8/13/09 Twins vs. Royals

            Arrived 40 minutes before the gates open to my last game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. I knew there wouldn’t be BP, but I still wanted to be first on line for this game. Although I wasn’t first on line I was the first one through the gates revolving door.

Metrodome Revolving Door

          When I ran in I was correct in that there wasn’t any BP. But a couple Twins were throwing along the foul line, so I moved over there.

Twins Throwing

            Matt Guerrier was throwing with Brian Duesing (pair on left) and Nick Dammann (the Bullpen Catcher) was throwing with Scott Baker (player in follow through on right). I originally positioned myself behind Matt and Brian, but then I saw the Scott and Nick were finishing up first, so I moved two sections over. Since Nick was the Bullpen Catcher Scott was throwing some pitches to Nick while Nick was crouching down, so I had to wait a bit until they were actually done. When they were done I called out to Scott and asked for the ball. He tossed me my 1st baseball.

Ball No. 192

I was the only one who called. I was the only one who reached for it. Metrodome logo ball. So I decided not to try and get a ball from Matt or Brian, I instead tried for an autograph from (very) recent call-up Jeff Manship.

I was the only one who called. I was the only one who reached for it. Metrodome logo ball. So I decided not to try and get a ball from Matt or Brian, I instead tried for an autograph from (very) recent call-up Jeff Manship.

            He and Jose Mijares started signing (Jeff is #49, Jose is talking to Jeff in the photo below).

Jeff Manship and Jose Mijares Talking

I was able to get Jeff on one for my 1st autograph of the day, but when I tried to get Jose the kid right before me was the last one to get an autograph from him. Matt and Brian were no longer throwing, two guys with pullovers were, so I had no chance to get a ball from them.

            I started moving along to get over to the Kansas City side when all of a sudden I saw a ball rolling towards home plate (marked by an X in the photo below). I realized that it was a passed ball thrown by Kyle Davies.

Kyle Davies Throwing and Location of Ball

          A Twins Employee started walking over to pick up the ball. I asked him for the ball and he pointed to an open space in the protective netting. I moved over there and waited and he tossed me my 2nd baseball so far.

Ball No. 193

            So after that point I moved over to the Right Field Corner. Some Royals started throwing (John Bale with Luke Hochevar, Robinson Tejada with a Trainer, etc.),
Royals Throwing 

          And when Tejada finished the Trainer walked over and kicked out a loose ball that had been lying against the wall.

Royals' Trainer

          I asked him for the ball in a generic request and he tossed me the ball, but it fell short, into the gap! I am not sure how many throws have landed into the gap, but there’s another. Luckily since he had two balls he took the other one that he had and tossed me my 3rd baseball.

Baseball No. 194 Lifetime

            1st Round Pick Luke Hochevar finished up and I walked over to where he was going to try and get him to sign. Luke walked over to the people at the foul line and started signing. He signed my 2nd autograph so far, and the team ball was getting pretty full.

Luke Hochevar Signing

          That was my last autograph of the day. I didn’t get any autographs where the Royals stretched. Willie Bloomquist ended up with the ball where the Royals stretch after he threw and he tossed me one the previous day in the same spot. Billy Butler ended up with a ball over by where they stretched and he was going to use it for the before inning infield warm-up ball. One of my goals for the day was to get a foul ball during the game, but before I headed over there I went over to the Twins dugout to try and get a Pre-Game warm-up ball. Orlando Cabrera came out to throw with Nick Punto, and since Cabrera is more experienced he’d end up with the ball. I was right and when they were done he ended up with it and Orlando showed the ball to the crowd and then he tossed it to the people. I just half-heartedly stuck my glove out and my 4th baseball went into my glove. It was a Metrodome ball (yes).

Orlando Cabrera Baseball2

After that I went into my foul ball spot. This photo shows the location of it:
Location of Twins Foul Ball Spot

          It was a great spot. To my left was about 4 empty seats and then a cross-aisle right in front of some seats embedded into the wall that was about 20 feet long.

View to Left1

          To my right was a cross aisle about 50 feet long with some handicap seats.

View to my Right1

          And directly in front of me was just a plain old aisle.

View to my Front1

So I pretty much had about 85 feet of space to run back and forth between. But at times the aisle to my right got really crowded.

Crowded aisle to my right1

If a foul ball was shot back over the screen then it would either:

1)      Go into the Upper Deck.

2)      Fly straight into the seats without striking anything.

3)      Bounce of the rim just below the Upper Deck and ricochet 4 Rows from the back or

4)      Bounce of the back wall and land in the cross-aisle.

The problem was that the two starters, Gil Meche and Carl Pavano, weren’t, but if so, BARELY hitting 90. In other words, there wouldn’t be many foul balls. And that was exactly what happened. One foul ball did what #3 above was, and it was in the first third of the game. That was the only foul ball during that point that came anywhere close to me. I had already decided that in the 8th I would go over to the Royals dugout to try and find a seat for the end of the game since they were winning. So there were 4 innings for foul balls to land near me, and even then there wasn’t that good of a chance of me getting one. The majority of batters were left-handers though, and I stood up for them. Whenever they hit a foul ball I would flinch. But one time I had to flinch.

Top of the 4th. First batter of the inning. The Left-Handed Mark Teahen steps up to bat. Carl Pavano delivers one pitch to Mark Teahen. On the outside wall, borderline call, it is called a ball. 1-0. Carl Pavano throws the second pitch of the at-bat. It is outside, a ball, but Mark swings at it anyway. He fouls it off, back. It goes over the netting about 15 feet to my right. As soon as he makes contact I was off. I had a few seconds to get there. I bolt over to my right, the ball flies over the heads of the people sitting in the handicap seats. It bounces off the wall, specifically a banner, specifically a giant Twins symbol right in the center of said banner. I bounces off the wall heading back towards the seats, but I get there in time and I am able to get my 5th baseball and my 1st lifetime game ball. Wow.

First Foul Ball1

          It was awesome. The ball felt slick, it left a mark on the banner and the banner left a mark on it.

Mark on Ball/Banner

          The bat left a nice smudge on the ball.

Smudge from Bat on First Foul Ball

I sat back down and that was the second (and last) ball to reach that area the entire night. So it was my last foul ball of the night. And my last ball of the night. I tried to get something from the Royals, but to no avail.

But I’m not complaining. Many people have said that the Metrodome is a tough, really tough place to ballhawk. I was somehow was able to milk the Metrodome for all that I was worth. Maybe it was the low attendance due to the Royals. Maybe it was luck. I had gotten 20 balls in 3 games, and I’m not really sure how it all worked. I guess it may’ve been because I didn’t focus on staying in left field to catch home runs, I wandered all over the place throughout the games. But whatever it was, it was just a good time.

First Foul Ball on Metrodome Home Plate

Stats:

  • 5 MLB Balls Today
  • 2 MLB Autographs Today
  • 126 MLB Autographs in this Season
  • 165 Total Autographs in this Season
  • 196 MLB Balls in this Season
  • 217 Total Balls in this Season
  • 3 BP, 1 Pre-Game, 1 During
  • 4 Thrown, 1 Hit
  • Attendance: 32,373
  • Competition Factor: 161,865
  • 5.94 Balls / 1 Game
  • 33 Consecutive Games with at least 3 MLB Baseballs
  • 23 Consecutive Games with at least 1 MLB Autograph
  • 18 Consecutive Games with at least 4 MLB Baseballs

 

5 comments

  1. goislanders4

    so after having gone to the metrodome, would you say it was a lot easier to snag than expected? Were there a lot of Commemoratives floating around? and are the dugouts just as good of a way to get a ball at most other parks, or are they tougher because the dugouts arent really dugouts, as much as they are pits? and any other tips you have can be helpful, cause im going in about a week and i really want to get a commemorative

  2. goislanders4

    so after having gone to the metrodome, would you say it was a lot easier to snag than expected? Were there a lot of Commemoratives floating around? and are the dugouts just as good of a way to get a ball at most other parks, or are they tougher because the dugouts arent really dugouts, as much as they are pits? and any other tips you have can be helpful, cause im going in about a week and i really want to get a commemorative

  3. Alex

    Goislanders4: I would say the Metrodome is a lot easier than expected. If you want to get a lot of baseballs, left field is good until it gets crowded, which is after a minute or so. Look around for easter eggs along the foul line and in left field and in the gap for device balls (make sure not to make it too obvious). And commemorative balls don’t seem to float around for visitors BP, only Twins, if there are any. And the dugouts are easy to get baseballs, just a lot of competition, and security isn’t strict. Hope that helps.
    Alex

  4. goislanders4

    yeah, that helps a lot. thanks. and one more question, it looks like the home team is at the third base dugout, and the away team is at first base. is that the case? or is that just with the bullpens

  5. goislanders4

    yeah, that helps a lot. thanks. and one more question, it looks like the home team is at the third base dugout, and the away team is at first base. is that the case? or is that just with the bullpens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s