Results tagged ‘ PNC Park ’

PNC Park – Home Opener

100_8837.JPG
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.
DSC01119.JPG
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. 
DSC01144.JPG
Eventually one of the balls bounced out of the stadium.  I dove here to snag the ball. 
DSC01145.JPG
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.
100_8824.JPG
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.
100_8825.JPG
Ball #4 was chased down under the Rotunda.  Again, no clue who hit it.
100_8826.JPG
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.
100_8827.JPG
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. 
DSC01151.JPG
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.
DSC01147.JPG
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
DSC01148.JPG
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.
DSC01154.JPG
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.
DSC01155.JPG
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:
100_8829.JPG
There was a flyover after the National Anthem.
100_8833.JPG
Here was the view from my seat, where I sat for an inning. 
100_8838.JPG
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.
100_8842.JPG
And the sweet spots:
100_8841.JPG
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

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:
drills.jpg
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.
DSC00162.JPG
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.
DSC00169.JPG
DSC00188.JPGA look at a tree that was just too much for a beaver to take down.
DSC00178.JPG
We spent about an hour on this little ‘adventure,’ but failed to find any dams, despite looking all along the river.
DSC00182.JPG
The next day, while the Pirates were working out in Florida, I was enjoying Valentine’s Day.

I decorated a table and served breakfast:
DSC00195.JPG
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:
DSC00265.JPG
Passing PNC Park:
DSC00271.JPG
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:
DSC00292.JPG
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.
DSC00293.JPG
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.
100_5527.JPG
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.
100_5467.JPG

5
100_5881.JPG6
100_5873.JPG
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:
100_5894.JPG
and ate some food in the Pirates locker room:
100_5898.JPG
We peeked in the Pirates weight room:
100_5907.JPG
and trainer’s room:
100_5908.JPG

it was then time to go,
100_5921.JPG
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:
100_4517.JPG
Ball #2 was glove tricked off the warning track in left field.
100_4538.JPG
Ball #3 was also glove tricked in basically the same area.

That was it.

STATISTICS:
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.

Blah.
STATISTICS:
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:
100_4443.JPG
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,
100_4444.JPG
STATISTICS
:
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 mygameballs.com 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.
100_4412.JPG
However, the ball sailed high and over my head, and another ballhawk, known as Baseball Joe grabbed it in the next section over.
100_4413.JPG
STATISTICS:
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,
100_4404.JPG
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.
100_4406.JPG
STATISTICS:
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.
100_4099.JPG
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.
100_4100.JPG
STATISTICS:

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

8-25-10 PNC Park

Today got off to a terrible start. 

When I entered the park, Lastings Milledge was in the cage, taking his final cuts.  Milledge is in the last group of Pirates players to bat.  Minutes later, at 5:03, the field was empty, as the Pirates ran off the field, leaving the PNC Park regulars stunned.

I hadn’t snagged anything yet, and I was prepared to face the fact that I might get shut out.

Half way through the Cardinals BP, I got Trever Miller to toss me a ball in center field to put me on the board. 
100_4072.JPG
Luckily, I had brought my Cardinals gear, whereas yesterday I just left it at home figuring that the Cards were too stingy to toss any balls up to their own ‘fans.’   However, Miller is a veteran, and older players typically seem to be more generous in throwing balls into the stands.

Later on in batting practice, I attempted to glove trick a ball in the corner spot in center field.
82410 (2).jpg
STATISTICS:
Game:  3 balls ( 3 thrown )
Season:  487 balls (239 hit, 110 thrown, 72 device, 66 found)
Games: 76 games
Average:  6.41 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,065 balls
Streak:  172 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 12,686
Balls in the month of August:  136 (3 needed to break 1 month record)
Balls needed to break single season record: 57

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 129 other followers