The Offseason and The Upcoming Season

It has been a long time since I wrote on this blog, nearly 6 months. Outside of the recent start of spring training, my mind has really been off baseball this winter. Right now, I was to talk about some of my 2010 season, and the upcoming 2010 season.

In 2010, I attented 6 games in 6 different stadiums, two in each of the states of New York, California, and Texas. I caught 23 balls at the stands in these games, averaging 3.83 per game. I know have 33 balls in my collection. The highlight of my year was catching my first career foul ball at AT&T Park off of the bat of Alex Cora. A week later, I set my record of balls snagged by snagging 8 at Dodger Stadium. I was overall a very fun year for me.

Now, it’s time to focus on the 2011 season. In all honesty, I have no idea what will happen and where I will go. What I can guarntee though is I will attend at least 2 (no more than 3) games at Citi Field and at least 1 (no more than 2) at Yankee Stadium. Outside of New York City, I have no idea what is going on. My dad has though told me and my brother that if we ddo well during our school year that he will take us some where to see some Mets games. If this is to happen, the mostly likely places to go would be Washington, Cincinatti, and Miami due to scheduling and distance. We originally had a summer road trip planned with my family that throught the trip would take us to a Nats game and possibly an Orioles game, but that trip is almost definetly off now.

Even though I don’t know how many games I will attend or what teams I will see play, I have listed some goals for this year, ranging in difficulty and whether I can control them or not.

1. See a Met win at Citi Field (Seems easy, but the Mets are 0-3 for me at Citi, 6-17 overall, 7 loses in a row and 11 of  the last 12)

2. Snag at least 30 baseballs (Snagged 23 last year, and now I’m a year older and have a chance to put up bigger numbers)    

3. Snag an Angels 50th Anniversery baseball (Angels come to Queens June 17-19, and I hope to attend one of those games)

4. Snag a Target Field Commerative ball (The Twins come to Yankee Stadium during the first full week of the season, and that is really my only chance to achieve this goal)

5. Catch a BP HR on the fly (Only caught one last year which was on a bounce, but being that I’m an outfielder in baseball (a real one, not one who is just put there) I think that I  can pull off the task)

6. Get a ball from an ump after a game (Citi Field has a good location for this)

7. Snag at least 10 balls at one game (I snagged 8 at Dodger Stadium last year, which is a task many usually don’t achieve, so I think I can pull this off)

8. Collect at least 8 autographs (Not really a big autograph collector, but I think that their cool to get and I have some good ones)

9. Get at least two player pictures and at least one mascot picture (Normally this wouldn’t be too hard of a task, but being that most of batting practice will be devoted to me trying to snag baseballs, it will be a bit of a challenge)

10. Snag at least two third-out balls (Snagging a foul ball will be a tough task to repeat, so I will stick with an easier way to snag game used balls)

Last year, I completed only 5 of my 10 goals, but one basically impossible, and three of them I only had one chance to achieve and did not.

Let’s hope the 2011 season will be a great one!

Feel free to comment.

Mike 

                                  

 

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Quebec les Capitales at New Jersey Jackals 8/10/2010

For the first time this year, I headed to minor league game. But this was no ordinary game. This game was apart of the Can-Am league, aka an independent league in the Northeast. The Jackals play at Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls, New Jersey. This was my second ever Jackals game and third ever minor league game. The game started at 7 and the gates opened at 6. BP was already over. I ran in to look for easter eggs. I had never snagged a ball at a minor league game before, but that was about to change.

At the stadium, there is a grass field instead of stands down the RF line. I went there, and found my first ever minor league ball. It was an Official League ball, which they must use in BP. Though what made me mad was that my brother went even father in RF and found TWO balls sitting next to each other. It was a great start to a great day for him. 
I then proceeded to the bleachers down the LF line, where a worker pointed out a ball to me which I picked up for my second easter egg, another Official League ball. Here are the two Official League balls I got, also my first two minor league baseballs.100_0623.JPG 
I then waited for a little while by the dugout with my brother as a coach was in there. I left the spot for a second, then realized that my brother had snagged the first Can-Am ball tossed by the coach. 
I then noticed another ball sitting along the warning track by the dugout. I wanted this one, but there was another ball in the Quebec bullpen that I thought would be easier to snag. My brother ended up with that ball. 
I did end up getting the bullpen ball though from a catcher out there after he finished stretching. It was my first Can-Am ball, but it was in horrible condition, so you could barely tell. 
Me and my brother tried for numerous warm-up balls before the game, but wouldn’t succeed. 
Throughout the game, which was pretty empty, I was going for third out balls and fouls. Third outs were hard to get though as most of the balls were dropped at the mound. 
My brother got the a third out ball before me from the Jackals outfielder. I could have got it but didn’t want to reach in front of him. 
I would get one though from the Quebec side as the SS Josh Colafemina tossed me it,  and it was a game used Can-Am ball. 
In the third or fourth, I was playing down the RF bleachers for a righty named Marc Mimeault (I believe). He lifted one towards my way. I reached over the bleacher, but it was just out of reach, but luckily it popped back up to me and I had my first minor league foul ball. Shockingly, this was the last ball I’d snag all game. Here are my 3 Can-Am League balls.100_0624.JPG
I ran around all night for foul balls, but none came my way. 
My brother would snag a third out ball from the Canada side, then a foul ball near where mine was. It hit a special suite building then rolled down where my brother ran through a row a picked it up off the ground. 
The game itself was a great one. Quebec lead 6-2 in the 7th, but the Jackals would score 7 runs to take a 9-6 lead. Without one out in the ninth, Quebec grounded into a double play to end it. Here was the scene after the Jackals won.100_0622.JPG
When lined up at an umpire like tunnel where the players for both teams exited. I came up short of course, but my brother would snag his 8th ball of the day. 
That was it for a great day with the minor leagues. 
My next entry will be on a New York-Penn League game I attended on August 28th. Please leave a comment on your thoughts. 
Mike

Blue Jays at Yankees 8/3/2010

It was time to take in my first game at the new place in the Bronx, the new Yankee Stadium. I had only been to one game at the old stadium and that was in 2002. The Yanks were going up against the Blue Jays tonight, and A-Rod had 599 career home runs, so olbviously, it was going to be a huge crowd tonight. We had bought LF bleacher tickets the night before, and were bringing my brothers friend and my dads friend (both Yankee fans) along with us 3. Due to some traffic on Rt. 17 and 4, my dad predicted we wouldn’t arrive until 5:30, but the traffic cleared up, and we were passing by the stadium at 4:35. By time we got parked into a garage by Gate 8 (CF), it was 4:45. We found out my dad would have to wait until 5:05 to pay, so he let me go in on my own. Since everything was so jam-packed, I couldn’t get a picture of the gate, but here was a look back at the jam crazy blob of a line.100_0591.JPG

(It goes much farther back) 
Since it was such a blob, I was able to get pretty close to the front.100_0592.JPG
The line was taking long to move though, and when I asked for directions on how to get to the seats, I was acciedentally directed to the bleachers, so by time I fond the RF seats, there was already a good crowd in there. Here was my first view at Yankee Stadium. 100_0593.JPG
I had a custom made Yankees shirt (which looked real). The Yankees were hitting some into the seats, and tossing a couple up, but I came nowhere close to snagging any of them. So for those approx. 25 mins, I was empty handed. 
Towards the end of Yankees BP, I headed to the Blue Jays dugout, as they were out stretching and waiting for their BP to start.100_0594.JPG
Once it started, a coach Omar Malave was playing catch out in front of the dugout with someone (I had a Blue Jays hat). I called out his name, and he gave me a wave. When he finished, he tossed me my first ball at the new Yankee Stadium!100_0620.JPG 
It was nice and new, and I liked it a lot. This ball also set my snagging streak at 10.
After I decided to go behind to Blue Jays as the were throwing in LF.100_0595.JPG
I ended up not getting a warm-up toss, as the Blue Jays only tossed two of the warmups into the crowd. Though a couple of minutes later, I got an unknown Blue Jay to toss me a ball that was hit to him, and it was my second ball

Since it was about 5:45, I decided to go to my general seating area, thinking the ushers would be checking tickets. Here’s what it was like up there.100_0596.JPG
This actually is a horrible place to snag baseballs. Not only were the Blue Jays not hitting any there, but that net covering the bullpens basically prevented them from tossing any up there. 
I decided I would fare better in the normal LF seats, and there was no guard blocking the staircase. It was pretty empty where I was, though it was crowed towards the pole. I came close on a couple of Lyle Overbay opposite field shots but one landed a row in front of me after I moved for it and was picked up by a man. And then he hit a ground rule double that I misjudged from the front row, and guess where it landed? The exact 5th row seat I had been in most of the time. 
Though after a ball was hit up against the bullpen wall, I called out Shawn Camp’s name, and he threw me my third ball. This ball marked the first time that I snagged 3 balls in a game in NYC. 
Most of you know stories about the strict Yankee security, and how they are very tight on where you are. I wanted to try to get to the Jays dugout as they ran. I went through rows down the LF line, and without a word said, I found myself down at the dugout (wow). I was all setup to to get a toss up as they ran in, except they only tossed one, and I was nowhere close to it. 
I met up with everyone else, and then we went to the main concourse to get some food, and the pizza that I had was amazing. I would later have some of meat from my dad’s steak sandwich from the butcher shop, and it was even more amazing. We then got to our seats, here was the view from my seat.100_0597.JPG   
Tonights pitching matchup was Dustin Mosely for the Yanks, who I had never heard of, and Ricky Romero for the Blue Jays, who I saw pitch at Rangers Ballpark in April. Just like in Texas, I tried to get Ricky’s warmup ball, but just like in Texas, he tossed it to someone else. 
On the first pitch of the game, Fred Lewis grounded out. Mosely got two more ground outs for a 1-2-3 first. 
Derek Jeter lead off with a walk, and with one out, Mark Texiera hit a 2-run HR to left, making it two nothing Yankees.100_0598.JPG
Up next cam A-Rod, sitting on 599…100_0599.JPG
… but he’d strike out swinging. 
Romero would get dominant from there as he’d allow one more baserunner, a infield single to Marcus Thames.  
In the top of the second, Toronto would get a run on single by Tavis Snider scoring Adam Lind, 2-1 Yankees. 
Nothing happened in the third, but in the fourth, Mosely had two out and
no one on. He hit Aaron Hill, then John Buck hit a double down the LF line. The cut-off throw went to Jeter, who made one of the worst throws I have ever seen to home, so the game was tied at 2. Then on the next pitch, Travis Snider hit a 2-run homer into the Yankee bullpen, giving The  Blue Jays a 4-2 lead. 
A-Rod came up in the 4th, but lined out. 
During the fifth, we decided to check out the Yankees Museum. From there, we had a nice view of the Great Hall and Gate 6.100_0601.JPG
Here is part of the huge ball wall.100_0602.JPG
A model of the stadium.100_0603.JPG
Info about the Yankees 2009 27th championship season.100_0604.JPG
The first ball pitched at the stadium.100_0605.JPG
The 3 of us with the 2009 WS trophy. (Sorry that it’s sideways)100_0606.JPG
And some info about the subway series.
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The museum is a cool place. 
We then went to the glorious great hall.100_0610.JPG
Citi and Yankee are both beautiful in their own way. I don’t know which one is nicer. 
We then got a Yankee ice cream helmet…100_0621.JPG
… and watched A-Rod line out to center in the 7th. 
I wanted to watch the end of the game from our seats because I was hoping to get a ball from the bullpen after the game. 
On our way back, Vernon Wells hit his 22nd homer to make it 5-2 Jays. Then two batters later, Aaron Hill hit his 16th homer of the year, making it 6-2. 
This was by far the worst I had ever seen the Yankees play. 
Then with two outs in the 9th, Jose Bautista hit his 33rd homer of the year, a two run shot making it 8-2. The Yankee fan couldn’t take it.  
The Yanks came up in the ninth. Mark Texiera was up with two outs and A-Rod was on deck. Most of you know that A-Rod would hit 600 in his next AB.  Unfortunately, that was the next day, as Tex grounded out to end a 2 hit CG gem by Ricky Romero. 
I was hoping to get the Blue Jays to toss me a ball, but the only ball they tossed was closer to their exit, so I got nothing there. But here is a picture of me, my brother and dad after the game.100_0614.JPG
Since they hadn’t got a ball, I gave my brother my second ball and his friend my third ball. 
Until next year, goodbye Yankee Stadium! 
Stats: 
3 balls today (3 thrown, and only 1 shown because I gave my second to my brother and third to his friend)100_0620.JPG
23 balls in 6 games this year = 3.83 BPG 
10 consecutive games with a ball snagged 
33 career baseball 
Autos: 
0 autos today 
6 autos in 6 game this year = 1 APG 
17 career MLB autos 
In my next entry, I will briefly describe an Independent League game I attended. I may be attending a NY Penn League game also, and will may go to a Mets-Pirates game in Sepetember. Feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for reading. 
Mike

Mets at Dodgers 7/22/2010

It was just a week later that I was now in the southern part of the Golden Coast and at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for another game featuring my Mets as the away team, so far 1-6 since the break. I pulled up to Dodger Stadium at around 4:30. There were a long line of cars, and this entrance didn’t allow walkers, so we were stuck here. I though did get out of the car and take a picture through the gate.100_0567.JPG

I was concerned about this place because of what I have heard. I wasn’t in the bleachers, so batted balls wouldn’t be very likely in the corners, and I couldn’t go all the way down the lines and to the dugout. How weird it would be that I would realize that the main part is better for snagging. 
As soon as 5:10 hit, the gates opened, we payed for parking, and got a spot pretty close to the gate. I quickly opened the door and me and my brother scurried over to the gate, headed for Mannywood. We got our ticket scanned, got our Manny Ramirez action figure, and ran to the front row of Mannywood. Here was my first view.100_0568.JPG
It took me approximately 4 minutes to get on the board. A Dodger hit a line drive towards the wall and I scooped it up in front of the wall for my first ball of the day!100_0571.JPG
I was happy to get on the board quickly since of all that I’d heard of Dodger Stadium problems. It was only though a couple of minutes later until I’d get another. Vicente Padilla was by far the friendliest player I’ve ever seen, as he tossed almost every ball to the crowd and signed so many autos. After he fielded a ball, threw it up towards the first row and right into my glove for my second ball.100_0572.JPG
That was right around when the rest of my family walked in (that is me in the Piazza jersey).IMG_3528.jpg
A couple of minutes later, Padilla started signing, and he signed my first autograph.100_0584.JPG
Padilla also tossed a ball to my sister, her second on her own and sixth overall. 
After I decided to go towards the Dodger dugout in anticipation of them running in and for the rest of the stadium to open. The other side opened before the Dodgers came in so I went. I now wish I would have stayed, but whatever. 
By time I made it to the RF corner, the Mets were starting to hit, and their pitchers were finishing throwing. While here, I’d realize the players who stay in RF during BP are much nicer than LF, and the Mets it more ball to RF during BP. Too bad RF at Citi is bad for snagging. Here was the view when I got there.100_0569.JPG
When the rest of my family got out there, my dad asked if my brother could take my first row spot since I already had two balls. Well I can say one thing: I’m glad he took my spot. 
I’m not sure how long it took, but Mets coach Randy Niemann eventually fielded a ball, so I stood on a seat to get his attention, and he threw me my third ball. I would give this ball eventually to my brother. 

For some reason, the Met bullpen was wide open, so on a ball that would be normally hit off the wall, it would go into the bullpen. Also, pitchers could easily walk in. There is a little room in the bullpen (I’m guessing a bathroom). A Met hit one into there, and Bobby Parnell came out of that little room. I told Parnell, and he went over and retrieved it, and then tossed me my fourth ball and tieing my one game record!100_0573.JPG
This was also a new record most balls snagged before the game. 
Eventually some time, Oliver Perez walked into the bullpen, and some asked to sign. I couldn’t say no, so I got him to sign my second autograph.100_0585.JPG
 
Some time later Oliver had just fielded a ball. I was going to call to him, but without hesitation, he flipped it no look behind his back  into the crowd, and I reached up and realized my fifth ball was in my glove and I had a new record!!100_0574.JPG
Wow! I can’t believe my record was set here of all stadiums. Also want to here a little fact. For the first time in my life, I’ve achieved getting a player to give me a ball and sign me an autograph. For example, I have David Wright and Jose Reyes’s autographs, but neither have tossed me a ball. And Jeff Francoeur and Josh Thole have tossed me balls, but I have neither of their autographs. So now Vicente Padilla and Oliver Perez have done that, and they did it both in the same game. Cool! 
Mets BP was going to be rapping up soon, so I went to their dugout. As they were running in, Mike Pelfrey picked up a ball, and I got him to toss me my sixth ball and another new record. That was the only ball I got as the Mets ran in. Thinking it was just another normal ball, I didn’t look at it for 5 minutes. When I did. I did a double take.100_057
5.JPG
It was a Citi Field Commeritive ball! I know it is a horrible logo, but it still feels special to get a commemerative ball. Also this was a special ball for another reason. This was the 27th ball game of my life, and this was my 28th ball, meaning I’d past it.
After I met up with my parents, we went to our seats in the third level.100_0578.JPG
I went up to the top to take a behind the plate panoramic.100_0576.JPG
Tonight pitching matchup will be apart of a trivia question some day: Hisonori Takahashi vs Hiroki Kuroda, the 4th all-Japanesse pitching matchup of all time. Remember how tonight was Manny Ramirez action figure night?100_0577.JPG
Haha. 
Here are tonights action shots. 
ReyesIMG_3548.jpg

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WrightIMG_3550.jpg
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DavisIMG_3553.jpgIMG_3554.jpgIMG_3555.jpg
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Takahashi IMG_3560.jpg
 
And Castillo and Pagan IMG_3578.jpg
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Now just some things throughout the stadium100_0579.JPG
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Now I’ll take some time to describe the game. 
In the first Reyes and Pagan went down to start it, but Wright lined a 2 out single. Though he’d be thrown out stealing to end the frame. 
Jamie Carroll drew a one out walk, and would score when Matt Kemp hit and RBI double, making it 1-0 Dodgers. Tak would get dominant ffrom then on. 
The Mets don’t have much to talk about either Reyes lead off the 4th with a single but he would be thrown out stealing as well. 
The 6th is when the Mets made a threat. With one out, Jeff Francouer blooped a single, sending I forget who to third. First and third one out. What happens next, Josh Thole goes down looking, they intentionally walk Castillo, then up comes Tak, who of course grounds out to end it. That was as close as the Mets would come. 
Takahashi was dominant, as it was 1-0 into the 7th, but then Matt Kemp hit a solo HR, making it 2-0. No. 47 pitched so great, but it was he run support that lost it again. 
At the 8th inning, I decided that we should move down for the end of the game. I had loved Dodger Stadium so much so far, but what happened next made me mad. If you don’t have a field level ticket, you can’t even go onto the concourse. Wow. We were able to go a level down, so the run to the dugout after the game would be shorter. While down there, I got a Dodger’s ice cream helmet.100_0590.JPG
We headed to the ninth with the 2-0 score. Wright and Ike Davis got on. If Jeff Francouer hit an extra base hit, they could tie the game. But no. He grounded to third to end it, as I watched my second consectutive Mets 2-0 loss, and the Mets advanced to 6-17 when I’m in the ballpark. 
I took off to the field level after that. I got down to the dugout, and the Mets bullpen was just walking in. About 30 secs later, Fernando Nieve looked out from the dugout, and then threw me my seventh ball and another new record. I’d give this ball to my brother. I wasn’t gonna, but you’ll see why. 

A minute later, out of nowhere, a pair of batting gloves fly up right in front of the barrier. The worker lady went to them, and handed me a pair of batting gloves!! To be nice I gave one to my brother. Also, my sister was given one by a man. We all had one. Here’s mine.100_0581.JPG
It was a great way to end the d- wait. A couple of minutes later, and cameraman was exiting up the stairs like a normal fan (weird). Then I saw him reaching into his jacket pocket, and he handed me my eighth ball, another new record. I’d just doubled my one game record at Dodger Stadium!100_0580.JPG
Not only was this my 30th career baseball, but it was my 20th of the year, meaning I had achieved my goal of snagging 20 baseballs this year. 
We said our final goodbyes to Dodger Stadium, another great ballpark. 
Stats:
8 balls today (7 thrown, 1 hit, and six shown because I gave #3 and 7 to my brother)100_0583.JPG 
20 balls in 5 games this year = 4 BPG 
9 consecutive games with a ball snagged 
30 career baseballs 
Autos: 
2 autos today (Vicente Padilla and Oliver Perez) 
6 autos in 5 games the year = 1.2 APG 
17 career MLB autos 
My next entry will be about my first ever game at the new place in the Bronx. Please leave a comment on your thoughts. Mike

Mets at Giants 7/15/2010

I found myself in San Francisco, CA, on the first game after the All-Star game (big NL win) for a Mets/Giants game at AT&T Park. Here was the first view of the stadium.100_0532.JPG

Due to some traffic through the city, I wasn’t able to make it to the Riverwalk, but I don’t think I would have got anything out there anyway. Me and my brother ran to the other side of the stadium to buy a Giants shirt, then ran back and got in line at 4:55. Gates were opening at 5:15. We were second in line. The weirdest thing is that there were two gates in LF right near eachother, and one was very long while mine was short. When the gates opened at 5:15, I got my bag checked and sprinted up the ramp and found my self in LF. There were a few others in already, as they used the CF gate, which I hadn’t known about. I took a picture when I ran in, but it got messed up, so I don’t have an initial view. 
The bleachers were so empty at first, and a unknown Giant hit a ground-rule double to the empty section of the bleachers that I picked up for my first ball and second career hit!100_0537.JPG
A couple of minutes later, my dad would catch a HR on the fly in the front row off the bat of Juan Uribe (I think), which he gave to my brother. 
A couple of minutes after that, I got a Giant to toss me my second ball
Thumbnail image for 100_0538.JPG
It was thrown by someone wearing the jersey “99 UEMATSU”. I looked him up, but couldn’t find out who it was. 

I would end up getting shut out for the rest of Giants and Mets BP. The were a couple of things though the made competing impossible. 
  • The bleachers were PACKED. Really packed. It was hard to compete. 
  • The Mets were stingy, as usual. 
  • There were people with devices everywhere, so it was hard to use the glove trick. 

Also both dugouts were blocked off, so it’s very hard to get to the dugout after BP. If you take these 4 things away, AT&T Park is great for snagging. I did get a picture of Johan Santana though. 100_0534.JPG

I went back to my seats down the RF line after BP. Here was the view.100_0539.JPG
We had a great view, and were right near the Mets bullpen. 
The biggest thing about tonite for the Mets was the return of Carlos Beltran.100_0540.JPG
Tonight’s pitching matchup was knuckle baller R.A. Dickey and the two-time reigning Cy-Young winner, Tim Lincecum.IMG_3340.jpg
After they warmed up, Josh Thole threw me the warmup ball for my third ball

I would give this ball to my sister. Also, I won’t be able to complete my goal of an auto at everygame, I went home empty handed today. 

Here are nice shots throughout the game. 
BeltranThumbnail image for IMG_3342.jpg
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Lincecum 
IMG_3358.jpg
IMG_3347.jpg
Dickey 
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Lince gave up one hit in the first to the second batter Alex Cora, but the was it. R.A. went 1-2-3 in the first. 
The Giants though were on the board first, as Pablo Sandoval hit a 2 strike, 2 out RBI double to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. 
Big moments were to come though for me. 
Through the first 3 innings, I had been sitting down closer towards the wall in hopes of a foul ball. It was a great spot for righties swinging late on Tim to hit it. Thoug
h when Alex Cora came up with two out in the 3rd, I knew I needed to be ready because he is a pull hitter. It was 1-2. Lincecum dealed, and he ripped one down the RF line. I jumped out of my second row seat, ran down, reached full extension, and on a hop backhanded, had just caught my fourth ball and first career foul ball!!!!!!! 
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Wow! Here I am with it.100_0543.JPG
I was so jubilant, I couldn’t pay attention to the game. Cora ended up grounding out. A couple of minutes later, my dad got a call from back home wondering if it was me. Also later that night, I had a video of the catch. I got this this mygameballs article written and a video here. I ended up getting props from both the SNY and WFAN radio broadcasters. I still can’t believe all of this happened. 
As for the rest of the game, it was a pitching duel throughout and it was still 1-0 through 7. 
Around the sixth, me, my dad, and sister would go see some of the outfield concourse. Here are some water jets that go up when a Giant hits a homer, which didn’t happen.100_0544.JPG
I then went up by the glove, and got a picture of the wiffle ball field a view of the field from there.
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Here is a shot of the Coca-Cola bottle from our seats.IMG_3363.jpg 
AT&T Park is near the top for my favorite park in baseball. Its beautiful. 
I wanted to get an ice cream helmet, but SF doesn’t have them.100_0589.JPG
I was able to get a one at Baskins Robins a week later in Ventura Beach though. Ones from BR won’t count to my collection, but only the stadium’s that don’t have them will count. 
In the bottomof the eighth the Giants had the bases loaded and one out and Bobby Parnell came in. The batter chopped one to first, but Ike Davis couldn’t get it home in time, so it was 2-0 Giants. The next batter would ground into a DP though so we would head to the ninth like this. 
I ended up making a huge mistake in trying to get another ball. If I would have stayed at the bullpen, I could have broken my record, but I stupidly tried to see if I could get to the dugout. Here was my ninth inning view.
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Ike Davis hit a ground ball with two outs that Freddy Sanchez made an amazing play on, and threw to first, and unfortunatley, the Giants won.100_0550.JPG
Lincecum with a complete game shutout gem. 
After the game, this was as close as I could get to the dugout.100_0551.JPG
My record would be held up at 4 again. 
Nonetheless, it was a great day a great ballpark and featured me snagging my first foul ball. Here’s one more look at it.100_0587.JPG
That’s it for SF. 
Stats: 
4 balls today (2 hit, 2 thrown, and only 3 shown because I gave my third to my sister.100_0563.JPG
12 balls in 4 games this year = 3 ballls per game 
8 consecutive games with at least one ball snagged 
22 career balls 
Autos: 
0 autographs today 
4 autos in 4 games this year = 1 auto per game
15 career MLB autos
My next game in LA would be big. 
Feel free to leave a comment. Mike 

Reds at Mets 7/5/2010

I was back at Citi Field in 2010. 

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With my dad and my brother.100_0460.JPGFor a Mets and Reds game. 
It was my third game of the year, and first since the opening week. Despite the fact that it was a holiday weekend and that we didn’t leave my house until 3:30, we got there around 4:25. We picked up the tickets we ordered and got in line as the gates were opening. There was a big crowd showing up, but not a lot of them went to BP in LF. I got my ticket scanned and ran in, but I had to make it a bit of a jog because I had to wait for my brother. I got there and there were about five others in the seats already. This was my first view. 
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(sorry that I couldn’t fix this pic) 
My dad arrived a couple of minutes later and got this pic of me and my brother.100_0464.JPG
See the ball to the right of me? 
I pointed it out to Ruben Tejada, and he indacated one moment. Though unfortunately, Jon Niese picked it up a couple of minutes later and threw it in. 
Let me just say that the Mets were looking pathetic during BP. The hit about 3 HR’s to LF during BP. One was when I was arriving by Jeff Francoeur but was no where near me. The others were much father to LCF. The Mets were stingy too, as they only tossed a couple up too, and none near me. I tried to go to the Mets dugout towards the end of their BP, but was denied, so I went down the RF line, where Pedro Feliciano and Fernando Nieve were. Though before I say what I’m going to say, I will mention that the Mets mascot Mr. Met signed my first autograph100_0513.JPG
First, I will mention that my dad stayed out in LF, and that was when a group with mainly righties stepped up, yet they still weren’t parking any. Then, I started to think my brother or myself would get on the board. Pedro gave us a wave. He then fielded a ball, and held it for a while. Everyone was calling his name and he was looking, but then he threw it in. Mets BP then ended. 
Under my jersey I had a Cardinals shirt (best I had) and hoped I could get some props for NL Central pride. But that didn’t work. The Reds hit a couple more homers than the Mets, but not much. The best hitter though was Joey Votto, as he was crushing them into the bullpens. The Reds ran in, and I was shutout during BP. It didn’t even have anything to do with the fact that it was a bit more crowded than usual. I would have been upset, but I’m a baseball fan and I was at a Mets game. 
We got pizza and brought it to the second deck in LF. We then went to our seats. Here was the view.100_0466.JPG
Far from home plate, yes. But it actually was a very comfortable place to watch a baseball game. I then decided it was time to complete probably my easiest goal of the 2010 season. A behind the plate panoramic at Citi Field.100_0469.JPG
Two goals down. (FYI, they will stay as goals, but goals 6+7 won’t be able to be completed, and if you go to the December entry, you may understand why.) 
I then ventured to the seats behind the LF scoreboard, and got a pic from the last row.100_0471.JPG
Then from the corner spot in the last row.100_0472.JPG
And then looking down on the concourse in CF.100_0473.JPG
The game was about to start the matchup was Mike Pelfrey and Travis Wood, making just his second MLB start, and had a chance for his first win tonight. Here, the Mets were taking the field.100_0474.JPG
First pitch to Brandon Phillips… ball 1. Phillips would ground out to Wright. Big Pelf threw 7 pitches in the first, unfortunately, one was hit into the apple by Joey Votto for his 20th HR of the year. 1-0 Reds. 
With two outs and no one on, David Wright worked out a great at bat for a single followed by and Ike Davis and Jason Bay single, tieing it at one. 
We sat in our seats for three innings we went to the promenade concourse for a batter and this  was the scenario.100_0480.JPG
The Reds had the bases loaded and one out. Up was Catcher Corky Miller. He flew out to Pagan in center and was two shallow for a sac-fly. Then Travis Wood grounded out. Inning over. 
We went to the center field concourse from there, and after snagging none during BP, It wouldn’t hurt to catch home runs at the wiffle ball field.100_0484.JPG 
My brother is the one in the Wright jersey. He’d step up and hit a ball off the wall and a homer off the scoreboard.Thumbnail image for 100_0485.JPG
The R
eds had the bases loaded and no one out in the fifth. The took the lead, and of course with controversey. Scott Rolen had two strikes on him. A pitch came near his bat, and he thought it hit him so he ran to first. But the ump said it hit his bat and tipped into Rod Barajas’s glove meaning he was out. The ball clearly didn’t hit is bat, but didn’t seem to hit him. The ump’s got together, and RIDICULOUSLY changed the call. I could see if they missed the call, but the fact that they changed it?! Of course Jerry Manuel got ejected. 
Had the umps done it right, Pelf would escape the jam with nothing. The next batter popped out, and then Jay Bruce struck out. The inning would be over. But then Drew Stubbs hit a two run single, Corky Miller hit a two run double, and then the pitcher Travis Wood hit an RBI Triple. 7-1 Reds. 
We went to the Pepsi Porch next. Angel Pagan led off, and completed a goal for me. He hit a HR, and up went the apple!Thumbnail image for 100_0491.JPG
Three goals down. 
The rest of the inning would go like this. 
Ruben Tejada ground out. 1 out. 
David Wright triple. 
Ike Davis tapper back to pitcher. Wright scores. 7-3. 
Jason Bay fly out. 2 Out. 
Jeff Francoeur double. Davis to third. 
Rod Barajas single. Davis and Bay score. 7-5. 
Alex Cora double. Barajas scores. 7-6 
Jesus Feliciano pops out. 3 Out. 
Wow! The Mets came back to make it a one run game. The whole time we where sitting on the stairs.100_0499.JPGTravis Wood was knocked out earlier in the inning, so he couldn’t get his first win. 
Top 6 now. Fernando Nieve to Joey Votto… 
Into the bullpen for his second homer of the day 8-6 Reds. 
We stayed on the porch till the 8th where this was as close as we could get to the field.100_0502.JPG
After the 8th we moved to the third base line. It was still 8-6 Reds. Pedro Feliciano to Joey Votto. Pitch lifted towards the line. Third HR…. just foul. We headed to the bottom of the ninth like this. Francisco Cordero came to close it out. Ruben Tejada grounded out. Then Wright worked out a walk. Up came Ike Davis. I visioned him singleing and Bay hitting a walk off HR. Davis popped one behind, back went Scott Rolen, who somehow caught the ball for out 2. Jason Bay hit a high fly to left which was caught by the LF on the run. Reds win. Mets 0-3 for me at Citi and 6-15 overall for me. 
So the Mets lost, but let’s shift back to the top of the ninth. I never mentioned this, but it was fireworks night. During the ninth, I asked a worker lady if I’d be able to run to the umps tunnel them come back. She said no because of the fireworks. So my streak of games with a ball was over. 
Wasn’t it? 
Well… I was at a different set of stairs after the final out and the usher walked away so I took off down the stairs (I’d find out I would be let down anyway). At the umps tunnel, homeplate ump Jerry Meals was hearing it for the blown call. I had a feeling he wouldn’t toss a ball to a Met fan, and he didn’t. He tossed one to a Yankee fan. I then ran to the dugout. The Reds were on the other side. After the pitchers from the bullpen came in they didn’t toss anything. I asked a worker by the dugout if there were any balls in the dugout. He said he didn’t see anything. So NOW my streak was over. 
Wasn’t it? 
Well… then the security guard said one moment, then he brought out a ball boy who flipped me my first ball
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The streak continues!!! I had a great time at the ballpark anyway, but this made me jubilant!! 
I decided we’d exit through the Rotunda so we could stop by the apple from Shea. 
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We called it a day. 
Stats:
1 ball today (1 thrown) 
8 in balls in 3 games this year = 2.33 balls per game 
18 career balls 
Autos: 
1 autograph today (Mr. Met)
4 autographs in 3 game the year = 1.33 autos per game 
15 career MLB autos 
My next game will be in San Francisco at AT&T Park!

California (again)

Last time I gave you this entry I just let you know what was going on. But now is the real big entry. If you didn’t know, I’m going to AT&T Park on July 15th and to Dodger Stadium on July 22nd. Both games feature the Mets. I may take a tour of Angel Stadium on July 20th or 21st, but that won’t be confirmed until we get down there.

 

First, I will talk about my game in San Francisco. Some of these tips are thanks to Zack Hample AT&T Park is surrounded by a bay, AKA McCovey Cove. Due to the fact that that the RF area is small, balls may fly out of the park. Between the stadium and bay is walkway called the Portwalk. I am planning on heading to the stadium early to get a BP ball before the gates open, hopefully by a home run or a player toss.

 

Now, I will talk about my game in LA. Almost everything that I will mention here are tips from Matt Jackson. Dodger Stadium is full of rules, as you may know. One of the dumbest is that the parking lot to enter the stadium and the gates into the stadium both open at 5:10, meaning that it would be physically impossible. But hopefully this tip can work. I have been advised to try to get into the lot, and if stopped, say that you need to buy tickets. From there go to the gate. Snagging is going to be hard here, but I’m hoping that I can use the glove trick to get a few out of the bullpens.

 

Just like I did for Texas, I am going to give a set of things I would like to do (not neccesarily goals). Here is for my game in SF:

Go to the Portwalk before the stadium opens and get on the board before inside.

Try to be one of the first the the LF bleachers and look for easter eggs.

Snag a BP HR in the bleachers.

If there is a group of hitters with mainly lefties, then go to the RCF section.

Get at least one ball out of the LF corner with my glove trick.

Get autos with the targets being Pablo Sandoval, Tim Lincecum (again), and any Mets. 

My seats are down the RF line, so go to the Mets bullpen before the game.

Move around the stadium throughout the game.

Hope for a Met win. Let’s go Mets!

 

As for my game in LA:

Get into the lot before it opens and being waiting at the gate.

Run intoo Mannywood and look for easter eggs.

Play the LF corner and foul territory on either side of the field for most of BP.

Get autos with the targets as Andre Either, Manny Ramirez, and any Mets.

Get a behind the plate panoramic before the game.

Move around the stadium and end up at the Mets bullpen or dugout for the end of the game.

Again, let’s go Mets.

 

Since Dodger may not be very snag or auto friendly my overall expectation for the trip is:

7 baseballs

3 autos

Snag a ball at least 3 different ways.

 

Hopefully I will be able to do the Angel tour too.

 

I don’t know if I will get it in before I go, but my next entry will be about the Reds-Mets game I attened on July 5th.