Author Archive

4/25/2013 Safeco Field

I have this buddy of mine in Milwaukee who chases down game home runs, right? His name is Shawn Bosman. Well, I’m headed to Chicago in September and him and I are going to hangout for like a week! I’m totally stoked about this trip, too. Here’s how the trip is going to play out. On September 13th, I’m going to fly out to Kansas City to partake in a little batting practice with some Kansas City Royals Alumni at Kauffman Stadium on the following day. I did this a few years ago and here’s a picture of me making a play on a fly ball in the outfield at Kauffman:

34581_408184546378_6680052_n

After I’m all done with that (I’ll be there from 8am-12pm) I’m jumping in the car and driving to St. Louis to watch a game at Busch Stadium. Originally this trip was just to go to Kansas City, do the batting practice thing, and come home. But then I was like, “hey, the Mariners are going to be playing in St. Louis that weekend!” So that’s how I ended up extending the trip more Eastward. After that, I’m back in the car heading towards Chicago. I’ll be in Chicago from the 16th roughly until the 21st. I’m visiting U.S Cellular Field first and then Wrigley. I’ve been to Wrigley Field once in my whole life. I went there in 2008 for a meet and greet that the Cubs put on. I met Lou Piniella and Allan Trammel among others, but never took pictures and never blogged about it. So I’m seriously excited to see the field again, and maybe sit in the Steve Bartman seat along with watching Shawn snag home run baseballs like this one:

After Chicago, I’m heading up to Miller Park with Shawn (since he’s from Milwaukee and since we are meeting in Chicago), why not head back to Milwaukee with him? I should be at Miller Park on the 22nd of September if everything goes right. And since it’s an 11:10am start time, it’ll give me plenty of time after the game to head to Target Field in Minnesota. It’s not a very far drive, either. I was sort of surprised. 467 miles. After that, I’m going to attempt to catch a flight out of Minnesota to return to Seattle to catch one last game of the season at Safeco Field on the 25th. I really wanted to start this trip in Colorado at Coors Field, but their schedule didn’t mesh with mine, so boo to the Rockies.

My day started out at the Pike Place Market:

IMG_0777

And then I ran into Dave Coulier throwing fresh salmon around the market place…

IMG_0775

…this weekend Dave was doing some standup in Kirkland at a comedy club. It was really cool to see him in person, too. If you have NO idea who Dave Coulier is, he’s the dude from Full House. It took me like, 2.5 seconds to recognize him from that show. Truly awesome! Before I headed to the stadium (which was literally right up the street from the Market) I stopped in for this tasty treat:

IMG_0782

When I got to Safeco Field I met up with established book author Zack Hample. The man needs no introduction, all you have to do is Google his name and you’ll see who I’m talking about. And if you’re a regular reader of mine, you’ll know Zack and I hung out at Safeco two years ago when I went to Japan! Here we are hanging outside Safeco before the gates opened:

IMG_0785

When the gates opened, Zack went his way and I went mine. Well, actually, I hung out on the “party porch” or the ‘Pen area and watched batting practice. A few baseballs came my way here and there but I pretty much let the crowd have their fun. More towards the end of BP, I started my search for some good food. The thing about the Mariners, the team has sucked for the last few years really bad so the staff have worked extremely hard to bring awesome food to the stadium. Like these:

IMG_0798

I got them from Edgar’s Cantina. It’s a new addition to Safeco this year and I’m telling you, it’s well worth the visit. These little babies were $9.00 a haul but man, oh man, they were deeeeeelicious!!!

IMG_0801

I hate that they ripped all the seats out this area. If you haven’t been to Safeco yet this season, I’m standing in the area where there used to be seats. Now it’s another standing room only area. It’s nice and all, but I hate standing all game long.

After I gobbled down some mini-taco thingies from Edgar’s, I scooted down to the ‘Pen to grab me a Pen dog! Take a look at this monster…

IMG_0805

…It has all the fixings on it; cream cheese, mustard, ketchup, peppers…wow! Just full of flavor and a real treat! And a complimentary soda given out by the Mariners for being apart of the designated driver program? What could be better!

The Mariners put on quite a show to pull out the win. Carlos Peguero hit the third longest home run at Safeco and it sailed directly over my head:

meeIt was a monster home run, too! 451 feet! Barry Bonds hit the farthest at 462. And Raul Ibanez hit the second longest. Here’s the actual footage of the Peguero  home run:

Kyle Seager also went deep to add onto the Mariners 6-0 victory!

IMG_0810

I took the above photo for two reasons. The first reason was to show just how awesome the new scoreboard in centerfield is. And the second reason is to point out Albert Pujols’ nasty cold sores!! EEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWW!! If you don’t see them, look harder! They’re there!! How gross!!

Alright, anyway. Enough of that. As you know I’m still doing some awesome donations this year. I’m not catching baseballs for anything, sadly. Maybe next year, folks.

Bud Norris’ Charity; CandleLighters- 3 W and 16 strikeouts have raised $10 this season.

Seattle Mariners/Seattle Humane Society Charity; 9 wins have raised $9 this season.

Got a Twitter? Give me a follow!

Got a Facebook? Give me a like!

Want to read more blogs from me? Check out this blog!

4/10/2013 Safeco Field

Ahhh! Baseball is back! And since I missed the Mariners home opener, I figured a nice first game of the year on Wednesday would suffice! And it was truly remarkable and one to remember! There were a couple big reasons why I wanted to attend this game. The number one reason was to meet Bud Norris. If you’re following me on Twitter, you’ll know I tweet at him a lot concerning the fact that he’s been able to keep Angels Slugger Albert Pujols to a ridiculously low batting average. Which I find that incredible. Also, here’s a little back story on Norris. When I was out in St. Louis, I sort of met him at Busch Stadium. He came out of the stadium after the game and signed a few autographs and I was able to snag an autograph from him. I started following him from then on and he’s made amazing progress in his career through hard work and determination. This year, Norris got the opening day nod for the Houston Astros.

The other reason why I wanted to attend this game was to gauge how the Astros play in the American League. I’m sure by now everyone knows that the Astros moved from the N.L Central to the A.L West and so far they’ve adapted quite nicely. I’m slowly becoming an Astros fan, believe it or not. Yeah, yeah, my loyalty still lies with Seattle just because I was raised in the area for 90% of my life and grew up watching the Mariners in the Kingdome, but every once in a while I like to shift my loyalty to other teams and especially to my favorite players.

A few days prior to this game, I decided to come up with some alternative charity ideas because this year I’m not chasing baseballs in stadiums like I have in the past. Those days are probably in the books, folks. It was fun while it lasted. The reason behind my decision (not like anyone cares) to stop chasing baseballs like a mad man is because I want to enjoy my time at the stadium. I want to try different foods and catch up with friends and talk to people and take awesome pictures and not worry so much about how many baseballs I can snag. So this year, I’m donating money to certain charities. Here’s the breakdown:

For every Mariners win (on the road and at home) I will donate $1.00 to the Seattle Humane Society. I created Snagging Baseballs for Puppies, just so you know, so I’m a huge dog lover AND I’ve got inside connections with the Seattle Humane Society because of that.

For every win that Bud Norris puts up, I will be donating $2.00 to the Candle Lighters. And the Candle Lighters is a charity that Norris is involved in. So I’m pretty stoked to be able to donate some cash towards that. Also, in conjunction to every win he posts, I’ll be donating $50 for every shut out win he throws!

And finally, for every baseball Shawn Bosman snags, I’ll be donating .10 cents to the Wounded Warrior Project.

BHjN635CcAAig33

This year is going to be awesome! So let’s get to Safeco, shall we?

So I’m down on the lower level, right? The Astros are starting to trickle out and I’m looking for Bud Norris! I couldn’t find him anywhere for the better part of batting practice. And then, he appeared out of the dugout! I was standing next to two Astros fans but it wasn’t hard to spot him. I pointed at him and sort of waved and got an awesome wave back! So now all I had to do was wait. I wanted to ask Norris in person how he’s able to handle Pujols so well!

I wandered around in the lower seating bowl and snapped a few pictures of the new Edgar’s restaurant (which I visited later) and of the new big screen. Here’s the shot of Edgar’s:

IMG_0757

Pretty awesome, right?? Well it was equally impressive walking around in there. The only thing I didn’t like is that they took out the seats. It’s basically standing room only in there and I since my knees are shot from tens years of military service, I can’t stand on my feet for an entire baseball game. Which sucks because I’d love to stand in there and watch a game. It’s all good, though. I had incredible seats behind the Astros dugout, anyway.

So batting practice was about to finish up, the grounds crew started pulling the BP equipment up and then the Astros started to run off the field. The four of us who were standing down the third base line started to yell and wave our arms at Norris and he came running over! Oh, it was awesome! I’d finally get my chance to meet this guy and ask him all about King Albert in person! Norris came over and started shaking hands and he signed an autograph or two and then I asked:

“Bud, so I have to ask you. In all seriousness, how do you manage to tame Albert Pujols?” I asked.

You see…for two seasons now, I’ve been tweeting to Bud about Pujols. Honestly, I am really impressed how he’s able to handle him. I even wrote up an amazing blog entry on A View From the Bullpen regarding Norris and his ability to wreck Pujols batting average. Click here to read it.

As soon as I asked him that question, I received a second handshake from him sort of like, “Oh, YOU’RE the guy who tweets me about Pujols!” Norris responded smiling, “I get that question from everyone.” he then added, “Pujols is a very aggressive first-pitch hitter, isn’t he.” he said.

“Yeah, he is. He is indeed.” I said. “So you just sort of go after that.” I continued.

I think he then said something along the lines of exploiting his [Pujols] weakness or something like that. And it makes total sense! If you really watch Pujols, I mean, like, really watch him, he is an aggressive first pitch hitter. And as a pitcher, if you can throw him some nasty stuff that he will swing at, you can get ahead of him in the count and just wreck his day! It was an amazing conversation to say the least.

IMG_0759

I wished him luck on his season and off he went into the dugout. What a day so far. After BP finalized, I gulped down a free soda, ate me a cheeseburger (which is $9.00 now) and went to check out Edgar’s. The coolest thing was this:

IMG_0761

Crazy, right? You can look right into the visiting team’s bullpen! How cool is that?! After that, I went and found my seats and waited for the Mariners game to begin, Here was my view:

IMG_0767

Great seats right near home plate.

The Astros started pounding on the Mariners early just like the previous game and they didn’t let up until it was over. Shocked about how well the Astros played this road series, I couldn’t help but to secretly smile a little under my Mariners cap adorned on my head. I had a feeling the Mariners pitching wasn’t as strong as everyone has been claiming, and even though it’s just two weeks into the season, I’m thinking this might be a long season for Mariners fans if this keeps up.

The good news is that Safeco Field has ten different types of beers on tap to help drown people’s’ sorrows AND they have a humongous scoreboard out in centerfield! Plus, the hat trick is pretty neat. If anything, go to a Mariners game for the hat trick.

Real quick before I close this entry. I’ve added a couple more dates to my Chicago trip. I’m participating in some batting practice with the Royals Alumni at Kauffman Stadium on September 14th and then I’m heading to Busch Stadium on the 15th to watch the Cardinals vs the Mariners. Then I’m heading to Chicago (as most of you know) for a week and some change to visit US Cellular and Wrigley. Come say hi if you can. Also, I’m adding a Los Angeles trip and my trip to AT&T Park on May 3rd is nearly done. I just have to buy plane tickets.

My trips to the Oakland Coliseum, Safeco and Angels Stadium are pretty spur of the moment since I can pretty much make those one day trips. So anytime I can see the Astros play with Bud Norris pitching, and I have the day off and whatnot, you can pretty much count on me going to those games.

Okay, that’s a wrap! Until next time, faithful followers!

IMG_0774

 

Got a Twitter? Give me a follow!

Got a Facebook? Give me a like!

Want to read more blogs from me? Check out this blog!

Player Profile: Bronson Arroyo

I spent a lot of my first couple of years going to baseball games knee-deep in St. Louis Cardinal territory. I know, feel bad for me, right? I wasn’t a huge Cardinal fan by any means and I did put my living in the midwest to good use by traveling to other baseball cities like Chicago, Kansas City and even as far as Texas. While I was doing my thing at Busch Stadium, I did get the chance to meet Bronson Arroyo. I can’t recall which game it was or even the year because it was so long ago, but what I do remember was he was a super nice guy to me and so friendly.

He was down the third base line signing some autographs and as he started to walk by I quickly called out to him if he’d be willing to take a picture with me:

252050_10150194048706379_562600_n

That wasn’t the only time I’ve met up with Arroyo. I’ve also met him outside of Busch Stadium when he was on his way back to the hotel (he declined signing an autograph because of his arthritic elbow) and I met him at a special Reds/fan meet and greet I attended a few years ago. He couldn’t sign autographs then either but offered pictures. Really awesome guy.

Got a Twitter? Give me a follow!

Got a Facebook? Give me a like!

Want to read more blogs from me? Check out this blog!

Player Profile: Miguel Olivo

422739_10150520102336379_914724590_n

Miguel Olivo has always been one of my favorite players. I first saw him playing baseball in Kansas City. I’ve heard plenty of stories about how durable he is. Like the time he took a back swing from Albert Pujols and played out the rest of the game with a concussion. Another time, Olivo passed a kidney stone and returned to finish the game. He’s also known for a lot of pass balls. That’s one stat I do not care about because he’s very reliable.

For the last couple of seasons, I’ve been going to a lot of Mariner games. I’ve even been to a few Oakland games where the Mariners were playing. Each game I attended, I made it a point to wave at Olivo and he generally waved back except when I went to Japan to watch the M’s and the A’s play. I think he was just too busy.

The above picture is myself and Olivo at the 2012 Seattle Mariners Fanfest where I got to meet him, ask him a question during the Dugout Dialogue and I even got a signed bat from him. And of course, the picture. The future of Olivo is unsure at this moment. Since he is no longer with the Mariners, I’m not sure where he will end up. The Mets have perked interest in him, but nothing has panned out as of yet. I hope a team within flying distance signs him. I think he’d make a great addition to any team and be a positive contributor.

 

Got a Twitter? Give me a follow!

Got a Facebook? Give me a like!

Want to read more blogs from me? Check out this blog!

2012 in review-Collection of Baseball

Here is the 2012 annual review of my blog. Before you scroll down and click the link to read all of the fantastic stats that WordPress has put together, I wanted to give some special shoutouts. First, to my top commentors. Mateo Fischer in Minnesota, Tood Cook on the East coast, Nick Badders in California, and @NYBisons (obviously from New York). It’s great to have such loyal readers and commentors. I’d also like to give a special shoutout to all the 32,000 views I’ve accumulated over the last couple of years. I range anywhere from 25 views a day to sometimes 75-100. It’s really nice to have such dedicated readers. And not all of the readers are from America. I have quite a following from Australia, Japan, The Netherlands, Mexico and Russia. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Click here to see the complete report.

Century Link Field 12-30-12

Wow! My very first Seahawks game at the new Century Link Field in downtown Seattle! This is actually my third NFL game I’ve seen in my lifetime. And I’m proud to say that each game I’ve seen has been the Seattle Seahawks. My first game I saw was against the New York Giants when the Hawks played football in the Kingdome. I think I may have been like, 13 or 14 years old. I went with my Dad and the neighbors. It was pretty awesome, as far as I can remember. My second game was in St. Louis at the Edward Jones Dome. I watched the St. Louis Rams play but that wasn’t as exciting because both teams were looking at losing records and the attendance was really low.

Today would be extra special because not only was I about to see an awesome game with awesome fans in Century Link, I was also going to visit the ‘Pen at Safeco Field. I hadn’t been inside Safeco Field since May and I was dying to be there. And since Safeco was getting sort of a face-lift, I was extra excited to see how things were shaping up. After all, this is my home stadium where I ballhawk in and I wanted to get a sneak peek of how things were changing. As soon as I entered Safeco, I immediately started looking around and taking pictures. I probably took over 50 pictures of the construction going on. But I’m only going to post the important ones for you to see because…well, that’s about all you need to see!

I wandered up to the second level and started looking around. Here’s what I saw:

IMG_0711

The above picture shows some construction in front of the visitors bullpen. I’m not exactly sure what they’re doing other than moving the fences in around the entire outfield. So I guess this is apart of it. Also, (which I will show soon enough) they’re turning the left field bleachers into an open air restaurant called “Edgar’s Cantina” which is named after our beloved DH, Edgar Martinez. It should be interesting but it takes a little bit away from my chances of scooping up baseballs. So, understandably, I have mixed feelings about it. Here’s the construction in the LF area…

IMG_0714

…the seats have been removed, as you can tell, and they’re getting ready to open that area up. It’s kind of sad to see those seats go because the few times I did sit there, I really enjoyed that spot.

Here’s the right field portion of the construction:

IMG_0712

You can kind of tell where the fences are going to be at from where they’ve layed down that grey looking dirt stuff. Also, take note of the scoreboard that’s being built. Pretty sweet, huh?! It’ll be exciting to see Safeco after all this mess is done. Meanwhile, I had a Seahawks game to attend! I didn’t stay in the ‘Pen very long and off I went towards the Clink!

When I got across the street, I was slightly confused as to where to go. Being that this was my first Hawks game, I didn’t have my routine down like I do at Safeco for Mariners games. I got in some line that seemed like the right place to be to enter Century Link but (another cool thing for sports fans) I accidentally got in line for the Century Link Field House. The Field House is basically a place where Hawks fans can tailgate indoors prior to kick-off. If the people behind me weren’t talking about it, I probably would’ve been really lost. I snapped this picture right before stepping out of line:

IMG_0716

I’d like to take this moment to thank the Safeco Field staff for not putting Mariners fans through the same routine the Seahawks staff put the Hawks fans through. Metal detectors? Strict bag searches? If Safeco went to that, consider my time watching live baseball games at the stadiums over. This was a real pain in the ass. And let me tell you why; when you get up to the security guy, you have to empty all your pockets. Just like you would at a TSA checkpoint in the airport. I was surprised they didn’t make me take off my shoes! If they touch on anything that makes the detector beep, they question you like you’re a criminal. It was such a hassle. The plus side (and I’m pretty sure this is why they do what they do) is you can bring whatever you want into the stadium. So I’ve heard.

I had a ticket in section 126 which was right behind the end zone so I had no problems getting through the security guards that were standing guard in that area. Friendly? No, sir. Of course, with my winter beard, my heavy-duty leather coat and my black beanie on my head, I sort of looked like a trouble maker:
1

Really, I just wanted to get as close to the field as possible to take some awesome pictures. And since I was there so early, I had a lot of time to kill. And I got some awesome pictures!

Here’s a picture of the field:

IMG_0720

And that was pretty much my view during the game. It was actually a very nice seat for what I paid ($130). I was shocked when I got to my seat and thought back on how much I paid for the ticket. I guess the people who had those seats couldn’t go at the last moment and just wanted to get something back. Usually those seats run around $150, I think. The game was sold out so I had to resort to Stubhub to get the ticket, which I’m not a huge fan of because I like to get authentic ticket stubs from games I attend.

Anyway. I didn’t run around the stadium and explore like I would at a MLB stadium. I don’t know why. I was super-excited to be at the game, amongst the Seahawk fans, and to just be in the playoff atmosphere. Everyone was excited. Everyone was pumped and ready for football. It was such an awesome experience! The thing I noticed about Seahawk fans as opposed to Mariner fans, Seahawk fans seem a little more blue-collared. They seem a little bit more gritty and the backbone of Seattle. The working class. It was incredible. Mariners fans seem a little bit more family oriented.

While I was standing at my seat, a Seahawks fan who I assume attends every home game, placed a St. Louis Rams door mat in the walk way and then encouraged everyone to wipe their feet! I thought that was so unique and awesome! Well, until drunk guys decided to spit on the mat and pretend to poop on it and wipe their butts. Like, okay, guy. You made your point, move along. The kids stomping on the mat was priceless, though:

IMG_0731

Seattle attracts such interesting characters. If I took pictures of all of them, this blog would be one giant entry of how awesome Hawks fans really are! Nevermind how loud this freaking stadium got during the game, just people watching and seeing how unique we really are out here really made my day:

IMG_0744

Before the game, the Seahawks are really amazing at recognizing the “12th man” who is kind of a tribute to the fans. And here’s a pre-game ritual involving the 12th man…

IMG_0745

…how cool is that?! A gigantic 12th Man jersey unravels down in the Hawks Nest over the fans! I really wanted to sit in the Hawks Nest for this game but there were no tickets available. My seat was amazing, anyway, but next season I’ll sure be sitting in the Hawks Nest!

As far as the game went, it seemed like an utter disaster. Russell Wilson was sacked five times in the first half. I figured since this was my first Seahawks game in the Clink, of course the game would go like this. The Seahawks were held scoreless in the 1st quarter and it seemed like the Rams were just running all over them. It wasn’t looking good. Miraculously, the Seattle Seahawks were able to pull a win out of what seemed to be heading towards a devastating loss! Century Link was so loud I could barely hear myself yelling over the noise! And my throat is so sore now…but it was so worth the experience! Next year, I’d like to travel to Candlestick and watch a 49er’s game and then watch a Raiders game in the Coliseum just to compare. The Seahawks are heading to Washington D.C to face the Redskins in a first round playoff which makes me sort of sad because I wanted to watch a playoff game in Century Link.

Maybe next year, right?

IMG_0717

Got a Twitter? Give me a follow!

Got a Facebook? Give me a like!

Want to read more blogs from me? Check out this blog!

Autographed Baseball Auction

I did this auction once before and it was pretty successful. I was able to raise quite a bit of money for the Seattle Humane Society (which is my charity of choice) and since I’m the founder of Snagging Baseballs for Puppies, all proceeds went to the shelter. Some of the history on these autographed baseballs is that they’re all authentic. I’ve met the current or former player in person and acquired the autograph. Some players I met at MLB Fanfests and some I’ve met at the stadiums I’ve visited. Like the Ryan Rowland-Smith autographed baseball, I met him at Safeco Field and got him to sign the baseball prior to him entering the stadium. Same with the Brian Moehler signed baseball. I caught up with him before a game at Busch Stadium.

So on with it, shall we? Below is a picture of the baseballs I’m parting with. Here’s the deal. Each signed baseball took a lot of resources, time and energy to get. I got a little bit of a personal time with that specific player so they mean a lot to me. So why am I parting with them? Because I’m trying to find great ways to make people happy and get some money donated to my charity. If you’d like one of these signed baseballs, leave a comment below or shoot an email to WaynePeck@Yahoo.com letting me know what baseball you want and a good address so that I can send it to you. When you claim a baseball, make sure you are able to donate. Although, donating is not required, it’s a nice gesture and kind of defeats the purpose of this whole thing if you don’t donate. The minimum donation amount is $5.00.

Here are the baseballs:

IMG_0701

 

Top row from left to right: Rich Hacker, Brian Moehler

Second row from left to right: Dave McKay, Ryan Rowland-Smith

Baseball on far left: Jose Cruz

Third row from left to right: Glenn Braggs, Bruce Chen

Fourth row from left to right: Jim Maloney, Gary Mathews Jr

 

So there you go! Here’s the link to my official Seattle Humane Society charity page and all you have to do is click on the “Support Wayne Peck” link and you’re off and running! Thanks to all that have taken an interest thus far!

 

 

 

 

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! Interested in following me on Twitter? Click here!

Donation Time; Snagging Baseballs for Puppies

Well, folks! It’s that time! The World Series has ended, the Giants swept the Tigers in four games! That’s pretty awesome! And since the World Series has ended, that means that the 2012 baseball season is officially over. That also means it’s time to collect donations from the folks that have graciously promised to donate to my charity, Snagging Baseballs for Puppies! I’m excited as you are and so is the Seattle Humane Society! If you’re reading this blog entry and you’ve made a donation, feel free to visit this page and donate! If you experience any difficulties trying to donate, email me at WaynePeck@Yahoo.com and we can set something up or I can help you along the way!

Thanks for all that have donated in the past. And thanks for all the new donors this season and, of course, any future donors that want to jump on board! I’ll also send out some emails or tweets or Facebook messages to those that have pledged a donation just as a friendly reminder!

My stats this year are 52 baseballs snagged. That’s way down from last year, but I’ll be attending more games this next season, hopefully starting out in Houston!

Alright, my friends. Be well and hope to hear from you!

 

-Wayne Peck; Founder of Snagging Baseballs for Puppies

Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 10-10-2012 (ALDS Game 4)

Back at the Coliseum for another round of Athletics baseball! On Tuesday, I was only able to snag one baseball. I was hoping for a little magic during BP today, but alas, that really didn’t happen. I only snagged one baseball again, and here’s how it played out.

As soon as I ran inside the Coliseum, I saw this:

I thought for sure I’d get a toss-up. I knew the majority of the Tigers pitching staff, so I quickly switched out my hats to my Detroit one and ran down to the railing. I pulled my camera back and out and snapped this photo…

…do you see the Tigers player directly in line with me? Okay, look just beyond him to his throwing partner. See how he’s in motion to throw the ball? Well, as soon as I pocketed my camera, the ball came wheeling right for me. At the time, I didn’t even have my glove on to make a clean catch. But what made it worse was, the player directly in front of me made sort of a half-attempt to catch the ball. When he did, the ball glanced off his glove which gave me even less time to react, so all I could do was turn my shoulder and I took a hit nearly right between my shoulder blades. The only thing on my mind was to locate that ball. I heard it clang around in the seats and then I heard it rolling away. Possibly down some steps. But it went absolutely no where. The ball stayed in the aisle I was standing in and rolled just behind my feet:

Tada! No, the ball didn’t roll into my glove…I placed it there so I could gather myself up. It’s pretty scary to be hit with a baseball or have one coming directly at you and not have any time to react to it. And this wasn’t the first time I was hit with a baseball. Last year, at Safeco Field, I took a Cj Wilson fast ball to the inside of my thigh. Luckily, it didn’t hit me an inch farther in or I’d probably be missing a certain part of me, if you catch my drift.

The rest of batting practice was pretty much a bust and so was the game. I had standing room only tickets like last nights outing so I knew I’d be really limited to where I could go. I tried to stay down in the lower seating bowl the whole time, you know, walking around, talking with random people, but eventually the security guards sniffed me out and started asking me for my ticket when they saw me. I saved them the trouble and told them I had SRO tickets and I was on my way up the concourse to the upper seating area. And that was pretty much it. I had to watch the game from places like this…

…and again, it absolutely sucked. I guess I shouldn’t really be complaining though. I only paid like, $45 bucks for one ticket. So whatever. I did however sneak down after the game to the A’s dugout to see this happen:

No, that’s not a picture I took. The crowd was so crazy down by the dugout, people were shoving, and laughing, and jumping all around, and hugging each other, I couldn’t get my camera still enough to catch a good picture of what was happening. At one point in time, some random dude took my A’s hat off, kissed it, and slapped it back on my head! I was so awesome to be in the mix with people who genuinely loved their team! Even though I’ve been to a handful of A’s games with crowds as low as 9,000, this place had 36,000 of the best fans in baseball. And Section 149 was just going nuts!

Anyway, I left soon after and headed back to my hotel room. On the way back, all I heard was “LET’S GO OAK-LAND” chants all the way through downtown. It still gives me goosebumps just thinking of my trip to Oakland.

Today’s game snagging Highlights: Detroit Tigers Vs Oakland Athletics- Attendance 36,907

Baseballs snagged: one (over-throw from Tigers player)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 52

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised at this game: $2.04

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $100.78

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! Interested in following me on Twitter? Click here!

Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 10-9-2012 (ALDS Game 3)

The last time I attended a playoff game was two years ago. I visited Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas and watched the Rangers/Yankees series. I really didn’t put up solid baseball snagging numbers due to the fact of the large capacity crowd and the players were a little stingy with toss-ups and not many home runs were being hit out during BP. The same thing sort of played out here at the Coliseum.

In fact, it wasn’t until the very end of batting practice when I was able to snag one baseball.  I really didn’t think it was going to happen, either. Here’s a picture right before I got the baseball…

…all I did was asked if I could take a picture of him, and he happily obliged in a laughing manner. My real intent was to build some quick repoire and ask for a baseball. I’m pretty sure he saw right through me because before I could really ask, he underhanded me one with a wink. If anyone can identify him, I’d greatly appreciate it. I’d like to add him to my list on MyGameBalls.com.

So let me back up some..I’d like to explain how this trip actually came to be. Over the course of the summer, I was very limited to how many games I could actually attend because I was busy working two jobs. And a little more expansion on that; when I got out of the service two years ago, I got a job and started school. Well, school sort of didn’t work out for me, and my current job started cutting back hours. So I was sort of forced into getting a second job. Over the course of this summer, I worked nearly 70 hours a week. Which wasn’t fun or worth it. I had no life.

Anyway, so now that I’m only working one job now (and thinking about school again) I’m back to going to baseball games. Unfortunately, baseball season is just about over but fortunately, I was able to catch the ALDS in Oakland. In a nutshell, I was sitting at home watching the last game of the regular season, you know, the game the Rangers should’ve won? The one where the Athletics stole the AL West crown? Yeah, that one. When the A’s won the AL West, that changed everything for me. It would mean I’d be taking a trip to Oakland real soon. When I realized the A’s would be facing the Tigers on the 9th and the 10th of October, I immediately checked my work schedule.

I come to the Oakland Coliseum a lot. Mainly because it’s a fun place to catch baseballs. The stadium alone has a ton of history and it’s fun to be inside a place where my favorite baseball players as a kid used to play. Like Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Rickey Henderson, Dave Henderson, Dennis Eckersely, Rick Honeycutt and Tony La Russa. One thing I will not do is call this place the O-Dot Coliseum or the OCo-whatever stadium. In fact, do you want to see how I really feel about it?

Nick Badder’s father took that photo of me. Nick is a fellow ballhawk that routinely attends Athletics games at the Coliseum, himself. I finally met him today and he also runs a blog on MLB.com, too. It’s called 7000 Coliseum Way. Here we are hanging out prior to the gates opening:

Once the gates cracked open at 4:07, Nick and I parted ways and it was time to start snagging baseballs again for my charity; Snagging Baseballs for Puppies. I didn’t have high expectations for this game because a) it was a playoff game so I knew the players were going to be holding back on toss-ups and b) the Coliseum would be abnormally packed with fans.

The fun part of watching the ALDS against the Tigers, was watching Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder smack a couple of home runs during batting practice. The most unfortunate thing during BP was, the ushers didn’t allow anyone into the upper deck (mainly section 149 where I wanted to go) without a ticket for that section. It was kind of a heartbreaker because I’ve been trying to get into section 149 since the last time I visited the Coliseum.

I was hoping for a big win from the Athletics tonight because when I planned this trip, I bought tickets for a probable game four. If the Athletics won that game, too, it was fine., Even though I’d love to stick around and watch the A’s take the series. But deep down, since I’m such a big Tigers fan as well, I wanted Detroit to win and I expected them to.

In any case, it felt really good to be back inside a Major League baseball stadium with some of the best fans in baseball. And when I say “best fans in baseball” I truly mean that about the fans in the Coliseum. During some games there are as little as 6,000 fans watching the Athletics play. But those 6,000 fans are those most dedicated fans I’ve ever met in my life.

By the time batting practice had ended, I got some food and drinks, I got a couple of pictures of me clowning around the Coliseum, and settled in to watch the game. Here are a few pictures I was able to get before the game started:

Me with the my only ball snagged during BP…

…and the next couple of photos are with some signs the Athletics fan crew were handing out.

Oh, and I can’t forget to show off my “rally towel”:

Here’s me with my Reddick sign:

And of course, my Cespedes sign:

The game was electrifying, to say the least. The Athletics were playing an elimination game and were doing everything in their power to force a game four. I had horrible seats, though. Standing room only. Which, in the Coliseum, there isn’t much “standing room only” places to stand only. Everywhere I went, I was asked to show my ticket. And once I ended up on the main concourse, that was it. I wasn’t allowed to get back down on the first level to walk the concourse around the lower seating bowl unless I showed my ticket, which said “SRO” on it, so the security wouldn’t allow me to pass. It was very frustrating.

I pretty much had to watch the game from places like this:

It totally sucked. My tickets for game four were the same thing, SRO. Regardless, I had a blast. I absolutely love the Coliseum!

Brett Anderson outgunned Anibal Sanchez in a 2-0 win with Coco Crisp robbing Prince Fielder of a home run during the game. Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI single in the first inning and Seth Smith homered later. That was plenty on a night Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, Fielder and the Tigers’ high-priced offense were shut down by the low-budget A’s.

Game four would be played tomorrow and I’d be there!

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: Detroit Tigers Vs Oakland Athletics- Attendance 36,907

Baseballs snagged: one (toss-up from Tigers coach)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 51

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised at this game: $2.04

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $98.74

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! Interested in following me on Twitter? Click here!

Pete's Alaska

Pete's Alaska — God, family, country my view out the cabin window.

7th Inning Stretch Time

"Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd..."

SamTravelChick

Samantha Murdock: Luxury Travel Consultant and Travel Specialist

Rays Renegade

Thought processes and conversations started under the tilted cap of Tropicana Field. Someday everyone will know the Rays play in St. Petersburg, Florida, not TAMPA, or the fictitious city of TAMPA BAY.

The Brewer Nation

Declare your citizenship in the Brewer Nation! The senior Brewers blog in the MLBlogs.com blogosphere, we've been giving our opinions and chronicling our favorite team since January 2006.

On Cloud Conine

From Charlie Hough to The Clevelander… a blog for the #DiehardFish fans living the #LinsLife!

More Splash Hits

A little honest insight about the World Series champion San Francisco Giants (2010, 2012, 2014) from a blog that ranked in the Top 100 of MLB.com Fan Blogs of 2012-14

The Cutoff Man

Now blogging for Yankees Universe... Jack O'Connell.Have a question? Email me or leave a comment on here.

Major Lee-ague

MLB.com's Jane Lee blogs about the Oakland A's

Bombers Beat

Inside the New York Yankees clubhouse with MLB.com beat writer Bryan Hoch.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 63 other followers