Results tagged ‘ Jose Tabata ’
Today got off to a really slow start. I didn’t snag my first ball until near the end of Pirates batting practice.
Lastings Milledge hit a home run that ended up in the upper bleachers. As I ran up to get it, another ball narrowly missed hitting me on my way up the stairs. I continued up the stairs to snag ball #1.
At the end of Pirates BP, Ross Ohlendorf tossed me ball #2.
That was all I got from the Pirates in the first 30 minutes. A bit frustrating.
Not long after the Brewers started hitting, Rickie Weeks hit a home run ball that was directly in the sun. I tracked the ball most of the way, but lost it at the last second. Luckily, the ball landed right next to me in the front row. Another ballhawk inexplicably threw his glove at the ball, which missed and ended up on the field, so I was able to dodge the glove and snag ball #3. It had the number ’8′ written on it.
I used the glove trick to snag ball #4 near the bullpen.
A ball had settled up against the wall and made for an easy snag. All I had to do was make sure Marcus Hanel, who despises the glove trick, wasn’t watching.
I left after the third inning as I still needed to get to the gym and it was already almost 8:30pm.
Here are today’s baseballs:
Game: 9 balls (4 hit, 2 device, 3 thrown)
Season: 304 balls (160 hit, 70 thrown, 31 device, 43 found)
Games: 47 games
Average: 6.47 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 882 balls
Streak: 143 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Another day at PNC Park, and another crowd of Phillies fans to deal with throughout batting practice.
Luckily, PNC Park has season ticket holder early entrance, where the season ticket holders get thirty minutes of BP without the general public. That would be huge for me today, as all four of my baseballs would come during the first thirty minutes.
I was second in line behind Nick Pelescak, so I knew that I probably would be second into the bleachers, putting me at a slight disadvantage for grabbing easter eggs. However, Nick brought a curse on himself about two minutes before the gates opened by accidentally touching a cursed baseball.
The baseball in question is brought by a semi regular man who is disabled and can’t speak, but loves to play catch with a minor league baseball. I played catch with him last year and had a ridiculously awful game. The only explanation was that I had touched that baseball. I thought to myself, “That ball is cursed,” and haven’t touched it since. Whenever he gestures to toss me the ball, I make a frown and wave him off.
After watching Nick have some terrible luck on Thursday, I realized that he had played catch with Baseball Joe in line. I warned him later on that night to stay away from the cursed baseball.
Well, Nick was handed the ball by another ballhawk and immediately realized that he was again, cursed.
Two minutes later the gates opened, and for the first time ever, Nick’s ticket wouldn’t scan. Also, out of nowhere, another ticket scanner appeared and scanned my ticket, thus I bypassed Nick and was first into the bleachers. The curse of Baseball Joe. His misfortune was my luck, I found ball #1 laying in the front row.
My second ball came about two minutes later off the bat of Jose Tabata. It was a home run that would’ve landed in the first or second row. Two other ballhawks had the position and were lined up to make the catch. I was in the third row, hoping that the ball would continue to carry, but it didn’t. At the last second, both ballhawks who were positioned to make the catch had to bail on their position because they lost the ball in the ridiculously bright sun.
I never lost sight of the ball, and made an outstretched basket catch, for ball #2 here:
Game: 4 balls (3 hit, 1 found)
Season: 276 balls (149 hit, 64 thrown, 26 device, 38 found)
Games: 43 games
Average: 6.42 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 854 balls
Streak: 139 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
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.
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.
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.
Had a good day today at PNC Park.
Shortly after running into the bleachers and finding zero easter eggs, Garrett Jones hit a ground rule double down the line that landed in the section to my right. I ran over and claimed ball #1 as it rolled down the stairs after bouncing off a bleacher.
My second ball was a Ronny Cedeno home run catch. He hit a towering fly ball that I ran a section and a half to my right and made the clean catch in the third row back.
As for the game, the outfield was crowded so I didn’t get close on any of the between inning toss ups from the outfielders.
The Pirates would also go on to lose their eleventh game in a row.
Tomorrow should be an interesting day – I’ll be in the park
extra early – details to come.
Today’s baseballs: (10 are pictured because one was given away)
Sweet spots: (10 are pictured because #804 was given away)
Game: 11 balls (8 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device)
Season: 226 balls (122 hit, 57 thrown, 21 device, 26 found)
Games: 35 games
Average: 6.46 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 804 balls
Streak: 131 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
The Pirates #1 prospect finally arrived in the major leagues. He didn’t hit too many home runs in batting practice, but did hit one that cleared everything and sailed over section 139 in dead center on its way to the river.
As for my day, it got off to a good start.
I found ball #1 laying in the front row in left field when I ran in.
A few minutes later I got ball #2 from assistant pitching coach Ray Searage in left field.
He did a no look toss that fell about two rows short to me, but no one else was in the vicinity, so I had to to recover and get the ball.
My third ball of the day was a Lastings Milledge home run caught on the fly in this area:
This made toss ups difficult, and the closest I came was probably five feet from a McCutchen toss up in the 5th inning, but it didn’t happen.
By the way, here’s video of Pedro’s first major league at bat:
Here are today’s baseballs:
Game: 9 balls (4 hit, 3 thrown, 2 found)
Season: 215 balls (114 hit, 56 thrown, 19 device, 26 found)
Games: 34 games
Average: 6.32 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career: 793 balls
Streak: 130 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
I decided to make a trip to Akron OH today. The reason was two fold. One, I found someone willing to part with 4th row Dave Matthews Band tickets. Two, the Altoona Curve (Pirates AA affiliate) were in Akron for a weekend series.
I began by visiting a hotel in Akron OH to buy the DMB tickets. I didn’t buy the tickets off just any DMB fan. I bought them off a professional softball player. Her name was Nicole Trimboli, and she is one of the stand outs for the Chicago Bandits pro softball team. They had a series against Akron’s pro softball team. If you’re not a softball fan, you’ve probably heard of one of her teammates – widely regarded as the most popular softball player of all time – Jennie Finch.
I didn’t meet Finch, but I met some of her teammates, one of whom I sold DMB tickets to.
Upon arriving at Canal Park, there was no batting practice, so I searched beyond the left field fence and found three baseballs.
One was a Major League Baseball, well used. (And no, it doesn’t count in my official collection – only balls at MLB games do – regular and post season).
I then watched the Altoona Curve warm up, and snapped some photos of the Pittsburgh Pirates top prospects.
Jose Tabata stretching:
Gorkys Hernandez chats with his girlfriend:
Pedro Alvarez signs a baseball for me. That’s right! I got him to sign an Arizona Fall League ball that I had with me.
During the game, we sat down the right field line, because all of the sections were basically empty. I was hoping to get a game ball. I wouldn’t have to wait long.
Santana dug into the box and lauched a deep fly ball to left field. It was a three run home run. The ball bounced off a concrete walkway behind the left field wall, took a huge hop into some trees and disappeared.
I didn’t wait. I left the stadium and ran the entire way to the area behind the left field wall to claim the ball. I looked in the trees and the area behind the wall. I didn’t see it. Then I checked the water.
There it was.
It was floating towards a 20 foot high water fall.
If I didn’t act fast, the ball was a goner. It was about 15-20 feet from the falls when I got to the scene. I grabbed onto the railing, laid flat on my stomach and reached as far down as I could into the canal. I was just barely able to grab the ball.
It was a perfect Eastern League ball, what I had been after all day.
It was also my first game home run ball of the season. Although it won’t count in my major league official stats, it’s still a keeper.
Hopefully Carlos Santana becomes a star for the Indians in a year or two.
I stayed outside the park for an inning and a half, hoping to get another homer. (If I wanted to, I could watch the entire game outside the park for free, and have almost a 100% chance of getting any home runs that came out.)
I re-entered the park, buying the cheapest ticket.
A few action shots:
Pedro Alvarez (doing a Derek Jeter’esque time out request)
Pedro would take the next pitch deep. The ball cleared both bullpens and hit just below the scoreboard in right center field. It had to be about 450 feet or more. It was a bomb.
Alvarez congratulated at home plate:
Pedro Alvarez now has 20 HR and 70 RBI’s this season.
The Pirates home run leader is Garett Jones with 10, and the RBI leader is Andy LaRoche with 37.
Needless to say, I can’t wait until Pedro Alvarez is on the big league club.
Here’s a look at today’s baseballs:
And the sweet spots (I decided to number minor league baseballs in black ink. I do all baseballs obtained at MLB games in blue ink)
And by the way, since I mentioned Jennie Finch, how about a run down of the top 100 female athletes of all time? I got these from the bleacher report
100. Ashley Harkleroad, tennis
99. Christa Alves, surfer
98. Candace Parker, basketball
97. Anni Friesinger-Postma, skater
96. Sandra Gal, golf
95. Jeannette Lee,
94. Katarina Witt, skating
93. Kari Traa, skiing
92. Hope Solo, soccer
91. Biba Golic, ping pong
90. Mia St John, boxing
89. Gretchen Bleiler, snowboarding
88. Logan Tom, volleyball
87. Erin Phillips, basketball
86. Hannah Teter, snowboarding
85. Kimberly Lansing, poker
84. Missy Gibson, surfer
83. Ashley Constantine, surfer
82. Kiira Korpi
81. Kajsa Bergqvist, high jumper
80. Jennie Finch
79. Sasha Cohen, figure skater
78. Christina Vukicevic, hurdles
77. Amy Acuff, high jump
76. Lolo Jones, hurdles
75. Dallas Friday, wakeboarder
74. Gabrielle Reece
73. Vera Zvonareva, tennis
72. Jamie Sale, skater
71. Trish Stratus, WWE Wrestler
70. Clair Bidez, snowboarder
69. Victoria Azarenka, tennis
68. Allison Baver, speed skater
67. Alina Kabaeva, gymnast
66. Misty May, volleyball
65. Ana Paula Mancino, volleyball
64. Lacy Schnoor, freestyle skiier
63. Amanda Beard, swimmer
62. Lara Gut, skiier
61. Natalie Gulbis
60. Linn Haug, snowboarder
59. Milene Domingues, soccer
58. Juliana Veloso, swimmer
57. Victoria Vanucci, tennis
56. Daniela Hantuchova, tennis
55. Laisa Andriolo, soccer
54. Danica Patrick, NASCAR
53. Caroline Wozniacki, tennis
52. Tatiana Grigorieva, pole vaulter
51. Bianca Cruz, softball, and Jason Pridie’s girlfriend
50. Liv Boeree, poker
49. Tanith Belbin, ice dancer
48. Ashley Force Hood, NHRA Funny Car driver
47. Maria Verchenova
46. Claudia Toth, curling
45. Anna Rowson, golf
44. Stephanie Rice, swimming
43. Maria Kirilenko, tennis
42. Alona Bondarenko, tennis
41. Kristi Leskinen, freestyle skiier
40. Michelle Waterson, karate
39. Maria Sharapova, tennis
38. Ashley Massaro, pro wrestler
37. Jenn Brown, softball
36. Miesha Tate, MMA
35. Allison Stokke, pole vaulter
34. Torrie Wilson, WWE WCW Wrestler
33. Anna Kournikova, tennis
32. Gina Carano, MMA
31. Nastia Liukin
30. Zlata, gymnast
29. Blair O’Neal, golf
28. Jennifer Barretta, pool
27. Heather Mitts, soccer
26. Anastasia Luppova, billiards
25. Taira Turley, football
24. Tapai Szabina, handball
23. Kyra Gracie, Jiu-Jitsu and grappler
22. Bia Feres and Branca Feres, swimmers
21. Lindsey Vonn, skiier
20. Anastasia Ashley, surfer
19. Alex Morgan
18. Sophie Horn, golf
17. Brie Bella and Nikki Bella, wrestlers
16. Sara Galimberti, track
15. Maria Kanellis, WWE
14. Amanda Coetzer, tennis
13. Lokelani McMichael, surfer and triathlete
12. Anna Semenovich, ice dancer
11. Melanie Adams, Pole Vaulter
10. Tania Archer, sprinter
9. Stacy Keibler, WCW and WWE Wrestler
8. Ana Ivanovic, tennis
7. Lauryn Eagle, pro boxer
6. Kim Glass, volleyball
5. Leryn Franco, javelin
4. Shanelle Loraine, billiards
3. Malia Jones
2. Niki Gudex, cyclist
1. Alana Blanchard, surfer
Hopefully that makes this entry a little more interesting, since it was a minor league game I attended.
Minors Game: 4 balls (3 hit, 1 thrown)
Minors Season: 6 balls (5 hit, 1 thrown)
Minors Career: 6 balls
My 2009 Season Tickets had arrived. It wasn’t quite like the 2005 movie Fever Pitch in which Red Sox season ticket holder Jimmy Fallon rushes out into the street to greet the delivery man in his pijamas to get his tickets, but it was a day I’d been looking forward to.
This is my third year being a full 81 game season ticket holder. This year, the cost of my tickets dropped by about 30%. My entire plan cost me $798 for 2 tickets for an entire season, an amazing deal.
I was looking forward to seeing the design that the Pirates put together for the upcoming campaign. In recent memory, the Pirates had always featured five different stars on their season ticket stubs. Last year, Matt Capps, Tom Gorzellanny, Ian Snell, Freddy Sanchez and Adam LaRoche appeared on the season tickets which were designed after 2008 Topps Baseball Cards. Below is a picture of the last 4 years of season tickets:
On the left is the 2005 season ticket depicting Jack Wilson. Wilson was coming off of a fantastic 2004 season, his career year. The ’06 design stars Sean Casey in the picture above. The ’05 and ’06 tickets were very similar in design. The 2007 tickets featured elements of PNC Park in the background of the ticket along with front and center photos of the Pirates stars. On the right side of the above picture you can see Gorzelanny and the 2008 version.
So, what do the 2009 tickets look like?
The opening day ticket is on the front of the booklet to the right.
I flipped open the book to see what the ’09 design was. I was expecting to see Nate McLouth, Paul Maholm and Ryan Doumit make their debut on the season ticket stubs. Possibly Matt Capps and Brandon Moss would join them? (Freddy Sanchez, Jack Wilson, and Adam LaRoche were out of the question as they will likely be traded in ’09).
However, the Pirates made an unexpected change on their 2009 tickets:
They abandoned using player photos and went with Pirates related photos. I like the fact that they have the 2009 Topps Baseball Card border again. I’m not crazy about the photos though. I think they’ll become somewhat boring and generic, especially the Pirate hat and jersey ticket.
The Pirates did a similar design in the early 2000′s, where they featured PNC Park scenery like the Clemente bridge, Wagner statue etc.
Also in my season ticket package was a letter from Frank Coonelly.
The letter basically stated:
Thank you for your support of the Pirates. We are thrilled that you will be back with us again in 2009 and truly appreciate the faith that you have shown in us. We have made significant progress over the last year and are a much stronger organization than we have been in recent years. There are many reasons that Pirates fans should be excited not only for the upcoming season, but for the future as well, below are just a few of them:
1) We have hired two of the best coaches in the game at their positions in Joe Kerrigan and Perry Hill as our first base/infield coach.
2) Witnessing the continued growth of players such as McLouth, Maholm and Doumit, and being on hand to see who will be this year’s breakout performers. We have challenged our players to be the best players they can be and we are confident that our other young players will experience significant growth in 2009.
3) The improvement of the pitching staff. As a result of the trades we made last season, we now have far more depth in our starting rotation. We are confident that the increased competition for rotation spots coupled with the addition of Joe Kerrigan will make us a stronger club in 2009.
4) In just one year we have added significant talent to our system. Indeed, five or the players listed in our top 10 prospects were not in our organization a year ago. We are excited to follow the continued development of highly talented prospects such as Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, Bryan Morris, Brad Lincoln, Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker and others.
Off the field, we have increased out staff in order to provide you with the best possible service throughout this season.
Your continued support of the Pirates is greatly appreciated by everyone in this organization and we are glad you will be on board with us as we continue to return this organization to prominence. We are working extremely hard to build the winning organization that you so richly deserve.
Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at PNC Park in 2009.
Sincerely, Frank Coonelly
It seems like Frank is pinning a lot of his optimism for success in 2009 on Joe Kerrigan’s shoulders. Basically Kerrigan has to take the same group that was the worst staff in 2008 and turn them all around. We’ll see about that. It could be possible, but is it probable?