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
Spring Training has officially begun! I can not stress how excited I am, and to have been able to listen, and watch most of the games that have been played yesterday, and today. To start things off we should probably talk about some lingering rumors, and some other important issues around the Majors.
As we all know Miguel Cabrera was picked up for a DUI a week or so ago. He made it to the baseball stadium, and offered an apology and asked for forgiveness. He has also been admitted into a MLB provided AA program for his abuse with alcohol. He is also in therapy for his problems at home. With all that in place, Miggy is expected to join the Detroit Tigers on Monday for his spring training debut.
Cincinnati Reds right-hander Edison Volquezl missed the Spring Training opener today due to work visa problems. Volquez is here on a travel visa, and had to be scratched from the starting position due to complications. Manager Dusty Baker has chosen Volquez to be the regular season home opener starter for the Reds.
Chipper Jones didnt think he would be playing this early. With his freshly repaired left knee Jones said he felt pretty good today even though the Braves took a 5-4 loss to the Mets. Jones went 1-3 with a strikeout, a single, and a flyout. ” I got to do everything I wanted to do, with the exception of maybe going from first to third or scoring from second or something.” Jones said. Last Thursday Jones was concerned how many games he was going to miss when fluid started building around the knee. He aims to play in at least 130 games this season. “All my bad days are followed by good days.” Jones concluded.
Philidelphia Phillies slugger Chase Utley has some concerns of his own right now. After a recent MRI it is concluded that he has tendinitis in his right knee. Although surgery has not been suggested or discussed, Utley hopes this problem will be long forgotten when opening day is here. Utley has claimed he has had tendinitis in his knee before, and it usually goes away, and doesnt stop progress. But as of late he has felt some soreness, and stiffness in that right knee. “Id rather miss some games here than miss games during the season. Its something Ive dealt with before. Its probably something im going to have to continue to maintain and keep an eye on.” Utley said.
Hall of Fame journalist Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News ended up rewritting, and regretting his story he made of Jonny Gomes of the Cincinnati Reds. Claiming that Gomes was outright celebrating the recent news of St Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright being out for the season after feeling discomfort his in elbow during practice last week. Concluding that Wainwright would be out for the 2011 season for Tommy John surgery was a major blow to the St Louis Cardinals, and not something to celebrate but it does put the other remaining teams in the NL Central on the forefront of the division in this years pennant race. “I am a major believer in karma.” Gomes said. “Your reputation is just as big as your performance on the field,” Gomes explained. Gomes didnt exactly have an easy childhood, and Gomes has even lost his best friend, Adam Westcott in a traffic accident. He isnt one to wish misfortune on anyone. Even surviving a heart attack when he was 22 years old has helped put a lot of things in perspective for him. Gomes says he was simply asking ” Is WainWright gone?” when the news started circulating the clubhouse after the news came down from former Reds pitcher Rob Dibble. Everyone makes mistakes. Even writers.
Koby Clemens, son of Rogers Clemens, went 3-3 today with a home run as his team won in an intrasquad game today. Clemens went on to win MVP in the Astros intrasquad game. How about that. Young Clemens. Stay off the juice, son!
PHI 3 F
ATL 4 F
PIT 10 F
DET 1 F
LAD 5 F
CLE 6 F
TEX 2 F
CHC 7 F
SEA 13 F/10
ARI 4 F
MIN 8 F