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.
When I think back on my childhood and all the Mariners games I attended with my Dad, all that comes to mind is Randy Johnson striking out like, a billion baseball players. Randy Johnson was one of the most fearless, intimidating, gritty, nasty baseball players of all time. If only the Mariners had a pitcher like that today…
…the guy who comes the closest to the Big Unit is Tom Wilhelmsen. Yeah, he’s the Mariners closer, but look at him. I know he’s not seven feet tall like Randy is, but he comes awfully close. Plus, he’s gotten so good on the mound this last season, its getting the to point where we might have ourselves a solid closer. During BP, and after the Mariners portion had ended, I flagged Tom down and congratulated him on his new closer role. When he shook my hand, it felt like he had enough power to crush mine! It was incredible! The man was born to throw strikes! Here we are hanging out after BP:
After hanging out with Tom for a few moments, I wandered the stadium aimlessly. Since I’m not chasing down baseballs during BP anymore, things aren’t as thrilling. And the point of not chasing baseballs anymore is to get away from medicore blog writing. The same thing every day at the same stadium? It could get a little boring.
I sat in the bleachers and watched Albert Pujols for a while. The man is so…broken. And old. I feel so bad for him. He took a few cuts in the batting cage and then he decided to run the bases while the other, more younger, better players took some hacks. He didn’t even finish his rounding the bases. It’s like he gave up at second base and decided to call it a day…
…if you can tell, I’m not a Pujols fan at all. And it’s got everything to do with him uprooting and leaving St. Louis. I understand he has to do what’s best for his family and blah blah blah, and in all fairness to the Cardinals fans, that city poured their heart and soul into him. They even built him a statue. He wouldn’t even sign the World Series team ball.
I pulled up a spot to admire the ‘Pen from above. And this is what I noticed:
Hopefully these guys have a plan to get home, right? Besides any of them driving.
The game was actually very entertaining. The Mariners had the bases loaded twice and could not capitalize on either chance to score. And like one of last weeks games, third base coach Jeff Datz managed to send Justin Smoak into score where he was thrown out by a mile! I’m not sure what Datz sees in Smoak. He’s one of the slower Mariners and Datz keeps sending him home in tight scoring situations! Anyway.
The Mariners lost to the Angels 6-3 in nine innings of play. Nothing spectacular.
Bud Norris’ Charity; CandleLighters- 3 W and 16 strikeouts have raised $10 this season.
Seattle Mariners/Seattle Humane Society Charity; 9 wins have raised $9 this season.
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Today started out kind of bad. I left my sim card to my camera at home so I had to use my iPhone to take pictures. I’m pretty sure the pictures are going to suck in the blog entry and that’s a shame because Yu Davish and Felix Hernandez were dueling tonight at the Safe.
From the time span of 4:40pm to 5:10pm, I didn’t snag a single baseball. And that was sort of disappointing because I’m doing a lot more this week than just snagging baseballs for my current charity, Snagging Baseballs for Puppies. I’m also snagging baseballs for what I’m calling my “Help Holly Campaign.” Here’s the run down of why I’m doing this and who exactly Holly is: Holly is a dog owned by a family who recently got hit by a car. The driver of that car decided that Holly is “just a dog” and fled the scene. Well, we have laws in this country that make it illegal to just bail from a scene after running over an animal. Sooooo the driver was eventually apprehended by authorities, I’m assuming, but the driver is still refusing to pay any medical costs. The family has a lawyer from what I read but needs help with the financial aspect of everything. This week at Safeco Field, the Mariners are hosting the Rangers and the Angels. I pledged one dollar per every baseball that I snag to help Holly out. My Dad also jumped on board and matched my dollar which means every baseball I catch is worth two bucks. Today was game one of my Help Holly campaign.
Here’s how things started:
At approximately 5:12pm, that’s how many baseballs I had snagged already. It gets better. While I was standing near the left field fair pole, I caught a glimpse of another white little orb sitting against the seat back in an aisle. I would’ve taken a picture, but with all the people filing into the lower seating bowl, I didn’t want to lose my chance on snagging it. I quickly ran over and put my foot on the ball so I could get my iPhone ready for the photo…
…I told you these photos were going to miserable. Third ball snagged and then I dug into a nice spot near the left field fair pole. As soon as I did, Ichiro sliced one directly my way. I initially moved to my right thinking I’d have to come out of the short row to drop down one or two but then I realized the ball had no depth at all. It was just a high arching, lazy fly ball that was sinking fast. I held my ground, leaned into it and made the one-handed catch:
OHHH, WHAAAATT!! You know the funny thing about this baseball? As soon as I caught it, I turned around to the cute couple behind me and tried to hand it off. Luckily for me, the girlfriend declined and I left it at that. When I was toying with it in my glove, I noticed a large blue marking which turned out to the be the 50th Dodger anniversary stamp! Whoooaa! I nearly gave away a Dodger ball and probably wouldn’t have realized it! And yes, I’m still going to Dodger Stadium this year if time and money permits. Even though I don’t want to. I’ve heard so many crazy rules and stories about that place, I’m actually kind of nervous to visit.
After snagging my fourth baseball on the day, I figured I’d try to break my season record of five this game. I headed out to centerfield when the Rangers came out for batting practice. I had one thing on my mind and that was to catch a Josh Hamilton BP home run ball. When I got there, this was my view to my left:
I pretty much had the place to myself. Centerfield filled up pretty fast after Hamilton started crushing long balls into the seats, though. Before he left for the cage, he signed a few autographs and I just had to heckle him a little bit.
“Hey, Josh! What the heck are the feeding you in that Ranger clubhouse, man?!” I yelled after him.
He caught another fly ball off the fungo bat and then looked back at me with a smirk. If that’s the only reaction I could get out of Hamilton, I’ll take it!
When Hamilton got into the cage, it wasn’t long before he started dropping bombs. Two or three came my way, but it was starting to get a little crowded, I couldn’t make a decent play on any of them. Eventually, he lofted a high fly ball directly at me and my only competition was a young ten-year old to my right. The ball carried just enough where he’d probably had missed it so I ended up making the catch. When I offered the baseball to him, he shrugged at me and told me he had already snagged three others. I smiled and thanked him for his honesty and turned around to find another deserving fan. I asked the next youngster if he had any baseballs and he shook his head at me.
“There you go, kid!” I said as I flipped him the ball. Yup, I had just gave away my Josh Hamilton ball. So what? I was totally fine with it and was going to anyway.
As batting practice came to a close, I sat down in the ‘Pen area and wolfed down a slice of pizza and a Mariner dog from the burger joint and then found my seat out in left field for the game.
With Yu Darvish and Felix on the mound, I figured this would be one of those games where it’s nearly impossible to stay awake but mixed with a few dazzling plays at short stop or a diving catch from the center fielder. None of that really happened. Instead, Darvish was literally blown out by the 4th inning. He had thrown 86 pitches to Felix’s 40-some and it was 5-0 by the start of the 5th inning! Mark Lowe eventually took over for Darvish in the Mariners 5th and Seattle was able to tack on another run in the 7th and hang on for the win after Mitch Moreland smacked a bomb to right, centerfield.
6-1 was your final score! Mariners win!
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: Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners- attendance 18,672
Baseballs snagged: five (found three, caught one Ichiro foul-ball, caught one Hamilton BP HR)
Total baseballs snagged this season: 41
Total baseballs snagged last season: 135
Total dollars raised at this game: $10.20
Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $80.34
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’ve ever been to Safeco Field, or Seattle for that matter, this was what I walked up to on a Sunday morning in August. The high would reach nearly 85 degrees probably around 2pm but when I took this picture it felt like a cool 55. Of course, Safeco Field is near the water front so this kind of weather made sense. It was also kids t-shirt day so getting to the ballpark early enough to beat the crowds was essential.
My Dad was attending this game with me so there will be a whole lot of pictures of me roaming the stadium looking for baseballs. It was kind of fun and the only thing I would change is to attend a game with him when there was batting practice. This being a Sunday game I wasn’t quite sure if they’d have batting practice or not and my chances of getting at least one baseball was on the line again. Before this game I was currently sitting at 89 consecutive baseball games attended and getting at least one baseball. Since I snagged my 100th baseball on the season, my 200th lifetime baseball and I’m also getting close to snagging my 100th baseball AT Safeco Field, it should would be awesome to snag a baseball in 100 consecutive games this season. I’d need to attend at least 10 more games for that to happen. Its pretty do-able. unfortunately, there are about 14 home games here at Safeco Field left…and I’m still trying to go see Sun Life Stadium in Florida this year.
Here’s me trying to act like the Mariner Moose:
When I got into the stadium at 10:40am there was very little going on. A couple of Mariners were playing long toss on the other side of the field and some Chicago Whitesox players were doing the same on their side of the stadium. Other than that…it was dead. Here’s a picture of the action:
Like I said. Totally dead. The batting practice equipment was not set up so batting practice would not happen. But the crowd was relatively light so I could safely assume I’d leave the ballpark with my consecutive game streak still in tact.
Here’s a picture of me looking through the Mariners bullpen courtesy of my Father:
He has this really cool camera so the pictures came out really good. If you want to check out more of his pictures just click here. He’s got some really awesome stuff.
Once the rest of the stadium opened up at ten after eleven I ran up the stairs that I talked about on 8-26-2011 here at Safeco Field, and made my way down into the lower seating bowl. I was greeted by security and was told there wouldn’t be any batting practice. Duh. First of all it was a Sunday. And really, it being a Sunday has very little to do with it. It’s actually the scheduled game time of 1:10pm that has everything to do with it. Especially if a game carries into extra innings or lasts like six hours they normally don’t have batting practice the following day. Only because the players want to sleep in. But like I’ve said before. I’ve been to Sunday, or rather, 1:10pm games before and batting practice was in full swing.
When I got down to the lower seating bowl Will Ohman of the Chicago Whitesox was out onto the field warming up. I had to say hi.
And then I tried to get the baseball from him:
With that stance, it was so ridiculous that I got Will Ohman to laugh. Not that he doesn’t ever laugh but it was just so silly of me. He ended up giving the baseball to two younger Mariner fans after he got them to ask for the baseball using the word “please”. I thought that was the right thing to do anyway.
After Will walked off the field that was it for a while. I walked to the opposite side of the stadium and waited on Chone Figgins to walk towards the dugout but then I saw that more Mariners were making their way out onto the field. If this was the time to get a baseball then this would be the time. Every Mariner pitcher was out on the grass tossing baseballs around. I could take my chances on an errant throw or I could just go for the old fashion toss-up. I weighted my options and tried for a toss-up from Jamey Wright and Brandon League.
As you can see Safeco Field was still quite a sight with that fog rolling in from the water front. It really made for good pictures. Like this one:
After Brandon League and Jamey Wright finished playing catch, Brandon League tossed the baseball into the right field bleachers. I was still looking for a toss-up from a Mariner pitcher but then I figured while I was looking for a toss-up I might as well play for an errant throw too. I tried to squeeze in on the first base wall but there were so many people waiting for autographs. I had to hang back for a while. But I had some time to kill.
I’m standing by the little kid in the Mariners jersey. I’m wearing the green shirt. I knew that since Tom Wilhelmsen and Dan Cortes were on the field things were going to happen for me. They’re two of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. But when Chance Ruffin finished up throwing and came over to sign autographs right in front of me I knew I had to make the ultimate decision; leave this spot or stay here and hope for an overthrow or a toss-up. The problem with staying put? I’d be fighting a HUGE crowd. So I carried on a short conversation with Chance, got his autograph and bailed.
The moment I started walking away, Tom Wilhelmsen finished up his game of catch. He came over to the end spot near the Mariners dugout and started signing autographs. He also had a baseball in his glove. He handed his glove off to the security guard so he could free up his hands to sign autographs and I patiently waited. I also took this photo:
I’m not sure if he just climbed over the railing and took up a spot on the dugout to sign or it was some kind of special signing day. Either way it was pretty awesome. I didn’t hear anything from the Mariners about Jamey Wright signing autographs but Jamey is a pretty awesome guy. I’m pretty sure he just jumped up there and started signing. Meanwhile, Tom finished up signing autographs, grabbed his glove,(and baseball) from the security guard and started walking towards the dugout. I had to call his name twice and when he looked at me I flapped my glove at him. He lobbed the baseball to me and I had to knock it down with my non-glove hand into my mitt to make that catch. He apologized but I reassured him that I’d of made the catch anyway and it was no problem. With that snag that is my 90th consecutive game with at least one baseball.
This was my view during the game:
While I was sitting there I narrowly missed a home run ball from Dayan Viciedo. It landed in the front row and the guy sitting there didn’t even have to move. He just stuck his glove out and made the catch. Had I been really paying attention? The second row behind him was clear, and all I had to do was manuever down there and stand behind him at the last-minute to make the catch. It ate me up at first but there was no sense in staying mad about it.
Here are a few pictures my Dad got while sitting behind me.
Yes, Guti was safe. In case you were wondering.
Yes, Guti caught the baseball. In case you were wondering that as well.
No, Trayvon Robinson did not catch this baseball. But it still made for an amazing picture.
And of course no blog entry would be complete without a picture of Mariners bullpen catcher, Jason Phillips, chillin` on the outfield wall.
Here’s a screenshot of myself and my Dad during the Dayan Viciedo home run:
The dude that caught the home run baseball is the fourth guy from the left. It actually was a pretty impressive snag for not having to move at all.
Game; August 28th 2011 Chicago WhiteSox vs Seattle Mariners
Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $166.30 this season.
Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $41.20 this
Kauffman Stadium. One of the most unique, and beautiful stadiums in the Major Leagues. Although, I havent been to every single stadium that ever stood, I still love going to Kauffman. The people are great, the rules are fair, and the players are always willing to throw plenty of baseballs into the stands. Tonights visit to Kauffman was a little….nerve racking for some reason though. Maybe because its always a thought in the back of my mind of getting shutout at the K or not collecting my usual standard of baseballs. Whatever the case was, I really wasnt feeling it tonight.
I arrived at the stadium at around 2pm, and like always I was the first at the gates. Of course, here at Kauffman Stadium they dont open the gates two hours before game time. They only do that on Friday games, and Saturday games. So there I stood at the front gate waiting. Felix Hernandez, Casey Kotchman, Chone Figgins, Adam Moore, and David Aardsma took taxi cabs to the stadium. I watched them walk in but I didnt attempt for any autographs. Chasing autographs for me was kind of on the back burner this year anyway. I only need 30 more to reach 100, and I figured Ill probably have that by the All-Star break if I really focused on it. It was just nice to see some well dressed Mariners.
Side shot of the newly renovated Kauffman Stadium.
5pm finally rolled around. Thirty minutes until they opened the gates. You could hear the music over the loud speakers on the field, you could hear the cracks of the bats on the field, and you could smell the hotdogs, and other various stadium food aroma. I love baseball! The ushers, and security started to unlock the gates, and bring the bag check tables, and boxes out. The ushers chatted amongst themselves, and finally “Leroy” came over to me. He greeted me, and I offered to allow him to search my bag.
” Leroy, how come they dont open the gates two hours prior today? At Busch Stadium they do every game.” I asked.
” Im not sure. I know they open the gates two hours prior on Friday games, and Saturday games though.” He replied.
” Interesting. You’d think they would open them up two hours before game time everyday. It would be a great chance to make extra mo-” And at that point I looked back at the crowd behind me. Zack Greinke was scheduled to pitch tonight. It was Tuesday. It was cold, and windy. There were maybe 15 people in line with me. At that point I looked back to Leroy.
” Its got to have something to do with paying employees more money to open the gates an extra 30 minutes. Considering the fan base turn-out here as opposed to Busch Stadium. ” I said.
Leroy simply nodded silently. Those sad eyes stared at me for a moment. You could tell he was thinking something along the lines of ” Why cant Kansas City have a winning team?”
I could only look to my feet. I shook my head empathetically. I know the feeling. For 21 years I have loved my Seattle Mariners. Year after year I have watched them play some really subpar baseball. But like a loyal fan I support them, and continue to love them. Isnt that what baseball is all about? Winning and losing.
Right field seats. Even with a former Cy Young award winner on the mound tonight they couldnt turn out more than 20,000 fans. ( 14,969 )
So once inside the stadium, I immediatly started to scout out the best place to get my first ball. The Mariners were already on the field so time wasnt on my side. They were off in left field warming up. The Royals still had roughly ten minutes left on the field. Maybe. There were a few Royals cleaning up foul balls that were being hit into the right field corner but that was a long shot to get one of those guys to toss me a ball. I started down the third base line when I spotted a lone baseball sitting out in front of the Royals dugout. I looked around for any players that may come this way, and the Royals hitting coach Bobby McClure was about the only guy that could walk towards me. Sure enough, he did. I started calling to him. ” Hey, Coach! Hey Coach!” Pointed at the ball in any desperate attempt to get his attention. He waved at me, and rubbed his fingers together indicating that I would have to pay for this one. I laughed, and I told him I had to pay for parking, and the only cash I had on me was just for that. Plus, I explained I wanted to get a hotdog or something.
” Well, junior, its Buck Night, so you’ll have to do better than that.” He laughed.
” Im parked in a tow away zone too! So the fees are going to stack against me!” I exclaimed.
McClure eventually picked up the ball, and tossed it my way. Bing!! How about that. Within the first five minutes I got my first ball of the day. That has to be some kind of record. It has to be. I thanked him, and I moved on. I gave left field another thought, and just as I turned to jet up the stairs and head that way, I heard the command ” Pick up!” Yep. The Royals were done. Up the stairs I went, and I quickly traded out hats on the fly.
Now Kauffman is a little more difficult going from base line seats to base line seats. They have this huge restaurant behind home plate, and that also allows Diamond Club members to enter the stadium. Its actually a nice place to sit and eat but a huge inconvenience to me. Not that I am lazy in any fashion, it just takes away from the time it would take me if I could just scamper around the diamond on a cross section or something. I sprinted around the restaurant, and I noticed a father/son duo running that way as well. They were all decked out in M’s gear so I knew I would have to get down there fast, and be aggressive.
The whole Mariners pitching staff was down there warming up. I took up a spot on the railing behind Kanekoa Texeira. I was hoping he wouldnt recognize me from last Saturday at Cellular Field. To be honest with you I dont know how well baseball players memories were. I made quite a scene at Cellular to get a ball, and Texeira was standing by to witness. Maybe I would get one because it was the second time he has seen me at a Mariners game. In any case, I had to try. It wasnt five minutes later that Texeira, and Ryan Rowland-Smith were all done warming up. Texeira immediatly turned around, and tossed me the ball. Bing! Number two!
Ken Griffey Jr was in the cage smashing baseballs into the outfield bleachers. So I headed that way. He launched two into the left field seats as I was passing by but they were out of reach. I continued around towards the Batters Eye, and down to the Party Porch. I learn something new every time I attend a baseball game. The players that are generally shagging fly balls in the outfield are pitchers. Not all of them but the majority of the them are. So a key tip here is to learn the pitching staff of the teams you go to see. Fortunatly for me I already knew all that players names from the Mariners. So as soon as a fly ball was hit over the head of this guy…
I quickly struck up a friendly conversation.
” Mark! How are things going for you in Seattle? You look like youre having a lot of fun!” I yelled to him.
” Seattle is great! Thanks man! How are you?” He replied back to me.
” Im very well, thanks man. Just enjoying the day. Hey, what are the chances of me getting that ball from you?” I asked.
He smiled, and tossed it up to me. Unfortunalty, it bounced off of the top of the wall, and back onto the field.
” Bad toss! My bad!” He apologized, and got it to me this time.
Bing! Mark Lowe you are officially my hero! Now to get my fourth was going to be tricky. Most of the Mariners have been watching me now, so I would have to change it up a bit. I ran into the Centerfield bleachers ( since I had about 40 minutes left ) to see if I could shag a homerun ball. If you would like some tips on how to catch a line drive homerun ball, here you go; They come in hot, and fast! You better get a good read on the ball, and get a good jump on it. You better know your way around the seats, and aware of your surroundings at the moment. Lastly, make an aggressive catch. I failed to follow my own advice. I got tripped up on the stairs, and the ball was deflected by another fan. Fortunatly for me he too got tripped up on the stairs and he got stopped by the stair railing. He scampered towards the ball, and as I got to my feet the ball was within reach, and I grabbed it. Bing! My fourth ball of the afternoon! The other fan moaned, and growned and then let out a laugh as he explained that would have been his third.
I waited in the Centerfield bleachers for another ten minutes, and nothing else came my way. So I headed back down to the third base side. ( At this point I removed by black jacket to reveal my white undershirt I was wearing ) Two baseballs were laying on the grass within in five feet or so of my new position on the railing. All I had to do was be more outgoing than the fans around me, and hope whoever came over wasnt Mark Lowe, or Kanekoa Texeira. I had a shot. There were two of them. A few more Mariners fans perched on the railing with me so now I had a little competition. Fun. Soon enough the railing filled up with young Royals fans as well. My chances of getting one of those balls soon become slim to none. But I still had a shot. Rick Adair was the lucky Mariner to come our way, and I started shouting at him. I wanted that ball! Well, Rick decided that my quick wit, and humorous personality wasnt quick enough, or funny. The kids got the ball.
Back around the Royals dugout I went. ( The Mariners dugout was lined with fans ) If I were going to get my fifth ball here this would be it. The Mariners were busy with batting practice, and there was a small crowd of kids to my left. No one to my right, and nobody behind me. I was set. I started calling out to Eric Brynes, and Ty Van Burkleo everytime a new batter took the cage. No dice. But Rob Johnson was busy tossing a few baseballs to the crowd of kids to my right. I called a few times to him but he ignored me. Finally Rob Johnson tossed another one to the kids, and it got away from them, and rolled on top of the dugout, and dropped down into it. They kids desperatly asked the police officer to get it for them, and he reluctantly did. ( I remember when I asked a police officer last year for a ball on the field, and he told me he would get fired for touching it. Rules have changed this year I guess, or this cop hates his job and wants to get fired. )
The police officer came out of the dugout, and tossed it to the kids again. The ball squirted out of their mits for the second time, and dropped back down into the dugout. Wow. I called to the police officer.
” Hey, if you toss it to me Ill catch it!” I laughed. As did he, and he retrieved the ball for the second time. Before he could toss the ball up I interjected, and pointed to this little three year old that joined me with his father.
” Throw it to this little guy, sir! Those other kids had their chance!” I pleaded. The cop fullfilled my request, and tossed it to the child. I caught the ball for him, and handed it over. The father of the child told the youngster to thank me, and I responded with a thumbs up. As bad as I wanted that ball it wasnt really intended for me. I felt obligated to give it up. Even though I caught it. Even though those eight kids to my right had equal opportunity to catch the ball. Even though the players have tossed three to them already. Even though the players give more baseballs out to kids than adults. Even though. I still gave it to the kid. I thought to myself, ” I should have grabbed that ball, and ran.” At best I would have been boo-ed. I wasnt going to sit in that section. That ball will end up in that kids toybox anyway. Or end up a chew toy for the family dog. Ill tell you where it wont end up. It wont end up in a protective case high up on the wall with a small plaque reading ” Juniors first baseball from Kauffman Stadium”
Oh well. I had four, and the game hadnt even started yet. By the end of the game I still remained at four.
Game: Kansas City Royals Vs Seattle Mariners April 27th 2010 7:15pm
Game Balls: Four