Sunday games at Safeco Field (or any ballpark for that matter) are always a challenge when it comes to attempting to snag baseballs. There’s no batting practice for one, and it’s usually family day so that means lots and lots of kids are coming out.
If it’s one thing I’ve learned over the years of “ballhawking” at Major League stadiums, 1) players like to throw baseballs to kids and 2) without batting practice, it makes things extremely tough. On the plus side, the Mariners were doing a little infield practice and I already saw an opportunity to snag a few baseballs.
When I ran over to the first base side I found a ball sitting in between the seats which was probably an over throw from one of the players while fielding fungos from one of the coaches. It wasn’t long before I scored another over throw:
After that, I ran over to where Fernando Rodney was throwing and when he was done throwing, I was able to get his autograph on my ticket stub:
On the other side of the stadium, the Rangers were slowly trickling out of the dugout to warm up down the third base side. It wasn’t long before I scored a third over throw that hit the padding of the wall. I quickly scooped it up and tossed it back onto the field.
See the guy with his leg up in this panoramic picture I took?
That’s one of the translators for one of the players and he was missing a lot of baseballs while playing long toss with Tanner Scheppers. And yup, you guessed it. Yet another over throw right into my glove. Of course I had to give it back because they only came out with one ball to play catch with.
My haul after all the players went inside:
(two pictured here because I gave two back)
And now the infamous ‘Pen dog that I’ve been waiting all year to eat…
…cream cheese smeared on the bun, a 100% all beef frank with caramelized onions and peppers…yum.
The Mariners quickly got two runs on the board with an Austin Jackson home run and a Nelson Cruz home run (Jason Phillips caught it in his hat. It was quite impressive and you should watch the replay).
The Rangers answered back in the 3rd with a single from Prince Fielder that scored Martin and moved Andrus to 2nd. And then the wheels literally fell off. Paxton was chased from the mound after giving up seven runs in the 3rd inning.
The Mariners continued their offensive battle with another Nelson Cruz 3-run home run into the Rangers bullpen. 7-5 Texas.
The Rangers made the score 10-5 in their top half of the sixth and the Mariners quickly rallied back in the bottom of the seventh and the eighth scoring three runs.
In the bottom of the ninth, it was time to put on the rally caps! The M’s came screaming back scoring one run to tie after Jackson ripped one to right field scoring Brad Miller. Seth Smith moved over to third base and all it took was a Nelson Cruz base walk-off base hit! He was mobbed at first base and the Mariners won in walk-off fashion!
Nelson Cruz went 3-6 with two home runs and five RBI’s! Wow! It feels really good to have such a power hitter in the line up. It’s been a long time since Seattle has had one.
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