Royals vs. Twins @ Target Field (07-01-14)

As I was about to get on the light rail that would take me to Target Field I stopped to take a photo of it:

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Doesn’t it look great? With the All Star Break only two weeks away, I was getting very antsy for my first All Star Game.

After meeting Tony at gate 34, we entered the stadium at 5:00 for STH early entry. We each searched for a ball that we had seen land in the Grandstand until Tony found it just as we were about to give up. From there I made my way over to the left field bleachers, which is where I caught this homer that was hit by Josh Willingham:

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Willingham had missed some games due to injury, but he was taking some cuts in batting practice. Soon I snagged my second ball of the day, a home run that was hit by a Twins player I could not recognize. I gave that ball away to the kid who was next to me.

My third ball of the day was a home run that was hit by Trevor Plouffe. This one was difficult because it was headed nearly two sections to my left. After doing my best to catch it the ball tipped off my glove, and I picked it up with my other hand. It’s no gem, but it’s a keeper:

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I didn’t get my next ball until the Royals took the field. Had Tony not been working to get a ball from Lorenzo Cain, I would not have snagged my next ball. You see, Lorenzo Cain was fielding balls in right-center field when Tony called out to him for a ball. Lorenzo accepted his “challenge” and tried to accurately threw a ball to Tony. If I remember correctly, Lorenzo threw three balls but none of them got to Tony. I call this ball the “Tony Cain E8 Ball”:

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With batting practice in the books, I made my way to the plaza for the start of the game. I didn’t mention it yet, but the weather was a bit chilly. It was strange seeing so many people (myself included) wearing long sleeves when it was only the first of July. Long sleeves can be seen standing on the plaza:

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I remained on the plaza for the majority of the game, but later in the game I moved behind the Twins dugout. In the 7th inning it suddenly began to rain:

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Of course being the ballhawk that I am, I liked the rain because people began to leave. In fact, the smaller crowds probably contributed to me getting my fifth ball of the day. In the top of the 8th inning Brian Duensing worked an 0-2 count against Eric Hosmer, and then threw the next pitch in the dirt. Dominic, the Twins bat boy, retrieved it and then tossed it to me:

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Samuel Deduno replaced Brian Duensing to start the 9th inning and quickly retired the first two men. With two outs, Christian Colon stepped up to the plate for his first career at bat:

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Sam Deduno worked a 0-1 count, and then got him to swing on an 89 mph cutter. Colon grounded to third baseman Trevor Plouffe who threw to first baseman Chris Parmelee to record the final out of the game. Parmelee then tossed the ball to the shortstop, Eduardo Nunez, who then threw the ball to me! I was pretty pumped because this was the ball that retired Colon in his first MLB at bat! Take a look:

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After I got the game ball I turned towards Tony. He and a bunch of kids were waiting to get a ball from someone in the dugout. This might be my favorite picture from this baseball season:

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On our way out of the stadium I took another photo that I’m very fond of. There’s something about a quiet and empty baseball stadium that is very peaceful:

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As we were leaving the stadium we noticed a new logo on the outside of Target Field:

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Normally we don’t get a picture together, but we thought it was fitting because the next time either of us would be at Target Field would be for the All Star Game events.

Here are the highlights from the game:

Stay tuned, next up are the All Star Week Events!

 

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