Tagged: Oakland Athletics

Athletics vs. Twins @ Target Field (05-05-15)

I was back at Target Field for my second game in two days, but this time I was with my dad. It had been a while since we had gone to a game together so it was nice we could get to this one. My dad rarely chases after baseballs, but today he joined me in the left field bleachers. The result? A clean pearly white batting practice homer. My dad has snagged two baseballs in his life… One at Kauffman Stadium and one at Target Field. I was there for both!

I got my first of the day after I chased down a ground rule double that was hit by Kennys Vargas. I caught it as it ricocheted back towards the field:

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The Twins portion of batting practice continued at a slow pace, but then I saw something that peaked my attention. I noticed that Shane Robinson was about to step into the cage. Back in spring training I caught a few of Robinson’s batting practice homers. Apparently Robinson had already been called up for quite some time, but I was unaware of it.

After shifting over a section for Robinson, I caught the first and only homer that he hit:

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When the A’s took the field I was hoping they’d put on a show, but they ended up hitting only a few into the seats. The home runs were scarce, but I was able to catch this ball that was thrown by Evan Scribner:

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Batting practice continued for another 30 minutes or so, but it was pretty dull from that point on. When batting practice ended I joined my dad in the Legends Club until the game was about to start. At that point I made my way back to the Twins dugout. I took this picture just moments before the National Anthem was sung:

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Did you see how empty the stadium was? The paid attendance for the game was 18,135, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were only about 16,000 in attendance.

Ball number three was tossed by a future All Star. Here’s a look at that beauty:

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Okay, so Dominique is not actually on the All Star ballot, but he deserves a write in! This seems like as good a time as any to launch my #VoteDom campaign. Should they have a vote for the All Star Bat/Ball Boy? #VoteDom #AllStarDom2K15

After collecting my third of the day I hustled back up to the Legends Club in time for the first pitch. My dad and I had a stellar view:

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Rain started to fall in the top of 6th inning, but the game continued without a delay. A steady rain shower set in for the next 2 innings, which caused a lot of people to leave the game early. I checked back in at the Twins dugout in the 8th inning and found a seat behind the home plate side of the dugout.

With two outs in the top of the 9th inning, Ryan Pressley worked a 1-2 count against Billy Burns. Pressley earned his 67th strike out as Burns went down swinging to end the top of the 9th. Kurt Suzuki ended up with the strike out ball and he tossed it to me as he entered the dugout:

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Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning the Twins were down 2-1. Earlier in the game Billy Butler and Jed Lawrie had each singled in a run to give Oakland the lead. Brian Dozier scored Minnesota’s first run when he singled to center in the 8th inning. The Twins went down in short order to end the ninth inning as the A’s won the game 2-1. Click here to watch MLB’s highlight video. Here’s the info from the game:

game info

Following the game I thanked Mr. Todd Tichenor as he exited the field:

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The result? Didn’t even have to ask for this one:

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Umpires are underrated and underappreciated so it goes along ways to say thank you after the game. They usually smile and then toss a ball up. Its a win win scenario.

The entry wouldn’t be complete without the cliché group shot:

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TOTALS: 6 balls at this game. 15 balls this year.

UP NEXT: Red Sox vs. Twins 05/26/15

Athletics vs. Twins @ Target Field (05-04-15)

I wouldn’t have gone to this game had it not been for the Twins’ fantastic game day promotion:

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As part of Star Wars night at Target Field the Twins gave away these special “Hughes The Force” bobble heads with the purchase of a special ticket. A few days prior I had noticed that all the special tickets were sold out on the Twins website. I called the box office and they said they’d have some available on the day of the game. When I got up to Target Field on the fourth I bought my ticket, then I hopped in line with Tony Voda to get my bobble head. When it was my turn to get my bobblehead I was told that my ticket wasn’t part of the promotion. I explained that the folks in the box office had assured me this was the correct ticket, but I was not given a bobble head. Way to go Twins… I still have to call a season ticket rep to get this cleared up.

On to batting practice…

My first ball of the day came early during the A’s portion of batting practice. It was a home run that was hit by an unknown A’s player:

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After getting on the board early in batting practice I didn’t get my next ball until batting practice was nearly finished. This time it was a toss up from another unknown A’s player:

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Could it have been the same unknown player as before? Who knows. Darn A’s, playing mind tricks again.

After batting practice, Target Field was taken over by the Evil Empire:

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For some reason, I don’t think the Storm Troopers liked me very much:

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Just before the game started Dominique tossed one to me straight from the ball bag:

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I’ve never once asked Dominique for a ball, but he always hooks me up after we chat. What a guy!

When the game started I moved to my regular spot:

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I started to watch the game from this spot at the end of last season. Since then I have grown very accustom to it. The view is fantastic. Plus, early in the game its a good spot for foul balls.

Although the first inning was a disaster for the Twins, I was happy because I witnessed something that I hadn’t before. After the A’s loaded the bases, Stephen Vogt stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam! Luckily, the Twins used the force to score four runs of their own in the second inning. After the Twins gave up a run in the top of the 6th, my childhood sports hero, Torii Hunter, hit a 3 run homer to left field to give the Twins an 8-5 lead. The A’s ended up scoring two more runs in the later part of the game, but Glen Perkins was still able to come away with his ninth save of the season. Click to watch the highlight video from the game. Here’s the info from the game:

game info

Phil Hughes (Hughes The Force) earned the W for Minnesota while Jesse Hahn (Han Solo) was stuck with the Loss for Oakland.  Coincidence that both Hughes and Hahn pitched on Star Wars Night? I think not.

Here’s the group shot after the game:

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TOTALS: 3 balls at this game. 9 balls this year.

UP NEXT: A’s vs. Twins 05/05/15

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:

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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.

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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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2014 Home Run Derby @ Target Field (7-14-14)

Day two of three, one step closer to the main event. To start the day Leiming Tang and I met Garrett Meyer at the All Star Pepsi Block Party. There we won Target gift cards by answering 3 trivia questions, saw the Clydesdales, won multiple prizes from playing moundball, and got free Pepsi and yogurt.

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After we spent a good chunk of time at the block party we headed kitty corner across the street to grab some lunch at Trieste Café, a Mediterranean & Greek restaurant, in the Warehouse District. Here’s a street view of the building via google maps:

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Photo from Google Maps.

Looking back at it now, I don’t know why I didn’t take any pictures at Trieste! Here are two pictures via Yelp:

Photo from Yelp

Photo from Yelp.

Yelp

Photo from Yelp.

We each ordered the Baba Ganouge Veggie Gyro and we didn’t regret it. The place is run by two guys who are great at their jobs. I think that these two guys are literally the only two on staff, but they do an excellent job. The place was busy, but the food came quickly. The food was authentic and fresh, the service was great, and the atmosphere was comfortable. Although the café was small, the limited seating added to the small restaurant experience. I should quit blogging about baseball and start reviewing restaurants 😉

The three of us arrived at Target Field at three o’clock and joined a few other ballhawks at Gate 34:

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From left to right is Erik JabsTony Voda, Nick Pelescak, Garrett, Leiming and then me. Most of us were in t-shirts, but it was actually so chilly that Erik and I jogged nearly a mile to Target so we could each buy a long-sleeved shirt. We got back to Target Field with plenty of time to spare, but we almost got swallowed up by the swarms of people who had lined up at the gates:

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I was thrilled when the gates opened at four! I immediately rushed to foul territory in right field to claim a spot along the warning track. Today the stakes were a bit higher than at the Futures Game. The crowds would be larger and more people would be competing for a derby ball. I knew that obtaining a derby ball would prove to be the most challenging part of the day so I made it easier for myself by staking out a good spot:

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Unfortunately I was ignored by many of the players. It was pretty strange; not many players were tossing baseballs to fans at all. Although it was from an unlikely source, I still managed to snag a commemorative Home Run Derby ball:

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Any guessing about who threw it to me? Take a look back at the last two photos until you spot the little Asian boy dressed in all white wearing a red hat. He’s the son of one of the players, but I’m not sure who. I mentioned that he’s Asian because this could help me figure out who his father is. In turn, I’d be able to say I snagged a commemorative derby ball from ________’s son. Feel free to help me out!

After this I tried my luck in center field. What a mistake. Look how crowded it was:

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Two balls were thrown specifically to me, but there were so many fans who thought it was a free for all that both balls were stolen before they made it into my glove. I know that there was nothing I could’ve done to control that, but it was sure frustrating because both balls were commemorative.

The 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby started at 7:00. At that moment the eyes of baseball fans all across the country were set on Target Field. Major League Baseball and the Twins organization did a fantastic job of not only planning this event, but also marketing ourselves to the rest of the country. Target Field and Minneapolis/St. Paul were presented very well on National television.

Take a look for yourself:

If there was one thing I could’ve changed about the Home Run Derby it would’ve been the weather. The majority of the day had been chilly and rainy, and the Derby was actually delayed because of it. However, because of the weather I saw one of the most beautiful skies I have ever seen. My camera couldn’t capture a quality photo so take a look at this photo from the Star Tribune:

Star Tribune

Photo from Star Tribune

There was a double rain bow above the Minneapolis skyline during the Home Run Derby at Target Field. How cool is that?! After seeing the rainbows I didn’t even care about the cold weather anymore!

After the Derby I snagged an All Star Gatorade from the field staff:

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After drinking that Gatorade I was all energized and I felt like an All Star 😉

The Field staff also began throwing Sharpies to fans:

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An All Star Sharpie? I believe that I have since then lost the sharpie. Before I bid you farewell I’ll leave you with a picture of the original three Target Field amigos:

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Up next: The 85th Major League Baseball All Star Game. It feels great to finally say that!

Twins 2014 Winter Caravan – Part 2

I always love when the Twins Caravan stops in Rochester every January because it means that the next season is drawing near. This year, the Twins Winter Caravan visited Rochester on Tuesday, January 14 at the Ramada Inn. Kyle Gibson, Caleb Thielbar, Tony Oliva, Paul Molitor, Cory Provus, and Terry Ryan were all in attendance.

The event was supposed to start off with a 2013 Twins highlight video, but for the second year in a row there were technical difficulties. The video malfunction was ironic considering the Twins 66-96 record from the 2013 season.

After the video was postponed due to the “rain delay”, Corey Provus kicked things off with some Q&A. Each answered Provus’s questions, and any other questions that the audience had for them.

After some raffle prizes were given away, people could get in line for autographs. I only took a few pictures, and I’ll admit that they are not great:

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Left to right: Kyle Gibson, Caleb Thielbar, Tony Oliva, Paul Molitor, and Terry Ryan. IMG 1/3

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Left to right: Kyle Gibson, Caleb Thielbar, Tony Oliva, Paul Molitor, and Terry Ryan. IMG 2/3

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Left to right: Kyle Gibson, Caleb Thielbar, Tony Oliva, Paul Molitor, and Terry Ryan. IMG 3/3

Before this, I had never gotten an autograph on any of the baseballs that I’ve ballhawked because I like to keep them in the condition that I got them in. Usually I get a baseball card or a ticket signed, but this time I decided to get two baseballs signed. I figured that since it’s not every day that I have the chance to get Paul Molitor and Tony Oliva’s autograph (especially for free), I wanted to get their signatures on something more meaningful than a baseball card. After looking at all my baseballs, I picked the two that were in the best shape. If I were grading them on their quality, then I would give each a 9.5/10.

Paul Molitor signed my 97th baseball, which was thrown by an unknown Athletics player. Tony Oliva signed my 98th, which was a bp homer that was hit by an unknown Athletics player. I got both baseballs at the A’s vs. Twins game I attended last September. Kyle Gibson signed the ticket that I brought, and Caleb Thielbar signed an enlarged photo that was being supplied.

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When I was in line I told Kyle Gibson that I had been there to see his first Major League WIN on June 29 and how I had saved my ticket incase I would ever get the chance for him to sign it. A very big smile came across his face and he got very excited that I remembered his special day. It was a pretty cool 1 on 1 moment. Here’s a close up of the signed ticket.

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I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but Paul Molitor is my all-time favorite baseball player. Within the last year I (unintentionally) started a collection of Paul Molitor autographed memorabilia. I wrote “unintentionally” because I only sought out Paul Molitor’s autograph the first time. The second and third autographs came as a surprise. For example, I won a Paul Molitor signed baseball at a Twins game last September. That was a very big surprise!

What about the third autograph? Yeah, I bought a ticket to the Twins Caravan this year, but that was before I knew Paul Molitor would be in attendance. I wasn’t expecting him to be there until I checked the details for the event. Once again, I was surprised! It’s kind of funny how that worked out in such a good way!

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Overall, Twins Winter Caravan was a fun event to attend. Everyone heard from Terry Ryan about what’s going on inside the Twins Organization this offseason, and what they’re doing in order to get back on track this coming season. Over the offseason they have signed free agents Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Mike Pelfrey, Kurt Suzuki, and Jason Kubel, along with numerous Minor League players. The Twins also traded Ryan Doumit to Atlanta for LHP Sean Gilmartin, and finalized a deal with the Pirates that sent Duke Welker to Pittsburgh in exchange for Kris Johnson. One of the most popular “Transactions” this offseason has been the addition of Paul Molitor to the Twin’s coaching staff.

Saything that Terry Ryan hopes the Twins can turn things around in 2014 would be an understatement. Mr. Ryan wants nothing more than to leave the team’s troubles in the past. “Our biggest struggle the last three years has been that rotation and keeping overtaxing that bullpen,” Ryan said. “If we can fix the starting rotation, I think it will help fix some of the other problems we have, in particular our offense. We’ve struggled scoring runs as well.”

Terry Ryan also can not wait to get to spring training. He said, “I’m ready to go, Lets get down there and do something about it.” There were even a few different times he mentioned that pitchers and catchers report on February 16th.

I think I’m speaking for most of the people who attended the caravan when I say that for that brief 1.5 hours I forgot about the cold and snowy Minnesota winter weather, and I imagined myself in Fort Meyers for Spring Training, and at Target Field this summer. Let’s go Twins!

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

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!

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My MLB Championship Series Predictions

I know that the National League Championship Series between the Cardinals and Dodgers is kicking off tonight, but I would still like to take this time to share my predictions for the rest of the playoffs. This isn’t an in-depth analysis or anything, I promise i’ll keep it short! Before I share my predictions I want to give credit to PrintYourBrackets.com. I found some nice looking brackets on their website and then switched some team names around to show what my predictions are.

Here is the bracket that I came up with prior to the start of the playoffs:

play off predictions

All my predictions were correct except for the Indians and the Braves. I predicted both teams would win, but they both lost. My bracket wasn’t ruined though, because it is still possible that the Tigers and Cardinals could play each other in the World Series.

When both the ALDS and NLDS wrapped up I made a second bracket for the next round of the playoffs. Here are my picks for the Championship Series:

tigers

I feel confident that the Tigers will win the ALCS because the Red Sox have a recent (it goes back a few years) tendency of shutting down in critical games. As for the NLCS, I really want the Dodgers to win it all this year, but my gut feels like the Cardinals will win the Series against them. Hopefully the Dodgers go all the way!

I’ll post one final bracket when the Championship Series(s) conclude. Go Dodgers!

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