Today I tried something new. Instead of riding the light rail system to Target Field I got off at the “Warehouse District/Hennepin AVE” station. It is the last stop before Target Field and it only takes 5 minutes to walk from there to the Stadium. It is WAY faster than riding the rail to Target Field and then having to walk around the outside of the stadium (If you have no clue what i’m talking about, click here and here). Anyways, this is the Warehouse District station:
From here all I walked to the Target Center – the cool looking building furthest left in the next picture:
…When I got to the Target Center I followed this side walk until I got to Target Field:
…And approximately 2 minutes later I was at Target Field:
I got to Target Field at 12:34 and went directly to the ticket booth to buy the cheapest ticket possible. I forgot about “Standing Room Only” tickets so I ended up paying almost $30 for a 300 level ticket.
Soon after I got to Gate 34 Justin Morneau hit a baseball that barely missed the Grandstand. Instead of landing in the Grandstand it took a bounce on the ground and shot towards the gates. The ball was out of my reach, but an employee tossed it to me:
When the gates opened at 1:00 I went straight for the over hang in right field in hope that some power hitting lefties would still be taking their cuts. I was wrong. The next (and last) group of hitters in the Twins portion of BP consisted of non power hitting lefties and 2 righties. One was Josh Willingham. When I saw him stepping into the box I sprinted for the bleachers in left-center field. The bleachers weren’t crowded, but there wasn’t very much running room because of how everyone was spread out. I stood in the Aisle where section 129 meets 130 – one of the better spots for homers in batting practice… BUT the Twins only hit 2 baseballs into the bleachers. One of them was hit by Josh Willingham – which I caught on the fly after I scrambling from the 7th row down to the 2nd row. I was going to take a picture of it from that spot but I kept thinking, “I don’t want to be caught off guard incase another ball is hit here. I’ll take a picture later.” Afterwards, I forgot to take the picture.
When the Royals took the field I lined up behind some players playing catch:
No luck there, so I left section 16 and tried sections 124 and 125:
…Where I had no luck with toss ups. During the Royals portion of batting practice I was in the bleachers for all of the righties. That was a mistake. I *should* have gone to the 200 level because the Royals have some powerful righties. I’m mostly talking about Billy Butler. He alone hit more than 10 baseballs to the 200 level. I didn’t snag any more baseballs the rest of batting practice. When batting practice ended I got some food:
I don’t usually eat at baseball games, but I was very hungry! The Twins have some good chicken and have even better fries! While I was eating the Twins sent out a tweet that I responded to:
The Twins hash tagged GoGetEmGibby because the game was Kyle Gibson’s Major League Debut. Sometime during the game I got this direct message from the Twins on Twitter:
My prize was a Minnesota Twins collapsible water bottle:
I was in the Dugout Box when the game started, but there were no open seats so I decided to leave the section. I watched a few innings from left field:
Then I watched a few innings from the standing room next to the bullpens in center field:
There were 3 baseballs in the Royals bullpen:
Two were just bullpen balls, but one was the home run that Trevor Plouffe hit in the 1st inning.
Usually in the 7th or 8th innings I will make my way down to the Dugout Box seats, but I had no luck today. Not very many people were leaving the game early (very few fans leave when the home team is winning a day game) so there was no way for me to get there before the game ended. As soon as the last out was recorded I took off for the dugout moat. I descended past 30 rows of seats (and then some) and got near the umpire tunnel just as home plate Umpire Ronald Kulpa was exiting. He threw me my 3rd ball of the day as I was still descending on the steps. Here’s a picture (that I took 15 minutes later & in the outfield) of the umpire ball:
I was hoping to get a ball from the bullpen staff, but that didn’t happen:
Then I went to section 14 (next to the camera well) to see if Mario was in the dugout. He recognizes me whenever we see each other and he is always happy to throw me a ball. Mario acknowledged my presence and made a facial expression that suggested, “I have a ball for you, but you have to wait until i’m done cleaning up”. As I waited for Mario I met up with Ben Lacher who was standing near by. He had gotten more than 35 autographs at the game today! When Ben left I took out my phone and started recording the dugout. Pretty soon Mario was back:
On my way out of the stadium I noticed that there were still 2 baseballs sitting in the Royals bullpen:
This was the first time I have ever had the chance to use the glove trick at Target Field. The only problem was that I didn’t bring fishing line because I didn’t think I would need to use the glove trick. Silly me.
As for the game, the Twins beat the Royals 6-2. Kyle Gibson (the starting pitcher) made his Major League Debut for the Twins. Gibson was Minnesota’s first first-round pick to win a start in his major league debut. Here is the box score and scoring plays from the game:
A Piece of The Game MVP:
Mario: He is always very kind to me at Target Field and almost always helps add a ball to my collection.
Player of The Game:
Kyle Gibson: I mentioned this before, but Gibson was Minnesota’s first first-round pick to win a start in his major league debut. He pitched a good game and only allowed 8 hits.
Here is my final haul from the night:
- 4 balls in this game
- 30 balls in 7 games this season = Avg. 4.28 balls per game
- 17 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
- 17 consecutive games with at least 2 balls
- 11 consecutive games with at least 3 balls
- 2 consecutive games with at least 4 balls
- 15 consecutive Twins home games with at least 1 ball
- 13 consecutive Twins home games with at least 2 balls
- 8 consecutive Twins home games with at least 3 balls
- 2 consecutive Twins home games with at least 4 balls
- Gotten at least 1 ball from 12 different teams
- 74 total balls