This game was the last day the Tigers were going to be in town so I had to make things count. I wanted to get a few autographs, which I thoroughly succeeded at that:
That’s an authentic Brandon League autograph that I got on my ticket stub before yesterday’s baseball game. If you notice, Hisashi Iwakuma is signing autographs in the background. After batting practice had ended today, I was able to get his autograph on my ticket stub as well:
Rewind to where I came into the ballpark. This was what I found on initial entry:
Already in the books! Today, I was attempting to beat my official time that it took me to snag my first baseball. But I realized that there is no way to beat that anymore because last year when the Anaheim Angels came to town, I snagged a baseball three hours before the gates were even scheduled to open! I’m pretty sure Mark Trumbo hit it,too. If you want to read all about that, you can by clicking this link.
After waiting around in the ‘Pen for a few moments later, I decided to scout out the bullpens to see if I could try out my new glove-tricking rig. Yup, I fixed that puppy and got ‘her up and running again. I stood near some youngsters decked out in Tigers swag and watched patiently. Finally, Shawn Kelley turned around and started tossing baseballs towards the kids. I held back and played the bounce in case the kids missed the balls (which they did) but the ball hit off the tip of my glove and rolled to another kid standing by. I think Shawn saw that and tried to hook up another kid with a baseball but that one fell short and ended up in the bullpen out of reach of my glove trick. The cool thing about Shawn is that he didn’t give up. He actually walked into the bullpen shown here…
…and started hooking up fans with the remaining few baseballs in the bullpen. Since I was standing there I decided to accept the offer from Shawn. I mean, I really didn’t have a choice. And I try really hard not to ask players for baseballs but it felt really good to finally be able to add Shawn Kelley to the long list of baseball players that have thrown me a ball. If you’d like to take a gander at that list, click here. Yeah, that’s a lot of players, I know. And as I continue my quest to 1,000 baseballs and beyond, I can only assume the list will continue to grow.
Here’s the baseball that Kelley tossed me:
It was pretty beat up and that’s what made it unique. It had character. It had some Major League miles on it. Grass stains and plastic smudges from where i has hit off plastic seats in the bleachers…very cool.
From there, I wandered out into the centerfield stands and waited on home run balls. Barely anything made it out to me and the ones that were remotely close, Tom Wilhelmsen and Charlie Furbush were out shagging. I was hoping for a ground-rule double at some point and then a deep fly ball was lofted in my direction. I thought it had a chance to at least make it to the warning track. I lined up perfectly behind it and waited on the bounce and then out of no where Wilhelmsen came racing in to try to make the catch! The ball barely tipped off his glove but that gave it enough lift to force the ball up and over the fence and into the seats! I couldn’t believe it! The ball clanked off a few seat backs and eventually rolled to my feet!
Theres a sweet little blue smudge on this one. Not sure how it got there but it’s still pretty awesome.
After the Mariners trotted off the field, I stayed in the ‘Pen for the remainder of batting practice. Not one baseball was tossed to the fans and nothing came close enough to catch. I thought Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder would send a few to center field or even into the bullpens but I guess they were saving their energy for the game.
Remember the pictures of the signs from yesterday’s game? Well, another friend of mine, Joanna, made a sign for today’s game. Here, take a look:
In addition to the awesome signs made up for this game, I snuck over to the Tigers side of the stadium and snagged a quick picture with Phil Coke:
If it looks like I’m taller than him, I’m really not. Coke was standing on the field and I had the security guard take the picture. How awesome is that, though? Another goal I’m striving for is to get a picture with one player per every team in the Major Leagues. I think this picture puts me at 13 or 14. I still have a long ways to go because it’s not easy to get pictures with baseball players all the time. Sometimes when I’m chasing pictures with players, I have to make a decision on whether to get the picture, snag an autograph or go for a baseball. Decisions, decisions.
I’m snagging baseballs for puppies again this season for the Seattle Humane Society! If you want to check out my charity information, just click here!
Last season, with the help of all of you, we were able to raise over $250 dollars! This year I’d like to break $300!
Today’s game snagging Highlights: Detroit Tigers vs. Seattle Mariners- attendance 16,655
Baseballs snagged: three (found one, Shawn Kelley toss-up, BP HR)
Total baseballs snagged this season: 36
Total baseballs snagged last season: 135
Total dollars raised at this game: $6.12
Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $70.14
Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies last season: $257.00
Total number of donors this season: 9
Total number of donors last season: 7