Tagged: National League

The 2014 Extraordinary Compilation of Ballhawking Statistics

The 2014 baseball season was one that I won’t forget. To kick off the year I was able to attend a few Spring Training games in Florida. Amoung four games at Hammond Stadium and jetBlue Park, I caught 42 Baseballs and collected 10 autographs.

When the regular season rolled around I got off to a slow start. By the All-Star Break I had only collected 14 balls in five games (avg. of 2.8 per game). Speaking of the All-Star Break… What an experience!  If you missed out on my recaps then be sure to check out my entries from the Futures Game, Home Run Derby and of course, the All-Star Game. I snagged three commemorative Home Run Derby baseballs and collected a few other really cool souvenirs.

At the All-Star Game I literally witnessed history in the making. Mike Trout became only the third player to get multiple extra-base hits in an All-Star Game before turning 23. With his third inning single, Derek Jeter became only the sixth player in baseball history with 10 career singles in the All-Star Game. Jeter also became the oldest player with multiple hits in an All-Star Game. Yasiel Puig became only the second Dodgers player to strike out three times in an All-Star Game. Mike Trout also became the second player in ASG history to collect a triple, a double, and 2+ RBI in a single ASG. His booming performance helped earn him the ASG MVP.

After the All-Star Break I traveled to Wrigley Field for one game with Shawn Bosman and to Kauffman Stadium for two games with Mateo Fischer. Although this was my first time visiting Wrigley, I had visited Kauffman a few years back.

Heading into September I was averaging just 1.7 baseballs throughout 10 games, but thanks to a 39 ball month I was able to finish the year with an average of 3.29 balls in 17 games. The seven games that I attended during September are some of the most memorable games I’ve been to.

I saw the Twins win a lot this year. Not only did the Twins win nine of the 12 games I attended, but three of them were walk-off victories!

Game Log

This is a screen shot of my game log. I log each game with its date, start time, ballpark, teams, scores, attendance, temperature, wind, and balls collected. It’s not very visible now, but the photo will expand if you click on it.

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You might have noticed there are a few games that are in bold. If something is in bold then it means I didn’t count that game towards ballhawking. I have reasons for doing so, and I’d be more than happy to explain them if you’d like to know. All of my ballhawking stats reflect the games that aren’t in bold.

The Numbers

Number of Baseballs in 2014:

  • Total: 88
  • Spring Training: 32
  • Regular Season: 56
  • Post Season: N/A

Stats in this entry will reflect the Regular Season total of 56 baseballs.

Season Summary

Overall Season Summary:

  • Total Baseballs: 56
  • Games Attended: 17
  • Average Balls/Game: 3.29
  • Game Balls: 5
  • Most Ball in one Game: 9

Statistical Breakdown

Number of Baseballs by Month and Day:

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Number of Baseballs by Time Frame:

  • BP/Pre-game: 39
  • During Game: 10
  • Post-Game: 7

Number of Baseballs by Location:

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

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Number of Baseballs by Method:

  • Hit Balls: 12
  • Thrown Balls: 43
  • Easter Eggs: 1

Number of baseballs by League:

  • American League Balls: 48
  • National League Balls: 4
  • Umpire Balls: 4

Number of Baseballs by Team:

  • AL All-Stars: 2
  • Diamondbacks: 3
  • Indians: 3
  • NL All-Stars: 1
  • Rangers: 4
  • Royals: 1
  • Tigers: 1
  • Twins: 35
  • Umpires: 4
  • White Sox: 2

Number of Baseballs by Player:

  • 6 Balls: Dominique (BB)
  • 5 Balls: Twins Reps
  • 4 Balls: N/A
  • 3 Balls: Armando Camacaro (Coach), Oswaldo Arcia, Unknown Diamondbacks Players
  • 2 Balls: Ben Richardson (Bullpen Catcher), Chris Parmelee, Stadium Employees, Unknown Rangers Players, Unknown Twins Players
  • 1 Ball: Aaron Thompson, Anthony Swarzak, Brian Duensing, Casey Fien, Chris Herrmann, David Price, Eduardo Nunez, Josh Willingham, Kaz Uehara (Koji Uehara’s son), Kurt Suzuki, Kyle Gibson, Lester Oliveros, Lorenzo Cain, Phil Hughes, Ron Gardenhire, Trevor Plouffe, Tyson Ross, Umpire Brian Knight, Umpire Cory Blaser, Umpire Phil Cuzzi, Unknown Rangers Coach, Unknown Tigers Player, Unknown White Sox Bullpen Coach, Unknown White Sox Player

 Wins vs. Losses

(“Wins vs. Losses” accounts for 16/17 games that I attended in 2014. The Home Run Derby was excluded from “Wins vs. Losses” because the winner of the Derby is an individual player, not a team.)

Home Team Record: (10-6)

Total Score: Visitors – 53 to Home – 75

Average Score: Visitors – 3.5 to Home – 4.68

Average Score when home team…

  • Wins: 2.7 – 6.2
  • Loses: 4.33 – 2.16

Total number of baseballs collected when home team…

  • Wins: 36
  • Loses: 19

Average baseballs/game when the home team…

  • Wins: 3.6
  • Loses: 3.16

Minnesota Twins Record: (9-3)

Total Score: Visitors – 38 to Twins – 62

Average Score: Visitors – 3.17 to Twins – 5.17

Average score when the Twins…

  • Win: 2.67 – 6.33
  • Lose: 4.67 – 1.67

Total number of baseballs collected when the Twins…

  • Win: 34
  • Lose: 19

Average baseballs/game when the Twins…

  • Win: 3.78
  • Lose: 6.3

Attendance Figures

Total Attendance:

  • Target Field (14 Games): 400,553
  • Kauffman Stadium (2 Games): 74,098
  • Wrigley Field (1 Game): 30,541
  • Overall (17 Games): 505,192

Average Attendance:

  • Target Field (14 Games): 28,611
  • Kauffman Stadium (2 Games): 37,049
  • Wrigley Field (1 Game): 30,541
  • Overall (17 Games): 29,717

Total Baseballs by Attendance:

  • 20,000-29,999: 51
  • 30,000-39,999: 2
  • 40,000 – 49,999: 3

Average Baseballs/Game by Attendance:

  • 20,000-29,999: 5
  • 30,000-39,999: 0.4
  • 40,000 – 49,000: 1.5

Temperature

Average attendance by Temperature:

  • 30-39 degrees: N/A
  • 40-49 degrees: N/A
  • 50-59 degrees: N/A
  • 60-69 degrees: 25
  • 70-79 degrees: 30
  • 80-89 degrees: 1
  • 90-99 degrees: 0

Average baseballs/game by Temperature:

  • 30-39 degrees: N/A
  • 40-49 degrees: N/A
  • 50-59 degrees: N/A
  • 60-69 degrees: 3.57
  • 70-79 degrees: 4.29
  • 80-89 degrees: 0.5
  • 90-99 degrees: 0

Autographs

Number of Autographs/Player:

  • At Twins Caravan: 4
  • At TwinsFest: 1
  • At the Ballpark: 40

Aaron Thompson, Alex Meyer, Alex Presley (x2), Anthony Swarzak, Brian Duensing, Caleb Thielbar, Casey Fien, Christopher Acosta, Danny Santana, DiDi Gregorius, Ender Inciarte, Henry Ramos, Javier Guerra, Joe Paterson, Jordan Schafer, Jose Vinicio, Josmil Pinto, Kennys Vargas (x2), Kevin Correia, Kyle Gibson, Lester Oliveros (x2), Logan Darnell, Mark the Beer Guy (x2), Matthew Price, Miguel Sano, Mookie Betts, Paul Molitor (x2), Pedro Florimon, Reed Gragnini, Ryan Pressly, Tony Oliva, Trevor May, Trevor Plouffe, Trey Ball, Unknown Red Sox Player (x2), Vance Worley, Zack Walters (x2), and Zeke Spruill.

Time spent at the Ballpark

Length of a Game:

(This stat only accounts for the official game time. This does not include the time spent at batting practice or after the game. Also, does not include Home Run Derby because I was unable to determine the length of the Derby.)

  • Total Game Time: 51 hours & 16 minutes
  • Average Time/Game: 3 hours & 12 minutes

Means of Transportation:

Vehicles Used:

  • 10 Games: 2006 Chevy Aveo
  • 1 Game:
    • 2014 Chevy Malibu
    • Chevy Cavalier

Parking:

  • 12 Games: Parked somewhere else and rode the light rail to the stadium.
  • 5 Games: Parked in parking garage or parking lot next to Stadium.

So, not bad! I know some of these stats are random and useless, but most of them are relevant. I didn’t add any new types of statistics to this entry since last year but I did filter out some of the pointless stats that were in last years version. This year it was a bit more difficult to put this entry together because I caught less baseballs than last year. Hopefully I’ll catch a few more balls next year so I can add a bit more variety in next year’s stats entry!

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2014 All-Star Game @ Target Field (07-15-14)

Since I live an hour an a half away from Target Field it was extremely helpful that Mateo Fischer let me stay with him for the duration of the All-Star Break. Instead of driving home the night before, I was able to head back to Mateo’s apartment with him and Leiming.

The three of us left Mateo’s his place around noon and arrived in the Warehouse District after a short ride on the light rail. We spent a bit of time at the Pepsi Block Party and then we followed the All Star Path to the Convention Center for one last visit to FanFest. Along the way I was very tempted to stop for a game of bean bags:

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The roadways were all ready for the Red Carpet Show that would take place later today. The Show hadn’t started yet, but there were a number of MLB mascots who were throwing things into the crowd. Here’s Bernie Brewer, the mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers:

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Incase you’re wondering, the flower was from the Yoplait people at the Pepsi Block Party and the A’s garage parking helper came from Bernie Brewer. We saw many more mascots along the way, but none as nice as Bernie.

We did many things at FanFest that I had done two days earlier, but we did some new things as well. Just for the heck of it the three of us played “Fast Pitch Relief” (Step up to the pitcher’s mound and test your arm strength while trying to throw your fastest pitch), “FanFest Fielding Practice” (Self explanatory), and “Steal A Base” (Also self-explanatory). Then we got cake:

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The cake was good, but there was too much chocolate. As you can see from above, there were three layers of cake with chocolate frosting between, and then more frosting on top. It was difficult to finish, but free cake is still free cake.

For lunch we ate at Lotus Restaurant, a Vietnamese establishment, a few blocks away from the Convention Center. Here’s a street view of the building via google maps:

Photo from Google Maps

Photo from Google Maps.

I didn’t take any pictures at Lotus, but here are two pictures via Yelp:

Photo from Yelp

Photo from Yelp.

Photo from Yelp

Photo from Yelp.

I ordered the Beef Pho. If I remember right then it is soup that consists of beef, noodles, some veggies and a few other things. It was pretty good, but I’m not huge on Vietnamese food.

Chevy sponsored the All Star Game and gave free rides from FanFest to Target Field. Had we not found another way back to Target Field we would’ve gotten a complimentary ride via a new Chevy Impala:

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Instead, the three of us pilled in the back of a Yoplait yogurt bike cart. This was also complimentary, and it was a lot of fun!

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We were dropped off at the corner of the Pepsi Block Party right next to the Yoplait stand where we got yogurt a few hours before. We got to Target field around 3:45, only about 15 minutes before the gates opened. I had just enough time to circle the stadium to find the gate with the shortest line. Gate 3 was the answer to my question:

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My goal for today was to get a commemorative ball with a perfect logo. It didn’t matter to me if the ball was from the futures game, the derby or the ASG, I just wanted it to have an undamaged logo. Upon entering the stadium I quickly found a nice spot in the Powerball Pavilion, away from the larger crowds in foul territory. When David Price finished playing catch he hooked me up with a derby ball:
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I was thrilled to get another commemorative but I was disappointed in its condition. This logo was hardly visible. I was just worried that I wouldn’t get another chance because (1) the crowds were so large and (2) because I had limited space to work with because the ushers were checking tickets in every section. Speaking of ushers… immediately after the toss up from Price, I was asked to show my ticket for the Powerball Pavilion. Therefore, I was booted out of the section.

With my options running out I managed to find my way into the left field bleachers. I hoped to get a ball from the bullpen, but that didn’t pan out.

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No, my next ball wasn’t from the bullpen but instead it was a toss up from Padres’ All-Star Tyson Ross:

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YES!!! Finally a ball with a fantastic logo! Huge thank you to Tyson Ross. With my goal completed I waited out the last few minutes of batting practice. Following batting practice I was told that the Clydesdale would be making another appearance. Any guesses to what that meant for me?

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Let’s just say I ate very well at the All-Star Game. I didn’t keep it all for myself, though. I gave one to Leiming, and gave one to an usher who I’d made friends with over the past few years. It was sort of thank you for letting me in his section so often. Before leaving to get food I stuck around to watch the pregame festivities.

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I’ve seen a few flyovers at baseball games over the last few years, but this one was definitely the best so far:

flyover

There was still some time before the game was supposed to start so Leiming and I got some food. This is how crowded the concourse was:

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It was insane, there were people everywhere! At certain times it was so packed that no one could move and we all just stood in one place. It was like rush hour in Chicago! We ate our food in the standing room area behind home plate.

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We liked the view so much that this is where we spent the majority of the game. The game was spectacular! I’ve always been a fan of Derek Jeter, but I’ve never fawned over him like other fans do. However, seeing Jeter in his final All-Star game was something I will never forget. Jeter went 2-2 with a double and a run scored.

Here are some accomplishments that Derek Jeter had in this All-Star Game alone:

“With Derek Jeter’s 3rd-inning single, he becomes only the sixth player in baseball history with 10 career singles in the All-Star Game, trailing five Hall-of-Famers.” -ESPN

“Oldest player with multiple hits in an All-Star Game Derek Jeter (40, 2014), Carl Yastrzemski (39, 1979), Babe Ruth” -ESPN

Seeing Derek Jeter’s standing ovation has to be the coolest thing I’ve ever witnessed in person at a baseball game.

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Here are a few panoramic pictures I took throughout the night:

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The American League beat the National League 5-3. Glen Perkins, the hometown hero, picked up the clutch save for the American League. Here’s a recap via MLB on YouTube:

After the game Mateo, Leiming, Garrett and I all got together for a picture at the National League dugout.

postgame

We all had quite the day, and quite the All-Star experience throughout the last few days. This was potentially a once in a lifetime event, and I was thrilled to have been a part of it here in Minneapolis.

When we left there were bags of Cheez-Its being giving away outside of the stadium. Not expecting to get one, one of us joking said, “Can I have a box?” To our surprise they tossed each of us a box of Cheez-Its!

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That’s such a strange thing, isn’t it? We got some pretty funny looks from people as we carried our boxes of Cheez-Its down the sidewalk. Here is the final haul from the All-Star Break:

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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):

Capturel

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!

snag tracker

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

chronological stats

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!

DSCN0097

The Ideal Defense – The 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards

Every year since 1957 Rawlings has awarded the Gold Glove Award to the top fielder at each position. In 1957 there was only one award given per position, but beginning in 1958 separate awards were given for the American and National league positions. Over the last 57 years the award has been given out 999 times. But that number changed on October 29th. Yesterday night Rawlings announced the 2013 Gold Glove Award winners. Including the 18 recipients from 2013, there have now been 1017 Gold Glove winners.

I had some spare time so I decided to make a few depth charts. Here is the 2013 American League Gold Glove Depth Chart:

American League Gold Glove Depth Chart

Catcher – Salvador Perez (Kansas City Royals)

First Base – Eric Hosmer (Kansas City Royals)

Second Base – Dustin Pedroia (Boston Red Sox)

Short Stop – J.J. Hardy (Baltimore Orioles)

Third Base – Manny Machado (Baltimore Orioles)

Left Field – Alex Gordon (Kansas City Royals)

Center Field – Adam Jones (Baltimore Orioles)

Right Field – Shane Victorino (Boston Red Sox)

Pitcher – R.A. Dickey (Toronto Blue Jays)

The Orioles and Royals both had three Gold Glove Award winners this year; more than any other team in Major League Baseball. Defensively, the Orioles finished in first place while the Royals finished in 8th place among the other American League teams:

AL Defense

Now, lets take a look at the 2013 National League Gold Glove Depth Chart:

National League Gold Glove Depth Chart

Catcher – Yadier Molina (St. Louis Cardinals)

First Base – Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Second Base – Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati Reds)

Short Stop – Andrelton Simmons (Atlanta Braves)

Third Base – Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies)

Left Field – Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies)

Center Field – Carlos Gomez (Milwaukee Brewers)

Right Field – Gerardo Parra (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Pitcher – Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals)

Have you ever heard of a battery? I’m not talking about Duracell or Energizer, I’m talking about a baseball battery:

a

Since 1957 there have only been five Gold Glove batteries. Pitcher Jim Kaat and catcher Earl Battey did it in 1962, Rick Reuschel and Tony Pena in 1985, Bret Saberhagen and Bob Boone in 1989, Kenny Rogers and Ivan Rodriguez in 2000 and 2006, and Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina in 2009 and 2013. The reason I brought up Batteries in the first place was because Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina are a Gold Glove battery this year!

The Cardinals, Diamondbacks, and Rockies each had two Gold Glove Award winners this year. Defensively, the Diamondbacks and Cardinals finished 1st and 2nd, respectively. I assumed the Braves would be in the Top-5, but they took 7th place on the list of National League teams:

NL Defense

In case you’re curious, here are the fielding stats for all 30 Major League Baseball teams:

MLB Defense

Just for the fun of it, I looked the Red Sox and Cardinals in their first five World Series games:

fd

There are four 2013 Gold Glove Award winners in the World Series, yet there have been 11 errors. Isn’t that kind of ironic?

Congratulations to all 18 Gold Glove recipients. Each player has worked to be the BEST at their position.

If you were the manager or owner of a Major League Baseball franchise, wouldn’t you love it if your those were YOUR depth charts? Imagine if all of those players played for YOUR team. You would have the ideal defense.

Greg Swindell Interview

Greg Swindell was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 1st round (2nd pick) of the 1986 amateur draft. He signed with the Indians on July 31, 1986 and made his MLB Debut on August 21 of the same year. During his rookie year, Greg compiled a 5-2 record, with a 4.23 ERA and 46 SO. Over his 17 year career Swindell played for the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Greg was an American League All-star with the Indians in 1989, and a World Series Champion with the Diamondbacks in 2001. Over his career he pitched 2233.1 innings in 664 games, compiled a 123-122 record. He had a 3.86 ERA, 1542 SO and only allowed 501 walks. Greg’s final game was on September 23, 2002.

Greg Swindell

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A few weeks ago, I got the chance to talk with Greg Swindell. I told him about my blog, and he kindly agreed to do an interview with me. Here is what he had to say during the interview:

Q1 (Me):   Tell me a little about yourself

Greg:         Live in Austin tx. Raising 3 children. 1 is out of college. Broadcasting longhorn baseball on longhorn network. Engaged to Lauren

Q2 (Me):   Do you have any hobbies, or collect memorabilia of any kind?

Greg:         Crossword puzzles. Jeopardy. Trivia. Golf a little. I don’t collect too much.

Q3 (Me):   What was the most fulfilling thing that you got from a 17 year career in Major League Baseball?

Greg:         Winning World Series in 2001. And just having a 17 year career was fulfilling!!

Q5 (Me):   You have almost 9 years of Major League experience in both the National and American leagues. What challenges did each league present, and how did they differ according to which league you were playing in?

Greg:         National league was faster paced and I got to hit. I liked that. American League as a pitcher you just sit around and wait.

Q5 (Me):   You were an All Star in 1989 with the Indians, and a World Champion in 2001 with the Diamondbacks. What were those experiences like?

Greg:         Winning World Series is indescribable. Until you’ve done it. You can’t describe it. All-star was in same team with Nolan. My hero growing up. It was a lot of fun to see his experience e up close.

Q6 (Me):   Often times we hear about players who play for 1 team during their career. What did you most enjoy about being able to play for six teams during your career?

Greg:         Just experience the diff philosophies of coaches and org. I liked it. Also lived the cities I played in.

Q7 (Me):   What was it like breaking Sandy Alomar’s 30 game hit streak in 1997?

Greg:         He was my catcher for 4 years. I gave him 3 fastballs down the middle and he popped one up. I tried!!!! To extend it. Haha

Q8 (Me):   Is there one particular accomplishment of yours that you are most proud of?

Greg:         Starting for 10 years and relieving for 7 more. Making the adjustment from one to the other.

Q9 (Me):   When you look down the road, can you see yourself as a manager or coach in either the Major Leagues or minors?

Greg:         I would like to coach yes. I have 5 team mates that are managers right now from 1988 Indians. But you have to “pay your dues” So I would have to start at the bottom.

Q10 (Me):   What advice would you give to kids who play baseball?

Greg:         Enjoy what you’re doing. I played baseball because it was fun. Wether it’s baseball or whatever. Enjoy what you do and it will be good.

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Thank you very much Greg, for answering all my questions! I greatly appreciate your generosity and getting to talk with you!

You can follow Greg Swindell on Twitter @GregSwindell