4-16-13 @ Target Field – Angels vs. Twins

I wasn’t planning on going to this game, but ended up getting free tickets on the day of the game. Mr and Mrs Berg, some friends of my family, were giving away their two tickets because they couldn’t go to the game. Mr Most (We went to a few games with each other last year) was actually the one who got the tickets from the Bergs.  Thank you very much to the Bergs for the tickets!

Mr. Most and I rode the light rail system from Fort Snelling station to Target Field. It was about 5:00 when we stepped off the train. As we were walking to Gate 34 I noticed that this was the first game of the season where I didn’t see ice on the ground outside the stadium. However, there were still piles of snow on the sidewalks:

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Mr. Most and I were planning on going to Gate 34 but then we changed our minds when we passed gate 29:

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We changed our minds because our tickets were part of a 20 game plan – thus they were season tickets. Season ticket holders can enter gate 29 before the gates are scheduled to open. Ticket holders get to watch batting practice from the bleachers right field until the gates actually open. That is what we did… we got inside Target Field early. I took this picture as soon as we got inside:

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Recognize anyone from that last picture? That would be Tony and Mateo. Tony was hanging his head in shame because we were already inside, and Mateo was taking a picture of us taking a picture of him. This is one of the pictures that Mateo had taken of Mr. Most and I:

Photo credit goes to Mateo Fischer.

Photo credit goes to Mateo Fischer.

They knew that we were coming to the game, but they were in shock when they saw us on the other side of the gate. The looks on their faces were truly priceless. Its ok though, they both got plenty of baseballs at the game :)

mjukl

Dont just take my word for it, check out what Tony had to say about our grand entry. Mateo was glad to see us, but was not thrilled that we were already inside.

Shortly after, Mateo introduced me to his friend Jonathan who was also standing at the gates. He’s a Cardinals’ fan and goes to the University of Minnesota with Mateo. It was nice meeting him.When the Angels were getting ready to hit we all grabbed a drawstring bag (the game day promotion) and were on our way to left field.  I was really considering staying in the upper deck in LF for all of batting practice but I’m glad I started in the LF bleachers. After a few short minutes Mike Trout hit a ball our way. Mateo and Mr. Most were a section to my right and there weren’t too many people around me. However, Tony was two rows in front of me. Tony barely missed the catch (he had to jump but it still cleared his glove) which resulted in me getting the ball. I didn’t catch it on the fly because honestly I was a little scared of standing directly behind Tony in case the ball tipped off of his glove into my face. All I had to do was pick it up once it landed in my row. This was sweet especially since I had come really close to a Mike Trout foul ball last September. I waited around for a few more minutes before I headed to the second level. As I was leaving the bleachers Jonathan snagged a homer.

As soon as I reached the 200 level I took this photo:

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Ball #2 came when Jerome Williams threw a ball to me in the second level. I was in the first row when I asked him for the ball. I could see he was about to throw it up but suddenly he said no. I realized it was because he didn’t want me to fall over the edge. Upon this I yelled, “Throw it far! Throw it over my head!” He smiled at me and then chucked it so far over my head that it actually went into the concourse. This was the first ball I had ever snagged in the second deck:

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The next group of batters was hooking balls down the left field line so I relocated here:

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Do you see what appears to be two baseballs in the last picture? If you click the on the picture then you will see that it is just a water bottle.

My next ball was from Jerome Williams, again. This time he showboated his throw, much like he did when he tossed me a ball last September at Kauffman Stadium. He ran towards me to field a ball that lay dormant on the ground. He then flipped it backwards through his legs, over his back, and right to me. I thanked him and said, “You’re the man!” He liked that. In the next picture Williams is just to the right of my glove:

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I later gave that ball away.

Less than 10 minutes later a line drive was sliced down the left field line. It bounced once in the dirt and then shot right to me. It was an easy catch.

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At the very end of batting practice Coach Steve Soliz threw me my 5th ball of the day behind the Angels dugout. Soliz is always very nice to fans and enjoys giving baseballs away. At Kauffman Stadium I saw him give 8 balls away… one of which he threw to me. Anyways, this was the dirtiest ball I had ever seen. It was very weird because I was the only one who was even paying attention and trying to get a baseball. There were lots of people in the dugout box, but it was like they were all in their own little world.

After batting practice I met up with Mr. Most and Tony in the bleachers near the bullpen. After getting some food to eat, Mr. Most and I snuck down to the 6th row behind the plate (right behind the Champions Club).

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We watched most of the game from there. The Bergs were awesome for giving us their tickets. Their tickets were in section 324, but we took advantage of the fact that there were only 23,000 people at the game.

We would’ve watched the whole game from the 6th row but we both decided it was a good idea to leave after the 6h inning. The game was getting long and we didn’t want to get back to our homes to late. It was already 10:00 at the end of the 6th inning so we didn’t feel like sticking around for another 45-60 minutes because it takes at least an hour and a half to get back to my house. I took this picture in the concourse as we were leaving:

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In the picture above do you see the bright lights? Those are heat lamps and they surround the whole seating bowl in the concourse. They do a good job of keeping you warm. They’re so bright that you can see them from across the whole stadium.

Once we got on the train we started talking to an older couple. The man was wearing a red Rangers hat. As we chatted we learned that he and his wife are from the Dallas, TX area and were traveling to all 30 stadiums. There usually see 5 new stadiums per year. They estimated that they would see their 30th stadium in 3 or 4 years. They were heading to Milwaukee and Chicago by the end of the week.

The Twins game was still going on 30 minutes later when we got into Mr Most’s car so we were able to listen to it on the radio. The Twins won 8-6 in 9 innings. Way to go Twins. It was really a great game to be at. Both teams kept battling back when the other team scored. Here is the box score and the scoring plays from the game:

4-16-13 box score 4-16-13 scoring plays

A Piece of The Game MVP:

Jerome Williams:    It isnt very often that the same player throws you 2 balls at the same game, but Jerome did it tonight. He is also a very fan friendly player. He interacts with the players a lot during batting practice and even has conversations with people. I always like seeing him at the ballpark!

Player of The Game:

Joe Mauer:   He went 4-5 on the night, and also collected 3 RBI. He had a huge night at the plate which ultimately helped earn the Twins a victory.

Here is my final haul from the game:

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My fourth ball of the day was stamped “PRACTICE” on the back of it:

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Thank you once again to the Bergs for the tickets and thank you to Mr. Most for going to the game!

Ballhawking Stats:

  • 5 balls in this game
  • 18 balls in 4 games this season = Avg. 4.5 balls per game
  • 14 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
  • 14 consecutive games with at least 2 balls
  • 8 consecutive games with at least 3 balls
  • 12 consecutive Twins home games with at least 1 ball
  • 10 consecutive Twins home games with at least 2 balls
  • 5 consecutive Twins home games with at least 3 balls
  • 4 consecutive Twins home games with at least 4 balls
  • 4 consecutive Twins home games with at least 5 balls
  • Gotten at least 1 ball from 12 different teams
  • 62  total balls

7 Comments

Nice entry! These Bergs you speak of, I take it they are in the Rochester area? My brother-in-law is engaged to a Berg from there – she now lives in Nebraska with him. It’d be wild if they are the same Bergs. I’ll have to talk more to you about them at a game and see if it’s the same family.

It was great meeting this mysterious Mr. Most for the first time – what an awesome name, sounds like a secret agent type of name.

See you in May!

Yes, we will definately have to discuss this at our next game, it’d be crazy if they were all related! I’m going to buy 2 tickets for the May 17th game. Are you planning on that game too? I know that Chris Henderson is going to be visiting on that day also. Should be a good game to watch, as I have never seen the Red Sox play before.
-Paul K

I do not have the 17th planned, but if tickets are cheap enough, I may have to join (as long as I have no weekend plans).

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