Busch Stadium has got to be the most entertaining stadiums Ive been to thus far. The air is fresh, and the people are jovial. I really enjoy going to Busch. The tickets are overinflated ( due to the Cardinals winning the World Series in 2006 ) but that doesnt stop me from buying excellent seats and having a good time. Although, the times I do go to Busch stadium I rarely come out of there with a baseball. Ive only really officially watched three games INSIDE the stadium. Last year I spent quite a bit of time hanging outside before where I waited on players to get autographs.
Here is a picture from my actual seat at the stadium.
Like at Kauffman if you want a good chance to snag foul balls or have players toss you a ball youve got to be the first one inside. Which I was. I picked a prime spot down the third base line to shag some baseballs. Batting practice was just getting started when I got down there, and the Mets players were just coming out onto the field to stretch and warmup. I was mostly surrounded by Cardinals fans, but the Mets fans that were there were the ones getting the balls thrown to them. Too bad I didnt have a Mets hat on at the time. I know now! I guess thats actually common sense.
It wasnt long before Jose Reyes got into the cage where he and started blasting line drives towards us. It was my first line drive ball hit directly to me and that ball came in so fast I didnt have any time to react! I didnt come up with it either. The ball charged passed me only to hit a fan directly in the hands but it richoceted back up into the seats. Wow! Well, lucky for me Jose Reyes next hit was a slow grounded that came three feet on my left side. It was an easy snag for me. Bing! Nothing to it. Base lines seem to be a hot spot for baseballs, and Im not so sure I feel comfortable leaving those areas. Especially at Busch. But anyway…
Game: April 18th 2010 7:05 St Louis Cardinals Vs New York Mets
Game Balls; One
So I spent my first game of the season at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Ive always loved going to this stadium and I will probably to continue to love it as long as the Royals continue to play baseball like a bunch of college students. The ticket prices are fairly reasonable ( Unlike Wrigley Field or Busch Stadium ) and the fan base is calm, and few. On average the stadium fills to about 10,000 to 18,000 depending on weather, the day of the week, and of course the time of the game. I think the Royals just had Zack Greinke BobbleHead night so that may have been their biggest fan turn-out since the season started. ( Above you will find Johnny Damon, and teammates standing on the third base line getting ready for the Nations Anthem to be sang )
I was of course the first person inside the stadium to start my ballhawking experience. Last year I didnt focus too much on collecting MLB baseballs. I focused on autographs. Which I will say I was very successful. I came away with 65 autographs last year. I also left 2009 season with 13 game balls. Not bad for someone that wasnt focusing on that. This year is a brand new year with brand new intentions.
I entered the stadium on the first base side and immediatly chased down to the field where Joakim Soria and Kyle Farnsworth were warming up. I am kicking myself for not asking Farnsworth for the ball after he was done with it. But like I said. This is a brand new year, and I’m pretty new to all of this. As the season progresses I will build more confidence where I will learn that calling out to players for balls wont hurt me or kill me. The worst thing that can happen is I will get ignored. So after the warm up tosses were completed by the Royals batting practice ensued. The Royals were actually launching quite a bit of balls into the seats out in right field. I was pretty comfortable waiting for a foul ball my way. After standing there for 30 minutes, and realizing the Tigers were about to come out on to the field, I made my way to their side.
Sitting on the third base foul line was my potential first gem of the season. I didnt have to wait but ten minutes before Joel Zumaya came over to scoop it up, and toss it in. I asked for it respectively and he tossed it my way. BING! Respect goes along way when asking players for balls. Use your P’s, and Q’s. The Tigers were launching quite a few baseballs into the left field corner, and the players were giving the fans a lot of attention as well. So I figured I may have a chance to get number two. When I got over there Fu-Te Ni, Ryan Perry, Rick Porcello, and Zach Miner were all tossing baseballs to kids. I was lucky enough to recognize Ryan Perry with his designer sunglasses on. I asked him for a ball twice. No dice. On the third attempt, he tossed the ball up but a few feet to my left. I got a finger on itbut I ended up actually blocked it from another fan. It landed back onto the field where the ball was then sent back into the infield.
I headed back to my seats after BP was completed and I waited for the Tigers starting pitcher to come out where he would warm up on the infield. As he did Carlos Guillen came over to signed some autographs. I opted out of having him sign anything I had available. But after the warm up was complete, Carlos Guillen ended up with the ball so I stood up calling to him. He threw it to me but another fan was standing in front of me trying to intercept my ball. I leaned forward to snagged it. Bing! Knowing players names, and identifying them pays off…sometimes. Unfortunalty, no foul balls were hit my way during the game.
Game; April 8th 2010 Kansas City Royals Vs. Detroit Tigers.
Game Balls; Two