Pirates vs Mets, PNC Park, 5/21/2012
The main goal of today was to get on the board with a NY Mets 50th Anniversary commemorative ball. I have been able to get the LA and Miami commemoratives so far so this one was definitely the obective.
But it was a sketchy forecast with clouds building up in the afternoon, but by the time I got in for bp and got a toss up from the Fort, Mike Mckenry for Ball 1 we had narrowly escaped rain.
It would take quite a while to get on the board with another ball, the entire rest of the Pirates bp,,,Barajas, Walker, Hernandez, Navarro, and Meckenry managed 1 home run to the LF seats, snooze fest.
With the Mets coming on I got the adrenaline back with commemoratives in the picture.
Quickly Mets first base coach Tom Goodwin was tracking down some balls in the outfield and commenting on another ballhawk using the glove trick, he picked out Erik and myself in Mets gear tossing us both a ball, not a commemorative, Ball 2. Thanks Tom, and I dont know what he is doing with the groundscrew in this pic, take your guess. Didnt feel like taking another picture though.
Ball 3 was a toss up from bullpen pitcher Ramon Ramirez, who I later was able to get a better pic of when he walked into the clubhouse post bp. And it was not a commemorative.
With the Mets bp kicking in and me talking to as many Mets players as I could at the bullpen I put the camera down for a while. I talked with the bullpen catcher, Jon Rauch, the Pitching Coach, and Bobby Parnell who all in a different kind of way told me, “No dude Im not going into the bag and looking for a commemorative ball for you.”
As I returned to my regular area I noticed a towering home run headed to the seats, Erik had a beat on it as well. I noticed it had a ton of carry and height, it made it a few rows past Erik where I scrummed it for Ball 4. Not a commemorative.
Ball 5 was a decent catch where I had to range to my right and reach backhanded into the row in front of me for Ball 5, not commemorative.
Ball 6, may have been the best catch I have ever made at bp, as observed by Erik, the usher, and nearby fans.
I noticed that Ike Davis, and Lucas Duda were hammering the ball, some onto the Riverwalk behind right center field, and some were flying over the Clemente Wall. I chose to take on Ike Davis on the Roverwalk. I set up about midway into it. Just then he laser beamed another one, it was coming in rapido. But I had it sized up, but when a ball is ripped and coming from that far its not always a perfect line, and it was right at me, always the harder to judge.
I leapt into the air with my eyes on it and gloved it. Web Gem City, Erik told me that it would have left PNC Park if I hadnt jumped and got it. So I robbed it from leaving the stadium, thats what I love about ballhawking, being able to be a part of the game.
Not a commemorative either, but likely to be a very memorable catch for a long time to come.
Here I am in Mets Gear on my way out of PNC.
For the Day-6