Rays vs. Red Sox @ jetBlue Park (03-10-14)

For my last game in Florida I was back in a familiar place:

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Similar to two days prior, I sought out autographs until the practice fields opened at 9 o’clock. Today I was hoping to get the autographs of two of the Red Sox top Prospects – Trey Ball and Mookie Betts. To my surprise I got both:

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Trey Ball

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Mookie Betts

Even though I was doing a lot of ballhawking, I still found it very enjoyable to sit and just watch the minor leaguers practice. I can remember one instance where a bunch of players gathered near home plate to watch an instructional from one of the coaches – it was a very picturesque moment:

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After seeing a few minor leaguers practice on their fields I began to ballhawk in the same place I had a few days earlier:

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Within a few short minutes I got on the board. This ball was courtesy of Brian Johnson as he walked off the practice fields:

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I retrieved my second ball when it was hit down the line by an unknown player in the Red Sox farm system:

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My third ball was also hit down the line:

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Most of the people who were near me weren’t paying attention to the baseballs that were flying in our direction. Had I not been paying attention, a slicing line drive would’ve hit a man who was standing near me. After I caught the ball I was going to take a picture of it, but I decided to give it to him instead. He’s holding the ball in this picture:

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In the previous picture do you see the Red Sox player in right field? His name is Jon Diaz. I was able to catch one more ball that flew my way, but I offered it back to Jon because it was in such poor shape. He motioned for me to keep it, but I threw it to him anyways because it was pretty gross. It wasn’t even picture worthy.

When Jet Blue Park opened at 11:00 o’clock I went directly to the grassy section in right field. Within the first 5 minutes I caught a David Ortiz home run on the fly:

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When the Rays took the field just a few minutes later a Rays player threw this pearly white to me:
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After snagging those two balls in the first ten minutes of being in the ballpark, it wasn’t until the last ten minutes of batting practice when I snagged my next baseball. My 8th ball of the day was as toss up from one of these three players:

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Although I cannot remember who threw the ball to me, I do remember that he only threw it to me because I gestured that I would give it to the kid next to me. Immediately after catching it I handed it to the kid who is in the forefront of this picture:

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That was it for batting practice. When the game started I found a standing room spot behind the Rays bullpen:

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Do you see the guy standing behind the plate? His name is Scott Cursi and he doubles as the Rays bullpen catcher and batting practice pitcher. Scott is a very friendly guy who enjoys talking to fans. He and the lady next to me were old friends so in the second inning he came over to catch up with her. When they finished chatting she asked something like, “Do you have a really nice baseball that I could have?” That’s when I joking (half seriously) said, “Do you have any really really dirty baseballs?” I didn’t expect him to acknowledge me, but he replied, “Hah! I have tons of those, hold on a minute!” After he grabbed a nice ball for the lady, he gave these to me:

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For the next few innings I photographed the concourse starting in right field. I walked towards home plate and then continued to left field:

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Standing room in Right Field.

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Heading towards Home Plate on the 1st base concourse.

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Continuing to Home Plate.

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Almost there.

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This is the part of the concourse that is behind home plate.

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Heading towards left field. This is the 3rd base concourse.

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Third Base Grill.

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Directions for the Green Monster Deck.

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Taking the stairs to the upper concourse that leads to the Green Monster Deck.

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The view of the concourse from half way up the stairs.

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Half way up the stairs.

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The view of some of the parking lots from the upper concourse.

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Following the upper concourse to the Green Monster Deck.

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Almost there.

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The view of the field from the stairs that lead to the top of the Green Monster Deck.

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The view from the top of the Green Monster Deck.

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The view from the top of the Green Monster Deck.

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Inside the Green Monster.

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The view of the field from inside of the Green Monster.

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Panorama from inside the Green Monster.

After exploring everything at my disposal (Also one or two places that may or may not have been off limits) I returned to watch the remainder of the game. Here’s the panoramic view from where I watched the game:

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Panoramic from right field.

The Red Sox beat the Rays 6-2. Here is the box score and other info from the game:

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game info

That afternoon I got a group shot of the baseballs I kept. I added red circles to take the place of the baseballs that I gave away:
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