Results tagged ‘ rain ’

4-21-12 PNC Park

Rain would wash out batting practice today, making it a struggle to get baseballs.

However, sometimes in the hobby of ballhawking, you’ll have luck on your side.  I had a lot of luck today.  Upon entering, I went to the main seating bowl and found ball #1:

#2:

and #3:

They were likely overthrows from the Pirates warm up session before the gates opened.

The Cardinals came out soon after and I was able to get JC Romero to toss me ball #4 when he was done:

And Fernando Salas threw me ball #5:

I decided to get out of the way so that fellow ballhawk Zac Weiss should get a ball or two.  I went halfway up into the empty seats to sit down and number my baseballs.

Just when I sat down, about 20 some rows back, I noticed Lance Lynn had finished throwing, so I stood up and help up my glove.  He fired a perfect strike at me for ball #6.

Moments later, Mark Rczepzynski randomly fired his ball into the empty seats, so I just had to walk over and pick it up for ball #7.

When Kyle McClellan finished his warm ups, rather than give in to the polite request from the two Cardinals fans for a ball, he turned and fired his warm up ball into the right field seats, which were off limits until 5:30.  Since I couldn’t get over there, I went into the upper deck on a scouting mission so I could see down into the right field seats so that I could know exactly where the ball was in case someone else was also going for the same ball.  Can you spot it?

At 5:30, I ran up to the exact spot where the ball was waiting for me and snapped a pic.  It was ball #8:

At 5:35, I went into the upper deck and found a Mark Rzepczynski ball that he had randomly just thrown into the upper deck.

There was no BP, and yet after about an hour, I had already snagged 9 balls.  There wasn’t much action for the next 90 minutes, so I took a pic of the field:
Took a pic of this fan’s Cardinals jersey:

And watched AJ Burnett warm up before his first Pirates start:

I sat for a few innings in right field, but couldn’t snag another baseball.  After a few innings, I went home to my family and watched the rest on TV.
By the way, today was fittingly umbrella night.

Here are today’s baseballs:

2012 Stats:
Game: 9 balls
Season: 53 balls
Career: 1,597 balls

9-23-11 PNC Park

This was the scene in PNC Park today:

It rained steadily all day, but let up around 3:30, which was good enough to wash out batting practice.

It definitely wasn’t a good day for ballhawks.  Before the rest of the stadium opened at 5:30, only one pair of pitchers threw.  That’s it.  It was Bronson Arroyo and another Reds player.  When they were done, they threw their baseballs into the stands – which were quickly retrieved and pocketed by ushers.

Luckily, an usher had found two baseballs in center field and tossed one to Ian Weir, who was closing in on his 100th lifetime baseball, and me.  The ball was soaked, but it didn’t matter – I was on the board.

There was a ball on the grass near the Reds dugout which was picked up by the head groundskeeper as the groundscrew took the tarp off the field.  It was obviously soaked.  He was pulling the tarp off of the infield with his co-workers and had the baseball in his other hand, looking at it.

Then he glanced up into the stands.

I was basically the only one around, and I was half way up in the lower seating bowl.  I held up my glove.  He threw the ball in my direction off balance, kind of like a third baseman throws a bunt that he is charging and picking up barehanded.

As a result the throw sailed over my head, but bounced right back to me and I caught it with my throwing hand.

The ball was soaked.  I didn’t care though.

I only stayed until 6PM.  I was content with two baseballs.  I only really came down to the stadium because I had 17 extra tickets and I just figured I’d get the shirts by getting the tickets scanned.  Plus, I wanted to go be with Amy and Olivia!

Here are today’s baseballs, soaked – they are staying in my garage:

Statistics:
Game: 2 balls (2 thrown)
Season: 411 balls (173 hit, 88 thrown, 87 device, 56 found)
Games: 76 games
Average: 5.41 per game
Career: 1,533 balls
Attendance: 23,642

4-22-11 PNC Park, Rained Out

There was an 80% chance of rain forecast for today, and sure enough it rained all day long.

Being the first game of a homestand, Amy and I went to the game.

When we parked at 4:15, it was raining.  When we got to the gate, it was still raining.  We took cover under one of the overhangs.
DSC00073.JPGIt was still dreary and drizzling as 5pm approached,
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and I took a few minutes to familiarize myself better with the Nationals pitchers in case any of them were out throwing or in the bullpen.
DSC00080.JPGAt about 4:53, we got into line, and everything looked normal.  The ticket scanners and giveaway hander-outers were all in place.
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However, 5PM rolled on by, and the supervisor was no where to be found to open the gates. 

About 5 minutes later he appeared and said, “The game’s cancelled.  It’ll be made up Monday at 7:05.”
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4-21-11 (28).JPGIt wasn’t a total wash though, I was able to trade in some tickets at the box office.

Also, rather than get no batting practice, now there is a chance to get an extra BP in for the Monday game, so it’s not all bad.

The weather is looking pretty bad for Pittsburgh the next three days though.  Hopefully Mother Nature cooperates.

4-8-11 PNC Park

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

Some Rockies came out to throw along the right field line. 
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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.
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Check it out:

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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.
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Here’s a few pictures from the game:  Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies best player:
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The crowd, where most of the seats were $1 (you can tell the sections that weren’t a dollar)
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Ross Ohlendorf, before exiting the game with a sore shoulder:
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Amy and I, who were pretty cold:
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The poster given away to all fans:
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The shirt given away to all fans:
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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.
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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:
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Sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:

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

6-5-10 PNC Park

Today was once again ruined by rain.
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A storm hit around 4PM, totally washing away any hopes of batting practice.

Here’s a brief video of the storm, for you fans of bad weather.

I would get shut out for the first hour or so, until I discovered that there were three balls laying on the visitor’s bullpen bench.

The balls had become soaked by the storm, so when things cleared up, a few groundskeepers came out to check things out around the warning track.  I asked one of them for a ball, and he handed me balls #1 and #2. 
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STATISTICS:
Game:  4 balls (4 thrown)
Season:  170 balls (90 hit, 47 thrown, 11 device, 22 found)
Games: 28 games
Average:  6.07 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  748 balls
Streak:  124 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 36,687

6-2-2010 PNC Park

Today’s game would get off to a bad start before the gates even opened.

At around 4:15, the skies opened up, and it started to pour.
100_3023.JPGIt washed out BP as the warning track was filled with water.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  5 balls (2 thrown, 3 found)
Season:  164 balls (90 hit, 42 thrown, 11 device, 21 found)
Games: 26 games
Average:  6.31 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  742 balls
Streak:  122 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: *1 (denotes rainout)

5-22-2010 PNC Park

I was debating about whether to attend this game, or head to Cleveland with fellow ballhawk Nick.  I chose to go to this game because I had ten extra tickets to get Garrett Jones figurines that I could sell for some extra traveling funds. 

When I arrived at the park at about 4:20, the tarp wasn’t on the field and the cages weren’t up either.  However, by 4:30, the tarp was on.  Light rain would arrive just after 4:30 with intense rain beginning around game time.

I was at the end of a pretty long line, so when I finally got into the stadium I made a dash for the foul territory in left field where Brian Burres and Ross Ohlendorf were playing catch.
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I was the only one behind them, so it was pretty much guaranteed I would get the ball, I just had to be patient

While waiting, something caught my eye.  It was a ball.  It was in a puddle of water on the tarp.  And it was absolutely soaked.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  3 balls (2 thrown, 1 found)
Season:  130 balls (79 hit, 28 thrown, 9 device, 14 found)
Games: 19 games
Average:  6.84 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  708 balls
Streak:  115 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  26,519

8-19-09 PNC Park

I could’ve taken my choice of going to Cleveland, or staying in Pittsburgh today.  The weather in Cleveland was forecast to be very nice, with a 5% chance of rain.  Pittsburgh was predicted to have a 50% chance.  I had to make a decision where I was going by 1 PM.  After that time passed, I wouldn’t be able to make it to Cleveland by 3:30, thereby leaving me with PNC Park as my only option.

At 12:45 PM, this was the hourly weather forecast.  It looked like there may have been a chance to at least get some BP in.  I figured I’d save the gas and take the chance.

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Wow, were they ever wrong.

It started pouring around 2:30ish, and didn’t stop.
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McCutchen looked into the “crowd,”  locked onto my location, and tossed a ball in my direction.  The ball was coming in high.  I had to jump up to make the catch.  It was ball #1.  My
streak had been preserved and extended.  What a relief. 

I spent the rest of the night going back and forth from right field to left field to center field (on occasion), trying to get another warm up ball.

Brandon Moss picked me out in the 6th inning and threw a ball right at me.  The ball was intended for me.  However, some random guy without a glove came running across the row and intercepted the ball.  There was nothing I could do.  Here he is:
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Who sits like that at a baseball game anyway?

After the game was over (the Pirates won – finishing a sweep of the Brewers), I went down to the dugout.  There, I watched the umpire toss a ball to a kid, which he dropped (the ball fell to the tunnel below and disappeared).  Then, the umpire tossed a second ball to the same kid, which he also dropped down into the tunnel.  What a waste.  Luckily for Butterfingers, Bob Davidson came along and got one of the balls out of the tunnel and handed it to him.

I ended up with one ball, but did meet two readers of this blog after the game.  I had noticed them prior to the game with their gloves and roster complete with player numbers and thinking, “They’re more prepared than I am.”  I asked if they had snagged any balls on the day, and gave a ball away (one of the extras I bring from home) to one of the girls who had been shut out.  There’s nothing worse than trying for a ball all day and coming up empty. 

Here’s the McCutchen ball:
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Which I somehow managed to screw up and number off-center.  Argh.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  1 ball (1 thrown)
Season:  294 balls (151 hit, 90 thrown, 53 device)
Games: 62 games (7 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.74 balls per game
Career:  460 balls
Streak:  77 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  12,630

7-20-09 PNC Park

There was some rain forecast for today, but when I arrived at the ballpark at 3:55, the sun was shining, and there were only a few measly clouds in the sky.

While standing in line, I noticed a Brewers fan who randomly had a MLB baseball.  He didn’t have a glove or a bag or anything.  He had just walked up from the Riverwalk area.  Had he just gotten a ball out by the river?  Possibly.

Rather than standing there, I decided to head down to the Allegheny River and see if I could get on the board before the gates even opened.  There is some tall grass landscaping on a slope that leads down to a 20 foot wide walkway which borders the river.  Occasionally balls will get stuck in there that get hit out of the stadium or bounce on the stadium.  I looked, but found nothing.
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I stood outside the stadium until 4:50, when I returned to line.  There was only one ball that I saw that had a realistic chance.  I caught it out of the corner of my eye and watched it hit the top of the Clemente wall and stay in the ballpark.  Like clockwork, within a minute, an usher appeared and picked up the ball.

When I returned to the line at 4:50, it began to drizzle.  Great.  Just great.

The drizzle was persistant, and was rather annoying.  I was worried that the groundscrew would put the tarp on the field and batting practice would be canceled.  Luckily, this wasn’t the case.  The rain was light enough that it allowed BP to continue. 

I got ball #1 of the day from Joel Hanrahan.  He fielded a ball, and didn’t throw it back towards the infield, so I stood in the front row with my glove up for about a minute.  He finally decided he didn’t want the ball anymore, and fired it at me.  It was a little high and away, but I was on the board.

I got ball #2 from Mike Defelice.  I remembered Shawn from Milwaukee giving me the tip of calling him Deefer.  It worked.

There wasn’t a ton of home runs hit.  And its a shame too, because there weren’t many people there during the first 30 minutes of season ticket holder time only. 
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STATISTICS:
Game:  3 balls (1 hit, 2 thrown)
Season: 238 balls (125 hit, 78 thrown, 38 device)
Games:  49 games (5 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.86 balls per game
Career: 404 balls
Attendance:  11,471 (very April/May’ish attendance figure)

5-16-09 PNC Park

There isn’t much to write about. 

Today was a Saturday and was Nate McLouth All Star bobblehead.  The biggest crowd since opening day was expected.  Here’s the view from General Robinson and Federal Street.
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The Pirates made an alteration to their batting practice gate opening starting today.  The gates still opened at 4:30 on Saturday, but center field and right field didn’t open until 5:30 PM, meaning all fans wanting to see batting practice would have to cram into 6 rows across 7 bleacher section in left field.  Not good.

I got ball #1 from Matt Capps during the season ticket holder only portion of batting practice.  That was it for the day.  I got robbed twice by fans who were standing a row ahead of me.  Had they not been there, I would’ve made the catches easily. 

I made my first glaring error of the season.  I had to jump for a home run ball, but I barely got off the ground.  It hit my glove and some other fan got it.  Rule of ballhawking, if a ball hits your glove, you should come away with the ball. 

Left field was getting way to crowded, so I headed over to center field when it opened up.  I still got shut out.  None of the Rockies pitchers were showing me any love.  Not surprising, since I got blacklisted yesterday by a jealous ballhawk snitch who told the Rockies I change my clothes to get more balls.

I tried for a ball at the bullpen and in the first inning from Nate McLouth.  No luck.

Then, the rains came.  The game was delayed for an hour and 37 minutes. 
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STATISTICS:
Game:  1 Ball (1 thrown)
Season:  119 Balls (51 hit, 54 thrown, 14 device)
Games:  23 games (20 with BP, 3 without)
Average:  5.17 Balls per Game
Career:  285 Balls
Attendance:  24,496

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