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).
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.
There are certain people, such as myself and many other sports fans, who are absolutely fascinated by stats. Not everyone enjoys stats though, so feel free to stop reading if you lose interest. As nerdy as this may sound, I love stats. I don’t know how many other people could say they like making and compiling new stats for this type of annual entry. Most of these stats are self-explanatory, but if any puzzle you please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Also, if you’re into stats feel free to leave a comment with any other stats you would like me to explore.
While there are many programs out there that keep track of stats, I prefer using Microsoft Excel. Following each game I attend, I enter all sorts of info about the game. My ‘Game Log’ is just one of four different spreadsheets that I have for ballhawking. Here is a screenshot of my 2013 Game Log (click the picture to enlarge):
Once the information is entered, I can filter certain columns and rows to produce stats. For example, lets say I wanted to find out how many games I saw the Twins win this year. I can find that out by filtering the winning team. That’s literally all there is to it.
If you want to produce more complex stats you can filter multiple categories at once. If you want to find out the average temperature when the Twins win in September you would have to filter out the date and the winning team, and then find the average of the temperatures.
Are you still with me? That was my little schpeel about the data, here are the stats…
- Total Baseballs: 73
- Games Attended: 19
- Average Balls/Game: 3.84
- Game Balls: 2
- Most Ball at one Game: 10
Target Field Summary:
- Total Baseballs: 63
- Games Attended: 15
- Average Balls/Game: 4.2
- Game Balls: 2
- Most Ball at one Game: 10
Miller Park Summary:
- Total Baseballs: 10
- Games Attended: 4
- Average Balls/Game: 2.5
- Game Balls: 0
- Most Ball at one Game: 4
Statistical Breakdown (More In-Depth)
Total Balls: 73
- Hit Balls: 11
- Thrown Balls: 51
- Employee Balls: 11
- BP/Pre-game: 56 Balls
- During Game: 7 Balls
- Post-Game: 10 Balls
Number of baseballs from American/League teams:
- American League Balls: 58
- National League Balls: 10
- Umpire Balls: 5
Number of Baseballs/Team:
- A’s: 7 Balls
- Angels: 9 Balls
- Astros: 4 Balls
- Brewers: 3 Balls
- Indians: 6 Balls
- Reds: 3 Balls
- Rockies: 4 Balls
- Royals: 4 Balls
- Tigers: 2 Balls
- Twins: 25 Balls
- Umpires: 5 Balls
- Yankees: 1 Ball
Number of Baseballs/Player:
- 5 Balls: Twins Employee, Twins Rep
- 4 Balls: N/A
- 3 Balls: Mario (Dugout Attendant), Unknown Angels Player, Unknown A’s Player,
- 2 Balls: Billy Hatcher (Coach), Jerome Williams, Josh Willingham, Nate Dammann, Steve Soliz (Coach) and Umpire Tony Randazzo.
- 1 Ball: Al Alburquerque, Ariel Prieto, Armando Camacaro (Coach), Ben Richardson, Billy Butler, Brayan Villarreal, Brian Dozier, Casey Chavez, Doug Brocail (Coach), J.C. Gutierrez, James Shields , Jared Weaver, Jim Wright (Coach), Jordan Lyles, Josh Roenicke, Kelly Shoppach, Khris Davis, Larry Rothschild, Lee Tunnell (Coach), Liam Hendriks, Mat Latos, Matt Dominguez, Mike Trout, Oswaldo Arcia, Pat Neshek, Pedro Florimon, Rick Matthews (Coach), Rickie Weeks, Ryan Raburn, Shairon Martis, Twins Security Guard, Tye Waller, Ubaldo Jimenez, Umpire James Hoye, Umpire Jim Joyce, Umpire Ronald Kulpa, Unknown Astros Player, Unknown Rockies (front office), Unknown Rockies (trainer), Vinnie Pestano, Wade Davis, Wilkin Ramirez.
Target Field Breakdown:
Total Balls: 63
- Hit Balls: 10
- Thrown Balls: 42
- Employee Balls: 11
- BP/Pre-game: 48 Balls
- During Game: 7 Balls
- Post-Game: 8 Balls
Miller Park Breakdown:
Total Balls: 10
- Hit Balls: 1
- Thrown Balls: 9
- Employee Balls: 0
- BP/Pre-game: 8 Balls
- During Game: 0 Balls
- Post-Game: 2 Balls
Snag Tracker is courtesy of Mygameballs.com . Go check out the website if you have not already!
Snag Tracker is a very simple way of showing the quantity of baseballs snagged in each part of the stadium.
- 29 consecutive games with at least 1 ball (record is 29)
- 6 consecutive games with at least 2 balls (record is 17)
- 4 consecutive games with at least 3 balls (record is 11)
- 4 consecutive games with at least 4 balls (record is 4)
- 4 consecutive games with at least 5 balls (record is 4)
- 0 consecutive games with at least 6 balls (record is 2)
- 0 consecutive games with at least 7 balls (record is 2)
- 0 consecutive games with at least 8 balls (record is 2)
- 0 consecutive games with at least 9 balls (record is 2)\
*Note: The consecutive game streaks are current, not necessarily from 2013*
These charts help me predict when I could have the most and least success ballhawking. Theoretically, if I were to look at these charts I would be able to CORRECTLY predict how many baseballs I would hawk depending on what day it is. In a perfect statistical world, I would have the most success ballhawking on a Friday in September. This is because my highest daily average is on Friday (5.66 BPG) and my highest monthly average is in September (7.25 BPG). To counter that, I would have the least success on a Thursday (1 BPG) in July (1 BPG).
Chronologically recording statistics has always been the most fun for me, but no matter how much I like chronological stats, I won’t use them to predict how many baseballs I could catch at my next baseball game. There are a few reasons why these charts will not always be right. First off, we don’t live in a perfect statistical world. No matter how consistent stats can be, there will eventually be a discrepancy or oddity (in ballhawking this could mean getting shutout at a game). Plus, there are so many other factors that contrite to ballhawking other than which day it is. The number of variables is unlimited.
Statistics become more accurate as more data is entered. Because my data is limited to 19 games it is a lot like a player’s batting average at the beginning of a new season. As more games are played (in my case, attended) it becomes easier to determine (predict) the true averages. Regardless of whether these charts are helpful or not, I still enjoy compiling these stats. I like the idea of being able to predict which games will or won’t be good for ballhawking.
Wins vs. Losses
(These stats only reflect the games I attended)
Home Team Record: (7-12)
Total Score: 106-70, Visitors W, Home L
Average Score when home team…
- Wins: 2.71 – 5.14
- Loses: 7.25 – 2.83
Total number of baseballs collected when home team…
- Wins: 25 Balls
- Loses: 48 Balls
Average baseballs/game when the home team…
- Wins: 3.57 Balls
- Loses: 4 Balls
Minnesota Twins Record: (6-9)
Total Score: 89-60, Visitors W, Twins L
Average score when the Twins…
- Win: 3.17 – 5.67
- Lose: 7.78 – 2.89
Total number of baseballs collected when the Twins…
- Win: 23 Balls
- Lose: 40 Balls
Average baseballs/game when the Twins…
- Win: 2.56 Balls
- Lose: 4.44 Balls
Milwaukee Brewers Record: (1-4)
Total Score: 21-11, Visitors W, Brewers L
Average score when the Brewers…
- Win: 0-2
- Lose: 4.5 – 3
Total number of baseballs collected when the Brewers…
- Win: 2 Balls
- Lose: 11 Balls
Average baseballs/game when the Brewers…
- Win: 2 Balls
- Lose: 2.75 Balls
(These stats only reflect the games I attended)
Total Attendance: 588,475
- Overall: 30,920
- Day Games: 35,665
- Night Games: 30,093
Average attendance when the home team…
- Wins: 31,303
- Loses: 30,779
Total Attendance: 464,834
Average Attendance/Game: 30,989
Average Attendance when the Twins…
- Win: 30,346
- Lose: 31,418
Total Attendance: 155,000
Average Attendance/Game: 31,000
Average tttendance when the Brewers…
- Win: 37,046
- Lose: 29,489
Baseballs by Attendance:
Total Baseballs when attendance is…
- 20,000-29,999: 43 Balls
- 30,000-39,999: 30 Balls
Average Balls/Game when attendance is…
- 20,000-29,999: 5.38 Balls
- 30,000-39,999: 2.72 Balls
(These stats only reflect the games I attended)
Average attendance when the temperature is…
- 30-39 degrees: 38,282
- 40-49 degrees: 23,299
- 50-59 degrees: 30,452
- 60-69 degrees: N/A
- 70-79 degrees: 34,141
- 80-89 degrees: 31,620
- 90-99 degrees: 24,416
Average baseballs/game when the temperature is…
- 30-39 degrees: 6 Balls
- 40-49 degrees: 5 Balls
- 50-59 degrees: 5 Balls
- 60-69 degrees: N/A
- 70-79 degrees: 3 Balls
- 80-89 degrees: 4.4 Balls
- 90-99 degrees: 3.8 Balls
- Indoor: 3.5 Balls
Day vs. Night Games
(These stats only reflect the games I attended)
Home Team Record:
- Overall: (7-12)
- Day Games: (0-3)
- Night Games: (7-9)
Total Runs Scored (Both Teams):
- Overall: 176 Runs
- Day Games: 26 Runs
- Night Games: 150 Runs
- Overall: 588,475
- Day Games: 106,994
- Night Games: 481,481
- Day Games: 12 Balls
- Night Games: 61 Balls
Number of Autographs/Player:
- 2 Autographs: Preston Claiborne
- 1 Autograph: Mark the Beer Guy, Caleb Thielbar, Adam Warren, Chris Stewart, Jamey Carroll, Chris Herrmann, Justin Masterson, Josh Roenicke, Shairon Martis, Oswaldo Arcia, Scott Diamond, Liam Hendricks, Paul Molitor, and Corey Koskie.
Miscellaneous Fun Stats
(These stats only reflect the games I attended)
Length of a Game (time from the first to the last pitch, not including delays):
Total Game Time: 61 hours & 9 minutes
Average Time/Game: 3 Hours, 18 minutes, and 36 seconds
Most Eaten Ballpark Food:
Hotdogs on $1 Hot Dog Day (Total All Season): 9
Cheese Burgers with Fries: 6
Chicken Strip and Fries Boats: 2
Nacho helmets (team helmet bowl): 2
Steak burgers: 2
Cheese Burger: 1
Frozen Cup of Strawberry Ice: 1
Frozen Cup of Lemonade Ice: 1
Nacho Boat: 1
Package of Peanuts: 1
Means of Transportation when traveling to a Major League Baseball Game:
Most Used Vehicles:
- 7 Games: 2006 Chevy Aveo: 07-31-13, 08-02-13, 8-27-13, 09-09-13, 09-11-13, 09-27-13, 09-28-13
- 6 Games: 2005 Pontiac Montana: 04-02-13, 04-03-13, 05-29-13, 06-28-13, 06-29-13, 08-15-13
- 2 Games: 2011 Honda Odyssey: 07-03-13, 07-04-13
- 1 Game:
- 2003 Chevy Cavalier: 04-01-13
- 2005 Chevy PT Cruiser: 04-16-13
- 2001 Dodge Neon: 08-03-13
- 2005 Chevy Impala & 2008 Chevy Malibu: 08-17-13
- 11 Games: Hiawatha Metro Blue Line (I drove to MOA or Fort Snelling and rode the line from there to Target Field).
- 6 Games: Parked in parking garage or parking lot next to Stadium
No Shave November:
In Honor of ‘No Shave November’ I put together this list of all the players/coaches/umpires who had facial hair when I caught a baseball from them during the 2013 MLB season:
Al Alburquerque, Ariel Prieto, Ben Richardson, Billy Butler, Doug Brocail (Coach), James Shields , Jared Weaver, Jerome Williams, Jim Wright (Coach), Josh Roenicke, Josh Willingham, Kelly Shoppach, Lee Tunnell (Coach), Liam Hendriks, Nate Dammann, Pat Neshek, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Raburn, Shairon Martis, Steve Soliz (Coach), Twins Security Guard, Tye Waller, Umpire Jim Joyce, Wade Davis, and Wilkin Ramirez.
List of Firsts
(Credit for this list goes to Tony Voda! I loved this list so much that I had to make my own. Awesome idea!)
- Opening Day game (4/1/13 – Opening Day 2013)
- Snagging multiple balls outside the gates at Target Field (4/1/13)
- Giving a ball back to a player (4/1/13 – Al Alburquerque)
- ‘Umpire’ ball (4/1/13)
- Opening Day commemorative baseball (4/1/13)
- Multiple commemoratives in one game (4/1/13 – Two beautiful baseballs)
- Game in 35 degree (or colder) weather (4/1/13)
- Ball from the Rockies (4/2/13 – Rockies vs. Brewers)
- Ball marked ‘practice’ (4/2/13)
- Back-to-back-to-back games (4/3/13)
- Hit ball at Miller Park (4/3/13)
- Ball in upper deck of any MLB stadium (4/16/13)
- Ground Rule Double (5/29/13 – Alex Gonzalez’s Game GRD – Target Field )
- Ball from the Royals (6/28/13)
- Back-to-back games at Target Field (6/29/13)
- Ball from the Yankees (7/3/13)
- 6 Autographs in one game (7/4/13 – Yankees vs. Twins)
- Ball from the Astros (8/2/13)
- Ball while eating a burger (8/27/13 – Wilkin Ramirez - Steak Burger)
- Game in 93 degree (or hotter) weather (9/9/13)
- Ball inside Target Field before gates opened (9/11/13 – Early BP)
- 6 balls inside Target Field before gates opened (9/11/13)
- 100th lifetime baseball (9/11/13 – #100 via Pat Neshek)
- Double digit game (9/11/13)
- 20 Runs in one game (9/11/13 – Athletics 18 VS Twins 3)
- Ball from the Indians (9/27/13)
- Ball from Security Guard (9/28/13)
- 2 1/2 hour rain delay (9/28/13)
Review/Assessment of my 2013 Ballhawking Goals:
2013 Ballhawking Goals:
- Attend 15 MLB games.
- Yes, I attended 19 games.
- Attend 1 MLB game outside of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri.
- No, Although I did attend games in Minnesota and Wisconsin, I did not in Missouri or any other states (or provinces).
- Have an average of at least 4.5 baseballs per game.
- No, I averaged 3.84 baseballs per game.
- Snag 60 baseballs.
- Yes, I snagged 73 baseballs.
- Snag each type of 2013 commemorative baseball
- No, I snagged 2 Opening Day commemoratives, but didn’t snag a Mothers Day, Rockies’ or Astros’ commemorative ball.
- Have a hit : thrown ball ratio of at least 2:10.
- Yes, this season’s hit : thrown ball ratio is 1 : 5.63
- Get 10 autographs at games.
- Yes, I got 15 (16 if you include the beer vendor)
- Meet many more people from ballhawking and blogging.
- Yes, I met a lot of people through at Target Field and through blogging.
- Finish in the top 3 for the MyGameBalls.com Junior Ballhawk of the Year Award.
- Yes, I finished 3rd.
- Finish in the top 50 in the MLBlogs Latest Leaders.
- Undetermined. I have been in the monthly top 50 list multiple times this year, but I will have to wait until January to see where I ranked on the list for the year.
I would definitely say that the last season of ballhawking was a huge success. I improved in almost every area, reached 6 (possibly 7) goals for this year, added 73 baseballs and 15 autographs to my collection, and finished in the top 3 for the Junior Ballhawk of the Year Award. But you know what? It doesn’t matter how many goals I reach, how many stats I have to compare, or where I rank among other ballhawks because none of those are reasons why I ballhawk. I Ballhawk because I get to do something I love. It is entertaining and enjoyable to catch baseballs at the ballpark and then watch a game afterwards (Heck, I watched 61 hours and 9 minutes of baseball this year alone), but it is tremendously more exciting when you have some great people to share the moments with. There are certainly many people who this applies to, but Tony Voda, Mateo Fisher and Shawn Bosman are the biggest names that come to my mind. Thank you guys for all the great moments this year, you’re a huge ingredient to successful ballhawking!
Give yourself a self deserving pat on the back if you’re still with me at this point. At the beginning you probably thought, “Oh, how bad could it be?”. Well, now you know! Kudos to you and thank you for sticking around for the whole entry! I don’t know what I would’ve done in your shoes!
Earlier this school year I had to prepare a persuasive “Interview” speech for my speech class. I had to choose a job, create a resume and cover letter, and finally go through an interview for the job with my teacher. It has long since been handed in and graded, but I thought it might make for a fun/unique blog entry. I have just a few things to explain before I share my resume and cover letter with you.
1. Although this speech was created for a real job opening, it was not and is not for an application. I admit that it would be a cool job, but I don’t want a career in sports marketing.
2. One of my teacher’s requirements for the speech was that each student would apply while they are in college. Because of that, I “applied” in the spring of 2018.
RESUMEObjective: To be a Fan Cave Intern Education:
- Bethany Lutheran College, major in Communication, minor in Sociology (2015-present)
- Mayo High School graduate (2015)
- Certified in CPR (2014-present)
- Rochester Community Technical College, general education classes (2014-2015)
- Radio Broadcasting
- Box Office Management
- Marketing & Sales
- Media Relations
- Community Relations
- Ticket sales
- Marketing and sales
- Game day photographer
- Social Media Advertising
- Technology skills: Google Docs, WordPress, Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Photoshop, Facebook, Twitter
- Fluent in English
- Conversational in Spanish
- Work ethic (other skills):
- Communicate well
- Writing skills
- Detail & goal oriented
- Dean’s List, 2015-2016, 2016-2017
COVER LETTERMajor League Fan Cave The Office of the Commissioner 245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor New York, NY 10167 October 8, 2017 Dear Advertising and Marketing Department, I was very excited to learn about the Fan Cave Internship when I visited MLB.com. I am confident that my technology and marketing skills, baseball acumen and work ethic will help to compliment the Fan Cave. I believe I will be an excellent fit to highlight player personalities and showcase baseball fans’ passion for the game. I am currently enrolled in my junior year at Bethany Lutheran College. I am majoring in Communication with a minor in Sociology. I do not plan to stop here. After I earn my Bachelors Degree in Communication I will go back to school to earn my Masters Degree in Sports Marketing. The Fan Cave is all about highlighting player personalities and showcasing baseball fans’ passion for the game. In my previous internships many coworkers often commented on my knack for engaging fans into the game of baseball by working through the media. Whether it is through broadcasting, marketing and selling, or through media and community relations, I use my communication skills to connect people to Major League Baseball. I contribute critical thinking, creativity, and an organized work ethic along with many other traits that are essential in a successful workplace. I am very thankful to have had this experience so far and I would like to continue by working as the Fan Cave Intern next baseball season. I know I will be able to build on one of Major League Baseball’s main marketing initiatives. I am excited about the possibility of working with your staff in order to express and showcase the pride and passion of the players and fans of Major League Baseball. Thank you for taking the time to look at my cover letter and resume. I would appreciate the opportunity to visit with you about working in your department. Please contact me at you convenience. Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Paul K __________________________________________________________________________
The speech ended up being much more fun than I initially thought it would be. My interview went very well and I earned one of the top scores in my class.
Based on my resume and cover letter, what would you do?
Following the Twins game the night before, Mateo and I went to his apartment. I crashed on the couch for the night and headed out the next morning for the 12:05 Twins game. Mateo and Sean (and your roommates whose names I’m blanking on right now), I know I’ve thanked you for letting me stay the night at your apartment, but here is your WordPress thank you:
The morning was pretty relaxed. The gates were scheduled to open at 10:00 but I was in no hurry to get there right away because batting practice was cancelled due to the rain. After driving from Mateo’s place to Fort Snelling, I found myself in a familiar place for one of the last times this season:
Minutes later I was inside Target Field, but I was still out in the rain:
You might not be able to tell from the picture, but it was raining hard enough that I got soaked from head to toe. There were even puddles of water in each row of seats. Despite the rain, a group of Indians took the field to play catch around 11 o’clock. I lined up behind Zach McAlister and his throwing partner. Zach had issues with his accuracy and overthrew his partner three times (probably because of the rain). As a result, I ended up with my first ball of the day. The ball was so dirty that they didn’t want it back. They each had a few extras anyways.
I then got a ball from Vinnie Pestano when he and a teammate finish playing catch.
As short as that was, that was all the excitement during the pregame. As noon approached everything got darker:
I saw this as I was eating my nachos from center field:
The game was delayed. The 2 and 1/2 hour delay was the longest I had been to so far, but I didn’t mind waiting around. It was actually kind of fun. I made my way around the stadium to talk to all the ushers I had made friends with this year and to thank them for being so kind. Making friends with the ushers is good because then you have people in different parts of the ballpark who can help you out every once and a while. Plus, if you find the right people, they are great to talk with.
Just a few minutes before the game started I found a spot near the bullpen and got this ball from Liam Hendricks:
Last year I got one of these from Tyler Robertson on September 28, 2012. I also got two of these at the game the night before today’s game. In case you’re wondering, I did count them in my collection. I know they’re not Major League Baseballs, but I saw the guys bouncing and throwing these around and obviously they had to sign them AND chuck them into the crowd. Since they were used and signed by Major League Players, there’s a beyond reasonable case to count them.
Eventually the game finally started at 2:30. Things got VERY interesting VERY quickly. Do you remember the Twitter contest the Twins had the night before? The Twins decided to bring it back during the rain delay and when the game started. The Twins sent out this Tweet at the beginning of the game:
It didn’t take long to get to the nacho stand because I was in the flag court when the Twins sent out the Tweet. This was the result:
The best part of the thing is that Paul Molitor is my favorite player to have played the game. It was a very cool experience. The thing that made it even better was that the ball was also authenticated (I can prove it’s a legit signature).
I also got the next signed baseball in the second inning. I figured that since the first ball was on the 100 level, the next ball would probably be on the 200 level. I didn’t know if I would be right or not but I gave it a shot because I was hoping not many other people had the same idea as I did. When the second inning came around the Twins sent out this tweet:
Instead of taking the usual cliché picture of the ball in my hand I decided to switch things up:
You know what? This ball was authenticated too!
So, by the time the second inning started I was practically floating on cloud nine. Since the day had been so awesome so far, I was seriously considering leaving the game at the end of the inning. I really should’ve left because in the 4th inning this happened:
This was very painful. Did you see me in the video? I’m wearing a white hat and a maroon sweatshirt. If you replay the video enough you’ll see that If I wouldn’t have moved at all then the ball would’ve been RIGHT to me. It should’ve been the easiest catch of my life, but I misread the ball, underplayed it, and the ball sailed on me. It is extremely rare that a ball is hit to the exact spot you are standing at (Even less likely with a game home run). I will desperately try to redeem myself next year in the flag court. I have NEW GOALS and NEW BALLHAWKING PRIORITIES for 2014.
Do you know who caught Carlos Santana’s home run? Waldo did.
Congrats to him, he made a good catch. He also avoided running over a little girl in the process. He didn’t even get close to the girl but security came over to talk to him. We all vouched for him and it was fine. The little girl was also fine.
I ended up here when the game was coming to a close:
The Indians beat the Twins, 5-1. Here is the box score and game info:
A Piece of The Game MVP:
Liam Hendricks: Thanks for throwing the autographed baseball to me!
Player of the Game:
Scott Kazmir: He only pitched 6 innings, but he only allowed one run on six hits and two walks. He also racked up 11 strike outs! That’s almost two per inning!
- 5 balls in this game
- 73 balls in 19 games this season = Avg. 3.84 balls per game
- 29 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
- 6 consecutive games with at least 2 balls
- 4 consecutive games with at least 3 balls
- 4 consecutive games with at least 4 balls
- 4 consecutive games with at least 5 balls
- 25 consecutive Twins home games with at least 1 ball
- 7 consecutive Twins home games with at least 2 balls
- Gotten at least 1 ball from 16 different teams
- 117 total balls
Every year since 1957 Rawlings has awarded the Gold Glove Award to the top fielder at each position. In 1957 there was only one award given per position, but beginning in 1958 separate awards were given for the American and National league positions. Over the last 57 years the award has been given out 999 times. But that number changed on October 29th. Yesterday night Rawlings announced the 2013 Gold Glove Award winners. Including the 18 recipients from 2013, there have now been 1017 Gold Glove winners.
I had some spare time so I decided to make a few depth charts. Here is the 2013 American League Gold Glove Depth Chart:
Catcher - Salvador Perez (Kansas City Royals)
First Base - Eric Hosmer (Kansas City Royals)
Second Base - Dustin Pedroia (Boston Red Sox)
Short Stop - J.J. Hardy (Baltimore Orioles)
Third Base - Manny Machado (Baltimore Orioles)
Left Field - Alex Gordon (Kansas City Royals)
Center Field - Adam Jones (Baltimore Orioles)
Right Field - Shane Victorino (Boston Red Sox)
Pitcher - R.A. Dickey (Toronto Blue Jays)
The Orioles and Royals both had three Gold Glove Award winners this year; more than any other team in Major League Baseball. Defensively, the Orioles finished in first place while the Royals finished in 8th place among the other American League teams:
Now, lets take a look at the 2013 National League Gold Glove Depth Chart:
Catcher - Yadier Molina (St. Louis Cardinals)
First Base - Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Second Base - Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati Reds)
Short Stop - Andrelton Simmons (Atlanta Braves)
Third Base - Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies)
Left Field - Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies)
Center Field - Carlos Gomez (Milwaukee Brewers)
Right Field - Gerardo Parra (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Pitcher - Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals)
Have you ever heard of a battery? I’m not talking about Duracell or Energizer, I’m talking about a baseball battery:
Since 1957 there have only been five Gold Glove batteries. Pitcher Jim Kaat and catcher Earl Battey did it in 1962, Rick Reuschel and Tony Pena in 1985, Bret Saberhagen and Bob Boone in 1989, Kenny Rogers and Ivan Rodriguez in 2000 and 2006, and Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina in 2009 and 2013. The reason I brought up Batteries in the first place was because Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina are a Gold Glove battery this year!
The Cardinals, Diamondbacks, and Rockies each had two Gold Glove Award winners this year. Defensively, the Diamondbacks and Cardinals finished 1st and 2nd, respectively. I assumed the Braves would be in the Top-5, but they took 7th place on the list of National League teams:
In case you’re curious, here are the fielding stats for all 30 Major League Baseball teams:
Just for the fun of it, I looked the Red Sox and Cardinals in their first five World Series games:
There are four 2013 Gold Glove Award winners in the World Series, yet there have been 11 errors. Isn’t that kind of ironic?
Congratulations to all 18 Gold Glove recipients. Each player has worked to be the BEST at their position.
If you were the manager or owner of a Major League Baseball franchise, wouldn’t you love it if your those were YOUR depth charts? Imagine if all of those players played for YOUR team. You would have the ideal defense.
Baseball fans have witnessed some crazy things so far in the 2013 World Series. Instead of going into an in-depth analysis of the World Series, I want to share with you my thoughts on this year’s Fall Classic.
The Red Sox kicked off the World Series last Wednesday night with an extra-long session of batting practice… against the Cardinals. The game was like a car wreck – you felt bad for the victims but it was almost impossible to look away.
Boston, put your brooms away. By winning Game 2, the Cardinals assured baseball fans that the 2013 World Series wouldn’t be a repeat of the 2012 World Series when the San Francisco Giants swept the Detroit Tigers.
The Red Sox and Cardinals’ offenses partook in an intense game of tug-of-war. It was basically a game of “I can do it better” that ended in a controversial, yet correct, call from Umpire Jim Joyce.
Rookie mistake: Don’t get picked off, it might end the game. Final score: 4-2, Boston.
Crucial turning point for the Red Sox. Not only did they win back to back nights, but by doing so they also took a 3-2 lead in the series.
The Rest of the Series
We always hear about how important Game 7 of the World Series is. Everything gets more exciting when sports teams compete down to the straw. As crucial as a 7th game would be, in this case Game 6 is more important. Game 6 will determine whether the Red Sox win the Fall Classic, or if the Cardinals will make a mad dash for Game 7. MLB history is unfolding right before us, and it is resting on this next game.
Game 6 will be played back in Boston on Wednesday, October 30 at Fenway Park. A victory for the Red Sox would secure the first World Series Title for the Franchise at Fenway Park since 1918. A victory for the Cardinals in Game 6 would leave you with a difficult decision. Would you rather Trick or Treat?
As I walked up to gate 34 an eery feeling came over me. Could it have been because the sky was dreary, maybe because gate 34 was practically abandoned, or possibly because everything was unusually quiet for mid afternoon? I ended up entering the stadium through Gate 6 because I actually had friends who were there. I know that only Mateo and I are in this picture, but Jonathan was the photographer:
I got shut out during the Twins portion of batting practice, but I snagged multiple baseballs early in the Indians portion. Since the Indians were playing catch in left field I headed to the unoccupied wheel-chair section in the dugout moat. When he finished throwing with his partner, Ryan Raburn threw me ball #1. Shortly after, Kelly Shoppach did the same thing by hooking me up with ball #2. Most of the players near me finished up around the same time so I didn’t have time to pull out my phone to take pictures. Afterwards though, I did have time to get a picture of Jonathan and Mateo in action:
When I saw a chance for a third ball I lined up behind Ubaldo Jimenez:
I wasn’t lined up directly behind him, but this spot ultimately provided the most opportunities. Mateo had the same idea, so he lined up in back of me. When Jimenez finished I got his attention, but his movement and body language indicated he was going to throw to Mateo. As I lowered my glove Ubaldo faked us out and threw a heater to me from very close range. His throwing motion was so tricky that I barely got my glove in front of my face in time to catch the ball. Ubaldo let out a little shriek and looked scared senseless. You should have seen the look on his face… but then again, I was sporting the same look. Ubaldo, Mateo, Jonathan and I glanced back and forth at each other until we comprehended that my face almost got smashed in. I could be wrong, but I think that was the last ball that Ubaldo gave away for the rest of the day. At least I walked away with something positive:
Later during batting practice I would’ve made a great catch at the wall near the bullpen, but one of the outfielders robbed the home run – just shy of landing in my glove. That was frustrating. On the flip side, Justin Masterson signed my ticket near the end of batting practice:
It was really cool to see Justin up close in person. Justin the one of the only Indians players who I can name off, so that made the experience that much more memorable. His signature was the first I’ve gotten that references a Bible verse. I thought that was pretty neat too.
After meeting up with Mateo and Jonathan we all headed for the bullpens. I believe Mateo was up to 5 baseballs at this point but since I can’t remember exactly, you should find out by reading his entry from this game. Mateo gave me his Indians shirt to wear for a few minutes, and I’m pretty sure the shirt was the only reason Armando Camacaro threw this ball to me:
Just as soon as I had put the Indians shirt on, it seemed as if it was time to take it off. That’s because the Twins’ bullpen staff was on their way to the bullpen. Things went very well and I came away with a signed baseball from not only Josh Roenicke, but also Shairon Martis. Once again, I neglected to take a picture of these baseballs, but there will be a picture of all the baseballs at the end of the entry. Those were my 5th and 6th baseballs on the day.
We watched the first inning and a half from center field, but we all stopped watching the game when Mateo brought something exciting to our attention. To summarize, this is what Mateo told us:
When we started playing in the second inning, we used a bit of strategy. The three of us split up on three different sections of the ballpark in order to increase the odds that at least one of us would win.
Here are all of the Tweets from the giveaway:
As soon as the Twins tweeted the fourth location I sprinted up the steps to the 200 level, raced past four sections of seats, and then climbed another set of stairs before arriving beneath the Minnie and Paul sign. When I got there I couldn’t find the Twins rep. I looked around everywhere and I finally spotted her walking towards me. It turned out that I arrived before she did! I was still exhausted from sprinting when Mateo took my picture with the Arcia ball:
Near the end of the fourth inning we all took our spots again and got ready for the next announcement.
The mini donuts stand was only about 150 feet away from where I was standing, but I still got there as fast as I could because I didn’t want to waste this great opportunity. I almost bought some mini donuts to celebrate, but I decided that I was happy enough with the Scott Diamond autographed ball:
As soon as Mateo arrived I brought up an interesting thought that was swirling in my head. I was trying to decide whether or not to count these in my collection. There is a case to count them. After all, they are “Official Major League Baseballs”, and the players obviously had to sign them. Plus, I didnt purchase them, and I received them from employees of the Twins. After giving it some thought, I decided to count them in my collection. I’d love to hear whether you would’ve counted the balls or not, so please leave a comment for me in the comment section below.
During the rest of the inning we discussed where we would go next. We all agreed to take the same spots again.
Earlier in the game Jonathan had predicted that the Giant T.C. would be a possible location. So, for most of the 7 innings he was staked out near Gate 29. His patience finally paid off in the 7th inning when he won this Kent Hrbek autographed baseball:
One of the reasons the Twins activity was so fun was because it made me more familiar with Target Field. Before this I was unaware of some of the attractions that Target Field had to offer. The other thing I really enjoyed was having the time to just wander around the stadium and take pictures of new perspectives. Here are a few:
When the Twins’ Twitter activity ended we watched some players warm up in the bullpen. Can you spot Jonathan and Mateo?
For the game itself, the Twins chances of winning decreased every inning. At one point the Indians were ahead 7-0. The Twins ended up losing 12-6. This was the second game in a row that I’d been to where the Twins allowed more than 10 runs.
After the game Mateo and I each got a ball from Umpire Tony Randazzo. There is no sound to it, but I happened to get it on video:
This was my 9th ball of the day and the second time I’d gotten a ball from Mr. Randazzo. The first was back in April at Miller Park. Shout out to Shawn Bosman!
As I promised, here are the pictures of all nine baseballs:
A Piece of The Game MVP:
Ubaldo Jimenez: It’s not everyday you almost get hit with a baseball. Trying new things can be fun.
Player of the Game:
Indians Offense: It’s not a single player, but the Indians batted .395 throughout the game. That’s kind of impressive.
- 5 autographs at this game
- 9 balls in this game
- 68 balls in 18 games this season = Avg. 3.77 balls per game
- 28 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
- 5 consecutive games with at least 2 balls
- 3 consecutive games with at least 3 balls
- 3 consecutive games with at least 4 balls
- 3 consecutive games with at least 5 balls
- 2 consecutive games with at least 6 balls
- 2 consecutive games with at least 7 balls
- 2 consecutive games with at least 8 balls
- 2 consecutive games with at least 9 balls
- 24 consecutive Twins home games with at least 1 ball
- 6 consecutive Twins home games with at least 2 balls
- Gotten at least 1 ball from 16 different teams
- 112 total balls
Earlier in the week the Cardinals won the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers, 4-2 (games). Just minutes ago, the Red Sox won the American League Championship Series against the Tigers, 4-2 (games). In case you missed it, Shane Vicorino hit a Grand Slam in game six to give the Red Sox a 5-2 lead, which ended up determining the series. With that, the Red Sox are the 2013 American League Champions.
The 2013 World Series will kick off in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday, October 23. Once again, Fox is covering the fall classic.
Game 1: Cardinals at Red Sox, Wednesday, airtime 7:30 p.m. ET, game 8:07, FOX
Game 2: Cardinals at Red Sox, Thursday, airtime 7:30 p.m. ET, game 8:07, FOX
Game 3: Red Sox at Cardinals, Oct. 26, airtime 7:30 p.m. ET, game 8:07, FOX
Game 4: Red Sox at Cardinals, Oct. 27, airtime 8 p.m. ET, game 8:15, FOX
*Game 5: Red Sox at Cardinals, Oct. 28, airtime 7:30 p.m. ET, game 8:07, FOX
*Game 6: Cardinals at Red Sox, Oct. 30, airtime 7:30 p.m. ET, game 8:07, FOX
*Game 7: Cardinals at Red Sox, Oct. 31, airtime 7:30 p.m. ET, game 8:07, FOX
* — if necessary
I had predicted that the Tigers would beat the Red Sox, but I was obviously wrong. Regardless, I still think the Cardinals will win the World Series. Here’s a look at the bracket:
Because part of me is a Brewers fan, I really do not like the Cardinals. Whenever it has come to East coast baseball teams, I have favored the Red Sox over the Yankees. So with that said, Go RED SOX!
I know that the National League Championship Series between the Cardinals and Dodgers is kicking off tonight, but I would still like to take this time to share my predictions for the rest of the playoffs. This isn’t an in-depth analysis or anything, I promise i’ll keep it short! Before I share my predictions I want to give credit to PrintYourBrackets.com. I found some nice looking brackets on their website and then switched some team names around to show what my predictions are.
Here is the bracket that I came up with prior to the start of the playoffs:
All my predictions were correct except for the Indians and the Braves. I predicted both teams would win, but they both lost. My bracket wasn’t ruined though, because it is still possible that the Tigers and Cardinals could play each other in the World Series.
When both the ALDS and NLDS wrapped up I made a second bracket for the next round of the playoffs. Here are my picks for the Championship Series:
I feel confident that the Tigers will win the ALCS because the Red Sox have a recent (it goes back a few years) tendency of shutting down in critical games. As for the NLCS, I really want the Dodgers to win it all this year, but my gut feels like the Cardinals will win the Series against them. Hopefully the Dodgers go all the way!
I’ll post one final bracket when the Championship Series(s) conclude. Go Dodgers!
Tony and I have had tickets for this game since back in March or April. We splurged and decided to buy dugout box seats behind the Twins dugout because this would be one of our final games of the season. There weren’t very many people at the gates when I arrived at 4pm. Actually, there were only two other people:
That would be Tony Voda on the left, and Waldo on the right. Are you wondering why I got to Target Field at 4:00 when the gates weren’t supposed to open until 5:30? Well, about a week prior to this game Tony had told me that we were scheduled to get inside the gates early for batting practice. This was one of the wonderful perks that came along with Tony’s season tickets. Thank you for the invitation to join you, Tony! We entered the stadium at 4:15 and stepped into the right field seats around 4:30. We were pretty excited to be inside so early:
We got to watch most of the Twins players play catch in right field. This provided me with my first opportunity to get a baseball. When he finished playing catch with his partner, Oswaldo Arcia threw his ball to me. Ball 1 – Check.
My second ball of the day came when a Twins player hit a home run into the Powerball Pavilion. I was going to chase it down, but I was contained to sections 136-138 (the seats in front of the flag poles) until the gates opened. One of the only downsides to the early viewing of batting practice is that you can not wander the stadium freely. Otherwise, it would be a ballhawker’s dream come true. Regardless, I was still ecstatic to already be in the stadium. But I digress! Anyways, Tony’s ticket rep hurried into the Pavilion and threw the ball over to me:
My third ball of the day was a bp homer that was hit off the bat of Pedro Florimon. At the time I was standing in the wide open plaza, so it was pretty easy to move around in order to get to the ball while it was in the air. When I turned towards the gates Waldo and Mateo were both grinning (maybe frowning in frustration?) at me, because of my catch. If i wouldn’t have caught the ball, it would’ve bounced right to them at the gate. Oh well! Here it is:
At 5:15, when the Twins left the field, the ticket reps thanked us for coming out to the ballpark and then dismissed us to go freely wander around the stadium. I changed into my A’s gear and SPRINTED to the left field bleachers, where I was all alone for 15 glorious minutes. 15 minutes is a very long time in an empty ballpark. It was AMAZING. I got two balls within a minute of getting into section 129. First an A’s player threw a ball to me, and then I snagged a homer that landed in section 131. Here’s a picture of those 2 balls:
A few short minutes later I was in the perfect spot to snag my 6th ball of the day – another homer that was hit by another A’s player:
I could’ve grabbed at least 4 more baseballs before the gates opened, had they not bounced back to the field before I could get to them. Those were the balls that were hit 2-3 sections away. Once the gates opened at 5:30 I didn’t snag another ball for a while. At this point I had lost track of how many baseballs I had snagged today. I was completely unaware that my next ball would be my 100th baseball lifetime.
I noticed Pat Neshek was talking to some fans near the left field corner so I made my way over there and waited for him to finish, because I wanted to thank him in person for the interview we did together last winter. He talked to the same three fans (probably friends of his) for 30 minutes. I wasn’t missing out on anything though. Only one ball was hit into the bleachers and it wasn’t even playable. While Neshek was busy conversing with those three people he was almost hit by a line drive. I knew it would hit him so I yelled, “Heads up Pat!”. Neshek got out of the way just in time and the ball passed him and rolled to the wall beneath me. He was so appreciative of my warning that he walked over to the wall, grabbed the ball and tossed it up to me. For those of you who are paying attention, that was my 100th ball!
That was Pat Neshek in the background of the previous pictures. Eventually I got to talk to Pat for a few minutes, which was really cool. He’s a great guy – and super fan friendly. I’m a Pat Neshek fan for life. I didn’t think about it at the time, but it would’ve been cool to have Pat sign the ball, since it’s my 100th.
I got my 8th ball of the day in the Powerball Pavilion. Ariel Prieto threw a ball to one of the kids next to me, but it flew over their heads and hit a seat. I bare handed it as it bounced back towards the field and then immediately handed the ball to the kids:
If either of you are reading this, leave a comment down below. I’d love to catch up.
Afterwards, I stuck around in the Pavilion for a few minutes. I’m glad I did because I met a really cool kid named Nick, who was at the game with his dad. I’m not sure how often he collects baseballs from games he goes to, but he already gotten three from batting practice:
It was nice to meet you, Nick. Drop a comment at the end of this entry, maybe we can meet up at a game sometime next season!
Today kept getting better and better. First I snagged 6 baseballs before the gates opened, then I snagged my 100th lifetime. Now, I set a new personal record of 8 baseballs in one game! However, my day didn’t stop there. When batting practice ended Tony, Mateo and I all met up by the bullpens, where there were plenty of batting practice homers sitting around. Tony and I each got one of them from Casey Chavez when he cleared out the extra balls from the A’s bullpen.
As game time was drawing near, I got a picture with Mateo before I left for the A’s dugout:
I made it behind the A’s dugout just in time to get the A’s warm up ball from coach Tye Waller in the first inning. That was ball #10! I finally hit double digits!
At the beginning of the 2nd or 3rd inning I got a t-shirt that T.C. Bear had shot out of his t-shirt gun. I was in my A’s hat and Jersey at the time, so naturally he made a big deal about it. He put the Twins shirt over my A’s jersey and did his best to cover up my A’s hat:
The rest of the crowd got a kick out of it. I will admit, it was pretty funny.
As for the game, it was BY FAR THE MOST EXCITING game I have been to all year long. The A’s offense got off on a quick note – they scored three runs in the first three innings. Pretty good, right? Wrong. They scored TEN (10) RUNS in the fourth inning! That is insane!
The A’s offense went ballistic on the Twins all game long.
I have seen it a number of times before, but once again I got to see Gardy get tossed:
This was the 67th ejection of Gardy’s managerial career. GO TWINS!
Because it was a school night (Wednesday) I left the game at 10 o’clock because I wanted to get some sleep for the next day of school. Unfortunately, that meant leaving at the end of the 6th inning. The game was so slow that it had only gotten through the 6th inning by 10 o’clock. Wow. The game only lasted for another 42 minutes after I left (amazingly fast for 3 innings of baseball) and the A’s won 18-3. Courtesy of ESPN, here is the box score, scoring summary, and info from the game:
A Piece of The Game MVP:
Pat Neshek: He threw me my 100th lifetime baseball, and even took the time to talk to me towards the end of batting practice.
Player of the Game:
Jed Lowrie: He went 2-4 on the night, and had 4 RBI. By hitting a home run and a double, he hit for half the cycle.
Here is my final HAUL from the game (Nine balls pictured because I gave one away) :
As I wrap things up from this end, I have a few notes to share. This was my first actual “Haul” from a game. At the game I was actually running out of space in my back pack for the balls. No, the bats from the previous picture were not from the game. Those bats are very special gifts I’ve gotten from some friends. A few days after this game I gave away the second ball i snagged from this game. Last but certainly not least, go visit Tony and Mateo’s blogs and read their entries from this game. Mateo had nothing short of a great day ballhawking, and Tony also snagged double digits for the first time! Between the three of us we collected 28 baseballs at the game!
- 10 balls in this game
- 59 balls in 17 games this season = Avg. 3.47 balls per game
- 23 consecutive Twins home games with at least 1 ball
- 5 consecutive Twins home games with at least 2 balls
- 27 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
- Gotten at least 1 ball from 15 different teams
- 103 total balls