Results tagged ‘ Ross Ohlendorf ’

5-10-2010 PNC Park

It was another great day at PNC Park for me. 

There wasn’t a very big crowd, so there was plenty of room to run around during batting practice. 
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I would snag five balls during the Pirates portion of batting practice. 

Ball #1 was off the bat of Andy LaRoche.  It was a ground rule double that I snagged on the hop.

My second and third balls were off the bat of Lastings Milledge.  The second ball was a home run that I snagged after it bounced off a handicap seat, and the third was a ground rule double that bounced over the fence right next to the foul pole.

There was no pitchers in the outfield today, which was good.  They see the regulars get many home run balls and refuse to toss balls to us.  Delwyn Young was patrolling left field today, and I got him to toss me ball #4.
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That was it for me.    I should’ve stayed as Ronny Cedeno hit a home run that bounced onto the lowest rung of the Left Field Rotunda.  I would’ve defi
nitely snagged that ball, as I’m used to running up the ramp from my experience in batting practice. 

There was probably less than 5,000 people that actually attended the game as there was a Penguins playoff game.
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Here’s today’s baseballs:
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And the sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  11 balls (8 hit, 2 thrown, 1 found)
Season:  113 balls (69 hit, 23 thrown, 10 device, 12 found)
Games: 15 games
Average:  7.53 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  691 balls
Streak:  111 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  9,045

8-26-09 PNC Park

Those of us at PNC Park during the Season Ticket Holder time were under siege by the Phillies first batting practice group today.

ohlendorf.jpgBatting practice started out calmly, well, because the Pirates were hitting.  I would go on to get only one ball during this time from Ross “The Boss” Ohlendorf.  A ball rolled to the wall and I politely asked for the ball.  He looked at me and tossed me ball #1.

The first group yesterday included several lefties.  Today, they were all right handed batters, and they were raking.  There were only maybe two dozen of us there, since it was still season ticket holder only time, so there was plenty of running around up until 5:30.

I caught ball #2 off of the bat of Pedro Feliz on the fly.  I had to run down to the second row tourl-1-710730.jpg
I can’t operate without my Iphone.  They were able to pull the card out and clean it.  The phone them worked perfectly – and they didn’t charge me.

Only 7 more balls to go until career ball #500…

Today’s baseballs:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  8 balls (5 hit, 3 thrown)
Season:  327 balls (172 hit, 96 thrown, 59 device)
Games: 68 games (7 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.81 balls per game
Career:  493 balls
Streak:  83 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  17,403

8-23-09 PNC Park

I hate Sunday games. 

I went down to the stadium and peeked inside, and saw that the batting cage was set up.  So, I entered the stadium.  Had there been no cage set up, I would’ve turned right back around and went home.

Upon entering the stadium, I got ball #1 tossed up from the bullpen by Ross Ohlendorf.  I called down and asked for the ball, and about a minute later, he tossed it up.  I jumped and made the catch over a portly Cincinnati Reds fan who would go on to give me an evil glare.

The gate would not open until 11:30.  Would you believe that while I was standing there, not paying attention, a player would toss up a ball that would actually bounce off of my head?  Well it happened.

Later, when the gates did open, I stood behind Jason Jaramillo to try and get the ball when he was finished. 
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Near the end of Jaramillo and Brandon Moss’ warm up session, Moss would let one sail.  It went over Jaramillo’s head and landed on the warning track.  The ball took a large hop, which tipped off of my glove and went about ten rows behind me.  Awful.  I should’ve at least knocked that ball down.

Only the Pirates would hit today.

And this is what I had to deal with.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  1 balls (1 thrown)
Season:  317 balls (166 hit, 93 thrown, 59 device)
Games: 66 games (7 of which didn’t have BP)
Average:  4.80 balls per game
Career:  483 balls
Streak:  81 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance:  21,209

5-29-09 PNC Park

photo(25).jpgI have been in a slump recently.  The last decent day I had was May 11th in Cleveland when I snagged 9 balls.  The past 2 weeks it has seemed like all I could manage was 2 balls.  I needed to get back on track.  I’d seen my average dip from 5.7 per game to 4.8 per game.  Not good.

I attended today’s game with my wife.  We were third in line, and I was the first one into the seats, but there were no Easter Egg balls to be found. 

I got 2 balls during the Pirates portion of batting practice, which isn’t bad, since they only hit for 10-15 minutes while the gates are open.
photo(21).jpgSTATISTICS:
Game:  8 Balls (5 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device)
Season:  130 Balls (57 hit, 56 thrown, 17 device)
Games:  26 Games (22 with BP, 4 without)
Average: 5.00 Balls per Game
Career:  296 Balls
Attendance:  18,236

5-13-09 PNC Park

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I knew today would be a tough day snagging wise from the start.  If you recall reading my entry from the Pirates Caravan, I won an opportunity to change 3rd base during the game and be recognized as the fan of the game. 

When I received my letter from the Pirates with information, it stated that I needed to be in the security office by 5:30PM to check in, or I would jeopardize the opportunity to change 3rd base.  This means that I would have less than a half hour to snag.

My wife and I arrived at the stadium and were near the end of the line to get in.  When we did get into the stadium, the minutes ticked away without me snagging anything.

I got nothing from the Pirates.

It was about 5:20 and I still had no balls.  Was I going to get shut out for the first time since August of 2008?   

Luckily, no.  All of the Cardinals pitchers were still warming up in right field when the Cardinals began hitting. 
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Do you recognize him?  I didn’t.  My wife didn’t.

We then had to LEAVE the stadium, and re-enter through the gates to go to our seats.  Why they wouldn’t let us take the elevator up to the main concourse, I don’t know.  So, I used 4 tickets for the 2 of us (I used 2 of my season tickets for the first 30 minutes so I could snag a ball).

We reported to guest services in the 6th inning and were taken back down into the tunnel, where I joined the grounds crew.  No one really said much to me.  One guy said, “Here’s the base.”  No instructions.

A few pictures:
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100_1343.jpgI got to watch an inning from the top step:
100_1349.jpgThe third out came, and all of the ground crew and myself rushed onto the field.

I went to third base, as Freddy Sanchez walked right past me and changed the base.  It came right out, and was changed in a matter of seconds.
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After changing the base, I was going to do a Rickey Henderson pose,
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But decided I’d better just do a generic pose.
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And that was it.  We went back to our seats and watched the rest of the game.  The Pirates won the game, and I was shut out at the dugout by the umpire.

Here’s the one ball I got:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  1 Ball (1 device) (worst snagging day of the season for me)
Season: 108 balls (47 hit, 48 thrown, 13 device)
Games: 20 Games (17 with BP, 3 without)
Average:  5.4 balls per game
Career: 274 balls
Attendance:10,494

5-3-09 PNC Park

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It rained for most of the morning in Pittsburgh, in fact, it was still raining when I arrived at the ballpark at 11 AM.  This could mean only one thing:  no batting practice.  I was faced with possibly being shut out for the first time since August 2008. 

When the stadium opened the gates to the seating areas at 11:30, I went over to the left field foul line.  The rain had subsided.  Several bullpen pitchers from the Pirates were warming up.  I placed myself behind John Grabow and Ross Ohlendorf and waited for an overthrow.
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Directly to me.  I didn’t even have to move. 
Its not like he randomly tossed the ball up and I got into a scrum and stole the ball away from ticketed patrons.  He usually picks out people.  I caught the ball, waved thanks, turned and left the section.  I could hear some snooty lady and her rotund husband getting on the usher.  “He doesn’t have a ticket.  He shouldn’t be allowed to do that.  Don’t let him back in here. Check his ticket.”  Blah blah blah.

I went over to left field for the fourth inning to try and get a warm up ball from Nyjer.  I avoided the right field seats thanks to the afore mentioned rudest-usher-in-PNC-Park.

Left Field has a lot more sections and people, so I had very little chance.  The ball went to a group of people near the foul pole.

Inning 5.  I went back to center field.  I stood at the far edge of Section 140, away from the snotty lady.  I looked over and they were both staring directly at me.  I stared right back at them. I should’ve walked over and offered their spoiled kid a ball.  “Excuse me, would you like a ball? ….. Then bring a glove!” and walk away.    That’s what I felt like doing, I was in such a bad mood.

I didn’t get the 5th inning ball because it was tossed to the second row.  Predictably, the ball fell back onto the field.  The same thing happened in the seventh inning.  That’s why Nate prefers to throw the ball deep. 

Anyway, the miserable family got on the usher again after the fifth inning because 3 of us ballhawks entered the section.  The usher came over and told me that I wasn’t allowed to try for warm up balls anymore.  He said come back and try tomorrow when there’s different people around.   He told Nick and Bryan the same thing.  If you’re wondering, here’s what those “folks” looked like:
100_1122.jpg(To be civil, I am editing this paragraph from what I originally wrote.  I’ve taken out most of the colorful adjectives I originally had written.)  Its the guy eating, his son, and the lady in the orange.
100_1126.jpgI could’ve tried in the seventh and ninth, but out of respect for the ushers, I went and sat behind the Reds dugout to see if I could get some foul balls.  There are nice ushers at PNC Park, the ones in center field were just doing their job because the supervisor somehow got involved.

I didn’t get any foul balls, and I got shut out at the Reds dugout, so my day ended on a sour note.

To make it worse, the Pirates looked awful again, getting shut out.  They haven’t hit a home run now in a week. 

Adam LaRoche’s body language tells the whole story:
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A few shots from the game:
Johnny Cueto deals to Nyjer Morgan:
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Evan Meek (a big Dave Matthews Band fan):
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Jesse Chavez (tossed me my first ball of the day:
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Today’s baseballs:
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And the sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  3 balls (3 thrown)
Season:  67 balls (26 hit, 34 thrown, 7 device)
Games:  14 games (11 with BP, 3 without)
Average:  4.79 balls per game
Career:  233 balls
Attendance: 13,670

5-2-09 PNC Park

100_1095.jpgToday was fireworks and Polish night, so I wasn’t sure how crowded it would be.  Luckily, only 22,891 came out, so batting practice was fairly sparse for a Saturday.

I got into line at 3:30 (an hour before the gates were to open), and was the 8th person in the stadium.  I was the third one into the bleachers.  There were 2 easter eggs, but another ballhawk got them first.

About 10 minutes or so passed with no action.  I noticed a ball roll directly to the fence where the stands jut out towards the foul line in left field.  I decided to vacate my spot and go grab the ball.  I ran up the escalator to the main concourse, and then down the stairs and reached over the fence and grabbed ball #1.  Then, I immediately went back to the bleachers.  I snapped this picture when I returned to the bleacher area to illustrate where the ball was.  (The small yellow X)
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STATISTICS:
Game:  6 balls (3 hit, 2 thrown, 1 device)
Season: 64 balls (26 hit, 31 thrown, 7 device)
Games:  13 games (11 with BP, 2 without)
Average:  4.92 balls per game
Career:  230 balls
Average:  22,891

4-20-09 PNC Park

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.
100_0875.jpgThe weather still wasn’t looking good.  Water was starting to pond on the warning track.
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Not too bad, I guess.

STATISTICS:
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
Attendance:  8,790

4-15-09 PNC Park

I was faced with the decision today of attending the Pirate game or skipping it.  This is the weather forecast as of 1PM. 

weather.jpgBatting practice would surely be canceled.  I may get shut out for the first time since Sunday August 31st, 2008.  I decided that since I am now in a competitive ballhawk league, that I had to go and at least try.  I knew that my average balls per game would probably take a hit.

I went with my wife Holly and we arrived at the gates around 4:40 PM.  The gates open during the week at 5 PM.  Walking past the Stargell statue, I peered into the park and saw that sure enough, the tarp was covering the field.  There was no batting practice today.

I entered the bleacher section at 5 PM and looked around for some Easter Eggs.  There was nothing to be found, since it had been raining and drizzling all day long.  Around 5:20, the Pirates pitchers came out to stretch.  I followed a group of 6 other ballhawks up the escalator to go into the seating bowl to possibly catch an overthrow.  Usually there are security guards that don’t permit entrance until 5:30, but there were none around.  When we got to the front row right behind Matt Capps, Tyler Yates and company, a field security guard walked over and told us to go back to left field.  Even though it was 5:24, he wouldn’t let us stay.

Meanwhile, the Astros pitchers came out to stretch.  I decided that I might have a better chance getting a ball from them since there was a couple little kids and four high school kids watching the Pirates pitchers.

I decided to take the chance.  I took off my Pirates sweatshirt exposing my black Astros shirt and donned my Houston hat and headed over to right field.

I lined myself up behind Russ Ortiz and Geoff Geary.  I was the only one in the stands behind the Astros pitchers.  I had 20 feet to my left and right without a soul in sight.    There were 4 balls in play, as 8 pitchers were throwing.   Jeff Fulchino finished his tosses and had a ball.  I asked him for the ball and he made eye contact with me.  He didn’t say anything, but went and talked to a fellow pitcher.   A couple minutes later, Fulchino tossed me ball #1

There were still 3 balls in play.  Wesley Wright finished his tosses and gave his ball to a fan a little further down the line.  It was a 10 year old kid wearing Pirate gear.  Tim Byrdak was joking around and told the kid that he wasn’t done with the ball yet and to toss it back.  The kid just stared at Byrdak confused and horrified.  Byrdak urged him to toss the ball back.  The kid then turned and ran away.  It was rather amusing.

Jose Valverde and LaTroy Hawkins finished their tossing next.  I asked for the ball.  Again, I was the only fan with Astros gear on, so Valverde looked at me and tossed me ball #2.  There was one ball left and it was being used by Geoff Geary and Russ Ortiz.  I snapped a picture on my cell phone.
0415091753.jpgThe Pirates got some good relief work from their bullpen and ended up losing the game 4-1.  Adam LaRoche accounted for the Pirates only run with a Home Run in the 9th inning.  It was too little too late. 

I tried to get a ball at the dugout after the game from an umpire and the Pirates pitchers, but failed to do so. 

As I was ready to leave, I decided to walk around for a minute and collect a ticket stub or two.  I notice in Section 124, about four rows back, a circular white object laying on the ground.  Seriously?  Could this be a ball?  Since I waited for the bullpen coach to come in, it took some time and the stadium was basically vacant.  I looked closer and sure enough, it was a major league baseball.  How did this get here?  Was it some little kid who didn’t really even care about it?  Did someone catch it and it trickled out of their glove during the game?  It was weird.  I looked around and didn’t see anyone looking for a ball.  There were only a half dozen fans left, waiting down at the dugout.  So, I picked the ball up, making it ball #4 of the day.    Usually, Easter Eggs that are found count as hit balls, but since there was no batting practice on this day, and it didn’t look like a game ball, I decided it was probably someone’s warm up ball.  I’ll chalk it up under the thrown category.

I’m glad I went to the game despite the rain. 

Here’s a look at today’s results: ( the media guide was free for being a season ticket holder.  The bobblehead was won at a spin-a-wheel g
ame where they are giving away all of the left over promotions from 2008)
100_0757.jpgAnd a closer look at those Astros balls.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  4 Balls (4 thrown)
Season: 17 Balls (7 hit, 8 thrown, 2 device)
Games:  4 Games (3 with BP, 1 without)
Average:  4.25 Balls per Game
Career:  183 Balls
Hit List:  183 ties me with former Pirate Chris Duffy for #3769  on the all time hit list.
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3-30-09 McKechnie Field, Bradenton FL

My dad and I headed to our last Spring Training game on this short trip: Reds vs Pirates at McKechnie Field in Bradenton FL. 
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We got to the field around 10:20 AM and the Pirates were already half way through their round of batting practice.  Luckily, we were once again able to access the spot behind the left field fence.  I was told by a guy on Saturday that during the week the area behind the fence was off limits.  He was wrong.
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FINAL SPRING TRAINING STATISTICS:
Total Balls: 9
Games Attended: 3
Average: 3.0
Hit: 6
Thrown: 2
Device: 1
Total Career Spring Training Balls: 9

Note: I do not count these balls in my totals.  They will be tracked in a separate category and I will not count them in my career ball totals.

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