Results tagged ‘ Shawn Kelley ’

5-9-2012 Safeco Field

This game was the last day the Tigers were going to be in town so I had to make things count. I wanted to get a few autographs, which I thoroughly succeeded at that:

That’s an authentic Brandon League autograph that I got on my ticket stub before yesterday’s baseball game.  If you notice, Hisashi Iwakuma is signing autographs in the background. After batting practice had ended today, I was able to get his autograph on my ticket stub as well:

Rewind to where I came into the ballpark. This was what I found on initial entry:

Already in the books! Today, I was attempting to beat my official time that it took me to snag my first baseball. But I realized that there is no way to beat that anymore because last year when the Anaheim Angels came to town, I snagged a baseball three hours before the gates were even scheduled to open! I’m pretty sure Mark Trumbo hit it,too. If you want to read all about that, you can by clicking this link.

After waiting around in the ‘Pen for a few moments later, I decided to scout out the bullpens to see if I could try out my new glove-tricking rig. Yup, I fixed that puppy and got ‘her up and running again. I stood near some youngsters decked out in Tigers swag and watched patiently. Finally, Shawn Kelley turned around and started tossing baseballs towards the kids. I held back and played the bounce in case the kids missed the balls (which they did) but the ball hit off the tip of my glove and rolled to another kid standing by. I think Shawn saw that and tried to hook up another kid with a baseball but that one fell short and ended up in the bullpen out of reach of my glove trick. The cool thing about Shawn is that he didn’t give up. He actually walked into the bullpen shown here…

…and started hooking up fans with the remaining few baseballs in the bullpen. Since I was standing there I decided to accept the offer from Shawn. I mean, I really didn’t have a choice. And I try really hard not to ask players for baseballs but it felt really good to finally be able to add Shawn Kelley to the long list of baseball players that have thrown me a ball. If you’d like to take a gander at that list, click here. Yeah, that’s a lot of players, I know. And as I continue my quest to 1,000 baseballs and beyond, I can only assume the list will continue to grow.

Here’s the baseball that Kelley tossed me:

It was pretty beat up and that’s what made it unique. It had character. It had some Major League miles on it. Grass stains and plastic smudges from where i has hit off plastic seats in the bleachers…very cool.

From there, I wandered out into the centerfield stands and waited on home run balls. Barely anything made it out to me and the ones that were remotely close, Tom Wilhelmsen and Charlie Furbush were out shagging. I was hoping for a ground-rule double at some point and then a deep fly ball was lofted in my direction. I thought it had a chance to at least make it to the warning track. I lined up perfectly behind it and waited on the bounce and then out of no where Wilhelmsen came racing in to try to make the catch! The ball barely tipped off his glove but that gave it enough lift to force the ball up and over the fence and into the seats! I couldn’t believe it! The ball clanked off a few seat backs and eventually rolled to my feet!

Theres a sweet little blue smudge on this one. Not sure how it got there but it’s still pretty awesome.

After the Mariners trotted off the field, I stayed in the ‘Pen for the remainder of batting practice. Not one baseball was tossed to the fans and nothing came close enough to catch. I thought Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder would send a few to center field or even into the bullpens but I guess they were saving their energy for the game.

Remember the pictures of the signs from yesterday’s game? Well, another friend of mine, Joanna, made a sign for today’s game. Here, take a look:

In addition to the awesome signs made up for this game, I snuck over to the Tigers side of the stadium and snagged a quick picture with Phil Coke:

If it looks like I’m taller than him, I’m really not. Coke was standing on the field and I had the security guard take the picture. How awesome is that, though? Another goal I’m striving for is to get a picture with one player per every team in the Major Leagues. I think this picture puts me at 13 or 14. I still have a long ways to go because it’s not easy to get pictures with baseball players all the time. Sometimes when I’m chasing pictures with players, I have to make a decision on whether to get the picture, snag an autograph or go for a baseball. Decisions, decisions.

 

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 16,655

Baseballs snagged: three (found one, Shawn Kelley toss-up, BP HR)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 36

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised at this game: $6.12

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $70.14

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!

4-13-2012 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!

Promoting A View From the Bullpen

Hello folks. I wanted to share some fantastic news. Well, it’s not really news-worthy but it’s pretty exciting anyway. And I’ve kind of kept it under wraps until now. I’ve started a new blog. Surprised? I thought so. My new blog, of course, has everything to do with baseball. Another surprise? But this new blog has sort of twist. It’s not really an informational blog like I had hoped. It’s kind of turned into something better. And it’s been super fun!

This new blog I’ve put together has sort of witty, satire, sarcastic charm to it. But it’s all relevant to baseball. So don’t worry. The information I put in each blog entry holds truth. Sometimes. And a lot of it is my personal opinion. If you’re interested in my personal opinion about baseball then you’ll surely get a kick out of my new blog.

It’s called A View From the Bullpen. It’s kind of fitting because that’s where I’m normally at when I attend games at Safeco Field. The bullpen. Well, more like the party deck but I’m standing directly beside the Mariner bullpen on most nights. Anyway. Below you will find links to all my recent blog entries. So click on a few and enjoy what you read!

Carlos Zambrano is Clinically Insane

Dan Uggla Goes on a 33-Game Hitting Streak and all he Gets is a Lousy .231 BA

Jim Thome Bashes #600 and #601 But …

Is Major League Baseball Still the Most Patriotic Sport in America?

I Couldn’t Help to Laugh When the Yankees Signed Aaron Laffey.

So the San Francisco Giants are Human Afterall

I Hate That Rafael Furcal is a St. Louis Cardinal

C.C Sabathia Can’t Tame Those Bosox

To Say the Yankees Outslug the Orioles in a Headline is Ridiculous

The Cardinals Haven’t Seen the Last of Nyjer Morgan

Who Knew the Phillies Would Win Again…

Behind Doug Fister the Detroit Tigers are like a Runaway Freight Train

Detroit, Standing-by….

The Death of the Rally Squirrel

Albert Pujols is Worth $30 Million Plus Change

Theo Epstein is Feelin’ the Championship Mojo

Tony La Russa Retires, Enter Francona

The Apocalypse is Very Real; The Houston Astros Move to the A.L West

Four Reasons Prince Fielder Shouldn’t be a Seattle Mariner

Greg Maddux Gets a Brand New Job

Five Reasons Why You Should Follow Shawn Kelley

9-18-2011 Safeco Field

When I got to the stadium today this was waiting for me:

Yes, that is an authentic Major League baseball from Rawlings. The stamp on the sweet spot reads, “Catch n Win 2011″ and the red “X” means that it’s already been turned in for a prize to Guest Services. What does this all mean? Absolutely nothing. Yesterday at Safeco Field the Mariners were holding a fan appreciation day and when I found out they would be using special baseballs during BP I literally freaked out. I started tweeting everyone I knew that would be going to the game asking if they’d snag me one of those baseballs. I even tweeted Mariners pitcher, Shawn Kelley if he’d snag me one and hold onto it until I could get to the stadium the next day. Thanks to my friend, Ryanna and Carla, I was able to get one. Shawn Kelley eventually responded to me with this;

@shawnkelley23Shawn Kelley
@MLBwayneMLB @seattlehumanei didn’t get any, sorry about that, not as many this year
I told him I got one and thanked him anyway and he responded with this;
@shawnkelley23Shawn Kelley
@MLBwayneMLB @seattlehumanei I’ll get u a ball though next time
Sweet!
At first I didn’t want to count the baseball in my collection. Mainly because I didn’t get it on my own. But then I was thinking about all the other baseballs I didn’t really “get on my own” either. Like, from the bullpen police officers or from the grounds crew. What difference does it make who gives it to me? It’s still a baseball from a Major League stadium. So it counts. Cop-out because it’s a Sunday and there’s no batting practice? Continue to read…
You could literally hear a pin drop during the first thirty minutes of being inside the stadium. Nothing was happening.
Safeco Field is really awesome though. Days like these are kind of relaxing. I can just stand on the party deck and take in the atmosphere. Smell the green grass…feel the gentle wind on my face…take in the silence. It’s all a very unique experience. I wandered the stadium once the rest of it opened up and made my way over to the Mariners side of the field. I attempted for an overthrow or even a toss-up but unfortunately it was Kids Appreciation day and every baseball that the players had went to the kids. I expected that to happen. And they got to walk the field too:
When the Mariner pitchers were warming up it got very crowded but I played the crowd accordingly. Most people were after autographs. So when one player got done throwing and came to sign autographs I’d fill the empty holes and line up behind players that were still playing catch. I was hoping for an overthrow because after a player got done throwing he’d pass the baseball off to a kid that was walking by on the field. I even ran out to the outfield to possibly snag a baseball from Brandon League or Jamey Wright…
…but as you can see many kids were passing by there too. When Brandon League got done he rolled the baseball onto the warning track to some kid that was barely paying attention.
I needed a new strategy and a new one fast if I was going to snag anymore baseballs today. I didn’t get a chance to try the Rangers for any baseballs and before I knew it all the players were off the field. Except for a few Mariners in the bullpen. I quickly headed that way. I was walking by the Mariners bullpen and all of a sudden a baseball came flying my way. It bounced off a few fans and landed at my feet. I stepped on it to keep it from rolling around and I quickly picked it up. I looked around for anyone that may have dropped it and I tried to hand it off to the nearest kid because I thought it may belong to him. He immediately waved me off and told me he didn’t want it. I had to ask him a few more times if he wanted it because I was literally in shock. What kid at Safeco Field didn’t want a baseball? I asked him who threw it and he told me that Jason Vargas tossed it to him. I shrugged and walked away.
Soon I was being yelled at by some 6’5 280 pound biker guy. It was noon and this dude was already intoxicated and trying to explain to me that, that’s his baseball. He told me that he caught it and gave it to the kid and the kid tossed it away. I didn’t believe a second of it because I was standing right there when the baseball came flying in. Plus the dude was drunk and being very rude to me. I told him “better luck next time.” and walked away. I lapped once the stadium just to make sure he wasn’t following me.
And I also got pictures of the new Dave Niehaus statue:
Once I got back to the party deck I gave the baseball I snagged from Vargas to friend name. Her name is Fay and she lives nearly three hours from Safeco Field but still manages to come out to the ballpark every week or so. Here she is holding the baseball up with Miguel Olivo in the background:
That was her very first baseball this season. She was pretty happy to get it and later got it signed by her favorite Mariner pitcher, Brandon League. She even has a Facebook fan page if you’d like to check it out or join. Just click here.
In the third inning, Ian Kinsler hit a ball that landed well into foul territory. The umpires initially called it a home run and when they did everyone went nuts. While the umpires were reviewing the play here was what the Mariners bullpen looked like:
The call eventually got overturned and they called the home run back. Before that the umpires blew another call when Felix Hernandez tried to make a sweeping tag on Endy Chavez and missed. But Chavez clearly ran out of the baseline. It would’ve been an out but the umpires ruled him safe.
In the fourth inning, Adrian Beltre went deep off of Felix Hernandez. The ball landed in the Mariners bullpen and close enough for me to glove-trick it out of there. I had enough time but I just stood there looking at it. Well, to be honest, I would have had to knock the ball closer and then rig up my glove to snatch it up. So it would have taken some time. I probably would have still got it though. Here’s a picture of me running around the bullpen after the baseball in hopes it bounced out and into the fan area:
The Rangers eventually won 3-0. The good news? I got an awesome picture with the Tacoma Rainers mascot!

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Game; September 18th 2011 Texas Rangers vs Seattle Mariners

Gameballs; Two

Attendance; 21,479

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $187.10 this season.

Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $47.20 this
season

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