Results tagged ‘ Opening Day ’

PNC Park – Home Opener

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I arrived at PNC Park around 10 AM this morning for the Pirates Home Opener. Amy came with me, but unfortunately, she had to work the game, so I don’t have many pictures of my ballhawking today.

We walked to the stadium and were second in line behind Nick.
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Nick and I caught for about 20 minutes on the Roberto Clemente bridge. 
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Afterwards, Nick and I headed down to the Riverwalk.  While there, I was able to see seven balls in the sky heading towards the seats. 
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Eventually one of the balls bounced out of the stadium.  I dove here to snag the ball. 
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I got a little dirty, but it wasn’t too noticeable. 

Being on the board before going into the stadium is never a bad thing.

Upon entering the stadium, I heard Evan Meek call out to me.  I thought he said, “Jabs!” but I’m not sure.  Anyhow, he came over and shook my hand and asked how the offseason was and if there was anything new going on.  He asked if we were doing the Ballhawk League again, and I said yeah.

A minute later, Evan fielded a ball and turned and tired a strike to me for ball #2.
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Thanks Evan!

The Pirates players were wearing pullovers so I wasn’t able to identify all of them.  An unidentified righty hit a home run into section 134.  The ball settled under a bleacher and I scooped it up for ball #3.
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Ball #4 was chased down under the Rotunda.  Again, no clue who hit it.
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My fifth ball was another righty Pirates batter.  I snagged it off of the concrete after it bounced around a bit.  There were a few other gloves reaching for the ball, but I came away with it.
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I decided to head over to right field and center field at 11:30.  It paid off.  I found Ball #6, #7, and #8 there. 
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The Rockies had come out to hit in the meantime.

My ninth ball was glove tricked in left-center field.

I then noticed another ball in foul territory.
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I ran over and glove tricked it for ball #10.

Five minutes later, another ball was there. 

I went back to that area and glove tricked that one too for ball #11
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Ball #12 was tossed to me by Rockies ace pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.  It helped that I had Rockies gear on and asked for the ball in Spanish.
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After snagging the ball from Jimenez, I noticed two balls in the ivy. I had forgotten my Cleveland stick, so I went to the Janitors closet and got a squeegee and prodded the ball closer to the fence so I could reach it.
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It was in terrible shape.
DSC0<br />
1156.JPG” src=”http://mlblogscountingbaseballs.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/dsc01156-thumb-550×309-2796131.jpg” class=”mt-image-center” style=”text-align:center;display:block;margin:0 auto 20px;” height=”309″ width=”550″ /></a></span><br />That was it for batting practice.  The Rockies batting practice was very poor.  Not many home runs were hit at all.</p>
<p>The game was rather uneventful.  The Pirates lost 7-1 and played sloppy defense.</p>
<p>Highlights from the game were the introductions, where the players line up on the baselines:<br /><span class=100_8828.JPG
The Pirates side:
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There was a flyover after the National Anthem.
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Here was the view from my seat, where I sat for an inning. 
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It was really crowded in left field, so I went there to read the paper for a bit.

One of the non-baseball highlights was a ‘streaker’ who took to the field in the ninth inning:

He came from the left field stands and made it across the whole field.

Despite the Pirates loss, Opening Day was productive from a ballhawking standpoint.

Here are the balls I snagged today.
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And the sweet spots:
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STATISTICS
:

Game:  13 balls (4 hit, 2 thrown, 4 device, 3 found)
Season:  22 balls (8 hit, 4 thrown, 7 device, 3 found)
Games: 3 games
Average:  7.33 balls per game
Career:  1,144 balls
Attendance: 39,219

4-13-09 PNC Park : Home Opener

100_0696.jpgToday 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.
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STATISTICS:
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)
Average:   4.33
Career:  179 balls
Hit List:  179 ties me with Willy Aybar for #3809 all time.
Attendance: 38,411.
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