Tagged: Miller Park

White Sox vs. Twins @ Target Field (09-03-14)

After being away from Target Field for nearly two months, it was nice to finally be back. I didn’t get up to Target Field at all during the month of August because I was busy visiting Wrigley Field, Miller Park and Kauffmann Stadium. I also got a new job in August so I was also focused on that. Fun Fact: By going to this Twins game I had now gone to a game at four different MLB stadiums within the last two weeks.

Within seconds of running into the stadium, I was on the board. Ball number one was courtesy of Oswaldo Arcia:

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It had never felt so good to get a baseball. After three road games in a row without a baseball, it was nice to be back in the comfort of my home ballpark. Thanks Oswaldo!

It wasn’t too long until the White Sox took the field, and batting practice was in full swing. Haha, Get it?

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Brownie Points… In the previous picture, Where’s Waldo? The White Sox were hitting a few home runs during batting practice, but for the most part it was another slow batting practice. The White Sox had to finish up a bit early today because the grounds crew had orders to deploy the tarp:

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Luckily for me, that didn’t stop me from getting another baseball. After peering into both bullpens I realized that there was only one ball that made it into the bullpens during batting practice. See it in the bottom left corner?:

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This unidentified White Sox (bullpen?) catcher tossed it up to me upon my request:

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If anyone has a clue to who he is, please let me know! The rain clouds ended up passing by without unleashing fury on Minneapolis. The pregame ceremonies continued according to schedule. When game time rolled around I took my nice seat. This was the scene right before first pitch:

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Trevor May got the start for Minnesota while John Danks took the hill for the White Sox. I thought it was kind of ironic (for the lack of their of) that there were two lesser known pitchers with losing records who were battling off against each other.

The Twins got the ball rolling by scoring three early runs in the first inning. That was due to Nunez’s RBI triple, Mauer’s RBI single, and Arcia’s RBI double. Lots of early offense!

The game was delayed for 16 minutes in the bottom of the fifth inning due to rain. There was a very short torrential downpour that only lasted a few minutes, but that was enough to scare thousands of fans out of the ballpark. Target Field was much emptier when the game resumed:

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Lets fast forward to the bottom of the 8th inning, where Minnesota is now leading 10,4. Doug Bernier got hit by a pitch on a 1-2 count and he was awarded first base. My favorite BB then departed from the Twins dugout in a reconnaissance mission to retrieve the ball. Once the target was acquired, he tossed it over to me:

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The Twins tacked on an extra run in the eighth inning to lead 11 to 4. When the game ended I got my fourth and final ball of the night from Umpire Phil Cuzzi:

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Here’s the recap from extremely offensive game:

Each of the four baseballs I got were in good shape:

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This was a great game. I snagged four baseballs, Trevor May earned his first MLB Win, and the Twins had a stellar night at the plate. The Twins have now won five of the six games I’ve been to this year.

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Giants vs. Cubs @ Wrigley Field (08-21-14)

Tuesday’s game, on August 19th, had been suspended because of rain. The Cub’s grounds crew struggled with the tarp after a short rainstorm, and it resulted in a delay that lasted more than 4 1/2 hours. The umpires said the field couldn’t be played on, and the game was called at 1:16 in the morning. The Giants protested their loss, and Major League Baseball ruled that because the tarp had not been properly used the night before, the remaining 4 1/2 innings of the game would resume on Thursday afternoon (before today’s game). With admission to Thursday’s game, you could also watch the rest of Tuesday’s game.

Today’s forecast called for more rain to begin around 1:00. I was desperately hoping the rain would hold off because rain was not included in my thoughts of the ideal first trip to Wrigley. I met Shawn Bosman at Miller Park at 9:00, and then we carpooled to Chicago for the Cubs game. After a few hours of driving we arrived at Wrigley Field:

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We arrived just before noon, so we had a lot of time to kill before the gates would open at 4:00. We used a good portion of this time to play catch along the sidewalk:

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Because this was my first time at Wrigley Field we also took a few laps around the exterior of the building so that I could get some photographs of it. We started in left field and made our way to home plate:

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This was the view out in front of Wrigley:

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From there we made a pit stop at the nearby McDonalds. There Shawn recognized and pointed out that Chris Distefano was also there. Chris Distefano stars in MTV and MTV2’s TV shows Guy Code and Girl Code. Chris also co-hosts the MSG TV show The Bracket. He is most known by baseball fans for his role in MLB Fan Cave’s “Off The Bat” on MTV2. Chris was awesome and stopped to talk for a few minutes. This was also Chris’ first time at Wrigley Field. Before departing he was nice enough to take a picture:

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Shortly after this it began to rain. Shawn and I weren’t bothered by this, though, we continued to play catch on the streets outside Wrigley. After a while of catch, we took a peek inside Wrigley and confirmed that there would not be batting practice today:

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Regardless of the status of batting practice, wasn’t the stadium beautiful? When the gates opened we headed straight to center field and began taking pictures. Looking to home plate:

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The view to my left:

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The view to my right:

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After exploring the outfield seating, I made my way through the concourse:

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This was the view when I reached home plate:

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Up to this point it had been raining lightly on and off, but by the time I met up with Shawn again in the outfield bleachers it had begun to rain a lot harder. The rain triggered the grounds crew to bring out the tarp:

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The scattered showers stopped and were replaced by a storm system that would take a few hours to pass through Chicago. Shawn and I left the bleachers for a much dryer spot under the over hang in foul territory down the left field line. It was the perfect time for a photo of the newest addition to the collection:

 

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That’s right, it was a commemorative Wrigley ball! BUT instead of belonging to me, it belonged to Shawn:

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When the rain finally stopped, the grounds crew went to work preparing the field for the games to follow:

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After a 4 1/2 hour rain delay on Tuesday, and an additional delay of 1 hour and 57 minutes today, the Cubs and Giants played the final 4½ innings of Tuesday night’s game. The suspended game resumed with the cubs batting in the bottom of the 5th inning, leading 2-0. San Francisco’s Yesmeiro Petit (3-3, 3.89) and Chicago’s Jacob Turner (4-7, 5.80) took the mound for the remainder of Tuesday night’s game. This was my view when Tuesday night’s game resumed:

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As you could see from the picture above, there was almost no one there. I would’ve sat behind one of the dugouts, but for some reason the ushers were very strict and wouldn’t allow it without possession of a ticket for those sections. The Giants put up one run in the 6th inning, but the Cubs held them off for the rest of the game. The final score was 2-1, Cubs. The official game time was 2 hours, 50 minutes, but including rain delays the game lasted for 9 hours, 21 minutes.

Here’s the recap from this strange baseball game:

The Giant’s Madison Bumgarner (13-9, 3.14) and Cub’s LHP Travis Wood (7-10, 4.86) took the mound to start Thursday’s regularly scheduled game (which ironically started an hour later than normal). I decided to watch it from the outfield bleachers:

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Cub’s RF Justin Ruggiano and Catcher Welington Castillo hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning. Ruggiano went deep to right field, and Castillo went deep to left field. Anybody want to guess who snagged Castillo’s long ball? Shawn did! Here he is being photographed with it by local ballhawk, Ballhawk Dave:

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This was one of the more entertaining baseball games that I have been to. The Giants scored again in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th innings. In the 7th or 8th inning I “upgraded” my seat. Here’s the view that I had for the remainder of the game.

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Here are the highlights from this offensively exciting game:

Wrigley Field is a dump, but I loved it. The one thing, in my opinion, that truly sets it apart from other stadiums today is the lack of technology. This isn’t a bad thing at all, though. I can honestly say that out of all the game I have ever been to, I paid the most attention at this one. At Wrigley you can’t look up at a giant scoreboard when you lose your spot in the game, you actually have to pay attention. The lack of technology “forces” fans to be more attentive. That, of course, will go by the wayside in 2015 with the installation of a new scoreboard in left field. Regardless, Wrigley will still be the best place to sit and watch a game of baseball.

The Magic Number (Black lights and baseballs)

It has taken me a week or so to put this entry together, but i’m very happy with how it all turned out. Last year I published “Now you see it, now you don’t“, so this is basically the second installment of that. Because of the preparation that goes into it, this is one of my favorite entries to put together. I spent more time preparing to write this entry than I did actually writing it.

I called this entry the “The Magic Number” because of the invisible number on each ball. I also thought it was neat because “The Magic Number” is a baseball term.

I snagged 73 baseballs in 2013, and I gave 9 of those away. Out of the remaining 64 baseballs, 30 of them had invisible ink on them. I photographed each ball and provided a link to the game it was from. I arranged the pictures in chronological order from the beginning of the 2013 season:

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4/1/13 @ Target Field – Tigers vs. Twins – Lifetime #46

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4/1/13 @ Target Field – Tigers vs. Twins – Lifetime #49

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4/1/13 @ Target Field – Tigers vs. Twins – Lifetime #50

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4/2/13 @ Miller Park – Rockies vs. Brewers – Lifetime #52

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4/3/13 @ Miller Park – Rockies vs. Brewers – Lifetime #54

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4/3/13 @ Miller Park – Rockies vs. Brewers – Lifetime #55

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4/3/13 @ Miller Park – Rockies vs. Brewers – Lifetime #56

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4/3/13 @ Miller Park – Rockies vs. Brewers – Lifetime #57

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4/16/13 @ Target Field – Angels vs. Twins – Lifetime #58

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4/16/13 @ Target Field – Angels vs. Twins – Lifetime #59

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5/29/13 @ Target Field – Brewers vs. Twins – Lifetime #64

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5/29/13 @ Target Field – Brewers vs. Twins – Lifetime #65

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6/28/13 @ Target Field – Royals vs. Twins – Lifetime #66

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6/28/13 @ Target Field – Royals vs. Twins – Lifetime #70

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6/29/13 @ Target Field – Royals vs. Twins – Lifetime #71

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6/29/13 @ Target Field – Royals vs. Twins – Lifetime #72

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8/3/13 @ Target Field – Astros vs. Twins – Lifetime #82

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8/15/13 @ Miller Park – Reds vs. Brewers – Lifetime #84

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9/11/13 @ Target Field – A’s vs. Twins – Lifetime #94

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9/11/13 @ Target Field – A’s vs. Twins – Lifetime #97

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9/11/13 @ Target Field – A’s vs. Twins – Lifetime #98

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9/11/13 @ Target Field – A’s vs. Twins – Lifetime #99

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9/11/13 @ Target Field – A’s vs. Twins – Lifetime #100

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9/11/13 @ Target Field – A’s vs. Twins – Lifetime #102

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9/27/13 @ Target Field – Indians vs. Twins – Lifetime #105

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9/27/13 @ Target Field – Indians vs. Twins – Lifetime #111

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9/27/13 @ Target Field – Indians vs. Twins – Lifetime #112

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9/28/13 @ Target Field – Indians vs. Twins – Lifetime #116

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9/28/13 @ Target Field – Indians vs. Twins – Lifetime #117

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This year when I went to TwinsFest I wanted to get a ball signed. Since I thought most of mine were to dirty, I stopped at Target to buy one. It doesn’t count in my collection, but it does have invisible ink on it.

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Baseball signed by Miguel Sano.

That was all 30 (31 if you count the last ball) of them! I’m glad I could capture all these images on camera.

Photographic Highlights of the 2013 Baseball Season

The last baseball season was filled with many highlights; so many that I wouldn’t be able to name all of them if I tried. It wasn’t ever a goal of mine to capture the highlights of the season on camera, but the thought has crossed my mind for next season. I did a decent job of unintentionally capturing SOME of the highlights of this year, but I would like to take it a few steps further in 2014. Obviously there is no way to capture every highlight on camera, so I’m going to take a different approach.

Since I’m a big fan of artsy photography, I plan to explore that more in 2014 to produce more of my own artsy photos. My goal is that next year’s installment is less of a “Photographic Highlights Review” and more of a collection of Quality Photos that I will have taken. Because photography has a lot to do with perception, I am going to pay more attention to how I look at detail. Not every photo will look glorious or majestic, but I am going to focus on capturing the excitement (or whatever feeling it may be) of my surroundings to make sure I take more artsy (and meaningful) photos.

You might be wondering why I told you all of that. Well, this entry is my guinea pig. Next year I want to be able to look back at this entry so I can make the next installment better than this one. For now, though, here is the 2013 Photographic Highlights Review. The pictures are in chronological order (the numbers don’t mean anything, they’re just a reference point).

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1. In The Beginning… #1 of 2013 – 4/1/13

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2. Game 1 / Section 1 – 4/1/13

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3. The Dynamic Duo – 4/1/13

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4. Its Miller Time – 4/2/13

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5. Father/Son Moments – 4/2/13

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6. Friday’s Front Row Grill – Rickie Weeks BP Homer. – 4/3/13

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7. Pretty Artsy, Right? – 4/3/13

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8. Gonzalez x2 – 4/3/13

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9. You. Are. So. Jealous. – 4/16/13

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10. Camera Tricks – 4/16/13

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11. Free Tickets – 4/16/13

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12. Cloudy With a Chance of…? – 5/29/13

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13. The Legends Club – 5/29/13

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14. A Night to Remember: Pregame ball, Brian Dozier’s Foul Ball, Aramis Ramirez’s Rule Double. – 5/29/13

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15. Royals – Lorde. – 6/28/13

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16. Snazzy Panorama. – 6/29/13

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17. Thrown by Umpire Ronald Kulpa at the Royals Dugout, but Photographed in Center Field. – 6/29/13

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18. The Final Stretch… – 7/3/13

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19. Darn Yankees. – 7/3/13

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20. Beautiful Sun Set. – 7/3/13

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21. The Stars and Stripes. – 7/3/13

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22. Happy Forth of July! – 7/4/13

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23. Caleb Thielbar Signed my Hat! – 7/4/13

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24. Adam Warren signing my ticket! – 7/4/13

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25. Preston Claiborne Signing my Ticket and Hat! – 7/4/13

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26. Chris Stewart signed my Ticket! – 7/4/13

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27. Jamey Carroll Signed my Ticket! – 7/4/13

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28. Fun Forth of July! Many Lively & Vibrant Colors! – 7/4/13

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29. Strike Three! – 7/31/13

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30. The Pitch is Swung on… – 7/31/13

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31. 2014 All-Star Game Baseball – 7/31/13

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32. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Houston Astros. – 8/2/13

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33. Courtesy of Matt Dominguez. – 8/2/13

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34. Josh Willingham Batting Practice Home Run. – 8/3/13

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35. Onlookers. – 8/3/13

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36. Approaching Miller Park. – 8/15/13

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37. Miller Park Panorama. – 8/15/13

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38. It’s Glowing! – 8/17/13

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39. Products of a fun night with Shawn Bosman and Tony Voda. – 8/27/13

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40. The Three M’s: Me, Matt, and Mateo – 9/9/13

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41. Looking Our Finest. – 9/11/13

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42. Lifetime Ball #100. Thank you Pat Neshek! – 9/11/13

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43. No, We Weren’t Posing… – 9/11/13

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44. T.C. Didn’t Like my Athletics Shirt. – 9/11/13

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45. My First Double Digit Game. – 9/11/13

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46. The Beginning of the End: Our second last game of the 2013. – 9/27/13

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47. Justin Masterson is a Class Act. – 9/27/13

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48. I Ran to Claim this Oswaldo Arcia Autographed Baseball – 9/27/13

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49. Scott Diamond Autographed Baseball. – 9/27/13

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50. Turkeys in Minneapolis? – 9/28/13

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51. In The Pouring Rain – Taylor Swift – 9/28/13

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52. Baseball Signed by Paul Molitor! – 9/28/13

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53. Baseball Signed by Corey Koskie! – 9/28/13

Some of the pictures have shown up in earlier entries, but there were a few new pictures in this entry that made their debut on A Piece of The Game. Which were your favorites?

If you have any ideas that you think could contribute to next year’s idea, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments. I appreciate any ideas!Thank you for taking a look at my guinea pig! It will have come a long ways by this time next year.

The Extraordinary Compilation of my 2013 Ballhawking Statistics

There are certain people, such as myself and many other sports fans, who are absolutely fascinated by stats. Not everyone enjoys stats though, so feel free to stop reading if you lose interest. As nerdy as this may sound, I love stats. I don’t know how many other people could say they like making and compiling new stats for this type of annual entry. Most of these stats are self-explanatory, but if any puzzle you please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Also, if you’re into stats feel free to leave a comment with any other stats you would like me to explore.

Game Log

While there are many programs out there that keep track of stats, I prefer using Microsoft Excel. Following each game I attend, I enter all sorts of info about the game. My ‘Game Log’ is just one of four different spreadsheets that I have for ballhawking. Here is a screenshot of my 2013 Game Log (click the picture to enlarge):

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Once the information is entered, I can filter certain columns and rows to produce stats. For example, lets say I wanted to find out how many games I saw the Twins win this year. I can find that out by filtering the winning team. That’s literally all  there is to it.

If you want to produce more complex stats you can filter multiple categories at once. If you want to find out the average temperature when the Twins win in September you would have to filter out the date and the winning team, and then find the average of the temperatures.

Are you still with me? That was my little schpeel about the data, here are the stats…

Season Summary

Overall:

  • Total Baseballs: 73
  • Games Attended: 19
  • Average Balls/Game: 3.84
  • Game Balls: 2
  • Most Ball at one Game: 10

Target Field Summary:

  • Total Baseballs: 63
  • Games Attended: 15
  • Average Balls/Game: 4.2
  • Game Balls: 2
  • Most Ball at one Game: 10

Miller Park Summary:

  • Total Baseballs: 10
  • Games Attended: 4
  • Average Balls/Game: 2.5
  • Game Balls: 0
  • Most Ball at one Game: 4

Statistical Breakdown (More In-Depth)

Overall:

Total Balls: 73

Gained Via:

  • Hit Balls: 11
  • Thrown Balls: 51
  • Employee Balls: 11

Time Frame:

  • BP/Pre-game: 56 Balls
  • During Game: 7 Balls
  • Post-Game: 10 Balls

Number of baseballs from American/League teams:

  • American League Balls: 58
  • National League Balls: 10
  • Umpire Balls: 5

Number of Baseballs/Team:

  • A’s: 7 Balls
  • Angels: 9 Balls
  • Astros: 4 Balls
  • Brewers: 3 Balls
  • Indians: 6 Balls
  • Reds: 3 Balls
  • Rockies: 4 Balls
  • Royals: 4 Balls
  • Tigers: 2 Balls
  • Twins: 25 Balls
  • Umpires: 5 Balls
  • Yankees: 1 Ball

Number of Baseballs/Player:

  • 5 Balls: Twins Employee, Twins Rep
  • 4 Balls: N/A
  • 3 Balls: Mario (Dugout Attendant), Unknown Angels Player, Unknown A’s Player,
  • 2 Balls: Billy Hatcher (Coach), Jerome Williams, Josh Willingham, Nate Dammann, Steve Soliz (Coach) and Umpire Tony Randazzo.
  • 1 Ball: Al Alburquerque, Ariel Prieto, Armando Camacaro (Coach), Ben Richardson, Billy Butler, Brayan Villarreal, Brian Dozier, Casey Chavez, Doug Brocail (Coach), J.C. Gutierrez, James Shields , Jared Weaver, Jim Wright (Coach), Jordan Lyles, Josh Roenicke, Kelly Shoppach, Khris Davis, Larry Rothschild, Lee Tunnell (Coach), Liam Hendriks, Mat Latos, Matt Dominguez, Mike Trout, Oswaldo Arcia, Pat Neshek, Pedro Florimon, Rick Matthews (Coach), Rickie Weeks, Ryan Raburn, Shairon Martis, Twins Security Guard, Tye Waller, Ubaldo Jimenez, Umpire James Hoye, Umpire Jim Joyce, Umpire Ronald Kulpa, Unknown Astros Player, Unknown Rockies (front office), Unknown Rockies (trainer), Vinnie Pestano, Wade Davis, Wilkin Ramirez.

Target Field Breakdown:

Total Balls: 63

Gained Via:

  • Hit Balls: 10
  • Thrown Balls: 42
  • Employee Balls: 11

Time Frame:

  • BP/Pre-game: 48 Balls
  • During Game: 7 Balls
  • Post-Game: 8 Balls

Miller Park Breakdown:

Total Balls: 10

Gained Via:

  • Hit Balls: 1
  • Thrown Balls: 9
  • Employee Balls: 0

Time Frame:

  • BP/Pre-game: 8 Balls
  • During Game: 0 Balls
  • Post-Game: 2 Balls

Snag Tracker

Snag Tracker is courtesy of Mygameballs.com . Go check out the website if you have not already!

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Snag Tracker is a very simple way of showing the quantity of baseballs snagged in each part of the stadium.

Streaks

Consecutive Games:

  • 29 consecutive games with at least 1 ball     (record is 29)
  • 6 consecutive games with at least 2 balls     (record is 17)
  • 4 consecutive games with at least 3 balls     (record is 11)
  • 4 consecutive games with at least 4 balls     (record is 4)
  • 4 consecutive games with at least 5 balls     (record is 4)
  • 0 consecutive games with at least 6 balls     (record is 2)
  • 0 consecutive games with at least 7 balls     (record is 2)
  • 0 consecutive games with at least 8 balls     (record is 2)
  • 0 consecutive games with at least 9 balls     (record is 2)\

*Note: The consecutive game streaks are current, not necessarily from 2013*

Chronological Statistics

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These charts help me predict when I could have the most and least success ballhawking. Theoretically, if I were to look at these charts I would be able to CORRECTLY predict how many baseballs I would hawk depending on what day it is. In a perfect statistical world, I would have the most success ballhawking on a Friday in September. This is because my highest daily average is on Friday (5.66 BPG) and my highest monthly average is in September (7.25 BPG). To counter that, I would have the least success on a Thursday (1 BPG) in July (1 BPG).

Chronologically recording statistics has always been the most fun for me, but no matter how much I like chronological stats, I won’t use them to predict how many baseballs I could catch at my next baseball game. There are a few reasons why these charts will not always be right. First off, we don’t live in a perfect statistical world. No matter how consistent stats can be, there will eventually be a discrepancy or oddity (in ballhawking this could mean getting shutout at a game). Plus, there are so many other factors that contrite to ballhawking other than which day it is. The number of variables is unlimited.

Statistics become more accurate as more data is entered. Because my data is limited to 19 games it is a lot like a player’s batting average at the beginning of a new season. As more games are played (in my case, attended) it becomes easier to determine (predict) the true averages. Regardless of whether these charts are helpful or not, I still enjoy compiling these stats. I like the idea of being able to predict which games will or won’t be good for ballhawking.

Wins vs. Losses

(These stats only reflect the games I attended)

Home Team Record: (7-12)

Total Score: 106-70, Visitors W, Home L

Average Score when home team…

  • Wins: 2.71 – 5.14
  • Loses: 7.25 – 2.83

Total number of baseballs collected when home team…

  • Wins: 25 Balls
  • Loses: 48 Balls

Average baseballs/game when the home team…

  • Wins: 3.57 Balls
  • Loses: 4 Balls

Minnesota Twins Record: (6-9)

Total Score: 89-60, Visitors W, Twins L

Average score when the Twins…

  • Win: 3.17 – 5.67
  • Lose: 7.78 – 2.89

Total number of baseballs collected when the Twins…

  • Win: 23 Balls
  • Lose: 40 Balls

Average baseballs/game when the Twins…

  • Win: 2.56 Balls
  • Lose: 4.44 Balls

Milwaukee Brewers Record: (1-4)

Total Score: 21-11, Visitors W, Brewers L

Average score when the Brewers…

  • Win: 0-2
  • Lose: 4.5 – 3

Total number of baseballs collected when the Brewers…

  • Win: 2 Balls
  • Lose: 11 Balls

Average baseballs/game when the Brewers…

  • Win: 2 Balls
  • Lose: 2.75 Balls

Attendance Figures

(These stats only reflect the games I attended)

Home Team:

Total Attendance: 588,475

Average Attendance/Game:

  • Overall: 30,920
  • Day Games: 35,665
  • Night Games: 30,093

Average attendance when the home team…

  • Wins: 31,303
  • Loses: 30,779

Minnesota Twins:

Total Attendance: 464,834

Average Attendance/Game: 30,989

Average Attendance when the Twins…

  • Win: 30,346
  • Lose: 31,418

Milwaukee Brewers:

Total Attendance: 155,000

Average Attendance/Game: 31,000

Average tttendance when the Brewers…

  • Win: 37,046
  • Lose: 29,489

Baseballs by Attendance:

Total Baseballs when attendance is…

  • 20,000-29,999: 43 Balls
  • 30,000-39,999: 30 Balls

Average Balls/Game when attendance is…

  • 20,000-29,999: 5.38 Balls
  • 30,000-39,999: 2.72 Balls

Temperature

(These stats only reflect the games I attended)

Average attendance when the temperature is…

  • 30-39 degrees: 38,282
  • 40-49 degrees: 23,299
  • 50-59 degrees: 30,452
  • 60-69 degrees: N/A
  • 70-79 degrees: 34,141
  • 80-89 degrees: 31,620
  • 90-99 degrees: 24,416

Average baseballs/game when the temperature is…

  • 30-39 degrees: 6 Balls
  • 40-49 degrees: 5 Balls
  • 50-59 degrees: 5 Balls
  • 60-69 degrees: N/A
  • 70-79 degrees: 3 Balls
  • 80-89 degrees: 4.4 Balls
  • 90-99 degrees: 3.8 Balls
  • Indoor: 3.5 Balls

Day vs. Night Games

(These stats only reflect the games I attended)

Home Team Record:

  • Overall: (7-12)
  • Day Games: (0-3)
  • Night Games: (7-9)

Total Runs Scored (Both Teams):

  • Overall: 176 Runs
  • Day Games: 26 Runs
  • Night Games: 150 Runs

Total Attendance:

  • Overall: 588,475
  • Day Games: 106,994
  • Night Games: 481,481

Total Baseballs:

  • Day Games: 12 Balls
  • Night Games: 61 Balls

Autographs

Number of Autographs/Player:

  • 2 Autographs: Preston Claiborne
  • 1 Autograph:   Mark the Beer Guy, Caleb Thielbar, Adam Warren, Chris Stewart, Jamey Carroll, Chris Herrmann, Justin Masterson, Josh Roenicke, Shairon Martis, Oswaldo Arcia, Scott Diamond, Liam Hendricks, Paul Molitor, and Corey Koskie.

Miscellaneous Fun Stats

(These stats only reflect the games I attended)

Length of a Game (time from the first to the last pitch, not including delays):

Total Game Time: 61 hours & 9 minutes

Average Time/Game: 3 Hours & 19 minutes

Most Eaten Ballpark Food:

Hotdogs on $1 Hot Dog Day (Total All Season): 9

Brats: 2

Cheese Burgers with Fries: 6

Chicken Strip and Fries Boats: 2

Nacho helmets (team helmet bowl): 2

Steak burgers: 2

Cheese Burger: 1

Frozen Cup of Strawberry Ice: 1

Frozen Cup of Lemonade Ice: 1

Nacho Boat: 1

Package of Peanuts: 1

Means of Transportation when traveling to a Major League Baseball Game:

Most Used Vehicles:

  • 7 Games: 2006 Chevy Aveo: 07-31-13, 08-02-13, 8-27-13, 09-09-13, 09-11-13, 09-27-13, 09-28-13
  • 6 Games: 2005 Pontiac Montana:  04-02-13, 04-03-13, 05-29-13, 06-28-13, 06-29-13, 08-15-13
  • 2 Games: 2011 Honda Odyssey:     07-03-13, 07-04-13
    • 1 Game:
    • 2003 Chevy Cavalier:       04-01-13
    • 2005 Chevy PT Cruiser:  04-16-13
    • 2001 Dodge Neon:           08-03-13
    • 2005 Chevy Impala  &  2008 Chevy Malibu:     08-17-13

Public Transportation:

  • 11 Games:           Hiawatha Metro Blue Line (I drove to MOA or Fort Snelling and rode the line from there to Target Field).

Stadium Parking:

  • 6 Games:             Parked in parking garage or parking lot next to Stadium

No Shave November:

In Honor of ‘No Shave November’ I put together this list of all the players/coaches/umpires who had facial hair when I caught a baseball from them during the 2013 MLB season:

Al Alburquerque, Ariel Prieto, Ben Richardson, Billy Butler, Doug Brocail (Coach), James Shields , Jared Weaver, Jerome Williams, Jim Wright (Coach), Josh Roenicke, Josh Willingham, Kelly Shoppach, Lee Tunnell (Coach), Liam Hendriks, Nate Dammann, Pat Neshek, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Raburn, Shairon Martis, Steve Soliz (Coach), Twins Security Guard, Tye Waller, Umpire Jim Joyce, Wade Davis, and Wilkin Ramirez.

List of Firsts

(Credit for this list goes to Tony Voda! I loved this list so much that I had to make my own. Awesome idea!)

Review/Assessment of my 2013 Ballhawking Goals:

2013 Ballhawking Goals:

  1. Attend 15 MLB games.
    • Yes, I attended 19 games.
  2. Attend 1 MLB game outside of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri.
    • No, Although I did attend games in Minnesota and Wisconsin, I did not in Missouri or any other states (or provinces).
  3. Have an average of at least 4.5 baseballs per game.
    • No, I averaged 3.84 baseballs per game.
  4. Snag 60 baseballs.
    • Yes, I snagged 73 baseballs.
  5. Snag each type of 2013 commemorative baseball
    • No, I snagged 2 Opening Day commemoratives, but didn’t snag a Mothers Day, Rockies’ or Astros’ commemorative ball.
  6. Have a hit : thrown ball ratio of at least 2:10.
    • Yes, this season’s hit : thrown ball ratio is 1 : 5.63
  7. Get 10 autographs at games.
    • Yes, I got 15 (16 if you include the beer vendor)
  8. Meet many more people from ballhawking and blogging.
    • Yes, I met a lot of people through at Target Field and through blogging.
  9. Finish in the top 3 for the MyGameBalls.com Junior Ballhawk of the Year Award.
    • Yes, I finished 3rd.
  10. Finish in the top 50 in the MLBlogs Latest Leaders.
    • Undetermined. I have been in the monthly top 50 list multiple times this year, but I will have to wait until January to see where I ranked on the list for the year.

I would definitely say that the last season of ballhawking was a huge success. I improved in almost every area, reached 6 (possibly 7) goals for this year, added 73 baseballs and 15 autographs to my collection, and finished in the top 3 for the Junior Ballhawk of the Year Award. But you know what? It doesn’t matter how many goals I reach, how many stats I have to compare, or where I rank among other ballhawks because none of those are reasons why I ballhawk. I Ballhawk because I get to do something I love. It is entertaining and enjoyable to catch baseballs at the ballpark and then watch a game afterwards (Heck, I watched 61 hours and 9 minutes of baseball this year alone), but it is tremendously more exciting when you have some great people to share the moments with. There are certainly many people who this applies to, but Tony Voda, Mateo Fisher and Shawn Bosman are the biggest names that come to my mind. Thank you guys for all the great moments this year, you’re a huge ingredient to successful ballhawking!

Give yourself a self deserving pat on the back if you’re still with me at this point. At the beginning you probably thought, “Oh, how bad could it be?”. Well, now you know! Kudos to you and thank you for sticking around for the whole entry! I don’t know what I would’ve done in your shoes!

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08-17-13 @ Miller Park – Reds vs. Brewers

Going to this game was kind of a last minute decision, but that didn’t stop my Uncle Jason and I from going to the game. This was a Saturday night game so the gates were scheduled to open at 4:10. We had to make a few stops on the way to the ballpark, so we got slowed down a little bit. We parked for FREE, and then walked a few blocks to Miller Park. Here was the view from about the half way point:

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As we got closer, Miller Park seemed to be glowing:

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We didn’t get inside until 5:45, but I was just glad that the Reds were still taking batting practice:

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I was only expecting to see 15 minutes of batting practice before the Reds would jog off the field, but for some reason they kept taking batting practice until almost 6:30. Jason and I went to the Left Field Loge, but didn’t come close to any homers because all the power hitters had already taken their cuts. At the end of batting practice I was one of the four or five people to get a ball from Billy Hatcher at the Reds dugout. I was thrilled to be on the board after such a brief viewing of batting practice. In the next picture Billy is walking into the dugout:

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The game was quickly paced, and seemed to fly by in no time. The first exciting thing that happened in the game was when Logan Schafer doubled to right field in the fourth inning. Both Khris Davis and Scooter Gennett scored off of Logan’s double. The only really exciting play from the game was when the Reds loaded the bases in the top of the 7th inning with one out. The Brewers were able to enduce a ground ball and picked up the double play to end the inning without allowing any runs!

Jason and I weren’t the only family members at the game. Another of my uncles, Kevin, and his son Elijah were also at the game (We also went to a Brewers game together last year on 06-18-12). In the 9th inning Elijah and I waited near the Reds dugout for the game to end. After the game ended Billy Hatcher rolled two balls across the dugout. I got the first one, and a middle aged guy got the second. I immediately turned to the kid next to me and offered him the ball, but he declined since the middle aged guy was his dad. The Kid appreciated it though. Then out of nowhere, it seemed, the Reds ball boy threw a ball to Elijah too. That’s a great end to the night!

Here is the box score, scoring summary, and game information:

box box score

A Piece of The Game MVP:

Billy Hatcher: There were no other nominees. Seriously though, its not everyday you get 2 balls from the same person in one game. Thanks!

Player of the Game:

Logan Schafer: His double gave the Brewers both their runs for the game. He came through big time!

Here’s my final haul from the day:

IMG_20130824_144610_566b

  • 2 balls in this game
  • 42 balls in 14 games this season = Avg. 3.0 balls per game
  • 6 consecutive games @ Miller Park with at least 1 ball
  • 24 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
  • Gotten at least 1 ball from 15 different teams
  • 86 total balls

8-15-13 @ Miller Park – Reds vs. Brewers

I was planning on meeting Shawn Bosman at TGIs around 4:30, but didn’t show up until almost quarter after 5 due to trouble with printing my tickets. It’s a very long and unexciting story that I wont get into. Oh well, I still made it to Miller Park in plenty of time (Thank you, Dad!).

IMG_20130815_170959_534

Did I mention Shawn? Yes, before the gates opened I caught up with Shawn and also met his mother Sue. I was happy to hear that they would be visiting Target Field on August 27th when the Royals play the Twins at Target Field. Tony and I rarely get visitors at Target Field… (Mateo, if you’re reading this, when are you coming back?) so naturally I was instantly eager for this game.

Once the gates opened I headed to foul territory in left field. If I got a toss up right away then I would join Shawn in the Loge for the rest of batting practice. I wanted to be sure to get on the board. Mat Latos was shagging balls in left field and throwing almost every ball into the crowd, but he didn’t throw any my way.As batting practice went on, I didn’t think I would get a ball. Towards the end of batting practice someone hit a ball to left field and it went through here:

IMG_20130815_180640_748

The employee on the left was kind enough to throw the ball to me, but it didn’t help that he couldn’t aim (Thanks for trying pal). It’s the though that counts, right? Mat Latos watched the whole thing happen, but he just retrieved the ball and tossed it back to the infield. A few minutes later another ball was hit into the open gate on the field level, but this time the employee threw the ball to Mat Latos, who relayed the throw to me!

IMG_20130815_180940_548

In the previous picture Latos has his back turned towards the camera. It may have taken almost all of batting practice, but I was on the board! At the end of batting practice I moved here:

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As the players were coming off the field a Reds player (with a cool beard) threw a ball to me, but an autograph collector put his hands up in front of my glove and stole my ball. Bummer.

No one scored in the first inning, but the Brewers took the lead in the second inning when Khris Davis pounded a home run to the left field loge. 434 feet is a long ways. Khris Davis is one of the guys on the brewers who have stepped up and had a solid year so far. The Reds tied the game in the 5th inning Zack Cozart singled to center field, which allowed Devin Mesoraco to score on the play. In the top of the 6th inning I went to get some Nachos and didn’t get back until the 8th inning. All the lines were crowded because of the $10 vouchers. Thank you, Ryan Braun, for the free food. The insanely long lines combined with the concession staff’s slow pace really slowed things down a lot. This was the shortest line:

IMG_20130815_204421_841

I got the opportunity to spend 45 quality minutes in line, for some nachos. Was it worth it? haha, I’m really not sure!  I missed seeing Joey Votto’s home run to center field in the 6th inning. Votto’s homer put the Reds on top, 2-1 and it stayed that way the rest of the game. Following the game my dad and I headed out and called it a night. Besides the concession lines, It was a good night.

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The attendance was 36,076, but Miller Park looked a lot emptier than that. I think it seemed empty because 36,000 at Target Field is almost at full capacity where at Miller Park its only around 80%.

Here is the box score and scoring plays from the game:

scoring plays

A Piece of The Game MVP:

Mat Latos: Thanks for hooking me up with a ball today.

Player of the Game:

Tony Cingrani: He had a very solid outing of 6.1 innings while only allowing one run on four hits. Count them, he struck out NINE batters and only allowed one walk. He is, the Player of the Game.

Here’s my final haul from the day:

BALL

  • 1 ball in this game
  • 40 balls in 13 games this season = Avg. 3.07 balls per game
  • 5 consecutive games @ Miller Park with at least 1 ball
  • 23 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
  • Gotten at least 1 ball from 15 different teams
  • 84  total balls