Results tagged ‘ Indians ’

6-18-10 PNC Park

I had the opportunity to watch batting practice on the field today.  I had to be in the Pirates administrative offices at 4:15, where I would receive a lanyard and Suite tickets for tonight’s game.
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However, the downfall of this opportunity is that the participants must stay in a small 15×15 area or so in center field.  So snagging balls isn’t that easy.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  8 balls (4 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device, 1 found)
Season:  234 balls (126 hit, 59 thrown, 22 device, 27 found)
Games: 36 games
Average:  6.50 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  812 balls
Streak:  132 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 28,478

6-12-10 Progressive Field

The weather forecast for today kept calling for thunderstorms, but every time I checked the forecast changed, and the storms kept getting pushed back to later and later in the day.

Eventually, I decided around 1PM to go for it, and hoped the weather would cooperate. 

It would.

Despite arriving at 3:45, I was still first in line.
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The boxes you see in the above photo were Shin Soo Choo bobbleheads.  I was a little worried that today would be very crowded because it was a bobblehead night and a Saturday.  However, the attendance was below 20,000.  Kind of sad for a franchise that once sold out 455 games in a row.

When I ran in, batting practice hadn’t yet begun, and there were no Easter Eggs.

After a few minutes, BP got underway and an Indians lefty hit a few balls into the Indians bullpen.

One of the balls was in a spot at the back of the bullpen that could be retrieved with the glove trick.  However, right when I began to set up for the glove trick, Tony Sipp ran by on his way to the bathroom in the Indians bullpen.  I decided to hold off on glove tricking the ball and instead asked Sipp for one of the three balls in the bullpen after he finished in the bathroom.

He nodded and flipped me ball #1.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  7 balls (3 hit, 2 thrown, 2 device)
Season:  199 balls (104 hit, 53 thrown, 19 device, 23 found)
Games: 32 games
Average:  6.22 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  777 balls
Streak:  128 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 19,484

6-11-10 Progressive Field

I decided to attend this game after checking Saturday’s iffy weather forecast.  I left right after work, so I didn’t get to the stadium until just before 5 PM.

I had missed the first 25 minutes of batting practice, which is never a good thing, but I would get on the board soon.

I was checking for any easter eggs that some folks may have missed when Shin Soo Choo hit a home run that landed in the trees in Heritage Park.  I tried to reach in and grab it so I could count it as a hit ball, but I couldn’t reach it. 
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I pulled out my Cleveland Stick and used it to nudge the ball closer to the wall so I could get it.  It was ball #1.

The next round, Travis Hafner also hit a home run into the trees in Heritage Park, so I ran back over again. 

This ball would be a bit trickier because it was lodged in the branches of one of the trees.
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STATISTICS
:
Game:  7 balls (3 hit, 4 device)
Season:  192 balls (101 hit, 51 thrown, 17 device, 23 found)
Games: 31 games
Average:  6.19 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  770 balls
Streak:  127 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 22,041

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.

5-25-2010 Progressive Field

Today would be even more frustrating than yesterday. 

Batting practice wouldn’t even begin until 4:45 PM.  I stood and watched as the Indians took infield.  There was absolutely nothing going on in the outfield.  Pointless.

When batting practice did get under way, there were three balls hit into the right field and center field stands from once batting practice began until 6PM.  Three balls.  That’s both the Indians and White Sox combined!

I luckily got on the board quickly as I asked a ballboy for a ball that he was retrieving in the right field corner.  “Aren’t you here everyday?” He asked.  “Well, not everyday,” I replied.  The ballboy smiled and tossed me ball #1.
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In fact this was only my fifth game of the season at Progressive Field.

Not that it mattered since there were three balls hit into the stands, but there were a few groups in attendance, clogging up all of the rows and limiting my range.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  4 balls (1 hit, 1 thrown, 2 found)
Season:  143 balls (86 hit, 32 thrown, 9 device, 16 found)
Games: 22 games
Average:  6.50 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  721 balls
Streak:  118 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 14,441

Last year after game 22 I had 118 balls, so I’m at least doing better than last year.  However, game 22 for me was on May 15th.

5-24-2010 Progressive Field

I didn’t arrive at this game until almost 5PM, as I left after work.  The gates had opened at 4:30, so I was operating at a disadvantage from the beginning.  Couple that with that fact that only six balls reached the center field/right field seating area from the time I arrived until 6PM, and you have a recipe for a frustrating day.

I got my first ball of the day off the bat of Shin Soo Choo. 
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The stadium was pretty empty, so I ran over to the section the ball had landed in and waited for the ball to roll down to me as two guys searched frantically where the ball had hit.

I got my second ball of the day from Tony Sipp. 
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STATISTICS:
Game:  4 balls (2 hit, 2 thrown)
Season:  139 balls (85 hit, 31 thrown, 9 device, 14 found)
Games: 21 games
Average:  6.62 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  717 balls
Streak:  117 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 10,166

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,
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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

4-30-10 Progressive Field

I decided to attend today’s Twins vs Indians game to try and snag a Twins Target Field commemorative ball.

Surprisingly, I wouldn’t have to wait long at all.  Within 30 seconds of entering the stadium, I found my first ball of the day laying in the bleachers.  Upon later inspecting it, I found out that it was indeed a 2010 Target Field ball. 

Unfortunately, the logo was badly beat up. 
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There was no other Easter Eggs to be found. 

Batting practice was rather slow today during the Indians portion, so I attempted to get a few toss ups.  I got Chris Perez to toss me a ball, but some guy reached in front of me and robbed me. 
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When I saw the ball stayed in the trees and didn’t bounce out, I was off sprinting to Heritage Park.

Also running towards Heritage Park in front of me were Nick and Bryan Pelescak, as well as some other local Cleveland ballhawk.   

We all got to the area at about the same time.  As I was searching for the ball, I heard a fellow fan saw, “it hit farther down.”  Myself and the local Cleveland ballhawk got to the spot at the same time.  There it was.  Justin Morneau career home run  #168.  The ball was impossible for anyone to get as it was lodged in the base of one of the hemlocks, between three thick branches. 

It didn’t matter though, as I reached in with my stick (collibsible yard stick), poked the ball loose, and grabbed ball #10, and my third game ball of 2010.

The ball didn’t come without controversy, as the other ballhawk was real upset that he wasn’t able to get it.  He wasn’t prepared.  Luckily a cop was ri
ght there, and told me and the other guy that it was mine to get, as I “had something to get it with.”

Of course the other guy was a really sore loser and complained and heckled me the rest of the night.  Apparently he reads this blog and takes exception to me and the fact that I catch a lot of baseballs.    Whatever though.  I dropped it and spent the rest of the game in left field foul territory, and came close on at least three foul balls.
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I would finish the game with ten. 

Nick snagged 11, and his brother Bryan 7.  28 between the three of us.
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A good night at Progressive
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Here are today’s baseballs:  (Morneau HR #168 in foreground)
100_2667.jpgand the sweet spots:
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 By the way,  this  is the video of Justin Morneau’s home run in the first inning.

STATISTICS:
Game:  10 balls (4 hit, 3 thrown, 1 device, 2 found)
Season:  61 balls (38 hit, 10 thrown, 7 device, 6 found)
Games: 9 games
Average:  6.78 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  639 balls
Streak:  105 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  14,124

2009 through 8 games: 42 (Currently I am 19 balls ahead of last year’s career high season pace)

4-14-10 Progressive Field

It was time for my return to Progressive Field in Cleveland.  Of the ballparks that I’ve traveled to, I enjoy ballhawking most at Progressive Field.
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I arrived at 3:30 and was second in line behind fellow Pittsburgh ballhawk Nick Pelescak.

When the gates opened, I was hoping to fill my pockets with Easter Eggs.  Alas, I only found one ball, despite looking in virtually every row and seat.  At the very least, I was on the board.

My second ball of the day was from Indians reliever Chris Perez.  A ball rolled to the warning track and several of us asked for it.
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Sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  7 balls (3 hit, 1 thrown, 3 found)
Season:  24 balls (13 hit, 3 thrown, 5 device, 3 found)
Games: 5 games
Average:  4.80 balls per game
Career:  602 balls
Streak:  101 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  10,071

2009 through 5 games: 20 balls (Four balls ahead of last year’s pace)

I’ll close with another brief youtube video that I took from left field:

9-24-09 Progressive Field

After leaving PNC Park around 1:25, I made it to Progressive Field in Cleveland, and was in line at 3:32.  I was second in line.  This would be my second game of the day. 

When I ran in, I didn’t find any easter eggs on the ground.  I paced up and down each aisle and did manage to find ball #1 and ball #2 laying in seats.  The second ball was an International League (AAA) ball – which the Tigers are known to use in lieu of major league baseballs.  I was pretty happy because I didn’t have any of these yet this year.  After snagging 300 some regular major league baseballs this season, any variation is a welcomed departure from the mean.

Within the span of a minute, I lost out on three home run balls in center field.  All three balls bounced on this six foot wide concrete platform seperating the outfield wall from the seats:
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The balls took huge hops and landed about 15 rows back, and I wasn’t able to get to any of them in time.

Ball #3 was thrown by an Indians pitcher (standing on the left of the two pitchers).
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I had competition from behind, with two guys trying to reach other the seats to grab the ball.  I got to the ball a split second before them, snatching it with my bare hand.  Guess what?  Another Metrodome commemorative!

Things then slowed way down for me.  I wouldn’t get another ball for the next half hour.

I watched Miguel Cabrera pepper the left field bleachers with home run balls.  There was only one usher there picking them all up, and he had his work cut out for him.

One of Cabrera’s homers nearly hit th
e scoreboard.  It landed in the very top row of the bleachers (as marked by the red X in the picture below.)
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At 6:00, I ran over to those left field bleachers to look for some easter eggs that the usher potentially may have missed.  I searched the rows at the bottom, and watched as one teenager found one.  I then ran up towards the top of the bleachers, and found this waiting for me, three rows from the top.
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Yes, another Metrodome ball – my fifth commemorative of the day, and ball #9.

Things in left field weren’t going well, so I made my way back over to right field as the final lefties were finishing up.

Curtis Granderson ( i think – a black left handed batter ) – hit a deep home run to my left in right field.  Again, it was going to be about two sections over, so I put my head down and ran over to where I judged it was going to land.  I ended up making a really nice catch on the run for ball #10 of the day.  I got a nice hand from the few people that were still in right field watching batting practice.  It was also my fifth consecutive Metrodome ball snagged, and my sixth commemorative of the day.

Two pitches later, Granderson hit another home run to right field.  This ball was high in the air, and I had plenty of time to weave and correct my route so I’d be in the right spot.  I caught the ball with a basket style catch for ball #11.  It was the last hit of BP, as the Tigers then ran off the field.  I quickly snapped this picture right after batting practice ended to show all the room I had.
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I love weekday batting practices at Progressive Field.

I left after batting practice, happy that after snagging 14 yesterday, I had snagged 15 today (albeit over 2 games).  It was a new “one-day” record for me.

On my way out of the stadium, I had a few reminders from the trees that fall was here, and baseball season was almost over.
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Farewell Progressive Field – See you next year
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Today’s baseballs:
photo(465).jpgSweet spots
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STATISTICS:
Game:  11 balls (8 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device)
Season:  390 balls (208 hit, 117 thrown, 65 device)
Games: 78 games (9 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  5.00 balls per game
Career:  556 balls
Streak:  93 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  23,516
Race for 400 in 2009:  Need 10 in 3 games,  3.33 per game

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