8/18/09 White Sox vs. Royals

            There were no Easter Eggs or glove trick baseballs at “The Cell”. That meant that I’d have to ask the player shagging in left Field for the balls that rolled to the wall. That player would be the so-far-nice Josh Anderson. I asked him for the first ball that rolled to the Left Field wall when I was there, and he tossed me the ball, my 1st ball.

Josh Anderson and Baseball

            The first group was predominantly lefties, so I moved over to Right Field. They were hitting some bombs, maybe twenty rows back into the furthest section. I have no clue who the hitters were, but they sure were good.

            One bomb was about 12 rows over my head and 15 feet to my right (I was standing in row 6 on the aisle) when the seats were still fairly empty. As soon as the ball was hit I knew that it was a bomb, so I ran up the steps and saw the ball land in an empty row. It stayed put and didn’t trickle down any rows, so I ran into the row that it landed in and grabbed my 2nd ball.

Scuff on Baseball2

            Then the same batter blasted another ball in a different round of swings. This time the ball landed in the section closest to the batters’ eye, a section 8 seats wide and one section to my right. I saw the ball land, so I ran to that row and saw the ball trickle down a row, and then another, and then another, and then another, where it stopped because it hit a seat’s support beam and it laid dead in the tow. I ran over and grabbed my 3rd ball, which wouldn’t have been mine had it rolled one row further.

Ball No. 224

And then the photo below shows where the ball landed (red arrow) and where I picked it up (yellow arrow):

Location of 3rd Ball 81809

            Joakim Soria, one of the last players on the Royals that I hadn’t gotten went over to the foul line to pick up some balls, and then he started signing.

Joakim Soria Signing

          So I got my ball and had him sign my 1st autograph, put the ball back, and then immediately ran back into fair territory.

            My 3rd Ball would be my last ball in Right Field. I was over in Right Field when I saw a ball gets tossed to the first row, but it was knocked into the moat. When I saw that I immediately sprinted over to Left Field. When I got there I knew I needed to work fast because the only usher with an issue with using the glove trick patrols the moat and Left Field Bullpen. So I looked into the moat, but I saw nothing.

Nothing in

          I asked the people around me and they pointed to a spot where they thought the ball had gone. It turns out it went underneath the overhang, so I wasn’t sure where it was or how far back it was. But eventually, after looking for a bit I saw it. It was about 1 foot underneath the overhang; you could only see it if you were directly on top of it. So I let out some string, swung the glove underneath the overhang and knocked the ball closer on the first try. I reeled up my glove, put the rubber band around the tip and the sharpie in the middle, and I reeled up my 4th ball with ease.

Glove Tricked Ball

Then about 3 little kids without gloves came running up to me asking for the ball. I politely said no because I:

            A) Don’t give balls away to people who ask

            B) Don’t feel I is right to give one ball to one kid in front of other kids of the same age.

            But little did I know that these little kids would help me get a couple of baseballs.

            I stayed over in Left Field for the rest of BP.

            Joakim Soria fielded a ball in front of those little kids, and then another ball in the same spot.

Joakim Soria Headshot

            He wanted to give them baseballs, but since they were about 3 or so and there were no adults in the front row I told Joakim that I would get a baseball and give it to a random kid there. He tossed me the baseball, which I then gave to an aforementioned random kid there. Since it wasn’t intended for anyone and I had the right to decide who to give it to I count it as my 5th ball. Then he took the other baseball and tossed it to me, and this time he told me to give it to a specific kid. I pointed to the kid and said: “Him?” just to be safe, and when he nodded I gave it to that kid. That ball I didn’t count because I had to give it to that kid, it was intended for a specific person, and I caught it for them because they couldn’t. So then Joakim asked Bruce Chen, also in Left Field, for a baseball that he just retrieved. This time Joakim pointed to me and mouthed:

            “You keep it.” So it was unlike a similar accident yesterday where I was standing on a chair, Joakim tossed me a ball, I caught it and then I fell backwards. This time I was standing on a chair in the second row and Joakim tossed me a ball, but I caught it without injury this time for my 6th ball of the day, and last one for batting practice.

Ball No. 227

            I tried to make it to the dugouts in time for the end of BP, but I was unsuccessful and got no balls there and like last time I got one autograph, Roman Colon (my 2nd autograph).

            I didn’t get anything at pre-game throwing because of the incredible competition.

 

TOUGH Competition

            A little Royals fan. Can’t compete with that.

            Skip ahead to the game and in the Top of the 1st inning Mike Jacobs flew out to Gordon Beckham who ran back to grab it, and then Gordon tossed the ball into the seats along the foul line. I was over 100 feet away from where he tossed it, but I still got a ball tossed to me by someone coming off the field.

            Paul Konerko is one of the only First Basemen that I have seen toss the pre-inning warm-up ball into the crowd after each time that the inning ends. He catches it from the dugout, looks into the crowd and tosses it to someone. Well in the first inning he looked into the crowd and tossed it to me for my 7th ball so far.

Dirty Ball No. 228

            Since I had gotten a ball at the White Sox dugout so early I figured that I would sit at the Royals dugout as close as I could.

            Well I noticed that in the Royals dugout that not only Bob McClure had a ball in his hands, but there was a ball sitting on the fence in front of Miguel Olivo who was a few feet to Bob’s left.

Miguel Olivo1

             I think it was the Top of the 2nd when I got there, but at the end of the 2nd I asked Miguel Olivo for the baseball, and pointed to it. He looked in front of himself, saw the baseball, grabbed it, turned back toward me and tossed me my 8th ball.

Miguel Olivo Baseball1

            I made my goal for the night to be double digits after I got that ball. So I headed over to the bullpen to try for a ball. I saw that Roman Colon had a ball in his pocket, so I asked for it, but he lied and said he didn’t. And then not one Royal gave out a ball from the bullpen the entire night. In the Top of the 8th when I saw that Roman had a ball I asked him again for it.

Roman Colon1

He gave it half his might and it fell short, and then even though it was his fault he kicked the ball into the bullpen and didn’t give me another try.

So no baseballs came my way during the game. At the end of the game I ran down to the dugout and got a spot in the corner and saw that Rusty Kuntz had a baseball that he was putting in his pocket and I asked him for it. He saw my Royals hat, walked closer and flipped me an extremely beaten up baseball for my 9th ball of the night.
Rusty Kuntz Emtremely Beaten Up Baseball


I put it away quickly so I could focus again on the dugout. I thought that that would be the last ball that I got. All the players had left an only a few remained, and they were being interviewed. I hoped that I a ballboy would find a baseball among the benches and give it to me, but that didn’t happen. I saw that Josh Anderson had a baseball, and I asked him for it, but then he started looking in the crowd for someone. He stood for a minute or two, looking, but he didn’t find the person, so he tossed it to the crowd to my left, but they bobbled it. So then he took the ball again and flipped it again into the crowd, and this time I caught it, but a kid next to me took it out of my glove, stood there for a moment and then walked off. I didn’t know what happened. He seemed extremely desperate to get a ball. But now I wasn’t sure whether to count it or not. I had it in my glove, and then he took it out of it. So did it count or not? I was flip-flopping on the decision when I remembered of an encounter that Ballhawk League Creator Erik Jabs had where a fan ripped a ball out of his glove and then tossed it back to him. He decided to count it, so I figured why shouldn’t I? So then I counted it, my 10th ball of the night. Double Digits…
Haul from 8/18/09

 

Stats:

  • 10 MLB Balls Today
  • 2 MLB Autographs Today
  • 154 MLB Autographs in this Season
  • 193 Total Autographs in this Season
  • 231 MLB Balls in this Season
  • 252 Total Balls in this Season
  • 7 Thrown, 2 Hit, 1 Glove-Trick
  • 6 BP, 2 During, 2 After
  • Attendance: 28,812 People
  • Competition Factor: 288,120
  • 37 Consecutive Games with at least 3 MLB Baseballs
  • 27 Consecutive Games with at least 1 MLB Autograph
  • 22 Consecutive Games with at least 4 MLB Baseballs

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