May 23rd, 2012

5-21-2012 Safeco Field

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’d like to join my official Snagging Baseballs for Puppies Facebook page, just click here! And if you want to like Collection of Baseball on Facebook, click here!

 

 

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