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