Cardinals vs. Twins @ Hammond Stadium (03-06-14)

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Hoping to get the most out of my spring training experience, I arrived at Hammond Stadium just after 8 a.m. for the 1 p.m. game. Since it had rained the night before and the skies were still dreary and overcast, there weren’t any players taking early morning practice. The gates weren’t set to open until 10 a.m. so for the next two hours I took pictures throughout the complex.

Here’s the front of Hammond Stadium:

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After walking back to the car I noticed that each row of the parking lot was named after a current or former member of the Twins. I particularly liked Killebrew Drive:

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I continued by taking a leisurely stroll down this path to the practice fields:

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If you look closely in the previous photo you’ll see a Twins coach in the distance. That’s Gene Glynn. We walked passed each other and said hello, but that was the end of our encounter… until he turned around and struck up a conversation. After talking for nearly 10 minutes we discovered we had mutual friends. As it turned out, I know a few of his great nieces and nephews who go to my high school.

After talking with Gene I continued walking until I reached the far end of the complex. Here’s the view looking back towards Hammond Stadium:

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Eventually I made my way back to Hammond:

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After taking a few pictures of the fountains I got in line to enter the stadium:

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Once inside the stadium I headed down to the dugout area to watch the Twins get set up for batting practice:

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Most of the team warmed up their arms in shallow left field:

 

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I moved to the seats in right field for the Twins first group of hitters, a group of lefties. After watching Jason Kubel take a few cuts I realized that the ball wasn’t carrying as well as it had been the day before. Because the temp was cooler and the air was more moist today, most of the balls got hung up at the warning track. Regardless, I eventually snagged one of the only homers that Jason Kubel hit during batting practice. When Kubel’s group was done hitting I moved to the grassy area in left field.

Ball 2 of the day was hit by Trevor Plouffe. I caught the line drive home run on the fly while I was running in full stride to my left. Surprisingly a few players complemented me on my catch. Ball #3 was another Plouffe homer that I caught on the fly, but this time I had to descend on the stair case that is between the concourse and the grassy area before catching the moonshot that Trevor hit. I’m not sure why, but once again I was complemented by a few of the fielders. It was kind of cool, but unexpected. My fourth ball of the day was a “home run” hit by Brian Dozier. When Dozier hit a deep line drive to left field I could tell that the ball wasn’t going to clear the wall, but I knew it’d be close. Casey Fien and I both got a beat on the ball, but just from different sides of the fence. As Casey tracked the ball to the warning track I reached over the fence. As Casey leapt at the wall, I reached lower. As soon as I felt the ball inside my glove I watched as Casey landed back on the warning track. I had just made a pretty sweet catch, robbing Casey at the wall! All of a sudden a bunch of fans applauded, and Casey even let out a laugh. He looked genuinely impressed.

This was my view when the Cardinals took the field:

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This is when most of the excitement ended. Since the Cardinals had split squad games today, only the scrubs had traveled to Hammond Stadium. There were only a few homers during the rest of batting practice, and I was lucky enough to get one of them. Immediately after picking up the ball I gave it to an elderly lady who was sitting at the railing behind the section. She was absolutely thrilled, and once again I was applauded. It was a little weird.

When the Cardinals left the field I took a somewhat artsy photo:

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Shortly after batting practice it began to rain and everything began to get wet:

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Because a strong storm was moving in, fans were advised to take cover in the party area near the batting cages and the Twins’ bullpen. After finding my 6th ball near the Twins bullpen I decided to leave. I knew the game would be cancelled, so I didn’t give it a second thought.

Here’s the shot of the baseballs that I kept:

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Orioles vs. Twins @ Hammond Stadium (03-05-14)

This was the first day i’d ever been to spring training so naturally I was not sure what to expect. Thankfully Tony Voda, my personal tour guide for the day, was conveniently there for my well being. Though that’s not entirely true because Tony and his wife, Jael, had already been in Florida for most of the week, but it DID work out perfectly for Tony and I to spend the day together at the ballpark.

We met up at JetBlue Park, the Spring Training home of the Boston Red Sox, just before 8:00 am.

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Soon I found my first ever “Easter Egg” wedged behind a fence:

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It was no pearl, but it was my first baseball of the year!

Though Tony had been to Spring Training for back to back years he still hadn’t been to JetBlue Park, so this was a new experience for both of us!

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After we followed the path in the previous picture, we wound up on the complete opposite side of where we started. If you were to ask where we were at that point I would’ve said, “DEEP, DEEP left field.” Can you see JetBlue’s Green Monster in the background of the next picture?

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As you can see from above, there was a bit of action as John Lester (on the left), Felix Doubront (on the right), and a few other players warmed up. Did you see that ball in the last picture? Felix Doubront and his throwing partner got a bit sloppy and let the ball sail over Doubront’s head. It became my second ball of the day when a trainer threw it to me.

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After an hour or so, we made our way over to Hammond Stadium, but before we got out of the complex one of the Red Sox scrubs got my attention and threw a unique looking ball my way.

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Waddaya know? My third ball of the day was my first Minor League Baseball!

After a leisurely stroll in a fancy grocery store we arrived at Hammond Stadium 9 hours before game time. To our surprise all the gates were wide open and we were able to waltz in and go where ever our hearts desired… of course we gravitated towards the field:

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We wandered around the stadium and the practice fields for about an hour before I found the first of many baseballs to come at Hammond Stadium:

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That was my fourth ball of the day, and I ended up giving it to a child the next day. Tony and I were each lucky enough to stumble across a few baseballs near the batting cages back at Hammond.

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By the time we sat down to eat our lunch my total was up to 8, and Tony wasn’t far behind. After lunch the groundskeeper invited us to walk on the field to take some pictures. He was so laid back and cool about it that he told us to take off our shoes and walk on the grass!

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…Then the groundskeeper photo bombed me:

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I took a picture of Tony with my phone:

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Looking in:

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Looking in at the grounds work:

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Towards the grassy berm:

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Out towards left field:

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The Twins finally took the field around 3:30. It wasn’t long after that when Scott Diamond threw ball #9 to me:

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Ball #10 was thrown to me by Jason Kubel, but I failed to take a picture of it. I didn’t catch any home runs during the Twins portion of bp, but Tony was able to snag a few… making a diving catch in the process. Head on over to Plouffe’s New Hairdo if you want to read more about his day at Hammond.

It seemed like as soon as the Twins left the field the Orioles had already started spraying home runs into the outfield seats. At this point I kept getting baseballs so frequently that I didn’t have time to pull out my camera to take pictures. So what i’m saying is that I didn’t take pictures of the next 7 baseballs I snagged during the Orioles portion of batting practice. Yes, I said SEVEN.

I’ll try to make this quick. Ball #11 came when an Orioles player, who I didn’t recognize, hit a homer to section 128. Steve Johnson, one of the Orioles players who was shagging in right field, must not have seen me pick up the ball because as soon as I slipped it into my pocket he called to get my attention. It came as a complete surprise to me because I didn’t request a ball from him, but he threw #12 to me solely because I was wearing an Orioles jersey. I continued by catching two homeruns on the fly, one of which was hit by Julio Borbon. Balls 15 and 16 were also homers hit to right field, one of which was hit by Nelson Cruz. I’m not sure who hit it, but #17 was another homer that I caught on the fly in section 129. Even though #17 was an absolute pearl, I immediately turned and tossed it to a fellow Minnesotan who i’d been talking with for most of batting practice. He said he and his wife got a practice ball once, but he had never seen anyone catch as many balls as I had just done. He was pretty amazed by the whole ballhawking thing.

I watched most of the game from the new grass lawn in left field. This was my view:

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Although the lawn was packed full of people for most of the game I still had room to maneuver my way around if a game homer was hit my way. Unfortunately that never happened. But, the next best thing did happen. During the bottom of the 6th inning Max Kepler stepped up to the plate for the Twins:

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After Orioles pitcher Steve Johnson (the same guy from batting practice) worked a 2-2 count, Kepler fouled off the next pitch down the line in left:

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The ball flew over the boardwalk and landed on the practice field below. I didn’t think anything of it then, but when I walked across the boardwalk during the 7th inning I noticed the ball was still there. It didn’t take long to decide to go and get it:

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The practice field is located behind the stair case in the previous picture. Because the gates to the field were locked I wasn’t able to grab the ball myself, but a friendly employee happily retrieved it for me.

I made it back inside the stadium just in time for the last two outs of the game. I was even able to grab a seat in the first row behind the Orioles dugout to watch Kennys Vargas, the game’s last out, take a turn in the batters box. After Orioles Pitcher T.J. McFarland struck out Vargas and congratulated his teammates on their victory, he walked back to the dugout with the ball in hand:

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As T.J. walked back to the dugout we made eye contact, and he underhand tossed the ball to me:

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It was funny because a few of the coaches thought T.J. was tossing the ball to them, but they all turned and watched as it sailed over their heads and into my glove.

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After meeting up at the car, Tony and I took a picture of our combined haul for the day.

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This is actually Tony’s picture. I had to use it because the picture I took didn’t turn out. We ballhawked a combined total of 38 baseballs (36 MLB and 2 MiLB).

I’ve given a few more balls away since spring training, so I circled those balls in the next picture. Here’s my haul from the night:

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Even though the Orioles beat the Twins 11-5, the game was still enjoyable. After a long cold winter in Minnesota it was great to finally get out to the ballpark to watch a game of baseball under the lights!

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Although the Twins lost, I could still tell they have improved since last year. From what I saw, the Twins look better overall. I think they’ll actually have a mediocre 2014 season and could even finish near .500 by the end of the year.

It’s not something that I usually do, but I want to do “thank yous” for my spring training recaps. This is something that Tony Voda does regularly. Thank yous:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Paulson – Thank you ever so much for opening your home to me!
  • My Parents - Thank you for flying me to Florida!
  • Tony Voda – Thanks for spending the day at the ballpark(s) with me!
  • Twins Staff – Thanks for being so friendly and helpful.
  • Grounds Keeper – Thank you for the generous gesture of field access!

The Magic Number (Black lights and baseballs)

It has taken me a week or so to put this entry together, but i’m very happy with how it all turned out. Last year I published “Now you see it, now you don’t“, so this is basically the second installment of that. Because of the preparation that goes into it, this is one of my favorite entries to put together. I spent more time preparing to write this entry than I did actually writing it.

I called this entry the “The Magic Number” because of the invisible number on each ball. I also thought it was neat because “The Magic Number” is a baseball term.

I snagged 73 baseballs in 2013, and I gave 9 of those away. Out of the remaining 64 baseballs, 30 of them had invisible ink on them. I photographed each ball and provided a link to the game it was from. I arranged the pictures in chronological order from the beginning of the 2013 season:

4/1/13 @ Target Field – Tigers vs. Twins – Lifetime #45

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4/1/13 @ Target Field – Tigers vs. Twins – Lifetime #49

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4/1/13 @ Target Field – Tigers vs. Twins – Lifetime #50

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4/2/13 @ Miller Park – Rockies vs. Brewers – Lifetime #52

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4/3/13 @ Miller Park – Rockies vs. Brewers – Lifetime #54

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4/3/13 @ Miller Park – Rockies vs. Brewers – Lifetime #55

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4/3/13 @ Miller Park – Rockies vs. Brewers – Lifetime #56

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4/3/13 @ Miller Park – Rockies vs. Brewers – Lifetime #57

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4/16/13 @ Target Field – Angels vs. Twins – Lifetime #58

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4/16/13 @ Target Field – Angels vs. Twins – Lifetime #59

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5/29/13 @ Target Field – Brewers vs. Twins – Lifetime #64

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5/29/13 @ Target Field – Brewers vs. Twins – Lifetime #65

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6/28/13 @ Target Field – Royals vs. Twins – Lifetime #66

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6/29/13 @ Target Field – Royals vs. Twins – Lifetime #71

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6/29/13 @ Target Field – Royals vs. Twins – Lifetime #72

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8/3/13 @ Target Field – Astros vs. Twins – Lifetime #82

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8/15/13 @ Miller Park – Reds vs. Brewers - Lifetime #84

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9/11/13 @ Target Field – A’s vs. Twins – Lifetime #94

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9/27/13 @ Target Field – Indians vs. Twins – Lifetime #105

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9/27/13 @ Target Field – Indians vs. Twins – Lifetime #111

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9/27/13 @ Target Field – Indians vs. Twins – Lifetime #112

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9/28/13 @ Target Field – Indians vs. Twins – Lifetime #116

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9/28/13 @ Target Field – Indians vs. Twins – Lifetime #117

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This year when I went to TwinsFest I wanted to get a ball signed. Since I thought most of mine were to dirty, I stopped at Target to buy one. It doesn’t count in my collection, but it does have invisible ink on it.

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Baseball signed by Miguel Sano.

That was all 30 (31 if you count the last ball) of them! I’m glad I could capture all these images on camera.

TwinsFest 2014

If you’ve ever been to TwinsFest in the past, you might remember that the Metrodome was the perfect place for TwinsFest because of how much space was available:

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Photo from TwinCitiesDailyPhoto.com

Because Target Field is an open air stadium, the layout of TwinsFest had to change to ensure that it could be held at “home”. Instead of having attractions on the field, they were moved to the Service, Club, and Suite levels:

Photo from Twins.com

Photo from Twins.com

After going to TwinsFest on Jan 24, Mateo Fischer and I made a video series that tours the new layout of TwinsFest 2014. Here’s the video I put together for the tour of the Suite Level:

Here’s the video Mateo put together for the tour of the Service Level:

I went to TwinsFest on Friday, but Mateo went all three days so he might have also toured the Club Level. I’m unsure if he was planning to do it or not.

So what did I actually do at TwinsFest?

Upon entering Target Field with Mateo, his friend, and his friend’s friend (whose names I can not recall), I found a spot at the end of the line for autograph station # 1. Although Byron Buxton, Scott Diamond, Michael Tonkin, Roy Smalley, and Danny Santana were all part of station 1, I was only interested because of Buxton. If you haven’t heard, he is the #1 prospect in Major League Baseball (Twins’ pitchers Alex Meyer & Kohl Stewart, 2B Eddie Rosario, and 3B Miguel Sano have also earned their spot on MLB’s Top 100 Prospects list). I ended up leaving the line at 5:00 because the line was to long for me to get to the front of the line by the time those players were done signing at 5:15.

Shortly afterwards I met up with Tony Voda, and we set out to see what the new version of TwinsFest had to offer. Later we met up with Ben Erickson (we met at TwinsFest last year, and have been keeping in touch since then), who came all the way from North Dakota to attend TwinsFest. He’s a great example of a dedicated Twins fan!

I very casually interviewed Tony and Ben about their experiences at TwinsFest this year. If you’ve never been to TwinsFest before, hopefully this video will offer some insight to what it is like:

Except for the occasional games that get snowed out in April, it’s not often that fans get to see it snow while being at Target Field. I made sure to take a few pictures:

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Snowing at Target Field!

Snowing at Target Field! (my slightly messed up panoramic photo)

Ben and I got a picture once Tony got the camera figured out. It was nice seeing you again, Ben!

Ben and I.

Ben and I.

At the Twins Yard Sale I picked up a few mini bats that were used as promotional giveaways during the 2013 season:

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Pretty nice for only $3!

I didn’t end up standing in line for any autographs at TwinsFest this year, but as Mateo and I were leaving for the night we passed Miguel Sano in the hallway. Miguel was standing around chatting in Spanish and signing autographs. Luckily Mateo knows Spanish pretty well and was able to get Miguel to sign an autograph for each of us.

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Ball signed by Miguel Sano (NO FILTER!).

Major League Baseball ranked Miguel Sano the 4th best prospect of 2014. He and Byron Buxton are a pretty big deal here in Minnesota and they’re bound to be just as big of a deal down in spring training this year. Spring training is just around the corner; pitchers and catchers start reporting on February 13th. Baseball is close!

Twins 2014 Winter Caravan – Part 2

I always love when the Twins Caravan stops in Rochester every January because it means that the next season is drawing near. This year, the Twins Winter Caravan visited Rochester on Tuesday, January 14 at the Ramada Inn. Kyle Gibson, Caleb Thielbar, Tony Oliva, Paul Molitor, Cory Provus, and Terry Ryan were all in attendance.

The event was supposed to start off with a 2013 Twins highlight video, but for the second year in a row there were technical difficulties. The video malfunction was ironic considering the Twins 66-96 record from the 2013 season.

After the video was postponed due to the “rain delay”, Corey Provus kicked things off with some Q&A. Each answered Provus’s questions, and any other questions that the audience had for them.

After some raffle prizes were given away, people could get in line for autographs. I only took a few pictures, and I’ll admit that they are not great:

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Left to right: Kyle Gibson, Caleb Thielbar, Tony Oliva, Paul Molitor, and Terry Ryan. IMG 1/3

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Left to right: Kyle Gibson, Caleb Thielbar, Tony Oliva, Paul Molitor, and Terry Ryan. IMG 2/3

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Left to right: Kyle Gibson, Caleb Thielbar, Tony Oliva, Paul Molitor, and Terry Ryan. IMG 3/3

Before this, I had never gotten an autograph on any of the baseballs that I’ve ballhawked because I like to keep them in the condition that I got them in. Usually I get a baseball card or a ticket signed, but this time I decided to get two baseballs signed. I figured that since it’s not every day that I have the chance to get Paul Molitor and Tony Oliva’s autograph (especially for free), I wanted to get their signatures on something more meaningful than a baseball card. After looking at all my baseballs, I picked the two that were in the best shape. If I were grading them on their quality, then I would give each a 9.5/10.

Paul Molitor signed my 97th baseball, which was thrown by an unknown Athletics player. Tony Oliva signed my 98th, which was a bp homer that was hit by an unknown Athletics player. I got both baseballs at the A’s vs. Twins game I attended last September. Kyle Gibson signed the ticket that I brought, and Caleb Thielbar signed an enlarged photo that was being supplied.

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When I was in line I told Kyle Gibson that I had been there to see his first Major League WIN on June 29 and how I had saved my ticket incase I would ever get the chance for him to sign it. A very big smile came across his face and he got very excited that I remembered his special day. It was a pretty cool 1 on 1 moment. Here’s a close up of the signed ticket.

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I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but Paul Molitor is my all-time favorite baseball player. Within the last year I (unintentionally) started a collection of Paul Molitor autographed memorabilia. I wrote “unintentionally” because I only sought out Paul Molitor’s autograph the first time. The second and third autographs came as a surprise. For example, I won a Paul Molitor signed baseball at a Twins game last September. That was a very big surprise!

What about the third autograph? Yeah, I bought a ticket to the Twins Caravan this year, but that was before I knew Paul Molitor would be in attendance. I wasn’t expecting him to be there until I checked the details for the event. Once again, I was surprised! It’s kind of funny how that worked out in such a good way!

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Overall, Twins Winter Caravan was a fun event to attend. Everyone heard from Terry Ryan about what’s going on inside the Twins Organization this offseason, and what they’re doing in order to get back on track this coming season. Over the offseason they have signed free agents Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Mike Pelfrey, Kurt Suzuki, and Jason Kubel, along with numerous Minor League players. The Twins also traded Ryan Doumit to Atlanta for LHP Sean Gilmartin, and finalized a deal with the Pirates that sent Duke Welker to Pittsburgh in exchange for Kris Johnson. One of the most popular “Transactions” this offseason has been the addition of Paul Molitor to the Twin’s coaching staff.

Saything that Terry Ryan hopes the Twins can turn things around in 2014 would be an understatement. Mr. Ryan wants nothing more than to leave the team’s troubles in the past. “Our biggest struggle the last three years has been that rotation and keeping overtaxing that bullpen,” Ryan said. “If we can fix the starting rotation, I think it will help fix some of the other problems we have, in particular our offense. We’ve struggled scoring runs as well.”

Terry Ryan also can not wait to get to spring training. He said, “I’m ready to go, Lets get down there and do something about it.” There were even a few different times he mentioned that pitchers and catchers report on February 16th.

I think I’m speaking for most of the people who attended the caravan when I say that for that brief 1.5 hours I forgot about the cold and snowy Minnesota winter weather, and I imagined myself in Fort Meyers for Spring Training, and at Target Field this summer. Let’s go Twins!

Twins 2014 Winter Caravan – Part 1

Well it’s that time of year again, and the Minnesota Twins Caravan is scheduled to visit more than 50 communities across Minnesota, Iowa, and North & South Dakota during the next few weeks. Here is the info from the Twins website:

“The Minnesota Twins’ 54th annual Winter Caravan features stops in nearly 50 communities throughout Twins Territory between Monday, Jan. 13 and Thursday, Jan. 23. The Twins Winter Caravan is one of the longest running and most extensive offseason team caravans in professional sports. It features teams of current and former players visiting schools, hospitals, corporations and service clubs during the day with a traditional “hot stove” program each evening.

Twins Winter Caravan tours will be led by members of the Treasure Island Baseball Network and Fox Sports North broadcast teams, including Bert Blyleven, Dan Gladden, Cory Provus and Dick Bremer.

Preliminary 2014 Twins Winter Caravan routes and personalities are below (schedule and players are subject to change). Specific times and locations will be announced right here in the coming weeks.”

2014 Twins Winter Caravan Schedule

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The Twins Caravan is something that’s definitely worth checking out. Last year I went to the caravan when it stopped in Rochester. If you want to see what the Twins Caravan is typically like, then I suggest checking out the entry I wrote from last year’s event. The Twins haven’t had a solid performance on the field for the last few years, but they’ve always done a good job providing a positive fan experience.  This year I’ll get to see  Kyle Gibson, Caleb Thielbar, Tony Oliva, Paul Molitor, and Cory Provus when they stop in Rochester on January 14th. I’ll post an entry about that sometime afterwards.

It’s All About Number 5

Lately I’ve been thinking about the future of ‘A Piece of The Game’. For the last few months I’ve considered calling it quits with the whole blog thing because writing was becoming dull. It was difficult because for the first time in a long time I didn’t know what I wanted to do next with ‘A Piece of The Game’. I kept considering my options, and then I realized I was back at square one. After some more contemplating I decided to share 5 blog related things that you probably don’t know about me. This might seem random to you, but you’ll eventually see where I’m going with it.

5 blog related things you probably don’t know about me

1. Before I publish an entry on WordPress I always scribble it down in longhand first because it helps me organize my thoughts.

2. The reason I started writing ‘A Piece of The Game’ was because I knew that if I didn’t write about my experiences some day those memories would be lost.

3. Narrative writing is my favorite style of writing.

4. I enjoy writing during the offseason more than during the baseball season.

5. I’m moving onto new adventures. I want to continue exploring my interests.

Let me explain number 5 by telling you a little story. You know when you see a great movie how sometimes you remember the details for days, weeks, or maybe even a month afterwards? Just a couple of days ago I read a blog entry that a friend of mine had written. Her words in that particular entry have stuck with me since then, and I have really taken them to heart. She explained how blogging had been a wonderful experience for her but much like friends and dreams change, so did she.

Earlier I mentioned how writing in longhand helps me organize my thoughts. Blogging is like that, but on a bigger scale. Writing and maintaining this blog has helped me explore my interests. While taking pictures at ballgames I recognized I have a growing love for photography. Through blogging I have developed a greater appreciation and a deeper understanding towards Major League Baseball. I imagine trying new things and traveling to new cities. There are other pieces out there, and I want to experience them. Blogging has been a great network for me to use to explore some of those pieces, but it no longer fits in my baseball puzzle (see what I did there?).

I will have plenty of new adventures in 2014, and they will all contribute to the exploration of my interests.  I will get to develop my photography skills as I’m traveling to a few new places this summer. My parents are sending me to Florida for Spring Training this March (Thank you for the wonderful Birthday/Christmas gift!), I’m taking a road trip to Tennessee in June, and hopefully I will even get to take a trip to Wrigley Field for its 100th season. All of these would bode well for my growing love for photography. Recently I became a Minnesota Twins Season Ticket Holder and I am well on my way to securing a ticket for the All Star Game and its events.

What does this mean for ‘A Piece of The Game’ ? Like I said before, blogging doesn’t seem to fit anymore. However, this is not a break up post (shout out to Rachel for that great line). I have grown to like writing enough to know better than to quit. I want to make blogging more enjoyable in 2014.

How am I going to make blogging more enjoyable in 2014?

1. I’m not going to blog about every ballgame that I attend. During 2013 this felt like more of an obligation than anything else. I have grown uninterested because when I write about the games I attend it feels like I’m always writing the same story as last time, but changing the characters’ names. Do you get what I’m trying to say?

2. I’m only going write about the games that I’ve had an above average experience at because I want them to be of quality.

3. Integrate my new adventures and interests into this blog. The title ‘A Piece of The Game’ won’t allude to ballhawking anymore, it will bring a NEW focus. There are other pieces out there besides ballhawking, and I want to make ‘A Piece of The Game’ a place to explore them.

When I started this blog I named it the way I did because (1) it would be mainly about my experiences ballhawking and (2) because when it comes to baseball, blogging is literally only one of the many pieces of the game. Honestly, I’ve gotten bored because up to this point ballhawking has been the focus of this blog.

4. I’m not going to blog as often. WordPress and I aren’t breaking up, but we are slowly growing apart. I’m slowing withdrawing from blogging. When I write an entry I want to enjoy it instead of just writing it because I went to a baseball game. Basically, I want to make my blog entries worth sharing.

Where will this blog be a year from now? Who knows. Is it possible that I will have stopped blogging altogether? Yeah, It’s possible. It is likely? I don’t know. We will see!

2013 In Review

2013

Because it’s the new year and all, I would like to quickly revisit my 2013 goals and let you know how I did on them.

2013 Goals:

1. Attend 15 MLB games. In 2012 I attended 10 games. I wanted to slightly increase this number, so I chose 15.

  • Yes, I attended 19 MLB games.

2. Attend 1 MLB game outside of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri.

  • No. Although I attended games in Minnesota and Wisconsin I did not make it to any other states

3. Have an avg. of at least 4.5 baseballs per game. At this rate, I would snag 67.5 baseballs in 15 games in 2013.

  • No. I had an average of 3.84 baseballs per game. I would have, but I chose a few games that were bad for ballhawking. I did not regret going to the games though.

4. Snag 60 baseballs.

  • Yes, I caught 73 baseballs.

5. Snag each type of 2013 commemorative baseball (if there are commemorates in 2013. Please, Astros and Rockies, Please!)

  • No, although I didn’t get the Astros or Rockies commemorative balls (and all the rest that I missed), I did get two opening day baseballs.

6. Have a hit : thrown ball ratio of at least 2:10 . In 2012 my hit : thrown ball ratio was 1:12.7 – I feel there is PLENTY of room for improvement in that area.

  • Yes, in 2013 my hit – thrown ball ratio was 1 - 5.63 .

7. Get 10 autographs at games. I got a few in 2012 without trying very much, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. Hopefully…

  • Yes, I got 16 autographs.

8. Meet many more people from ballhawking and blogging. I have already met some really awesome people, so I hope I will get to meet even more at the ballpark!

  • Yes, I continued to meet many new people through ballhawking and blogging.

9. Finish in the top 3 for the MyGameBalls.com Junior Ballhawk of the Year Award. In the 2012 voting, I took 5th place, and was placed behind Mateo Fischer, “Irish”, Cooks and Sons, and Tom Mikita, respectively.

  • Yes, I took 3rd place behind Grant Edrington and Nick Badders, respectively.

10. Finish in the top 50 in the MLBlogs Latest Leaders. I hope you keep reading my blog!

  • The 2013 yearly leaders entry hasn’t been posted yet. I’ll keep you informed.

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Here is the 2013 Annual Report that WordPress generated for me:

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,100 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you all very much for reading this past year. I don’t know where I’ll be at this point next year, but it means a lot to have gotten this far with all your support! I wouldn’t have gotten here without your help.

Also, thank you to everyone who has commented on any of the entries. It’s nice to hear your feedback whether its good or bad.

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2014 Goals:

1. Attend 1 MLB game outside of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri. I’m going to do my best to get to Chicago for Wrigley’s 100 year anniversary.

2. Have an avg. of at least 4.5 baseballs per game. Its possible.

3. Snag each type of 2014 commemorative baseball. I’m hoping to at least get Chicago and Baltimore’s commemoratives.

4. Catch at least 1 Game Home Run. I came very close to catching Carlos Santana’s homerun on 9/28/13.

2014

2014 Fan Fests of the AL Central Division

Every year now (really only last year) I do an entry about the Fan Fests that are hosted by the teams in the AL Central Division. If you’d like to see last year’s entry, here it is. This is my version for 2014.

soxfest

Date: January 24-26, 2013

Hours: Friday: 4-9 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Location:

Palmer House Hilton

17 East Monroe Street

Chicago, IL 60603

Parking: Hotel Parking

Admission Ticket Pricing:

  • Weekend Passes are $75
  • Premium Upgrade Packages are $200 each.
    • Special MVP SoxFest Pass(es) for the weekend
      • Three premium autographs without waiting in long lines (Details to be provided upon check-in). The MVP Pass is valid for two premium autographs on Saturday and one premium autograph on Sunday. (MVP Pass holders are not guaranteed a ‘no wait’ experience, but the wait time will be reduced.) Participants will be confirmed closer to actual SoxFest show dates.
      • Access to private autograph session.
      • Access to private photo session. No autographs.
      • Access to private seminar.
    • Limited-edition SoxFest sling back bag
    • Official MLB baseball
    • White Sox scarf
    • Special SoxFest discount coupon for Majestic Custom T-Shirt Shop for use at SoxFest (redeemable only at SoxFest; not redeemable for cash)
    • Two complimentary lower deck reserve tickets to an April/May 2014 White Sox home game

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND

Current players Paul Konerko, Adam Eaton, Jose Abreu, Adam Dunn, Avisail Garcia, Josh Phegley, Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Alexei Ramirez, Dayan Viciedo and Addison Reed, past stars Ron Kittle, Carlos May, Minnie Minoso, Tom Paciorek, Gary Peters and Frank Thomas, manager Robin Ventura, and coaches Don Cooper and Todd Steverson, along with White Sox prospects Erik Johnson, Micah Johnson and Marcus Semien.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Player autograph stations
  • Player photo stations
  • Comcast sportsnet autograph stations
  • Seminars
  • More activities are in store for SoxFest (The WhiteSox are keeping it a surprise).

Autograph Voucher Pricing: Included in admission price

Things I like about SoxFest:

  • SoxFest takes place over three days.
  • It is held at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel.
    • Provides fans with a fun, and exciting environment. Fans have the option to buy Package deals that that include a hotel room and ‘x’ amount of tickets for Sox Fest. Bored of SoxFest and want to relax? Hit the hot tub!
  • Over 25 (current and former) players & coaches are scheduled to attend

If I was the GM I would…

  • Lower the price of admission in order to make SoxFest more affordable for fans.
    •  $70 for a single day pass (if autographs are included in admission price)
    • $15 for a single day pass (if autographs are not included in admission price)
  • Offer more activities to fans.
    • Suggestions include memorabilia dealers, games, mini baseball clinics for kids, auctions, Q&A with player and coaches, and possibly tours of the hotel (the tour guide could be a white sox player)
  • Donate the part of the proceeds to charity.
    • I did not find any info about the White Sox donating any of the proceeds to charity. As far as I know, the Whitesox do not.
    • Donating part of the proceeds might encourage more fans to go to Sox Fest.

My Overall Grade LAST YEAR: C +

My Overall Grading THIS YEAR: B-

indians

Date: January 25-26, 2013

Hours:

  • Period 1: Saturday, Jan 25, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Period 2: Saturday, Jan 25, 4-8 p.m.
  • Period 3: Sunday, Jan 26, Noon-6 p.m.

Location:

Progressive Field

2401 Ontario Street

Cleveland, OH 44115

Parking: The Gateway East Garage (located in between Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena) will be open similar to a normal Indians game in the summer.

Admission Ticket Pricing: Adults are $10, Children (12 & under) are free in advance, & $5 at the door.

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND

Manager Terry Francona, current Tribe players including Michael Brantley, Mike Aviles, Carlos Santana, Danny Salazar, Yan Gomes, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister, David Murphy and others, Indians prospects (including former No. 3 overall pick Trevor Bauer and 2012 top pick Clint Frazier), and several prominent Tribe alumni including, Kenny Lofton, in attendance for autographs, interviews on the KeyBank main stage and more.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Player Autographs
  • Kids’ Activities
  • Batting Cages
  • Clubhouse tours
  • Q&As with Tribe broadcasters and players
  • Concessions will be available in the Club Lounge

Autograph Voucher Pricing:

  • Saturday – Group 1
  • Minor League Prospects ADULT: $21.50
  • Minor League Prospects CHILD (12&under): $10.00
  • Active Roster Location A ADULT: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location A CHILD (12&under): $15.00
  • Active Roster Location B ADULT: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location B CHILD: $15.00
  • Saturday – Group 2 & 3
  • 90′s Alumni Adult: $31.50
  • 90′s Alumni Child (Ages 12&under): $20.00
  • Minor League Prospects Adult: $21.50
  • Minor League Prospects Child (Ages 12&under): $10.00
  • Active Roster Location A Adult: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location A Child (Ages 12&under): $15.00
  • Sunday – Group 1 & 3
  • Minor League Prospects Adult: $21.50
  • Minor League Prospects Child (Ages 12&under): $10.00
  • Active Roster Location A Adult: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location A Child (Ages 12&under): $15.00
  • Active Roster Location B Adult: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location B Child (Ages 12&under): $15.00
  • Sunday – Group 2 & 4
  • 90′s Alumni Adult: $31.50
  • 90′s Alumni Child (Ages 12&under): $20.00
  • Active Roster Location A Adult: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location A Child (Ages 12&under): $15.00
  • Active Roster Location B Adult: $26.50
  • Active Roster Location B Child (Ages 12&under): $15.00

Autograph sessions include general admission into the Fanfest. Alumni will only autograph one photo supplied by the Cleveland Indians. Autograph sessions include general admission into the Fanfest. Children tickets are valid for children 12 and under. General Admission tickets do not include player autograph sessions. 

Things I like about TribeFest:

  • The General Admission price is cheap enough to make people want to come back next year.
  • Events take place within Progressive Field
    • In areas including the service level of the ballpark, The Collection Auto Club, Kids Clubhouse, Club Lounge, KeyBank main stage, and the 1994 Party Suite for autographs.

If I was the GM I would…

  • Change the way Autograph Vouchers & Sessions are set up.
    • The way the Indians have it set up now is unorganized and way more complicated than it needs to be.
    • General Admission tickets should be separate from the autograph voucher because it is very confusing to correctly purchase the Indians’ voucher passes.
    • At TribeFest there are three periods for autographs, but only one group signs during each period. Because there is a cap of 250 fans per session, not everyone in line will be able to get an autograph. This problem could be fixed by providing more autograph stations.
  • Make it mandatory for all current Indian players (40-man roster) to attend TribeFest.
    • In my opinion Fan Fests are all about player interaction. Why have a Fan Fest if there are only 12 players “officially” attending?
  • Make the TribeFest webpage easier to manoeuver.
    • It’s kind of a mess, which makes it difficult to gather information about TribeFest.
  • Donate part of the proceeds to charity
    • I did not find any info about the Indians donating any of the proceeds to charity. As far as I know, the Indians do not.
    • Donating part of the proceeds might encourage more fans to go to Tribe Fest.

My Overall Grading LAST YEAR: C+ / B -

My Overall Grading THIS YEAR: C+

Tigers

Date: Saturday, January 25, 2013

Hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Location:

Comerica Park

2100 Woodward Avenue

Detroit, MI 48201-3470

Parking: Olympia Development, OR there are numerous other privately owned parking facilities within a 5-20 minute walk of Comerica Park.

Admission Ticket Pricing:  $25 for adults, $14 for kids 12-and-under

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND: The Tigers have not yet released this information. I will update this as new information is released.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Autograph Booths
  • Main stage, including a special “Fan Conference” Q & A Session.
  • Tigers player photo area
  • Clubhouse tours
  • Dugout tours/Photos
  • Self-guided tours
  • Display of historical baseball artifacts
  • Batting Practice in the cage
  • Detroit Tigers ice sculptures & LIVE sculpting demonstrations
  • David Chandler will operate an authentic bat lathe & provide LIVE bat carving demonstrations.
  • Detroit Tigers Authentics
  • Tigers Foundation Fire Sale.

The Detroit Tigers Kids Zone featuring:

  • Kids-Only autograph booth.
  • Miniature Comerica Park stage
  • Tigers player book readings, games and interactive activities.
  • Free face painting and caricatures.
  • Baseball-themed games and activities for kids.
  • Video game bullpen.
  • Official 2014 Kids Club enrollment.

Autograph Voucher Pricing: The Tigers have not yet released this information. I will update this as new information is released.

Things I like about TigerFest:

  • There are over 30 (current and former) players & coaches scheduled to attend
  • The Admission price is cheap enough to make people want to come back next year.
  • With so many activities to experience, fans won’t want to go home.
  • Events take place within Comerica Park
    • In areas including the Ernie Harwell Media Center, luxury suite, the Champions Club, and select Detroit Tigers executive offices.

If I was the GM I would…

  • Donate part of the proceeds to charity.
    • I did not find any info about the Tigers donating the proceeds to charity. As far as I know, the Tigers do not.
    • Donating part of the proceeds might encourage more fans to go to TigerFest (ironically, it is sold out)

My Overall Grading LAST YEAR: A

My Overall Grading THIS YEAR: A

royals

Date: Friday, January 31 – Saturday, February 1

Hours:

  • Friday, January 31
    • 12-2 p.m. Exclusive access for Season Ticket Holders
    • 2-9 p.m. Open to all fans
  • Saturday, February 1
    • 9-11 a.m. Exclusive access for Season Ticket Holders
    • 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Open to all fans

Location:

Bartle Hall at the Kansas City Convention Center

301 W 13th St #100

Kansas City, MO 64105

Parking: There are many parking options close to Bartle Hall

Admission Ticket Pricing:

  • In Advance:
    • 1 Day Pass: Adult – $13; Youth – $7
    • 2 Day Pass: Adult – $19; Youth – $10
  • Day of Sale:
    • 1 Day Pass: Adult – $15; Youth – $9
    • 2 Day Pass: Adult – $23; Youth – $13

Youth prices are for children ages 6-17. Children five and under will be admitted for free.

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND: The Royals have not released this information. They are keeping it a surprise until the day of FanFest.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Player autograph sessions
  • Player photo sessions
  • Commerce Bank main stage events
  • Royals Awards
  • Teva Royals Diamond
  • Interactive games for children
    • Accuracy Pitch
    • Bunting Challenge
    • Batting Cages
    • Little Sluggerrr’s Playground
    • Speed Pitch
    • Steal Home Challenge
    • Video Baseball Simulator
  • Majestic team store & authentics
  • Royals Charities Silent Auction
  • Royals Charities 50/50 Raffle

Autograph Voucher Pricing: The Royals have not released this information. They are keeping it a surprise until the day of FanFest.

Things I like about Royals FanFest:

  • The Admission price is cheap enough to make people want to come back next year.
  • Events take place within the Kanas City Convention Center
    • Better than holding it at Kauffmann Stadium because of the ballpark’s limited indoor space.
  • There are plenty of activities for children to partake in.
  • The Royals donate a portion of the proceeds to charities
  • “A portion of the proceeds will again benefit Royals Charities.” – Royals.com
  • “Royals Charities and the MLB Players Alumni Association have teamed up to host several auctions during the event giving fans lots of opportunities to add unique items to their baseball memorabilia collections! Proceeds will benefit Royals Charities and the MLBPAA.” – Royals.com

If I was the GM I would…

  • Schedule Royals FanFest for the whole weekend instead of just Friday and Saturday.
  • Prior to the event, publically announce which team members are scheduled to attend FanFest, and how much money autographs will cost.

My Overall Grading LAST YEAR: B

My Overall Grading THIS YEAR: B+

twins

Date: January 24-26, 2013

Time: Friday: 4:00-9:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location:

Target Field

1 Twins Way

Minneapolis, MN

Parking: There are numerous parking garages around Target Field. Multiple public transit options are also available.

Admission Ticket Pricing: Adults: $20; Kids (14 and under): $1

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND:

  • Friday, Jan. 24:
    Andrew Albers, Jason Bartlett, Jose Berrios, Bert Blyleven, Tom Brunansky, Jared Burton, Byron Buxton, Rod Carew, Kevin Correia, Samuel Deduno, Scott Diamond, Ryan Doumit, Brian Dozier, Brian Duensing, Casey Fien, Pedro Florimon, Eric Fryer, Ron Gardenhire, Kyle Gibson, Dan Gladden, Mudcat Grant, Nate Hanson, B.J. Hermsen, Chris Herrmann, Aaron Hicks, Kent Hrbek, Phil Hughes, Kris Johnson, Max Kepler, Kyle Knudson, Mike Kvasnicka, Gene Larkin, Austin Malinowski, Darin Mastroianni, Joe Mauer, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Ricky Nolasco, Tony Oliva, Chris Parmelee, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Alex Presley, Ryan Pressly, Roy Smalley, Terry Steinbach, Anthony Swarzak, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Tonkin, Vance Worley and Josh Willingham.
  • Saturday, Jan. 25:
    Andrew Albers, Jason Bartlett, Jose Berrios, Juan Berenguer, Bert Blyleven, Jared Burton, Byron Buxton, Rod Carew, Kevin Correia, Samuel Deduno, Scott Diamond, Ryan Doumit, Brian Dozier, Brian Duensing, Casey Fien, Pedro Florimon, Eric Fryer, Ron Gardenhire, Kyle Gibson, Dan Gladden, Dave Goltz, Mudcat Grant, Nate Hanson, B.J. Hermsen, Chris Herrmann, Aaron Hicks, Phil Hughes, Kris Johnson, Max Kepler, Kyle Knudson, Mike Kvasnicka, Scott Leius, Austin Malinowski, Darin Mastroianni, Joe Mauer, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Ricky Nolasco, Tony Oliva, Chris Parmelee, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Alex Presley, Ryan Pressly, Tom Quinlan, Roy Smalley, Terry Steinbach, Dick Stigman, Anthony Swarzak, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Tonkin, Vance Worley and Josh Willingham.

Sunday, Jan. 26:
Andrew Albers, Jason Bartlett, Jose Berrios, Julio Becquer, Jared Burton, Byron Buxton, Rod Carew, Kevin Correia, Samuel Deduno, Scott Diamond, Ryan Doumit, Brian Dozier, Brian Duensing, Scott Erickson, Casey Fien, Pedro Florimon, Eric Fryer, Ron Gardenhire, Kyle Gibson, Nate Hanson, B.J. Hermsen, Chris Herrmann, Aaron Hicks, Phil Hughes, Kris Johnson, Tom Kelly, Max Kepler, Mike Kvasnicka, Austin Malinowski, Darin Mastroianni, Joe Mauer, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Paul Molitor, Tony Oliva, Chris Parmelee, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Alex Presley, Ryan Pressly, Frank Quilici, Brian Raabe, Terry Steinbach, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Tonkin, Vance Worley and Josh Willingham.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Autograph stations
  • Photo stations
  • The region’s largest sports memorabilia and collector’s show
  • Self-guided tours
  • “White Glove” tour
  • Showcase of the 2014 MLB All-Star Game
  • Inaugural Twins Yard Sale
  • Special Panel discussions
  • Boardwalk-style amusements
  • Behind-the-scenes fan experiences
  • Walking tour of Target Field

Autograph Voucher Pricing: There isn’t a voucher. You pay for “x” amount of dollars to get everyone’s signature who is in the station.

Things I like about TwinsFest:

  • TwinsFest takes place over three days
    • I like this because it allows me to go to TwinsFest multiple days.
  • Events take place within Target Field
    • In areas including the Metropolitan Club, the Delta SKY 360 Legends Club, the Thomson Reuters Champions Club, the Town Ball Tavern and various areas in the service level including the home clubhouse.
    • I like the face that TwinsFest is at HOME, in Target Field. I’m excited to be able to explore the parts of Target Field that are not usually open to the public.
    • I don’t know if  Twins Fest at Target Field will be as great as it was at the Metrodome, or if I’ll enjoy it as much as I have in previous years, but I’m still excited for the Inaugural TwinsFest at Target Field
  • There are over 60 (current and former) players & coaches scheduled to attend
  • The Twins donate a portion of the proceeds to charities
    • “TwinsFest, one of the largest team-run fan festivals in professional sports, is an annual fundraiser for the Minnesota Twins Community Fund. Since its inception in 1989, TwinsFest has raised more than $4.2 million for programs and organizations       supported by the Twins Community Fund.” Twins.com

If I was the GM I would…

  • Lower the Admission price. I understand that the price got higher because TwinsFest moved to Target Field, but $20 is a bit much for one adult admission.

My Overall Grading LAST YEAR: A

My Overall Grading THIS YEAR: A

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Photographic Highlights of the 2013 Baseball Season

The last baseball season was filled with many highlights; so many that I wouldn’t be able to name all of them if I tried. It wasn’t ever a goal of mine to capture the highlights of the season on camera, but the thought has crossed my mind for next season. I did a decent job of unintentionally capturing SOME of the highlights of this year, but I would like to take it a few steps further in 2014. Obviously there is no way to capture every highlight on camera, so I’m going to take a different approach.

Since I’m a big fan of artsy photography, I plan to explore that more in 2014 to produce more of my own artsy photos. My goal is that next year’s installment is less of a “Photographic Highlights Review” and more of a collection of Quality Photos that I will have taken. Because photography has a lot to do with perception, I am going to pay more attention to how I look at detail. Not every photo will look glorious or majestic, but I am going to focus on capturing the excitement (or whatever feeling it may be) of my surroundings to make sure I take more artsy (and meaningful) photos.

You might be wondering why I told you all of that. Well, this entry is my guinea pig. Next year I want to be able to look back at this entry so I can make the next installment better than this one. For now, though, here is the 2013 Photographic Highlights Review. The pictures are in chronological order (the numbers don’t mean anything, they’re just a reference point).

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1. In The Beginning… #1 of 2013 – 4/1/13

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2. Game 1 / Section 1 – 4/1/13

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3. The Dynamic Duo – 4/1/13

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4. Its Miller Time – 4/2/13

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5. Father/Son Moments – 4/2/13

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6. Friday’s Front Row Grill – Rickie Weeks BP Homer. – 4/3/13

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7. Pretty Artsy, Right? – 4/3/13

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8. Gonzalez x2 – 4/3/13

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9. You. Are. So. Jealous. – 4/16/13

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10. Camera Tricks – 4/16/13

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11. Free Tickets – 4/16/13

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12. Cloudy With a Chance of…? – 5/29/13

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13. The Legends Club – 5/29/13

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14. A Night to Remember: Pregame ball, Brian Dozier’s Foul Ball, Aramis Ramirez’s Rule Double. – 5/29/13

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15. Royals – Lorde. – 6/28/13

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16. Snazzy Panorama. – 6/29/13

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17. Thrown by Umpire Ronald Kulpa at the Royals Dugout, but Photographed in Center Field. – 6/29/13

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18. The Final Stretch… – 7/3/13

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19. Darn Yankees. – 7/3/13

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20. Beautiful Sun Set. – 7/3/13

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21. The Stars and Stripes. – 7/3/13

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22. Happy Forth of July! – 7/4/13

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23. Caleb Thielbar Signed my Hat! – 7/4/13

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24. Adam Warren signing my ticket! – 7/4/13

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25. Preston Claiborne Signing my Ticket and Hat! – 7/4/13

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26. Chris Stewart signed my Ticket! – 7/4/13

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27. Jamey Carroll Signed my Ticket! – 7/4/13

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28. Fun Forth of July! Many Lively & Vibrant Colors! – 7/4/13

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29. Strike Three! – 7/31/13

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30. The Pitch is Swung on… – 7/31/13

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31. 2014 All-Star Game Baseball – 7/31/13

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32. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Houston Astros. – 8/2/13

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33. Courtesy of Matt Dominguez. – 8/2/13

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34. Josh Willingham Batting Practice Home Run. – 8/3/13

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35. Onlookers. – 8/3/13

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36. Approaching Miller Park. – 8/15/13

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37. Miller Park Panorama. – 8/15/13

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38. It’s Glowing! – 8/17/13

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39. Products of a fun night with Shawn Bosman and Tony Voda. – 8/27/13

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40. The Three M’s: Me, Matt, and Mateo – 9/9/13

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41. Looking Our Finest. – 9/11/13

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42. Lifetime Ball #100. Thank you Pat Neshek! – 9/11/13

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43. No, We Weren’t Posing… – 9/11/13

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44. T.C. Didn’t Like my Athletics Shirt. – 9/11/13

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45. My First Double Digit Game. – 9/11/13

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46. The Beginning of the End: Our second last game of the 2013. – 9/27/13

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47. Justin Masterson is a Class Act. – 9/27/13

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48. I Ran to Claim this Oswaldo Arcia Autographed Baseball – 9/27/13

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49. Scott Diamond Autographed Baseball. – 9/27/13

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50. Turkeys in Minneapolis? – 9/28/13

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51. In The Pouring Rain – Taylor Swift – 9/28/13

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52. Baseball Signed by Paul Molitor! – 9/28/13

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53. Baseball Signed by Corey Koskie! – 9/28/13

Some of the pictures have shown up in earlier entries, but there were a few new pictures in this entry that made their debut on A Piece of The Game. Which were your favorites?

If you have any ideas that you think could contribute to next year’s idea, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments. I appreciate any ideas!Thank you for taking a look at my guinea pig! It will have come a long ways by this time next year.

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