Results tagged ‘ baseball ’

5-7-2012 Safeco Field

Oh, yeah, baby! DEEEEEEE-TROIT in the HOUSE! Okay, that was lame. But, whatever! The Tigers started a three game series at Safeco Field today and I was absolutely stoked about it! I love the Tigers ever since my childhood in the early 90′s. Cecil Fielder and Alan Trammel were my all-time favorite players, and on top of that, look who was at Safeco!

Yup! Prince Fielder! Cecil Fielders 28-year-old son! It was going to be so much fun watching Prince take some hacks in the BP cage and when he did, everyone was thoroughly impressed. He hit the baseball so fricken` far. I’ve seen a few players hit baseballs really far. Like, Pujols and Holliday when I visited Coors field last year on May 27th and May 29th, but Prince really sent them deep!

Okay, so as soon as I hit the gates, I ran into the ‘Pen area and glove-tricked my first baseball on the evening out from the centerfield gap:

Still no Opening Series Japan commemorative baseball. But it was nice to snag this one because that meannt it kept my consecutive games with at least one baseball streak alive. Surprisingly, batting practice was a tad boring. I stood around in the ‘Pen area for nearly all of BP and I was able to get a Hector Noesi toss-up that a few fans bobbled before I ended up with it. Well, actually, Noesi simply over-threw everyone and I reached across my body to make the back-handed catch. I instantly handed it off to the nearest kid.

My third baseball came from the one and only, Prince Fielder. And no, I was not in the right field bleachers when I snagged this puppy; I was way out in centerfield. On the party deck. Yes, the deepest part of Safeco Field. And good ‘ol Prince had no problem reaching me. Here’s how it played out: as I was standing in the ‘Pen, I watched Prince Fielder loft a high arching ball towards the warning track about two feet to my right. I scooted over as close to the railing as possible to be able to reach out and catch it in case it did clear the fence. Well, it did make it over and landed into the centerfield gap just out of reach. With extensive concentration, I played the bounce as it headed back over the fence and made a sweeping basket-catch. Feeeww!!

 

That man can sure hit a baseball! As far as the game goes, I left around the 8th inning, which I solely regretted. The Mariners were down 3-0 going into the bottom of the ninth. The Mariners were held scoreless by Tigers ace, Doug Fister (who you may remember from the Mariners pitching staff last year), but it really didn’t matter. As soon as Fister left the mound and Detroit turned it over to their bullpen, all chaos broke loose! Octavio Dotel replaced Phil Coke and ended up walking both Brendan Ryan and Ichiro. The very next pitch was a wild one which moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd. Then a pass ball by Alex Avila which scored Brendan Ryan and the nJesus Montero doublesdin Ichiro which tied the game!

The Tigers then switch out Dotel and put in Duane Below and the Mariners pinch-ran Kawasaki for Montero. What a ball game so far, right? Hang in there. It get’s better! Kyle Seager bunts Kawasaki to third and then John Jaso sac flies the winning run in to win it in wal-off fashion! Holy crap!

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. Seattle Mariners- attendance 14,462

Baseballs snagged: three (glove-tricked one, Hector Noesi toss-up, caught BP home run)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 31

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised at this game: $6.12

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $59.94

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!

 

 

“In Defense of a Ballhawk”

There is a lot of controversy surrounding ones that claim to be a “ballhawk.” If you are unfamiliar of what a Ballhawk actually is, you may need to attend a few more Major league baseball games in your life. I don’t mean that in a negative fashion, either. I’m just saying. If you’ve ever encountered a Ballhawk roaming the confines of any Major league stadium, you may have received a baseball from one, hopefully. I, myself, have snagged nearly 270 baseballs since 2005 when I received my first official baseball from an usher at Kauffman stadium during my mid-tour leave from combat. I also make sure to be very careful how I go about snagging baseballs and not to get too greedy. Although, I’ll jump on just about any opportunity to snag one, I give a fair share of baseballs away to fellow baseball fans both young and old.

A few years ago, a young man named Nick Yohanek attended a baseball game and caught Chris Coglan’s first career home run. Yohanek, at the time, seemed to be an icon in Milwaukee’s old stadium before Miller Park was created. He’d attend many baseball games and put up strong numbers by snagging game home run baseballs. It’s quite impressive, actually. But to some, Yohanek and others that share similar interest in snagging gamers, are annoying and just get in the way of the game. Well, I’ve never hindered anyone from catching a baseball. Or have gotten in the way of someone trying to enjoy the game. For Yohanek, it’s been a different story. And not to dig up old stories, but rumor has it, or had it, that Yohanek asked for a laundry list of items from Coglan after snagging his first career dinger. From there, it spiraled out of control.

Zack Hample is another that snags quite a few game home runs and has snagged many first career home runs as well. After catching the ball, security instantly comes down and tries to pry the baseball from your hands and if you don’t have a good grip or are an easy push over, you’ll lose your change to get something in return for that prized possession. For me? Just meeting the player is enough. For others, they’ll ask for money, bats, balls, batting gloves, you name it. If it isn’t nailed down, fans want it.

Anyway. Enough of all that. Here’s a great write-up from a person that wanted to shed some positive light on the ballhawking world. It’s a little long, but worth the read.

http://www.dontfeedtheanimals.net/2012/05/in-defense-of-ballhawk.html

 

 

 

5-4-2012 Safeco Field

When I showed up at Safeco, things were a little more busy than I had expected. Even the ‘Pen was a little packed for Safeco standards and the Moose man even made an appearance:

And as soon as he showed up, the Coors light girls showed up too:

My first baseball came from Hector Noesi. As he was shagging baseballs out in centerfield, every time he caught one and looked towards the ‘Pen, I’d flap my glove to him. I’m not much for yelling at players from 500 feet away, so I use hand and arm signals. The next baseball that flew towards Noesi went way over his head, bounced off the warning track and back behind the batters eye. I thought all was lost, but Noesi actually went through the opened centerfield gate to retrieve the baseball. Once he did that, I flapped my glove at him again and he lobbed me a soft, high arching throw that never really reached me. The ball took a lucky bounce off the railing and landed back to his (Noesi) feet. Again, I flapped my glove at him and he hit his mark. Check out the pattern on the baseball after it had hit the batters eye:

Once the rest of the stadium opened up at 5:10pm, I was able to glove trick a ball out from behind the manual scoreboard:

The Twins hustled onto the field roughly ten minutes after my last snag so I changed from my Mariners hat to my Twins hat. But I really didn’t need to because I had already snagged a couple baseballs and I wasn’t trying to rely on toss-ups from players unless I really had to. So I wandered around in foul ground waiting on another opportunity. It wasn’t long, (not sure who hit it) but a screaming line drive came down the third base line, bounced off the warning track, flew over about ten rows and right smack into my glove. I got a small standing ovation from the surrounding fans that attempted to catch it, or ducked out-of-the-way, and I was on my way towards the Twins dugout for any photo opportunities and/or autographs. Here’s a picture of the foul BP ball I had snagged moments prior:

That’s Ryanna sticking her “rabbit ears” up behind the baseball. Cute, yes?  I waited around at the dugout until batting practice ended and unfortunately I didn’t get one picture or autograph. But. The fun wasn’t over just yet. As I walked back to the ‘Pen, I noticed a white orb sitting in the visitors bullpen as I came down the staircase. Easy snag! I gave it away to the nearest fan as soon as I reeled it in and since the Mariners were using special opening series Japan baseballs during BP, one of my friends, Krista, was able to snag one of those during BP!

I have yet to snag one of these puppies, and sadly, they may all be gone. The added bonus to this season though, the Orioles, Dodgers, Mets and Marlins are all using special baseballs this year. So I still have plenty of opportunities to snag some commemoratives like the one in the above picture that Krista is holding.

As far as the game goes, I really couldn’t stay the entire length of it. Work calls, and I had to bail to catch the bus back to my home station before the third inning got under way. That’s what it’s going to be like all season long, too. But I’m grateful I get to at least attend batting practice and see the first few innings of the game. On my days off and early game starts, I’ll be able to stay for the games entirety. Such is life, right?

And for your viewing pleasure, below is the current, updated stats on how my charity is doing so far this season. I can’t thank the long list of donors this year, enough. Just know that you are greatly appreciated and remember sports fans; the top donor receives an official Snagging Baseballs for Puppies coffee mug after the 2012 season! (Please allow 3-6 weeks for delivery)

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: Minnesota Twins vs. Seattle Mariners- attendance 22,492

Baseballs snagged: four (Hector Noesi toss-up, glove-tricked two, caught BP foulball)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 28

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised at this game: $8.46

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $53.82

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!

 

4-19-2012 Safeco Field

When I visited the Oakland Coliseum on April 9th and 10th, not only did I catch a Coco Crisp foul ball off the chest of some guy holding a beer, but I was able to get interviewed by Major League baseball. MLB.com is doing a new thing for fans to help promote more fan interaction and actually get it on the website. I was one of the lucky fans to get interview, but sadly, my video never made it on their website. I wanted to share it anyway, though. Check it out!

It was a lot of fun and many thanks goes out to Alex Espinoza for taking the time to hunt me down and interview me. I thought it was a pretty good interview and was a little shocked it didn’t make it on the website. No matter. There would be plenty more opportunities in the upcoming months, I’m sure.

When I arrived to Safeco Field and made it inside, I initially spotted this:

If you look very carefully, you can see a white speck beyond the fence strategically placed up the third-base line to help save the lives of spectators that don’t really spectate. That little white speck is an official Major League baseball.

Results?

Boo-yah!

When I turned and ran up into the left field bleachers, I looked over to gaze into the visitor’s bullpen and, wow:

I could snag at least one of those! I ran down the stairs, arrived at the bullpen and flung my glove out to knock the closest baseball closer. Easy snag. And just as I was reeling the baseball up, another baseball was hit deep my way. The ball landed in the bullpen, took a nasty bounce on the concrete near the stairs and ricocheted over my head into the APizza stand. I quickly turned, flapped my glove at the cashier and snagged number three on the night! Two out of the ‘Pen:

I returned to the ‘Pen to switch hats to my Cleveland swag just as the Mariners portion of BP had ended and I found this guy asking for an autograph:

That’s the shortest man I’ve ever seen in my life! Totally blog-worthy, by the way. After I snagged my Indians hat, I ran back over to the 3rd base line and snapped up a picture with Aaron Cunningham…

…and snagged a Nick Hagadone autograph:

Once I returned to the ‘Pen, since I’m a huge Miguel Olivo fan, I found an equal riding on the shoulders of his father. I instantly hooked the little 5-year-old up with a baseball and slapped a high-five when he said Olivo had the best quick release to second base in the league. The downside of the night was Jesus Montero’s attitude when kids were asking for his autograph at the bullpen. I debated on whether or not to really make mention of it in my blog for you to read, but hey, I think it should be said. I actually witnessed Montero wave his hand to Lucas Luetge like, “I’m too good to sign autographs for kids” when Luetge pointed out that kids were asking for him. Reluctantly, Montero came over, with an attitude, and signed a few autographs. It was pretty poor sportsmanship, if you ask me.

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: Cleveland Indians vs. Seattle Mariners- attendance 12,343

Baseballs snagged: three (found one, glove-tricked another and ran down a third one that landed in the ‘Pen)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 24

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $45.36

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies last season: $257.00

Total number of donors this season: 8

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!

4-18-2012 Safeco Field

The Indians weren’t very interactive with the fans during batting practice which made my time at Safeco Field extremely boring tonight. I didn’t bother to ask any Mariner players on the field for a toss-up. Instead, I banked on finding a couple loose baseballs in the seats after the rest of the stadium opened up. When I ran over that way at 5:10pm, I found absolutely nothing. About ten minutes later, a slicing foul ball came down the line, I turned, raced up the stairs near the wall, anticipated the bounce and caught the ball as it traveled into the bleachers:

More boring-ness ensued so I chased over to the Mariners dugout right before the Mariners portion of batting practice ended and got Jaime Navarro to throw me a baseball as he walked off the field:

I really didn’t bother to snag anymore baseballs other than opportunities that came easy. Which the Indians were so unresponsive on the field, I just stood on the party deck and engaged in small talk with Kim, the Bullpen Mom and another friend of mine, Ryanna.

The only other action I saw was an Ubaldo Jimenez autograph and about the first three innings of baseball at the stadium before I had to run out and catch my bus home…

…and this year one of my goals is to catch Ichiro’s 100th career home run. I think he’s sitting on 95. In the first inning of play, Chone Figgins went deep and then Ichiro followed with his 96th home run one batter later. It was getting close to having to buy tickets for the outfield, which will be extremely expensive due to the Mariners (and all the other teams) going to this lame-ass “dynamic” ticket pricing. If you haven’t heard about it, well, you’re one of the lucky ones that your team hasn’t gone to it yet. Basically, its price gouging. And it sucks.

 

 

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: Cleveland Indians vs. Seattle Mariners- attendance 11,343

Baseballs snagged: four (caught BP foul-ball, Jaime Navarro toss-up)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 21

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $39.69

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies last season: $257.00

Total number of donors this season: 8

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!

4-17-2012 Safeco Field

I totally didn’t realize it but that last baseball I snagged from Kevin Millwood last Sunday was  my 250th lifetime baseball! I mean, I guess it’s not all that exciting considering there are people out there that have snagged over 1,000 baseballs.

Tonight’s game at Safeco Field was against the Cleveland Indians who I know probably three players on that team. Ubaldo Jimenez, Shin Soo-Choo, Shelley Duncan and Chris Perez. Okay, so four. I knew asking any Cleveland player for a baseball would be out of the question because like I said; I had no knowledge of who was on the active roster. It would be BP home runs, foul balls and glove tricking whatever I could.

When I ran into the stadium, one of the Mariner fans started yelling at Felix Hernandez to toss a baseball his way. Once he did, and the fan bobbled the ball, I was all over it with my glove trick. Since the baseball landed down in the center field gap, I had plenty of time to get it and security really didn’t harass me about it:

You can see Hernandez throwing a baseball into the infield in the above picture. I’ve been wanting a baseball from the King for a while now and since I glove tricked that baseball out of the gap, it doesn’t actually count as a baseball from Felix. Sucks, I know. But that’s how the game goes.

Miguel Olivo, who I got a baseball from last year on April 1st at the Oakland Coliseum, was very generous when it came to requests for baseballs from fans. Here’s Joanna and Carla’s gems they caught from Olivo:

Joanna, the one closest in the picture, actually made an awesome grab for the baseball. Another fan behind her (not pictured) was doing most of the leg work to get Olivo to toss a baseball up. When he (Olivo) finally did, Joanna pretty much robbed the guy with a bare handed grab! Quite impressive!

I waited down in the ‘Pen for another 10-15 minutes and then I wandered off to line up at the stairs that led to the lower seating bowl. When a BP home run landed in the visitors bullpen, I slowly started to get my glove trick ready again, I waited for the stairs to open up at 5:10pm, and while the security guards were busy ushering people around, I ran over to the bullpen and glove tricked my second baseball on the night:

I wandered up to the 3rd base side of the stadium and this was the crowd during BP within the first 15-20 minutes:

Batting practice was actually pretty boring. There weren’t a whole lot of fans, not really any foul balls or very many BP home run balls. I couldn’t recognize any Cleveland players, like I mentioned before, so it made it pretty uneventful. About the only excitement that happened was how I snagged my third and fourth baseball of the evening.

When I walked up to the left field bleachers, I saw a baseball down behind the scoreboard. That’s probably the easiest place to glove trick a baseball out of, too. The security guards actually encourage it, sort of. Well, I haven’t had any problems with them while glove tricking baseballs out from behind the scoreboard. They only get mad (not all of them) when people glove trick balls from the bullpens and the sod farm behind the batters eye. I thought this would be an easy grab and I’d be on my way. As I was stretching the rubber band over my glove, it broke on me! Gah!

Luckily, I had a spare rubber band. But it wasn’t as good as the one I had been previously using. When I’d capture the baseball and start to reel it up, the ball would slip out and drop back down behind the scoreboard. Reel it up, drop back down. Reel it up, drop back down. I didn’t think I’d ever get the baseball, but eventually I did:

What a frustrating 2 minutes, I swear! After that, I headed back over to the ‘Pen just as the Indians were clearing the field. While I was standing there talking to our Bullpen Mom, a baseball landed at my feet! I had no idea where it came from, at first, but I snagged it anyway. Turns out, one of the bullpen cops was trying to throw a young lady a baseball and she bobbled it. Since I’ve received baseballs from bullpen cops before, I decided to count it. Hell, I snagged it, didn’t I? Does it really matter who it came from? I categorize bullpen cops the same way as I categorize grounds keepers, security guards and other employees around the stadiums. And I’ve caught baseballs from many of those types of people before.

I handed the baseball to the girl who bobbled it and snapped a quick photo:

 

Soon after, the Mariner relief pitchers made their way to the bullpen and I was able to get Tom Wilhelmsen’s autograph on my ticket stub:

I watched the majority of the game from the ‘Pen with a quick stop into the Flying Tortoise Cantina for some more nachos.

John Jaso got the Mariners on the board with a 2-run blast in the 3rd inning. In the fourth, Brendan Ryan drew a bases loaded walk and the very next batter, Jaso, was plunked in the leg that scored another run for the Mariners. By that time, it was 5-1 Mariners and in the sixth inning, Indians catcher, Carlos Santana sent a 3-run moon shot into the right field seats which ended up to be a six run 5th inning for the Indians.

By the ninth inning, the Indians pulled a head 9-8 and Chris Perez got the job to slam the door on the M’s. Seattle loaded up the bases in the bottom of the ninth and Perez got John Jaso to pop up to end the game. What a heart breaker.

 

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: Cleveland Indians vs. Seattle Mariners- attendance 12,065

Baseballs snagged: four (glove-tricked three, found one)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 19

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $35.91

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies last season: $257.00

Total number of donors this season: 8

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!

4-14-2012 Safeco Field

When I arrived in Seattle around mid-afternoon, I knew there was going to be a parking disaster because the Seattle Sounders soccer team were playing a game at 1pm. I wanted to visit the Pike Place Market but found myself debating whether to go visit the marketplace or get my usual parking spot. And since parking was filling up fast because of the soccer game, I decided to hold off on my visit to one of the more popular tourist places in Seattle. When I arrived at the stadium this was what I was up against:

I had so much time to kill before the game, I decided to stop in to the Blazing Bagel to get some breakfast/lunch. This place makes the best bagel sandwiches in the entire world!

See what I mean?

Tonight’s game would be a little less crowded than yesterdays game at the Safe, though. When I ran inside, I instantly made a bee-line for the ‘Pen and tried to get Ichiro’s attention. He was out in right field shagging baseballs like he always does. My goal this year was to get a baseball from a few key players. Ichiro was one of them. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but Ichiro is the only player I know that’s currently playing, that wears his first name on the back of his jersey.

While I was shouting for Ichiro to throw a baseball my way, Jason Vargas decided he’d like to try his cannon from right field. He was deep in right field and when he threw a baseball towards the party deck, I didn’t think it would make it. The ball died right around the warning track. Ichiro continued to shag a few more fly balls and then ran over to get the baseball that Vargas threw:

The streak lives another day with an Ichiro toss-up! If you have no idea what “streak” I’m talking about, well, I’ll tell you. With that baseball I just caught from Ichiro, that’s my 103rd consecutive baseball game catching at least one baseball. Or finding one. Or glove-tricking one. Whatever. The point is, getting at least one baseball at a game. Also, another streak I have going is since last Monday, I’ve been to a baseball game every day this week so far. Tomorrow will be my seventh game on the week and sadly, the Mariners have an off-day on Monday and I have no future plans to go anywhere. I’d go to a minor league game, but I haven’t really checked the schedules and I’m not an avid minor league baseball fan, anyway. So my little mini-streak of going to baseball games will probably come to an end on Monday. Interesting enough, I created some extra statistics during that mini-streak that you may or may not be interested in.

After today’s contest between the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics, I’ll have spent 26 hours in three different stadiums, watching 39 innings of baseball, consuming three dishes of nachos, one hotdog, and one chicken meal, having drank four cokes, ate two pizzas slices, traveled 1,205 miles and slept 40 hours. After Sunday’s game I will definitely update these stats for you because I know you care that much.

After getting a baseball from Ichiro, I wandered out into centerfield to strike up a conversation with Tom Wilhelmsen.

“Hey, Tom! How was spring training?” I asked.

“It was awesome!” he turned, replying back.

“Good to hear, man! How was Japan?” I said to him.

“Oh, man! What a great experience! I had a blast!” he shouted excitedly.

“Yeah? I traveled out there too, to watch the series and I absolutely loved Japan.” I hollered back.

“You traveled out there for the games?” he asked me.

“Heck yeah! I wouldn’t have missed that for the world!” I replied.

We talked a moment or two longer about how peaceful Japan was and blah blah. It was really awesome to talk with Tom about the trip I had. If you’d like to read all about my awesome experience in Japan, click here and here.

Soon after, I made my way down to the Athletics dugout where I engaged in more conversation about my trip to Japan. Most of the Athletics fans that were down there would’ve loved to have gone and I was asked multiple times if I worked at Microsoft. Listen, my trip was extremely affordable. For those of you who are curious how people can afford to travel, I just put myself on a budget, saved, saved, and saved and went. The plane ticket was the most expensive part of the trip. Anyway. Enough about all that crap, right?

When Grant Balfour walked off the field after batting practice, I wasn’t able to get a baseball from him. Later on, I took this picture of what he threw to me:

Authentic Grant Balfour sunflower seeds!  And here’s a shot of the two super-stars on the Athletics team signing autographs for fans:

I’m not really a Yoenis Cepedes fan. I think he’s a tad overrated and a little too aggressive at the plate. He reminds me of Mariners Carlos Peguero. Cepedes started the season out very strong. He hit a home run off Shawn Kelley in the Tokyo Dome and two more in the Coliseum. But since then? He hasn’t done much. He’s been striking out more often than not, and he’s made at least one error in the outfield that I know of. He doesn’t excite me when he plays because I know he’s going to strikeout. I predict that Cespedes will be back in the minor leagues before you know it.

Before the game started, I wanted to return to the Flying Tortoise Cantina to get me a huge plate of nachos. And this time, because the ‘Pen wasn’t wall to wall with drunks and party-goers, I was able to accomplish that:

What an amazing plate of food. Safeco Field has probably the best tasting food in any stadium I’ve ever been to. I’ve only been to 14 stadiums, but still. Safeco, so far, ranks number one.

Once the game got underway, I ventured out into the outfield seating to look for a public icon at Safeco Field. Her name is Amy Franz and she’s in charge of recording all of Ichiro’s hits during the season. If you know nothing about her, well, I’m about to tell you a little bit about what’s happening at Safeco. When Ichiro had his amazing run for the all-time hit record in Major League baseball, Amy and her husband Joe, were there to record all of his hits. When hit number 262 came around, this sign ended up in Cooperstown:

I had a chance to meet Amy and Joe and I got my picture taken with them:

As you can see, Ichiro is already at hit number 11. It’s pretty awesome to see this sort of stuff at Safeco Field and Amy and Joe actually traveled to Japan to watch the Mariners play the Athletics as well. They even brought their Ichi-meter!

I tweeted Amy and Joe while I was in Japan, but I never was able to meet up with them there. I finally was able to cross paths with them at Safeco Field and they are super nice people. If you ever want to meet them and get a picture with them like me, just head on down to the Ichi-meter sign and holler at them!

I spent the majority of the game wandering around the stadium for the first time since last season. It felt really great to be back in Safeco Field amongst friends and Mariners baseball!

In the above photo, these are my baseball friends. The majority of this group come to just about every single Mariners home game and some, like me, even travel around the United States watching the Mariners play in different stadiums.

From left to right;  Ryanna, Emma, Carla, ChrisKrista, Vanessa, Jacob and Jacob’s girlfriend (who I really havent met yet). They’re an awesome bunch and they’re always down in the ‘Pen near the Mariners bullpen. The group is called the GirlsCorner because we all post ourselves up in the ‘Pen in the corner near the bullpen. The guys in the group are GirlsCornerSecurity. It’s pretty awesome.

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: Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners- attendance 21,071

Baseballs snagged: two (toss-up from Ichiro Suzuki)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 14

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $26.46

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies last season: $257.00

Total number of donors this season: 8

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!

 

 

4-13-2012 Safeco Field

This was the view at Safeco Field just before the centerfield gates opened up:

 

And this was the view of outside the left field gates about 30 minutes before first pitch:

This is what happens at Safeco Field on their home opener. All the other games, besides when the Yankees or Redsox come to town or a bobblehead giveaway game, are roughly 10-15 thousand people. Before I get into the home opener though, I attended two games at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, home of the Tacoma Rainiers for two reasons; Shawn Kelley and to see if I could catch a baseball at this particular minor league stadium. Well, I got to see Shawn Kelley pitch during Thursdays game…

…and before Wednesday’s game, I found this little gem on the party deck:

Mission accomplished. Not only did I find that lone baseball, but myself and a couple of fellow ballhawks that frequent Safeco Field, pretty much cleaned up in right field. We managed to snag roughly 12 foul balls, which we ended up giving none away because the attendance was so low that nearly ever kid in the stadium got a foul ball for himself/herself. It was quite amazing. Wednesday’s game was also the longest baseball game I’ve ever been to. Check out the scoreboard 3 hours into it:

 

Thursday’s game at Cheney stadium was less eventful, as I only snagged one baseball. The Rainiers don’t allow fans to sit inside the stadium during batting practice so I had to stand on the road outside the right field fence to shag anything. I had a few opportunities but I sort of felt like the low man on the totem pole when I arrived. There were other fans there and they seemed to be veteran ballhawks at this stadium; so I took the far end near the foul pole. Here’s a picture of the baseball I caught on the fly:

 

Okay, back to Safeco Field. When I arrived at the stadium with a couple of friends, Blake Beavan was being interviewed by KIRO 710AM Sports radio. After the interview I was able to shake his hand and get a picture with him:

Blake is a really cool guy, very friendly and excited to be a Mariner.

After the gates opened, I rushed inside expecting to see a swarm of people crashing into the ‘Pen area. The crowd was sort of on the lighter side, initially. But like any special game day, it would get uncomfortably packed later on. I knew I had to act fast to get on the board with at least one baseball. I tried for a few toss-ups in the ‘Pen and decided I’d have better luck with the Athletics. I raced upstairs to the upper level and found an empty spot near the left field foul pole. Within minutes, I had a foul ball screaming my way. I jogged to my right and reached across my body to make the catch but I came up a foot or two short. Luckily, the baseball hit into a seat and dropped down underneath it:

A gentleman and his wife were sitting a row or so close by and when the man asked to see the ball I asked him if he wanted to have the baseball. Since he saw me make an attempt to catch it and all, I figured he’d like to get his hands on an official Major League baseball. His response was, “hell yeah! Thanks, young man!”

When I walked up over the ‘Pen, I noticed someone down below. I actually had to stare, rub my eyes, blink a million times before I really knew who I was looking at. Here is a picture of how crowded the ‘Pen can get on games like these:

This is fairly mild for the ‘Pen on these kinds of games. Later on, it got so crowded, you couldn’t move without bumping into someone, stepping on toes or spilling someone’s beer. It was nuts and I didn’t particularly like it. Throughout the stadium, it got so packed that you couldn’t move. Anywhere you wanted to go would take you at least ten minutes to get there and when the cash registers decided to stop taking debit/credit cards, that’s when all hell broke loose at Safeco Field.

My first adventure was just trying to get food after I had snagged my first baseball and met Dave Henderson. Yes, that’s right, sports fans. I met Dave Henderson. In the flesh. You don’t believe me? Well, feast your eyes on this picture:

Yes, Dave Henderson was out walking around Safeco Field. Not a whole lot of people even knew but then again, nights like these, not a lot of baseball fans were actually at the game paying attention to anything but their beer. Anyway. Dave and I talked about Oakland baseball, made fun of Josh Reddick, Dave wore my Oakland hat, he flashed his World Series Ring, we shook hands and eventually parted ways. It was such an awesome experience for Dave and the Mariners to set that up. He’s really a cool guy and so fun to be around.

After that, I headed off to get myself a free coke at the guest services only to find out that the guest services table that issues out free soda moved to the center field gates. After ten minutes of fighting through people, dodging spilled drinks and trying not to knock over anyone, I got my free drink coupon. Now. Back to getting food. I had to fight through hoards of people to get in line that took nearly 15 minutes to be able to place an order only to be told the cash registers only took cash. Gah! I only had a few bucks on me so now I had to find an ATM. I cashed in my free drink and headed outside the stadium. It took nearly another 15 minutes to get outside and stand in yet another line that took roughly 20 minutes to finally get some cash. Cash in hand, I ventured back inside Safeco Field. Instead of pizza, I settled on the Flying Tortoise for some nachos. I stook in that line for about 10-15 minutes waiting to place an order. Once I told the cook what I wanted (which was a gi-normous plate of nachos) he told me I had to stand in a different line to order that. Oh.My.God.

I ended up ordering a wimpy little salsa and nachos dish for $3 bucks. Which wasn’t even worth photographing. It wasn’t even worth standing in line for. Or even worth paying $3 dollars for. I’d of rather been slapped in the face. By this time, it was the 3rd inning and I hadn’t seen any of the game. I’ve been able to watch bits and pieces of it on monitors around Safeco, but I wanted to actually see it live. And apparently, I wasn’t the only person having problems. Check out this blog entry written by a friend of some friends that I attend Mariners games with. I felt the same way on so many levels. And in fact, I did eventually leave Safeco just after the 3rd inning concluded.

So yeah. That was my home opener experience at Safeco Field. One highlight I’d like to point out is my friend Chris and myself got a little “LoMo-ing” in before the game outside the gates. Check us out:

Also, another highlight that needs mentioning, I was able to glove-trick a baseball out from behind the centerfield wall which I promptly gave to my friend Kelly’s husband. I’m not sure who threw it, but it was bobbled and eventually found its way down into the gap:

 

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: Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners- attendance 46,026

Baseballs snagged: two (foul ball, glove-tricked)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 13

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $24.57

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies last season: $257.00

Total number of donors this season: 8

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!

Places You’ll Want to Visit While Visiting MLB Stadiums!

Over the years I’ve seen and done a lot! I’ve been to many different countries and I’ve traveled around the United States quite extensively. When I do travel, it’s usually to places like Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Or PETCO Park in San Diego. Aside from all the baseball hoopla that I participate in each year, I’ve also ate at some amazing places and seen some awesome tourist-y landmarks. In this blog entry, although short, I will give you an insider’s view on where to go in each specific city or country that I’ve visited that I think it worth the extra time and money to see.

I call this blog entry, Places You’ll Want to Visit While Visiting MLB Stadiums!!

Naturally, since I’m from Seattle Washington, I absolutely love seafood. And I can never get enough. The Seattle area offers a wide range of seafood for any seafood lover. They have Ivars and Steamers and, of course, the amazing waterfront downtown. When I set my sights on PETCO Park last season, I was actually in for a surprise. Not to discredit Seattle for its awesome ability to create the most lavish, most tasteful seafood dishes in all the land, I’m sorry to say, San Diego has Seattle beat by a freaking mile. I went to this place called the Tin Fish. It’s located katy-corner from PETCO Park about 500 feet from the outfield gates and they serve the best seafood I’ve tasted in a long time. It’s a small bar/restaurant type place with outside seating (or indoor, if that’s what you prefer), and they have a variety of seafood dishes on their menu. I didn’t get too deep in the menu, as I wanted to keep it light for my baseball snagging experience at the stadium, so I settled with a “fish n’ chips” type dish. Check it out:

On the menu was fried cod-fish, cole slaw with tartar sauce and some waffle fries. I’m telling you; this place was delicious. My second day in San Diego I went back for more of the same. And around the restaurant, they had interesting pictures of Tony Gwynn:

Speaking of seafood, if you want fresh, right off the boat seafood, you should travel to Japan! Last March of this year, I traveled there to watch the Mariners and the Athletics slug it out in the 2012 MLB season opener at the Tokyo Dome. I was only in country for roughly four days, but it was probably the best four days of my life so far. Not only did I visit the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, but I saw some Major league baseball being played overseas! At the fish market that I walked through, there were plenty of shops to buy fresh seafood at. Also, there were plenty of shops that you could sample fresh seafood at.  I did just that and I ended up buying some fresh scallops. Here’s the shop I bought them from:

Aside from eating fresh seafood, I also had to turn to my American roots. When I arrived at the Tokyo Dome from walking around Tokyo all morning and afternoon, I had worked up quite an appetite! Luckily, for me, the Tokyo Dome had a few places to eat. The one restaurant that stuck out the most was this place…

…for some of this:

Two of the most juiciest hamburgers/cheeseburgers I have ever feasted my eyes on! These bad boys were so flavorful, it literally had me drooling with each savory bite! The whole meal cost me roughly 800 yen, which isn’t bad for two burgers.

Okay, enough about food. Now I’m hungry! This next place will literally blown your mind. I couldn’t believe the things I encountered when I walked inside. But I’ll assure you; it’s all very authentic! It’s called B’s Baseball Museum and it’s located up the street from the friendly confines of Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. I kind of found this place by accident, and I’m glad I did! Inside you’ll find so much baseball memorabilia from stadium collector cups, to signed baseballs from ancient players, to the outfield ground drain that Mickey Mantle twisted his leg on during the 1951 World Series. Yes, it’s all there! Here is one item that I thought was pretty awesome. This is what the Detroit Tigers seating ushers used to wear during the games in the early 1900′s:

Pretty spectacular, right? You can find all the information about B’s Baseball Museum in the link provided and you can read all about my adventures in Denver right here as well! It’s such an awesome place and it only costs $5 bucks to get in the door. It’s so worth it if you’re ever in town to watch a Rockies game.

That’s all I got for right now! I’m sure over the course of the next couple of years while I continue my journey to visit all 30 Major League stadiums, I’ll run into a few new great places I’ll end up blogging about. If you have any places you feel would make the top ten list in your book, feel free to drop a comment below and tell me about it! I’d love to hear of some new places to eat or sight see while I’m trekking around the United States!

Recently, I visited the Tacoma Rainiers home, Cheney Stadium, in Tacoma Washington with a handful of my closest friends. Myself and two other ballhawks managed to snag about 12 foul balls from Wednesday’s game. So be on the look out for that blog entry as well. My experience at Cheney Stadium will be combined with the Seattle Mariners home opener this Friday so it will probably be a huge blog entry!

 

 

Media Links

Hello, all! Wow, it’s like I was just blogging about something yesterday! Oh, wait! I was! If you missed it, here’s a short rundown of the important details and then we will move on. Yesterday, I posted an important blog entry for my charity. Over the years I have collected close to 75 autographed baseballs and I’ve pulled the best 20 out of the pile to auction them off for my charity. So far, it’s been a success. In less than 24 hours, I’ve been able to auction off four baseballs that brought in a total of $85 dollars so far! That is really awesome and for those that have purchased those baseballs, you don’t know how appreciative I am! If you’re interested in helping out, click here, and you’ll be off and running!

Okay. The last couple of years, I’ve been doing my best to get the word out about Snagging Baseballs for Puppies. There have been some trying times trying to connect the media to get the word out and there has also been some fantastic success! For those that have helped me promote my charity, I can’t thank you enough. Even if you don’t plan on donating or pledge any money towards the baseballs that I catch during games, spreading the word is the next best thing and I appreciate it and so does the Seattle Humane Society. I’d like to give credit where credit is due, and personally thank those that have helped, in this blog entry.

The first media credential that I hold is from the Millcreek View. The Millcreek View is a local newspaper in a small town near where I grew up as a kid. I sent the editor a friendly email and they finally called me after a few days for an interview last year. I also sent them some of my recent pictures of me at stadiums I’ve visited. Take a look at the screen shot:

I also blogged about this the day I got the newspaper, too. You can read about that here.  If you squint, you can read the entire article and as you can see, I’ve made a lot of progress since this article has been written. I’ve been to 14 different stadiums and snagged nearly 250 baseballs. Last year, with my donors help, we raised $257 bucks!

Seattle Dog Spot is one of my favorite websites regarding dogs. As you can tell (with my charity and all) I’m a huge dog lover. So naturally I flock to these kinds of websites. I actually never contacted this website, initially, to have an article ran on me. I was innocently googling around on the internet one evening and when I googled “snagging baseballs for puppies” I came across this article:

That’s just a screen shot that I took from the website. You can read the entire article by clicking this link!

Have you ever wanted to get on the radio and talk about something important to you or something near and dear to your heart? Well, there is this radio show out in Boston called the Shady Lady Sports Show that I contacted, explained what I do for the Seattle Humane Society and was able to call in one Sunday morning. It was so much fun, I wish I could do it every day of my life! These guys are really easy to talk to, they’re knowledgeable in sports and they make a smooth transition with topics they talk about. The show airs every Sunday from noon to 1:30pm EST and they have an array of topics they talk about. Nothing is left out and I urge you to follow them on Twitter and like their Facebook page! Will you do that for me, please? If anything, tune into their show and listen. It’s really good stuff! And here’s the link where you can listen to me yap about my charity! Fast forward to about the 24:00 minute mark if you want to get right to it. But you should listen to the entire show.

This year I got another article written up on me from Seattle Dog Spot! Like I mentioned before, Seattle Dog Spot is one of my favorite websites I follow. They too are on Twitter! Give them a follow, if you have the time. And here’s a screen shot of my second article:

I have to give a shout out to Robert Pregulman for doing this twice! These are great articles and if you want to read the entire thing, just click this link!

A good friend of mine (whom I intend to meet one day) wrote up a great blog entry on his blog the other day and included a few charities that others like me are involved in. These charities are great to support and if you have the time, you should definitely look into making a pledge or donating some small amount of cash. After all, it’s for a good cause. Check out this write-up about the four major charities currently running to help out kids and animals! And here is the screen shot:

Lasty, while I was at the Oakland Coliseum on April 9th, I was spotted by Major League baseball and interviewed by Alex Espinoza. He’s works with the Athletics on a new project they started this year called Cut4. They capture crazy things fans and baseball players do and put them up on a website. My interview didn’t exactly make the headlines (or the website for that matter) but I was pleased to offer my time and get an interview done! Here’s the video if you want to take a look:

 

 

 

Well, that’s about all I got for you, folks! Like I said, I appreciate all the articles, air-time and everything else involved in everyone supporting my charity! I can’t do it without you all, so just know that I sincerely appreciate what you’re doing, your time spent and your thoughts and donations!

Opening day is finally here! Or it was yesterday or last month…the bottom line is, baseball is back, baby!

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