7/3/14 at Target Field: Twins vs Yankees

I was planning on going to a game during the Twins vs Yankees series, but not this one. Ben and I were going to go to the game on July 6th with Noah, but they got free tickets for the 6th and the 3rd, but they could only go to the 6th, so they gave us the other tickets. I was fine with it though, because it was a night game, unlike the July 6th game. I like night games a lot more than day games because:

1. The sun isn’t burning your face off.

2. Baseball stadiums look cooler when it’s dark out.

3. There is a better chance of BP.

I was a little nervous about the crowd though, because it’s Derek Jeter’s last season, and lots of people will want to see him play, and try to get his autograph. Getting an autograph from Jeter was one of the main reasons I was there, but I knew the chances were slim. He has a contract with Steiner Sports, and I knew that might effect my chances of getting his auto.

I only had 6 hours to get everything together, which was a bit stressful. I had to make rosters, go through my baseball card binder and get cards to get autographed, get pens and sharpies, find some stuff to wear, buy a baseball from Target to hopefully get signed by The Captain, and shove it all in my backpack.

I forgot to mention earlier that I had not known where my seats would be for the game, but I was hoping they would be in the Dugout Box on the Yankees side. When I finally got to see the tickets, I looked at where the seats were, and sure enough, they were in the Dugout Box on the Yankees side, right behind the home plate entrance to the dugout. Now all my fears about getting a ball were washed away.

As we left and made our way to Minneapolis, we knew we would be a little late as usual.

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If this was just a game where we would buy cheap tickets at the box office, and sit in some decent seats in foul territory, I would be very nervous about keeping my streak alive. But since our tickets were behind the dugout, which kind of guaranteed me a ball, I had no problem being a bit late.

When we got there, we hopped in line at Gate 34, and ran in to the Target Field Plaza. We checked to see if the Yankees were taking BP, and were happy to see that they were. Ben took off for left field, where I stood in right field looking for the least crowded spot. Both left and right field were packed, but then I remembered about the little area in right-center with 4 rows of seats, so I ran over there, and fortunately, barely anyone was there! I made sure to stand away from the little kids so I didn’t have to compete with them.

For the first few minutes, nothing much happened around me. I watched Ichiro Suzuki catch fly balls in right field, and then chuck them in to the stands. I laughed because whenever he got one, everyone in right field screamed out, “ICHIRO!!!”. When ball rolled to the wall a bit later, Chase Whitley (I think) picked it up and threw it to me… Sort of. I could tell the ball was going to sail over my head, so I leaped up, and it landed two rows above me. I had a mini panic attack, but that’s when a miracle happened. The ball bounced out of the row, on to the isle, and back on the field! I was going to get a second chance! Whitley picked up the ball, and we both looked at each other and laughed because of the failed throw. He then made a good throw for my first ball of the day.

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Whitley is on the far left. Please leave a comment if you don’t think that is Chase Whitley.

Not too long after this happened, Matt Thornton (This time I am sure who it is) ran over to the wall to catch a fly ball, and when he did, he threw it to me. I had to stick my glove in front of some other peoples gloves to catch it, but I am 110% positive he was throwing it to me.thorntontossup

Thornton is on the far right.

The toss up from Thornton would be the last ball I got during BP, so I headed over to the third base side to try to get some autographs.

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The players that were out there wouldn’t sign for people, which was disappointing. Jeter eventually came out to warm up, and everyone was freaking out. People were shouting for him to sign, but he didn’t. He said, “Sorry guys, I can’t right now,” before running back to the dugout. I then knew I was correct about him not being able to sign because of his Steiner contract. I then guessed that he would sign on Sunday, the last game of the series, which was also the day Noah was going. Sure enough, Jeter did sign on Sunday, and Noah got his autograph. I was disappointed that no one signed. Actually, I take that back. Someone, or should I say someTHING signed:

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Yeah. No.

Since there was no other players coming out, we headed to our seats in Section 11. Let me tell ya, the seats were amazing! This is a picture of Derek Jeter rubbing his head…photo 1 (2)

…and this is a picture of the foul ball I snagged in the top of the 1st inning:

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Here’s what happened: Jacoby Ellsubury came up to bat after Derek Jeter, and started hitting fouls off the screen. Most of them were picked up by the Twins bat boy, Dominique Frost, but one happened to be closer to the Yankees side than the Twins side. The visiting team bat boy, Mario Muñoz, ran out to pick it up, so I ran down the isle to the first row, along with some kids decked out in Twins gear, and he tossed it to me for my 3rd ball of the day, which was also my 3rd gamer/foul ball ever.

The foul ball wouldn’t be the last ball I got from Mario that night. I was sitting in my seat when I saw my mom put her hands out as if she was going to catch something, so I looked at the field only to see Mario about to throw the ball to my mom. He threw the ball, but it was going to fall short, so I leaned in to the next row and caught it. I then gave it to my mom, but asked to see it for a second so I could take a picture.

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She later gave it away to a group of friends who wanted to get some balls but weren’t really trying. Now that I think of it, that ball was probably a foul ball based on the markings on it. Oh well, I’ll never know.

I took a lot of good pictures during the game, so I’ll share some with you.

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Masahiro Tanaka throwing a pitch.

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Derek Jeter swinging at a pitch that would result in a flyout.

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Ellsbury and Ichiro.

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Ellsbury swinging away.

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I saw Carlos Beltrán crush a 3 run homer!

That’s it for pictures. Now back to the good stuff.

I got to see something historical during the game! Check it out:

If the video isn’t working for you, I’ll just explain what happened. This dude named Zelous Wheeler got called up after spending 8 years in the minors for the Yankees, and this game was his MLB debut. He came up to bat in the 5th inning, without any hits. The count is 3-1, and this guy bombs one in to the bullpen for his first hit and homer! On his MLB debut! That’s just crazy. The smile on his face was huge as he walked in to the dugout 7 feet away from me.

I think it was the bottom of the 8th inning when the infield warmup ball was rolled to the dugout, and scooped up by Yankees first base coach Mick Kelleher. I ran down to the first row with the same group of kids as usual, and I got lucky enough to get the ball.

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I was really excited to get a ball used by Jeter and Teixeira, my two favorite Yankees. That was the last ball I would get that game. I was very happy to have a new record for most balls in a game: 5. My previous record was 3, which I had tied twice.

The Yankees beat the Twins, 7-4. I tried to get the lineup cards after the game, but I didn’t see Joe Girardi anywhere. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll get them someday. I watched some awesome fireworks after the game because the 4th of July was tomorrow.

I may not have gotten a Derek Jeter autograph, but I still had a great day at Target Field.

STATS:

Balls at this game: 5 (Chase Whitley, Matt Thornton, Mario Muñoz x2, Mick Kelleher)

Autographs at this game: 0

 

6/19/14 at Target Field: Twins vs White Sox

I didn’t think I would be going to Target Field today, because my brother Ben had a baseball game. His game got rained out though, so we met up with Noah at a movie theater and decided to go to the Twins vs Sox game. I kept on checking the Weather Tracker, and it looked like the rain was going towards Minneapolis, but I had a feeling the Twins game would still be played because they had a professional  grounds crew.

As we drove to Target Field, all that the rain did was get heavier. I saw a picture on the Twins Instagram earlier of them taking BP, but I knew that would not be happening when we got there. This was the scene when I looked out the car window:

rainy target field (1)

I was kind of regretting going at this point, because I was afraid I wouldn’t snag anything. I was hoping players would come out and throw the ball around a little bit, as they have in other games where BP was cancelled.

We got to the parking ramp, paid an outrageous $15 to park, looked forever for a parking spot as usual, got on the elevator, went down to the  Target Plaza level, and walked through the doors to the Target Plaza.

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I said, “Hello,” to Kirby Puckett as I passed his statue…

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…and I walked in to the Plaza:

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We spent a long time at the box office finding a place to buy tickets, even though we would not sit there for most of the game. Once we eventually got some tickets, we sprinted to one of the lines at Gate 34. We waited in line for a little bit, got our bags checked, our tickets scanned, and we walked through the metal detectors.

I didn’t see anyone on the field, but I thought to myself, “Players are gonna come warm-up and play catch soon. I’ll just wait for them,” and I did. I waited. And waited. And waited. This is what the field looked like:

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(Lots of my photos will be shaky. I have a bad camera)

I now knew that there wouldn’t be anyone come out, so I headed over to the Sox dugout, where there were some players inside of it. As I got closer to the dugout, I saw someone in the Dugout Box talking to someone in the Champions Club. I didn’t think much of it at first, but when I got over there, I realized the two people were Paul Kom and Tony Voda, two Target Field Ballhawks. I talked to them for a little bit, before heading to the far side of the dugout.

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I didn’t get anything there, so I headed over to the Twins side, where I didn’t get anything there either.

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Well, I did get on to the jumbotron with Paul. They weren’t filming us, they were filming some little leaguers walking on the warning track, and we happened to be in the background.

Nothing much was really going on. Actually, nothing was going on. Paul and I got kicked out of the Dugout Box because the game was going to start soon.

Ha.

More on that later.

Paul and I sat down in some seats that were undercover thanks to the Legends Club. A few minutes later, I noticed Paul was gone. I was all alone over on the first base side because Ben and Noah were by the Bullpen. A few minutes later, I went over to see Ben and Noah, and I noticed a big crowd on the way. I got closer to check it out, and this was the scene:

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You may be asking, “Who’s the old dude in the blue shirt?”, or you may be saying, “OMG U R SO LUCKEE!!!”, or you may be bragging, “Pfttt. That’s nothing. I see him every game.” Well folks, that would be 1964 Rookie of the Year, 3 time Batting Champion, 8 time All-Star, Twins Hall of Famer, Baseball legend, Tony Oliva. I said hi to Tony and shook his hand as I walked by. He is a very nice person, so if you ever see him walking through the concourse, don’t be afraid to stop him and say hi.

I got to the Bullpen, and saw Noah ask a grounds crew guy for a ball. The grounds crew guy didn’t hear him, but the usher at the top of the staircase sure did. He came down to scold Noah, and he threatened to kick him out. Seriously?!?! Getting ejected for trying to catch baseballs? That is a stupid reason to get kicked out. It made sense for THAT usher to say it though. He was an old man with white/gray hair. I have learned that the older the usher, the grumpier they are. But once again, really?!?!

I stayed with them by the Bullpen for a little bit, and I saw a sign appear and the jumbotron that said there would be a rain delay. Oh joy. And I thought this night couldn’t get any worse. When we walked up the stairs out of the bleachers, and Paul stopped Ben to ask what the usher said. When he told him, Paul replied,”That doesn’t make any sense…”.

We went to find Noah’s mom, and she went up to her actual seat. We grabbed a spot in foul territory in right field. We stayed there for a while, before eventually going up to our actual seats. It was a good view for some seats that were pretty high up.

goawaytarp

The grounds crew finally came out to take off the tarp, and the crowd went wild. But unfortunately, the grounds crew went back in because the rain started to get heavier. A couple minutes later, when the rain died down, they came back out to officially take the tarp off. I said that we should probably go down to the first level to try to get some warmup balls, so we did. Ben and Noah went to the Sox side, while I went to Section 104 as usual.

first row 104

Surprisingly, none of the players came out with a ball, so I decided to go for autographs instead. None of the players came over to sign, so I grabbed a spot a few rows up.

The game wasn’t really exciting, other than the fact that Josh Willingham (I think) hit a home run, but home runs happen almost every game. Well, it wasn’t really exciting until rookie star Jose Abreu came up to bat. Abreu lifted a high pop-up that was heading my direction, but I could tell it would fall short of my seat. I ran down a few steps, and I saw Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier running for the ball, so I stopped running because I didn’t want to interfere with the game. After watching the replay, I realized I wouldn’t have been able to catch it anyways, because it was 2 feet away from the stands. Okay, back to the play. Dozier missed the ball, and half of his body fell in to 104. I ran down the isle to see him and Joe close up, and then I realized Dozier was feeling around the ground for the ball. I thought, “This is my chance!”, so I stuck my glove out in front of him, and some people who caught on to what I was doing stuck their hands and gloves out too, but it was too late. Dozier had already picked up the ball, looked at my glove, said, “Here ya go buddy,” and put this in my glove:

perfectabreupic

And just like, I had snagged my second gamer/foul ball ever! I immediately went to find Ben and Noah on the other side of the field (where I took the picture above) to see if they saw me get the ball. I decided not to tell them for a few minutes, and before I could, Ben said, “I saw you get the Abreu foul ball,” and I said, “Oh wow. I didn’t think you saw that”. I found out Ben got a pregame warmup ball from Dayan Viciedo, and Noah didn’t have anything yet. He came very close to getting 3 foul balls though. The first was hit by Kurt Suzuki, he ran up a few rows and reached for the ball because it was on the ground, but it was out of his reach. The second was by Adam Dunn, it landed 5 feet away from him in the Dugout Box. The third was by Alexei Ramirez, it was hit to the ballboy, but he gave it to another kid.

I headed out to the Plaza a few innings later, where I saw Paul and Waldo. None of us got anything, and nothing reached the seats either. There was a close call though. Some player hit a long pop fly that looked like it was going to reach the stands, but it didn’t. Paul even ran down the stairs in to the bleachers to try to catch it. Waldo thought he saw a homer coming right at him, but it was just a bubble from a bubble gun that a kid brought.

Tony came out to the Plaza later, and he said he had snagged six. I asked him how he got a sixth ball, but I knew the answer anyways. It was from Dominique Frost, the Twins Bat Boy, of course. Tony had to leave, because it was already 11:00. That was the latest I had ever been to a game.

I left the game a little bit later, with 1 ball in my possession. It was a long night, and I sure was ready to go home.

 

STATS:

Balls at this game: 1 (Brian Dozier/Jose Abreu)

theminihaul

 

 

 

6/7/14 at Target Field: Twins vs Astros

Hey guys, I really don’t wanna blog about this game, because there was an “incident” that happened between me and Jerome Williams, and I ended getting a ball and his glove (sadly not pink) out of it. I’m just gonna tell you who I got balls from and I’m gonna share some pictures.

Ball number 1 came from Astros Head Trainer, Nate Lucero. It took two tries to get to me because of the evil slanted bullpen railing. That was my 10th ball ever. Ball 2 came from Jerome Williams. I’m going to guess it was the last one he gave away that day.

Here are some pictures and videos I took at the game:

Crain and the bullpen catcher.

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Ben standing by some Astros.

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Greg Dryden, AKA, Waldo.

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Kyle Gibson signing autographs after his win. I got him on a ball I bought from Target.

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Gibson walking in to the dugout after signing.

More Gibson.

STATS:

Balls at this game: 2 (Nate Lucero, Jerome Williams)

Gloves at this game: 1 (Jerome Williams)

Yes, that last stat was a joke…Sorta.

 

 

5/18/14 at Target Field: Twins vs Mariners

I haven’t been to a game with nice weather this season, so I was hoping this would be the one. Turns out, the weather was a little bit too nice. I was sweating so much from all the running around, and I don’t even remember how many times I burnt myself on one of their plastic seats.

As always, I was with Ben and Noah for the game. We entered at Gate 34 a couple minutes after it opened, and we headed in different directions. It was no surprise that they weren’t having BP on a Sunday, but at least there were some players warming up and playing catch. I went to the right field bleachers, and Ben and Noah went to the first base foul line.

As I was waiting in the bleachers for two unidentified Twins to be done playing catch, I noticed that famous Target Field Ballhawk “Waldo,” was standing near me with a ball hiding in the pocket of his orange vest. For those of you who don’t know who Waldo is, he is an old Ballhawk who used to sit in center field at the Dome, catching many home runs. But now that the Twins play at Target Field, he spends his time in the Target Field plaza, waiting for a power hitting lefty to blast one his way.

The two unidentified Twins finished playing catch, so I, along with everyone else, asked for the ball. I didn’t get the ball, so I headed out to left field where Fernando Rodney and Yoervis Medina were playing catch.

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It was so easy to tell who it was because: 1. Fernando Rodney always has his hat tilted to the side, and 2. Yoervis Medina has pointy ears (Yeah, that does sound weird). When they were done, Rodney ended up with the ball, so I shouted, “Give me the ball please,” in Spanish. It sounds like this: Dah-may lay peh-low-tah pour fuh-vor. Unfortunately, I asked too late. Rodney walked over to a little kid in foul territory and placed the ball in his hand. He started to sign autographs for the fans, and Medina joined in. I sprinted out of the bleachers and ran to the third base foul line but it was too late. I was disappointed because I really wanted to get an autograph from Rodney because I love his signature move:

I got a second chance though. Rodney came back to sign autographs again, and I got him on my store-bought ball. While this was going on, more Mariners pitchers came out to throw. Some of them weren’t throwing, but standing by a whole bunch of baseballs, talking to their trainers. Brandon Maurer had a ball in his hand, and I got him to throw it to me for my first ball of the day.

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Maurer is the one with the long hair above my glove.

After I got this, I went to the Mariners dugout to get more autographs on my ball. I got Dominic Leone, Joe Beimel, Brandon Maurer x2, Taijuan Walker and Tom Wilhelmsen. I almost got Willie Bloomquist’s autograph but he went back to the dugout before I got him.

I have always wanted to get a ball by asking a player in a foreign language. I knew there was pitcher on the Mariners who was Japanese, whose name is Hisashi Iwakuma. I thought he would be my chance. I was standing behind the tarp at the dugout, when I saw Iwakuma about 65 feet away, ball in hand, walking back to the dugout. I shouted out to him in Japanese. It sounded like this: “Choh-toh! boh-oh-roo nah-guh-tay koo-das-si!” No luck. “Choh-toh!” Still no luck. “Boh-oh-roo nah-guh-tay ku-das-si!” Hisashi looked at me, and threw it high up in to the air towards me underhanded. UNDERHANDED. From 65 feet away! I extended my glove out on to the tarp and made the catch.

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Everyone around me was laughing and cheering for me. It was so cool. Someone said to me, “You’ve been doing your homework!” and started laughing again.

After that, I went over to the Twins side and got Brian Duensing to autograph my baseball card. That was it for warm-ups. Nothing else happened.

Ben and Noah tried to sneak in to some seats down the third base foul line, so I went down to see them. As I was walking towards them, an usher asked to see their tickets. “Busted,” I thought to myself. I knew that was something I didn’t want to be a part of, so I backed away, and thankfully, the usher didn’t notice me. I walked back in to the concourse with them, and we tried to get in to a section near the one they got kicked out of. I knew it was a very risky idea, so I tried to be on the lookout for that usher. I saw her walking down the isle towards us, so I quietly said to them, “She’s back,” and got the heck out of there. Well, they must have thought I meant I saw her again, not that she was walking right towards them, because when they got back in to the concourse, I found out they were threatened to be kicked out if they did that one more time.

We went to our actual seats so we wouldn’t get kicked out, and we left them during the fourth inning. We walked around the stadium and checked out some stuff like the Game Used Items booth, or the Twins Team Store. I got on the JumboTron in the Target Field Plaza and did a funny dance the caused the entire stadium to erupt in laughter. It turns out they put that clip and ONLY that clip on TV. Ben ended up getting former/current Twin Matt Guerrier’s warm-up ball from bullpen catcher Nate Dammann, before he went in to pitch in the top of the 9th.

In the bottom of the 9th, Noah and I got a spot above the Mariners dugout, and Ben got one near the Twins. I didn’t get a ball then, but Chris Parmelee hit a high foul ball that was about this small: o. Yep, a lowercase o. The ball landed across the isle in the next section, 10 rows up. Don’t ask why I didn’t go for it, because I’m not really sure either. But that’s not the point. The point is, as it came down, it hit an 8 year old in the leg. He started crying, and the medics and ushers came to his aid. Everyone around was watching.

The game eventually ended, and the Mariners won. I rushed down to the dugout to try to get a ball from a coach or player, but I failed to do so. Noah, however, got a ball from home plate umpire Adrian Johnson. As usual, I also failed to get the lineup cards. I snagged 2 balls, Noah snagged 4, and Ben snagged 5 (because he got 2 from Dominic for giving one away).

I went up to the Fox Sports North booth to watch Tom Kelly make a special appearance on the Fox Sports North Postgame Show. I was standing there with 2 other kids (Ben and Noah were looking around the stadium to find something to get signed by Kelly) waiting for him to be done with the show so we could get his autograph. He mentioned us on the show jokingly as, “All three of my loyal fans.”

When they wrapped up the show, Kelly signed autographs for all of us. I got him on a magazine they were giving away throughout the game.

I guess you could say I was famous at Target Field today.

STATS:

Balls at this game: 2 (Brandon Maurer, Hisashi Iwakuma)

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Autographs at this game: 9 (Fernando Rodney, Dominic Leone, Joe Beimel, Brandon Maurer x2, Taijuan Walker, Tom Wilhelmsen, Brian Duensing, Tom Kelly)

4/30/14 at Target Field: Twins vs Dodgers

For this post, I will only be writing about the most important part of the game (for me).

This game I actually have two important parts.

I was expecting no BP because of the rain, but to my surprise, there was! It’s a Christmas Miracle!

I watched Yasiel Puig shagging balls in right field for a minute or two, then I headed out to left field. I was surprised by the fact none of the Dodgers were hitting bombs. The only person who hit at least two was Puig.

Dan Haren was in left field at the time, but he wasn’t throwing any up in to the seats. Somehow, Noah got Haren to throw him one, which surprised me a lot. Someone hit a grounder to Haren and when I asked him for it, he turned around and chucked it 3 feet away from my outstretched arm. I got on my hands and knees and climbed up two stairs to pick it up. I took a look at it, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was an Opening Series Australia ball! My first commemorative!

Some old man offered me 8 bucks for it, but I told him I don’t sell baseballs. He said he was at the Australia game, and he showed me his hat to prove it. It looked like this but the color was black, not green:

I moved to Section 104 where Sam Fuld tossed me his warm-up ball, and I got Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar’s autographs, but that’s not the other important part. The other important part took place in the 9th inning, where Ben asked an usher if we could go down in to the seats by the Dodgers dugout for the last inning. She nodded her head and let us walk down in to the seats.

Finally, the other important part is here. It was the bottom of the 9th, and Joe Mauer was batting. He hit a foul ball that rolled right to the visiting team bat boy. He picked it up and looked for someone to give it to. He threw the ball to my glove, but I was holding it at an awkward angle which caused it to fall out of my glove and in to the camera pit. When the camera man picked it up, I was so determined for him to give it to me, that I forgot it was even a foul ball. I was shouting, “HE THREW IT TO ME!!! HE THREW IT TO ME!!!” and the shouting must have payed off, because he set the ball right in my glove. Ben said to me, “You finally got your first foul ball!” and I said in confusion, “I did?” which he replied to with, “That was a Joe Mauer foul ball!” I then remembered Mauer hitting the foul ball in to the dugout, and everything else that happened.

Kenley Jansen came in to pitch, and the Dodgers won the game. I asked for the lineup cards from one of the coaches, but he said he wasn’t aloud to give them to me because it was their 10,000th win.

I watched Drew Butera and Andre Ethier get interviewed after the game, and that was about it. No one threw up any balls after the game ended.

STATS: 

Balls at this game: 3 (Dan Haren, Sam Fuld, Camera Man/Joe Mauer)

dodgersgame

Autographs at this game: 2 (Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar)

4/11/14 at Target Field. Twins vs Royals

This is going to be a short entry because every baseball I snagged was after the game ended and I only have one picture.

Finally! It’s here! The first game of the season (for me)! I could finally start ballhawking again!

It was Ben and Noah‘s idea to come to this game, because they were had nothing else to do on a Friday night, and they already had their gloves and backpacks and all that stuff with them. I, on the other hand, still had to get some stuff together. It was stressful because I had to get everything I needed, and I had to do it with a limited amount of time. I didn’t have time to get cards out for the Royals, so I just grabbed a ball I got from a St.Paul Saints game when I was 8, and plopped it in my backpack along with a pen.

As usual, I got there after the gates opened and missed Twins BP, but the Royals were still hitting. I headed out to left field for some toss ups or maybe even BP homers, but unfortunately, I had no luck. That meant I had to snag some during or after the game. I knew getting a ball after the game was my best chance.

I only things I remember from during the game are walking around the stadium multiple times trying to find Ben and Noah, and when I eventually did, they went to the bathroom and I almost caught an Omar Infante on the fly. Some guy caught it on the fly barehanded (I think… He might have had a glove on…). If it was directly 2 rows up, it would have been an easy catch. I wasn’t disappointed though. I thought it was cool that I came really close to catching a foul ball on the fly.

As the game got closer to the end, we got closer to the Twins dugout. When the final out was recorded, we ran down in to the dugout seats, where I tried to get the lineup cards from Gardy, but he didn’t hear me. Chris Colabello did though. He TRIED to throw a ball to me, but the power of his crappy aim took over and caused the ball to bounce off the dugout roof! I said to him, “Could you get that?”, but the look on his face said, “Sorry”. NOOOOO!!!!! I just lost a chance at getting a ball from one of my favorite players! I was devastated. But then, a few seconds later, Colabello reappeared and rolled the ball across the dugout roof! YES! It looks like I DID get a ball from one of my favorite players! As Casey Fien walked in, he threw Noah a ball.

I was standing by the Twins dugout when I saw someone I recognized over at the Royals side. It was Target Field ballhawk, Paul Kom from the blog, “A Piece of the Game“. I went over to the Royals dugout to go say hi. We talked for a couple minutes, and it turned out he recognized me too! He knew me from a video I did with Mateo Fischer of, “Observing Baseball,” at TwinsFest 2014. You can watch the video here. My part starts at 2:26 :

I asked him if he had got any balls yet, and he said he had none. He was trying to get one from the visiting team clubhouse/dugout attendant, Mario. I wished him luck, but it turns out that wasn’t enough. He didn’t snag a single ball.

I was standing behind the camera pit on the far end of the Royals dugout, when a camera man said to me, “Hey kid!” and flung a ball in the air. Ahhhhh, I love getting balls without asking for them. Meanwhile, Ben hadn’t snagged anything, so I offered him the camera man ball. He declined, because he wanted to get one on his own.

I saw Mario walking through the dugout with a handful of balls, looking for people to give them to, so I shouted at him, “Right here! Right here!” and flapped my glove. He threw the ball over the dugout roof, and it landed right in my glove. Ben got a ball from Mario too and Noah got another ball from the grounds crew.

That was it for the night.

 

STATS:

Balls at this game: 3 (Colabello, Camera Guy, Mario)

Image

Autographs at this game: 0

 

 

 

The Game of My First Ball Ever: 8/12/13 at Target Field

This is my first blog entry about a game. Lets see how it goes…

I left for the game with my brother, Ben, and his friend Noah, knowing I’d be late, which sucked. To make matters worse, We were stuck in traffic. I was NOT happy about this. I was planning to go to this game with just me and my dad, but Ben and Noah begged to come along because apparently they were bored and had nothing to do at all.

I arrived to the stadium after the gates were open, and right when I walked in, I saw the grounds crew taking down the cage. BP was ending early!!! I was so angry!!! BP is one of my favorite parts of going to games. Not just because it means I’m probably gonna get more baseballs, but I love watching the players running around and catching baseballs and laughing with each other and signing autographs and all that kind of stuff.

Ben, Noah and I decided to go for autographs from Twins players, so we headed towards the 1st base dugout area. I ended up getting autographs from Doug Bernier, Chris Colabello, Chris Hermann and a picture with him too. Ben got the same autographs I got, and Noah got everyone of those guys except Colabello (he got him at another game).

We moved to Section 104 (circled in red)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Image

where Ben shouted at Clete Thomas and got him to toss the warm-up ball he used with Doug Bernier to him. Ben then gave me the ball because that was a part of the deal I made with him before the game. The deal was: If I let you come to this game, you let me have first chance at getting autographs and you give me the first ball you get (nowadays, I don’t count balls from other people).

 Later, the first base Ball Boy came out and Ben started talking to him and asking him if he would give him a ball later. The Ball Boy said he usually gets about 4 balls a game, so maybe (the Ball Boy never got a single ball that game!).

When the game was about to start, I headed up to the Legends Club with my dad, while Ben and Noah stayed in 104. My seats were in Section J (circled in red).Image

Here is a view from the seats:    IMG_1614 (3)

I got tickets in that section because I had seen foul balls land there before, and I had never snagged one (I have gotten a foul ball now, but that’s a different entry). There weren’t any fouls being hit up there, so I went in to the Legends Club to eat some food.

I started feeling sick, and I wasn’t sure why. I was actually thinking about leaving the game and going home.

When started feeling better, and I went down to 104 to see Ben and Noah. They didn’t have anything yet but they came close to a 3rd out ball tossed to their section by Oswaldo Arcia.

Nothing much was going on, other than the fact that Twins pitcher Andrew Albers had a 1-hitter going, until I brought out my phone and started filming, when I got this awesome video. No, I didn’t catch it (obviously), but it’s still a cool video. AND, if you look closely, you can see the ball high up in the air before I flip the camera.

Towards the end of the game, we moved over to right above the Twins Dugout box, getting prepared to sprint down the steps when the game ended. Ben and Noah’s intentions were to get a ball, while mine were to get Gardy to hand over the lineup cards.

The game ended, Twins-3, Indians-0, and Albers got a 1-hitter. If Josh Willingham wasn’t as slow as he is, and he knew how to dive for balls, it would’ve been a no hitter.

We all raced down the stairs, and I made a beeline to Section 6, while Ben and Noah went to other parts of the dugout. As Gardy got closer to the dugout, I screamed, “GARDY!!! CAN I HAVE THE LINEUP CARDS?!?” multiple times.

No luck.

Then, I saw someone throw a ball on the dugout roof. I waited for someone to pick it up, but no one did. People were just watching it roll towards me. I asked someone, “Is this for me?” and they said, “Yep!” I quickly picked it up and looked at it. This was my first snag ever! Awesome!

I was holding the ball when I saw Ben shout to Trevor Plouffe after his interview, “Plouffe! You’re my favorite player! Can I please have a ball?” Plouffe then replied with, “What number am I?”. Ben shouted, “24!” and Plouffe flipped the ball to Ben. Ben wasn’t lying. Plouffe ACTUALLY was his favorite player.

I was telling Ben and Noah about how I got the ball and I didn’t know who it was from when some man behind me said, “Tom Brunansky threw you that ball”. I then thanked for telling me that. I would have gone my whole life not knowing who threw me my first ball if it weren’t for him.

Noah then got a ball from Twins Bat Boy, Dominic Frost. If you read Tony Voda’s blog, A.K.A. Plouffe’s New Hairdo, you’ll know who he is.

Later, we saw a Twins player standing around talking to some guys in the seats, which were most likely his friends. We were debating over which player it was, when Ben said, “It’s Caleb Thielbar!”. We all rushed over and got him to sign some stuff.

We returned to the dugout and found out that Andrew Albers was going to come out and sign autographs! When he eventually came out, all the fans thought he would be signing right by the entrance to the dugout, but he said, “I’ll sign over here!” and jogged over to 104. All the fans went crazy and started sprinting to that section. When I finally got his autograph, It was impossible to move because of the swarm of fans. Here’s a picture of all the fans and Albers signing my ball: alberstootingoutpoop

I eventually got out, and I left the stadium.

Goodnight Target Field.

STATS:

Balls at this game: 1 from Tom Brunansky

brunoball

Autographs at this game: 6 (I got 2 from Thielbar)

I hope you liked my first entry. If you noticed any mistakes I made with typing or spelling, or anything if there is anything you would like me to do differently, please leave a comment below.

Thank You

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