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8/9/16 at Target Field: Twins vs Astros

The reason I haven’t posted in a while is because I really liked my last entry and I wanted it to be my newest post for a while. Sorry.

This day was another bad one for Ballhawking, mainly because I only ballhawked for 30 mins. I got in for early BP, which only lasted 30 mins, then I went over to the dugout to get autographs.

On with the entry…

Ball 1:

I was first in line at Gate 34 as usual, and when a long home run landed in the plaza and rolled towards the gate, stopped right in front, then was picked up by an usher, it became mine.



Ball 2:

Once the gates opened, I went over to right center field and got a tossup from Tommy Milone. He made me convince him I deserved to get the ball! It was pretty funny.


STATS:

Balls at this game: 2 (Usher, Tommy Milone)

If anyone is still reading this, here’s something cool:


This was Brian Dozier’s 98th career home run I caught on the fly….


…when my friend Jake, the real person who snagged the ball, handed it to me. Gotcha there, haha.

I had been in foul territory when Dozier homered, and I didn’t see Jake catch it at first. When they showed it on the Jumbotron, I realized it was him! I just thought that was I cool thing I could include in my entry.

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American Association HRD at CHS Field!

As you can probably tell from the title, I was about to be ballhawking the American Association home run derby! CHS Field is the home of the St. Paul Saints, and I have ballhawked there a few times before. When I heard there was going to be a home run derby, I knew I had to go. The stadium has a great Ballhawking layout so I knew it would be easy to catch a home run.

When I got to the stadium with my friend Noah, I immediately got a ball. It’s not what you think, it was just a commemorative American Association ASG ball that they were giving away. I’ll call it…

Ball 0:

The derby wasn’t going to start for a while, because there was a “celebrity” softball game going on. The reason I put “celebrity” in quotation marks was because they were hardly celebrities. They were some local radio show people and maybe one or two athletes.

Softball 1:

After the softball game, I stood by the umpire tunnel and asked the umpire for a softball. He told me he wasn’t allowed to give them away so he apologized. Then he  asked one of the Saints coaches who was standing nearby what he should do with the softballs. He told him it didn’t matter, so the umpire tossed one to me.

They ended up letting everyone on the field after for some random concert that was on it, so I took the picture of the softball there.


After that I noticed Minnesota Wild rookie Mike Reilly was standing by the dugout. I got a picture with him:


Then, I noticed that New York Islanders player Nick Leddy was standing near him. The only reason I had recognized him was because I have known his cousin since I was in 1st grade, so he had shown me pictures of him. I had always wanted to meet him, so I went up and got a picture:


Then I had him sign my softball:


Then because Mike Reilly was right there, I had him sign it too:



Ball 1:

They kicked everyone off the field a few minutes later so they could get started with the derby, so I went out to the left field grass berm. I looked down in to the bullpen which is directly in front of the berm, and noticed tons of baseballs down there. They must have taken BP earlier before the softball game. It was a good thing I had my cup trick with me, because I ended up using it for the first time ever to get my first ball of the day. It was pretty tough though because the wind kept blowing the cup so I had to time it perfectly.

Ball 2:

I got this ball the same way as number 1. Cup tricked from the bullpen. The only difference is that I gave this ball away right after.

Ball 3:

The derby had now officially started, and I almost caught a home run from the first batter. It was hit directly at me, and I thought it was gonna be the easiest catch ever. That was until I started getting shoved down the berm by some other kids trying to catch the ball too. I had to try and make a leaping catch, but the ball ended up hitting the side of my glove and some other kid caught it. That really doesn’t have anything to do with how I got my 3rd ball, I was just saying something that happened. My third ball was a ball from the bullpen that I didn’t cup trick. A worker walked through and tossed every ball up, and I was one of the people to get one.


Ball 4:

It took a while, but I eventually snagged a home run. I had been out in left field almost the whole derby because there was only one lefty out of the entire group of guys in the derby. His name is Art Charles, and he plays for the New Jersey Jackals. As soon as he came up, I sprinted to the right field standing room area as fast as I could. He started crushing the ball to right which was a good thing. I knew I had a pretty good shot at catching one. Charles hit a bomb, and I could tell it was going REALLY high, and about 10 feet to my left. I ran through a huge crowd of people, got in line with the ball, reached up as high as I could, and caught it. Because it was so high, it came in at a really sharp angle and I wasn’t able to catch it in the web of my glove. So, it hit me right in the palm. Not a good feeling.


If you want to see a video, go to this link and skip to 2:10:00.

Ball 5:

I was back out in left field again, but this time I was standing on the concrete area behind the berm because the berm had got way too crowded. At one point. I saw noticed a ball fly up about 30 feet to my left over the berm, over the concrete area I was standing on, on the the grassy area behind the concrete area, and under a picnic table. I knew it wasn’t a homer because I had been watching the batter, so I knew it had to have been from the bullpen. I sprinted over to the picnic table, dropped to the ground, and reached under the table to grab the ball.


It was most likely a homer that landed in the bullpen and was chucked up by someone who was in there.

Ball 6:

This was my final ball of the night, and it was also my favorite one I got. Saints outfielder Alonzo Harris came up to bat, and I knew that he could crush the ball. I suddenly remembered I had my GoPro with me, so I took it out, clipped it to my hat, and started recording. 

It’s a good thing I did.

Here’s what happened.

For those who didn’t watch the video for whatever reason, I’ll explain what happened. Alonzo started crushing the ball deep, and I had a feeling he would hit one towards me. He ended up doing that, and I tracked it well enough to catch it on the fly in the middle of tons of other people. I caught it in a really weird place in my glove. Take a look:

I didn’t move the ball at all to take the picture. That’s EXACTLY how it landed in my glove. I’m shocked that it actually stayed in there!

I can’t believe I didn’t mention this earlier, but look at what I tweeted at Alonzo before the game:

 Wanna know what else? I was talking to a guy who ballhawks New Jersey Jackals games (Art Charles’s team) and told him I’d catch an Art Charles home run. 

I CALLED BOTH OF MY HOME RUN CATCHES. 

That’s just crazy.

Noah, the friend I brought, ended up catching the last homer of the derby. His glove isn’t that broken in so it popped out of his glove at first, then was bobbled by a couple people, but eventually secured by Noah before it hit the ground. 

There was another concert on the field when the derby ended, so Noah and I went on the field and played catch with ball #3. 

All the players were still on the field by the dugout, but there was a rope blocking people off from going in to the infield. So I called Alonzo Harris over to sign so I could get his autograph on the homer he hit. I reminded him of the tweet I sent him saying I would catch his home run, and he thought that was cool. I took a picture with him and the ball.


Here is a better picture of the autograph:

I left the stadium shortly after that. It was a really cool experience getting to Ballhawk at this event. Unfortunately, the derby can’t be in Minnesota every year. How cool would that be though?

STATS:

Balls at this game: 6 (CT, CT, Stadium Worker, Art Charles, Bullpen Person, Alonzo Harris)

Autographs at this game: 3 (Nick Leddy, Mike Reilly, Alonzo Harris)

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7/28/16 at Target Field: Twins vs Orioles

Let me start off by saying a few things. I guess I lied about saying I would post every day. I have been sick the past two days and I haven’t been in the mood to blog. Also, I’m skipping two entries because I feel like they should be long ones, so I’m saving them until I’m done doing these short entries. Lastly, I’ll be doing the entries every other day instead of every day. I want to have the entries out for a little while before I post a new one.

On with the entry….

Ball 1:

I didn’t actually Ballhawk in BP, so I really didn’t get many baseballs. Instead I hung out by the dugout with my brother and some friends and tried to get autographs. 


I ended up getting Zack Britton to sign an 8×10. That’s it. It really wasn’t worth getting autographs.

My first ball came right before game time. I was sitting right by the ball boy in the first row on the first base side…


…when I noticed Manny Machado was playing catch in front of the dugout. I ran over there as quick as I could, but I was stuck waiting about 15 rows up because of the expensive Dugout Box seats in front of me that I couldn’t get in to. Luckily, Manny likes chucking his warm up balls deep. When he finished up, I was the only asking, and he chucked me a perfect knuckleball over all the seats.

Ball 2:

My next ball came after the game. I got in position for an umpire ball first…


…and when the game ended, home plate umpire Toby Basner came in and tossed me my second ball of the day.


Ball 3:

The game may have been done, but I wasn’t. I went over to the Twins dugout and got my final ball of the day from the Twins bat boy Dom.

STATS:

Balls at this game: 3 (Manny Machado, Toby Basner, Dom Frost)

Autographs at this game: 7 (Zach Britton, JJ Hardy, Caleb Joseph, Hyun Soo Kim, Eduardo Nunez, Kennys Vargas, Matt Wieters)

After the game, it was announced that Twins 2016 All-Star Eduardo Nunez had been traded to the San Francisco Giants. On the way out of the parking lot, he stopped his car and signed for everyone. 

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7/1/16 at Target Field: Twins vs Rangers

This was a really slow day. So this post won’t be long. Basically, this game just REALLY sucked. 

Ball 1:

I got to the stadium at 4:30 and was the first one in line at Gate 34…

…which helped me quickly get my first ball of the day:


It was a home run that a Twins player hit in to the Plaza. I would have got it really quickly because it was rolling towards the gate where I could pick it up, but it was stopped by a garbage can. I waited until an usher walked by so I could ask for the ball. When one did, I asked for it, he picked it up, walked right over to me, and tossed it to me.

Ball 2:

Fast forward 6 hours…

I ended up having my worst BP of the year. I got shutout. It sucked. It was crowded, and players weren’t tossing up balls. I got kicked out of the seats by the dugout before the game started. That meant my next chance for a ball would either be a foul ball, or postgame ball. The latter was definitely more likely.

While waiting for the game to end so I could get an umpire ball, I ended up sitting next to another Ballhawk from Chicago named Bobby. He told me he ballhawks at Wrigley Field. Since he hadn’t ballhawked at Target Field before, he was looking up YouTube videos to see if anyone made some about Target Field ballhawking. He told me that “There isn’t many YouTubers who make Target Field videos, except for MNSportsAndStuff.”

For those who don’t know, that’s my YouTube channel.

I thought that was super cool that I met someone who actually watches my videos and knew who I was. We talked for a while, and I got a picture with him:


Go give him a follow on Twitter! He is @Rke404.

Once the game ended, we ran down to the umpire tunnel and got in position for a ball from HP ump Bob Davidson. I got a ball tossed to me, but an old guy reached in front of me and snatched it. The guy gave it to me, but since I can’t count balls other people give me, I immediately gave it to Bobby. The umpire saw this, and tossed me another ball.


This definitely was one of my worst games, and I was glad it was over.

STATS:

Balls at this game: 2 (Usher, Bob Davidson)

Autographs at this game: 2 (Ian Desmond, Prince Fielder)

You read that right, I got Prince Fielder’s autograph. So I guess not everything sucked.


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6/22/16 at Target Field: Twins vs Phillies

Whoops. Forgot to post an entry yesterday. I’ll try and remember to do one each day until I don’t have any more games to write about. These entries won’t be that long because they happened a long time ago, and I don’t remember much about these games.

I was nervous for this game. It was supposed to rain during BP which obviously wouldn’t be a good thing. I was going to this game with my friend Victor. He was one of my baseball teammates, and this was his first time ballhawking. Somehow I got super lucky, and the weather reports changed. It wasn’t gonna rain!

This was a weekday game, which meant early BP for STH’s. I’m not a season ticket holder, but my friend gave me his season ticket card so I could get in early. We got in a minute after the gates opened, and ran to the overhang in RF. Victor and I both called out to Max Kepler to try and get him to toss a ball up, and when he turned around to toss up it, Max yelled “Who do I throw it to?”. Victor ended up getting it, for his first snag ever.

I got shutout in Twins BP. 

Ball 1:

I was out in the LF bleachers waiting for the Phillies pitchers to finish warming up. I was hoping to get a ball from one of them when they finished up. When Brett Oberholzter did, he chucked me his ball from about 75 feet away.


Ball 2:

A player who I think was Jeanmar Gomez walked over to the wall to pick a ball up, so I asked him for it. He said he couldn’t because he gave too many away the previous day. It took some breaking down, but I eventually convinced him to toss it to me. Right before he did, he said, “If anyone asks, you didn’t get this from me”. 

Ball 3:

When BP was almost over, I went to the dugout with another Ballhawk named Paul so we could get some tossups. Once they all walked off the field, a ball was tossed over the net to Paul, but it went over his head. I reached out as far as I possibly could over my shoulder, and made a no look, backhand, full extension catch in the tip of my glove. Let’s just say Paul wasn’t too happy, haha.

Paul, if you’re reading this, HAHA, I GOT THE BALL, NOT YOU!

Ball 4:

Right after this happened, I got another ball from Jimmy Parades.


Ball 5:

Once the game ended, I went over to the Twins dugout and got a ball from the Bat Boy who I actually happen to know, Dom.


His aim was a little off and it ended up going really far to my right, so I had to reach out super far towards the field to catch it. He said “Nice reach!”.

After this, Victor, Paul and I waited outside the stadium to get some autographs. We got autographs from Andres Blanco and Odubel Herrera!

That’s it for my first entry of my return to this blog! Come back tomorrow for another one.
STATS:

Balls at this game: 5 (Brett Oberholzter, Jeanmar Gomez, a Random Guy, Jimmy Parades, Dom the BB)

Announcement!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah….. I kinda ditched the whole blogging thing…. It got boring after a while. I thought it wouldn’t be worth the time to do this anymore, so I quit.

BUT WAIT!

I decided to come back…

Kind of.

Starting tomorrow, I will be posting one entry a day until I finish writing about the games I’ve been to. But, they will be short entries. Another blogger has a certain way of writing their entries that I decided I’d try out. 

I’ve had some cool experiences, like going to my first Home Run Derby (it may have been an American Association HRD, but it still counts!), finally meeting a Ballhawk I’ve talked to for a few years, and meeting the Ballhawking King, Zack Hample.

Make sure to check back each day to read a new entry! 

Update

So I’m not gonna be blogging about my last 2 games. They were really boring and uneventful. I got 4 balls at the Phillies game on June 22nd and 2 on July 1st against the Rangers. Didn’t even get any in BP at Rangers. I’ll try to get my next entry up soon. It’s a good one, so you’ll want to read it.