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.
I want to thank the readers of my blog who take an interest in my pursuits as I ranked in at #48 on the fan blogging top 50. No pics for these bunch of games as I have been having trouble with my computer.
Giancarlo Stanton was a major disappointment, since he has been in the league I crave the chance to chase some towering lasers deep in left field. This whole series he didn’t come close once to LF, he must be concentrating on an oppo approach at bp so if you can you may want to play him in CF or RF when he is in your town.
Marlins pitchers were pretty friendly with toss ups throughout this series as well.
Ball 1-Ground Rule Double catch
Ball 2-caught homer
Ball 4-Heberto Andrade toss up
Ball 6-caught homer
Ball 1-Heberto Andrade toss up
Ball 2-Ball Boy toss up
Ball 3-Sam Dyson toss up
Ball 4-Marcell Ozuna scrum in CF seating
Ball 5-Marcell Ozuna scrum in CF seating, definitely look for him around CF he was tearing it up
Ball 6-Chris Hatcher toss up
ball 7-Garrett Jones caught homer on riverwalk
GI Jones still puts on a show….
Ball 1-Heberto Andrade toss up
Ball 2-Garrett Jones scrum
Ball 3-Garrett Jones caught homer
Ball 4-caught homer
Cleveland has always been great for easter eggs, and today was one of those days. I locked in on Ball 1 about midway into the RF seats, and then just bounced around finding one after another until I was at 5 balls early on.
Erik who I made the trip with found 3, and a small family had a handful of baseballs as well. As a whole, there were certainly 10 plus found balls.
I have a side collection of baseballs thrown by pitchers who have thrown a no hitter. So naturally my focus was on Felix Hernandez today.
After Cleveland wrapped up I got a homer on the fly off the bat of Logan Morrison who doesn’t waste any time when it comes to smashing balls around, look for him and be ready if he is in our stadium.
Danny Farquar tossed me ball 7.
And yessir, I got into the corner spot by the Indians bullpen and as Felix Hernandez, the days target jogged around from RF to CF I got him to toss me a ball that Fernando Rodney was kicking around like a soccer.
Balls thrown by pitchers with no hitters.
I was excited to see the likes of Puig, Kershaw, Kemp, Adrian, Brian Wilson, all the big stars. Feels good to put the Dodger blue on.
After the drive back to Pittsburgh, Monday was a rough day back at work, when I arrived at bp the line for a Monday was out of control in length as well.
Things got off to a frustrating start, Gerrit Cole overthrow and a few homers that found one of the lone early fans. People kept on rolling in, the bandwagon summer crowd was in full effect right.
Heberto Andrade was a double connect for me on toss ups helping with Ball 1 and 3.
Ball 2 was a catch of a ground rule double.
Ball 4 a toss up by Paco Rodriguez.
This wasn’t the kind of start I wanted to set off on after the break. Tuesday turned out to be no better, the crowd no smaller.
On Tuesday I got the attention of Euclides Rojas early on a toss up, Ball 1.
Heberto Andrade toss up ball 2.
Chris Perez, man has he gained some weight since leaving Cleveland. I wonder why he is eating so many snacks, dude needs to get his exercise on. Well he is still friendly with toss ups apparently as I connected with him for Ball 3 at the bullpen on the way over to CF seating.
In CF I got the attention of Scott Van Slyke, son of ex Pirate Star CF Andy Van Slyke. Ball 4.
The final game of this series Wednesday turned out to be the best one. Ball 1 was a Heberto Andrade early toss up.
Ball 2 was toss up by Clint Barmes who tossed up 4 balls after he got done fielding grounders on the warning track. Ball 3 a caught homer by Jordy Mercer. Ball 4 was a one bounce that nearly struck a young boy in his skull, barely tipping off the top of the wall and falling in my glove. I hate more then anything seeing children get hit, and it pisses me off when people aren’t paying attention to baseballs zipping in.
Ball 5 and 6 were found in CF, a rare occasion. I noticed as bp went on that there were no ushers looking for baseballs as they had some sort of employee ceremony on field.
Ball 7 was a toss up by Brian Wilson, my favorite all of the series easily. Brian got into a verbal sparring match with a fan talking smack, Brian remained calm and countered all the hatred and bullshit being spewed at him and eventually quieted the fan. On a lighter note he then chased baseballs around the field, took a youngsters hat to wear when he field a ball at the wall. Brian wore it, fielded a ball, then gave the hat and a ball to the kid.
I caught up to Brian in CF, asked loudly for a ball in a brash manner hoping it would get his attention. It did, but he stated something about catching a homer, and he plays the good defense in the field. He noticed a ball on the track and said I was lucky a ball was sitting there. He tossed me one, a Pirate fan one, and a Nationals fan one. To end it he loudly screamed, “Yea, and were all Winners.” Brian had more fun in LF throwing up baseballs and pumping up the crowd with his antics, love seeing this type of shit.
Don’t talk shit. Be Kind.
This was my first view of the Minneapolis skyline as I pulled in on the Metro for the 2014 Home Run Derby at Target Field. The construction is for the Minnesota Vikings new football stadium to be opened in two years. Until then you can tune in to see some wild snow and freezing cold games for the Vikes.
This Metro may have been hit by that 515 foot moon shot by Stanton as Target Field is tightly packed into the city by a parking garage and Metro line.
We stayed in St. Paul with family.
St. Paul skyline.
Arrival at the RF gate. Talked with Tony Voda, a good home town host and ballhawk as well as Erik.
Kirby Puckett, seems me and my brother in law always end up talking about Kirby Puckett’s World Series heroics, he wore this jersey to the Derby.
Ryan loves family, hockey, construction work, ice fishing, camping, beer, cheese curds.
Crowd view from the RF gate.
Target field prepped for All Star Game.
When the gates opened for the Futures Game the USA team was warming on the 1B side, I noticed that a lot of people went over right from the bat. I considered this option, and thought otherwise given the amount of people already in place there. I decided to look for easter eggs in LF lower deck and upper deck. I quickly found that there were none in the lower deck and ran up top. I searched all through initially and began to give up. As I was up there I decided to ask an usher about the standing rook territory and as I did I noticed a ball to the section stationed next to the foul pole.
It turned out to be a 2014 HRD commemorative. 2 for 2 on HRD baseballs. PNC 2006 MIN 2014, Cincinnati next year sounds great.
Ball 2 was a Futures Commemorative tossed up by Meyer.
Ball 3 was tossed up by Harvey in RF. Ball 4 tossed by Owens. I had little interest in looking up these guys, but the Futures commemoratives were pretty cool looking.
Left Handed power hitter prospect Joey Gallo got my attention quickly and I decided to head up to the second deck in RF. This worked out well as I got one of his hit balls via scrum on a ball that took a gentle landing. Ball 5.
I tracked one of his homers until I had no room left on the RF stair case, so I just watched it shatter the trucks windshield, pretty cool moment.
A beautiful day for baseball, I headed back to the Metro to get back to St. Paul for a nice Minnesota cookout and party.
View for the HRD in a standing room spot and later on a spot three rows in with an aisle seat.
BP itself ended up being tough, I came away with nothing. Got close to a couple homers in LF lower deck but that was it. There were two rain delays to bp, the crowd kept growing and the little kids took the players out of the toss up game.
I was cool with the way things happened, no worry, glad I had my hands on the commemoratives I got, but still had big hopes of catching something on the fly from the spot in the pic above.
This years HRD contestants, I chose Giancarlo Stanton, he didn’t come through but his 515 foot homer was a mammoth blast that pretty much soared over our heads in the second deck. I honestly turned around to see if it was going to make it over the third deck and either hit or clear the Minneapolis Metro.
View to my right, it was painful watching several homers continue to land directly to my right out of reach.
View to my left, where I got within reach of a few Jose Bautista homer, one resulting in two beer spills and a knee scrape.
In a yellow We Are Family shirt I got on TV several times, but I didn’t get to hold up a HRD commemorative. Did everything I could, had a great time regardless and was thankful to have each commemorative.
Double Rain Bow
2014 Futures Game and HRD commemorative baseballs..
With another dreaded day game on a Saturday for the Bucs with Philadelphians crowding up the place making things more difficult, Erik and myself went up to Cleveland.
The home away from home, CLE always provides action and opportunity.
Making about 6 or more Cle games throughout he season is going to be instrumental in meeting my goals for the year, and today was a good start with the remaining games left I have for Cleveland.
Ball 1 was found, followed by Ball2/3 via scrum as I was still searching around for found balls in the large RF area. Erik had found what had to have been an ushers collection of balls neatly placed in a row of 3, good for him, and F the ushers. The first 2-3 minutes were wild and filled with adrenaline with the found balls and hit balls raining in.
Ball 4 was a caught homer up the steps near the man in the picture below.
Royals players were avoiding toss ups on the RF side, but after a lot of hollering a ball came to the wall below me where I got Casey Coleman to connect with me for Ball 5.
Billy Butler didn’t provide much, but the one bomb he shot out to left center about 5-10 rows up was right in line with me, and stayed nicely where it landed, Ball 6.
Back over in RF for Ibanez, and Moustakas I backhanded a homer off the bat of Moustakas for Ball 7 which would complete the day.
With my work completed and not much else happening on a slow day at work I got the go ahead to leave when requested. Originally I had no plans of attending this game, but we were overstaffed at work.
Good thing I was able to make it, the gates operated on an evening game status, but what was bad is the Pirates were off from bp. The bleachers were a ghost town leading up to the Phillies bp, would have been very nice.
Anyway I got Ball 1/2 via scrum.
Ball 3 a toss up from Bob Stumpo who I believe is a Phils bullpen catcher.
Ball 4 a caught homer.