Oh, yeah, baby! DEEEEEEE-TROIT in the HOUSE! Okay, that was lame. But, whatever! The Tigers started a three game series at Safeco Field today and I was absolutely stoked about it! I love the Tigers ever since my childhood in the early 90’s. Cecil Fielder and Alan Trammel were my all-time favorite players, and on top of that, look who was at Safeco!
Yup! Prince Fielder! Cecil Fielders 28-year-old son! It was going to be so much fun watching Prince take some hacks in the BP cage and when he did, everyone was thoroughly impressed. He hit the baseball so fricken` far. I’ve seen a few players hit baseballs really far. Like, Pujols and Holliday when I visited Coors field last year on May 27th and May 29th, but Prince really sent them deep!
Okay, so as soon as I hit the gates, I ran into the ‘Pen area and glove-tricked my first baseball on the evening out from the centerfield gap:
Still no Opening Series Japan commemorative baseball. But it was nice to snag this one because that meannt it kept my consecutive games with at least one baseball streak alive. Surprisingly, batting practice was a tad boring. I stood around in the ‘Pen area for nearly all of BP and I was able to get a Hector Noesi toss-up that a few fans bobbled before I ended up with it. Well, actually, Noesi simply over-threw everyone and I reached across my body to make the back-handed catch. I instantly handed it off to the nearest kid.
My third baseball came from the one and only, Prince Fielder. And no, I was not in the right field bleachers when I snagged this puppy; I was way out in centerfield. On the party deck. Yes, the deepest part of Safeco Field. And good ‘ol Prince had no problem reaching me. Here’s how it played out: as I was standing in the ‘Pen, I watched Prince Fielder loft a high arching ball towards the warning track about two feet to my right. I scooted over as close to the railing as possible to be able to reach out and catch it in case it did clear the fence. Well, it did make it over and landed into the centerfield gap just out of reach. With extensive concentration, I played the bounce as it headed back over the fence and made a sweeping basket-catch. Feeeww!!
That man can sure hit a baseball! As far as the game goes, I left around the 8th inning, which I solely regretted. The Mariners were down 3-0 going into the bottom of the ninth. The Mariners were held scoreless by Tigers ace, Doug Fister (who you may remember from the Mariners pitching staff last year), but it really didn’t matter. As soon as Fister left the mound and Detroit turned it over to their bullpen, all chaos broke loose! Octavio Dotel replaced Phil Coke and ended up walking both Brendan Ryan and Ichiro. The very next pitch was a wild one which moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd. Then a pass ball by Alex Avila which scored Brendan Ryan and the nJesus Montero doublesdin Ichiro which tied the game!
The Tigers then switch out Dotel and put in Duane Below and the Mariners pinch-ran Kawasaki for Montero. What a ball game so far, right? Hang in there. It get’s better! Kyle Seager bunts Kawasaki to third and then John Jaso sac flies the winning run in to win it in wal-off fashion! Holy crap!
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 14,462
Baseballs snagged: three (glove-tricked one, Hector Noesi toss-up, caught BP home run)
Total baseballs snagged this season: 31
Total baseballs snagged last season: 135
Total dollars raised at this game: $6.12
Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $59.94
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
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