood by the garbage cans, awaiting a home run that would never come.

The Tigers won the game 4-0. 

A few action shots:
Shin Soo Choo bats against Edwin Jackson
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Jim Leyland relays some signs:
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Miguel Cabrera against Fausto Carmona as Andy Van Slyke (my favorite player 1988-1993) looks on:
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A look at today’s baseballs:
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And the sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  5 Balls (3 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device)
Season:  89 Balls (35 hit, 44 thrown, 10 device)
Games:  17 Games (14 with BP, 3 without)
Average: 5.24 balls per game
Career:  255 Balls
Attendance:  33,640

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