Orioles vs. Red Sox @ jetBlue Park (03-08-14)
I got an early start to the day by arriving to Jet Blue Park by 8 o’clock in the morning. Let me say, it was a beautiful day:
Because the practice fields weren’t set to open until 9, I hung around the batting cages hoping to get a few autographs. And that’s just what happened. I was able to get the signatures of Jose Vinicio, Christopher Acosta, Henry Ramos, Javier Guerra, Reed Gragnani, Matthew Price, and two other MiLB players who I wasn’t able to recognize. As each player signed for me I tried to take a picture of them. Sometimes I got the picture as they were signing my baseball, and other times I got the picture after they walked away. I got a picture of everyone who signed for me:
When the practice facility opened at 9 o’clock I made my way over to where John Lackey and Allen Webster were playing catch:
Allen and John were a bit sloppy, and the ball sailed on each of them a few times. My first ball of the day came when Allen overthrew John so much that it even cleared my head. After retrieving the ball, I threw a bullet all the way back to Allen Webster. I didn’t want the ball because John Lackey divorced his wife while she was battling cancer. So yeah, I threw it back to Allen.
Following this, I returned to the entrance of the practice fields because the Red Sox scrubs had begun taking batting practice on multiple fields. This was my view in front of me:
This was the view to my right:
This was my view to my left:
I was in a pretty good spot to get a few baseballs. I scooped up my second ball of the day when a liner was hit down the right field line:
Dedgar Jimenez, one of the players in right field, threw me my third ball of the day:
When I wasn’t paying attention there were a few players who walked past me on their way back to the clubhouse. Like I said – I wasn’t paying attention then, but Oscar Taveras sought out my attention because he wanted to give this baseball to me:
Cool stuff! Minor League players are so friendly. Around 11 o’clock all practices ended, and then a scrimmage started on one of the far fields. I decided to play foul balls from this spot:
It wasn’t long before I had my first foul ball of the scrimmage. I was going to take a photograph of it, but I didn’t get a chance because a player ran over to retrieve it from me. The ball wasn’t in the best shape so I didn’t hesitate to throw it back to him.
When the scrimmage ended at 12:30 I was left with nothing to do other than walk around the outside of Jet Blue Park. After a few hours I decided to buy a ticket to the 3:00 tour of Jet Blue Park. I was told that I was supposed to meet the rest of the group outside the team store:
Our tour guide led us into the stadium early:
And then she led us on the field to watch the Red Sox take batting practice. I would’ve liked to have someone take my picture, but since everyone was a perfect stranger I decided to just take a cliché selfie:
My view of the ballpark was magnificent:
Being on the field was great, but I just wanted to be behind the fence in right field catching homeruns. When I bought the ticket for the tour I thought I would be able to hang out in the grassy seating area in right field. Had I known I would have to wait behind home plate for an hour and a half, I wouldn’t have gone on the tour.
When the rest of the stadium opened, I went to work. I started by catching a home run on the fly that was hit by an unknown Orioles player:
Next I retrieved a ball that had earlier been hit into the bullpen by David Ortiz. I’m not sure why, but I gave this ball away before I took a picture of it. I must not have thought clearly – I gave away a ball that was hit by Ortiz!
This was my view when the game started at 7:05 ET:
My ticketed seat was in the grassy section in right field:
I watched the first three innings of the game, but then I decided it was time to leave. After spending 12+ hours at the baseball complex, I had enough baseball. Plus I was tired out and ready to go to bed.
Here’s the box score and other info from the game: