I was here for my first spring training game ever. And I arrived 3 and a half hours before the game started. I had done some research on the stadiums; not a heck of a lot though. I knew that there were two gates, and the first gate seemed way too crowded.
I mean I know this was a game between two professional baseball teams, but it was more than 3 hours before game time and it was spring training. I knew there was a second gate, so after asking some ushers and a bit of walking I found the gate with no line.
There was still another 30 minutes before the gates opened, so I had to spend by watching the Phillies use up all their good batters who hit home runs while the ushers picked up all the balls. After waiting the time I ran out to the outfield. The berm was drool-inducing; it was basically in both the righties and the lefties power alleys. But my first ball wasn’t a hit one, it was a thrown ball from Antonio Bastardo. A ball rolled to the wall, I called out, and he tossed me my 1st ball. In the photo below, Antonio is to the left of my glove.
Basically, like I said earlier, the Phillies had used up all their power hitters. There was only three home runs hit into the berms, while there were many hit into the bullpen which took up a big portion. I could’ve easily gotten three or four balls…with the glove trick, but I didn’t have my string on me.
So I had to settle with going to the Pirates foul line for the pitcher’s warm up. There was really nothing happening with the pitchers tossing stuff up, but towards the end I noticed Evan Meek was walking towards a loose ball, so I called out to him and he tossed me my 2nd ball, which I didn’t get a photo of.
Being that it’s spring training and I was in no mood to be shoved on the very crowded berms, I choose to just sit behind the dugouts and eat some of the food. I grabbed some chicken and found a seat behind the dugouts, and took out some baseballs in case good players started signing. And a good player did start signing down the foul line, and it was Andy LaRoche. He started heading into the tunnel, but I still got him on the ball solo for my 1st autograph.
Then a couple minutes later Lastings Milledge started signing in the exact same spot as Andy, so I took a couple minutes in getting over there because I was keeping an eye on Ronny Cedeno’s broken bat that was leaning on the fence (which I didn’t get).
When I finally got over there he was still signing, so I got him for my 2nd autograph.
BP wrapped up with nothing being given to me, so I just decided to wait until game time…well the rain came and the game didn’t get played. They called it off before they could throw the first pitch, so I ended the day with 2 balls and 2 autographs. I got my first spring training…batting practice? I don’t know, but hopefully my first spring training game will be tomorrow.