Results tagged ‘ Neil Walker ’
Today was Mother’s Day, and my mother-to-be fiancee Amy had to work this game, so I was there too. Luckily, even through it was a day game following a night game, there was a full batting practice.
Upon entering the stadium, I snagged my first ball of the day on the Riverwalk, or outfield concourse. Fans can’t enter the stadium until 11:30, they can only access the Riverwalk, which is the area behind the right field wall. It’s kind of dumb to open at 11 AM, and just make everyone stay out there, but whatever.
Chris Snyder threw me my first ball of the day over the iron gate. He’s on the left in the picture below, talking to Lyle Overbay.
I called out for a ball from Neil Walker
but so did this guy:
(I didn’t realize we were at a Steeler game…)
Anyway, I snagged the ball over him, and he wasn’t too happy. He started boasting about how he ‘can jump’ because he ‘plays basketball,’ and the next ball thrown out, he was getting.
I didn’t wait around to see, as it was 11:30, and I ran into the left field bleachers. There, I found ball #3 by the bullpen, and continued my search into foul territory.
There were no balls there, but a cool groundscrew member tossed me a ball that was laying in front of the tarp.
My fifth ball of the day came from Evan Meek. He handed me a ball after we had a nice five minute conversation about everything from Amy, my upcoming baby, Mother’s Day, his recovery, etc.
I only snapped a picture as they ran off the field.
The Astros then came out, and Dave Clark started hitting balls to the relief pitchers, encouraging them to rob the home runs, or injury themselves and end their careers. Just ask Ruben Niebla.
It worked out though, as Clark over hit a ball into the stands that I snagged off a bleacher in this area.
My seventh ball was a Hunter Pence home run catch on the fly caught on the far end of the section by the handicapped seats.
I caught it while running, and spun around after making the catch doing a 360 spin. One of my better catches this year.
Ball #8 of the day was thrown to me by Jose Tabata in the 8th inning. I snagged it here.
I had to run down a few steps to snag it from other fans who were reaching from it, but I’m pretty sure it was to me, just under thrown. It was directly in the middle of the aisle. Luckily, no one batted it away from me.
After the game, I took Amy out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Old Mexico located in Washinton PA.
Here are today’s eight baseballs:
Game: 8 balls (2 hit, 5 thrown, 1 found)
Season: 91 balls (33 hit, 25 thrown, 21 device, 12 found)
Games: 15 games
Average: 6.07 balls per game
Career: 1,213 balls
For the fifth year in a row, I decided to make the trek to Spring Training in Florida. However, this year, I would travel with my girlfriend Amy instead of my dad, who is recovering from surgery.
There was some early airport drama, where we arrived at the security checkpoint 12 minutes prior to the boarding of our plane due to flooding of rivers in Pittsburgh which led to the closing of 376 west, the highway that leads us to the airport. However, Amy did some smooth talking to a TSA agent and got us moved to the front of a lengthy security line, and we arrived at our gate just as the plane began boarding.
We arrived in Tampa at 10:30 and awaited our first spring training game the next day.
We arrived at McKechnie Field bright and early at 9AM and took the obligatory picture in front of the stadium:
And in front of a Spring Training sign posted there:
After taking several more photos, we walked around to the back of McKechnie Field, where I would do my ballhawking for the day.
We actually got there too early, as the cage wasn’t even up yet,
and the players were just starting to stretch
and have a meeting in the outfield.
Batting practice wouldn’t even get started until about an hour later around 10AM, as the players would do some baserunning drills and infield work first.
That left us ample time to explore the area behind the outfield wall. There were a few changes from last year in the area behind the fence.
First, there were a bunch of picnic tables installed, which would lead to crazy bounces and limited range if a ball hit in that area.
Second, the garage where two mechanics used to work on cars had apparently been bought out by the Boys and Girls Club, as evidenced by the logo on the side of the building. This would lead to decreased competition, as the mechanics would typically try and compete for baseballs and subsequently sell them for $3 each at their garage.
Finally, an orange fence was installed to protect bus windows from being shattered by baseballs, and a basketball hoop had been erected in the area.
We made our way behind the old garage,
and over to the area behind the batter’s eye in center field.
All the while, I was keeping an eye out for easter eggs, but there were none.
In the area behind the wall in right center field, there is a small practice field.
After a while, Pirates pitchers came out to do some PFP, Pitcher’s Fielding Practice. Working with pitching coach Ray Searage, the pitchers first worked on taking grounders and making a throw to second base.
Then, they fielded bunts and threw the balls to third base.
Finally, the pitchers took line drive comebackers. The players appeared to be having fun, but none as much as Searage who was extremely cheery and enthusiastic.&nbs
This was my view from the security fence. I didn’t bother any of the players by calling out to them or getting their attention, I just stood and watched.
My girlfriend took a video, about halfway through or so, Evan Meek recognizes me and waves to me. You’ll also see Joel Hanrahan say hello to me. Both of the pitchers were very kind to me at batting practice and have had conversations with me on several occasions.
Check it out in Amy’s video:
There still wasn’t much going on, so I took a video of the area behind McKechnie Field.
Check it out:
Batting practice wouldn’t start for another 30 minutes or so, and the waiting took forever. There was a lot of standing around.
Followed by some pacing.
It allowed Amy to take some random photos, such as this one of a squirrel:
Or this one of an inch worm.
When batting practice finally got underway, it was more of the same. Standing around.
At McKechnie Field, you can’t see the ball until its about to leave the field. I absolutely hate it. It’s very tedious. Imagine doing that for two hours. I was kind of frustrated with the whole process, but I had my girl there to keep me calm.
There were only two competitors there with me. A man in a Barry Bonds shirt,
and his friend.
The two worked as a team. Later, they would be seen selling the balls on the street as we exited the stadium.
They stayed close to the secondary fence and had that whole area covered thanks to a 20 foot long ball retrieving device:
Since they played up, I waited back for any balls that would clear both fences. Unfortunately, there was NO wind at all today, so most fly balls died in left field before even reaching the fence.
I did get my first ball of the day near the end of the Pirates’ batting practice. Amy spotted it first and shouted “Erik! Erik! Erik!” and pointed towards the building. A ball had landed on the roof.
It rolled off the roof and I raced over to scoop it up before ballhawk #2 could get there.
Their session was ama
zingly disappointing. Since the Phillies had a split squad today, they brought all of their scrubs, and very few home runs were hit.
To pass the time, the guy in the Barry Bonds shirt offered to play catch with me.
Near the end of the Phillies’ BP, a batter crushed a home run that bounced on the pavement and into the cypress tree moss above. I crouched down and used my glove to snag it on the bounce.
Moments later, presumably the same batter struck again and ripped a home run that landed in the same place as ball #1, on the roof. I raced over and grabbed ball #3.
That would be all that I would get today. Three balls. I had fun with Amy, but I really disliked ballhawking in this venue. Not being able to see anything takes away a lot of the fun and skill needed. Despite having tickets to tomorrow’s Red Sox / Pirates game, I vowed not to return to McKechnie to ballhawk again.
Some pictures from the game:
The field from our seats, in Sec 8, Row 1.
Ahead of us was Pirates president Frank Coonelly who looked visibly agitated at the amount of runs given up, as well as four misplayed balls by outfielders during the first three innings.
I really like Ross Ohlendorf, but he didn’t have his best stuff today, and four missed catch-able balls by outfielders didn’t help his cause. Keep your head up Ross. That’s what Spring Training is for.
Pedro Alvarez has put on some weight and his range looks very limited, but I only saw two balls hit to him that he didn’t get to, so I’ll have to see a larger sample size to say for certain if he’ll be a liablilty at third.
Lyle Overbay, the Pirates new first baseman. Hopefully he brings a line of .275-20-85 this year at least. We’ll see.
The Phillies didn’t bring many of their regulars, but at least Ryan Howard was there.
Ryan Howard at bat:
Pedro Alvarez digs in. I’m hoping for 35 home runs from Pedro this year, but I fear it may come with a .240 average and lots of strike outs. He’s still young though.
Neil Walker, the Pirates’ second baseman at the plate:
And finally a panorama of McKechnie Field from our seats:
We left after a few inning
s to go enjoy ourselves in Florida.
We headed to the beach.
There weren’t too many people there.
We went for a long walk. And found lots of sea shells.
We eventually came to parts of the beach where there weren’t any people around. So we went exploring.
The second best highlight of going back there was finding a Sting Ray skeleton. Check it out:
We found it here:
The 2011 is getting close, as my Season Tickets have arrived.
This year I will only hold season tickets to the Pirates. Last year, I was a 20 game Cleveland Indians season ticket holder, and a 13 game Cincinnati Reds season ticket holder. I decided not to renew either of those plans. I’ve also decreased my Pittsburgh Pirates season ticket account from three tickets per game to two tickets per game.
Here is the booklet cover design for the 2011 season:
The 2011 season tickets feature four players: Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, and Jose Tabata – the core four young players. I like the design. Last year’s featured Zach Duke, Charlie Morton, Andy LaRoche, Garrett Jones, Andrew McCutchen, and Ross Ohlendorf. Each player took up one ticket on an uncut sheet of six. The tickets looked good, but Andrew McCutchen was the only player that had a decent season of the six. Now, a look at the tickets:
Also, in the package was my 2011 Pirates season ticket card:
The card is key for me, as it allows for me to get in early for batting practice. I’ll need it, since I want to trade in many of my season tickets for give away games and use the free tickets that my girlfriend gets each game from the Pirates as my game entry tickets.
Also included was a letter from Frank Coonelly. Previous letters focused on all of the improvements that the team had made during the off-season. They often predicted a return to glory, etc. Well, coming off of a 105 loss season, this letter basically stated that we play the Orioles in Interleague play, and thank you for coming back.
Dear Erik Jabs,
Enclosed you will find your season tickets for the 2011 season. Opening Day is almost upon us and we are anxious to get the 2011 season started.
On behalf of the Pirates organization, I want to express our sincere thanks for your support. Your loyalty to and faith in the organization make every member of the Club even more determined to perform at a very high level, both on the field and in every other aspect of our relationship to you. You deserve nothing less from us.
As you know, we have an outstanding home schedule this season, including Interleague series against the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. In addition, we have many terrific promotions on the schedule in 2011, highlighted by the 40th anniversary celebration of the 1971 World Series Championship when we host another exciting Interleague series against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday June 21st.
As always, if you have any questions about your tickets, your account or anything as it related to the Pirates, please do not hesitate to contact your account representative.
Again, thank you for choosing to get on board for the 2011 season of Pittsburgh Pirates baseball, and I look forward to seeing you at PNC Park on Thursday April 7th at 1:35 pm for the Home Opener against the Colorado Rockies.
The letter barely makes me excited for the outlook of the team for the 2011 season. I am very excited though, as I am planning on attending many games at PNC Park again this year, as well as making road trips to Washington, Cleveland, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee, with possibly a few more cities.
Spring Training coming up soon for me…
Today kicked off a 10 game homestand at PNC Park.
When Nick Pelescak and I ran in at 5 PM, some ushers were coming out of the bleachers and said “There’s a bunch of balls in there.”
I found balls #1 and 2 in the left field bleachers. The first one was in the front row of Section 136 and the other one was about four rows back closer towards the foul pole.
Ball # was hit by Neil Walker. It was a home run that landed in the crosswalk area, bounced off the white facade of the upper bleachers,
and right into my glove in the third row in the lower bleachers. I heard Jeff Karstens murmur, “Got the rebound.”
Ball #4 and 5 were caught in this area, both off the bat of Lastings Milledge.
Game: 10 balls ( 3 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device, 4 found )
Season: 441 balls (224 hit, 96 thrown, 61 device, 60 found)
Balls in the month of August: 90
Games: 67 games
Average: 6.58 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career: 1,019 balls
Streak: 163 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
There was a threat of rain throughout batting practice today.
In fact, it rained lightly for at least 15 minutes, usually a death sentence for batting practice at PNC Park. The groundscrew was certainly ready to pull the plug.
But we made it through and got a full BP today.
Upon entering, I found ball #1 laying in the front row near the foul pole.
Throughout the rest of the game, I split time between left and right field, but Lastings Milledge was being inconsistent with his mid inning
toss ups. Sometimes he would throw the ball to the crowd, other times he was content to let the bullpen pitcher take it.
I decided to try Tabata one more time in the 8th inning. I took my hat off to alter my appearance, hoping he wouldn’t remember me from four innings early.
Here are today’s baseballs:
Game: 10 balls (5 hit, 4 thrown, 1 found)
Season: 374 balls (192 hit, 84 thrown, 43 device, 46 found)
Games: 57 games
Average: 6.56 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career: 952 balls
Streak: 153 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Today’s game may be my final batting practice of the season – I may only attend one more game, and it’s a day game after a night game. You know what that means…
Meanwhile, I had been watching the weather, and decided that I would not attend tomorrows (Saturday’s) game. It is a Skyblast date, and the chance of rain is 100%. That means no batting practice, large crowds, and an all around tougher time snagging balls. I would need to have a huge day – I wanted reach the 400 balls snagged in one year benchmark.
Chaos had broken out in Pittsburgh the night before due to the G20 summit. I was hoping that this would scare people away from coming out early to batting practice – even if the Pirates were giving away Bobbleheads to entice folks to watch a potential 100 loss team.
I was second in line at PNC Park, arriving an hour and a half early. Helicopters hovered over my head, regiments of soldiers passed on foot patrol
and there was even the cavalry passing by.
We were standing directly next to each other. Manny turned and lofted the ball at us. It was no contest. I had longer arms, and made the catch about a foot in front of the other guys glove. It was ball #6. I also think it may have been the only ball that Manny threw into the crowd in his time in left field.
Another few minutes passed by, and two
more balls rolled to the wall. I reeled up ball #7 with the glove trick, and did the same with ball #8. Randy Wolf was coming over to pick up ball #8, but realized that I had it covered with the glove trick, and let it go, turning back to left field.
The ballpark had only been opened for 25 minutes, and I had already snagged 8 balls. Could I challenge the Jabs/Pelescak PNC Park record of 14?
No, as things slowed way, way down. The Dodgers’ batting practice approach reminded me of the Cardinals’ in that the hit many balls to the opposite field.
I was getting frustrated. The place looked like this around 5:30:
Which is nice, but there were still some folks clogging up rows, making me readjust my routes to any ball that was potentially coming into the stands.
These people got in my way a few times:
And this guy was the worse, because he stayed in virtually the same spot, but kept moving up or down one row, so I had to keep checking on his location.
I try to always familiarize myself with my surroundings almost before every BP pitch so I don’t crash into anyone or get blocked off from going for a ball.
In the last group, Ronny Belliard lofted a high fly ball that bounced on the warning track. I moved over a section and positioned myself perfectly to catch the high bounce. It was ball #9.
I only needed one more ball to complete my quest to get 400 balls. I had began the 2009 season with a goal of 300, but after reaching that last month on August 20th, I had made 400 a new goal for the season, to keep me motivated for the last five weeks of the season.
It was about 6:05ish, and batting practice was about to end in a few minutes. I was then faced with a tough decision. Stay in left field, which looked like this at 6:00….
or head over to center field to try and glove trick a ball that had rolled to the wall.
I decided to go give the ball a try. I rigged up the glove trick on the way over to center field, and non-chalantly made my way down to the front row. (I didn’t want to draw attention from the ushers by sprinting in there).
I looked around at the Dodgers players. No one was in a hurry to come get the ball, which was directly below me at the base of the wall.
With that in mind, I lowered my glove down over the ball, and reeled in ball #10.
Ball #300 and #400 of 2009 had both come via the glove trick. Snagging 400 balls in a season is quite an accomplishment. I believe only Zack Hample, myself, and probably the Happy Youngster (who will likely do it soon) have snagged 400 or more regular season balls in one season.
After snagging the ball, I asked my friend Nick (who is closing in on 300 balls in one season) to snap my picture.
I then got 25 extra tickets scanned, and lugged the bobbleheads back to my car. Noticing a large crowd waiting to get in the stadium (due to all the extra security measures), I decided to leave and not stay for the game.
If I end the season on an even 400, that would be a pretty cool thing anyway.
Game: 10 balls (3 hit, 2 thrown, 5 device)
Season: 400 balls (211 hit, 119 thrown, 70 device)
Games: 79 games (9 of which didn’t have BP)
Average: 5.06 balls per game
Career: 566 balls
Streak: 94 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Today was PNC Park’s Opening Day. I went today with my wife Holly. We got to the gates around 10:30 AM, and waited in line for a half hour. When the gates opened, I rushed in and was the 6th one into the left field bleachers.
Things were a little dry at first. Eventually, two balls were hit and Ian Snell came to the fence to get them. I asked him for a ball and he flipped one over his head without looking to me. It was ball #1 of the day. Luckily, for the first 30 minutes, only season ticket holders are permitted into batting practice, so I had plenty of room to roam.
Game: 5 balls (2 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device)
Season: 13 balls (7 hit, 4 thrown, 2 device)
Games: 3 (3 with BP, 0 without)
Career: 179 balls
Hit List: 179 ties me with Willy Aybar for #3809 all time.
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?
Today marked the kickoff of the weekend long Piratefest at the David L Lawrence Convention Center across the river from PNC Park. Friday is always the best day to go because the crowds are sparse. We got an assist from the Steelers hosting a pep rally at Heinz Field at 7, helping to thin the crowd a bit more.
Holly and I entered Piratefest early with the rest of the season ticket holders. Most people rushed toward the autograph line. However, since we got a lot of autographs last Sunday at Seven Springs, we thought waiting in line to get autographs of players we already got to sign would be a waste of time.
We walked around and bought two Pirates grab bags (filled with junk, as usual) and played the Chuck-a-luck game. I won 2 tickets on my first spin.
Wheel of Fortune was slated to begin at 5PM, so we signed up and waited for the entertainment to begin. Wouldn’t you know it, Holly was selected as a contestant.
Bob Walk served as the host and Jeff Karstens was the special Pirates guest. There was also some other lady on the stage. This is the first year that the Pirates have done Wheel of Fortune at Piratefest, and it showed. Bob Walk didn’t understand the rules very well and had to rely on help from the audience. The Wheel was a computerized wheel on a screen off to the left of the stage. Contestants had to say “Spin” to spin the wheel, and “Stop” to stop the wheel. Puzzles during Holly’s time on stage included “North Shore,” “Paul and Lloyd Waner,” and “Mario Mendoza Line.” Holly had bad luck with the wheel and landed on Bankrupt or Lose a Turn every other time.
Walker was a bit more into the game than Karstens was and made some conversation with me on stage. Hopefully he joins the Pirates at some point in 2009.
I wasn’t nervous on stage, it was actually pretty cool. I ended up coming in second place because Bob Walk helped the other contestant solve a puzzle by tapping on her booth with his knuckles. The phrase was “Knuckleball.”
Bob Walk asked the assistants to get me a different prize rather than the two tickets, but they gave me two infield box seats to a 2009 game anyway.
Holly took a brief video of me playing Wheel of Fortune. If you’d like to watch it, click HERE for the Youtube link.
I’ve also included a few additional pictures below of my Wheel of Fortune experience:
After Wheel of Fortune was over, we stuck around for Pirates Password. You may have seen the game on TV hosted by Regis Philbin. Two contestants were selected from the crowd by mascot Jolly Roger. He selected a 12 year old girl and a surly 60 year old bald man. The girl was paired with Zach Duke, and the older man with Tom Gorzelanny.
Duke and Gorzo each trash talked throughout the game, celebrating and rubbing it in the others face when they did well. There were three rounds, with Gorzelanny and the old man winning the game.
The man won 4 tickets and gets to deliver the line up card before a game.
We were ready to get up and leave since we had been sitting at the stage area for almost 2 hours, but Greg Brown announced that the Pirates would be unveiling their new uniforms shortly, so we stuck around.
The Pirates will wear four different uniforms in 2009. The Home, Road, and Alternate Jerseys are all new, while the Sunday pinstripe jersey remains unchanged. The Home and Road jerseys will now have sleeves for the first time since 2000. The last 8 years, the Pirates wore sleeveless jerseys with a black undershirt. The uniforms will also be constructed of a lighter material, called “Cool Base.” We checked out the new uniforms in the Pirates store and they are very nice. However I couldn’t consider paying $179 for a jersey.
The Pirates also abolished the red alternate jersey after two years. The red jerseys had become unpopular with many fans over the past two years. The new jersey is all black, features a “P” on one side and the player’s number on the other. I thought that it was a really nice looking jersey. I went back to the Pirates store 2 or 3 times and looked at the new alternate jerseys and really wanted to buy one, but didn’t. The new jerseys were selling for $95.
A final change will be to the Pirates batting practice caps. They will eliminate the red from the ear area of the batting practice cap and replace it with all black. So, the BP hat will be all black with a gold line going around the brim and ear area of the hat. They were selling for $32 in the store. Outrageous.
Frank Coonelly talked about the Pirates new uniforms while four Pirates modeled the jerseys for the crowd. The models were:
Matt Capps (Sunday pinstripe jersey)
Freddy Sanchez (Home Jersey)
Nyjer Morgan (Road Jersey)
Nate McLouth (Alternate Jersey).
If you’d like to see a Video portion of the jersey unveiling, please click HERE.
After the uniform unveiling we went over to the Season Ticket holder MVP zone. It is an area that only season ticket holders may enter. There are several couches, a pool table, a Wii station, and an air hockey table here. The best thing about the MVP zone is the ability to get Pirates signatures from players. The autograph lines are always 5 minutes tops. The general autograph lines can take up to 3 hours. We got autographs today from Neil Walker, Sean Burnett, Andrew McCuthchen and Jeff Karstens in the MVP zone. We also caught Matt Capps as he was walking around Piratefest and got him to sign our balls. I asked him what he thought of the new jerseys. He said he liked them and thought that they would be wearing them an awful lot.
With about an hour left in Piratefest we decided to leave. We took a picture of the Pirates 1979 World Series trophy and 2009 promotional items on our way out the door.
In regards to the promotional items, I am probably most excited about the hats.