Tagged: Aaron Hicks

Mariners vs. Twins @ Target Field (07-30-15)

Going to this game was an extremely last minute decision. Neither my friend Matt nor I had any plans for the evening so we booked it up to Minneapolis. After just a few minutes in the stadium I snagged my first ball of the day, which was also my 200th lifetime. Of course, that’s not counting Spring Training baseballs.

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I didn’t know it at the time, but Nate let me know that it came off the bat of Shane Robinson.

There wasn’t too much excitement from the Twins portion of batting practice, but I was able to snag a few more homers during the Mariners portion of bp. I got this one in section 129:

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I’m not sure who hit that homer, nor who hit this next one that I caught in section 137:

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Batting Practice ended around 6 o’clock so the Long Haul Bombers could have their derby before the game started. Bubba Brungardt kicked things off for the Bombers:

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Most of those guys were HUGE. They absolutely crushed the ball. It was pretty fun to watch.

When the derby finished Dominic hooked me up with another ball for the day. I forgot to take a picture of it right away, but I took this (terrible) picture afterwards:

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Matt and I watched the first few innings from the center field bleachers. Phil Hughes started on the mound for the Twins and J.A. Happ followed for the Mariners. Seth Smith hit a two run homer in the first inning, but the Twins battled back in their half with a lead off homer from Brian Dozier. Hicks and Hunter followed with singles and then Rosario hit a three run bomb to right field. Suddenly the Twins were winning 2-5 in the first inning.

Although the game was exciting, we were just kind of bored. We watched another inning or two but then we decided to go to the Mall of America. The Mariners lost to the Twins 5-9. Click here to watch the highlight video. Here’s the info from the game:

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Here’s the group shot:

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TOTALS: 4 balls at this game. 30 balls this year.

UP NEXT: Astros vs. Twins 08/28/15

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Red Sox vs. Twins @ Target Field (05-27-15)

Unlike the day before, I woke up to wonderful weather. However, with the 12:10 start time it was still unlikely that there would be batting practice.  When the gates opened I found that the cage was not set up for bp:

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I made my way down to where most of the Red Sox’ pitching staff was warming up. When he was finished throwing with his partner, Steven Wright hooked me up with their baseball. I was surprised to see that it was rubbed up with mud:
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Prior to the game, Torii Hunter and Joe Mauer signed autographs from the dugout:

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I was finally able to add Joe Mauer’s signature to my collection!

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Thank you, Mr. Minnesota. Since I didn’t have a ballpoint pen I could either get his auto in Sharpie or not get it at all. I think I chose the better of the two.

Boston was the first team to score a run when Dustin Pedroia blasted a two run shot in the third. Hunter and Mauer each contributed to the handful of singles that gave the Twins’ a three run third. Aaron Hicks homered in the fourth to extend the lead to 5-2. In the fifth inning Pedroia hit his second two run shot of game. Rosario joined the home run parade in the 6th inning when he launched a solo bomb to right field. The Twins won 6-4. Click here to watch the highlight video from the game.

Following the game I was able to get an Ump ball from Umpire Dale Scott:

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Here’s today’s results:

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TOTALS: 2 balls at this game. 23 balls this year.

UP NEXT: White Sox vs. Twins 06/22/15

2015 Fan Fests of the AL Central Division

Over the last few years I have annually posted an entry about the upcoming Fan Fests that will be hosted by the teams in the AL Central Division. If you’d like to see last year’s entry, click here. This is the entry for 2015.

sox

Date: January 23-25, 2015

Hours: Hours have not yet been announced.

Location:

Hilton Chicago

720 South Michigan Avenue

Chicago, Illinois, 60605

Parking: Hotel Parking

Admission Ticket Pricing:

  • Single Day Passes:
  • Weekend Passes: $40 for adults, $20 for children 13 & under. 3 & under are free of charge.

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND

Jose Contreras, Jon Garland, “El Duque” Orlando Hernandez, Bobby Jenks, Geoff Blum, Joe Crede, Tadahito Iguchi, Scott Podsednik, Aaron Rowand, Jose Abreu, John Danks, Zach Duke, Adam Eaton, Tyler Flowers, Avisail Garcia, Conor Gillaspie, Dan Jennings, Jake Petricka, Jose Quintana, Alexei Ramirez, David Robertson, Jeff Samardzija, Don Cooper, Todd Steverson, Herold Baines, Robin Ventura, Tim Anderson, Courtney Hawkins, Micah Johnson, Carlos Rodon, Bo Jackson, Ron Kittle, Carlos May, Bill Melton, Minnie Minoso and Billy Pierce.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Player Autograph Stations
  • Player Photo Stations
  • SoxFest Garage Sale
  • Additional activities are also in store for SoxFest.

Autograph Voucher Pricing: Included in admission price

Things that have improved from last year:

  • The White Sox lowered the price for a weekend pass by 45% compared to last year.
  • Although not confirmed, it seems as if SoxFest will offer more activities to fans.

If I was the GM I would…

  • Make it mandatory for the 40-man roster to attend SoxFest.
  • Donate a part of the proceeds to charity.

My Overall Grade of SoxFest LAST YEAR: B-

My Overall Grade of SoxFest THIS YEAR: B

tribe

Date: January 24-25, 2015

Hours:

  • Period 1: Saturday, Jan 24, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Period 2: Saturday, Jan 24, 4-8 p.m.
  • Period 3: Sunday, Jan 25, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Location:

Progressive Field

2401 Ontario Street

Cleveland, OH 44115

Parking: “A limited number – due to a Monsters home game on Saturday night and a Cavs home game on Sunday afternoon — of $3 parking spots will be available in the Gateway East Garage. Those parking passes can be purchased online while fans purchase their event and autograph tickets. Fans are encouraged to purchase their Gateway East parking passes early, as supplies are limited.” – Indians.com

Admission Ticket Pricing: GA is $10 for adults and free for children 12 & under.

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND

Corey Kluber, Michael Brantley, Yan Gomes, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Kipnis, Cody Allen, Mike Aviles, Trevor Bauer, Michael Bourn, Lonnie Chisenhall, TJ House, Roberto Perez, Jose Ramirez, Marc Rzepczynski, Danny Salazar, Carlos Santana, Bryan Shaw and Nick Swisher.

Additional TribeFest 2015 participants will be announced at a later date.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Player Autographs
  • Kids’ Activities
  • Batting Cages
  • Clubhouse Tours
  • Q&As with Tribe Broadcasters and Players

Autograph Information:

  • “Fans can guarantee an autograph by purchasing an Autograph Ticket. Autograph tickets much be purchased IN ADDITION to a General Admission ticket. You will be allowed to select which autograph session you’d like to attend within your Tribe Fest event. In order to maximize the amount of fans able to experience each autograph session at Tribe Fest, the purchase of autograph tickets has been limited to four per autograph session per transaction. Additionally, only one autograph session ticket per person will be honored at each autograph station.” – Indians.com
  • “Fans can purchase an Autograph Ticket in two different tiers: Indians Alumni or Roster Player. These sessions will take place at an assigned time, and fans are encouraged to ARRIVE EARLY for these sessions. There is a cap of 250 fans per session, and each session will be closed once all tickets are sold.” – Indians.com
  • “Anyone holding an autograph ticket is guaranteed to receive at least one autograph, but specific players and alumni are not guaranteed. Player assignments will not be determined in advance, and are subject to change.” – Indians.com

Things that have improved since last year:

  • Last year children were $5 at the door. This year they’re free.
  • It seems like the Indians made it easier for fans to obtain autographs since last year. I still don’t like the autograph system, but it’s a bit better from last year.

If I was the GM I would…

  • Improve how the autograph tickets & sessions are set up.
    • The way the Indians have it set up now is unorganized and way more complicated than it needs to be.
    • I would model TribeFest autograph sessions after the Twins’ autograph sessions.
  • Make it mandatory for the 40-man roster to attend TribeFest.

My Overall Grade of Tribe Fest LAST YEAR: C+

My Overall Grade of Tribe Fest THIS YEAR: B

tigers

Date: January 24, 2015

Hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Location:

Comerica Park

2100 Woodward Avenue

Detroit, MI 48201-3470

Parking: There are numerous other privately owned parking facilities within a 5-20 minute walk of Comerica Park.

Admission Ticket Pricing:  $28 for adults, $14 for kids 12 & under

*Tickets are sold out.*

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND: Justin Verlander, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez will be among over 30 Tigers players and coaches who scheduled to appear. The Tigers have not yet released the 2015 appearance schedule.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Autograph Booths
  • Fantasy Play-by-Play Broadcast
  • Main stages will host Q & A sessions and seminars.
  • Player Photos
  • Clubhouse Tours
  • Dugout Tours
  • Self-guided Tours
  • Display of historical baseball artifacts
  • Batting Practice in the cage
  • Detroit Tigers ice sculptures & LIVE sculpting demonstrations
  • David Chandler will operate an authentic bat lathe & provide LIVE bat carving demonstrations.
  • Detroit Tigers Authentics
  • Tigers Foundation Fire Sale.

The Detroit Tigers Kids Zone featuring:

  • Kids-Only Autograph Booth.
  • Miniature Comerica Park Stage
  • Free face painting and caricatures.
  • Baseball-themed games and activities for kids.
  • Video Game Bullpen.
  • Official 2015 Kids Club enrollment.

Autograph Voucher Pricing: The Tigers have not yet released this information. Autograph Prices will most likely not be included in price of general admission.

Things that have improved since last year:

  • All fans attending will receive a free TigerFest beanie style hat, courtesy of 97.1 FM The Ticket.
  • New activity: Fantasy play-by-play broadcast

If I was the GM I would…

  • Turn TigersFest into a weekend event. The one day event is already sold out this year. Instead of hosting TigersFest on Saturday only, host it from Friday to Sunday.
  • Lower the price of admission from $28

My Overall Grade of TigerFest LAST YEAR: A

My Overall Grade of TigerFest THIS YEAR: A

royals

Date: January 30-31, 2015

Hours:

  • Friday, January 30
    • 12-2 p.m. Exclusive access for Season Ticket Holders
    • 2-9 p.m. Open to all fans
  • Saturday, January 31
    • 9-11 a.m. Exclusive access for Season Ticket Holders
    • 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Open to all fans

Location:

Bartle Hall at the Kansas City Convention Center

301 W 13th St #100

Kansas City, MO 64105

Parking: There are many parking options close to Bartle Hall

Admission Ticket Pricing:

  • In Advance:
    • 1 Day Pass: Adult – $14; Youth – $8
    • 2 Day Pass: Adult – $20; Youth – $11
  • Day of Sale:
    • 1 Day Pass: Adult – $16; Youth – $10
    • 2 Day Pass: Adult – $22; Youth – $14

Youth prices are for children ages 6-17. Children five and under will be admitted for free.

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND:

Lane Adams, Willie Aikens, Jaime Bluma, George Brett ^, Lorenzo Cain, Louis Coleman, Christian Colon, Wade Davis, Brandon Finnegan, Al Fitzmorris, Joel Goldberg, Alex Gordon, Terrance Gore#, Jeremy Guthrie, Shane Halter, Luke Hochevar, Greg Holland, Eric Hosmer, Rex Hudler#, Ryan Lefebvre, Dennis Leonard, Mike Macfarlane, Denny Matthews, John Mayberry, Brian McRae, Kris Medlen*, Kendrys Morales, Mike Moustakas, Dayton Moore, Les Norman, Marty Pattin, Bill Pecota, Salvador Perez, Steve Physioc, Greg Pryor, Jamie Quirk, Shawn Sedlacek, Steve Stewart, Jerry Terrell, John Wathan, Willie Wilson, Yordano Ventura,Edinson Volquez, and Ned Yost.

^ Royals Awards only, * Friday only, # Saturday only (As of January 16th, 2015)

Fan Activities Include:

  • Player Autograph Sessions
  • Player Photo Sessions
  • Commerce Bank Main Stage
  • Teva Royals Diamond
  • Interactive games for children
    • Accuracy Pitch
    • Bunting Challenge
    • Batting Cages
    • Little Sluggerrr’s Playground
    • Speed Pitch
    • Steal Home Challenge
    • Video Baseball Simulator
  • Majestic Team Store & Authentics
  • Royals Charities Silent Auction
  • Royals Charities 50/50 Raffle

Autograph Voucher Pricing: The Royals have not released this information.

Things that have improved since last year:

  • According to Royals.com, RoyalsFest 2015 has a heavy focus on what fans have requested in the past – autographs.

If I was the GM I would…

  • Schedule Royals FanFest for the whole weekend instead of just Friday and Saturday.
  • Prior to the event, publically announce which team members are scheduled to attend FanFest, and how much money autographs will cost.

My Overall Grade of Royals FanFest LAST YEAR: B+

My Overall Grade of Royals FanFest THIS YEAR: B+

twins

Date: January 23-25, 2015

Time: Friday: 4:00-9:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location:

Target Field

1 Twins Way

Minneapolis, MN

Parking: There are numerous parking garages around Target Field. Multiple public transit options are also available.

Admission Ticket Pricing: Adults: $20; Kids (14 and under): $10

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND:

  • Friday, Jan. 23:
    A.J. Achter, Neil Allen, Oswaldo Arcia, J.O. Berrios, Bert Blyleven, Tom Brunansky, Byron Buxton, Rod Carew, Logan Darnell, Butch Davis, Brian Dozier, Brian Duensing, Tyler Duffey, Eduardo Escobar, Casey Fien, Eric Fryer, Kyle Gibson, Dan Gladden, Gene Glynn, Nick Gordon, JR Graham, Nate Hanson, Mark Hamburger, BJ Hermsen, Aaron Hicks, Kent Hrbek, Phil Hughes, Torii Hunter, Jacque Jones, Corey Koskie, Mike Kvasnicka, Gene Larkin, Joe Mauer, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Tommy Milone, Paul Molitor, Max Murphy, Ricky Nolasco, Chris Parmelee, Mike Pelfrey, Brandon Peterson, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Jorge Polanco, Ryan Pressly, Stephen Pryor, Eddie Rosario, Taylor Rogers, Miguel Sano, Danny Santana, Ervin Santana, Jordan Schafer, Roy Smalley, Blake Schmit, Kurt Suzuki, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Tonkin, Kennys Vargas, Joe Vavra, Tanner Vavra, Treysen Vavra, and Jason Wheeler.
  • Saturday, Jan. 24:
    A.J. Achter, Neil Allen, Oswaldo Arcia, J.O. Berrios, Bert Blyleven, Tom Brunansky, Byron Buxton, Rod Carew, Logan Darnell, Butch Davis, Brian Dozier, Brian Duensing, Tyler Duffey, Eduardo Escobar, Casey Fien, Eric Fryer, Kyle Gibson, Dan Gladden, Gene Glynn, Nick Gordon, JR Graham, Jim “Mudcat” Grant, Nate Hanson, Mark Hamburger, BJ Hermsen, Aaron Hicks, Phil Hughes, Torii Hunter, Jacque Jones, Corey Koskie, Mike Kvasnicka, Tim Laudner, Joe Mauer, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Tommy Milone, Paul Molitor, Max Murphy, Ricky Nolasco, Chris Parmelee, Mike Pelfrey, Brandon Peterson, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Jorge Polanco, Ryan Pressly, Stephen Pryor, Eddie Rosario, Taylor Rogers, Miguel Sano, Danny Santana, Ervin Santana, Jordan Schafer, Blake Schmit, Kurt Suzuki, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Tonkin, Kennys Vargas, Joe Vavra, Tanner Vavra, Treysen Vavra, and Jason Wheeler.
  • Sunday, Jan. 25:
    A.J. Achter, Neil Allen, Oswaldo Arcia, Tom Brunansky, Byron Buxton, Rod Carew, Logan Darnell, Butch Davis, Brian Dozier, Tyler Duffey, Eduardo Escobar, Casey Fien, Eric Fryer, Kyle Gibson, Nick Gordon, JR Graham, Nate Hanson, Mark Hamburger, BJ Hermsen, Aaron Hicks, Phil Hughes, Torii Hunter, Mike Kvasnicka, Joe Mauer, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Tommy Milone, Paul Molitor, Max Murphy, Ricky Nolasco, Chris Parmelee, Mike Pelfrey, Brandon Peterson, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Jorge Polanco, Ryan Pressly, Stephen Pryor, Frank Quillici, Brian Raabe, Eddie Rosario, Taylor Rogers, Miguel Sano, Danny Santana, Ervin Santana, Jordan Schafer, Blake Schmit, Kurt Suzuki, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Tonkin, and Jason Wheeler.

Fan Activities Include:

  • Auctions
  • Player Autographs
  • Player Photo Sessions
  • Sports Memorabilia and Collector’s Show
  • Self-Guided Clubhouse Tours
  • Twins Yard Sale
  • BINGO
  • Reading with Twins mascot TC
  • Fan Feud
  • Special Panel Discussions
  • Boardwalk-style Amusements
  • Behind-the-scenes Fan Experiences
  • 10th Annual Diamond Awards

Autograph Voucher Pricing: There are multiple autograph stations spread out through Target Field. You pay “x” amount of dollars to get everyone’s signature who is in the station.

Things that have improved since last year:

  • The Twins have added a few new fan activities.

If I was the GM I would…

  • Lower the Admission price from $20.

My Overall Grading LAST YEAR: A

My Overall Grading THIS YEAR: A

D-backs vs. Twins @ Target Field (09-23-14)

This was the second game of the D-backs/Twins series. I’d gone to back to back games six different times last year, and this was my sixth time doing it this year. I was pumped when I snagged this ball before the games even opened:

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The ball was hit by a Twins player who I couldn’t identify. It bounced a few times on the plaza before it reached the gate where I was able to snatch it up.

When the gates opened I headed toward the seats in right field. I snagged one ball during the Twins portion of batting practice. I was on the Aisle of section 136 and 137 when Chris Herrmann hit a ball near me. After maneuvering my way to the middle of section 136, I caught this on the fly:

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When the Diamondbacks took the field I moved to the left field bleachers. During yesterday’s batting practice I noticed that even though the home runs were scarce, there were 2 or 3 guys who consistently hit to left field. Similar to yesterday, there weren’t many home runs hit, but I was still able to come away with one ball:

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I’m not sure who hit it, but it landed in the second row of the bleachers. I wasn’t able to catch it on the fly because there was an overly aggressive guy who pushed me out of the way on a few occasions. I almost told security but I didn’t want to miss out on any chances to get another ball. It’s ironic because either way I would’ve missed out on baseballs. I missed out on two baseballs because of this guy. The first time he pushed me out of the way so he could catch a homerun instead. The other time he literally fell on top of me, then crawled over me to pick up the ball. Can a baseball really be worth that much to some people?!

Before the game started Dominique hooked me up with another ball from the ball bag. Just like yesterday, I didn’t even ask him for a ball. Thanks Dominique!

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Kyle Gibson and Andrew Chafin faced off against each other on the mound. Joe Mauer got plunked on his right arm in the first inning and left the game in the second inning due to elbow contusion. The Twins started things off by scoring three runs in the second inning. The Diamondbacks scored in the fourth inning but by the end of eighth inning the Twins were ahead, 6-2.

Instead of going for an umpire ball after the game I decided to try my luck at the Twins dugout. This was my view when the ninth inning started:

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I didn’t snag a baseball, but I got a neat picture with seven members of the coaching staff in it:

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Here are the highlights:

This was the eighth win I had seen from the Twins in 11 games this year.

After the game I decided to stick around incase there was a chance to see Kennys Vargas outside the stadium again. As I was waiting I began to spot some of the Diamondback players leaving Target Field. Joe Paterson and Zeke Spruill both signed on the ball i’d gotten during the Diamondbacks portion of batting practice:

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There were a few other Diamondback players who walked past, but I didn’t recognize them enough to get their autographs. I also recognized Jordan Schafer and Josmil Pinto as they walked past. They were both friendly enough to stop to sign an autograph. They signed the ball that Chris Herrmann hit during the Twins portion of batting practice:

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These four guys were awesome. They all took a few minutes to sign autographs for the small group of people who were waiting. I could tell that a few of them would’ve rather not signed, but they were still cool about it. The only player that I had a problem with was Didi Gregorius. When he and Ender Inciarte exited the stadium, they ignored everyone as they walked past and acted as if no one was there. I wasn’t upset because I knew that sometimes players don’t like to sign after games. I did get angry, though, when he told a five year old boy, “I don’t sign after losses.” This boy had chased after Didi to get his autograph and then he was crushed when Didi turned him down. What kind of stuck up player does that?! Didi Gregorius does.

After 45 minutes had passed I was about to leave, but then I spotted Kennys Vargas at the same place I saw him the day before. When he finished speaking with the guys he was with, I said hello. Like the night before, he seemed happy that I recognized him on the street and he kept up a conversation with me. We chatted for a few minutes and then he signed a ball and took a picture with me:

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I’m already a huge Kennys Vargas fan! These are the baseballs that the players signed for me:

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Vargas signed ball #159 – a ball that was tossed to me by a diamondbacks player during batting practice yesterday. This was the final haul:

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This was a very solid day at the ballpark. It’s not that often when you get a handful of baseballs and then surpass that number with autographs.

D-backs vs. Twins @ Target Field (09-22-14)

This was it. This was the first game of the last series that the Twins would play at Target Field for the season. Here’s a cliché picture I took as I approached Target Field:

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It wasn’t to long after entering the stadium when I got a nice looking ball from Twins’ Ace, Phil Hughes:

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I got that ball, but missed out on a few others because (1) I wasn’t paying attention and (2) Waldo beat me to the others. When the Diamondbacks took the field for batting practice I quickly got a toss up from someone who I did not recognize. The ball was absolutely perfect. It was completely clean, there were no marks and all the print was lined up as well. I really wanted to keep it, but I gave it to the small child who was two rows in front of me. It seemed like a good thing to do.

The player must have seen me give the ball away because he called to get my attention and then threw another flawless gem to me:

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When the seats in right field started to fill up with people looking to get toss ups, I moved to left field because it would be easier to catch home runs where it was less crowded. This was the emptiest i’d seen Target Field in a long time. It was like a ghost town.

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It’s a shame that the Diamondbacks were so weak offensively because had they hit a few home runs to left field, I could’ve snagged a few more baseballs.

With batting practice in the books, I made my way to the Diamondbacks dugout. I was surprised to see Andrew Wiggins, who was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves as the first pick overall in the 2014 NBA draft, was hanging around the dugout:

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I concluded (and later confirmed) that he was here to throw the first pitch. I ended up moving over to the Twins dugout because Dominique had started to play catch with Andrew Wiggins and I wanted to get some pictures:

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When they finished playing catch Dominique saw me and we talked for a bit. He has got to be the coolest bat boy in all of Major League Baseball. When we finished talking he asked if I had snagged a ball yet. When I told him I had snagged a few already, he grabbed this game rubbed ball from the ball bag for me anyways:

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Both teams got off to a slow start, but the Twins finally scored a run in the 3rd inning when Chris Herrmann singled to right center field. The Twins couldn’t contain the Diamondbacks as they scored five runs off of five hits in the fifth inning. The Twins scored in the 7th, but the D-backs scored in the 8th. During the bottom of the 8th inning I was able to upgrade my seat:

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I’m impressed with how nice that picture turned out. It makes me wish Aaron Hicks was a better player.

Here’s the recap of the game:

Before heading out after the game, I stuck around for about 45 minutes to talk with some people I knew. When I finally  left the Target Field I ran into Kennys Vargas with his wife and child outside! I didn’t want to bother them by asking for an autograph so I just said hello as I was walking by. Kennys engaged in conversation and we chatted for a minute or two, but I still didn’t want to interrupt them so I continued on my way. He’s a nice guy.

Pics or it didn’t happen? They’re the ones with the stroller:

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Here’s the final picture (three pictured because I gave one away):

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Indians vs. Twins @ Target Field (09-19-14)

Today was bound to be a fun day at Target Field because it was the first day of fan appreciation weekend! Does anyone remember the Twins’ Twitter contest/giveaways from last year? That’s the reason I came back this year.

My day started off with a toss up from the Twins’ friendliest outfielder, Oswaldo Arcia:

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Waldo, Mike and I would back up onto the plaza when Chris Parmelee stepped into the box because he was absolutely crushing the ball today. After a few rounds though, I was caught off guard and I was still in the front row of the section when Parmelee hit a ball that was going to land on the plaza. Somehow I was able to get from the first row of the section to the flagpole in the plaza in time to make a running and leaping catch with my arm fully extended above my head. It was by far the best catch I’ve ever made.

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The Twins didn’t stay on the field much longer, and soon they were replaced by the Indians:

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Fun fact: This was the third Indians game I’d been to this year, but I still hadn’t snagged a ball from them. During batting practice I met up with Nate Duppler, his brother Ben, and their friends Andrew and Noah.

The Twins tweeted this shortly before the game started:

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Nate and I were the first two people to claim a hat:
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This is how the Twins annual Twitter giveaway works: At the top of each inning the Twins tweet a spot at Target Field where the 1st fan to find the Twins rep wins an autographed ball. The Twins tweeted this during the second inning:

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Nate and I both won again. Mine was signed by Vance Worley:

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Vance Worley’s last appearance for the Twins was on May 22nd, 2013. I guess the Twins were clearing out some items they didn’t need anymore!

The first run of the game came in the third inning when Oswaldo Arcia hit a home run to right field. The Indians answered back in the fourth inning by stringing a few hits together, scoring 2 runs in the process.  In the fourth inning Kennys Vargas tied the game by hitting a solo shot to right field. This was the third consecutive game i’d been to where Vargas hit a homerun.

I won another baseball in the sixth inning:

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Kevin Correia is another former Twin. His last appearance for the Twins was on August 6th, 2014. I was also the winner of the seventh inning giveaway:

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This ball was signed by another former Twin, Alex Presley. Presley’s last appearance with the Twins was on September 29th, 2013. Hmm, all three balls that I won from the Twins were signed by players who were no longer members of the Twins. I think that’s kind of funny.

By the end of the seventh inning the score was 4-3, Cleveland. The twins tied the game in the ninth inning but couldn’t push for a victory quite yet. Looking to redeem himself after striking out in the ninth inning, Trevor Plouffe approached the plate with the bases loaded in the tenth. Luckily I was smart enough to record his walk off hit:

If you watched the video then you saw that after the game Mr. Fieldin Culbreth, the home plate umpire, gave the line up cards to me without me even asking. Pretty sweet!

Here are the highlights from the game:

My final haul from the day included five baseballs, three autographs, and two line up cards:

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Nate set a new personal record of seven baseballs in one game. We both had a pretty good day ballhawking, but I’m sure that we both had an even better time just being at the game. This was one of my favorite games this season. Now the Twins have won seven of the eight Twins games I’ve been to this year. This was the third Twins walk off I’ve seen this year!

Tigers vs. Twins @ Target Field (09-16-14)

This game wasn’t in my season ticket package, but when I saw it on the schedule a few days prior I knew I wanted to go. This game, a Tuesday night game in mid September, practically had “low attendance” written all over it. Within a few minutes of entering Target Field, I was in possession of a pretty good looking baseball: IMG_20140916_170415_112

I was able to snag that when Chris Parmelee hit an absolute bomb to the plaza. I wasn’t able to get to it in time to catch it on the fly, but a ball is a ball! A few minutes went by and soon a Twins leftie, who I couldn’t identify, hit a homer that landed in section 136. Although I was a section away, I was the first to scramble to the ball: IMG_20140916_171200_594

That was it for the Twins portion of batting practice. The Twins had a really good session of batting practice today. With how the Twins were hitting I should have come away with a few more balls. Had I not been beat out by Waldo and one of the ushers a few times, I would’ve had five from the Twins session alone. It was nice to see the Twins had some pop in their bats. When the Tigers took the field I snagged one more baseball before I quit ballhawking. That was thanks to an unidentified Tigers player who hit this ball a very long ways: IMG_20140916_172258_609

I’m not exactly sure what it was about this ball but it stood out to me for some reason. After looking the ball over I decided this was the perfect ball to play catch with. The grip was great, the ball was slightly mudded up, and it was worn perfectly. From the looks of it, it was probably a game ball at one point. After snagging that last ball, I put my glove away for a while. Normally I wouldn’t do this, but I made an exception because Kennys Vargas and Danny Santana were scheduled to sign autographs in the team store beginning at 5:40. There was a big of a line ahead of me: IMG_20140916_173109_299

Once the line got moving it continued to move along pretty steadily. Soon I was next: IMG_20140916_174928_568

Vargas and Santana both had performed very well for the Twins this year. They’re expected to be some of the future stars of the Twins. If they continue to play like they did this year, then I have no doubt that they will someday lead the Twins. Vargas’ signature is on the left, and Santana’s is on the right: IMG_20140916_175025_561

Pretty, aren’t they? Those were nice additions to my autograph collection. I was back to snagging baseballs by 6:00, but the Tigers left the field soon after. At this point the stadium was practically empty: IMG_20140916_182237_494

I spent the majority of the game in the right field plaza with Waldo. Waldo has grown on me this year and I have come to enjoy his company during Twins games. Kennys Vargas got the ball rolling for the Twins in the fourth inning by hitting his first career triple. Later in the inning, Kurt Suzuki hit an RBI single to left field. The score remained 1-0 until Kennys Vargas hit a solo home run to right field in the sixth inning. Waldo and I each tracked the homerun, but it didn’t have enough distance to reach us on the plaza. Ricky Nolasco, for once, was pitching a phenomenal game.  He threw 109 pitches in eight innings, struck out five guys, and he only allowed five hits and one walk.  Glen Perkins, for once, pitched poorly. He gave up a double to Torii Hunter, a single to Miguel Cabrera, and a home run to J.D. Martinez. Curious about how this one ended? Watch the video!

I simply could not believe what happened. With the help of Plouffe, Bernier, Herrmann, Suzuki, Nunez and Hicks, the Twins were able to come away with the walk off victory. Wow. Of the seven Twins games I’ve been to this year, this was the sixth win and the second walk off victory. Go Twins! When the game ended, I got this gem from Umpire Cory Blaser:

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That was a real pearl. On my way out of Target Field I grabbed a bag of pistachios, courtesy of Wonderful. See all the pistachio boxes?:

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It reminded me of the All Star Game when I was given a box of cheez-its. This was the final haul of the day: IMG_20140918_244245_188

I found a few All Star items on the way out of the ballpark. Just a note: The ball that Vargas signed was from 9/11/13 when the A’s were in town. It was my 99th baseball snagged. More blog entries are on their way!