7-18-12 @ Target Field – Orioles vs. Twins
(My camera was only working for different portions of batting practice and the game so bear with me on the lack of pictures of players, coaches, and the field. My camera works now.)
My goal for this game was to get 1 Orioles Commemorative baseball. If that meant only getting that one ball, than I was fine with it.
This was only the 2nd game that I’ve been to in 3 years that I’ve seen a ball get hit and bounce to/through the gates in the right field plaza. I actually saw this happen 2 times before the gates opened.
The red lines show the path of the first ball that was hit. The ball hit the stairs (indicated by the first red circle) and bounced into the air. Then a stadium employee caught the ball (indicated by the second red circle). The employee tossed the ball over the gate. If I would’ve had my glove on I would’ve been able to easily grab the ball above all of the adults reaching for it, but my glove wasn’t on so I wasn’t able to catch the ball.
The white lines show the path of the second ball. It was a line drive homer that bounced once on the pavement (signified by the first white circle) and then shot right to me. The ball hit my arm (signified by the second white circle), bounced off of Waldo’s chest (also signified by the second white circle), and then rolled to Mr. Most’s feet (signified by the third white circle). He picked up the ball right before Waldo did.
When the gates opened I moved here:
Mr. Most stood in the left field bleachers. At every game I’ve been to this year that has had batting practice there have been at least 3 balls that were either hit into or bounce into the right field foul area. A total of 0 balls were hit to the right field foul area. There was also no luck with getting toss ups because this section was dominated by little kids trying to get baseballs. This was okay though, because whenever a player would give a kid a ball, the kid would be ecstatic. It was really fun to watch.
I was surprised I didn’t get a tossup since I was wearing this:
It is a homemade Orioles shirt. I used safety pins to pin the paper on the shirt. It looks real from 5 or more feet away. I got this idea from Mateo Fischer, a fellow ballhawk, who did the same thing with a white sox shirt in this entry on his blog.
I made it to the Orioles dugout just before batting practice ended. As everyone was putting equipment away, I asked the skipper for a ball. He nodded to me as to say yes to my request. He walked to the ball bin and grabbed 3 balls. He forgot that I was the one who asked for a ball, and threw a ball to the guy next to me.
I met up with Mr. Most in the left field bleachers next to the bullpens. There were 6 balls in the bullpens so we figured we had a pretty good chance to get 1 or 2. A ton of kids (and also adults) realized that there were balls in the bullpens. They were all standing in the aisle so they could get a ball when someone came into the bullpens. Mr. Most and I just sat on the bleachers and waited. The usher walked down the aisle and made everyone in the aisle leave. Yes, this was a very good thing! Pretty soon Drew Butera entered the Twins bullpen and tossed one of the balls to me. The throw was very low and I couldn’t catch it. Thankfully he saw that I couldn’t reach the ball and he threw me a different ball.
It was not commemorative, but I was still very happy to get a ball.
The pitchers were done warming up within 10 minutes of the game. Mr. Most and I went to buy supper, which for me was a polish sausage and pretzels.
This was the view from our seats:
The previous picture was taken during batting practice. The red rectangle shows where our seats were. The white circle shows were a foul ball was hit. That was the closest a ball got to us for the rest of the game.
When the 7th inning came around I was all ready to take a picture of the mascot race. I had a front row view of the race; the mascots would run right past me:
The purple mascot on the left side of the picture won the race by a split second. It looked like the purple mascot tied with the Target dog mascot. Not that it makes a difference…
By the top of the 9th inning, Mr. Most and I were behind the Orioles dugout anxiously waiting for a Twins walk off hit. Unfortunately the Twins couldn’t string more than one hit together. The Twins lost the game 2-1.
We stuck around and waited to see if anyone would toss up some baseballs. When the Orioles bullpen staff started walking from the bullpen to the dugout, I was looking closely to see if any of the coaches had a ball. There were no baseballs that were visible so when they reached the dugout I asked for the lineup card(s). The coach didn’t give me the lineup card(s), but a different coach made eye contact with me and tossed me a baseball. This was surprising because I didn’t ask him for anything. After thanking him I came to the conclusion that this had been the last chance for anyone in the ball park to obtain a ball, because the coach was the last team member to leave the field. Everyone else had already entered the clubhouses.
When I looked at the ball I realized that this wasn’t a normal ball, but it was a commemorative ball! This was the reason I chose to attend this game. The logo was perfect, it didn’t even have a scuff. It was a beauty:
The previous picture is really blurry because I had to use my phone camera, which doesn’t focus very well if there isn’t good lighting. It was the best picture that I could take at the time.
Here is a better picture that I took once I got home:
- 2 balls at this game
- 21 balls in 6 games this season = Avg. 3.5 balls per game
- 6 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
- 6 consecutive games with at least 2 balls
- 7 consecutive Twins home games with at least 1 ball
- 5 consecutive Twins home games with at least 2 balls
- Gotten at least 1 ball from 9 different teams
- 24 total balls
The next game I will be attending will be on August 13th when the Tigers play the Twins at Target Field. I might get to one more game before August 13th, but I don’t know yet.