OFF TO ATLANTA: May 25, 2014: Colorado Rockies vs Atlanta Braves @ Turner Field

Finally it was here. The day I would get to enjoy my birthday present from months ago. My dad and I were traveling to Atlanta for a trip to see 3 baseballs games at Turner Field. I started out the day getting up at 4 in the morning. We went into Boston to catch a 6:15am flight to Atlanta:

Image

Off to Atlanta we went:

Image

The plane was practically empty:

Image

A lot of empty seats, and most people moved around for more space. During the flight they gave us water:

Image

I thought it was quite strange that it was in a can because I’ve never seen canned water before. After about an hour and 45 mins you could start to see the big city of Atlanta off in the distance from the plane:

Image

Our plane landed and we finally made it. We took a cab to the hotel and it took 10 minutes until we saw our exit:

Image

When we got to the hotel we could see the stadium:

Image

We then went to check in, but we couldn’t at the time. So we chilled out in the lobby until a room was ready. When the room was ready we put our things into the room and headed over to the Bullpen Rib House, which was right next to the hotel:

Image

I got pulled pork, fries, and mac and cheese:

Image

The mac and cheese was alright, it could have been more cheesier. The fries were excellent and the pulled pork was good until you got to the bottom. There was an overly amount of sauce at the bottom and was too much to handle. Besides that it was a good first meal in Atlanta. When we got back to the hotel, I made my hit lists:

Image

The ones on the right, with the bigger pictures are the autograph targets. The other ones are pictures of the players to indicate who is who for toss ups. I went down stairs and printed them out and we headed to the ballpark. Entering the ballpark for the first time was a great experience. I was not sure how it would look or the easiest way around. It wasn’t hard from the gate I went to. When I got there the gate was already open. I guess we should have calculated the opening gates better. We probably arrived around 5 minutes later than the gates opened up. My guess is they let them in earlier because no one was in line at the gate when we got there. I quickly went in finding my way to the left field stands. There was one Braves player to my right, Ian Thomas:

Image

Not even 5 minutes of me standing there, Thomas got a ball and then tossed it to me. I thought I got this one on the GoPro but I forgot to put the Sim Card in. Not a good start with the GoPro but I did get a picture of the ball. This is my first ball at Turner Field:

Image

The gap between the walls is exciting place to get a ball with a ball retriever. Here is verified My Game Balls member DeeDubs24 using a ball retriever to grab a ball:

Image

The gap is pretty big and a big drop. Here is the gap with the outfield wall to the left and the stadium-seating wall to the right. Notice the green shelf on the right after the gray concrete:

Image

It is a shelf for fans to put their drinks and things on instead of the wall or floor. The shelf was knee high on me and anyone can easily bump into it with his or her legs. Most of Braves batting practice was trying to figure out where the best place to get baseballs were. After grabbing the ball that Thomas gave me, I moved more into Left/Center Field. I was hoping Braves Pitchers David Hale and Cory Gearrin didn’t notice I already got one. I then moved to the Centerfield bleachers where Outfielder Jordan Schafer, Pitchers Ervin Santana and Luis Avilan, were shagging fly balls. I then saw another group of kids with ball retrievers:

Image

I left that area when the Braves started heading in. I then started heading over to the Left Field Bleacher so I could try for a ball with the Rockies Pitchers but first I had to get there. I stopped in the middle because of the entertainment going on in the common area near the entry gates. A group was performing using different kinds of drums and symbols:

Image

I finally made it to left field and stood right next to the foul pole. Here is the foul pole looking straight up:

Image

A bunch of Rockies players were throwing. One of the Rockies pitchers, Nick Masset, stopped throwing. I called out his name and he looked at me. Then he threw the ball right to me:

Image

Here is the ball:

Image

It was a Colorado Rockies 20th Anniversary Commemorative Ball. This was a great snag. I wondered if they were using these balls during batting practice but I would find out later. I decided to try out a photo challenge

  • You posing with any number of baseballs while in the background a player in the outfield is wearing a jersey with the same number — 5 points

But after looking at the actual challenge I realized that it was no good after thinking it was for most of the game. I thought the challenge was just a picture of balls and the player. I was not in the picture just my hand was as you can see Player 0 and my hand without any baseballs:

Image

Thought I had it, better luck next time. I went and looked at the Bullpen and took some cool angles of photos:

Image

There were a lot of fans with ball retrievers. Here are two fans with them fighting over the same ball. The purple cup with duck tape got to it first but the fast food cup, on string, picked up the ball:

Image

I then headed over to right field. As I went over there was now different entertainment. There was a Band playing music and the Braves Girls were throwing T-Shirts:

Image

I finally entered the right field bleacher, pictured through one of the entrances:

Image

Wasn’t too long before I got a Ball. Tommy Kahnle picked up a couple of balls and then tossed one to me:

Image

Here is the ball:

Image

I then headed to centerfield where Rockies catcher, Jordan Pacheco was standing with a Rockies Pitcher:

Image

If you look closely you can see he has a ball in his back right pocket. He was teasing the fans with the ball, faking throwing it to us and at the ball boy near the net. Eventually, he threw it. The kids he threw it to, dropped the ball and it landed down in between the walls. Here is Pacheco’s reaction to the drop ball:

Image

DeeDubs24 was over near us and he grabbed the ball with his retriever and gave it to one of the boys:

Image

After bating practice I asked DeeDubs24 if we could do a photo for a photo challenge:

  • Bonus #2 — a photo with an official myGameBalls.com Verifier — 2 points each

Here is the photo:

Image

Thanks to the fan for taking the photo for me and thank you to DeeDubs24 for being in the photo with me. I then headed out to my seats near the dugout. I stopped at the bullpen. The bullpen area is viewable from the concourse level:

Image

I then headed out to the dugout area:

Image

They kicked people out of their seats an hour before game start. This is right as batting practice is ending. The guy that was supervising the area was very nice and down to earth. I talked to him for a while and also talked to some fans. I talked to one fan the most and he was very nice. He was trying to get baseball cards signed. I took a photo of the 3 batting practice balls:

Image

The fan I was talking to then took this photo for me:

Image

Thank you for taking the photo for me! The first Rockies player to come out was Justin Morneau:

Image

I then did another photo challenge:

  • You posing for a photo while in the background a t-shirt is being launched/shot into the crowd — 2 points

Here is the photo:

Image

More Rockies players started coming out. Most of them started coming out as the National Anthem starting playing:

Image

The Kidz Praise Children’s Choir Calvary Baptist Church sang the National Anthem. This probably made every kid filled with Joy.

Image

The Rockies pitchers started coming out to go to the bullpen. You can spot the rookie really easy with the pink backpack:

Image

Here is first pitch from Braves staring picture Julio Teheran to Charlie Blackmon:

Image

As the game started, I wasn’t sure who I was going to root for. I had my Troy Tulowitzki jersey on so I went with the Rockies. I also was sitting right near the Rockies dugout so all signs did point to root for them. In the second inning, I went up to the concourse and got a Dip and Dots in a hat for food and a souvenir all in one:

Image

Also in the top half of the inning, starting pitcher Franklin Morales had to bat. In the Nation League there is no such thing as a DH (designated hitter). Morales proceed to get a bunt down to move the runners:

Image

In the bottom of the second, Evan Gattis hit his 9th home run of the year, making the score 1-0, Braves:

Image

My dad had came back with a souvenir soda:

Image

Unlike at Fenway where souvenir sodas have unlimited refills, Turner Field’s souvenir soda have one refill. They put a sticker on the cup to symbolize the refill. They also do not come with a Lid which I found rather interesting. Later in the inning, Andrelton Simmons flied out to center fielder Charlie Blackmon, to end the inning. Blackmon then tossed me the ball for my fourth of the day:

Image

In the bottom of the 4th inning, Evan Gattis hit his 2nd home run of the day. Justin Upton scored on the home run as well, making the score 3-0, Braves:

Image

After the home run you can see fans do the “Tomahawk Chop.” Fans use their arm and make a chop to the beat of the music. Some also use foam Tomahawks, that you can buy at the Team Store for $6. I bought one as a souvenir later in the week. Here is fans using their hands and tomahawks:

Image

Before the 5th inning, there was the Tool Race. The tool race is where 4 tools run in a race to just a little past centerfield. In this race the Paint Brush beat out the Drill, the Home Depot Bucket, and the Hammer:

Image

In the bottom of the 5th inning it was Home Run inning. If any Braves player Hit a home run in the inning, all fans would have the opportunity to get $5 off at the RaceTrac. In the inning Justin Upton hit a 2-run home run, making the score 5-0, Braves:

Image

Fans cheered because not only did the Braves hit a home run but it was during the Home Run Inning and the Score Board gave out the good news:

Image

After the home run, Morales was done for the day:

Image

Rockies pitcher Tommy Kahnle, who tossed me a ball during bp, came into the game to pitch:

Image

In the Top of the 7th, Anthony Varvaro replaced Julio Teheran after pitching 6 scoreless innings. With the pitchers spot coming up to bat, the Rockies put in Brandon Barnes to pitch hit for the pitcher, Tommy Kahnle. In the bottom of the inning, Rex Brothers came into pitch for Brandon Barnes after he pitched hit for Tommy Kahnle. In the bottom of the 8th inning, Troy Tulowitzki appeared to walk off the field with an injury after the mid-inning warm up:

Image

Josh Rutledge replaced him as a result. Also, Nick Masset replaced Rex Brothers on the mound. Chris Johnson then hit a two-run shot on a line drive to left center field, making the score 7-0, Braves:

Image

In the top of the ninth,  Luis Avilan came in, relieving Anthony Varvaro after 2 innings of scoreless work. Avilan put them down in order to end the game with a score of Rockies 0, Braves 7. At the end of the game, pitching coach Jim Wright had a ball in his hand. I quickly noticed this and asked him for the ball. He then tossed me the baseball:

Image

There was a little boy sitting next to me along with his mom. I told his mom innings before that I would do my best to get her son a ball. So the ball that Wright gave me, I gave away to the little boy. His mom then told me I had to sign it so they would remember who gave them a ball. I laughed a little then signed it. Normally I get people to sign my baseball but I signed one for a change. Here is my writing on the ball along with the signature:

Image

If you are reading this, Thanks for enjoying the game with me and I hope that ball is in a safe place now! His mom then took a photo of us with her camera and then with mine. Here we are with the ball:

Image

 

Image

Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

  • 5 Balls in this game
  • 27 Balls in 5 game this season = 5.40 Average on the season
  • Baseballs #185 – #189 lifetime
  • 16 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs
  • 12 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs
  • 12 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs
  • 3 consecutive games with at least 2 baseball outside of home stadium
  • 2 consecutive games with at least 3 baseball outside of home stadium
  • 2 consecutive games with at least 4 baseball outside of home stadium
  • Special Baseballs this game: Rockies 20th Anniversary (1)
  • Autographs this game: 0
  • Special Baseball on the Season: Opening Day Baseball (1), Rockies 20th Anniversary (1)
  • Autographs season: Grant Balfour (Rays), David DeJesus on batting gloves (Rays),R.A Dickey (Blue Jays), Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays), Todd Frazier (Reds), Brandon Gomes (Rays), Billy Hamilton (Reds), Brett Lawrie (Blue Jays), Wil Myers (Rays), Brandon Phillips (Reds), Neftali Soto (Reds).

May 22, 2014 Toronto Blue Jays vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

Another day, another game. This game was apart of the Red Sox Opening Day pack that had I bought. My dad bought a ticket for himself so he could go to the game with me. Well, though out the week, I thought the game was going to be a 7:10pm start but realized on Monday it was a 4:05pm start. My dad told me he might not be able to go and told me to ask around to see if anyone wanted to go to the game. After asking multiple people, no one could go to the game. So, my dad took a half-a-day at work so the ticket wouldn’t go to waste. We headed to the ballpark earlier than I excepted. We left the house around 11:45am. When we got into Boston, the road to the parking lot was being redone so we had to go around to the back side of the parking lot to go park. After the minor detour we headed up to Fenway. We went into the new pathway and had a great view of the entrance on Yawkey Way:

Image

I bet you can guess where we next. Yup, GameOn for food. We got the usual buffalo tenders and I also decided to try something new:

Image

For $10 you can get “THE ROAST BEEF” with james river bbq sauce, American cheese, and sliced pickles on a toasted onion roll. The sandwich is served with a side of chips or you can sub fries for $1.50, onion rings for $2.50, or a side salad for $2.50. It was good sandwich. I would recommend it if you are a big roast beef person. The bbq sauce was a little spicy and can be asked to be on the side, which I did.  After I finished my sandwich, I headed over to Gate C for Red Sox Nation early entrance:

Image

It was a normal sized line. Not to short not to long. I headed over to the end of the line and saw a familiar face. One of the guys that was in line with me went to the same Rays game as me, and was here again. He was with his mom this time and we talked for a bit. The Red Sox Nation employees came over to stamp us. I was very shocked with the print I got. I was expecting a Red Sox stamp but instead I got a red star:

Image

News got out that there was not going to be any batting practice due to rain being in the forecast. Aka, a ballhawks nightmare. Not having bp makes it a lot harder to get baseballs. Mostly because when it is raining nothing would be going on. I stayed in line and waited to get in early still. Some people left the line after hearing about no batting practice. They probably went to go to the restaurants around the ball park so they didn’t have to pay the ridiculous cost of food and drinks inside the ballpark. At 1:40 they started letting people into the gates. There has been much talk about new security in ball parks, well heres Fenway’s at Gate C:

Image

Fenway Security can be seen with hand security detectors. Each fan has to go through this. Also, if you bring a bag in, you have to get it checked and then receive a tag that lets people know its been checked. When I went to my normal spot in centerfield to see if anything was happening, the tarp was on the field. I brought snuggles for a photo challenge:

  • You and another person posing in the front row of the outfield bleachers wearing matching Snuggies — 5 points

Here is my attempt with my Dad:

Image

To the fans that took the photo thank you! After taking the photo, I moved into Right-Center field to take a photo of the tarp on the field:

Image

I walked over to the left field/3rd base side where some Blue Jays players were throwing and doing drills. When I got over there everyone left except one Blue Jays player who was doing running drills and stretching:

Image

It was the knuckleball throwing right hander, R.A. Dickey. He came over after he was done. He then signed a baseball that I had and then we took a photo together:

Image

After taking the photo with Dickey, I went underneath the grandstands to stay away from the rain. Not too much later, two Blue Jays came out and tossed a ball around:

Image

One of the players was Brett Cecil. He is not a hard player to recognize because he wears glasses/goggles when playing. The rain started to pick up and they started heading in. Cecil had the ball when they were heading in and I asked for the ball. With no one else around Cecil tossed me the ball for my first of the day:

Image

After I got the ball, I went back to the grandstand where my dad was and we went to tour around Fenway to keep busy. We went to the 3rd base new area. Where you could look out the windows:

Image

I then made another attempt at a photo challenge:

  • You high-fiving a mascot — 2 points

I brought a stuffed Wally doll to have the high five:

Image

After the photo I went back out to the grandstand to see if anyone was throwing, sadly no one was:

Image

So, I went back down into the concourse at Gate E. I went and visited Lego Fenway. Lego Fenway is a scaled model of Fenway Park and was donated by the Lego company in 2004. It is in a glass case:

Image

The model is made with details of Fenway including the Red Seat. Many people went over and viewed Lego Fenway. A couple fans had said that someone had too much time on their hands. Another thing I noticed about gate E was this:

Image

Its a charging station for phones with many cords. Each of the 4 corners had 5 different plugs for charging. Finding one that worked was a challenge and only two iPhone 5 chargers ended up working. I used one as I waited for the rain to clear. I also noticed that there was a Dunkins at Fenway:

Image

If you wanted to get a Dunkins coffee or hot chocolate it would cost you. A medium ice coffee cost $4.25 and a large is $5.75. These prices are almost doubled than a regular Dunks on the street. A large hot coffee cost $4 and and x-large hot coffee cost $4.50. Medium Hot chocolate and a small hot tea are both $4. To get the most for your money, I would say go with the XL hot coffee based on amount of coffee and price. I did buy a coffee and I payed $4.25 for a Medium ice coffee with the flavor of my choice:

Image

I went up again to see if anything was happening but nothing. I went back to the charging station to keep my phone charged. I noticed a little boy with something in his hand, it was a mask that a softball pitcher or infielder would wear:

Image

I thought this was rather interesting. Maybe they were sitting close and he needed protection. As the time started winding down to 30 mins before game time, I started heading to the dugout area where I normal go. They started pulling the tarp not much later:

Image

The grounds crew started getting the field ready and they had a special military day. Players began to warm up but didn’t get to do anything when they got out there because members of each military were heading out onto the field. They all stood out in the outfield grass:

Image

The American Flag was on the monster as the National Anthem played:

Image

Players started stretching and throwing after all the members of the different militaries where off the field. Reyes and Edwin Encarncion were playing catch. All of a sudden, Encarncion threw a low ball and Reyes missed it:

Image

The ball came right towards me but was too low for me to grab. The ball landed right next to the Video guy. He picked up the ball and the guy next to me grabbed it out of his hands. Was very close to getting my second ball but unfortunately didn’t. Not to much later after that miscue of a ball Adam Lind was commenting on the GoPro and telling me it was crooked. Well it was crooked because my head was crooked because I was looking into the dugout on an angle. He was talking to Brett Lawrie and I asked him if he could come and sign. He gave the okay and I tossed him the ball. He then signed it and threw it back:

Image

Right after Lawrie signed Encarnacion was walking in and then signed for me and the person next to me:

Image

The game was starting soon. Starting pitcher Mark Buehrle, Catcher Dioner Navarro, and Pitching Coach Pete Walker walking back to the dugout after warming up in the bullpen:

Image

The game started and Jon Lester was pitching for Boston. Lester pitching in the first inning against Jose Reyes:

Image

Lester started out shaky. He got Reyes to ground out for the first out but the next two batters both hit home runs. Here is Melky Cabrera rounding third:

Image

Jose Bautista also hit a home run finishing the back to back home runs:

Image

At the end of the top half of the inning the score was 2-0 Blue jays. In the bottom of the first inning Gomes put the Sox on the board when his single scored Pedroia. After the last out, Edwin Encarnacion had the ball and tossed it to me for my second of the night:

Image

The Jays brought the bats back in the top of the second inning when Reyes singled. Steve Tolleson and Kevin Pillar (11) scored on the hit, making the score 4-1:

Image

Cabrera walked and Jose Bautista singled that scored Reyes (7), making the score 5-1:

Image

Next batter Edwin Encarnacion singled which Cabrera scored on making the score 6-1. On the play here is Jose Bautista sliding into third safely:

Image

The Jays kept it going when Lawrie grounded into a force out to second, allowing Jose Bautista to score, making the game 7-1 Jays. Here is Encarnacion coming in after being out at second receiving high-fives for his earlier hit:

Image

The Sox responded in the bottom of the second when Xander Bogaerts hit a home run:

Image

In the top of the 6th, with 1 out there was an instant relay. (My first time seeing one). The call on the field was upheld as Kevin Pillar was caught stealing 2nd base, with the throw from catcher A. J. Pierzynski to shortstop Xander Bogaerts. The replay caused a five minute delay. Here is home plate Ump Gary Cederstrom with the call:

Image

Lester settled down not allowing any runs from the 3rd inning to the 7th with one out when he was taken out of the game:

Image

He was replaced by Burke Badenhop:

Image

Badenhop then pitched to two batters allowing one hit. He was relieved by Craig Breslow.

Image

In the bottom of the 8th Dustin McGowan replaced Mark Buehrle who did a great job pitching. In the top of the ninth Junichi Tazawa relieved Breslow. As Junichi Tazawa was warming up a fan from the 3rd base side ran on the field. They didn’t catch her until around second base, when the on-feild security guard tackled her:

Image

In the bottom of the 9th the Sox went down in order to end the game. 7-2 blue Jays was the final score. As home umpire Gary Cenderstrom walked of the field, I asked him for a ball. He then tossed me one:

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 8.33.50 PM

A little bit later Josh Thole who was catching in the bullpen was coming toward the dugout. I then snagged the ball that was in his hands after asking for it:

Image

Jose Bautista after the game was talking to press on the field. Shortly after he came back to the dugout. He looked at me took off his hat, and flung it onto the dugout then went inside the dugout. I reached for the hat and grabbed it. A fan behind me jumped on my back then slammed his wrist into mine causing me to let go of the hat. He then grabbed the hat and took off. A security guard and  the police officer saw what happened and the security guard tried to chase after the guy but he got tripped up and the guy was too fast. Bautista sunglasses were also on the hat but when the guy knocked the hat out of my hand the glasses fell off onto the dugout and I grabbed them. I thought well at least I got the glasses. Well apparently Bautista didn’t realize that the glasses were on his hat and I had to give them back. The police officer felt bad about what happened and told me and my dad to wait. I thought maybe Bautista was going to sign a ball for me but I thought wrong again. The police officer invited me and my dad on the field and in the away dugout. It was pretty cool. He took pictures of us in the dugout and on the field. It would have been nice to get the hat but I guess it was a good experience of something I haven’t seen or been apart of at the field. Here are some of the pictures that the cop took:

In the dugout with my dad using the phone:

Image

 

Over the dugout protective fence:

Image

 

My dad and I on the field:

Image

Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

  • 4 Balls in this game
  • 22 Balls in 4 game this season = 5.50 Average on the season
  • Baseballs #181 – #184 lifetime
  • 15 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs
  • 11 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs
  • 11 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs
  • 13 consecutive games with at least 2 baseball at Fenway
  • 10 consecutive games with at least 3 baseball at Fenway
  • 10 consecutive games with at least 4 baseball at Fenway
  • Special Baseballs this game: 0
  • Autographs this game: R.A Dickey (Blue Jays), Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays), and Brett Lawrie (Blue Jays).
  • Special Baseball on the Season: Opening Day Baseball (1)
  • Autographs season: Grant Balfour (Rays), David DeJesus on batting gloves (Rays), R.A Dickey (Blue Jays), Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays), Todd Frazier (Reds), Brandon Gomes (Rays), Billy Hamilton (Reds), Brett Lawrie (Blue Jays), Wil Myers (Rays), Brandon Phillips (Reds), Neftali Soto (Reds).

May 06, 2014 Cincinnati Reds vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

Another day, another game. My dad and I had tickets together again for the second time this season and this was my third game of the year. We left when my dad got out of work. We headed out around 3:20pm. We hit some traffic but compared to Boston’s everyday traffic, it was nothing. You can always tell when you’re getting closer to Fenway by the CITGO sign:

Image

At 3:50 we go to our parking lot that we always go to. We started talking to the gate guard like we always do. We ended up going to Game On and getting something to eat. We sat at the bar and got my favorite food, buffalo chicken tenders:

Image

After I finished, I went to go wait in the Red Sox Nation line. When I got there the line was longer than I expected:

Image

I waited for my dad who was finishing paying for the restaurant bill. I was sitting next to the WEEI 93.7FM radio room. I noticed something really strange. Inside the room there was a big bobble head. I thought maybe it would be a current Red Sox player. It turns out its not. Can you guess who it is?:

Image

Thats right, its Johnny Damon, with his long hair and beard. Something we haven’t seen in awhile. I still don’t know why it is there. The Red Sox Nation girls came around to stamp us. I noticed that there is multiple stamps, so you might not get the same one every time. This game, I got the Red Sox hat:

Image

I saw my dad coming after I got my stamp. He got in line with me minutes before the gates were going to open. Well the gates didn’t open on time. They let a big group in before us (circled):

Image

After waiting 10 mins longer, they let us in. I was kind of disappointed with this because that was 10 minutes not in the ball park. Getting to the front of the line was difficult. They had to check everyone bags and then get melted down. Well we got an example for Wayne (Collection of Baseball) about security. Read his post and others comments, including mine here: http://stock350i.mlblogs.com/2014/05/01/492014-at-att-park/ Well it didn’t work in my favor. Not only did they let us in late, the build up was terrible:

Image

Dead stop in the line. It took an extra 5 mins more to get into the ballpark. There was a lot of people in line. Most had bags which only two people were checking. Also, there were only two people with hand metal detectors checking people. This did cause a back up but at least we know we will be safe inside the ballpark. When I finally got in, I went to my normal spot in centerfield:

Image

When I got there my dad saw a ball in the stand stuck in the seats. We went over and grab the ball:

Image

After staying out in centerfield for a little, I noticed the Sox were hitting everything to right field. I headed over there to see if I could get one. As I was going down to right a ball was hit near Jon Lester and John Lackey. Not much later, Lackey threw me a baseball:

Image

Here is the baseball:

Image

Over to my left was a young fan and his mom. I went over to the young fan and gave him a baseball:

Image

His mom told me to keep it and I told her don’t worry, I’ll just get another one. She gave me back the ball and said we won’t take it until I got another one. It didn’t take long at all. Lester got a ball near the bullpen and then tossed a ball over my way:

Image

I then told the mom now you can keep this one. He was happy and I was glad I could make his day. His mom then took a picture of us together. I then ask the little boy if I could toss him the ball so he can catch a baseball at the game:

Image

He caught it and I gave him a high five. He had a bright smile on his face for the rest of the time I was over there. His mom thanked me again. Here is the little boy and me with the ball we got:

Image

I talked to them for awhile before I moved back to centerfield. Not much was happening and Red Sox batting practice was coming to an end but one more ball was hit out into the outfield. Arnie Beyeler (Red Sox First Base Coach) came and got the ball that was laying out on the warning track. He looked up and then tossed me the ball:

Image

Red Sox BP ended. I ended up with 4 baseballs (3 pictured with the other one given away):

Image

Then the Reds came out. I did notice something on the wall edge:

Image

I thought this was cool. It looks like an imprint of a ball that was hit. (Maybe it was from the ball that we found) You can even see the stitches and logo from the ball. Pretty cool to see a ball come off the bat far and fast enough to make an imprint like it. Everything the Reds hit was either over the Monster or near it. Not much was coming my way. It started sprinkling out as well but it passed rather quickly. Eventually a ball bounced of the Monster and came around near me. It bounced right to Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto. He wounded up and then threw me the ball:

Image

Here is the baseball:

Image

I then went over to the dugout, knowing that Bp for the Reds would end soon. Its a good thing I did, as soon as I got to the Reds Dugout, Reds Bp ended. I watched Johnny Cueto sign autographs but ended up not getting one, sadly. I was hoping he would sign the ball that he tossed me but I was too far away. From the dugout coach, Jay Bell threw up 6 baseballs. I got one, this one right here:

Image

That was the last of the Batting Practice. 6 balls so far with BP, not a bad start to the day. I decided I was going to go do another photo challenge:

  • You hugging a foul pole with your left arm while you’re holding a balloon animal in your right hand — 3 points

So I headed over to Wally’s world to get a balloon animal. I got a monkey climbing a tree. Here is the balloon artist making the balloon and the photo that got me 3 points. I also gave away the ballon to a young fan sitting in the seats:

Image

The photo put me into first place with 12 points!:

Image

It was funny. After I got the balloon, I found my dad. He was out on Yawkey Way and I randomly bumped into him. I asked him if he could come follow me to take the picture for the photo challenge. After we took the photo, I went to the Reds Dugout area. I went over near past the press section to where a bunch of Reds Fans were. All of a sudden one of the fastest players in the league starting signing. SportCenter has been talking about Billy Hamilton’s speed for a while now. He was signing over by the dugout area. I walked over to see if I could get his autograph. He was one of the players on my autograph hit list. Here is Billy Hamilton signing the baseball and his autograph:

Image

He signed for almost every fan. I asked him back in the outfield, if he was going to sign or not because of his hand. He recently injured his fielding hand diving for a ball. He was using a left handed teammate’s glove during BP. He would take it off to throw the ball back into the nets or other teammates. Players started coming out, more and more. First Reds player to come over and sign was Todd Frazier. He said to me, “You got me on video, look at you.” It was funny, a lot of the players are liking the GoPro. Have had a couple comments on it. Here is Todd Frazier signing a ball and taking a photo with me:

Image

I kept the GoPro on because he said something about it. Todd Frazier was very nice and signed for everyone, making sure he gave one who wanted one. It is nice seeing players interact with fans like this and he was on my autograph hit list to get. Next Reds player to come over was Reds Rookie Neftali Soto. He signed for a couple of Reds fans. Here is him signing my baseball:

Image

Next Reds player to come over was Brandon Philips. He took pictures with a bunch of fans and signed the whole row of fans. He made sure everyone got one. Here he is signing my baseball and we took a photo together. I forgot to take the GoPro off for this one because I forgot it was on my head:

Image

As me and Brandon Phillips were taking the photo, an announcement for the National Anthem came on. Here is some of the Reds players during the National Anthem:

Image

Felix Doubront was pitching for the Red Sox. Here is the first pitch of the game:

Image

Doubront had a 1-2-3 first inning to start his outing. Homer Bailey was pitching for Cincinnati. He walked Dustin Pedroia to start the inning. Pedroia ended up scoring on a Mike Napoli ground out:

Image

In the top of the second, Frazier was walked. Here is Frazier on third and Ryan Ludwick on second:

Image

Later in the inning Frazier scored on a Skip Schumaker single to tie the game at one. Bailey then pitched a 1-2-3 bottom on the second. Then Doubront matched it with a 1-2-3 top of the 3rd inning. In the bottom of third inning, the Red Sox managed to get the bases loaded with 1 out. Bailey then walked Mike Napoli which scored Jackie Bradley Jr. Score was now 2-1, Red Sox leading.

Image

Next, Grady Sizemore singled and Pedroia scored putting the score to 3-1 after 3 innings. In the bottom of the 4th inning, Dustin Pedroia hit a ball right next to the dugout. Reds coach, Bryan Price, picked up the ball and then threw it to me:

Image

This ball was my 7th ball of the day. Its also my second foul ball in two games. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any texts saying I was on TV. Couldn’t redeem myself from last weeks on TV appearance. In the top of the 6th, Badenhop relieved Doubront:

Image

In the bottom of the 7th inning Ortiz faked a bunt:

Image

Yes that actually happened but he didn’t bunt. It was weird seeing him square around though. Going into the Top of the 8th It looked as if the Red Sox would pull out with the win being up 3-1. Tazawa was pitching. He got a quick out then things got shaky. He walked Joey Votto and then Brandon Phillips doubled. The double moved Votto to third:

Image

Frazier hit a single to left that scored Votto making the game a one-run game. Next batter Ryan Ludwick hit a sacrifice fly into right field and Phillips scored making the game tied at 3:

Image

The Red Sox had chances in the bottom of the ninth with a runner on third. The game would go into extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th, the Sox had another chance. Pedroia was at second with two outs. Victorino hit a ground ball to Reds pitcher, Logan Ondrusek. He then threw the ball to Votto at first. As they were coming in Votto tossed the ball to first base coach Billy Hatcher. Hatcher then tossed the ball to me. Here is that 3rd out baseball:

Image

There it was my 8th baseball of the day. In the bottom of the 12th, Ortiz singled to start off the inning. Napoli then singled to center, moving Ortiz to second. The winning run was 180 feet away and a hit away from winning the game. Grady Sizemore hit a ball off the wall and scored Ortiz for the win! WALK OFF CITY at Fenway!

Image

Final Score was Red Sox 4, Reds 3.  Here is the walk off from the view of mine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVP4fFXRb6Y

Image

Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

  • 8 Balls in this game
  • 18 Balls in 3 game this season = 6.0 Average on the season
  • Baseballs #173 – #180 lifetime
  • 14 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs
  • 10 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs
  • 10 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs
  • 12 consecutive games with at least 2 baseball at Fenway
  • 9 consecutive games with at least 3 baseball at Fenway
  • 9 consecutive games with at least 4 baseball at Fenway
  • Special Baseballs this game: 0
  • Autographs this game: Todd Frazier (Reds), Billy Hamilton (Reds), Brandon Phillips (Reds), Neftali Soto (Reds)
  • Special Baseball on the Season: Opening Day Baseball (1)
  • Autographs season: Grant Balfour (Rays), David DeJesus on batting gloves (Rays), Todd Frazier (Reds), Brandon Gomes (Rays), Billy Hamilton (Reds), Wil Myers (Rays), Brandon Phillips (Reds), Neftali Soto (Reds)

April 29, 2014 Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

This game was a little different than most. The reason for this is I was going alone. Before the season, I bought an Opening Day Pack that the Red Sox had offered. The pack came with one ticket for four games. Opening Day, my dad bought another ticket to go with me, but this game he did not buy an extra ticket for him. So, I had no choice but to go alone. It was different. I had to drive in by myself and wait in line by myself. When I got into the ballpark at 4:40 there was no difference. Since my dad and I normally spilt up when we get into the ballpark, it felt like a normal game for me. I left my house at the normal time my dad and I would leave. I hit no traffic and made it in good time. I parked in the same parking lot that me and my dad normally do. I went through the same walkway as I did on Opening Day. Here is the view walking up with Fenway in the background:

Image

I then headed directly to gate C:

Image

Gate C is where the Red Sox Nation Card lets you in earlier than the general public. I got there around 3:30. Around 3:45 I decided to see if I could get one of the My Game Balls scavenger hunt photos done. Heres the one I wanted to complete:

  • You posing with a life-size statue of a Hall of Fame player — 4 points

So I got out of line and asked a random person walking the street to take the photo. He was happy to take the photo. I got the 4 points from the photo. Here is me with Ted Williams Statue:

Image

After the photo, I got back in line. This took not even ten minutes to do. I was shocked that no one had joined the line and I was back in my spot. Around 4:25, the Red Sox Nation workers came out to give us our wrist bands. Instead of wrist bands, they now stamp your hands:

Image

While in line I was talking to people. Turns out its a small world. One of the people in line graduated from Southern New Hampshire University (Where I attend). We talked about school and professors we had. I talked with them, in line, until the gates opened. The gates opened at 4:40. I went to my normal spot in centerfield. Not to much later, I got my first ball thrown by Junichi Tazawa:

Image

After 10 mins, basically no one was standing near me in the stands (Which was a good thing):

Image

A little bit later a ball was hit off the monster and Jake Peavy went over to get it. He waved/pointed at me, got the ball, and then threw me the ball:

Image

The throw was high, I jumped and it tipped off the top of my glove. Its a good thing no one was there because it rolled down the centerfield front row but I ended up getting the ball:  Image

The Red Sox finished up batting practice but something was different. The grounds crew was taking away the batting practice protective nets:

Image

So the Rays didn’t have batting practice. Kind of saddening with the amount of people in the stands being in my favor. Rays pitchers were throwing in left field. So I walked all the way around. The outfielders were also getting balls hit off the wall, in order to get the feel of the wall. Grant Balfour was throwing to the bullpen catcher Scott Cursi:

Image

When Balfour was done tossing with Cursi, he started talking to another Rays’ pitcher. That Rays pitcher then threw the ball back to Balfour. Then I called out for Balfour. He looked at me and then tossed the ball towards me:

Image

Balfour then walked from the outfield to the third base side and started signing autographs. Here is Grant Balfour signing the baseball he threw to me and the autograph:

Image

Balfour was on my autograph hit list. We then took a photo together:

Image

The Rays all went into the club house except for one player. His name was Brandon Gomes. He took photos with fans and signed. Here he is signing and the baseball:

Image

The Rays were all gone now, so I went to do another photo challenge:

  • You throwing a ball into a speed pitch game, with your score displayed — 4 points

Out of Yawkey Way there is Wally’s World and I remembered that they had a speed pitch game. Couple years ago, they did fastest of the game and I won during one game. So I headed to Yawkey Way and waited in line. I asked a man if he could take a picture for me and he said no problem. So here is the photo worth the 4 points:

Image

I threw 58mph. I didn’t want to throw my arm out, that would have been bad. I headed back into Fenway after I threw the ball and thanked the guy who took the photo for me. I decided I was going to change the location of where I went for the beginning of the game. Instead of being right next to the away dugout, I went over pass the away media area. After going to so many Rays games at Fenway, and noticing that they sign more over there, I finally got the hint to go over there. It payed off. I had Will Myers on my autograph hit list and he was the first one out to stretch:

Image

Myers then stretched by himself and came over to sign autographs for fans:

Image

While Myers was signing for fans, another Rays player casually walked out of the dugout and came over to fans looking straight at me. This player was David DeJesus. He had batting gloves in his hands. He came over and he said, “Can I give you some batting gloves.” I said, “Yeah, cool.” DeJesus then said, “Here you go”, and then handed them to me. I then thanked him. Here is DeJesus coming over to give me the batting gloves:

Image

Here are the batting gloves he gave me. (This is my first pair of batting gloves!):

Image

After DeJesus gave me the gloves, he went and stretched. At that time, Wil Myers was coming over my way. Not to much later, I could knock of Myers from my autograph hit list. Here is the ball and him signing it:

Image

Myers signed for the whole row of people. Next Ray’s player to come and sign was Ben Zobrist:

Image

A few years ago, I got his autograph. So instead of getting his autograph again, I got my photo with him:

Image

Then the next Ray’s player to come over was Matt Joyce:

Image

Last year I got his autograph and instead, I got my photo with him:

Image

After Matt Joyce was done signing, the National Anthem started. After the National Anthem, David DeJesus came over again. He signed the left batting glove for me:

Image

Here is the glove signed:

Image

DeJesus then took photos with fans and signed autographs. As I was getting the batting gloves, Evan Longoria  Matt Joyce and Yunel Escobar were playing catch. After they were done, Escobar had the ball. He then threw the ball behind his back using his glove to flick it right to me:

Image

The ball was my fourth of the night:

Image

The Sox took the field. The game started. John Lackey was pitching for the Sox to start of the first inning against Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist:

Image

He started of great. Two strikeouts and a 1-2-3 top of the first inning. Erik Bedard was pitching for the Rays. He let up the first hit of the game to Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino in the first inning. Here he is at first base:

Image

The first four innings were solid by both pitchers. Combined, the starting pitchers let up four hits in the first four innings. In the bottom of the 5th inning, things got interesting. Will Middlebrooks was up first. The first pitch, he hit a foul ball right to the area I was sitting in. The ball girl grabbed the ball then threw the ball. The guy next to me bobbled the ball and the ball landed right into my hand. I was a little shocked because I just popped in my hand without me knowing. Funny enough they got this on the TV:

Image

I got texts from friends saying I was on TV and when I saw the clip on TV I was laughing. Wasn’t a good moment to be on TV. Here is the link of youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWF2D8Y7miY Here is the ball for my 5th of the night:

Image

During that at-bat, Middlebrooks walked to start of the inning. Next Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled that moved Middlebrooks to 3rd:

Image

The next play Dustin Pedroia lined out to third baseman Evan Longoria:

Image

Longoria then dove into third to try to get the double play with Middlebrooks being off the base.

Image

The ump singled safe and Longoria is calling Joe Maddon:

Image

Rays Manager, Joe Maddon, them came out and started talking to the ump:

Image

Everyone thought we were going to have a Replay. There ended up being no replay and Maddon went back into the dugout. Play resumed and Shane Victorino hit a sacrifice fly to center and Will Middlebrooks scored the first run of the game. 1-0 Sox:

Image

The Rays answered in the top half of the 6th, when Desmond Jennings doubled and moved to third on a Matt Joyce single. Evan Longoria then hit a sacrifice fly and Jennings came home to tie the game 1-1. In between the inning of the top and the bottom of the 6th, Rays First Base Coach, George Hendrick, gave me the ball that the infield use to warm up. Here is my 6th baseball of the night:

Image

Brandon Gomes relieved Erik Bedard in the bottom of the 6th inning. He walked to first two batters, Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes. He got Xander Bogaerts to fly out and then he was relieved by Juan Carlos Oviedo:

Image

A.J. Pierzynski singled that drove in Napoli and moved Gomes to third, 2-1 Sox:

Image

Will Middlebrooks doubled and Gomes scored with Pierzynski moving to third, 3-1 Sox:

Image

Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled scoring Pierzynski and Middlebrooks, 5-1 Sox:

Image

Bradley Jr. moved to third on a wild pitch during Dustin Pedrioa’s at-bat. Pedroia grounded out and Bradley Jr. stayed on third with the infield having a shift on. Shane Victorino hit a ground run double that scored Bradley Jr., 6-1 Sox:

Image

Ovideo finally got out of the inning when David Ortiz struck out. In the top of the 7th, Wil Myers double to start the inning. David DeJesus moved Myers to third on a ground out:

Image

Ryan Hanigan singled to left and Wil Myers scored, 6-2 Sox:

Image

In the bottom of the 8th, David Ortiz hit a single to center field that scored Pedroia, who was on second, 7-2 Sox. Evan Longoria trying to keep warm on the cold April Night:

Image

In the top of the ninth, Edward Mujica replaced John Lackey who went 8 innings. Mujica quickly struggled giving up a double to James Loney and walking Wil Myers. David DeJesus grounded out moving Loney to third and Myers to 2nd. Yunel Escobar then singled to Xander Bogaerts at short. Bogaerts’s throw sailed into the dugout and Escobar was given second base. Loney and Myers both scored on the play, bring the score of the game 7-4 and now in a save situation. Mujica then got out Hanagian to fly out to right. Farrell came to the mound and took out Mujica. Down from the bullpen came Koji Uehara. Uehara came in and stuck out Ben Zobrist to end the game and it was High-Five City in Boston. Uehara and Pierzynski high-fiving:

Image

Red Sox won!! Final Score was Red Sox 7, Rays 4.

Image

 

Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

  • 6 Balls in this game
  • 10 Balls in 2 game this season = 5.0 Average on the season
  • Baseballs #167 – #172 lifetime
  • 13 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs
  • 9 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs
  • 9 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs
  • 11 consecutive games with at least 2 baseball at Fenway
  • 8 consecutive games with at least 3 baseball at Fenway
  • 8 consecutive games with at least 4 baseball at Fenway
  • Special Baseballs: 0
  • Autographs this game: Grant Balfour (Rays), David DeJesus on batting gloves (Rays), Brandon Gomes (Rays), Wil Myers (Rays)
  • Special Baseball on the Season: Opening Day Baseball (1)
  • Autographs season: Grant Balfour (Rays), David DeJesus on batting gloves (Rays), Brandon Gomes (Rays), Wil Myers (Rays)

Image

April 4, 2014: Opening Day at Fenway: Brewers @ Red Sox

It was more than just your average baseball game day . Its was Opening Day!! Finally, it was here. Back in October the Sox won the World Series. Today would be more than just a baseball game, it would be the end of a celebration. RINGS. Thats right we get our rings. The long wait would be worth it. Well my day started out with excitement. What better day to have your first Opening Day experience with one on great importance. As I woke up, I was extremely excited. I had packed my bag the night before. 4 baseballs, 4 pens, 2 hats, one glove, one camera (My go pro), and one poster filled my bag. We headed out on the highway at 8:30 in the morning. We wanted to get into Boston early because gates opened 11:35 in the morning. As we got onto the highway right away traffic:

Image

Great this ride is going to take forever. It was a longer ride that I had expect normally a 30 min drive into Boston doubled. An hour had passed before we parked in our parking lot that we always go to. There was a lot of construction that had been done. They put a new train stop in across from Yawkey Way. Not only did they do this, they put a walkway from the train station to Brookline Avenue. The walkway is unlike no other. It is designed with the Red Sox in mind. Here is the view from the top of the walkway looking out at the train stop:

Image

All the retired numbers are in statues with information on them. The information includes their full name, when they played, and historical stats as well. Here is Ted Williams number and information:

Image

From there I parted with my dad. I went to Gate C, where Red Sox Nation gets let in earlier than the general public. I went to ask the guy if Red Sox Nation is going to let people in the gates early. He told me 11:05. I told him thank you, see you soon, and I’ll be back. I went back to Game On, where my dad had gone to grab something to eat. I sat with him at the bar and got my bottle root beer. I kept looking at the time. I wanted to get back in line to get a good spot. I left my dad to get in line for 10:35. Sure enough people where already there:

Image

My dad came around 10:50 and waited in line with me. By then the line was long. It was a good thing I left when I did:

Image

I counted down the minutes to 11:05. Something didn’t seem right. No one came out to give us our wrist bracelets. People at the gates said they should be down. At 11:10 I asked one of the guys if they were doing the Red Sox Nation. I got mixed answers from the gates. Some said yes, Red Sox Nation was happening and some said no, Red Sox Nation was not happening. Well, turns out there was not Red Sox Nation for this day. Kind of disappointing but 11:35 was still early enough. They actually started letting people in at 11:32. I got in and went to my normal spot in Centerfield to see if batting practice was happening. It was. I took off my Sox hat and put on my Brewers hat. Brewers only did batting practice. Not even 5 mins into being there I got ball number one of the year:

Image

It was looking good for me, one already. Wasn’t the case. I wounded up moving around a lot. As more people started showing up I moved from center field to right field. I watched Lester and Lackey throw to each other:

Image

I wounded up in left field foul line seats. No luck. Batting practice was over. The Brewers all went back into their dugout. I went to my normal spot to try to get autographs. No luck either. I didn’t mind because Opening Day Ceremonies where going to start at 12:40pm. They were a little late. Around 1:00pm the festivities started. Finally, after 5 long months after winning the World Series, we would get our rings. The ceremony started out with an announcement of “Welcome to Opening Day at Fenway Park America’s most beloved ballpark. Last years season was on that was difficult to put into words and so we won’t even try but instead, lets just remember the journey.”  The main scoreboard video started playing a video. The video was around 5 minutes long. It started out with Ben Cherrington talking about what a wonderful opportunity it was to build the next great Boston Red Sox team. Then showed bits of John Farrell’s introduction press conference. Next it introduced the new signings the Red Sox had in the offseason including Victorino, Drew, Dempster, Gomes, Ross, Uehara, and Napoli. Then cut out into highlight from the beginning of the season until Patriot’s Day. After they showed the walk off victory, they turned to photos of the Boston Marathon Bombing. The next clip was Boston Strong and David Ortiz yelling “This is our F******* City!!” Then showed countless walk off wins, great catches, and home runs from the season. They showed clinching the east, highlights of the playoffs until the famous “Cop” on David Ortiz’s home run. Everyone in the crowd cheered when this happened. Oddly enough they cheered more then than any other moment. The video ended with showing the Sox win the World Series and the parade. Everyone quickly turned their eyes to the Green Monster for the next part. Music started playing and then the first banner dropped (World Series Champs of 1903):

Image

The music kept playing as the next banner dropped (World Series Champs of 1912):

Image

Then the next banner (World Series Champs of 1915):

Image

And the next  (World Series Champs of 1916):

Image

And the last small banner (World Series Champs of 1918):

Image

Then the banner got bigger (World Series Champs of 2004):

Image

Then the next large banner (World Series Champs of 2007):

Image

Then the banner we were all waiting for (World Series Champs of 2013):

Image

After the banners where all down, the Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors came out with the rings from left field. The crowd clapping the whole way. When they got to second base, the ring carriers got to each step on the base:

Image

The rings were placed on the podium on the first base side. Then the rings were to be given out. First head coach John Farrell, then bench coach Torey Lovullo and the rest of the coaches including trainers, and translators. The first Red Sox player out was Pedroia, then Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Doubront, Ross, Nava, Gomes, and Napoli. Then over the speaker, Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” came on and people started singing along. Then Victorino came out. Followed by, Middlebrooks, Bradley Jr. Miller, Tazawa, Breslow, Workman, Wright, and De La Rosa. Then Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” came on over the loud speaker. Then Webster followed by Britton, Wilson, Holt, Snyder, Lavarnway, and Berry (who was dressed in street clothes) came out. Then there was a long pause. Then Carp, Dempster and his child came out. Next was Uehara. Then the music stopped and chants of “Papi” started. Ortiz then came out to reciveve not only his World Series Ring but his MVP ring as well. Next the Red Sox all in a line pulled a rope that pulled up the World Champions Flag:

Image

Then the firefighters of engine 66 and ladder 16 came out:

Image

Then over the loud speaker, “And now ladies and gentleman we begin our fresh new season the 103rd at Fenway Park with your Boston Red Sox” Then they welcome the Brewers to the field. As the Brewers walked to the line. Brewers Willy Peralta (Number 38), took a trip going into the line.:

Image

Then the Brewers were announced by starting order. When Braun was introduced, he was booed by fans. Then the Red Sox were announced. Due to the Brewers being on the field while the Red Sox were introduced I saw this:

Image

Then from left field past Red Sox players Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, and Tim Wakefield came out with the World Series Champion Trophies of 2004, 2007, and 2013. Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown and Ty Law brought Super Bowl trophies from 2001, 2003, and 2004. Leon Powe came out with the Finals 08 Championship Trophy. Mark Recchi came out in support of the 2011 Boston Bruins Stanley Cup victory:

Image

Mark Recchi with Tom Menino riding shot gun:

Image

The last part of the ceremony included Tom Menino handing the ball off to Marty Walsh who then threw the first pitch to David Ortiz:

Image

Marty Walsh Throwing:

Image

Ryan Braun signed some autographs for fans, unfortunately I did not receive one:

Image

Not to long after Aramis Ramirez and Jean Segura finished playing catch, seconds after this happened:

Image

The ball was tossed by Brewers shortstop Jean Segura. Then the game started. Peavy was pitching to start the game. When Braun came up to bat, he got booed. This year I am going to participate in MyGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt. The one I was trying to complete is:

  • While standing in the front row immediately behind the dugout and facing the crowd, you holding a sign over your head that says in large print “Braun Was Framed!” or “ARod Was Framed!” — 9 points (10 Bonus points if the shot shows Braun batting in the background)

So here was my attempt:

Image

The photo didn’t count sadly. I forgot to put the sign over my head. Will try to see if I can go to another game with Braun hitting again to get the bonus points. I will try to do more photos for the challenge this year. During the bottom of the first, Marco Estrada pitched to Daniel Nava to kick off the first at-bat at Fenway for the Sox for the year:

Image

In the top of the second, Jonathan Lucroy hit a home run off of Jake Peavy. Here is him rounding third of his home run trot:

Image

Later in the inning, Carlos Gomez singled and Khris Davis scored bringing the score of the game 2-0 Brewers leading. In Grady Sizemore first At-bat in a Red Sox Uniform at Fenway Park, he singled. On the play, the singled moved Mike Napoli over to third. On his way to third there was a throwing error:

Image

 

Mike Napoli then went home and scored, making the game a 2-1 ball game. No runs were scored until the bottom of the third when, Red Sox third baseman, Will Middlebrooks hit a home run over the monster:

Image

The home run from Middlebrooks tied the game. No runs where scored until the 9th inning. Later, in between the bottom of the eighth  and the top of the ninth inning, one of the Brewers pitchers had a baseball in his hand (If you can give any information on who this player is let me know!):

Image

Few minutes later, I got the ball for my third of the night:

Image

 

Edward Mujica started pitching the 9th inning. Khris Davis hit a double and got moved to third on a hit by Scooter Gennett. Lyle Overbay then hit a foul ball into the dugout. One of the Brewer’s players was holding on to the ball. Later in the at-bat, Overbay doubled to right and Davis and Gennett scored, bringing the score of the game to 4-2 Brewers leading. This left the Brewers Pitchers excited:

Image

Overbay ended up going to third on the throw home:

Image

The next batter, Carlos Gomez, singled, scoring Overbay making the game 5-2 Brewers.Then, Mujica got two outs with Jean Segura hitting grounded into a fielded choice, then stole second, and Ryan Braun flied out. Aramis Ramirez singled and Jean Segura scored on the play. Then Mujica got pulled. During the pitching change, I got this for my fourth baseball of the day:

Image

It was the ball that was hit by Lyle Overbay earlier in the inning. Andrew Miller came in relieved Mujica and shut the Brewers down, after Mujica gave up four runs in the inning. In the bottom of the night Francisco Rodriguez shut down the Sox in order and the Brewers won 6-2 over the Red Sox.

Image

Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

  • 4 Balls in this game
  • 4 Balls in 1 game this season = 4.0 Average on the season
  • Baseballs #163 – #166 lifetime
  • 12 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs
  • 8 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs
  • 8 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs
  • 10 consecutive games with at least 2 baseball at Fenway
  • 7 consecutive games with at least 3 baseball at Fenway
  • 7 consecutive games with at least 4 baseball at Fenway
  • Special Baseballs: Opening Day Baseball (1)
  • Autographs this game: 0
  • Autographs season: 0

 

 

June 25, 2013 Rockies Vs Red Sox @ Fenway Park

My dad and I had tickets once again with each other for the second time of the season.

Image

We left early again at 2. We went to Game on again and had my buffalo tenders. Inside game on there is a fish bar, pizza station, and a downstairs where on the far wall is the away teams batting cages in side Fenway. After we ate our meals we headed down to Gate C. We waited in line until 4:40 hit, Red Sox Nation entrance time, and we went to my spot in centerfield:

Image

Not too long after Jon Lester tossed me up a ball for my 1st of the day:

Image

Not to long after that, Clay Buchholz tossed me up a ball. Here is numbers 1 and 2 of the day:

Image

I still stayed over in dead center. I decided to start taping some of the practice to get on Instagram. All of a sudden I can heard someone say a ball was coming. I looked up and saw the ball was coming my way. I didn’t even have to move. I stuck out my glove and caught the ball. I could believe I caught the ball and video taped it on my phone. I instantly yelled “CAUGHT IT!” The video is also up on Youtube and here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykG77sKC-C8 and also here is screen shots of the baseball coming in:

Image

I continued staying in the outfield because the Sox were hitting a lot of baseballs in this area. I’m not sure who was hitting but they were doing a great job of giving fans souvenirs. Not to much longer after the ball I caught another one bounced off the media roof bounced off the wall and I ran to get it. I grabbed it for my 4th of the day. Here is balls 1-4:

Image

That was all for the Sox batting practice. I put on my Troy Tulowitzki jersey and put on my Colorado Rockies hat. The first round of hitters were hitting the ball great as well. Baseballs were flying everywhere and I ended up getting two, my 5th and 6th of the day, in the seats in the stands after a mad dash for baseballs had happened. Not much was going on so I moved to the bullpen area where Jorge De La Rosa tossed up a ball for my 7th of the night:

Image

The gates then opened for the rest of the ticket holders to come in. I went to the dugout where Jordan Pacheco was signing:

Image

So far I got 7 balls and Jordan Pacheco autograph:

Image

I then sat around waiting for the Rockies to start to come out and Todd Helton was the first to come out. He then signed for some people around me:

Image

Then the rest of the Rockies started coming out. Two players started tossing a ball around. Not much later, that ball they were throwing, Corey Dickerson threw me the ball for my 8th of the day, making a new personal record. He went into the dugout, grabbed his bat and came back out and I asked him to sign it:

Image

That was all for my autographs. They lined up for the National Anthem and the game was about to start. Here is the first pitch of the game:

Image

Dempster pitched a scoreless first inning. The Sox then score 2 in the second. Here is Ellsbury scoring on the Pedroia single:

 Image

Pedroia later scored after a Nava single. Dempster then let up a solo shot to Wilin Rosario. A couple innings later in the bottom of the third, Mike Napoli hit a ball to Dexter Fowler in centerfield.  Fowler ran in and tossed the ball to me for my 9th of the day breaking my personal best that I made earlier in the game. After my 8th ball, I promised a dad if i got another baseball I would give it to him for his son who was at his first baseball game. Here is the dad showing his son the ball:

Image

I then bought some hot dogs. You cannot go to Fenway without getting a Fenway Frank: 

Image

Nothing is better than food and a baseball game:

Image

The Sox ended up winning the game, 11-4. 

Image

Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

  • 9 Balls in this game
  • 25 Balls in four game this season = 6.25 Average on the season
  • Baseballs #140 – #148 lifetime
  • 8 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs
  • 5 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs
  • 5 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs 
  • 8 consecutive games with at least 2 baseball at Fenway
  • 5 consecutive games with at least 3 baseball at Fenway
  • 5 consecutive games with at least 4 baseball at Fenway
  • Special Baseballs: none
  • Autographs this game: Corey Dickerson (Rockies), Todd Helton (Rockies), and Jordan Pacheco (Rockies)
  • Autographs season: Mike Adams (Phillies), Bret Cecil (Blue Jays), Corey Dickerson (Rockies), Todd Helton (Rockies), Franklin Morales (Red Sox), Jordan Pacheco (Rockies) Ben Revere (Phillies), Delmon Young (Phillies)

May 28, 2013 Phillies vs Red Sox @ Fenway Park

My dad and I had tickets for the first time together this season. Every other game I went to was with friends, so we could leave earlier. We left my house at 2 to go out to eat in Boston first. We went to a restaurant called Game On which is located on the corner of Brookline Ave and Lansdowne St. Game On has the best boneless buffalo tenders:

Image

After we were done eating we went into the Red Sox Nation line for the Gates to open up at 4:40. When the gates opened I headed out to my spot in centerfield that I always go to:

Image

Not to long after I headed out into the centerfield stands. Andrew Bailey tossed up a ball. Here is the ball:

Image

Pedro Martinez made an appearance in the outfield. He was having a hard time fielding baseballs that were coming towards him. Everyone was joking around with him trying to hand their glove to him or trade gloves. Here is Pedro:

Image

Not much later a ball came my way off the bat of a Red Sox player who was having their hitting session. The ball came in and all I had to do was take a step to my left and catch the ball. Here is ball #1 and #2 of the day:

Image

Not long after that the Red Sox were done with their batting practice and I took off my Red Sox hat and jersey and put on my phillies hat and showed my Cliff Lee t-shirt. The Phillies pitchers started warming up in left field:

Image

Nothing was coming out to centerfield or to the outfield. I stayed where I was and was hoping something would come my way. Nothing came our way besides boos and cheers. Papelbon was doing running drills along the warning track:

Image

All of a sudden a ball rolled to the center field wall and stayed there. The ball was sitting there for a while until Phillies pitcher Jake Diekman started walking over to the ball. He then looked up at me and tossed me the ball which I got on video. Here is some of the screen shots:

Image

Here is the ball:

Image

5:40 hit and the gates opened for the general public. So I traveled to a new area. I went over to Pesky Pole and hung out there where two Phillies were tossing up balls to fans:

Image

Not long after I got there, I got a ball tossed by one of them:

Image

After the ball was tossed I headed to the dugout to try and get my spot there. I went to my normal spot right next to the visitor’s dugout. Batting Practice ended with me getting 4 baseballs. Delmon Young started signing autographs for fans:

Image

I moved more down the line pass where the NESN camera crew sits to see if I would have any more luck with autographs. It was a good move, as Ben Revere came over and started signing autographs:

Image

Not long after Mike Adams came over and started signing:

Image

After that, nothing much was going on. The Phillies and Red Sox stood outsides their dugouts and waited for the National Anthem. After the National Anthem the game was special for Boston. In the score board the Boston Marathon pictures started popping up on the screen:

Image

The man in the cowboy hat and the guy in the wheel chair was one of the images used across Boston for the marathon showing people helping others during the bombing. This game was the first time these two people could come and throw out the first pitch. Here is the two guys:

Image

The guy in the cowboy hat pushed the man in the wheel chair to the mound. Here is them throwing the first pitch:

Image

Here is the first pitch of the game:

Image

Dempster was pitching for the Sox and let up a home run to Michael Young in the first inning. But the Sox came back with a run of there own with Pedroia hitting Ellsbury in:

Image

The Sox didnt end up scoring for the rest of the game but the Phillies did in the 7th and 9th inning. Dempster ended up with the L and Cliff Lee got the W. Papelbon came in and got the save for the Phillies:

Image

Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

  • 4 Balls in this game
  • 16 Balls in three game this season = 5.33 Average on the season
  • Baseballs #136 – #139 lifetime
  • Special Baseballs: none
  • Autographs this game: Mike Adams (Phillies), Ben Revere (Phillies), Delmon Young (Phillies)
  • Autographs season: Mike Adams (Phillies), Bret Cecil (Blue Jays), Franklin Morales (Red Sox), Ben Revere (Phillies), Delmon Young (Phillies)

May 12, 2013 Blue Jays vs Red Sox @ Fenway Park (Mother’s Day Game)

A friend bought me tickets for me to go to a game with him. This is very common for me to get tickets because my friends want to go to a game with me and see how I get all these baseballs. Since the game was a Sunday I knew there wasn’t going to be Batting Practice but that wouldn’t stop the hawk. I wasn’t rushing  to get in line. It was also a rainy afternoon so I didn’t expect people to be in line. So we viewed the statues out on the intersection of Ipswich St. and Van Ness St at Gate B. We went and saw the two statues of Ted William and Teammates.  Here is the Teammate Statue that has Red Sox Teammates Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr:

 Image

We then went to the gate C to get in early for Red Sox Nation:

Image

Gate C is located right behind the Scoreboard on Lansdowne St. When we arrived around 30 minutes to the gate being open, no one was there but the security guards. Before the gate open a couple people showed up. So we went into the ball park when they let us in. I walked right to the bullpens to see if anyone was throwing a bullpen session. Franklin Morales was doing a bullpen session, coming back from the 60 day disabled list. He was just finishing when we got there. He tossed me a ball for my first of the day and I asked him if he could sign it. He then took the ball back signed it and gave it back:

Image

After Morales starting walking back there was no sight of any players so we went up to the Monster to check out the view. It was a nice view but the tarp on the field was not a sight I wanted to see. Players from the Blue Jays started coming out and so we headed back down to the bullpen area to see if any players would come and throw. Brandon Morrow came over and threw a bullpen session:

Image

He later tossed me up this which was my second baseball of the day:

Image

As soon as the rest of the gates opened I went to the left field stands to where the rest of the Blue Jays were throwing. Bret Cecil was tossing with another Blue Jays player who I didn’t recognize. I watched them throw until they were done. Then I called out his name and he tossed me the ball for my third of the day. He also came over signed for fans so I also got him to sign on the ball he tossedme. I found it strange that Bret had Bryton 27 on his glove. Which I late found out was his son name. Here is Bret Cecil signing the ball:

Image

The Blue Jays players started going back into the dugout to get ready. So I went over to the dugout where I normally go to try to get players to sign and maybe get a ball or two. Then they started coming out to stretch. Since it was Mother’s Day the Red Sox had a special mascot for the day. Wally’s mom came to the ball park to spend the day on the job with her son:

Image

The Blue Jays started to stretching and then Bret Lawrie started playing 3-way catch with Munnori Kawasaki and Edwin Encarnacion:

Image

I watched them play catch until they were done. Lawrie then tossed the ball towards me. I caught it for my forth ball of the game. He then turned and went over to sign autographs to the far left of me past the media:

Image

At the time I didn’t think to move over there and I hoped he would sign where I was but I was out of luck. I was hoping he would sign the ball that he threw to me which is here:

Image

I ran out of luck with the autographs for the rest of the game because they started lining up for the National Anthem:

Image

Soon the game started. Ryan Dempster was pitching for the Sox and Chad Jenkins was pitching for the Blue Jays. Here is the first pitch from the game:

Image

The first inning looked like a good chance to get a ball with Napoli grounding out to end the inning. Adam Lind was playing first and I knew I had a shot to get the ball.  He tossed me the ball. I had the ball in my glove for more than a second and the guy in front on me knocked it out of my glove. I tried grabbing for it as it went down the dugout. I couldn’t reach it and someone else got the ball. I was frustrated because I noticed that the ball was pink laced as it rolled down the dugout. I was gonna do what ever I could to get this special ball but had to wait. The Red Sox didn’t score yet but they had chances. They didn’t have much going for them until Mike Napoli hit a home run in the 4th inning. Here is him rounding 3rd:

Image

I was still out of luck until the top of the 6th inning. Andrew Miller was pitching to Colby Rasmus. Rasmus hit a foul ball into the dugout and one of the players then tossed the ball to me. There it was the pink Mother’s Day ball for my 5th ball of the day:

Image

The Blue Jays then scored more runs in the inning. To lead the sox 10-1. People started leaving so more and more seats opened around us. The Sox scored later that inning to bring the game 10-2 into the 7th inning. No runs were scored until the bottom of the 8th when Pedro Ciriaco hit a home run and Salty grounded into a fielders choice that scored Nap. The Score was 10-4 now but then the Jays answered with runs of their own in the top of the 9th. The game ended up with the Blue Jays winning the game 12-4.

Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

  • 5 Balls in this game
  • 12 Balls in two game this season = 6.00 Average on the season
  • Baseballs #131 – #135 lifetime
  • Special Baseballs: Mothers Day Baseball
  • Autographs:  Bret Cecil (Blue Jays), Franklin Morales (Red Sox)

April 27, 2013 Astros vs Red Sox @ Fenway Park (First Game of the Year for me)

2013 Season started off on April 27, 2013 for me. I went with a friend to this game. There is nothing better than pulling up to a ball park and seeing the field. We pulled down Brookline Ave and parked in the same parking lot I always do. We started walking to the field to Yawkey Way:

Image

We had time to kill so we went to the different shops around Yawkey Way and headed to Gate C which is on Lansdowne Street to go into the ball park for 4:40 for Red Sox Nation. The Red Sox Nation workers come around and check for tickets and hand out Red Sox Nation paper wrist bands:

Image

When you wait in line you are almost into the Ball Park and can be a tease. Sometimes the line is short and other times its long. When the line is short and you get a good spot your standing in the gate looking in and can see the stairs leading up to the outfield stands where I would be going:

Image

There wasn’t a lot of people in line for the game. At 4:40 we were let in. I then went to my usual spot in the outfield stands. Here is my view:

Image

It didn’t take very long to get a ball. Ryan Lavarnway tossed up a ball:

Image

In five minutes I got two baseballs. Second one thrown up by Ryan Dempster:

Image

After trying to see if I could get any more baseballs buy players hitting them I moved over to the right field stands near the bullpen. Thats where John Lackey threw up a ball to the stands. I got that ball:

Image

That was all for the Red Sox batting practice. I went back over to my spot for the Astros batting practice. I took off my Red Sox hat and Red Sox jersey. I had only a Astros Hat so I had a regular T-shirt on. The first ball came off a hit. It was a home run bp baseball! Not only was it a bp homerun ball it was also an Astros 50th Baseball! for my 4th baseball of the day:

Image

I then went over to the right field stand to try to get a ball near the bullpen area. Coach Jeff Murphy threw me and my friend a ball. The ball was a regular MLB baseball was hoping number 5 of the night would also be a 50th:

Image

When the gates opened at 5:40 i headed over to left field bleachers to try to get a ball:

Image

We met with the Astros starting pitcher, Brad Peacock’s dad. We talked to him for a while. He talked about how his son was very nervous pitching against David Ortiz. We talked to him until he needed to go to right field to the bullpens to tell his son good luck. After waiting around for a ball to come to this side one did. One of the Astros’s players who I didn’t know their name tossed me the ball for ball #6 of the day. I quickly put the ball into my pocket and me and my friend went to get food and drinks. I got my souvenir soda and by the time we got our food and drinks the Red Sox started warming up for the game. We went down to the Red Sox dugout to see if we could get anything there:

Image

I knew that getting anything now would be hard to get. The National Anthem started playing. Any Autographs for this game was out of the question but a ball wasn’t. Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli started playing catch and I knew I had a shot at that ball. Mike Napoli was on my left so I was hoping he ended with the ball which he did. He then tossed the ball up to me for my 7th of the day tying a personal best for me. Here is the ball:

Image

We sat in some seats that were empty and got to see an inning there including the first inning where Felix Doubront pitched in the inning allowing 2 runs to score. Here is the first pitch of the game:

Image

After the inning we got kicked out of our seats and went to our seats we had tickets for. My night of ballhawking was done. We had a great view and enjoyed the nice evening of baseball. The Sox were doing by one hot dog get one for free so we participated in that. The event didn’t count with the walking vendors so I ended up buying 5 hot dogs for the price of 3. Later in the game I went up to vendors inside to get hot dogs and came back to my seat with 4:

Image

The Red Sox ended up winning the game 8-4. With Doubront getting the win and Peacock getting the lost.

Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

  • 7 Balls in this game
  • 7 Balls in one game = 7.00 Average
  • Baseballs #124 – #130 lifetime
  • Special Baseballs: Astros 50th Baseball

Image

#SoxGrammers

The #soxgrammers contest was a blast. I got to go on the field on the back stop in between the two dugouts. I was wicked close to all of the players. I got 7 of my photos posted on the Instagram page of the Red Sox! I was glad I got the opportunity to win the contest and get to go. During the free event, the Sox had a small scrimmage against each other. I took photos of the Sox warming up. I then headed up to the green monster where we took photos of the field and the B Strong that was out in centerfield grass. We headed over to the bullpen where Clay Buchholz was warming up with Ryan Lavarnway.  Image

Clay pitched a ball in the dirt gave the ball to his pitching coach and he threw the ball up to me catching the ball without my glove. I was very surprised that he gave me a ball. I wasn’t really looking to get any baseballs while I was there just looking to get the photos for the contest. Here is Clay giving his pitching coach the baseball:Image

The pitching coach was slightly shocked that I caught it. Didn’t have a glove on and its the first baseball I have actually gotten with out a glove on. Here is the baseball:

Image

I then moved over to the other bullpen where Peavy and Salty were warming up. They were just about to finish. I snagged a baseball from Salty. He tossed the ball up and I again caught the ball without a glove on . #2 of the day. I then put the ball on the bullpens roof and tried to get fancy with the photo:Image

I then went back over to Buchholz pitching. He was going to finish anytime soon. He pitched a ball in the dirt and Lavarnway made a nice stop on the ball:

Image

He then picked up the ball and gave the baseball to me for number 3 of the day. I got this one all on photos. Im starting to get used to catching baseballs while taking either videos or photos. Good multitasking abilities. Here is the 3 frame shot of Lavarnway:

Image

After Clay’s bullpen session was over. We were taken to the Budweiser seats. As we were up there the only run of the scrimmage was scored. The Sox players were very friendly with the fans giving away as many baseballs as they could mostly to all the children around. Gomes all gave away his batting gloves to two lucky fans. In all it was a good day. I got 3 baseballs that came to a surprise.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 301 other followers

%d bloggers like this: