May 2011

5-29-2011 Coors Field

I found this awesome baseball museum down the street from Coors Field as I was looking for a bathroom. (I drank a huge coke from Burger King earlier) It’s called B’s Ballpark Museum. It’s on Blake Street and this place was absolutely amazing. It costs $5 dollars to gain access but after that they have so many unbelievable baseball artifacts that it will literally blow your mind. Anytime you’re near Coors Field I highly recommend checking this place out. The first picture I took was a baseball artifact from Mile High Stadium. The last pitchers’ rubber used at Mile High. Greg Maddux was the final pitcher to throw from that pitchers’ rubber on August 11, 1994. The next two pictures will show you just what a pitchers’ rubber looks like. And what else is unique about these things is they’re dug up and rotated every few months. Take a look.

 

What really amazed me was not really what the pitchers’ rubber looked like but how the owner of the museum was able to acquire the item. I guess if you know someone who knows someone who knows someone else…

The next baseball artifact I came across was some Yankee Stadium history. In the picture below I have numbered each cubed artifact with a number. It was pretty impressive to see this stuff.

Number one is concrete from Old Yankees Stadium

Number two is wood from the Yankees dugout bench.

Number three is actual grass and dirt from Old Yankee Stadium

And number four is apart of the foul pole from Old Yankee Stadium.

The next series of artifacts was really something special. They’re apart of baseball history and it just floored me how this guy ended up with all this stuff. I didn’t get to meet the actual owner but there was a museum guide that showed me around. He didn’t really have that much information on how things were acquired but he knew quite a bit of information for each baseball artifact on display.

This is how the ushers at Tiger Stadium dressed in the early 1900’s.

In 1971 Tiger Stadium held the All-Star game that year. If you were around to watch it either live on television or you were actually at the stadium you would remember the at bat that Reggie Jackson had that sent a moon shot so far that people claim it would have traveled at least 600 feet or more if it hadn’t of hit one of the light poles on the roof of Tiger Stadium. Al Kaline recalls the moment and said he had the best view from the dugout. He couldn’t believe how far the ball traveled and it had so much steam on it if the light pole that the ball struck wouldn’t have been in the way it would have easily gone farther than 600 feet.

Here is the piece of fence on the light pole that the ball had struck.

Like I said. I don’t know how this guy was able to get some of this stuff. Probably through auctions or private sellers. If you thought the last artifact was totally awesome, wait until you see this.

In 1951 the New York Yankees faced the New York Giants in the World Series. Joe DiMaggio was coming up on the tail end of his career and the young Mickey Mantle had been called up that season to start his own career with the Yankees. Game two of the 51’ World Series, Joe DiMaggio was running to catch a fly ball hit by Willie Mays. With Mickey Mantle covering in center field that game, DiMaggio called off Mantle when he knew he would make an easy catch. As Mantle was putting on the brakes to allow DiMaggio to make that catch, Mantle’s spikes got caught in the outfield drain pipe. Those that witnessed this said, “Mantle dropped like he had been shot.”

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this.

Yes. What you’re seeing is the actual drain cover that Mickey Mantle tripped over. It wasn’t just a season ending injury. It actually plagued his entire career. Every game he played he complained of leg pain. When he tripped over the drain cover it tore ligaments in his knee. Not only that but when Mickey’s father was helping him into the hospital Mutt Mantle collapsed and was later diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.  Injuries continued to plague Mantle throughout his illustrious career. Even though he was a 20x All-star and hit over 500 career home runs.

A lot of people don’t know who Joey Meyer is. Well, a lot of people that aren’t Brewers fans or Denver Bears fans or even Rockies fans know who he is. And I’ll be honest. I had no idea who this guy was until I stumbled upon this wonderful museum of baseball lore. There is a lot of speculation about how far a baseball should be measured or is measured. Normally they’re just honest guessed by baseball media personnel. But there are actually accurate, scientific ways to measure a home run ball. For the record, Mike Piazza has the longest home run at Coors field with a 496 foot blast that happened on September 26, 1997. But Joey Meyer is the man who hit the longest home run at Mile High Stadium. His home run was hit on June 3rd, 1987 and the blast reached 582 feet! And Joey Meyer is the ONLY Major League player to ever hit a walk-off home run against Roger Clemens! That happened on August 9th, 1988. Here are the seats that the baseball struck.

That’s not that actual baseball that hit the seats. But it is a signed baseball from Joey Meyer.

The next picture is of the Rockies dugout screen from Mile High Stadium. Check it out.

In 1961 Roger Maris was chasing the near-impossible home run record set by Babe Ruth. The thing was in 1961 is that baseball expanded from eight teams to ten. And also extended the playing season from 154 games to 162. So to break the record, Maris would have to do in in 154 games. When he reached the 154th game, Maris was at 59 home runs. He hit the record-breaking 61st home run on October 1st 1961 at Yankee Stadium in front of 23,154 fans. Tracy Stallard of the Boston Redsox was the pitcher that gave up the hit. I’m not going to go too in-depth of what Roger Maris went through when he was on the verge of breaking Ruth’s home run record. I’ll just say this. It wasn’t as glorious and awesome as the media made it when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa broke the record. Or when Barry Bonds broke the single season home run record. But in this museum there stood the wall that the 61st record-breaking home run sailed over hit by the legendary Roger Maris.

I think those pictures that I posted in this blog pretty much hit on the most awesome stuff there. Some other things I made note of but didn’t take any pictures of were the last home plate used in Old Yankees Stadium, an on deck circle from Mile High Stadium, a bag of top soil from Safeco Field, some foul balls from various stadiums, and stadium seats from Ebbets Field, old Comiskey, and Old Yankee Stadium. And actual light fixtures from Ebbets Field. The place was simply amazing. So I urge you to visit this museum if you’re ever around Coors Field.

Now onto some baseball at Coors Field! Since it was a Sunday game I didn’t except anything to be going on. But the BP cage was up and the Rockies were taking some cuts in the cage. Although, it wasn’t the normal routine of batting practice. All of the Rockies coaches were on the field shagging baseballs. When I ran up to the gates I had about fifteen minutes to spare before they opened up and everyone seemed to be bunched up on the right side of the gates. So I took my place on the left side of the crowd which meant I would be first inside. And as I mentioned before since it was a Sunday game there shouldn’t be batting practice. But there was. So I was pretty excited about that. Here’s what I saw when I ran inside.

 

As soon as I took that picture there was a deep fly ball that almost reached the warning track. When it hit the grass it just died and I knew I had a shot at getting it because I was the first person in the bleachers, and no one else was around. So I asked for it and the coach that came over to retrieve it generously tossed it to me. Friday’s game I nearly got shutout and I had to literally fight for a baseball thrown by Mark McGwire. Today I didn’t want that kind of outcome for a baseball so I jumped on the first opportunity to get one and it paid off. I played the bleachers for twenty minutes or so until I made my way up into the concourse to wait in yet another line to be allowed into the rest of the stadium at 11:30am. I explained briefly of the stupid rule at Coors field that they only allow fans to be in the left field area until an hour and a half before first pitch in Fridays blog entry. When I was waiting in line I witnessed a foul ball land in the seats in the third base area. On Friday I witnessed a few baseballs being hit into the seats but I never saw anyone pick them up. But when I ran down there to look for them the baseballs were gone. I watched the area intently this time to see what happens to the ball and what do you know…the security guards that were wandering in the sections pretending to wipe down seats scoop up the baseballs and put them in their pockets. I think that is totally a disservice to the fans. Not because finding baseballs in the seats is sort of my bread and butter but when I watch kids find them it really brightens up their day. What does an usher need to pocket the baseballs for? Its possible that they might give them to kids later on but I think it would mean more for a fan if they found a baseball instead of being handed one by a stadium usher. What sounds better? “ Hey, check out my baseball I found at Coors Field!” or “ Hey, check out my baseball I got from some usher at Coors Field!”

When I was finally allowed to roam the entire stadium I quickly made my way to the Rockies side of the field. Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle, and Matt Daley were warming up but I was denied a baseball when younger fans asked for the baseballs when the players were done warming up. While I was waiting for a baseball I did notice huge lines through the sections. And then I noticed Rockies players signing autographs on the field. I took a picture of Jose Morales.

I wasn’t going to stand in line for one autograph when some Cardinal players were signing on the other side. So I started to make my way over there. That’s when I was stopped by security. Apparently on Sundays even when 99% of the fans in the stadium are all lined up in three sections to get Rockies autographs, and absolutely nothing is going on, on the field, fans can not cut through the sections. For some reason fans trying to have fun at Coors Field by collecting autographs, catching baseballs, and interact with players is strictly prohibited or at least highly frowned upon. But I didn’t want to give the security guards any trouble. I made my way to the top of the concourse, passed by a few sections and then tried to make my way back down a section that wasn’t crammed full of people waiting for autographs. I was abruptly stopped by yet another security guard and this time I was asked to produce my ticket. I didn’t want to be told I couldn’t have access to the section so I tried to explain my intentions but was told to continue on around the concourse. WHAT A RIDICULOUS RULE. The time was 11:52am. 68 minutes before first pitch and I wasn’t allowed to walk down a section to get to the Cardinals dugout??!! Are you kidding me??!! I expressed my frustrations by uttering some choice words under my breath and continued on around the concourse. When I finally made it down to the Cardinals dugout I hustled towards the left field foul pole where Brian Tallet was signing autographs. I’m not exactly complaining because I got Brian Tallet’s autograph but I was hoping for a more prestigious baseball player after going through all that crap to get to the Cardinals side of the house. Wouldn’t you agree? Maybe If I posted Tallet’s numbers. 16-24 W/L record with a career 4.63 ERA and 331 strikeouts.

After that I wandered back over to the Cardinals dugout, well, I mean behind row ten. I mentioned in Friday’s blog that if you don’t have a ticket for rows 1-10 behind either dugouts you can’t stand there ANYTIME. NO MATTER WHAT. EVER. EVER, EVER. The only other stadiums I know of that do this are U.S Cellular and Great American Ballpark. But U.S Cellular isn’t as extreme as the other two ballparks. They just restrict the first two rows. Great American Ballpark restricts the entire section behind the dugout, I think. Anyway. Tony La Russa was helping out some of the position players field some fungos and when they were done they had about six baseballs. They threw them all into the seats but I was one of the unlucky ones that didn’t get one. Partly because I wasn’t wearing my Cardinals hat. The reason why I wasn’t was because the Cardinals were being so unfriendly with toss ups I didn’t expect them to unload six baseballs into the crowd. I guess I should expect the unexpected.

I decided to keep wandering the ballpark after all those baseballs were thrown into the crowd. As I was crossing through the section I had  found myself in row nine by accident! ALERT THE AUTHORITIES! I HAVE JUST COMITTED A CRIME IN COORSFIELDVILLE! At that very moment I made every attempt to get out of row nine as fast as I could. Lives were at stake here, people! I’m kidding. Lives weren’t really at stake. I’m just trying to be funny. And I did make sure I got out of the row so I wouldn’t be hassled by security. Just as I turned to get out of row nine I heard the ever familiar voice of a security guard.

“Excuse me sir…” Said the voice.

I turned to face the security guard face to face. Man to man. “Yes?”

“You can’t be in this row unless you have a ticket.” Stated the guard.

“Yeah, I know. I wasn’t trying to be in your precious row, sir. In fact I was making my way out of your row because I know I’m not supposed to be there without a ticket. I’ve been to Coors Field before and I am fully aware of your rule.” I explained.

“Okay, sir. You don’t have to get excited about it.” He stammered.

I wasn’t about to argue. So I just left it alone and continued on my way. The more diplomatic approach to handle security guards. My seat was up in the 300 level and I thoroughly enjoyed the view. I’d much rather preferred seats in the lower outfield but for some reason Coors Field hiked up the prices to $50 dollars a seat in those outfield sections. I’m not sure why either. The Rockies ended up losing anyway, 4-3, against the Cardinals.

I’m snagging baseballs for charity this year. If you want to get some more information about it you can hit me up at my website. http://www.crowdrise.com/SnaggingBaseballsforPuppies/fundraiser/WaynePeck

Also if you want to follow me on Twitter, you can. Just get yourself a Twitter account and follow me @MLBwayneMLB. Simple enough. I’m also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Wayne-Peck/111399878936587

I had a great weekend at Coors Field but I’ll probably never come back. Security is too strict for my blood, and frankly no fan should have to put up with those ridiculous rules.

Game; May 29th 2011 St Louis Cardinals vs Colorado
Rockies

Gameballs; One

Attendance; 40,158

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $33.20 this season.

Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $14.50 this
season

 

5-27-2011 Coors Field

The plane ride into Denver couldn’t have been any worse. I normally don’t get airsick but I really felt like I was going to lose it at any moment. But I stayed strong. Once I got into Denver I had about 50 minutes to get off the plane, get my luggage, get my rental car, and get to the stadium. Coors Field wasn’t hard to find at all. So I was able to drive the 24 miles pretty quickly. There was some heavy traffic due to an earlier accident but I was able to find parking and get inside without any trouble. Although, I didn’t make the beginning of batting practice but It really didn’t make a difference. At Coors Field the fans have to stay in the left field bleachers for the first 30 minutes of BP. Then after that they allow everyone to roam as they please. Why they have these rules? I’m not sure. Another strange rule Coors Field has is you have to stay behind row ten when around the dugouts unless you have a ticket for rows one through nine. Even during BP. A lot of people come to the stadiums seeking autographs and with that stupid rule in place its nearly impossible to accomplish any of that.

I expected to find some loose baseballs laying in the rows but there was nothing. I’m pretty sure the guards that were pretending to clean the seats scooped them all up. The way things turned out was pretty disappointing. I figured, as I stood helplessly in front of a barricaded section with just a simple yellow plastic chain, that the sections would be opened up in uniform. But no. As the Cardinals came out onto the field the security guards opened the sections one at a time. Starting with the ones on my far right. So any chance I had at finding any loose baseballs in the rows would be gobbled up by the small group of fans running down to the front row three sections over on my right. Finally my section was opened and it seemed like the guard took forever to lower the yellow plastic chain. I don’t know why the stadiums have these stupid rules in place.

I stayed on the third base side for quite sometime. But the Cardinals baseball players seemed to ignore any request for an autograph or a baseball. One guy beside me asked Eduardo Sanchez for a baseball after he was done warming up and he turned to lob it directly to a kid instead. I thought that was kind of rude because the guy asked for the ball first and wasn’t demanding at all. Then he tried to get an autograph from Ryan Franklin but was told there were no autograph signings during BP. (Which was a lie) I just couldn’t believe the attitudes the Cardinals were giving their own fans! I decided to abandon my spot on the third base side and try the first base side. But I was greeted with equal treatment from Kyle Lohse. He was busy fielding baseball after baseball in right field and denied every fans’ request for a baseball. I could see that this three game home stand between the Rockies and the Cardinals at Coors Field was going to be a tough one in regards to snagging baseballs. But some good news is that some baseballs did trickle into foul territory on the first base side so I made a mental note of that and devised a game plan for Saturdays game. The only problem with Saturdays game is that it would be Todd Helton t-shirt day. That means a larger attendance turn-out.

So that brings us to the end of batting practice. I moved in behind the Cardinals dugout with about twenty minutes left. Well, I really didn’t know how long the Cardinals would be on the field so I really had to just guess when BP would end. I didn’t want to take any chances so I made sure I was behind that dugout. Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols were busy slugging it out to see who could hit the longest BP home runs and clearly Matt Holliday is the better man. It was pure entertainment and the fans absolutely loved every minute of it. I must admit, it was quite the sight to see Holliday drop some serious bomb-age. He was putting them nearly out of the sections in deep left field.

And that was it. BP was officially over. I stood behind the dugout in hopes to get one of the coaches attention to throw some baseballs into the crowd. And at that moment Mark McGwire emerged with a couple baseballs. I was actually shocked to see him. Or maybe surprised? I really can’t explain the feeling. It was just…different to see him. Anyway. He lobbed a baseball into the crowd, and I took a few steps to my right, reached way across my body and somehow managed to catch the baseball. Unfortunately, some dude had the tips of his fingers on the baseball as I caught it and he tried to rip it free from my glove. He made some comment that Mark McGwire had intended to throw the baseball to him and I just laughed at that idea. He started to call me names and then complained to security that Mark McGwire threw him the baseball and that I should give it back. But I wasn’t about to give the baseball to him after all the name calling. And I made sure to just walk away before security insisted that I give the ball to him. All in all? I think it was a fair catch on my part, and I feel a little better about being nearly ran over by that one dude at Safeco Field that came out of nowhere on 5-5-2011 at Safeco Field Although, I didn’t appreciate being cussed at and security not stepping in sooner. But hey. You win some and you lose some. Right?

The Rockies got blown out. 10-3 was the final score but it was a very interesting game for the first four innings. It was pretty much back and forth between the two teams until Colby Rasmus got hot and drove in three runs throughout the game. I had pretty awesome seats. They were right by the right field railing on the field end of the row. And I also witnessed Ryan Spilborghs throwing multiple baseballs into the right field seats. I’m glad to say that I got to experience some time at Coors Field but after this weekend I’m also proud to say that I’m not coming back. One thing I really thought was awesome was the Batters eye and the bullpens. Take a look.

Game; May 27th 2011 St Louis Cardinals vs Colorado Rockies

Gameballs; One

Attendance; 32,158

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $32.80 this season.

Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $14.25 this season

5-21-2011 AT&T Park

AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, would be my eighth stadium I’ve visited in my lifetime. But it’s always a little nerve-racking to visit a new stadium because I know very little about the architecture of the stadium, and I’m absolutely clueless of how the inside of the park is set up. So when I got to the park on Saturday morning I planned to get there early enough to allow me some time to explore the entire ballpark and try to get the upper hand on some knowledge before I enter. Todays game was set to start at 4:10pm which meant the gates should open around 2:10pm. To my surprise they opened at 1:55pm. An extra 15 minutes of BP never hurt anyone…

On my way in from my hotel I stopped at Candlestick Park. That’s where the Giants used to play baseball. Now the stadium just belongs to the San Francisco 49ers. Here are some pictures I took of Candlestick Park:

It was kind of awesome to be around that stadium because of all the history that has taken place there. Baseball and football. But the Giants now played in AT&T Park and that’s where I was headed.

It took forever to get to the stadium, by the way. If it weren’t for the road signs that directed my every turn I would have been lost. My GPS crapped out on me about the time I exited the freeway. I’ll have to say; of all the stadiums I’ve been to AT&T Park was the hardest to find. Yeah, its huge and its a stadium. But it’s well hidden. When I arrived I expected to see thousands of people already at the gates. But it was like a ghost town for the most part. So I wandered around looking at the park and surrounding areas. I even visited the team store. The Giants team store is by far the largest I’ve ever seen and they had so much Giants gear it was incredible!

The team store even had three showcase windows full of autographed baseballs. Mainly from Tim Lincecum, Willie Mays, Brian Wilson, and Will Clark. And all of them were over $100 dollars. And all of them were signed in black ink. If you’re an autograph collector you’d know better than to have baseballs signed with black ink. Blue ink is ideal and after you get the baseball signed you spray a light coat of hairspray on the ball to “set” the autograph. The reason why you don’t use black ink to sign on a baseball is because black ink fades. And never, ever use a sharpie to get a baseball signed. The ink just soaks into the cowhide and within a year your autograph will fade way. It doesn’t matter if you place the signed baseball in one of those UV protected ball cubes and store it in your closet. Anyway. Enough of autographs 101.

I took some more pictures of around the stadium. Check `em out.

The last picture is of McCovey Cove. Now you get a history lesson on baseball. Why did they name that area McCovey Cove? McCovey Cove is the unofficial name of a section of San Francisco Bay beyond the right field wall of AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, coined after famed Giants first baseman Willie McCovey. The proper name for the cove is China Basin, which is the mouth of Mission Creek as it meets the bay. The cove is bounded along the north by AT&T Park, with a ferry landing and a breakwater at the northeast end. The southern shore is lined by China Basin Park and McCovey Point. To the east, it opens up to San Francisco Bay , while the west end of the cove is bounded by the Lefty O’Doul Drawbridge. And that brings us to this picture.

This is the O’Doul gate. This is also the gate where I entered the ballpark. As you can see it’s not a gate where you can walk in and go right to the field. It has about a million stairs to climb before you reach the field. And now for a second history lesson in baseball. Why did they name this gate the O’doul gate? Because Francis Joseph “Lefty” O’Doul was a minor league player that played with the San Francisco Seals, and also played professional ball for many teams including the New York Yankees and the New York Giants. He also managed the San Francisco Seals where he was the skipper of the infamous Hall of Famer Joe Dimaggio. O’Doul was a career .349 hitter and left the game with 113 home runs and 542 RBIs. Not only did he get one of the gates at AT&T Park named after him but he also got the drawbridge that people cross over McCovey Cove named after him too.

Today was also 2010 World Series champion hat giveaway day. The first 20,000 fans would receive a hat. I had no interest in getting a hat but I figured I’d snag one on the way in and then give it to a kid that didn’t get one later on in the day. I took this picture to show you just how many stairs I had to climb to get to field level. Take a look.

Since there were 20,000 people trying to get a hat security actually organized the onslaught of people quite well. They made it very clear which turnstiles would be open and they checked bags prior to the gates being opened to save on time. I appreciated that. And at 1:55pm they scanned our tickets, and allowed us to enter AT&T Park. I scampered through the turnstile, grabbed my World Series champion hat, and raced up the stairs. One I got to the top there was an open section that I darted through and I was on field level. BP was in full swing so I immediately started to scavenge for stray baseballs in the rows. I had the entire first base side to myself for about three minutes and I easily found two baseballs in the sections. The rows are slightly tighter here then they are at any other baseball stadium I have been to. So the baseballs were tucked away quite well. Here’s my view once I settled on a spot against the padded wall on the first base side.

AT&T Park kind of has that old school look with the bullpen out in foul territory. Just like at the Oakland Coliseum. (I refuse to call it Overstock.com Coliseum) Here is another pictures with the Giants on the field.

One thing I took notice of is that when the Giants fans calls out to the players for them to throw a baseball into the crowd they’re a little more demanding and they seem to forget to say “thank you” afterwards. I also noticed that people who drive in the San Francisco area are the worst drivers I’ve seen so far. I’ve been to many states and many cities too. But that didn’t stop the Giants from tossing baseballs into the crowd. I think they threw a total of three baseballs. I moved around quite a bit but I stayed close to the first base side. That was the side the Oakland Athletics used so after about 15 minutes of standing around I decided to put on my Athletics hat and I wandered back down to the front row. Just as I did a sharp line drive came right at me. It landed a few rows up and took a bounce right off the seats as I was giving chase, and bounced right to me. I was actually that guy that got the lucky bounce. I thought that was extra awesome even though I got heckled by some Giants fan in the front row. He kept asking for the baseball. I laughed a few times but he kept asking. So I quit laughing and ignored him.

When the Athletics came out to stretch, throw the ball around, and do their thing I noticed a section out in the outfield that was barricaded off and people were standing there. Like, a lot of people. Check out the picture below and look on the right side of the picture where my red arrow is. Eventually, as batting practice continued, that section filled up quite a bit. I’m not sure of the details of how to get there or if it’s just for season ticket holders or what. Even if I knew about that spot I probably wouldn’t have taken the opportunity to stand in there just because it’s such a small spot and not a lot of room to move.

Besides. Lining up behind Jerry Blevins (who just got designated for assignment) and Brad Ziegler was way cooler than standing out in a barricaded area on the field with a bunch of Giants fans. (no offense) Not to mention while I was standing there, texting my Mother, a frozen rope line drive was hit right to me. All I heard was “heads up!” and in that split second that I looked up I stuck my glove up and snagged it. Then I went back to texting. It kind of reminded me of that Evan Longoria commercial where he bare hands that baseball that nearly took out the reporter. If you haven’t seen it you can view it on Youtube.com or something. It’s pretty funny. But fake. But my catch wasn’t fake at all. All this happened within the first 30 minutes of BP. Four baseballs in 30 minutes at AT&T Park. A stadium that I had no idea about, never been to before, and made me really want to come back! I just kept thinking of how run-down the Oakland Coliseum was and couldn’t help to appreciate AT&T Park. I couldn’t imagine being a baseball player and being forced to play in a dump like the Coliseum. It would drive me mad. I bet those guys are always looking forward to road trips to Safeco Field, Target Field or even U.S Cellular Field.

Anyway. Here is a picture from behind home plate.

I took this picture to show just how crowded BP would be in the beginning. AT&T Park has sold out in 18 consecutive games but that doesn’t mean BP would be so crowded that there wouldn’t be a snow balls chance in hell in getting a baseball. That’s what worried me the most. The 40,000 plus people showing up for BP.

I stayed inside the stadium for the first couple of innings and then decided to wander McCovey Cove. There weren’t a whole lot of kayakers in the water and no sign of the Bond’s Navy. But there were some interesting characters to say the least.

And this area is for people who want to stand for nine innings and not pay for a ticket. AT&T Park actually lets people watch baseball for free! I think that is really awesome that MLB allows that. Especially since AT&T Park runs on a “by demand” system for tickets. The cheapest you can get into the park is $12 dollars. But those tickets sell out so fast that most people end up paying $100 dollars for a Standing Room Only ticket. Which that’s absolute crap. And security is a stickler on standing outside the yellow “SRO” area.

In the above picture that’s the “free” area. And in the below picture that’s the view of the “free” area.

It’s actually a very good view. Its better than a lot of “SRO” areas and some seats inside the park. So if you like free baseball and if you like the Giants and if you’re in San Francisco when the Giants are playing and if you really don’t care if you get inside or not… well, this is the place to hangout. It’s right by McCovey Cove. You can’t miss it.

But I like being inside the stadium. Can’t you tell?

I had to get my tickets on Stubhub.com because on the Giants website all that were available were $164.00 tickets. So I bought some $30 dollar “cheap” tickets and ended up at the 300 level. They were actually pretty awesome seats with a more than awesome view.

I finally got to watch Tim Lincecum pitch. He pitched the entire game and shutout the Athletics 3-0. That was his fifth shutout of the season and his 9th career complete game. He pitched around 130 pitches I think. The guy truly is a freak.

I’m also snagging baseballs for charity this year. I have two ongoing projects and down below you can see how much money I’ve raised so far this year. So I wanted to give a shout out and thanks to all that have participated and donated this year. It’s very helpful and I appreciate it. If you want to donate or at least get some addition information, by all means. You can either leave a question/comment on this blog entry or go to this website. http://www.crowdrise.com/SnaggingBaseballsforPuppies/fundraiser/WaynePeck

 

Game; May 21st 2011 Oakland Athletics vs San Francisco Giants

Gameballs; Four

Attendance; 42,152

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $32.40 this season.

Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $14.00 this season

Brad Ziegler Watch, #3

The Brad Ziegler watch party continues! If you follow me on Twitter @MLBwayneMLB you will be able to get these updates as they happen. How cool is that? So follow me on Twitter! And if you don’t have a Twitter account you should at least try to get a Twitter account. It’s really not as bad as it seems…

Anyway. I went down to AT&T Park this past weekend to watch the Battle of the Bay series and it was awesome. I’ll have my blog up on that game sometime soon. I promise. But I had to get a Brad Ziegler watch party out of the way. He didn’t do so hot in San Francisco but that’s okay. The A’s got swept and my U.S Army wristbands just didn’t have enough mojo to stop the sweep. Maybe next time…

On 4/26 Brad pitched against the Angels of Anaheim. He pitched two and a third innings and struck out one batter.

On 4/27 Brad pitched against the Angels of Anaheim. He pitched one inning and recorded his first save of the season. Thats also his 19th save of his career.

On 5/01 Brad pitched against the Texas Rangers. He faced one batter and gave up one hit. The Athletics win, 7-2.

On 5/02 Brad pitched against the Texas Rangers and faced one batter which he ended up walking. The Athletics win, 5-4.

On 5/04 Brad pitched against the Cleveland Indians and faced one batter. He gave up one hit.  The Athletics win, 3-1.

On 5/09 Brad pitched against the Texas Rangers and faced two batters. He gave up one hit and struck out one batter.

5/15 Brad pitched against the Chicago Whitesox and pitched an entire inning giving up only one hit.

5/16 Brad pitched against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and pitched an entire inning striking out one batter.

5/19 Brad pitched against the Minnesota Twins and pitched an entire inning giving up three hits, one run and striking out one batter. His ERA is now .66.

5-19-2011 Safeco Field

When I was walking down the sidewalk towards the stadium I noticed a huge crowd outside the third base gates. I was hoping they were just lining up to buy tickets. (It was Franklin Gutierrez fly-swatter day) But as I got closer the large crowd was getting their bags checked, their tickets scanned, and they were all receiving a fly-swatter. I sprinted down to the right field gates to make sure people weren’t entering the stadium there (They weren’t) and then I sprinted back to the third base gates, got my bag checked, ticket scanned, and got my fly-swatter. You’re probably saying “So what?” But not “So what.” It was 9:30am in the morning! The gates weren’t supposed to open for another 40 minutes! And here I am…inside already! I didn’t bother to ask around or hassle security with a “What’s going on” question. I just followed the crowd.

It turns out that the large crowd was a high school field trip from the surrounding Seattle high schools. The sixth annual Deca-Day at Safeco Field.

I figured that this crowd alone would drastically cut down my chances of getting a baseball. Since there obviously wasn’t going to be any batting practice (12:40pm start time) because of the early game and now a heaping load of high schoolers were my competition… It would be tough for sure.

Deca-Day promptly started at 9:45am and lasted right up intil 10:40am. And since it took place at Safeco Field you can probably guess what the speakers talked about. Yes. Getting a job at Safeco Field and what positions were available. Basically you get to start out as a “fielder”. Thats a fancy name for grounds crew member. Its a minimum wage job that is aimed at high school and college aged people and normally the application process begins in February. People used to be able to contact the Mariners and request applications to get onboard but in the last few years they have changed that. Now you have to contact an advisor in your school, then they will contact someone on the Mariners hiring staff and send your advisor a recruiting packet. You will it out, (Include cover letter and a resume) send it all back in and then you might get a phone call. After that comes the interview process and all the other hoopla. There was quite a large turnout for this as well.

And then this happened.

While the guest speakers were going on about what they do for the Mariners some Los Angeles Angels came out to start throwing the ball around. I had three guards around me so I didn’t want to get up and walk down to the front row. (Even though I should have done that from the start) It was about 15 minutes before the center field ‘Pen gates were set to open so I still had some time to burn. I quietly excused myself and headed to the bathroom. I figured I could run the clock out there, switch to my Angels hat and no one would be to the wiser. My plan actually worked. After 15 minutes of course. I came out of the bathroom and as the high schoolers were being excused one section at a time I simply strolled down to the front row. The center field gates were now open.

All 1 million high school kids seemed to have disappeared. I pretty much had the entire third base line to myself. And any high schoolers that did come down immediatly talked each other into going to the Mariners side of the stadium. So things weren’t as bad as I had once predicted.

Fernando Rodney, Scott Downs, Ervin Santana, and Tyler Chatwood all came out to stretch and toss the ball around. My buddy Josh (who I mentioned about in my last entry ) lined up behind Rodney, and Santana. I lined up behind Scott Downs but I had the most obnoxious fan standing beside me constantly calling out for a baseball and beating his glove with his fist. I could tell that Scott Downs wasn’t playing into his little game and declined just about everyone in the front row a baseball as he finished up playing catch. He had about four baseballs in his possession and when I realized he wasn’t going to throw one to me I quickly climbed a few rows of seats and headed towards the dugout. I stripped off my backpack, pulled off my jacket and tucked it down into a nearby seat and waited. Scott Downs was busy talking to a security guard that was on the field and as soon as he got done talking to him he started towards me. I knew this was my one and only chance to get that last baseball from Downs. Below is a picture of the annoying fan that caused me to work so hard for this baseball. He’s the short guy with the long, black hair.

Scott Downs slowly approached the dugout and I was the only one (with Angels gear on) standing there with my glove held high. I nodded to him and he tossed me the ball. At first it seemed like he was throwing it to someone behind me. But later I confirmed with my buddy Josh that there wasn’t anyone around me within twenty feet. The ball was all mine. I felt pretty good about that and I also felt pretty good at getting Scott Downs to throw me the ball. He isn’t the most personable guy in the Major Leagues.

Later I scooped up Fernando Rodney’s autograph on my ticket stub and talked with Ervin Santana. Some fans were asking him if he was going to make the All-Star team this year and he just laughed. I think that’s why I enjoy these games that are early in the afternoon so much. There isn’t the chaotic-ness of batting practice and millions of people trying to catch a baseball. I can sort of sit back, relax, and soak up the atmosphere at the stadium and usually get one on one with some of the more outgoing players.

After all that went down it was rather difficult to get another baseball let alone stay down in the lower box level. Security turned on their nazi-mode and started checking tickets. I was told to take some “quick pictures” and return to my seat by one guard. I blew him off though and kept taking pictures. It’s interesting to see just how far I can push these guys before they start getting tough. Normally they just ask a second time and 9 times out of 10 people comply.

One thing that was pretty awesome at the game was that some old dude brought a bag full of Hank Conger bobbleheads from when he was in the minor leagues. He gave the entire bag to Hank and he took them into the dugout to sign them I guess.

Above is a picture of Hank Conger sticking his head up while fans requested his autograph. He was very polite and pretty much obliged everyones’ request. I thought that was pretty awesome of him.

The Mariners won in walk-off fashion too. Carlos Peguero hit a deep fly ball to outfielder Torii Hunter in the bottom of the ninth inning with runners on, and Hunter ended up losing the battle with the sun, lost the ball, and didn’t catch it. It was sort of ironic because I was talking to Josh about how I love extra inning games and the Mariners have had only one extra inning game this year.

Game; May 19th 2011 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs Seattle Mariners

Gameballs; One

Attendance; 18,374

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $30.80 this season.

Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $13.00 this season

5-18-2011 Safeco Field

Game one of the the two game series versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim started today. I was pretty excited because I really like to watch Bobby Abreu play ball. He is such a diverse player. Its pretty unbelievable. And going into this game Abreu only needs two doubles to catch Lou Gehrig. The Iron Horse is 32nd all-time on the doubles list and Abreu is behind Todd Helton, and Ivan Rodriguez among active players on that list. To watch Abreu catch Gehrig at Safeco Field would be awesome.

Today wasn’t as disappointing as Monday’s game. When I ran inside I noticed I had forgotten to insert my USB card in my camera again. This would be the second time that has happened in the five years I’ve been running down baseballs. I think I should create my own list. How many times I can forget my USB card for my camera. I’m so far the only one I know. So I’m leading that list of all-time. Congratulations to me. What that means for you? This blog entry will have no pictures for you to look at and admire. And let me tell you; this was a good game to take lots of pictures.

My first baseball came after about ten minutes of waiting around for a home run ball to reach the centerfield bleachers. I started to walk through the bullpen area and some old dudes were calling out to Jack Wilson for a baseball. I kind of hap-hazardly posted up inbetween them thinking I had a chance if Jack Wilson could see me with my glove raised. He was also pre-occupied talking to some teammates and pump faked a throw a few times before he finally let loose. It was probably the easiest catch I have ever made. After that I lined up at the stairs and waited for the infamous horn to sound. When it did the race was on.

I was able to seek out one easter egg. Thats pretty decent since there were probably three total laying in the rows. My buddy Josh got the other two. You can check out his stats on www.mygameballs.com . Anyway. I played the hot corner for a little while but nothing really came my way. Torii Hunter sent a bullet towards Josh and I and I don’t think either one of us were in the right position to field in properly because it took a wicked bounce and deflected off both of our gloves. Somehow it ended up in left field and there was no helpful baseball player within reach to give us a little help. And of course you can’t rely on security guards to help out. They just stand there like mindless drones daydreaming of their dream shot of the day some unruley fan launches out onto the field so they can beat the ever living snot out of them. What a job, I tell you.

Inbetween batters I took the time to score Dan Haren’s autograph on my ticket stub. He has a very elegant signature and he even added his number too. I thought that was pretty awesome. After that I got Brandon League to toss me one, and I also caught a Brandon League overthrow that some kid missed. I do count that because no one had any possession of the baseball after the throw until I picked it up. I did, however, give it to the kid that missed it and he thanked me. I made sure to tell him I appreciated him saying thank you too. But if it were an adult that missed that throw I would have kept the ball. No doubt.

After BP ended I grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed out to the outfield. I made the mistake of moving one section too far towards centerfield and I was promptly booted. The guard wasnt a jerk about it. He made a comment about upper management really beating down their backs about people sitting in sections they don’t have a ticket for. He told me I could come back around the 5th inning. So I met up with Josh and we sat more towards the foul pole in the right field seats. We had a good time watching other people get the boot closer to the foul pole. The guard over there acted like she enjoyed kicking people out. And she kicked A LOT of people out.

The Mariners beat the Angels 3-0 behind a Jason Vargas strong outing. He struck out nine batters in 7 innings and Brandon League recorded another save. ( 10 ) I hung around the bullpen area looking for an opportunity to either get another baseball or possibly a lineup card or something. But neither happened.

Hey, if you’re bored you should follow me on Twitter. My handle is @MLBwayneMLB. I tweet a lot about baseball and other stuff too. Plus, I’m on Facebook. Check me out here; https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Wayne-Peck/111399878936587.

Also to get involved in my charity project make sure you visit my charity page at Crowdrise.com. Just search for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies. It will link you right to it. Thanks!

Game; May 18th 2011 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs Seattle Mariners

Gameballs; Four

Attendance; 16,992

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $30.40 this season.

Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $12.75 this season

5-16-2011 Safeco Field

I figured today would be an awesome day at the stadium. But everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The only thing that I did right was getting to the stadium early enough to be the first one inside. After that I missed a baseball sitting underneath some tables and then when I went to line up at the stairs there were like 5,000 old dudes in front of me all with enourmous bags full of stuff they wanted to get autographed from the Twins. So as I slowly climbed the stairs behind all these people I could literally feel all the opportunities slipping away.

Then when I was finally free I sprinted, and I mean I sprinted, towards the third base sections only to be beat out by ONE guy! He gobbled up all the easter eggs and I tried to put up a fuss about him taking all of them and not leaving one behind for anyone else hoping that he would toss me one but it didn’t work. He gave me an evil grin and continued towards the dugout. And then as I made my way back towards the concourse to continue looking some kid held one up in victory. It was nearly towards the end of batting practice that I was able to snag one. I dont know who hit it but it was a shot right to me. I had to lean over some seats to catch it and of course I banged up my knee doing so. It was a very disappointing night at Safeco Field that’s for sure.

I took some pictures of batting practice. Im not really going to go indepth of the entire BP time of me misplaying baseballs and basically looking like a dope running around the stadium trying to capitalize on catching one. So here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure instead.

 

Also take note that MLB just converted their blogging site over to WordPress. It’s supposed to be better and so far it’s pretty awesome. But I’m still trying to get the hang of inserting pictures and whatnot so consider this a trial run blog. The next ones should be better. Anyway. More pictures.

Here is a close up of Justin Morneau. He came wandering over to meet up with some family members. So I took a quick picture of him.

The Mariners played really well and won the game 5-2. Adam Kennedy went yard and then Carlos Peguero hit one out. It barely made it too. And Im pretty sure it was a foul ball but the Twins skipper didnt contest it. It stood as a home run.

Game; May 16th 2011 Minnesota Twins vs Seattle Mariners

Gameballs; One

Attendance; 14,859

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $28.80 this season.

Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $11.75 this season

5-8-2011 Safeco Field

Today was mother’s day. It was also another Little League day at Safeco Field. But I didn’t know it was another Little League day at Safeco Field. I assumed that was just a one day deal. But it wasn’t. To my initial shock I saw this when I ran inside…

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Batting practice was nearly unheard of, of happening on a Sunday. Mainly because a Sunday game follows a night game so I was pretty excited when I saw the BP cage up. There were a few Mariners throwing in shallow rightfield and some Whitesox throwing the ball around in front of their dugout. But no real signs that batting practice was going to happen. Before they allowed us entry to the entire stadium the BP cage was carted off the field by the grounds crew. So much for my excitement. The first chance I got I ran all the way around the stadium to see if I couldn’t catch an overthrow from Tom Wilhelmsen. 

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Just as soon as I ran past the Mariners dugout to snap this picture I heard the ever-familiar sound of a baseball smacking into the seats. My feet stopped and I turned around to give chase even before my brain could register that a ball made it into the seats. I was even turned around before I could locate the baseball. I had a little help from a nearby security guard that was trying to point out which section the baseball was in. I knew it was on its way down to the front row. So I patiently walked towards the field looking in each row until I found it. Since it was Sunday and there was no sign of BP to happen plus it was Little League Day, getting that baseball took a huge weight off my shoulders.

I approached Tom Wilhelmsen as he continued playing catch and we exchanged friendly greetings. I was going to ask him for a baseball but I figured he saw me pick up the one near the M’s dugout so I saved asking him for another game in the future. When the Whitesox came out to throw the baseball around it was extremely tough to get their attention. Mainly due to this…

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As soon as hordes of people starting walking around the stadium I knew that every single baseball on the field would go directly to a youngster. So I scouted for any opportunity to grab an autograph. And a picture.

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That’s Angie Mentink. She is the Root Sports sportscaster for every Mariner home game and Seattle Seahawk games as well. She was really fun to talk to. We talked about her short stint with the Colorado Silver Bullets and I also got to share with her my charity for the Seattle-King Co. Humane Society. 

I decided to head down into the ‘Pen area and get something to eat. Since it was Sunday I figured I’d try something new. I’ve never had a crepe before so I figured that would be a good option. Here is where I ate…

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I bought the roast beef crepe and it wasn’t that good. Maybe it was just me but it lacked flavor. It was messy, and too juicy, and it wasn’t very filling. Plus I don’t like mushrooms and it came with mushrooms. The cheese wasn’t that flavorful either. If I had to rate this place I would probably rate it a three. (ten being the best and one being the worst) The price was average but I didn’t buy a soda there so that helped keep the price down. Instead I bought a soda at the Blazing Bagel and it was much needed to wash this nastiness down. Blegh!

I sat here for about five innings and then I moved down into the ‘Pen area…

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When I stood by the Mariners bullpen I saw Jason Phillips (the Mariners bullpen catcher) doing this…

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Jason Phillips is the Mariner standing in the middle of the three in the picture. He is also rubbing mud on baseballs. Yes that is genuine New Jersey Mud that he was coating on several baseballs. I watched him for about fifteen minutes rub mud on about eight baseballs. It was pretty awesome. I assumed a grounds keeper did that job or maybe the ball boys. But I never thought the bullpen catcher would be doing it. Maybe he was bored. But it was still awesome to see. Phillips also spit on his hands to get the mud wet prior to rubbing the balls down. So if you’ve ever handled a Major League baseball make sure you wash your hands afer handling one. Go here to watch the story about the special mud.

Aside from all that cool stuff, the Mariners were beat again. This time in extra innings. Brandon League took the loss after he gave up a couple base hits and Paul Konerko went 5-5. How cool is that. I thought about going after the lineup card just for that reason alone but I wanted to try to get one more baseball before the game ended. I didnt go to the umpire tunnel like I usually do because lately I’ve been getting shut down from the home plate umpire. So I figured I’d try something else. But I was denied by both bullpens too. How ironic.

When I got home from the game this was waiting for me on the counter…

 

 

100_0423.JPGI contacted the MillCreek View newspaper in my community and asked them to run a story about me and my snagging abilities for charity this year. They happily obliged and that was the outcome.

 

 

Game; May 8th 2011 Chicago Whitesox vs Seattle Mariners

Gameballs; One

Attendance; 26,074

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $28.40 this season.

Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $11.50 this season

 

 

 

 

5-7-2011 Safeco Field

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You will not regret getting a bagel from this place. Its right between the Mariners team store and the leftfield gates. I tried the cheddar, chive, and garlic hot dog bagel and it was amazing. Also if you want to get a soft drink but you don’t want to pay the ridiculously high price of one inside the stadium, I would suggest buying one from here. They cost $1.97 and you can buy them inside the stadium. Right inside the leftfield gates just hang a hard right and you can use the walk up window.

Once I got inside I saw this.

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And I saw this.

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I asked a nearby security guard why the Chicago Whitesox were already on the field taking BP. They had no idea. One nearby fan explained to me that it was little league day and batting practice would be ending in twenty minutes. Twenty minutes??!! So I had about fifteen minutes to get on the board or my chances were pretty slim. With that being said I noticed a baseball in behind the centerfield fence down in the batters eye area. Unfortunatly there wasn’t a security guard that would go get it. Fortunatly a deep drive was hit towards centerfield and both the Whitesox athletic trainer and one of the players were in hot persuit. They even ran through the open fence to get the ball. I quickly held up my glove and called out to the athletic trainer that ended up with the ball. He nodded to me and lobbed a high arching throw that missed my glove and bounced over to some fans that had no idea what was going on. Plus I had some guy right on my hip pocket yapping in my ear and encouraging me to jump the fence and go get the baseball in the batters eye area.

To make matters worse? Here came security. One of the security guards started telling me not to jump down there because I could get ejected. I explained I wasn’t going to and that I knew the ground rules of the stadium. She insisted to explain to me the importance of not jumping down there. And I continued to insist that I wasn’t going to do such a thing. Finally a security guard came out of no where and lobbed me the baseball. It somehow ended up squirting out of my glove and dropping back down. So I had to hear another earfull from the security guard of how important it was not to jump down there to get the baseball. In the end I got the baseball. So I suppose it was worth it.

When we were allowed to explore the entire stadium I wandered over to the first base side. When I arrived it wasn’t much longer when a foul ball came my way. It went over my head and landed in the middle of two sections. I was the only one within twenty feet of the baseball so I had an easy grab. Plus the ball didn’t bounce around. I was pretty surprised it stayed where it did. After that batting practice came to an end. Since it was little league day this was how it went until the game started.

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Hundreds of people walked the entire field. About the only cool thing that happened was Paul Konerko came out to talk with some close friends or family members. I approached him for an autograph but he said he wasn’t signing right now. So I just took some pictures instead.

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When he jogged off the field I told him I was going to catch his 400th career home run. He kind of laughed and shrugged his shoulders. “I hope!” he said. I told him to not worry about it because it was going to happen. After he went into the dugout Edwin Jackson poked his head out and I got him to sign my ticket stub.

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He was a little stand-offish at first but eventually with enough beggging I got him to sign an autograph. It was the ultimate experience.

The Mariners on the other hand simply got rocked. By the fifth inning it was already 3-0 and the Whitesox never looked back. Chicago won 6-0. I sat most of the game behind the rightfield foul pole. Those seats aren’t as heavily guarded as the other ones so I really didn’t get harassed by security. I might make those seats my normal seats during large crowds. The outfield gets too packed which makes it hard to catch any home run baseballs.

Game; May 7th 2011 Chicago Whitesox vs Seattle Mariners

Gameballs; Three

Attendance; 26,288

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $28.00 this season.

Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $11.25 this season

5-6-2011 Safeco Field

The Mariners were hosting the Chicago Whitesox tonight plus it was Ichiro Suzuki hit counter bobblehead night. So I figured Safeco would be packed. But batting practice wasn’t too bad. The lines weren’t as bad as I thought but I did have to show up an extra hour early to secure my spot in line. I didn’t attempt to enter the stadium at the centerfield gates this time because all of the gates were opening at 4:40pm. So I entered the stadium at the rightfield gates. As soon as I ran in I was quickly on the board with two easer eggs that I found in the rows. And as I was exiting the section there was a sharply hit foul ball that landed a few rows to my left. There was another fan chasing it down by trying to jump over the rows to get to it. But I let gravity work on my side and let the ball come to me. I gave it to the guy just for his hard effort at trying to chase it down. I thought he was going to seriously injure himself.

After the Mariners exited the field I ran over to the Chicago Whitesox dugout area. Omar Vizquel was playing catch with his son and just about everyone and their mother was trying to get his autograph. Vizquel isn’t known for being the friendliest guy either. So the fans that got his autograph should consider themselves very lucky.

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Here is a picture of Omar and his kid.

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After chasing Omar Vizquel’s autograph for about ten minutes I decided to go play foul territory for some baseballs. Here was my view.

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And then after standing in that area for about 30 minutes I decided to go back down to the Whitesox dugout in hopes that the pitching coach might hook me up with a baseball after batting practice ended.

See how packed the rightfield bleachers were? Its tough to get a home run ball when its that tight.

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About the only really cool thing that happened at tonight’s game (besides getting an Ichiro bobblehead) was that Rob Dyrdek showed up to throw out the first pitch. He came over to sign some autographs and I snapped a few pictures of him.

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He was really cool about hooking people up with autographs before the game. I was in line for a few minutes to see if I could get his autograph on my ticket stub but so many older teenagers just shoved their way to the front of the line. One of the security guards tried to get things organized as best as he could but it was pretty much a loss cause. I even had adults shoving their way past me to get his autograph. But Rob was cool about it. He signed as many as he could until he had to go.

I made my way back to the Chicago side of the stadium and waited on the warmup ball from the Whitesox. I was quickly ran out by security but it really didnt matter. The Whitesox never came out to warmup in front of the dugout anyway. After that I made my way out to the outfield to sit and watch the game. It was another exciting Mariner win. They won with a Brendan Ryan single in walk-off fashion. The stadium exploded with cheers as the Mariners ran out onto the field to smother Ryan with rabbit punches, and a standing dogpile.

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Game; May 6th 2011 Chicago Whitesox vs Seattle Mariners

Gameballs; Three

Attendance; 31,912

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $27.20 this season.

Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $10.75 this season.

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