Results tagged ‘ Ronny Cedeno ’

4-9-11 PNC Park

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.
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We probably caught for about 20 minutes.
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Its always a good warm up before going into the stadium and running around for five hours or whatever it may be.
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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.’

There were two balls there.  I marked in the photo below where I found them. 
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I had only been in the stadium two minutes and had three balls on the day.  Unfortunately, things started to slow down.

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.
DSC01209.JPGMy 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:
DSC01211.JPGThat 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.
DSC01213.JPGWhile in center field, there were a few glove trick opportunities, but I decided not to try it.
DSC01214.JPGI 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,
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so I wandered the concourse for a bit.
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I collected a few posters that people didn’t want.
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Checked out some memorabilia for sale at a booth.
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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,
DSC01227.JPGbut 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:
DSC01238.JPGI 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.
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You can watch the story by clicking this link.

It’s a shame that drunk fans like that ruin baseball games for the real baseball fans.  I’m so tired of Fireworks nights and Concert nights.  Let’s Promote the team and baseball.  Let the drunks stay home!

Here’s today’s baseballs:
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Sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:

Game:  5 balls (2 hit, 3 found)
Season:  29 balls (10 hit, 6 thrown, 7 device, 6 found)
Games: 5 games
Average:  5.80 balls per game
Career:  1,151 balls
Attendance: 25,398

8-20-10 PNC Park

Another sunny day in Pittsburgh got out to a great start thanks to Joel Hanrahan.
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He threw me ball #1 near the beginning of batting practice, and then went on a generous binge of tossing balls to virtually every fan in attendance during the Pirates STH only time.  I believe every ball he shagged was flipped into the bleachers.    As a side note, Hanrahan’s toss to me was my 100th thrown ball of 2010. 

Ball #2 was a home run from Lastings Milledge that hit a bleacher and popped up into the air about 10 feet.  I snagged it when it was on the way back down.

Ball #3 was also a home run hit by Milledge.  It was hit deep over my head, and I had to dive on the concrete underneath this stairway
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STATISTICS:
Game:  7 balls ( 3 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device, 1 found )
Season:  465 balls (234 hit, 101 thrown, 62 device, 62 found)
Balls in the month of August:  114
Games: 71 games
Average:  6.55 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,043 balls
Streak:  167 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 23,695
Balls in the month of August:  114 (25 needed to break 1 month record)
Balls needed to break single season record: 79

8-18-10 PNC Park

I got on the board before the gates opened today.

I was standing on the Riverwalk waiting for a home run to land on the concourse, but left around 4:50 to head back up to the gate.  Just as I left, a passerby informed me that I had just missed one.  I turned and saw fellow ballhawk Nick Pelescak knee deep in the weeds, frantically searching for a ball. 

I turned around and jogged back and joined in the search.  After a minute, I found the ball in the weeds, for my first ball of the day.
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Upon entrance to the left field bleachers, I noticed a ball land near the foul pole, so I ran over and scooped that one up for ball #2.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  7 balls ( 4 hit, 2 thrown, 1 found )
Season:  454 balls (228 hit, 98 thrown, 61 device, 61 found)
Balls in the month of August:  103
Games: 69 games
Average:  6.58 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,032 balls
Streak:  165 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 12,242

8-7-10 PNC Park

It was a Saturday game at PNC Park – but it was also a Skyblast (Fireworks + George Thorogood concert), so there would be a sellout crowd on hand today.

My goal was to snag seven balls to give me 400 on the season.

I was second in line at the gate and was the first one into the bleachers.  There wasn’t anything going on in the cage, but a few Pirates must’ve taken some early swings because I found two balls laying in the front row here:
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I then made my way over to foul territory as a few of the Pirates position players were warming up.  New Pirates catcher Chris Synder threw me his ball as he walked off the field for ball #3.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  10 balls (6 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device, 2 found)
Season:  403 balls (211 hit, 88 thrown, 51 device, 53 found)
Games: 61 games
Average:  6.61 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  981 balls
Streak:  157 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 38,147

8-2-10 PNC Park

With chief competitor Nick Pelescak out of action for the next two weeks, and my favorite BP team, the Cincinnati Reds in town, I was hoping I would have a big day. 

I would – setting a personal 2010 high for balls snagged.

The day would get off to a great start.  When I ran in, I spotted a ball in the front row. 

Before I could grab it, Andy LaRoche hit a home run into the front row.  I tried to make the basket catch leaning forward over two rows, but just missed it.  My glove killed the balls’ momentum and I just needed to pick it up in the front row for ball #1.  Seconds later, I grabbed that easter egg for ball #2 in this area:
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Sweet spots: (1 was given away)
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STATISTICS:
Game:  13 balls (9 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device, 1 found)
Season:  364 balls (187 hit, 80 thrown, 43 device, 45 found)
Games: 56 games
Average:  6.50 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  942 balls
Streak:  152 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 15,172

7-21-10 PNC Park

The weather looked a bit questionable earlier in the day, with the hourly forecast calling for a 60% chance of thunderstorms at 5 and 6PM.  Luckily, it didn’t happen, and batting practice was on.

After getting shut out during the first Pirates’ group, I got a Ronny Cedeno HR ball that sailed over my head and bounced into the general admission bleachers.
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I eventually found the ball after a short search in about the fifth row up.

My second ball was a home run snagged off the bat of Lastings Milledge.  It was a line drive right at me that I caught in the air.

In his next round in the cage, Milledge sent another shot to left field which I also caught on the fly here:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  8 balls (7 hit, 1 found)
Season:  312 balls (167 hit, 70 thrown, 31 device, 44 found)
Games: 48 games
Average:  6.50 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  890 balls
Streak:  144 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 13,532

7-19-10 PNC Park

The Brewers were in town, which is a good thing.  The Brewers and Reds are my two favorite BP teams, as they put a good deal of balls into the seats.

Also in town was Milwaukee’s top ballhawk, The Happy Youngster.  If you’re not familiar with him, you can read his blog here.  Happy came in third place in the ballhawk league last year with 372 balls.

I had to exchange some tickets for games that I wasn’t going to attend, so I left early for the stadium – I ended up being first in line.

It paid off, because when I ran in, I found two balls laying near the base of the foul pole (picture taken a bit later):
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The balls were no less than about a foot from each other.

The first group for the Pirates produced nothing.  They were all lefties except for Andy LaRoche – who rarely if ever hits home runs anymore in BP.

When the Pirates final group came up containing the likes of Jose Tabata, Lastings Milledge, Ronny Cedeno and Neil Walker – I was ready.

I got ball #3 of the day from Cedeno.  It was a high fly ball that landed on the warning track and bounced over the wall.  I was three rows deep and got up on the bleacher. 
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Sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  8 balls (5 hit, 1 device, 2 found)
Season:  295 balls (156 hit, 67 thrown, 29 device, 43 found)
Games: 46 games
Average:  6.41 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  873 balls
Streak:  142 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 12,375

7-2-10 PNC Park

Another day at PNC Park, and another crowd of Phillies fans to deal with throughout batting practice.

Luckily, PNC Park has season ticket holder early entrance, where the season ticket holders get thirty minutes of BP without the general public.  That would be huge for me today, as all four of my baseballs would come during the first thirty minutes.

I was second in line behind Nick Pelescak, so I knew that I probably would be second into the bleachers, putting me at a slight disadvantage for grabbing easter eggs.  However, Nick brought a curse on himself about two minutes before the gates opened by accidentally touching a cursed baseball.

The baseball in question is brought by a semi regular man who is disabled and can’t speak, but loves to play catch with a minor league baseball.  I played catch with him last year and had a ridiculously awful game.  The only explanation was that I had touched that baseball.  I thought to myself, “That ball is cursed,”  and haven’t touched it since.  Whenever he gestures to toss me the ball, I make a frown and wave him off.

After watching Nick have some terrible luck on Thursday, I realized that he had played catch with Baseball Joe in line.  I warned him later on that night to stay away from the cursed baseball.

Well, Nick was handed the ball by another ballhawk and immediately realized that he was again, cursed.

Two minutes later the gates opened, and for the first time ever, Nick’s ticket wouldn’t scan.  Also, out of nowhere, another ticket scanner appeared and scanned my ticket, thus I bypassed Nick and was first into the bleachers.  The curse of Baseball Joe.  His misfortune was my luck, I found ball #1 laying in the front row.

My second ball came about two minutes later off the bat of Jose Tabata.  It was a home run that would’ve landed in the first or second row.  Two other ballhawks had the position and were lined up to make the catch.  I was in the third row, hoping that the ball would continue to carry, but it didn’t.  At the last second, both ballhawks who were positioned to make the catch had to bail on their position because they lost the ball in the ridiculously bright sun.
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I never lost sight of the ball, and made an outstretched basket catch, for ball #2 here:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  4 balls (3 hit, 1 found)
Season:  276 balls (149 hit, 64 thrown, 26 device, 38 found)
Games: 43 games
Average:  6.42 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  854 balls
Streak:  139 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 30,339

6-19-2010 PNC Park

Today would be my first Saturday with batting practice at PNC Park.  All of the other days featured rain that wiped out BP.

I ran in just behind Nick Pelescak only to be stopped at the bullpen entrance to the left field bleachers by a security working who refused to allow anyone into the bleachers, despite many of us holding our Season Ticket Holder cards.  “We have to scan your tickets,” he said nervously as we all glared at him.

In the meantime, three balls flew into the bleachers.  I had my eye on one next to the bullpen, but Nick Pelescak put a verbal claim on it, so I would instead look for another ball that hit about three rows in.  It paid off.

When the man with the scanner came and finally let us all in, I ran in and found ball #1 in the front row, ball #2 in the front row another section over, and ball #3 in the left field corner.
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What a great start!

Ball #4 was a home run hit by Ryan Doumit.  It hit in the handicapped seats behind me and popped up in the air, right to me.

Ball #5 was thrown to me by Octavio Dotel.  Here he stands and watches another ballhawk use the glove trick. 
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STATISTICS:
Game:  9 balls (3 hit, 1 thrown, 5 found)
Season:  243 balls (129 hit, 60 thrown, 22 device, 32 found)
Games: 37 games
Average:  6.57 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  821 balls
Streak:  133 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 38,008

6-18-10 PNC Park

I had the opportunity to watch batting practice on the field today.  I had to be in the Pirates administrative offices at 4:15, where I would receive a lanyard and Suite tickets for tonight’s game.
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However, the downfall of this opportunity is that the participants must stay in a small 15×15 area or so in center field.  So snagging balls isn’t that easy.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  8 balls (4 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device, 1 found)
Season:  234 balls (126 hit, 59 thrown, 22 device, 27 found)
Games: 36 games
Average:  6.50 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  812 balls
Streak:  132 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 28,478

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