Results tagged ‘ PNC Park ’

4-8-11 PNC Park

Today was cold and rainy, and there was no chance for batting practice.
Despite the rain, I went anyway.
Not much was going on.

Some Rockies came out to throw along the right field line. 
Once the rest of the stadium opened, I went over and snagged my first ball of the day from Franklin Morales.  I flashed him my glove after he had finished tossing, and he threw me ball #1.

Ball #2 came from Matt Reynolds.  I asked for the ball and he tossed me his warm up ball as he was coming off of the field.

Upon inspecting them, I noticed that they were both commemorative baseballs.
Check it out:

The balls were from the Rockies’ new Spring Training home.

There was no more action until game time.  The Pirates didn’t even come out to throw.
Here’s a few pictures from the game:  Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies best player:
The crowd, where most of the seats were $1 (you can tell the sections that weren’t a dollar)
Ross Ohlendorf, before exiting the game with a sore shoulder:
Amy and I, who were pretty cold:
The poster given away to all fans:
The shirt given away to all fans:
The Chuck Tanner jersey, to me from a distance looks like an Oakland Athletics Jersey, it makes the 7 appear green since it is surrounded by green.  The Pirates should’ve put a black background box around the jersey.
Amy and I left in the 5th inning.  The game went 14 innings, and the Pirates won, thanks to 11 1/3 scoreless innings from our bullpen.

Today’s baseballs:
Sweet spots:

Game:  2 balls (2 thrown)
Season:  24 balls (8 hit, 6 thrown, 7 device, 3 found)
Games: 4 games
Average:  6.00 balls per game
Career:  1,146 balls
Attendance: 29,129

PNC Park – Home Opener

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.
Nick and I caught for about 20 minutes on the Roberto Clemente bridge. 
photo pnc opener.jpg
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. 
Eventually one of the balls bounced out of the stadium.  I dove here to snag the ball. 
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.
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.
Ball #4 was chased down under the Rotunda.  Again, no clue who hit it.
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.
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. 
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.
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
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.
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.
It was in terrible shape.
That was it for batting practice.  The Rockies batting practice was very poor.  Not many home runs were hit at all.

The game was rather uneventful.  The Pirates lost 7-1 and played sloppy defense.

Highlights from the game were the introductions, where the players line up on the baselines:
The Pirates side:
There was a flyover after the National Anthem.
Here was the view from my seat, where I sat for an inning. 
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.
And the sweet spots:

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

Valentine’s Day – Spring Training 2011 Begins

Valentine’s Day brought the first workout for many Major League Baseball Teams.  The Pirates first workout was today in Pirate City. 

The Pirates have made some changes from their 2010 105-loss team.  Gone are manager John Russell and under performers Zach Duke, Adam LaRoche, Lastings Milledge, and Delwyn Young.  In are new faces such as Kevin Correia, Matt Diaz, Scott Olsen, Joe Beimel, and Lyle Overbay.

One interesting thing that the Pirates are featuring this year are the Spring Training Jerseys, which will also be used during batting practice. 

Pedro Ciriaco gets ready to take some cuts:
pedro ciriaco.jpg
Ryan Doumit runs through some catching drills:
Unfortunately, I didn’t take these pictures, they were posted by Pirates Tribune Review beat writer Rob Biertempfel.

I will be headed down to spring training in early March though – so keep an eye out for that!

In the meantime, on Sunday Feb 13th, when the Pirates were checking in at Pirate City, we were taking advantage of the 45 degree temperatures, exploring a trail along the Monongahela River.
amy jabs.jpgWhat began as dinner by the river, ended in a hunt for a beaver dam, as we encountered at least 40 trees that beavers had chopped down and dragged away.
DSC00188.JPGA look at a tree that was just too much for a beaver to take down.
We spent about an hour on this little ‘adventure,’ but failed to find any dams, despite looking all along the river.
The next day, while the Pirates were working out in Florida, I was enjoying Valentine’s Day.

I decorated a table and served breakfast:
Went to work, came home, and went on a dinner and dancing cruise on the Gateway Clipper.
DSC00201.JPGA view of downtown from the Gateway Clipper as we approached from the Allegheny:
Passing PNC Park:
I also took a video of us passing PNC Park.

It was like 25 degrees with 30 mph wind, so I was quite frozen after taking that video – you’re welcome.

I’m looking forward to the 2011 season so I have some more baseball related stuff to report on.

By the way, check out the awesome Valentine’s Day gift I received:
It’s a custom made baseball case in the shape of home plate that displays 30 baseballs.  Each shelf has tiny divots for the balls to be placed in.

The case has a lock and key too!  It opens from top to bottom.
This means I’m going to have to start compiling a list of the top 30 balls from my collection of 1,122.

11-30-10 PNC Park

I was invited to a season ticket holder event at PNC Park tonight. 

However, first we headed to the zoo to spend the final day of my Thanksgiving break.
Since I don’t live as close to Pittsburgh anymore, the plan was to go to the zoo for a few hours, and then head over to PNC Park for a batting practice event.

I hadn’t been to the zoo in years, probably not since 2000.

Afterwards, I was really happy with how I hit.
100_5887.JPGWe then made our way over to the Pirates clubhouse, where I checked out the Pirates bathroom:
and ate some food in the Pirates locker room:
We peeked in the Pirates weight room:
and trainer’s room:

it was then time to go,
not sure when the next time I’ll be back at PNC Park will be…

9-25-10 PNC Park

A bad day.  I’ll be brief.

Ball #1 was chased down to my right off the bat of Pedro Ciriaco:
Ball #2 was glove tricked off the warning track in left field.
Ball #3 was also glove tricked in basically the same area.

That was it.

Game:  3 balls ( 1 hit, 2 device )
Season:  538 balls (256 hit, 131 thrown, 74 device, 77 found)
Games: 86 games
Average:  6.26 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 6
Career:  1,116 balls
Streak:  182 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 25,350
Balls needed to break single season record: 6

9-24-10 PNC Park

Today was a frustrating day at PNC Park.  I didn’t arrive until 5:17 due to coaching, and when I entered the bleachers, the Astros were already hitting.

I thought I was going to get my first ball of the day in center field, but as I set up to do the glove trick, coach Al Pedrique ran the whole way out from the infield as he saw me setting up, grabbed the ball, and hit it back into the infield.
100_4490.JPGI only ended up getting two baseballs, both in left field, and they were both hit, but I have no idea who hit them.  Frustration has set in.  I was hoping for a big game, but couldn’t make it happen.

Game:  2 balls ( 2 hit )
Season:  535 balls (255 hit, 131 thrown, 72 device, 77 found)
Games: 85 games
Average:  6.29 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 6
Career:  1,113 balls
Streak:  181 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 22,279
Balls needed to break single season record: 9

9-18-10 PNC Park

Ballhawking wise, today was a tough day for me.  It was a Saturday, which means that we have an extra half hour of BP, but it would yield very few opportunities.

The Pirates were missing Lastings Milledge, who isn’t allowed to participate in BP until his strained oblique muscle heals.  The rest of the Pirates were doing an awful job of driving balls into the seats.

I got one and only one ball during the Pirates entire portion of batting practice, and it was a Pedro Ciriaco ground rule double that I chased down here:
When the Diamondbacks came out, I moved over to center field, as their first two or three groups feature primarily left handed batters.

In center field, fellow ballhawk Nick Pelescak and I were getting out ballhawked by two random teenagers, who kept getting lucky bounces or balls hit right at them.  Nick told me, “These d-bags have four combined and we only have three.  We need to step our game up.”  A bit later, I snagged a ground rule double that took a room service hop right at Nick’s glove.  One of the teens, featured here walking up the steps,
Game:  4 balls ( 1 hit, 2 thrown, 1 found )
Season:  525 balls (252 hit, 124 thrown, 72 device, 77 found)
Games: 82 games
Average:  6.40 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,103 balls
Streak:  178 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 25,981
Jabs/Pelescak Combination in 2010: 926 balls
Balls needed to break single season record: 19

9-8-10 PNC Park

It was the last game of the homestand, and with only one nine game homestand remaining, I needed to have a decent day to have any chance of approaching the single season record of 543 baseballs snagged in one season.

The day got off to a good start, as Sean Gallagher whistled at me to get my attention and threw me a ball.
However, the ball sailed high and over my head, and another ballhawk, known as Baseball Joe grabbed it in the next section over.
Game:  9 balls ( 3 hit, 2 thrown, 4 found )
Season:  517 balls (250 hit, 119 thrown, 72 device, 76 found)
Games: 80 games
Average:  6.46 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,095 balls
Streak:  176 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 13,113
Balls needed to break single season record: 27

9-7-10 PNC Park

I was back at PNC Park after a weekend trip to Washington State, and I was out of the swing of things, as I got zero balls during the Pirates portion of batting practice.

Luckily, as bullpen catcher Heberto Andrade walked off the field,
he hit a fly ball into the bleachers, which I roamed to my right and caught to put me on the board.

At 5:30, I went to center field to look for easter eggs, but there were none.  Upon entering the section however, an unidentified Braves player hit a home run into the seats.  I had seen the ball land from about eighty feet away as I was on my way into the center field sections, but couldn’t find the ball.  Luckily, one of the ushers directed me to the spot, and I found the ball laying in the front row in a little puddle of water.

I decided to stay in center field because the group that was hitting included Jason Heyward (behind cage in picture below) and Rick Ankiel.
Game:  5 balls ( 4 hit, 1 thrown )
Season:  508 balls (247 hit, 117 thrown, 72 device, 72 found)
Games: 79 games
Average:  6.43 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,086 balls
Streak:  175 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 11,070
Balls needed to break single season record: 36

9-3-10 PNC Park

Strong storms swept through the Pittsburgh area around 3:30 PM, putting batting practice in jeopardy.  However, they moved off to the east and the skies cleared by 4:30, so BP was a go for today. 

I came into today needing six balls to reach the exclusive 500 balls snagged in one season club.  It had only been done twice, by Zack Hample in 2008 and 2009.

Upon running in, I found ball #1 in the front row.  I almost passed it by, but noticed fellow ballhawk Nick Pelescak running quickly towards the spot, so I double checked, and it was right in front of me.  I leaned over and grabbed it for ball #1.
My second ball was thrown to me by Chris Resop.  That’s the first ball that I ever got from Resop, so I was glad to add another player to my thrown list.  Thanks Chris.

Game:  9 balls ( 3 hit, 3 thrown, 3 found )
Season:  503 balls (243 hit, 116 thrown, 72 device, 72 found)
Games: 78 games
Average:  6.45 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,081 balls
Streak:  174 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 19,734
Balls needed to break single season record: 41