Back at a more generous New York ballpark: Citi Field.
I spent the time outside playing catch with Joe, Gary, Clif and his mom, people I knew from Zack Hample’s blog.
I ran all the way to LF when the gates opened and quickly checked for Easter Eggs. After finding none I saw a player, who looked like Pedro Feliciano, field a ball in CF, about 125 feet from me. Thinking it was Pedro I called out loud “Pedro” and he looked over at me. I opened my glove and he threw me my 1st ball.
But now that I think of it the player was Angel Pagan. Joe thought it was him, so then I looked at him as he got closer and it did look like him. This photo is from far away, but he is the player all the way on the right:
Another ball was hit over to the wall in Left Field, and settled right there, about 2 feet out. I noticed it was an All-Star ball, and since I already had one that I got from a batboy I let Joe go for it and moved over to a regular ball about 20 feet to his left. So soon after a player walked over to my ball to retrieve it, but I didn’t know who it was. But as he bent down to pick it up I noticed that he was Pat Misch.
“Pat, could I have that ball?” I called out. He tossed the ball up to me, but it was short. He gave me another throw,
which this time I got for my 2nd ball.
Then a couple minutes later a homerun was hit. It was to my right, and even thought the seat were still fairly empty, I had some competition; Gary and Joe were there. We all started looking for the ball, which bounced of the ground in a row and skipped into the air, landing in the seats. But none of us knew which row, or seat it was in. We looked everywhere for a couple second, and I saw it. It wasn’t on the ground, or wedged in a seat. It was wedged in the arm rest, as this recreation shows:
There it was. I saw it had multi-colored seams, and I grabbed it, my 3rd ball.
This was my second All-Star Ball from 2008 that I had ever gotten, the first was from a ballboy along the foul line. Getting this ball also made me feel guilty considering that Joe got ignored on the previous All-Star Ball he saw on the warning track. But don’t feel bad for him, Joe got two special balls courtesy of the source of my next ball: Nelson Figueroa.
Nelson and Elmer Dessens were shagging balls and Elmer tossed one to a fan which caused other fans to ask for a ball. Elmer put his finer to his lips to shush the people, so I said:
“Okay everyone has to be quiet now.”
That caused both of them to turn around, smile and then Elmer said:
“Yeah, whoever is quiet for the longest gets a ball.”
So that’s what I did, be quiet. Well at least with my mouth. I slammed my fist into the palm of my mitt and waved my arms to get their attention. It worked, and on the second ball that Nelson fielded after being quiet with my mouth was the one that he tossed to me, my 4th ball. AND it was another All-Star Baseball from last year.
This ball seemed different than the other All-Star Ball. It seemed more out of shape than the other. One logo was bigger than the other and one stamp was mis-stamped on the ball above:
And just for the heck of it here is a photo of Nelson shagging baseballs in Left Field.
Even though Citi Field is much less crowded than New Yankee Stadium I got shutout for Cubs BP. I tried to get some more baseballs, and had a few close calls, but it just that it was I picked the wrong places at the wrong time. I saw a ball on the batters’ eye, and stood there next to it, but then I went over to the bullpen and saw three balls there, so I stayed over there, and then I saw that the ball on the batters’ eye was gone. So it just wasn’t my day.
It was 6:08 and I saw a few people signing near the dugout, so I decided that I should head over there. It turns out that the players were Mets. One of them was Lance Broadway, who I got for my 1st autograph.
I didn’t get the player because I wanted to get to the dugout for the end of BP. I had a lot of time it turned out.
I was able to see a ball about 15 feet out from the dugout, so I asked Cubs’ Coach Matt Sinatro for the ball, but he said “One Minute,” and went to talk to some people. But then a random guy appeared out of the dugout, took the ball and placed it in a random player’s glove. What?
That player turned out to be Mike Fontenot. When he came in he took his glove and noticed something inside of it.
“Mike could I have that ball in your glove?”
He opened the glove, took the ball, and tossed me my 5th ball. You can see me getting the ball at the bottom of the photo, I am inbetween a guy wearing a black shirt and a kid wearing an orange shirt. The acutal ball is two photos down.
Notice the strange purple marking on the ball:
The end of the dugout I was at barely had any players come in it, they all went in the outfield end. Matt Sinatro was still talking to the people. I also noticed that a bucket of baseballs was out. Hmmm…
I position myself behind the bucket (along with Joe and Gary). When Matt Sinatro was finished I got his attention and pointed to the bucket. He walked over, took 2 baseballs out, tossed one to me (my 6th ball) and tossed the other to a little girl, in pink in the photo below.
I moved to the left side of the tunnel to be prepared in case the players throw where they stretch. I noticed Sam Fuld brought his glove to the foul line, indicating he was going to throw there, so when he started signing I asked if I could have his pre-game throwing ball. He said yes, but there was some other people before him.
A translator for who I assume Kosuke Fukudome started throwing with Jeff Baker. When they were done I started asking for the ball, but they tossed it to Aramis Ramirez. Bad, no wait, that meant Aramis would be throwing! Sure enough he did, also with the translator. And when they finished I waved my arms and got the translator to toss me my 7th ball.
Luckily I noticed that when I got that ball Sam Fuld was not looking, so when he finished throwing a couple minutes later I got him to toss me my 8th ball. Two more balls until double digits.
I had gone to only 4 games prior to this one at Citi Field without double digits, but I got double digits at my 2nd regular season game ever at New Yankee Stadium (well 4th game overall), and New Yankee Stadium is much harder to get baseballs at, so I figured that it was due time for it to happen at Citi Field.
And I got some help in the bottom of the third. Third out baseballs usually have a bunch of competition, but the pre-inning warm-up ball barely has any, if there is competition at all. So that was the case in the third. Alan Trammel got the ball tossed to him from Micah Hoffpauir. I called out for it and he tossed me the ball in a hook shot, which I caught for my 9th ball. One more ball…
Clif and Gary had the outfield end of the Cubs’ dugout, and the infield end of the dugout was used up because Alan Trammel thought Joe was me, and Geovany Soto (who gave Joe a ball) thought that I was Joe. So Joe and I decided to head over to the Mets dugout.
We got there in time for the 7th Inning. We both went for the pre-inning warm-up ball, but Luis Alicea ended up tossing it to a college girl in the front row. So for the third out ball, we worked out a plan. Joe would run down to the front row and try for it, and I would stand back and try to stand out to see if he would toss it to me.
Bobby Parnell picked the ball, which was rocketed back to him, and then he jogged over to first base and tossed to the ball to Daniel Murphy. By the time he started jogging over Joe and I were in place. I was standing on a chair in the partially-empty third row and started waving my arms to get his attention. I could see Daniel Murphy was looking around to find someone to toss the ball to. He saw me, with nobody near me. There were some adults in the row in front of me, but he didn’t care. He tossed the ball to me. The ball cleared the people in front of me (who were also trying) by about 1 foot and then kept heading towards me. I reach out and started slipping off the chair. I got the ball in my glove, but then I started falling. I fell to the ground, momentarily losing my balance, and the ball was no longer tucked inside my glove. Would it pop out? Nope, it was resting barely in my glove, my 10th baseball.
- 10 MLB Balls Today
- 1 MLB Autograph Today
- 187 MLB Autographs in this Season
- 226 Total Autographs in this Season
- 268 MLB Balls in this Season
- 289 Total Balls in this Season
- 9 Thrown, 1 Hit
- 4 BP, 4 Pre-Game, 2 During
- Attendance: 37,953 People
- Competition Factor: 379,530
- 42 Consecutive Games with at least 3 MLB Baseballs
- 32 Consecutive Games with at least 1 MLB Autograph