8-13-12 @ Target Field – Tigers vs. Twins

The baseball day started off when I got on the light rail at the Mall of America. Forty minutes later I arrived at Target Field. This was my view after an additional 45 minutes had gone by:

Usually when I enter the stadium I go to foul territory first, but I decided to try something different for this game. My goal for the game was: catch a Prince Fielder BP homer, or get Prince Fielder to throw me a ball. I stood in right field hoping he would hit a few balls to the sections around me.

Once Prince stepped into the cage there were bombs being hit all over to right/center field. I was pretty disappointed because he didn’t hit anything near me. I stayed in the right/center field area for the next group of batters. This group had 3 powerful lefties. Once again, no homers came close to me.

I decided to watch the 3rd and final group of batters from behind the Tigers’ dugout:

I’ll sum up the next 15 minutes for you in the next sentence. The players and coaches were not in the giving mood.

After BP ended I checked the bullpens…

… All the baseballs had been cleared out already. Usually there are baseballs from BP in the bullpens until Drew Butera or Nate Dammann picks them up a half hour before the game. Obviously I missed something.

I waited here for the pitchers to start warming up. I always think it is fun to watch. I got a cool picture of Anibal Sanchez:

The Tigers bullpen catcher, Scott Pickens, was catching for Sanchez until Avila got to the bullpen. Pickens was generous and gave me some gum:

He gave me four pieces of Double Bubble. Thank you Scott Pickens.

I knew my baseball streak would end eventually, but I didn’t expect it to be this soon. Too bad though, 0 balls in BP.

When it was nearing game time, I went to find my friends who I was going to meet at the game. Out of the six of them, none had been to Target Field before. I decided to give them a tour. I took them around the whole stadium. The highlights included: seeing the organ lady (she’s very nice), seeing the bullpens, seeing the flags in the right field plaza, and watching the game from a few different spots. Afterwards, we went to sit in out seats in section 304.

No one had scored yet into the 3rd inning:

In the bottom of the 7th inning a friend and I went to sit behind the Tigers dugout. I was still determined to get a ball from Prince Fielder. I had even made a sign at home that said “The Prince Is Now King”. I thought it might help me get a ball from him. As Fielder was walking back to the dugout at the end of the 7th inning he was looking at my sign the whole time. He came up to hit in the 8th inning and I got some nice pictures while he was on deck.

Cabrera on deck:

Cabrera at the plate and Fielder on deck:

As the Tigers were walking back to the dugout at the end of the 8th inning, someone from the dugout flipped Prince Fielder a warm up ball, which he flipped to me! There would be no shut out for me, I was on the board! I’m almost positive that he flipped the ball to me because of my sign. It is also really cool to get a ball from your favorite player.

Here are the play-by-play scoring plays from the game:

  • In the Bottom of the 3rd inning Justin Morneau singled to left, Joe Mauer scored, and Josh Willingham advanced to second.
  • In the Top of the 5th inning Jhonny Peralta doubled to deep right field to drive in Brennan Bosch.
  • In the bottom of the 5th inning Mastroianni hit a 365 foot home run to left field to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead.
  • In the bottom of the 6th inning Alexi Casilla doubled to deep right field to drive in Ryan Doumit and to advance Carroll to third base.
  • Later in the 6th inning Mastroianni singled to center and drove in Carroll and Casilla, but Mastroianni was tagged out trying to stretch a single into a double.
  • In the bottom of the 7th inning Ryan Doumit homered to left center field (420 feet), Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham scored. This would give Minnesota an 8-1 lead.
  • In the top of the 8th inning Miguel Cabrera reached on an infield single. Jackson scored on the play. Later in the same inning Delmon Young singled to center. Dirks scored on the play and Miguel Cabrera advanced to second.
  • In the bottom of the 8th inning with runners on first and third Josh Willingham hit a sacrifice fly to center field. Ben Revere scored.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
DET 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 3 6 0
MIN 0 0 1 0 1 3 3 1 9 18 0

When the game ended I stayed in the first row behind the dugout and waited for the coaches and players to walk in from the bullpen. (I was holding my sign too)

Pitching Coach Jeff Jones tossed me a ball just before he entered the dugout. Just as I caught the ball Scott Pickens and another player started walking in from the bullpen.

2 minutes later Scott Pickens tossed me my 3rd ball of the day.

My friend Mark took a picture of me a few minutes later in a different spot:

After this we rejoined all of our friends.

The balls are in order from when I got them. (from left to right) Prince, Jones, Pickens.

Also, for every game I go to from now on I’ll be picking a player to get the “A Piece of The Game MVP” award. I’ll be picking the player that had the most importance to my day of ball hawking. I will also be picking a player for the “Player of The Game” award. This will be who I think contributed the most to their teams’ success.

A Piece of The Game MVP:

Prince Fielder, because he kept me from being shut out, helped me achieve my goal, and is my favorite player.

Hitters AB R H RBI BB SO #P AVG OBP SLG
P Fielder 1B 3 0 0 0 1 1 12 .307 .399 .508

Player of The Game:

Sam Deduno, because he only allowed 3 runs on 5 hits in 7 innings. He also had 6 strikeouts. He worked hard which allowed the Twins hitters to relax and do their job.

 
Pitchers IP H R ER BB SO HR PC-ST ERA
S Deduno
(W, 4-0)
7.0 5 3 3 5 6 0 103-58 3.38
  • 3 balls at this game
  • 24 balls in 7 games this season = Avg. 3.42 balls per game
  • 7 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
  • 7 consecutive games with at least 2 balls
  • 8 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 9 different teams
  • 27 total balls
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4 comments

  1. Tony

    Hey Paul. My name is Tony and I also try to ballhawk at Target Field. I like what you are doing with this blog, it’s cool to see a few fellow ballhawks in Minnesota (hopefully not too many more, though). I am debating on going today or tomorrow, still need to pull the trigger on a ticket. Well, if you get a chance, check out my blog, too.

    • paaoool123

      Tony – Thanks for checking out my blog. I actually checked out your blog yesterday night, and I really enjoyed reading it. I have to say, nice big foot costume. Looks like Swarzak finally found what he was looking for! Thanks for the shoutout on your blog, and i guess i’ll see you at Target Field tonight. I usually start at gate 34 and go from there.
      -Paul

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