9/8/09 Yankees vs. Rays

I haven’t been caught up my blogging lately, I have been busy with school. But I have had some great days recently. And this was one of them.

You know how I got 10 baseballs at Citi Field on September 4? One of the things that makes Citi Field easier than Yankee stadium is that BP is usually started when you enter. This day Yankee Stadium was like Citi Field for a bit.

There was the crowd at the Great Hall:Great Hall Entrance Crowd

There was early BP!

Early BP!

The first thing I did was look for easter eggs. I entered the furthest section in RF from home plate and then looked to my left. I saw a baseball lying in a row, just sitting. An usher was walking towards it so I just said:

“I got it.” He stepped back and let me pick up my 1st ball, and also my first easter egg at NYS.

First Easter Egg at NYS

And then I went on a snagging rampage.

I got 4 more batted balls in the span of 9 minutes. It was so quick that I forgot how I got each baseball.  None of them were caught on the fly, but I do know that at least for 2 baseballs were ground-ruled doubles and the others were baseballs that landed in the seats and I got them. There were only 2 hitters in early BP; Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera, but I don’t know who hit each one. All I know is that my 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th balls were batted balls not caught on the fly. I would’ve had more had another ballhawk named Steve not been there, and he would have had more balls had I not been there. We each snagged around the same amount of baseballs. In the photo below he is the person standing to the left of me, talking on the phone:
Un-Crowded Right Field Bleachers

And here are the baseballs, numbers 2-5 (Top Left: Ball #2, Top Right: Ball #3, Bottom Left: Ball #4, Bottom Right: Ball #5):

Ball No. 270
Ball No. 271







Ball No. 272Thumbnail image for Ball No. 273








That was all I got in Right Field because after 10 minutes they switched to righty batters. So I moved over to LF.
Me in LF

And also I know the source of my next ball.

I was standing Left Field trying for home runs. One was hit to my right, un-getable, but I followed its path hoping for a lucky bounce. I didn’t get the bounce, but on the pitch after that one, the batter, Melky Cabrera, lifted a high one that was going to land in the section I was in. But it was going a couple rows over my head. I ran up the steps, and it landed in a seat in the second to last row, a bomb, maybe 410 feet. I went over to the seat and looked in.

Looking at a Melky Cabrera Home Run

It landed in a seat and with its force it went out the bottom and it stayed on the ground. I picked up my 6th ball and checked out the ball to see if it had any unique markings.

Checking Out Melky Cabrera Baseball

It did, and the marking was most likely caused by going through the seat with it’s force:

Marking on Melky Cabrera Home Run Baseball1

            Early BP ended soon after. The coaches/players/ballboys picked up the balls lying around, and I saw the big Mike Harkey pick up two balls in shallow CF. I called out to him and he tossed me the ball, but it fell short. I leaned way out and down. He gave me another throw, but it was the exact same result as the previous attempt (FYI I am in the corner spot, reaching very low down).

Attempting to catch a low throw1

There were no more balls around me, so he walked towards me and picked up another balls. The next throw was high. I had to step back and leap, but I still caught my 7th ball, pointed to by the red arrow below.
About to catch a successful throw1

Early BP ended had already ended and there were no more baseballs to be snagged, so I posed with my haul:

Haul from Early BP on 9/8/09

After early BP it was Old New Yankee Stadium all over again. I got no more balls until around 45 minutes later.

Some Tampa Bay Rays came out to the row while the Yankees were hitting. And only a couple Rays, not the whole pitching staff. One of the pairs of players was Lance Cormier and Randy Choate. I positioned myself above a ball that I could’ve gotten with the glove trick, hoping that when they finished they would pick it up. I didn’t get that ball, but I called out to Lance when he was done. Surprisingly instead of tossing the ball to foul territory he tossed it to me in fair territory. My 8th ball.

Ball No. 276

I was thinking double digits. It was very likely. But my record of 15? It was possible, unlikely, but I had to try.

By then I figured out that the Rays would not be hitting, only the Yankees. So my record of 15 was more unlikely.

I went back to deep Left Field hoping for a homer from regular BP. I waited and waited and waited until they started kicking people out. It got a bit emptier, good. And pretty soon a fly ball was lifted in my direction. I took a couple steps down and got ready for the ball. I timed my jump and reached out for the ball. There were a couple of people going for it, but somehow I was able to catch my 9th ball on the fly in the tip of my glove.

Ball No. 277

            There was a new usher who was telling me that I could catch a ball. When I caught the ball he congratulated me, asked where I was sitting and made me over to foul territory. He is indicated by the blue arrow in the photo below.

Unknowing Usher

            Some Rays were still throwing at the foul line, and a couple baseballs were lying against the wall. I figured that when they were done they would toss the baseballs up, so I put my Rays’ cap on and waited for them to finish. But one of my favorite Yankees was nearby also, Alfredo Aceves. He was talking to someone, so when he finished he walked over to pick up the baseballs. I took off my Rays’ cap and asked him for the baseball in Spanish. Even though I think he has recognized me, and he has seen me get multiple baseballs throughout the course of the year, he still tossed me the baseball, my 10th ball, which broke double digits for the day.

Alfredo Aceves baseball No. 278

            BP was ending and I didn’t have an autograph because not really anyone signed. But I saw a Ray sitting on the wall down the foul line, right next to the corner spot. I ran over there and took out a baseball. I saw that he was number 38, so after looking at my roster I saw that it was Fernando Perez. So I went up to him and got him to sign my 1st autograph, and took a photo with him.

Fernando Perez and I

            I entered the game with no more autographs and baseballs. I had never gotten 10 baseballs during BP alone at New Yankee Stadium, so I figured that I would be able to get at least one more baseball. So I tried at the dugout, and got nothing. When it was getting late in the game I headed out to the bullpen to try for a baseball. I saw Bobby Ramos, who I had gotten a ball from each time I was at New Yankee Stadium. I shouted his name and asked for a baseball, but he disappeared. I sat down, and then saw a baseball being tossed up and down in the air, almost to tease the fans. But it was too close to the wall. Was it Bobby Ramos trying to give me a baseball? I don’t know, but I tried reaching out and grabbing the baseball. I was unsuccessful, but eventually the ball landed on top of the billboard, so I just reached out and grabbed it, my 11th baseball.

Ball No. 279

            And then people started chanting throw it back. Really? A baseball that I got in the bullpen that I was asking for? Whether or not they were being serious it turned into a big thing, with about 75 people chanting “Throw it back!” and another 50 people chanting “Keep the ball!” I did the obvious and kept the baseball, photographed it, and then went away.

            And that would be my last baseball of the night. 11 baseballs set my record at the New Yankee Stadium, but I heard that another person, most likely Steve, got 12 baseballs today. So does anyone know if anybody has gotten more than 12 baseballs at New Yankee Stadium? Who else has gotten double digits at New Yankee Stadium?


Haul from 9/8/09

  • 11 MLB Balls Today
  • 1 MLB Autograph Today
  • 188 MLB Autographs in this Season
  • 227 Total Autographs in this Season
  • 279 MLB Balls in this Season
  • 300 Total Balls in this Season
  • 6 Hit, 4 Thrown, 1 Found
  • 10 BP, 1 During
  • Attendance: 45,350 People
  • Competition Factor: 498,850
  • 43 Consecutive Games with at least 3 MLB Baseballs
  • 33 Consecutive Games with at least 1 MLB Autograph

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