Tagged: MLB

In Honor of Jackie Robinson

I wanted to do something extra special this year for Jackie Robinson day. Not only did Jackie break the color barrier for Major League baseball, but he was such an inspiration to many. Ken Griffey Jr was the first to start wearing the number 42 on this special day and now every player wears that number on April 15th.

I came up with this idea to donate to a charity. At first, I was going to donate to one charity in the amount of $420 dollars. And then I thought about donating to five or six charities to the tune of $4.20. Then I decided to donate to a whole bunch of charities by giving .42 cents to as many honorable ones that I could find. Well, I found about 10. And since I’m not rich, I narrowed it down to about five. Here’s the list of charities I donated my .42 cents to:

Kevin Youkilis’ Hit for Kids

Bud Norris’ Candlelighters Charity

Brad Ziegler’s Pasttime for Patriots Charity

Edgar Martinez Foundation

Tony La Russa’s ARF Foundation

 

Some charities wouldn’t accept my .42 cents so I ended up donating $1.00. There were quite a few foundations/charities that I tried to donate to. For various reasons on their part, donating never happened. Here’s a list of foundations I attempted to donate to:

The Jamie Moyer Foundation

Josh Willimgham’s Foundation

Curtis Granderson’s Charity

Hopefully, these pages get fixed soon so I can finish what I set out to accomplish. I just got overly frustrated by the lack of updating on some of these pages. Some of them didn’t even work. How can a guy donate his hard-earned cash to charities when the page is not working? Anyway. Enough of that. Leave a comment if you have a charity you’d like me to donate to or hit me up on Twitter at @MLBwayneMLB. I’d be happy to send some donations your way, for sure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5-9-2012 Safeco Field

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

If you’d like to join my official Snagging Baseballs for Puppies Facebook page, just click here! And if you want to like Collection of Baseball on Facebook, click here!

5-8-2012 Safeco Field

Yesterday’s Mariners game at Safeco Field was a lot of fun. Not only did the Mariners win in walk-off fashion, but some of my friends brought some extremely creative signs for their favorite Mariner players:

The posters were so awesome that, as you can see, the Root Sports guy had to come down and put them on tv for the opening part of the baseball game. And Kyle Seager has been an absolute beast for the Mariners thus far.

The Mariners winning last night, John Jaso and Jesus Montero coming up big for the Mariners, my evening started out like this:

Yes, that is my baseball glove in the visitors bullpen. How did it get there? Well, I’ll tell you. See the baseball laying next to it? I was attempting to glove-trick that specific baseball and impress the many onlookers that watched. Instead, as I was lowering down my glove, the material I used to tie onto my glove, broke. I felt like a total jack-ass. The good thing is, this doesn’t look like anything. And all I had to say to the bullpen cop (who I thanked sincerely) was my glove fell down into the bullpen. If anyone asked, well, I was trying to get an autograph, right? That’s what it looked like, anyway. The other good thing was, I was able to get the baseball but my glove-trick was a complete train-wreck:

I attempted a quick repair, but it was useless to repair this mess. I tossed the string and moved on.

My second and final baseball came from Doug Fister. Here’s how it happened: I was standing in the ‘Pen after my glove-trick had busted where I thought I’d rely on a few toss-ups from the Tigers pitchers. When Doug Fister came screaming in to centerfield to snag a BP line drive, everyone started calling out to him. As little as I’ve seen Doug Fister interact with the crowd, it hasn’t been much. He usually just tosses baseballs into the crowd without really looking. Knowing this, I set up in the back of the group of people who Fister was in line with and waited. As soon as I saw the baseball come flying over the fence, I waited for the initial bobble and then pounced on the baseball as it headed back my way. I reached across my body to make a back-handed snag but the ball ricocheted off the tip of my glove, bounced off the short wall near the back of the ‘Pen, caromed off the garbage can and rolled to my feet. I scooped it up and tossed it to the nearest fan that I thought had initially touched it after Fister threw it in.

Again, like last night, the Mariners were trailing going into the bottom of the ninth. Another barn burner? Yes please! This time, Jose Valverde was on the hill and I absolutely love watching this dude pitch! Things started out in the Mariners favor; Carp walked, Saunders walked and then Ackley struck out swinging. With Figgins pinch-running at second for Mike Carp, I thought for sure Seattle would tack on a run or two here. But Brendan Ryan grounded into a force play at 2nd and narrowly beat the throw to first. Still, with hope and Figgins at 3rd, I thought good things were going to happen. A gutsy call from Wedge to send Ryan down to second with a stolen base lined everything up for the Mariners. Ichiro got intentionally walked which would bring up Jesus Montero…

 

…but then this happened:

Game over.

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 13,455

Baseballs snagged: three (glove-tricked on, Doug Fister toss-up)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 33

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised at this game: $4.08

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $64.02

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

If you’d like to join my official Snagging Baseballs for Puppies Facebook page, just click here! And if you want to like Collection of Baseball on Facebook, click here!

 

5-7-2012 Safeco Field

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

If you’d like to join my official Snagging Baseballs for Puppies Facebook page, just click here! And if you want to like Collection of Baseball on Facebook, click here!

 

 

“In Defense of a Ballhawk”

There is a lot of controversy surrounding ones that claim to be a “ballhawk.” If you are unfamiliar of what a Ballhawk actually is, you may need to attend a few more Major league baseball games in your life. I don’t mean that in a negative fashion, either. I’m just saying. If you’ve ever encountered a Ballhawk roaming the confines of any Major league stadium, you may have received a baseball from one, hopefully. I, myself, have snagged nearly 270 baseballs since 2005 when I received my first official baseball from an usher at Kauffman stadium during my mid-tour leave from combat. I also make sure to be very careful how I go about snagging baseballs and not to get too greedy. Although, I’ll jump on just about any opportunity to snag one, I give a fair share of baseballs away to fellow baseball fans both young and old.

A few years ago, a young man named Nick Yohanek attended a baseball game and caught Chris Coglan’s first career home run. Yohanek, at the time, seemed to be an icon in Milwaukee’s old stadium before Miller Park was created. He’d attend many baseball games and put up strong numbers by snagging game home run baseballs. It’s quite impressive, actually. But to some, Yohanek and others that share similar interest in snagging gamers, are annoying and just get in the way of the game. Well, I’ve never hindered anyone from catching a baseball. Or have gotten in the way of someone trying to enjoy the game. For Yohanek, it’s been a different story. And not to dig up old stories, but rumor has it, or had it, that Yohanek asked for a laundry list of items from Coglan after snagging his first career dinger. From there, it spiraled out of control.

Zack Hample is another that snags quite a few game home runs and has snagged many first career home runs as well. After catching the ball, security instantly comes down and tries to pry the baseball from your hands and if you don’t have a good grip or are an easy push over, you’ll lose your change to get something in return for that prized possession. For me? Just meeting the player is enough. For others, they’ll ask for money, bats, balls, batting gloves, you name it. If it isn’t nailed down, fans want it.

Anyway. Enough of all that. Here’s a great write-up from a person that wanted to shed some positive light on the ballhawking world. It’s a little long, but worth the read.

http://www.dontfeedtheanimals.net/2012/05/in-defense-of-ballhawk.html

 

 

 

5-4-2012 Safeco Field

When I showed up at Safeco, things were a little more busy than I had expected. Even the ‘Pen was a little packed for Safeco standards and the Moose man even made an appearance:

And as soon as he showed up, the Coors light girls showed up too:

My first baseball came from Hector Noesi. As he was shagging baseballs out in centerfield, every time he caught one and looked towards the ‘Pen, I’d flap my glove to him. I’m not much for yelling at players from 500 feet away, so I use hand and arm signals. The next baseball that flew towards Noesi went way over his head, bounced off the warning track and back behind the batters eye. I thought all was lost, but Noesi actually went through the opened centerfield gate to retrieve the baseball. Once he did that, I flapped my glove at him again and he lobbed me a soft, high arching throw that never really reached me. The ball took a lucky bounce off the railing and landed back to his (Noesi) feet. Again, I flapped my glove at him and he hit his mark. Check out the pattern on the baseball after it had hit the batters eye:

Once the rest of the stadium opened up at 5:10pm, I was able to glove trick a ball out from behind the manual scoreboard:

The Twins hustled onto the field roughly ten minutes after my last snag so I changed from my Mariners hat to my Twins hat. But I really didn’t need to because I had already snagged a couple baseballs and I wasn’t trying to rely on toss-ups from players unless I really had to. So I wandered around in foul ground waiting on another opportunity. It wasn’t long, (not sure who hit it) but a screaming line drive came down the third base line, bounced off the warning track, flew over about ten rows and right smack into my glove. I got a small standing ovation from the surrounding fans that attempted to catch it, or ducked out-of-the-way, and I was on my way towards the Twins dugout for any photo opportunities and/or autographs. Here’s a picture of the foul BP ball I had snagged moments prior:

That’s Ryanna sticking her “rabbit ears” up behind the baseball. Cute, yes?  I waited around at the dugout until batting practice ended and unfortunately I didn’t get one picture or autograph. But. The fun wasn’t over just yet. As I walked back to the ‘Pen, I noticed a white orb sitting in the visitors bullpen as I came down the staircase. Easy snag! I gave it away to the nearest fan as soon as I reeled it in and since the Mariners were using special opening series Japan baseballs during BP, one of my friends, Krista, was able to snag one of those during BP!

I have yet to snag one of these puppies, and sadly, they may all be gone. The added bonus to this season though, the Orioles, Dodgers, Mets and Marlins are all using special baseballs this year. So I still have plenty of opportunities to snag some commemoratives like the one in the above picture that Krista is holding.

As far as the game goes, I really couldn’t stay the entire length of it. Work calls, and I had to bail to catch the bus back to my home station before the third inning got under way. That’s what it’s going to be like all season long, too. But I’m grateful I get to at least attend batting practice and see the first few innings of the game. On my days off and early game starts, I’ll be able to stay for the games entirety. Such is life, right?

And for your viewing pleasure, below is the current, updated stats on how my charity is doing so far this season. I can’t thank the long list of donors this year, enough. Just know that you are greatly appreciated and remember sports fans; the top donor receives an official Snagging Baseballs for Puppies coffee mug after the 2012 season! (Please allow 3-6 weeks for delivery)

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: Minnesota Twins vs. Seattle Mariners- attendance 22,492

Baseballs snagged: four (Hector Noesi toss-up, glove-tricked two, caught BP foulball)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 28

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised at this game: $8.46

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $53.82

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

If you’d like to join my official Snagging Baseballs for Puppies Facebook page, just click here! And if you want to like Collection of Baseball on Facebook, click here!

 

4-19-2012 Safeco Field

When I visited the Oakland Coliseum on April 9th and 10th, not only did I catch a Coco Crisp foul ball off the chest of some guy holding a beer, but I was able to get interviewed by Major League baseball. MLB.com is doing a new thing for fans to help promote more fan interaction and actually get it on the website. I was one of the lucky fans to get interview, but sadly, my video never made it on their website. I wanted to share it anyway, though. Check it out!

It was a lot of fun and many thanks goes out to Alex Espinoza for taking the time to hunt me down and interview me. I thought it was a pretty good interview and was a little shocked it didn’t make it on the website. No matter. There would be plenty more opportunities in the upcoming months, I’m sure.

When I arrived to Safeco Field and made it inside, I initially spotted this:

If you look very carefully, you can see a white speck beyond the fence strategically placed up the third-base line to help save the lives of spectators that don’t really spectate. That little white speck is an official Major League baseball.

Results?

Boo-yah!

When I turned and ran up into the left field bleachers, I looked over to gaze into the visitor’s bullpen and, wow:

I could snag at least one of those! I ran down the stairs, arrived at the bullpen and flung my glove out to knock the closest baseball closer. Easy snag. And just as I was reeling the baseball up, another baseball was hit deep my way. The ball landed in the bullpen, took a nasty bounce on the concrete near the stairs and ricocheted over my head into the APizza stand. I quickly turned, flapped my glove at the cashier and snagged number three on the night! Two out of the ‘Pen:

I returned to the ‘Pen to switch hats to my Cleveland swag just as the Mariners portion of BP had ended and I found this guy asking for an autograph:

That’s the shortest man I’ve ever seen in my life! Totally blog-worthy, by the way. After I snagged my Indians hat, I ran back over to the 3rd base line and snapped up a picture with Aaron Cunningham…

…and snagged a Nick Hagadone autograph:

Once I returned to the ‘Pen, since I’m a huge Miguel Olivo fan, I found an equal riding on the shoulders of his father. I instantly hooked the little 5-year-old up with a baseball and slapped a high-five when he said Olivo had the best quick release to second base in the league. The downside of the night was Jesus Montero’s attitude when kids were asking for his autograph at the bullpen. I debated on whether or not to really make mention of it in my blog for you to read, but hey, I think it should be said. I actually witnessed Montero wave his hand to Lucas Luetge like, “I’m too good to sign autographs for kids” when Luetge pointed out that kids were asking for him. Reluctantly, Montero came over, with an attitude, and signed a few autographs. It was pretty poor sportsmanship, if you ask me.

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: Cleveland Indians vs. Seattle Mariners- attendance 12,343

Baseballs snagged: three (found one, glove-tricked another and ran down a third one that landed in the ‘Pen)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 24

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $45.36

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies last season: $257.00

Total number of donors this season: 8

Total number of donors last season: 7

If you’d like to join my official Snagging Baseballs for Puppies Facebook page, just click here! And if you want to like Collection of Baseball on Facebook, click here!