Results tagged ‘ Snagging baseballs for puppies ’

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

Seattle Humane Society Official Charity Page

Dear Family and Friends,

I recently accepted the challenge to raise funds to support Seattle Humane Society. Please help support me in this important community resource by contributing generously. For information about Seattle Humane Society and its programs, you can visit http://shs.convio.net/site/PageServer.

It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause by making your tax-deductible donation online using the link below. If you would prefer, you can send your contribution to the address listed below.

Whatever you can give will help – it all adds up! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

Sincerely, Wayne Peck

To make a donation online, visit my personal page.

To send a donation, mail to:

Wayne Peck

PO Box 1225 Ave D Snohomish, WA 98291-1225

Make all checks payable to: Seattle Humane Society

 

Snagging Baseball for Puppies in 2013!

For two years in a row now, I’ve created, managed, and recruited people for my charity; Snagging Baseball for Puppies. It takes an insane amount of time and work to keep a legitimate charity up and running. If you’ve read my most recent blog entry here, you’ll know my 2012 baseball season was cut short due to life not really working with me but alas, working against me. I put an insane amount of time and energy into two jobs thus working 60+ hours a week. It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t worth it. If I could, I’d give every red cent back to those places of employment to get my summer back. The only thing I can do now is to look forward and make better decisions concerning my livelihood and what’s important to me.

I’ve been using Crowdrise.com as my main donation page for the past two seasons. For the 2013 season, I will be using a better format and a page directly from the Seattle Humane Society. You can take a look at it here and leave me comments on how I can make it better or if you think this will be a better choice for my charity. Here, check it out! For those of you who have pledged a monetary amount towards Snagging Baseballs for Puppies, and as I have stated in my last blog entry, hang onto your change. Unless you are seriously wanting to donate, you can at Crowdrise.com. Be mindful that the minimum donation is $10. And since I only snagged 50 baseballs in roughly 25 games, your donation will actually be under that minimum $10 amount. Your second option is to just hang onto your money and I’ll tack it onto next years snagged baseballs.

So the plan is this; attend Mariners Fanfest this season and then I’m headed to Houston for their home opener! Last year I went to the Mariners fanfest and it was literally the most exciting fun I’ve done in a long time concerning baseball. Also, I posted a blog about a Mariners ticket giveaway. (This is in no way affiliated with Mariners baseball, it’s my own contest.) Well, since I never really followed through with that, I’m going to make up for it. (Yah, I’m a great guy, right?) Every new baseball stadium I visit, I’m going to purchase two “cheap-seat” tickets for you and a friend, leave them at will-call and we can catch up inside and shake hands, BS around, or whatever you’d like. You’ll have to win the contest (which is a simple baseball trivia game on Twitter) so make sure you follow me on there! And make sure you can attend that evenings game as well.

There’s more. I still have a ton of signed baseballs I’m looking to get rid of. It’s a simple $10 dollar donation to get one and all proceeds go to my charity. I can give them away in contest form or you can just email me at WaynePeck@yahoo.com and claim one when I get things up and running again. This is important to me, so don’t ask for one if you can’t donate. Okay? Thank you.

Anyway, I have a lot of work to do for next years season. I have to get into physical shape, I have to make sure my gear is good to go for snagging baseballs and I have to make sure my links, websites and everything else is up to par. Get the word out, folks! I may be coming to a stadium near you to snag some baseballs for puppies!

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!

 

4-13-2012 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!

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!

Autographed Baseball Auction

Well, I’m all done tinkering with all the baseballs I could identify. I have about 22 signed baseballs that I will put up for purchase, and all proceeds will go to my charity. You can check out the details here. The charity is called, Snagging Baseballs for Puppies. Some rules that you need to know: I will not accept cash. There is no exception to this rule, whatsoever. Also, all prices are negotiable but understand this; once you donate and receive the baseball, I will not accept the baseball back. It’s yours to do whatever you want with it. And in the event that you do not like what you’ve received, this is a tax-deductible charitable organization. So in other words, if you are unhappy with what you’ve essentially donated for, you can get your money back at the end of the year (most of it, anyway). Or whenever you do your taxes next. I’m not trying to be unreasonable, I just wanted to point some of these things to you so we are all on the same sheet of music.

So without further ado…

First row from left to right: Troy Glaus, Alex Gordon, Dave McKay, Gary Mathews Jr

Second row from left to right: Brian Moehler, Bruce Chen, Max Scherzer, Dusty Baker

Third row from left to right: Mario Soto, Jose Cruz, Jerry Lynch, Brian Moehler

Fourth row from left to right: Melky Cabrera, Torii Hunter, Kevin Seitzer, Edison Volquez

Fifth row from left to right: Rick Hacker, Bud Norris, Colby Rasmus, Brian Moehler

Last row from left to right: Jim Maloney, Ryan Hanigan

Here’s how this is going to work. I’m going to make things fairly simple to reduce any kinds of problems that may arise. All you have to do to get a hold of one of these prized possessions is leave a comment below claiming which baseball(s) you want (first come, first serve). Secondly, send me an email with your name and address and I’ll take care of the rest! Make sure you go to Crowdrise.com to make your donation! Don’t worry about shipping costs and all that jazz. I’m not really prepared to set up any kind of auction system if someone comes to me with more money for a baseball. It’s simple ,first come, first serve. So if you see a ball you want, jump on it.!I’m not sure how fast these baseballs will go. Also, the Dusty Baker ball and the Ryan Hanigan ball, the signatures are a little faded. And none of these baseballs are on authentic Major League balls.

Now for the best part. I have a 2009 Cincinnati Reds team ball up for purchase as well. And here’s the kicker; since I got Joey Votto on a separate baseball, I’m combining the two! Here, take a look:

The team ball with all those signatures that you see? That’s on an official Major League baseball. The Votto signature isn’t. The reason why I didn’t use authentic MLB balls is because they’re like $15-25 dollars a piece and these Rawlings balls, although, just as good for signatures, were quite a bit cheaper. So I could get more of my favorite players on many more baseballs. I just want you to be aware of what type of baseballs these signatures are on.

Anyway, to wrap this up, I’m listing the prices below:

Troy Glaus: $20.00 (No longer available)

Alex Gordon: $20.00 (No longer available)

Dave McKay: $10.00

Gary Mathews Jr: $10.00 (No longer available)

Brian Moehler: $10.00

Bruce Chen: $10.00

Max Scherzer: $10.00 (No longer available)

Dusty Baker: $15.00 (No longer available)

Mario Soto: $35.00

Jose Cruz: $35.00

Jerry Lynch: $10.00

Melky Cabrera: $15.00 (No longer available)

Torii Hunter: $35.00 (No longer Available)

Kevin Seitzer: $25.00

Edison Volquez: $15.00

Rick Hacker: $10.00

Bud Norris: $20.00 (No longer available)

Colby Rasmus: $15.00 (No longer available)

Jim Maloney: $10.00

Ryan Hanigan: $15.00

2009 Cincinnati Reds w/ Joey Votto: $75.00

There’s your prices, folks! Throw some bids my way in the comments section and we will see what we can work out! Remember, shipping is free, and this is a tax deductible charitable organization! All proceeds go to my charity and I thank you for looking!

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies

The World Series is happening right now. And yes I’m very excited for both teams. Since I won’t be attending any World Series games due to lack of free schedule this fall my baseball season as concluded. But on a rather high note, I must say. I started this baseball season with the intent to attend nearly one hundred baseball games. Well, that didn’t happen. I attended roughly 53 games. But I did travel to a few new baseball stadiums like, PETCO PARK, AT&T Park, The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Angels Stadium and Coors Field. I never did make it to Sun Life Stadium or Tropicana Field like I had hoped this year. Sadly, Sun Life Stadium won’t be used as a baseball stadium next year. But the Marlins are getting a new stadium called Miami Ballpark and it should be epic.

I did, however, turn my baseball hobby into a charitable lifestyle. Last year I attended 37 games and snagged 87 baseballs. Mainly at Busch Stadium. And I did travel to Kauffman Stadium a bunch of times, I visited U.S Cellular in Chicago a couple of times, I even traveled to Cincinnati to see Great American Ballpark. And let’s not forget my trip to Texas where I watched game six of the ALCS. That was so awesome that I’d like to return to the Texas Rangers Ballpark in Arlington at least one more time. This year was one of the best seasons I’ve ever had. Mainly because I met so many awesome people who I’ll probably be friends for life with now. And, like I mentioned before, I started a charity project.

If you’re new to my Facebook page or new to reading my Tweets on Twitter then this blog entry that you’re reading now will do you some good. It will explain in detail how my charity works, how you can help and what I’m exactly doing traveling to different stadiums in the U.S like a mad man. And I’ll even hit on some future projects I’d like to start.

First and foremost this season was awesome. I attended 53 games and snagged a “career high” of 135 baseballs. You can check out my baseball snagging statistics here if you want. (I haven’t entered in the last game I attended yet) Anyway. That website that you just looked at breaks down my individual stats along with many other Ballhawks that chase baseballs during the season. As you can see I have an important streak going for myself. I’ve attended 98 games consecutively where I’ve snagged at least one baseball. To me that’s pretty impressive. Well, sorta. It’s actually very easy to catch a baseball at a Major League baseball game. Just ask Zack Hample. This dude is amazing and a very nice guy. He came to Safeco Field on his quest to attend all 30 Major League stadiums and snag at least 1,000 baseballs during the season.

So with all that information you’ve just took in I sat down one morning and asked myself how I could make snagging baseballs at stadiums more exciting and at the same time how could it help the community of Seattle. Since my home stadium is now Safeco Field I thought to myself, what am I most passionate about. Dogs and baseball. (Sorry, ladies.) And since I am so addicted to baseball and have an undying love for dogs…Snagging Baseballs for Puppies was born! I contacted the Seattle Humane Society via email and presented my idea. immediately they loved the idea, I was emailed some paperwork, and then the season started! The problem was that in order for this all to work I had to rely on neighbors, friends and family to pledge an amount per baseball that I’d snag at games. Here’s how it works;

I go to games and snag as many baseballs as I can. (my game high is like, eight) I blog about every game so people can read how I snagged them and picture evidence is also provided in the blog entry, and you as the readers email me and tell me how much you want to pledge per baseball that I catch. Now some Ballhawks have certain rules that they follow on catching baseballs. Me personally? If I catch it and it’s an Official Major League baseball AT an Official Major League Stadium, it counts. Plain and simple. It doesn’t matter of it bounces off some kids face into my glove or if it bounces between two fans and lands in my cup of soda…it counts. I used to count only the baseballs that I went home with. But what about the ones I give away to kids? Or military veterans? Those count. I even caught a baseball OUTSIDE Safeco Field this season! Peter Bourjos hit a BP home run into the party deck and it bounced all the way to the gates where I was standing. That happened I think on 6-13-2011.

When you make a pledge it’s also very simple. Unless you’re rich you want to keep your pledges in the cent range. Like, .10 cents a ball or .25 cents a ball. Because at the end of the season when I rack up my total and I’ve snagged 135 baseballs and if you’ve pledged $3.00 a ball..well…that’s $405.00 big ones. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that. I’m just saying try to keep your pledges realistic. Because who knows. I could go to a game and snag twenty baseballs and if you’ve pledged a dollar amount that you won’t be able to cover at the end of the season that looks pretty bad on your part. And if you don’t want to make a pledge you can just make a flat rate donation of $10.00. That’s the minimum that Crowdrise.com will allow. I have nothing to do with that. And yes I think that’s rather high. But I also understand that you can pay with a debit/credit card and I think the banks charge them a certain amount per transaction. I don’t know how it all works.

I think I’ve pretty much covered everything. So in conclusion I’d like to thank all that have pledged. Dorothey, Jennifer, Zack, Bronson, Kathy and Robert, thank you all so much for your pledges. It means a lot to me and it means a lot to those animals that the money went to, to try to help enrich their lives that much more.

And for those that just dropped a donation that is very much appreciated too. I couldn’t thank you all enough. Carla, Charlie, Ryan, #GirlsCorner, and a couple anonymous donations. I hope I got everyone. Together we raised over $200 dollars! And that is just amazing! This is the email I received from the people at the Seattle Humane Society.

“Hi Wayne,

Great job on your fundraising efforts!   Thank you for your support of the animals at Seattle Humane!  We’d be honored to be part of your project again next year.  I will let you know when we receive the donations.

Thanks,

Fil”

So there you have it, people. I’ll be at it again next year and hopefully, as a group, we will be able to raise more than $200 dollars again! That’s the goal, anyway!

 

8-3-2011 Angels Stadium of Anaheim

Now that I’m back traveling to different baseball stadiums around the United States my charity has picked up again. If you didn’t know or are just browsing my blogs and are interested in more information about my charity I will provide the links that you can click on to check it all out. But allow me to explain a little bit about it first before you get all click happy. I’ve been going to live baseball games ever since I was nine years old and my very first baseball game was at the Kingdome in Seattle in 1989. Since then I’ve always wanted to catch baseballs at stadiums. Well, growing up I never really got the opportunity to do so. But in 2004 things really changed for me. It was during my first tour of Iraq when I was in the Army and I came home on Rest and Relaxation leave for two weeks. My friends in Kansas City had tickets to a double-header Kansas City Royals game. I didn’t really catch the baseball but an usher/security guard hooked me up with one when she found out that I was home from Iraq. Later I got the baseball signed by some Royals baseball players.

Since then I’ve made it a priority to travel the United States to see baseball games at different stadiums I haven’t been to yet. I’ve been to Safeco Field, Oakland Coliseum, AT&T Park, PETCO Park, Angels Stadium in Anaheim, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Coors Field, Kauffman Stadium, Busch Stadium, US Cellular, and Great American Ballpark. Last year was my first playoff game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.  This year alone I have been to five new stadiums. PETCO Park, AT&T Park, Oakland Coliseum, Angels Stadium of Anaheim, and Coors Field. And if everything works out for me I plan to get to Sun Life Stadium AND Chase Field this year. And maybe one more round at AT&T Park. I love that stadium so much. I’d love to catch a ball out on the Cove too. So anyway. This year I wanted to do something extra special WHILE doing my thing at baseball stadiums. Since 2004 Ive snagged 194 baseballs over the course of the years and this year alone I have snagged a career high of 97. I hooked up with the Seattle Humane Society and I was like, “Hey, I snag baseballs at Major League baseball games. How about if I find people to make a pledge per ball that I catch and at the end of the year tally up all the pledges and donate a ton of money to you guys..?” And they were like, “Whoa Wayne, that sounds awesome! Sure! We’d love to support that!” And I was like, “Okay, cool! I’ll go buy a ticket to a game and get to work!” Well, so far I’ve raised $160.00. That might not seem like a lot of money but think about how much money you spend on YOUR dog every month. $160.00 of other people’s’ money goes a long way at an animal shelter. Plus all the other things I’m bringing down there. Blankets, cans of dog food that I’m buying with my own money, (and yes I’m pledging money to my own charity as well) and an assortment of toys too. So if you want to get on board here is the link you can click on. Click here. Also if you want to follow me on Twitter you can click here. And if you want to follow me on Facebook you can click here. 

I put the next stadium on my list on my sights and headed out. I landed in Orange county California around 11am and took a $40 dollar cab ride to my hotel room. Just for your information, (and I normally don’t do this) but I stayed at a Motel 6 when I went to Coors Field on 5-27-2011 and it was probably the worst experience of my life. Not only did I have to pay $5.99 for internet that barely worked but people were constantly coming and going all throughout the night. The actual room itself had that lingering cigarette smoke smell which just made me sick every time I went inside. Well, I stayed at a Motel 6 again when I arrived in Anaheim. The room was a lot better but I still had to pay for internet. $2.99 this time. That’s not the worst part. I couldn’t check into my room until 3pm! I had one bag of luggage that I had to leave behind in some back room and then I took a $10 dollar cab ride to the nearest Denny’s. But Denny’s milkshakes always makes things better.

When Angels Stadium of Anaheim came into view I took this photo…

…it was a glorious sight. Angels Stadium of Anaheim. My first time being here. I expected it to be really hot but it was really just a cool 85 degrees. As I ventured on I started my exploration of the stadium. Did you know that this stadium was built in 1967? That is a ton of baseball history folks. Seriously.

Right field gates. The area surrounding the stadium reminded me of PETCO Park when I visited there on 6-24-2011. All the green palm trees and lush vegetation. It was almost like a theme park. Oh wait. Disney land is right up the road! No wonder!

When I walked further around the stadium I found the back entrance where the baseball players entered the stadium. Of course there was a small group of people asking for autographs and sharing stories of how they got their favorite player to sign. There is always a group of people like this at every stadium. But since there was so much dense vegetation hiding the players parking lot the autograph hounds had to get creative.

Pretty sweet, right? Maybe the plants are like that because so many autographs have been signed that either the players or the autograph seekers just naturally broke plant branches away. Or maybe the grounds crew trims the bushes like that. Who knows. I continued my walk around the stadium..

The giant halo statue. But that’s as close as I got to it. I continued my stroll around the stadium and ended up at the front office. The door was wide open so I walked inside to find the lovely secretary taking phone calls at the desk. We talked for a moment but she was entirely too busy to field any of my questions. Instead I took some photographs of the front office. Take a look…

 

…and here’s a staircase that leads to Angels heaven…

Before I left I made sure to ask the secretary for some rubber bands. I had forgotten some before I left Seattle and I was frantic about it. Rubber bands are key for the glove trick. I didn’t know what I’d be up against at Angels Stadium so I wanted to get my hands on some rubber bands before batting practice started. And whaddayaknow! She had some!

When I finally made it to will call to pick up my tickets I was so hot and tired, (mainly from lack of sleep) that I decided to pull up some bench and catch a cat nap. It was just after 12pm anyway so I had boat loads of time. I think I slept until about 3pm. I felt energized and ready to snag some baseballs! The stadium didn’t open for another two hours so I found a comfy spot by the gate, out of the sun, out of anyones’ way and just relaxed. Being in Anaheim for the first time was really cool. I still couldn’t believe I was here. I would consider moving down here but I think I’d miss Seattle too much. I love Safeco Field.

The front of the stadium looks just like a movie set from Hollywood. With all those oversized baseball bats and oversized baseballs it definitely had the Disneyland theme going on there. But it was unique in a way. It wasn’t like the other stadiums. Of course being built in 1967 how could it be like all the other new stadiums? I couldn’t wait to get inside!

Here is me, me and me standing outside the stadium…

Isn’t that just the best picture ever? My Dad made it for me. Well, I didn’t really come up with the idea until after I boarded the plane to head back to Seattle…and now I wish I would have done different poses to make it look cooler. But it’s still cool. My Dad, in my professional opinion, is a pro photographer. He really does some quality stuff and if you want to check it out all you have to do is click here.

After my nap and after clowning around with my camera it was time to enter the stadium. I was so stoked. I didn’t have a game plan because, well, I’ve never been here before. I thought about following the crowd. But the problem with that is from a baseball snagging standpoint you want to go where fewer people are. So whichever way they went I’d go the opposite way. When the gates opened at 5pm sharp I bolted for the turnstiles. The security guard scanned my ticket and the crowd took a hard left towards the first base side. I took mental note that the Angels were on the first base side. Why else would a mob of Angels fans go that way? So I took a hard right and raced down the concourse for an open tunnel to enter the field level area. As soon as I found one I darted in and raced towards the dugouts…but I was stopped by security. Great. What stupid rule does Angels Stadium impose on their fans today? The security guard asked for my ticket and I just knew I wasn’t allowed down by the dugouts unless I had a ticket for that section. Even during batting practice. I hate these rules. It’s so anti-fan. It makes baseball less fun. Why not allow all fans to wander the entire stadium? Who cares? I was told by security I could enter the field level seating area at section 130. I knew she was going to say something like that so I snatched my ticket back and ran away before she really could explain anything to me. I’d figure it out on my own if anything.

When I got out in right field Tyler Chatwood was fielding the majority of the baseballs. He never once looked up at anyone or paid anyone any attention. And he’d pass the baseball off to Fernando Rodney and he would throw the ball in.

The base walls were about 5 feet high so there would be no leaning over the wall and making an easy scoop. If I wanted a baseball I’d have to literally hang upside down to scoop one up. In the next picture take a look at how high the walls are here at Angels Stadium…

 

Not only the high walls a major problem but the bright sun was in my face. Any home run ball or any foul ball that came my way I’d have to look directly into the sun. But incidentally enough the bright sun actually helped me. An older gentleman came wandering over and stood on my right side. Bobby Cassevah continued his warm-up tosses to his throwing partner, and then as he finished up he fielded a ground ball that came his way. People were calling out to him and at that time I had on my Twins hat. I was kind of kicking myself for putting on the hat prematurely. But to Bobby Cassevah it made no difference. He tossed the baseball right to me but the glaring sun was so bright I just stuck my glove out, closed my eyes, and hoped it would make it to me. This was the result…

…it was stamped with a “practice” logo on it which meant it was made in China. Still pretty cool. I don’t think I have a baseball with that particular stamp on it. I do have plenty of “practice” baseballs though.

I decided to circle the stadium and take more photos now that the pressure was off of getting a baseball. I really only wanted one. Just to say I caught a baseball at Angels Stadium. Mission complete. I went out into the outfield to check out the action. It was dead except for a few Angels Stadium regulars. When the baseballs clear the outfield fence in centerfield there is a security guard by the name of Patrick. He collects them all up and hands them off to various Angels Stadium regulars. I tried to get one from him but since he didn’t know me it wasn’t going to happen.

There’s a picture of Patrick. Notice where he is walking too. When baseballs land on that area they really spring-board off of it and into the seats. It’s really a lot of fun to try to run them down after they bounce. And in the result of that I took a hard spill into the seats when Jim Thome sliced one my way. It landed about where Patrick is standing and bounced over my head. I leaned way to my right to try to catch it but I lost my footing and went down onto the seating row. It hurt so bad and I thought I had maybe bruised a rib or even cracked one. It turned out to be just a minor scratch that ended up turning into a major bruise. And I didn’t even get the baseball. That was one of the two things I wanted to do while in Anaheim. Catch a Jim Thome home run ball either from BP or during the game. Jim Thome has so much power. It was a lot of fun watching him drop bombs to both sides of the stadium.

I went back over to the first base side to watch some of the Twins warmup and maybe snag an overthrow or two. When I arrived the woman in the below picture got nailed by a foul ball and when Alex Burnett came over to see if she was okay she immediately asked for an autograph. I thought that was pretty funny. Alex took the time to sign a few and then wandered off to shag fly balls.

If I would have been there a few seconds earlier that would have been my second ball on the day. And I may have been able to save the woman from getting hit by a baseball too. As Alex was signing Mr Jim Thome came out to stretch and do his pre-game routine. I think he came out just to get a crowd reaction. And he got one alright. People were begging for his autograph. He never once looked at the crowd or responded to one request.

He didn’t stay out long and then it was back into the dugout. Having almost caught a baseball off his bat moments ago only made this moment that much more special for me. I even called out to him that I would be the guy that would catch his 600th career home run. How true that was? Probably not very. He’s not an everyday player anymore either. So it would be a miracle to see him hit number 600 while I was here in Anaheim. But that’s why I came out.

After batting practice ended I would usually fight my way down to the dugouts to try to get one more baseball. But since Angels Stadium decided that only fans with those tickets should be allowed by the dugouts I didn’t bother to even try. I probably could have made it but I still wanted to watch the game. Getting kicked out of the stadium before the game wasn’t my thing. I went and found my seat instead and waited for the game to start. When it did here was my view…

Front row seating in fair territory! There was no possible way I wouldn’t end up catching something while sitting here! I think it was about the third inning when Peter Bourjos launched a deep drive right to me. I stood up as soon as it was hit and I watched it reach its apex. I thought to myself, “Wow! Here it comes! My first home run ball!” But the baseball continued to climb and fall deeper and deeper. I knew it was going to go deeper than my row so I turned and started to climb the stairs after it. But at that time fans just poured out into the staircase in front of me and I was blocked by kids. I made a lame attempt at trying to catch it but it landed two or three rows farther back. I waited for the bounce but it was a clean catch made by the fan that caught it.

Around the fifth or six inning Denard Span launched one nearly in the same spot but it bounced out of the guys hands and landed down in the tunnel area where the on duty cop chased after it and gave it to the nearest fan. And after that the Angels made a pitching change. So I snapped this photo of Vernon Wells hanging out.

The Angels were absolutely stomped by the Twins. They lost 11-4 and Jim Thome wasn’t even on the roster. I have one more day in Anaheim so I hope I’ll get to see him play.

 

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Game; August 3rd 2011 Minnesota Twins vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Gameballs; One

Attendance; 35,555

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $156.85 this season.

Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $38.50 this
season

 

 

7-30-2011 Safeco Field

A lot has happened in the last few days. I’ve received a ton of questions about that Ichiro look-alike guy that I blogged about on 7-29-2011 at Safeco Field. Apparently he interfered with a fair ball down the first base line a couple of games ago, got the baseball, gave it to a fan and then got ejected for doing so. You can probably find the video of it on the Mariners website under highlights. Anyway. I don’t know the specifics of what his intentions are or why he does what he does. He’s probably just another huge Ichiro fan. In Seattle we get a lot of street shows so I just lumped him in with the rest. Also in my blog entry on 7-29-2011 at Safeco Field I mentioned that I had met Seth McClungs mother. Well, Seth McClung contacted me and informed me that was not his mother. Here’s how I assumed it was. The woman started rambling on about how she had a son in the Major leagues and that he played for the Milwaukee Brewers. Or was drafted by them and was in single A baseball. So I googled all and any former and current draftees by the Brewers and Seth McClungs’ name came up in all my search results. So naturally I just assumed. Not the case. I do apologize for that mistake.

Here is the Ichiro look-alike grabbing the fair ball hit by Dustin Ackley…

…and then finding out it was a fair ball…

…and then being ejected…

…even Ichiro Doppelgangers don’t stand a chance against Safeco security.

Today’s game started promptly at 1:05pm. For that reason alone I wasn’t going to attend the game because I’m on a mission to snag 200 lifetime baseballs. I only need like seven more. Plus I have a streak of 85 consecutive games of catching at least one baseball at a game. Since there is a possibly that BP wouldn’t happen it makes snagging baseballs that much harder. But I went anyway. When I ran into the stadium at 10:40am I saw this…

Holy. Crap. That’s Jack Wilson, by the way, pitching to his son. Look at all those baseballs! Sure I’d get at least one, right? His son was even hitting them over the centerfield wall. And when he did so I asked the security guard if he could possibly throw one up to me. His answer? “I can’t give them away.” Whatever, dude. I hate it when those security guards lie like that. I’d rather be ignored then lied to.

By then the centerfield party porch started to fill up and Jack Wilsons kid wasn’t able to hit anything remotely close to us. But he did have some good pop. But I did see this…

I also noticed that the batting cage equipment wasn’t behind the centerfield wall like it normally would be on a 1:05pm game. Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve attended afternoon games with batting practice before. But it’s not a normal thing. So when I noticed that the batting cage equipment was gone I quickly lined up at the stairs to be the first one down on the third base side. But then at the last-minute I noticed all the Mariner players lining up on the first base side. They all had gloves and baseballs too. You know what that meant? Long toss! I jumped out of line and ran to the other side of the ‘Pen and lined up at the other staircase. As soon as they let us go I raced down to the first base side and got behind Josh Bard and his throwing partner. As a result I nearly caught TWO overthrows simultaneously. One of them nearly bounced over the tarp and into the seats but it ended up being scooped up by a grounds crew member. He rubbed the dirt off of it and in mid-toss to me Josh Bard stopped him and took the ball back. Bummer.

But as soon as Josh Bard was done playing catch with the baseball he started to walk away and underhanded it to me. I had to jump for it a little though.

After that I ran over to line up behind Felix Hernandez and Jason Phillips.

I still really wanted a baseball from Felix and I was thinking this is as close as it’s probably going to get this season. As soon as I walked up behind them Felix lost control of his throw and the baseball sailed into the seats. I yelled “Heads up!” as loud as I could and then chased down the baseball. Of course Phillips needed the baseball back and I happily tossed it to him. He then told me to “stick around” because he was going to toss me the baseball once he and the King were done with it. Awesome! That’s what I did. I “stuck around”. Sure enough after fifteen minutes of “sticking around” Phillips tossed me the baseball. Speaking of sticking around…the ball that Felix and Phillips were playing with was so rubbed up with pine tar my fingers actually stuck to the baseball.

I waited around for more overthrows that might have occurred for maybe another ten minutes and then I walked over to the third base side of the stadium to see if I could get one of the Tampa Bay Rays players to throw one to me.

Now. Pay very close attention here. Do you see the player standing way out in center field by the “Dave” sign? That’s Dan Cortez. He just got called back up to Seattle from Triple-A Tacoma. While I was standing around waiting for some more Rays players to come out and start throwing I noticed that Dan Cortez had tried to hook up a fan with a baseball. And guess what happened? Yup! The fan bobbled it and it dropped down behind the center field wall gap. I was all over that. I ran up the stairs, sprinted around the concourse, down the stairs into the ‘Pen area and arrived at the party porch in center field. I assembled my glove for the glove trick, lowered it down, scooped up the baseball and handed it off to the nearest fan. That was number three on the day. I even welcomed Dan back to Seattle and he gave me the “rock and roll” hand signal.

When James “Big game” Shields came out to toss the baseball around I switched back to my Rays hat and wandered down to the left field corner of Safeco. Of course the game would be starting soon and I was ready to be kicked out of the section at any moment. I was surprised when it didn’t ever happen.

After James was finished playing long toss he came over and started signing autographs…

…and then he signed some more…

…and then he took a break and caught some highlights on the jumbo-tron…

…and then he signed my ticket stub…

…and then we took a picture together…

…and then the Seattle Mariners went on to win the baseball game by a score of 3-2. And they only allowed one hit!

Game; July 30th  2011 Tampa Bay Rays vs Seattle Mariners

Gameballs; three

Attendance; 24,985

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $155.80 this season.

Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $38.20 this
season

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