Results tagged ‘ Jim Thome ’
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:
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
I 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:
and an even better picture, with a clear view of the Target Field Balls:
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.
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.
For lefties, I sat over in right field.
And I stayed on the home run porch occasionally for righties.
I stayed until the very end of the game – the 11th inning.
And watched the Indians win in exciting walk off fashion:
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.
Here are today’s baseballs:
And the sweet spots:
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.
The big news today in baseball is that Mark McGwire has admitted to using steroids throughout his major league career.
McGwire went on the hit 583 career home runs, the eighth most all time. At the time of his retirement, McGwire was considered a possible unanimous pick for baseball’s Hall of Fame. Since he has been eligible for election, he has failed to ever garner more than 24% of the vote. (75% is needed to be enshrined)
Mark was recently hired as the hitting coach for the St Louis Cardinals and has decided to come clean so as not to be a distraction or burden to the team. Questions about his steroid use would’ve lingered throughout the season.
I’m glad McGwire apologized and came clean. I always had a sense that McGwire had done steroids along with Sosa, Bonds, and Palmeiro. At least McGwire never lied about taking steroids, or mysteriously forgot how to speak English when asked about his steroid use (Sosa).
Therefore, when McGwire and the Cardinals make their several trips to PNC Park this summer, I will not boo. I will not taunt. I will welcome McGwire back and cheer him.
From a ballhawking perspective, this is a fantastic thing. The Cardinals had an extreme opposite field approach last year and yielded very little home runs during batting practice. Hopefully Big Mac can get them to go long ball a little more often in batting practice.
As for his Hall of Fame bid, I don’t think McGwire will ever get into the Hall of Fame. He is forever tarnished. If I had a vote, even though I would want to vote for him, I couldn’t.
From those players who began their careers in the early 1990′s the only true sluggers that I would vote for when they would retire would be Jim Thome, Ken Griffey Jr, and Chipper Jones. Recently retired Frank Thomas would also get my vote.
McGwire is an admitted steroid user and may now become the litmus test for the steroid era. If he doesn’t get close to being inducted into the Hall of Fame, I don’t see how Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez or Alex Rodriguez can get in.
The home run crown has lost it’s glitter. Some baseball purists refuse to recognize Bonds as the best home run hitter of all time. I just hope that Albert Pujols one day hits #763 to surpass Bonds so we have a true home run king of all time. And I hope McGwire is the first one to congratulate him at home plate when he does.
We were third in line at the gate, but the two people in front of me sort of got out of line by standing in front of another gate. So, I was first into the stadium. Upon entering, I found ball #1 in the right field seats. I watched helplessly as an usher picked up another ball I had spotted.
Travis Hafner batted at the beginning of batting practice and peppered the right field seats with home runs. I was able to grab ball #2 and ball #3 off of his bat within about the span of a minute.
It helped that the crowd looked like this for the first 30 minutes or so:
Game: 9 Balls (8 hit, 1 device)
Season: 98 Balls (43 hit, 44 thrown, 11 device)
Games: 18 Games (15 with BP/ 3 without)
Average: 5.44 balls per game
Career: 264 Balls