This was the start of the last series of the year with much playoff implication involved.
I arrived early and admired the Roberto Clemente Statue for a moment, took a close up pic to start the day.
With the Brewers having a long night Erik, Dom C and myself were wondering if we would see the Brewers take bp.
In the meantime I worked the North Side Notch area shouting out to Stolmy Pimentel, Volquez, Liriano, and Jose Tabata. After some persistence I got a toss up from Stolmy Pimentel, Ball 1.
Ball 2 was fired to me by Heberto Andrade, it had a little tail on it as it whipped in.
Tony Sanchez tossed up a ball that was off the mark to some people in the front row, I was close enough to pick up the overthrow and give it to the intended target, Ball 3.
Ball 4 was a scrum of a homer from an unidentified Brewer.
After patiently waiting for Mark Reynolds to provide some homers to LF he finally lifted one onto the LF cross walk. Playing deep in the last row of the bleachers, I took a good route up the steps out of the bleachers and onto the crosswalk in time to make an extended grab of the Reynolds bomb, Ball 5.
Ball 6 was a caught homer in LF.
Ball 7 a toss up at the end of bp by an unidentified Brewer bullpen pitcher.
The Pirates returned from a long road trip for the final home stand of the season to face the Boston Red Sox. Unlike past years the Red Sox fans were few and far between as they are in last place.
I looked forward to leaving everything I had at the ballyard for a good finish to the season, and up until today this home stand has been very good.
Beginning on the 16th, Tuesday.
Brent Morel toss up connection for Ball 1.
Ball 2 was a ground rule double which I grabbed after the Morel toss up.
Ball 3 was a Heberto Andrade toss up.
Ball 4 was a toss up from an unidentified Red Sox reliever.
David Ortiz put on a show at each of the 3 games this series. I caught a hr from him each of the days, and one off the roof of the Rita’s stand way out on the riverwalk. Hell of a time tracking his monster home runs.
This was a scene of plenty action.
And the Rita’s stand catch off the roof for Ball 6.
Over in LF I got a toss up from Junichi Tazawa, Ball 7, and a caught homer for Ball 8.
Heberto Andrade toss up for Ball 1.
Tony Sanchez toss up for Ball 2.
The Pirates picked things up at the end of their bp resulting in two scrums, Ball 3-4.
That was it for the Pirates, over in CF I caught a home run of the bat of Cuban Defector, Rusney Castillo way out in CF. Just noticed he is listed as 5’9, 185, well he must put everything into his swing.
I was 3 rows back from straight away center for the Castillo home run catch, Ball 5.
And then the Big Papi show again.
Ball 6 was a scrum for a Papi hr, Ball 7 a caught Papi homer.
Ball 8 was a caught homer in CF, player unidentified.
Ball 1 Heberto Andrade toss up.
Ball 2 scrum.
Ball 3 Big Papi caught homer.
Ball 4 scrum.
Good times seeing the Red Sox in town, even though I cant stand them. Lots of action.
Three Day Total-20
The Cubs were in town and the crisp fall air was coming around. I took a pause to take a pic of Willie Stargell’s statue en route to Friday’s game against the Cubs, the last homestand of the season.
I arrived nice and early to an empty line, aside from Erik Jabs and Baseball Joe. My legs felt good, I was excited to chase some baseballs after a long break from ballhawking.
Sadly though I found out from Erik, who was eyeing things up from the Roberto Clemente bridge that no cages were set up.
This was due to Clint Hurdles bp off day after a road night game deal. The stands were bare as hell and it hurt to wait and wait for what would be a shitty Cubs bp.
I watched Edwin Jackson throw a lengthy side session, I think I have like 2-3 balls from him in the past, so with things limited on the Pirates side I waited, waited, waited….
Edwin appeared to finish the session, talked game with Lester Strode, and paced around, and,,,returned to the mound to throw more. I left for good.
But Edwin would connect with me later on, helping me get on the board. Ball 1, Pic below is Edwin and Lester talking more mechanics.
Straight outta West Germany to
LAD, TB, DET, ARI, CHW, STL, WASH, CHC
Won a ring with the Red Birds, and threw a no no with the Snakes.
And Ball 2 was a scrum where I locked up on a ball with a Cubs fan, my grip was just enough to hold on.
I arrived early for the game, I took this picture.
We had a nice throwing session on the bridge prior to entrance.
Great place for a throwing session.
Things inside were slow moving for me again, I got the steady toss up of Ball 1 from Heberto Andrade.
I came up with ball 2 on the riverwalk in right center while playing Gregory Polanco, and Andrew Lambo.
Sunday I decided to head to the game with my brother, it was my birthday, 33 y/o. We witnessed the triple play initiated by Josh Harrison which sparked a nice inning of smacking the ball around. Witnessed a nice win in a playoff run, also got into some action with no bp occurring.
Ball 1 I got on a toss up from Stan Kyles, minor league bullpen coach.
This was the angle.
When the clock finally struck 12 I ran over to the left field line to catch the Pirates pitchers after their warm up. In good timing, no kids had arrived on the scene so I had a good chance, I saw Jared Hughes come off the field first and connected for Ball 2.
Prior to the game when Edinson Volquez was ready to pitch I checked out the bullpen. A few moments later a ball was tossed high to some kids against the fence. I reacted to the wild toss and grabbed it,then gave it to the intended recipient, Ball 3.
Pittsburgh Skyline, PNC, Train Tracks
Fox had this one, so game over for Bucco bp, and toss a wratchet into the Reds as well. They used to be tops on my list for hit balls, they have dropped vastly.
Erik and I were on a mission today, with the gate time to the stands being 2:30, as we waited out on the riverwalk area imprisoned.
We made some moves, striking with precision to put ourselves into positions that benefited us both on a day of limited action.
Ball 1 for me was tossed by this Red guy in foul territory.
Hit ball, sliced down the line by Billy Hamilton was my 2nd and final ball of the day on this one of limited action, time, opportunity…
Always in a rush to get in for good reason. Roberto Clemente Bridge, Arriba. Speed is always important to me, and things got off to a speedy start for the first three minutes today.
I got in quick enough to see a ball waiting in the deep part of the bleachers by the bullpen for Ball 1.
Andrew Mccutchen has been awesome to see, and provided much stats to add when he is mashing at bp. Ball 2 was a scrum of Mccutchen hr, Ball 3 a caught homer off the bat of Mccutchen. Love playing him, always hits the ball nice and high to make plays on.
Ball 4 was a connect with Heberto Andrade.
Ball 5 a found ball near the top of the upper bleachers, either hit by Mccutchen or Martin.
The Reds bullpen carries a big man by the name of Jumbo Diaz, fitting, as he weighs in on the roster at 315lbs. A former Pirate farmhand who I don’t believe ever surfaced with us proved to be a jolly major leaguer with the Red Legs as he tossed me Ball 6, and 7. One in LF, one in RF.
Ball 8 was a caught ricochet home run ball.
I almost decided to leave my Cardinal gear at home, I despise them, and they are usually stiffs who don’t even consider that your present in the stands. I don’t know what it is but its always been their way.
Things began with a toss up at the wall from a more fun, interactive pitcher by that of Edinson Volquez. Been generous throughout the year, Ball 1.
Volquez with Searage and Rojas
Ball 2 was a toss up by Heberto Andrade.
Jordy Mercer placed one nicely in the North Side Notch which took a high bounce, I had more then enough time to get there from left center and caught the ground rule double for Ball 3.
Here is why I was glad I stuck with the Cardinals gear for the last game of the series.
Ball4 toss up by Trevor Rosenthal at the gate to the CF seats on riverwalk.
Upon entrance to the center field seating I saw one generous Red Bird, Pat Neshek, he threw long tosses to Josh H and myself earlier in the season. I said whats up All Star and gave him some positive reinforcement for his work in the previous evenings game, without asking for the ball he tossed it to me for Ball 5.
And I got Shelby Miller, Ball 6, always looking to improve on my toss up game, and today was good.
Slay the Red Birds
Monday the Pirates were given some rest after a 5 game losing streak.
I caught on Andrelton Simmons homer for Ball 1.
Caught a ricochet homer ball off the bat of Justin Upton for Ball 2.
And a mammoth homer on the left field crosswalk by Evan Gattis.
Tuesday the Bucs were out and things got off to a good start.
Upon entrance it was apparent that Andrew Mccutchen was back, I played the crosswalk and had one hit right at me for Ball 1.
Heberto Andrade tossed up Ball 2.
Jordy Mercer caught homer on crosswalk for Ball 3.
Ball 4-5-6 scrummed
Ball 7 Evan Gattis caught homer in right center.
Ball 8 scrum
Ball 9 caught homer by Justin Upton in CF
And I have still yet to reach double digits this year.
Teheran, Santana, Avilan, Bonifacio,,,,,
Ball 1-Heberto Andrade toss up
Ball 2-Jordy Mercer Caught homer
Ball 3-Emilio Bonifacio toss up
Ball 4-Caught homer by Evan Gattis
Way back here
Ball 5-Caught homer by Justin Upton
Monday we narrowly escaped heavy rains and got in bp. The Tigers fans always show up big at PNC and they did just that again today.
Tuesday we would not escape the rain as it poured a river onto the PNC warning track, Erik updated me on the situation at PNC and I cruised on home to spend increased time with family.
Ball 1-Jeanmar Gomez toss up
Ball 2-Heberto Andrade toss up
Ball 3-Scrum for Jordy Mercer homer
Ball 4-Caught homer
The Padres just aren’t a very promising team for hit balls, and Eriks scouting report on the Padres for toss ups was poor.
Leigh Barratt, a San Diego native was in town, so we hung out and talked a bit, always cool to meet different ballhawks from around the country. Always cool to play host too.
Ball 1-Toss up in LF by Michael Martinez who has been playing some 2nd base and OF for the Bucs lately.
Ball 2-Heberto Andrade toss up
Ball 3-Toss up from Starling Marte
Ball 4-Toss up by Chris Nelson of Padres
Ball 5-Caught homer by Rene Rivera
Ball 6-Odrisamer Despaigne
Ball 1-Edinson Volquez toss up
Ball 2-Heberto Andrade toss up
Ball 3-Caught homer by Gaby Sanchez
Ball 4-Toss up by Alex Torres
Sundays I have been trying to just spend time with Dominik and Shianne at the ballgame, and we had a wonderful time together. Dominik asserted himself to Odrisamer Despaigne along the RF line for his first autograph by a professional player, I was proud and this was my hi lite of the day. Shianne and I enjoyed a Rita’s during this game also. There would be no batting practice, but I got in Padres gear for their warm ups along the RF line. Only problem was Erik’s daughter Olivia cleaned up, getting 3 balls handed to her. All I could do was stand and observe, you cant win when your up against a cute little girl.
Dominik helped me avoid a shutout as he requested a ball from Herbie at the bullpen, I caught the high toss from below for Ball 1 and Dominik tossed it around with is friend he always hangs with at games.