Jeter’s Last Friday Game?: September 26, 2014: New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 11.58.09 AMJeter’s career was going into the final stretch. Jeter had just come off his last game at Yankee Stadium, which was an emotional night for all. He delivered when he ended his final home game with a walk-off single. Only Jeter would hit a walk off in his last at-bat in the pinstriped uniforms. After quite a night, he announced that he will not play shortstopScreen Shot 2015-01-01 at 9.42.58 PM during his last series at Fenway and his career but he would be the designated hitter for the Yankees. I was going alone to the game, again. Going alone has been come a norm for this year. I don’t mind it, less to worry about. As I was walking around Fenway before I got to Gate C, I saw “JETER’S Last Call Shots” $2 ALL WEEK!!!. Not sure if that is a good discount or not but thought the idea was great. I got to the gate and I was first in line. Red Sox Nation workers came around and stamped our hands. I got a new stamp that I haven’t seen yet. When we went in to the gate, I went up into my spot. The new outfielder Rusney Castillo was taking fly balls. Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 9.42.27 PMAfter he got his last one, he threw the baseball to me for the first one of the day. Later on in the batting practice, when most of the players were off the field, Coach Arnie Beyeler tossed up another baseball to me for my second on the day. The Red Sox were still batting and a Red Sox player, who I couldn’t tell who they were, hit a shot over my head.Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.10.36 PM I quickly got to it in the stands 5 rows up from where I was. No one was around me so it was a quick easy snag for my third ball of the day. I then headed over to the Red Sox dugout because the yankees were not doing batting practice. Words were going around that Derek Jeter was not going to be playing today. Of course, I was slightly disappointed but I don’t blame him, he had a long emotional night the day before. At the dugout Brock Holt was signing autographs, unfortunately I didn’t get one.

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I then headed over to my normal autograph spot. First sign of Jeter happened not to long after. Closer to game time Brett Gardner was in the dugout. He then signed a baseball I gave him.

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Not much later it was time for the National Anthem.

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Steven Wright would be pitching for the Red Sox and ex-Red Sox pitcher, Chris Capuano would be pitching for the Yankees. In the first inning, Yoenis Cespedes tried stretching a single into a double. He was called safe but the Yankees wanted to use instant replay to get the call right. After review, the call was overturned and he was out to end the inning.

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In the bottom of the 2nd inning, the Red Sox struck first. Allen Craig singled and went to second on a throwing error. On a Byrce Brentz single, Craig scored giving the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. In the top of the third the Yankees responded. Eury Perez struck out but reached first and then to second on both passed balls  by Dan Butler. Fransico Cervelli then knocked Perez in with a single to left, tying the game at 1 a piece. Later on in the inning, John Ryan Murphy grounded into fielder’s choice to shortstop and Cervelli scored on throwing error by second baseman, Mookie Betts who was trying to get the double play. The score on the error gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. Before the 4th inning, one lucky fan got an autograph from Jeter. Jeter went into the dugout and grabbed a ball and signed it. He then tossed it up to a fan.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.28.17 PM In the top of the 6th inning, Zelous Wheeler hit sacrifice fly to right that scored Murphy giving the Yankees a 3-1 lead. In the bottom of the 7th, Shawn Kelley relieved Capuano and then next batter Rusney Castillo hit home run over the monster to allow the score to be 3-2 in the Yankees favor. The Red Sox had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the night but finished the game with a runner in scoring position. Yankees won the game 3-2 in a night we saw Jeter sit on the bench.

Derek Jeter’s Last Game: September 28, 2014: New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

The last game of 2014 season for the Red Sox was at Fenway Park. This year it was slightly different. NO PLAYOFFS… for either team. Both the Yankees and Red Sox did not make the playoffs for the first time since 1993. The game may have been worth nothing in a normal season. This season was different. Back in February, one of the Yankees players said his career will be over after the 2014 season through a Facebook post. A year of #RE2PECT and #FarewellCaptain all leading up to his last game vs. his rivalry team of almost 20 years. Derek Jeter’s last game playing in a Yankees uniform and I was there. For the 20 years I have been alive, tIMG_3281he number 2, in a Yankees jersey, was always worn by Derek Jeter. I had seen him play before when I was little but seeing a future Hall of Famer’s last game is what makes a no meaning game to a game worth every penny spent. There was no way I was missing this game. Sunday games are not my favorite. They normally do not have batting practice so I didn’t expect it but I still went in as early as I could. I set my alarm for 7:30 in the morning for a 1:35 game. Gates were going to open around 11:05 for Red Sox Nation. I left my house around 8:00. The parking lot and areas around Fenway were empty. Maybe it was too early in the morning for Red Sox Nation at 8:45. I was the first in line. No one was showing up for another 30-40 mins. I decide to walk around at 9. I saw Yankees shirts being sold in Red Sox team stores and had to check it out. Thats right, Yankees merchandize in a Red Sox store. This seems so strange aIMG_3279nd it was. But, it was a hit with many fans getting their chance at a once in a life time souvenir. Of course I gave in to buying some merchandize. How was I not going to buy something? I also made a sign for the day. I got creative with it. Yes I am wearing a Derek Jeter shirt. This is the second time I have worn the shirt. The other time was for a bet I lost in High School to my 9th grade, Yankees loving, Math teacher. Our bet was she had to wear a Red Sox shirt to school if the Phillies won the World Series in 2009. If the Yankees won the World Series, I would have to wear a Yankees shirt to school. Well, the Yankees won the World Series in 2009 so I spent the day at school wearing a IMG_3301Yankees Derek Jeter T-shirt. Although, this time there was no bet. I did it on my own. In respect for Jeter, I wore the T-shirt. Waiting in line, I was getting nervous about no Red Sox Nation. They did not have Red Sox Nation during Opening Day so I was convinced that there wasn’t going to be any today as well. I was waiting for so long and forgot I got there early. Red Sox Nation came around and handed us Red Sox Nation glasses but also the people next to me were asking about VIP Red Sox Nation. It was a father and son. I had been talking to them all morning.  As they were getting their wristbands, the son also asked to put a band on me and the Red Sox Nation employee did. When the gates opened, I got my bag checked and then headed into my normal spot to see what was going on. I brought my camera from my photography class and decided to capture certain moments of the day. The first photo of the day was this:

DSC_0278 Red Sox pitchers were warming up but also, there was nets set up. The Red Sox didn’t look like they were going to hit but the Yankees were going to. I decided since I had my camera, I wouldn’t stay in the outfield for batting practice but get up close photos of Jeter in and around the cage. I went to the backstop and took a lot of pictures from there:  Jeter’s Last Game Photos Here. I got some greScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.02.56 AMat photos. It was worth going there instead of watching batting practice from the outfield. I had set up half way mark between the dugout and the cage. I snuck my way to the first row, right on the black ropes. All eyes were on Jeter and he was all smiles.Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 11.36.00 PM He would occasionally look over at all of the people. Spike Lee was decked out in his Jeter attire. Past Red Sox, Jacoby Ellsbury and Steven Drew made appearances.  There was a good amount of signs all in favor of Jeter. I was expecting the amount of signs but some were a lot more clever than I thought they would be. Through out the day I saw a lot of cool things fans did for Jeter. There was socks with the #2 and there was kid with  Jater’s number shaved into his head. When the Yankees slowly started to leave the field, I quickly moved to the dugout and got close enough that I would get a couple good shots of Ellsbury coming off the field. I then headed to left field where Ichiro was warming up with a trainer. I watched him doing running drills until Tanka came out and started throwing. I turned my attention to him. The grounds crew started to get the field ready shortly after Tanka was doneScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.07.35 AM throwing. When the grounds crew were finishing up Red Sox players started coming out and warming up. Then some Yankees players started to come out. Michael Pineda, the starting pitcher for the Yankees, started heading to the bullpen to warm up. Meanwhile the ball girls were putting buckets of baseballs near the bases and in the outfield.

After the video board started playing the song, “We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel. Then video to the song started to play, as it featured the history of the Red Sox and Yankees rivalry with key moments in history including key games, fights, and everything in between. They showed Ted Williams, the DiMScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.10.02 AMaggio brothers, Mickey Mantle, Fred Lynn, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, and Pedro Martinez highlights. They showed many pitching duels that led to close calls of batters getting hit. Then, they showed Aaron Boones walkoff home run and Yankees fans were cheering. Next they showed Jason Varitek shoving his glove into Alex Rodriguez’s face. Of course, Red Sox fans cheered with excitement. Then the video showed the 2004 ALDS series by “The Steal”  in Game 4 to keep them in the playoffs and and David Ortiz’s home run in Game 7. They continued the video to show the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series and then to celebrating the win. They showed signs of “Who’s Your Daddy and “Cowboy Up.”  Then the media board went black and showed the green monster scoreboard. They slowly removed the September 28th, 2014 from the score board and replaced them with “WITH RESPECT 2 DEREK JETER.” When the letters where all on the board, the crowd chanted “Derek Jeter.”

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.13.41 AMThey announced: “Good Afternoon, once again ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Fenway Park. All of us know that todays Red Sox, Yankees game marks not only the end of the season but the end of an era in this great rivalry between these two teams. For today, we acknowledge and celebrate the Hall of Fame career of a competitor on the field and a gentleman off the field. He has enhanced our game with his mannerScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.17.23 AM, he has elevated our game with his character and he has reminded us of what we seek and what we admire in our sports heroes. Ladies and gentlemen, won’t you please welcome the man to whom we wish to express our admiration, our gratitude, and our respect, number 2, Derek Jeter.” As they announced “Derek Jeter,” he came out of the dugout. As he was walking out, he tipped his cap to the fans. He came out to the outfield right behind second base. The announcement continued: “Derek, several of the greatest Red Sox ever, including our 3 living captains wanted to be here today to personally thank you for what you’ve done for the game we love.” First past-red sox captain that came out was #8 Carl Yastrzemski, Next was #6 Rico Petrocelli, then #14 Captain Jim Rice,#19 Fred Lynn, #23 Luis Tiant, #49 Tim Wakefield, and lastly #33 Captain Jason Varitek. The announcement continued: “Derek, while these Red Sox Legends have come from near and far to thank you, your impact extends beyond baseball. Here in Boston where passion runs high for our sports heroes and just as high against our sports rivals, 3 of Boston’s greatest and grittiest heroes from the 3 other major league sports have also gone out of their way to be here, to congratulate you for all you have accomplished and to express their admiration for how you have done so. Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.20.17 AMPlease welcome, from the Boston Bruins, the legendary, Bobby Orr. From the New England Patriots, former captain, the great, Troy Brown. And a former captain of the Boston Celtics, back today just for you, welcome back Paul Pierce. Derek, not only do the stars of Red Sox past congratulate you, and not only do the stars of New England sports thank you, but all of those currently wearing red sox uniforms seek to salute you, but one man has memories unlike any other because he was your teacher. No doubt, you remember 35 straight two-a-days under the hot sun of the Florida Instructional League back in 1993 at the beginning of your minor league career. How proud he is of the player you became and how proud he is of the gentleman you have always been. Welcome the outstanding teacher of baseball, now the Red Sox third base coach, bringing you custom boots from L.L. Bean made in his home state of Maine, your teacher and friend, Brian Butterfield.Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.21.54 AM And now just as little leaguers shake hands and say good game, and just as parents look to baseball to teach good sportsmanship, our 2014 Red Sox want to come out even though we have 9 more innings to go, to acknowledge your nearly 20 years of good games and good sportsmanship.” First one out was David Ortiz, then Joe Kelly who took a selfie with the Captain. The rest of the Red Sox came over and shook Jeter’s hand until they got to Pedroia, who was last. The announcement continued: “Now Derek, in this ballpark, second base belongs to Dustin Pedroia, but he would love to give this base to you, to commemorate the 153 games you will have played in Boston. May it hold only fond memories of your days and nights at Fenway Park. And Derek, all of us admire your heart felt commitment to the children of your Turn 2 foundation which successfully inspires youth to turn away from dangerous temptations and instead Turn 2 a healthy lifestyle. To support your effortsScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.25.03 AM the Red Sox would like to make a contribution to support your foundation. Congratulations to you and to your sister for these great efforts. And Derek, beyond your own philanthropy, you have touched some lives in Boston very deeply. In fact, this past summer one small gesture on your part was, shall we say, very cool. Lets look at the video board” On the video board, they showed Derek Jeter in the locker room in a chair with teammates behind him with a Gatorade tub. Jeter was doing the ice bucket challenge (Jeter’s Ice Bucket Challenge). The announcement continued: “Derek, just before you were doused, you recognized your legendary predecessor Lou Gehrig, who first made us aware of the disease 75 years ago. And you recognized the captain of the Boston College Baseball team, who heighten our awareness so much this summer. How happy we are that this hero in the fight against ALS can be with us today to thank you directly and personally. Please welcome a brand new father and a father of the ice bucket challenge phenomenon, Boston’s own freight train, Peter Frates”

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After Derek met with Pete half way to behind second base, the announcement continued: “Derek, we have tempted to convey our admiration and our gratitude. We now have one more sentiment to convey and it is the most important one. To illustrate it, we have one last gift, one more piece of the park. It is a heavy metal placard that hangs in the green monster and it is signed by our 2014 Red Sox, presented to you by David Ortiz and our young shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who as a child in Aruba looked up to you, emulated you, and now wears number 2 because of you. This inscribed sign has the one word with the unique spelling that symbolizes what we all feel for you, what we all have for you, and what we now give to you. It is the sign of our respect.”

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.26.18 AMAfter, Massachusetts native and Voice contestant, Michelle Brooks Thompson came out and sung “Respect” to Derek Jeter and even put in its own twist saying  “Hey Jeter,” ” its all about you #2,” and “from Boston, Derek Jeter, we respect you.”Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.28.34 AM The announcement continued: “And to you Derek Jeter, the Boston Red Sox organization and the fans of Red Sox Nation thank you for a career and in which you gained our admiration, inspired our gratitude, and earned our deepest respect.” Jeter than shook hands with the Boston Red Sox and New England greats. Then lined up on the third base side for the last time. The National Anthem was sung by Michelle Brooks Thompson. Red Sox and New England greats, plus Peter Frates stayed out near second base for the National Anthem. They were walked off the field after. When the National Anthem was over Jeter crouched down one more time, took off his cap, held back tears then headed out to warm up:

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One last time the legend will warm up before a game. Clay Buchholz would start the game for the Sox. In the top of the first Derek Jeter would have his second-to-last at bat:

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He lined out to the shortstop.  In the 3rd inning, the Yankees started scoring. Francisco Cervelli walked to start off the inning and Jose Pirela singled. Ichiro Suzuki then tripled which scored Cervelli and Pirela. Derek Jeter came up. Everyone stood and clapped and chanted “Derek Jeter.” Everyone had their phones out knowing that this could be the last at bat of Jeter’s career:

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The ball bounced high to third and Red Sox third basemen Gavin Cecchini jumped to get the ball:

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The ball just barely bounced off his throwing hand. As Jeter ran to first everyone knew this was it. Once the baseball was sent in the dugout the Derek Jeter era was ending. Brian McCann came in to run for Jeter:Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.32.03 AM He then headed out but first he tipped his helmet to the Sox dugout, then shook hands with Buchholz and went off the field. He was greeted by third base coach Rob Thomson:

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Hugs went around as he countined down to the dugout to Mark Texiera and Brett Gardner. He went down the line to each of his teammates giving them a hug and smiling. Jeter tipped his helmet a couple more times and then went into the dugout:

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That was the end of the Jeter era. After Jeter exited his pinch runner, McCann, ended up a third when Gardner doubled. Teixeira hit a sacrifice fly to center that brought McCann home making the score 4-0, Yankees in the lead:

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During the top of the 7th, Craig Breslow relived Buchholz:

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In the inning, Pirela doubled to center which caused Cervelli and Young to score. Murphy then singled to center and Pirela scored. Romine doubled to center, and Perez scored. Headley singled to right, scoring Murphy to take a 9-0 lead. During the middle of the 7th inning, Take Me Out To The Ballgame was special. The Red Sox brought in former New York Yankees outfielder to sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Bernie Williams came to Fenway and played his guitar while singing. He put his on twist to Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Only during this game, would a former Yankees player sing and play guitar for the seventh inning tradition.  In the bottom of the 7th inning Rogers relieved Pineda. Butler doubled to right which scored Craig and Cecchini. Castillo then scored on error by right fielder Perez. Mookie Betts doubled to center, which scored Butler and Weeks bringing the score to 9-5. The game ended with the same score. During the 8th inning I went over to the dugout for my normal “9th inning seats.” I waited until the game was over and tried to sneak in to get a Jeter autograph but had no luck. I stuck around a little bit and a saw a trainer walking around. I asked him if I could get a baseball please. He went back into the dugout and grab a ball and tossed it to me. I didn’t go out empty handed and the ball streak continued! Good Luck to Derek Jet in his retirement!

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Season High: June 12, 2014: Cleveland Indians vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

Another day another baseball game but this time, my brother, Joe and I went to the game. The game was between the Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. I was prepared:IMG_2002 We drove into Boston and made our way to gate C. We got in line and waited. We then got our Red Sox Nation stamps:IMG_2029During the line, I bought some Red Sox raffle tickets to win WS rings. I got to then try them on. Here are the rings up close:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 4.55.09 PMAs the rings were going around, the gates started opening up. We quickly went through security and found ourselves in straight away center field:IMG_2047Not much later Koji Uehara tossed up a ball:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.05.09 PMI then roamed around a bit so my brother and I weren’t in the same place. I moved to left field. Over to my right, I saw my brother in center. Felix Doubront tossed him a ball and he was on the board:

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At the end of Red Sox BP, David Ortiz tossed up baseballs and tried hitting them to us. My brother ended up getting one. He was officially ahead of me but not for long. When the Indians came out, Michael Bourn was shagging in centerfield. I quickly recognized this and called out for him when he got a ball. He then saw me and then tossed up the ball. Here it is:

IMG_2056Also, in centerfield was Justin Masterson. He was talking to one of the vendors in the “triangle” and then signed for a couple fans. Since Masterson was on the Red Sox at one point, he was on my autograph hit list. I could now cross him off my list:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.16.56 PMI then moved back into centerfield. My brother then got a ball from a little kid with “Cabrera” on the back of his jersey. He now had 3 baseballs and I had 2, taking the lead, again:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.19.46 PMWasn’t much longer before we were tied again, when Josh Outman tossed me a ball:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.26.30 PMAfter the gates opened, I headed over to the dugout to get ready for the players to come off. Two different coaches gave me a ball:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.29.11 PMIt was worth going over there for 2 baseballs. There were not a lot of people around. There were a lot of older men looking for autographs, so it was easier to get a 2, since I didn’t try for the second one. I then met up with my brother on the third base side, pass the media, where Justin Masterson was signing and taking pictures with fans. Here is my brother getting the autograph and his picture with Masterson:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.31.00 PMAnd here is mine:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.32.54 PMHere is me with the 5 baseballs I had gotten so far:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.36.22 PMI also tried to get artsy and take a picture of just them:IMG_2109Here is my brother with his 3:IMG_2113The game started off with a moment of silence for Don Zimmer who had passed away:IMG_2135After the National Anthem, Jason Kipnis and Mike Aviles were playing catch. As soon as they were done, Mike Aviles tossed me a ball for my 6th of the day:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.41.19 PMDuring the game, Jon Lester was pitching for Boston:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.42.44 PMIn the bottom of the 2nd, Grady Sizemore hit a ground rule double that scored Mike Napoli:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.43.33 PMIn the bottom of the 5th, David Ortiz hit a 2-run home run to center field, making the score 3-0.Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.44.52 PMIn the top of the 6th, the Indians responded when Jason Kipnis singled to right allowing Bourn and Brantley to score. The Red Sox were still in the lead 3-2.Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.45.43 PMMe and my brother were in different place during most of the game. Can you find him?IMG_2188In the bottom of the 6th, someone I was talking to for most of the game recognized me from 4 years back. She goes to one game a year and we happened to go to the same game again. She remembered me because she never sees any other girls with the opposite jersey or hat. She then also said she remembered me because 4 years ago she bought me a hot dog. I instantly remembered her. Not to often does another fan buy you a hot dog at a game. Well, we may have started a tradition because she bought me another hot dog:IMG_2201In the same inning, the Red Sox responded with two more runs from a Brock Holt double when Jonathan Herrera and Jackie Bradley Jr. scored. Maybe the hotdog gave us some luck giving the Sox, a 5-2 lead. After the 8th inning I found my brother and we moved sections. We headed over to the umpire tunnel area and watched the rest of the game from there. In the bottom of the 9th, Koji Uehara came on for the save:IMG_2230 He pitched a 1-2-3 inning to help the Red Sox win 5-2.

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 6.10.56 PMAt the end of the game, a player inside the dugout out tossed up a ball:

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 6.20.44 PMI then grabbed the ball for my 7th of the day. Then the players from the bullpen came over. I then received my 8th of the day from one of the bullpen catchers.Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 6.22.57 PMHere is me with my season high, 8 baseballs that I got during the game:IMG_2251

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 6.42.11 PMBallhawking Stats for the Season:

8 Balls in this game

47 Balls in 8 game this season = 5.88 Average on the season

Baseballs #202 – #209 lifetime

19 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs

15 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs

15 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs

14 consecutive games with at least 2 baseball at Fenway

11 consecutive games with at least 3 baseball at Fenway

11 consecutive games with at least 4 baseball at Fenway

Special Baseballs this game: 0

Autographs this game: Justin Masterson (Indians)

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), Jon Lester (Red Sox), Justin Masterson (Indians), Wil Myers (Rays), Jake Peavy (Red Sox), Brandon Phillips (Reds), Neftali Soto (Reds), Brandon Workman (Red Sox).

A Look Back at the Red Sox 2014 Season Transactions and the Trading Deadline

The Red Sox started the year with a 25 roster with 12 pitchers, 2 catchers, 6 infielders and 5 outfielders. That roster included new pick ups for the season. They signed Catcher, A.J. Pierzynski and outfielder, Grady Sizemore to a one-year deal.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.36.43 PMThey also, signed first baseman, Mike Napoli and right-handed pitcher, Edward Mujica, to a two-year contract.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.39.25 PMThe Sox traded away left-handed pitcher, Franklin Morales and in return got infielder, Jonathan Herrera from Colorado.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.41.28 PMThe season started out with this roster on Opening Day with:

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 5.28.42 PMIn April, Will Middlebrooks went on the 15-day DL which lead to the Red Sox signing infielder,  Ryan Roberts. Roberts quickly found himself in the minor leagues as Brock Holt was called up.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 6.13.44 PM With Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks both going to the DL in the month,  Drake Britton, Brock Holt, Ryan Lavarnway, Daniel Nava, Alex Wilson, and Brandon Workman began to flip flop between the Red Sox and the Paw Sox.

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In May, shortstop, Stephen Drew was offered a one-year deal to join the team to help out on the left side of the infield.

Boston Red Sox vs Cleveland IndiansWe then started seeing other minor league players make there MLB Debuts including Garin Cecchini and Alex Hassan. They both had their debuts on the same day and both got their first career hit! Not to much later, they were sent back down to the minor leagues.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 6.28.07 PMIn June, Grady Sizemore was designated for assignment and was released. Grady was then picked up by the Phillies several days later.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 6.39.03 PMThe MLB draft was exciting with two first round draft picks. The Red Sox selected Michael Chavis, a shortstop out of Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Georgia. With their second pick in the first round, they selected Michael Kopech, a right handed pitcher out of Mount Pleasant High School in Texas.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 6.41.12 PMAlso in June, the lefty, Chris Capuano, was designated for assignment. He was then picked up by the Yankees days later. Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 6.44.02 PMWe then watched Mookie Betts have his shot a the big time. He was brought up to be seen in the outfield. He was then sent back down to Pawtucket 21 days later.

2014-06-30T025452Z_498739984_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_MLB-BOSTON-RED-SOX-AT-NEW-YORK-YANKEES.rSox then designated A.J. Pierzynski for assignment. He was then signed by the Cardinals.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.08.36 PMSox then recalled pitcher, Rubby De La Rosa and catcher, Christian Vazquez from Pawtucket. Vazquez made his debut on July 9th and has been sharing the spotlight behind the plate with David Ross.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.11.07 PMOn July 26, 2014, we traded right-handed pitcher, Jake Peavy to San Francisco for two pitchers Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree. They both were sent to Pawtucket.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.13.26 PMOn July 30 2014, Felix Doubront was traded to the Chicago Cubs after requesting to be traded.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.21.24 PMOn July 31, 2014, the last day of the trading deadline, the Sox made some moves. They traded Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to Oakland but in return we got outfielder, Yoenis Cespedes, He is a key piece in the deal because the Sox needed a power hitter and a great arm in either left or right field.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.23.51 PMThe Sox then traded away John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder, Allen Craig and the right-handed pitcher, Joe Kelly.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.25.27 PMThe Sox still weren’t done trading away pitchers. They then traded away the left-handed pitcher, Andrew Miller to Baltimore for Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a left-handed pitcher and was said to be in the Orioles top 3 prospects.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.30.14 PMThe Red Sox then competed their 4th trade of the day sending shortstop, Stephen Drew, to the rivals, the Yankees for infielder, Kelly Johnson.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.34.17 PMThe Red Sox have 6/12 pitchers, 1/2 catchers, 5/6 infielders, and 3/5 outfielders that were on the Opening Day roster. Out of the 25 on the roster, 9 have been traded or released and one is on the DL. Thank You to all the players who are leaving us and welcome to the guys joining the club! #GoSox!

200: May 27, 2014: Boston Red Sox vs Atlanta Braves @ Turner Field

This game was my last game in Atlanta and also for the Series of Red Sox vs. Braves at Turner Field. I was 6 balls away from #200. I felt like I had a shot at it in this game. My goal for the game was to get at least 6. My dad and I headed over to the gates, where we were let in not much later. I got situated in the left field bleachers. I quickly noticed a baseball in between the seats:

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I then grabbed the ball and sure enough it was a MLB baseball. I was on the board:

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I then moved over to where players were standing. Braves Pitcher David Carpenter was getting called out a lot but they did not use the correct name. They were calling him Matt Carpenter who was pitching for a completely different team. I quickly noticed this and called out to him when he got a ball. He noticed that I knew his first name and he tossed me the ball:

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I then moved to Center field. Many pitchers were in front of me including Ervin Santana and Luis Avilan. Santana had a ball in his hand. He then tossed it to Craig Kimbel who was running out to the field. I quickly noticed who was coming out, and I called out to him. He then tossed me the baseball. I had to reach over the raining because of the low throw:

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Here is the ball:

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I then headed over to right field. There was a lot of baseballs chilling around the foul pole. Bullpen Coach, Eddie Perez came over with his bat and was hitting them back to the bucket in center. He only threw one up out of the 6 or 7 that were there. The Braves players started heading in and the Sox players started coming out. I stayed in right field for a while but nothing. The person shagging was one of the translators and he didn’t toss up a single ball. I went to center field where Peavy and his kids where shagging. A ball came over and Peavy grabbed the ball. Started walking away and noticed me. He stopped and threw me the ball:

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I then headed over to left field. Bunch of Sox players where standing there including Burke Badenhop, Craig Breslow, Chris Capuano, and Brandon Workman. None of them tossed up anything. Didn’t matter how close the baseballs were. They tried to ignore everyone yelling at them. I then headed over the dugout and got a good spot. Before the game, the Long Haul Bombers put on a show. They are guys who are hitting softballs out of MLB stadium fences. They showed tremendous power by even going upper decks with some of the home runs:Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.14.32 PM

Shortly after the players started coming out. Turner Field has an Oblivious Cam before the game. They put someone on the screen that is not paying attention and see how long they can go with out realizing that they are on the big screen. It took this guy 1 minute and 55 seconds to realize it:IMG_0918

The players were mostly out of the dugout warming up and stretching. Brock Holt and Bogaerts where tossing the ball to each other and Holt ended up with the ball. He then tossed the ball to me right before the national anthem: IMG_0927

Ball 199! I just needed one more for 200. At this point, I was very confident that I was going to get 200 during this game. The game started and the Sox started out well when we scored first in the top of the 1st. Brock Holt scored on Dustin Pedroia’s sac fly to left:

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The Braves then fired back in the bottom of the inning when Jason Heyward hit a shot to center off of Jon Lester:

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In the inning a fan siting in back of me gave me a ticket incase I got kicked out: IMG_0946

During the game I made friends with a little boy, Dalton and a little girl, Addison. They were Sox fans from Alabama and were at yesterday’s game too. Dalton sat with me for the game while Addison flipped flopped with sitting with her parents and us. There was again a fan with an interesting sign: IMG_0958

Since the Boston Braves were a team way back when, I wonder whom he was rooting for. In the bottom of the 3rd, the Braves took the lead when Chris Johnson hit a sac fly to center that resulted in B.J. Upton scoring:

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.23.32 PM The Sox would bounce back in the top of the 4th, Grady Sizemore stole third and was called safe. Braves Manager came out and wanted to challenge the call and the play was under review.

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The call stood and Grady was safe at third:

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David Ross singled allowing Sizemore to score tying the game:

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In between the top and bottom of the inning, the Sox were warming up. I kept my eyes on the ball that Ortiz was using. He then threw the ball to first base coach, Arnie Beyeler. He then looked at me and tossed me the ball: Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.30.32 PMThere it was #200! Most of the section behind me and to my right knew that it was my 200th ball. Everyone clapped for me. I was talking to a group of people before the game that I was going for 200 and word spread around. I found out that some of the fans around me where from the same town from me. They actually lived a couple streets over from me.

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The Braves would respond in the Bottom of the 5th, when Johnson hit a sac fly that scored Freddie Freeman:

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In between the top and the bottom of the 6th inning, I noticed that Jonathan Herrera had a ball in his hand. I asked him for it and he gave me the ball. I then gave the ball to Addison who was sitting next to me. She ran up to her parents and showed them the ball:

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In the top of the top of the 7th, David Ortiz hit a single that scored Bogaerts:

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Then, Grady Sizemore grounded out but in the process Pedroia scored from third. The Sox took the lead, 4-3! Later in the inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. singled to left that scored Ortiz and Gomes, making the score 6-3:

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In the bottom of the 9th, Koji Uehara came in for the safe. Koji pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning to end the game, with the Red Sox winning 6-3:

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After the game Dalton, Addison, and I took a picture with the baseballs we got. Dalton got two of his own, too! It was fun watching the game with you. Hope you had fun!:Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.41.40 PM

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Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

7 Balls in this game

39 Balls in 7 game this season = 5.33 Average on the season

Baseballs #195 – #201 lifetime

18 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs

14 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs

14 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs

5 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs outside of home stadium

4 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs outside of home stadium

4 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs outside of home stadium

Special Baseballs this game: 0

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), Jon Lester (Red Sox), Wil Myers (Rays), Jake Peavy (Red Sox), Brandon Phillips (Reds), Neftali Soto (Reds), Brandon Workman (Red Sox).

Memorial Day: May 26, 2014: Boston Red Sox vs Atlanta Braves @ Turner Field

Memorial Day. A holiday where the United States remember the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces. Major League Baseball makes it special. Each MLB team would wear special Memorial Day hats and jerseys. My dad and I were once again finding our way to the ballpark to attend a game for the second day in a row. We headed to the outfield gates of Turner Field:

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We headed to a gate where there was a lot of people already standing out side:

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When the gates opened, the security in the gates were visible. If you had a bag, you had to take everything out so they could see the bottom of the bag. You also had to take everything out of your pockets to go through the security gates. Gates opened up two and a half hours before game time. As we went in, nothing was happening:

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We headed into the team store to get some souvenirs for my trip:

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I got my keychain that I am collecting from every ballpark and a foam tomahawk. I then headed over to the first base side but stop when I saw this:

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I then noticed that on the white board behind the stand where prizes. Every time you filled one out you could get a prize. So I got 250 of them to get all the prizes:

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After filling about 30 of them, my hand was tried from writing my information, so I looked back out in the field. The Red Sox were throwing so I quit doing the ballets. Jon Lester and John Lackey were playing catch, and I snuck down into the front row. When Lackey was done, he went to one of the trainers. He was talking to him and started looking around. I quickly noticed this and called out for him. He then underhand tossed the baseball to me:

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I was on the board. I didn’t try for another ball while I was over there. I tried to get into a good position for autographs. I do not go for Red Sox autographs at Fenway, and this was a perfect opportunity to get some. I headed down to the middle of the 3rd base line. It was a good thing I did. Jon Lester knew the people who where right next to me. He then came over to them and talked to the people he knew. They were talking about fishing. He then started signing for fans. He signed for his friends kids first. Then he signed my baseball:

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After Lester signed, Chris Capuano came over near us. He then signed for a while. I had him on a baseball card, so I didn’t need to get him. He also didn’t get to where I was but got pretty close:

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He made my decision easier because I was debating on having him sign a ball or not. The next Red Sox player to come over was Brandon Workmen. He then signed for me:

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After Workman signed, I went over to where Peavy was signing. He told us he had to go in and he would be right back. So, I went and got a nice spot closer to the dugout. Sure enough, he came out. He started signing and did his best not to miss anyone. He then got to where I was and signed for me. He also took a photo with me:

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I then chilled out near the dugout area and in the process got kicked out multiple times. Then the starting pitcher Clay Buchholz started heading out to the bullpen:

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Brock Holt was one of the first to come out of the Dugout to stretch:

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Different military members took the field around the diamond. In between each person was a Red Sox or Braves player:

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Here is a panorama view of the field from my perspective:

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The national anthem was perform from Corporal Pashun Cannon who was stationed in Camp Leatherneck- Afghanistan and was displayed on the big scoreboard:

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Then they had a 4 jet fly over:

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After the fly over Xander Boagarts and Brock Holt were warming up, playing catch. Then Xander saw me and tossed me the ball:

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I then headed over to the same section I was in yesterday. The usher didn’t check my ticket as I sneaked by. Ervin Santana was pitching for the Braves and pitched a 1-2-3 first inning:

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Clay Buchholz was pitching for the Red Sox and David Ortiz was playing first because in order for him to play in the game he needed to be in the field, due to the national league not having DHs:

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Before the inning, Buchholz did not like the ball he was given by the umpire and threw it right to John Farrell and then he tossed it up to me:

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In the top of the third, the Sox scored the first run. Grady Sizemore tripled to start out the inning:

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Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a sacrifice fly to send him home.Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 7.30.55 PM

Next batter up was Buchholz. He had to bat because pitchers have to bat in the National League. He ended up getting a single: 

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Who said pictures can’t bat? In the bottom of the inning, the Braves respond, scoring 3 runs in the inning, as Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman scored:

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During the inning, I got this message on my phone:

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During my iPhone cooling, Gerald Laird hit an infield single that scored Simmons. In the top of the 4th, Papi hit a ball off his foot and rolled all the way to 3rd base coach Brian Butterfield:

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Guess who got that ball:

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In the bottom of the 4th, the Upton boys both delivered with RBI doubles of their own making the score 5-1, Braves. Buchholz was then relieved by Badenhop:

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Simmons also had a RBI single in the inning to make the score 6-1, Braves. It wasn’t looking good for the Sox. In the top of the 5th, Red Sox made a comeback all with 2 outs in the inning. Pedroia had a two-run RBI single that scored Nava, and Holt which also moved Bogaerts to second.

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Ortiz came up and hit a blast to deep center, a 3-run shot that tied the game up. Ortiz Home Run Video.

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In the middle of the 6th inning they had a rain delay:

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I stood outside for most of it. Puddles in the stands made ushers come to kick us out telling us to go into the concourse:

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Inside, there was one fan with an interesting sign:

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Everyone was taking picture of him and the sign. The back said, “Just for today I’m a Red Sox fan.” I guess we will allow it just for today. I sat down in the gates way. Looked down at my knee and saw I got a tad sun burned:

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I also ended up cracking my phone. I didn’t drop it. I was texting my mom and heard a pop noise. Moved my thumb and boom a crack. I was not too happy about my phone but the rain was stopping so it was slightly okay. The field workers were starting to clear off the water from the tarp:

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They pulled off the tarp and as the grounds crew fixed the field the Red Sox retook the field:

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The Red Sox took the field and Edward Mujica pitched the inning. In the top of the 7th, Ryan Lavarnway pitched hit for the pitchers spot but he grounded out. Next batter, Holt had a infield single and then Bogaerts walked. Ian Thomas, who was pitching for the Braves, threw a wild pitched that moved the runners to 3rd and 2nd. Ortiz hit a sac fly to right that scored Holt and allowed Bogaerts to go to third:

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A.J. Pierzynski then had a broken bat single up the middle, allowing Bogaerts to score, giving the Sox a 8-6 lead at the end of the inning. A.J. Pierzynski Broken Bat RBI Single

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The lead stuck into the bottom of the 9th. Koji came in for the save. A double play to end the game  with the Red Sox beating the Braves 8-6, ending the 10 game losing streak:

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After the game, David Ortiz had a post game interview with Tim Kurkjian:

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After he went into the dugout and tossed up around 5 baseballs. I got one:

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The baseballs and autographs from the game:

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Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

5 Balls in this game

32 Balls in 6 game this season = 5.33 Average on the season

Baseballs #190 – #194 lifetime

17 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs

13 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs

13 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs

4 consecutive games with at least 2 baseball outside of home stadium

3 consecutive games with at least 3 baseball outside of home stadium

3 consecutive games with at least 4 baseball outside of home stadium

Special Baseballs this game: 0

Autographs this game: Jon Lester (Red Sox), Jake Peavy (Red Sox), Brandon Workman (Red Sox).

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), Jon Lester (Red Sox), Wil Myers (Rays), Jake Peavy (Red Sox), Brandon Phillips (Reds), Neftali Soto (Reds), Brandon Workman (Red Sox).

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:

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Off to Atlanta we went:

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The plane was practically empty:

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

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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Here is the ball:

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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

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

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Here is the ball:

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

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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I then headed out to the dugout area:

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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:

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

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

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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:

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

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

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

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

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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:

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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:

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

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My dad had came back with a souvenir soda:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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He was replaced by Burke Badenhop:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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Over the dugout protective fence:

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My dad and I on the field:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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?:

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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:

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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):

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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Here is the baseball:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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

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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:

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Here is the baseball:

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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

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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.

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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!

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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

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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:

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I then headed directly to gate C:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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

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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:

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

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

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

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

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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:

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Here is the glove signed:

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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:

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The ball was my fourth of the night:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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

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

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The ump singled safe and Longoria is calling Joe Maddon:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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

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

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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

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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)

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