Results tagged ‘ Pittsburgh ’
Amy and I got to the stadium about an hour early. Before heading into the bleachers, Nick and I caught on the Clemente bridge. Amy was snapping photos as we threw.
We probably caught for about 20 minutes.
Its always a good warm up before going into the stadium and running around for five hours or whatever it may be.
When the gates opened at 4:30, I ran in and found a ball by the bullpen.
Since it was Saturday, the entire park was open for business at 4:30, so I made my way over to foul territory to look for any potential ‘easter eggs.’
Despite having an extra half hour of batting practice today, things were slow. The Pirates batting practice is not nearly as good as last year. Home Runs into the bleachers were few and far between.
I got ball #4 of the day, and #1,150 lifetime off the bat of new Bucco Matt Diaz.
The ball bounced on the cross aisle in the picture below and up into the second deck of bleachers. Several of us ballhawks ran up, and after a short search, I spotted it and grabbed it.
My fifth ball was a home run catch off the bat of Ronny Cedeno. If the catch would’ve occured during the game, it would’ve been ruled a double however. I had to scale two bleachers to get into the front row, and reach low to catch the sinking liner before it bounced off of the left field wall. I was there though in time to make the catch here:
That was it for the Pirates BP.
The Rockies then came out to hit, so I moved over to center field, since they have a good bit of left handed power bats.
While in center field, there were a few glove trick opportunities, but I decided not to try it.
I didn’t get a single ball during the Rockies portion of batting practice. It was one of those days.
When the game started it was packed, so there was virtually no chance at an outfielder’s warm up ball between innings,
so I wandered the concourse for a bit.
I collected a few posters that people didn’t want.
Checked out some memorabilia for sale at a booth.
Some of the baseballs were interesting. There was Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, etc autographed baseballs for sale.
As for the game, I stood here most of the night,
but headed over to left field just in time to miss a Seth Smith home run ball that landed RIGHT where I had been standing. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Wrong place at the wrong time.
One could argue I was again in the wrong place at the wrong time a few innings later. I was hanging out near the Prize Wheel when I noticed a disturbance in the bleachers above my head. Police officers and security guards hustled up the stairs to confront a man who was seated in the front row, aisle seat in Section 236. He’s the bald man:
I did not see the incidents that led up to him being asked to leave, but when I saw the police officer take out his taser, I started filming. Check it out:
The man eventually was escorted down the stairs. A fellow fan tried to high five the man wearing the USA windbreaker, which was thwarted by one of the security guards. So, the man in the USA jacket threw an elbow at him. At this point I was pretty much right on top of everything that was going on. I was also boxed in, as there were railings to my right and left, and concrete tables behind me. I had no where to go except where all the action was taking place. I kept my camera at chest level or so, so as not to draw attention to myself and slowly backed away.
Anyway, after throwing the elbow, the police officer discharged his taser, which appeared ineffective. You can hear the electricity in the video. The USA jacked man seemed to mock the officer. Going ‘ohhh’ when he was tased. That’s when the officer hit him. You can watch the rest of the video and make your own judgements.
It set off a string of USA chants and at least one more arrest that I saw. There were also several other verbal arguments that broke out. Security was everywhere for the last three innings.
Typically, ushers handle disturbing fans. If the fans don’t comply, then PNC Park security is called. If the fan is still belligerent, the cops are brought in. I attended 75 games in 2009, 88 games in 2010, and never have seen anything this escalated.
Anyhow, the video went viral and has over 9,000 hits today on youtube. I was also interviewed by KDKA-TV and WPXI. My interview is on wpxi’s website.
You can watch the story by clicking this link.
Season: 29 balls (10 hit, 6 thrown, 7 device, 6 found)
Games: 5 games
Average: 5.80 balls per game
Career: 1,151 balls
Despite having tickets to two game in Washington DC for this week, I decided to take the week off from attending baseball games and eat the cost of the tickets. I figured it would cost at least $80 per game to travel there, and if I didn’t go, I’d actually be saving myself money.
My decision to stay put this week was made easy because I had a weekend of Dave Matthews Band ahead of me.
I attended the concert on July 9th in Hershey PA at Hershey Park Stadium. Since I’m a Warehouse fan club member, I got early admittance and ended up being in the front row.
I didn’t know much about the ZBB coming in, but they were really good. Highlights were the songs Toes and Killing In the Name of (which Zac Brown cautioned parents to remove their kids due to the lyrics, which you’ll hear if you choose to watch the video below that I found on youtube:)
As for the Dave Matthews Band concert, it was decent. It was my 43rd show, and would rank somewhere in the middle.
Since it was a “one night stand” meaning only one show at the venue, I expected a bunch of songs off of their new album, as well as songs to please the ‘radio’ crowd (those that only know the singles). Therefore, I had to lower my expectations a little and realize that I wouldn’t get songs that super fans like myself love. Such as the Song That Jane Likes.
The setlist was rather different. The band played more songs off of Dave Matthews’ 2003 solo album, Some Devil, than any other album. That’s the first time that’s ever happened.
So, on to the highlights for me:
1) Warehouse – which at the end, Dave’s guitar fell apart with strings hanging off.
2) Say Goodbye
I looked around on youtube and found one fan who made a little montage of a few clips of the songs from the night. You can see that here:
The next day it was off to Pittsburgh to see Dave Matthews Band once again at PNC Park.
I had early entrance tickets again, and like usual, none of the security guards knew what was going on. There was one man screaming at everyone outside of the gate center field gate, “WAREHOUSE TICKETS ONLY, NO COOLERS, DRINKS… etc” There were three lines that had formed at the gate, and it turns out that the line that I was in (the one that is the line I go into PNC Park at every baseball game) was for non-Warehouse members.
I moved into the Warehouse line near the front, as I wasn’t going to go to the end of the line, which at this point snaked down the stairs and to the river. I had been there long enough, I couldn’t help that the lines weren’t marked.
When the gates opened, I ran in, cut to my left and under the left field bleachers. The access points to the field were between every section in left field in the aisle ways. Large decks with stairs had been built for people to walk up and over the six foot high left field fence and down onto the field.
There was a bottle neck at the first two entrance points between sections 138/137 and 137/136, so I ran down to an entrance closer to the foul pole that no one was using. It was a smart move, as I ended up getting the front row again, in virtually the same spot as last night in Hershey.
After claiming my spot, I broke away for a bit to buy pretzels, water and cracker jacks. (My spot was being saved). I used this time to take some photos:
Before leaving to go to the concession stand looking in towards home plate:
The highlight of the concert for me was the song I’ll Back You Up, which was the first time in I’d ever seen it in my 44 shows. As a side note, this was the first song Dave Matthews ever wrote.
Found the performance on youtube:
I would rank the show somewhere in the middle of all of the shows I’ve seen. The show was pretty long, clocking in at 2 hours and 31 minutes of song time (not including gaps between songs). It was the 40th long DMB concert of all time.
I didn’t really care for PNC Park as the venue though. The general admission crowd was beyond annoying. I was surrounded with drunk people and folks trying to sneak their way up to the front. I even ended up with a nice bruise on my hip from pressing my weight up against the fence to keep the drunks from trying to get past me. I was pretty much 90 degrees against the rail, as everything I cared about was to my left anyway. Three of the completely drunk girls behind me threw their underwear towards the stage, one falling short, one narrowly missing a security guards face, and one actually making it. I had never seen that kind of behavior at a DMB concert, but then again, those type of folks are usually out on the lawn, where I have never sat.
I’ll be out of action from baseball this Friday, and maybe Saturday too. My next game may not be until next Monday, but who knows.
I plan on attending at least two more Dave Matthews Band concerts this year, which may be my final ones for some time, as the band has announced that they are taking 2011 off – the first year ever since their inceptcion that they will not tour.
STATISTICS: (from DMBAlmanac.com)
PNC Park Show: 20 songs
Today was our last day in Florida. When I looked out my hotel window, it was overcast and drizzling. Not good.
We still went to the field early just in case there was batting practice, and sure enough, there was. The rain had let up.
Spring Training Statistics:
Game: 10 balls
Trip: 32 balls
Spring Training Career: 40 balls in 6 games
This weekend, the Pirates invited their season ticket holders to PNC Park for a special shopping event. The Pirates home clubhouse would be transformed into a storefront, with jerseys, bats, etc being sold.
The Pirates had decked the exterior of PNC park with Christmas decorations.
They were all authenticated, from various “historic” games, such as balls from Brian Bixler’s first major league hit game, and balls from Nate McLouth’s 19th game of his hitting street.
y were $20 a piece. The only balls I were interested in were ones with the special opening day stamp on them. I wasn’t going to pay $20 or $25 though, so I just moved on.
I eventually made my way to the batting practice hats.
They were reasonably priced at $15. Since my batting practice cap that I had worn throughout the 2009 season was well worn, I decided to get a new one to welcome the 2010 season. The design is slightly different from the old version with the red above the ears being replaced with black. The Pirates introduced the new BP caps at the beginning of 2009, but I held off on buying one since I had just got a BP hat at the end of the 2008 season (thanks to Ian Snell).
Having seen pretty much everything there was to see, I left after purchasing the hat. I made not make it back into Pittsburgh until April 5th, unless there is another season ticket holder event.
Later that night Pittsburgh was struck by the northermost edge of the blizzard of 2009. It made my every-other-night 3 mile run rather trecherous.
The next morning, there was five inches of snow , making my last minute Christmas shopping commute equally trecherous.
Today was the first of three Skyblast dates throughout the summer at PNC Park. Basically its an hour long concert/fireworks show. The bands are always “B” List bands, with past bands being Smash Mouth, Styx, Live, PovertyNeck Hill Billies, etc. The band tonight was the Zac Brown Band.
The stadium was sold out, so there would be some more competition than usual during batting practice. I attended this game with my wife. We were the 4th and 5th people in line. Unfortunately, by the time the gates opened, the 3 people ahead of us had swelled to 11 through the process of sparing/cutting. There went any chance for Easter Eggs out the window.
After about 5 minutes of batting practice, I got ball #1 from Ian Snell.
Ian gets a lot of crap for his inconsistencies, but he’s one of my favorite Pirates. He’s definitely not stingy when it comes to giving away baseballs, so you have to respect that.
One of the groups that came up was mostly lefties, so I abandoned left field and went into foul ball territory.
Game: 5 Balls (3 hit, 2 thrown)
Season: 135 Balls (60 hit, 58 thrown, 17 device)
Games: 27 Games (23 with BP, 4 without)
Average: 5.00 Balls Per Game
Career: 301 Balls
Attendance: 37,167 (sell-out)
I attended today’s game with my wife. She was looking forward to getting some reusable grocery bags. I was looking forward to snagging some baseballs.
I was about the 6th one into batting practice.
That was it for the Pirates section of batting practice. I changed into my Rockies gear and talked to a few other ballhawks.
Game: 5 balls (1 hit, 3 thrown, 1 device)
Season: 118 balls (51 hit, 53 thrown, 14 device)
Games: 22 games (19 with BP, 3 without)
Average: 5.36 balls per game
Career: 284 balls
Today wasn’t looking good. It had rained continuously throughout the day. When my wife and I left for the ballpark at 4:25 PM, it was still pouring. We went anyway.
For the first half hour, nothing was going on in the stadium. The tarp was on the field, and there were no players to be seen. There was a random ball sitting in the middle of center field, but it would’ve been impossible to reach with the glove trick.
At 5:30, the Pirates pitchers came out to stretch and toss. The rain had relented a bit. I went down and lined up behind Jeff Karstens, hoping for an overthrown. It didn’t happen. I did manage to get Craig Hansen’s warm up ball. It was ball #1.
The Pirates left the field, and once again, nothing was happening. We went over to right field to await the Marlins to come out and catch.
The weather still wasn’t looking good. Water was starting to pond on the warning track.
Not too bad, I guess.
Game: 2 balls (2 thrown)
Season : 31 balls (13 hit, 12 thrown, 6 device)
Games: 8 games (6 with BP, 2 without)
Average: 3.88 balls per game
Career: 197 balls