On August 20th 2011 we went to Washington to see the visiting Phillies play the hometown Nats. Most pictures are non baseball.
My first sight of stadiums was the Aberdeen IronBirds stadium.
We also saw the home of the Baltimore Ravens
We saw the home of the Washington Post
We went to a rest stop with biker dudes and a Phillips seafood with good hushpuppies
We walked through Dupont circle and got lunch at Cosi then went to Krisy Kreme
At 3:00 I left for the Metro Station at Dupont Circle. We rode a really long escalator.
We had to get off at China Town and go to a green line or something like that. It took us to the Navy Yard station and we walked to Nationals Park. I forgot to take a picture because I was in a rush to get to will call and get my tickets. I just used an internet photo instead for the blog.
I got a Ian Desmond bobblehead
I had never been to the stadium before so I was just getting to know my way around. I went to the seats near the Red Porch. Livan Hernandez was throwing everyone balls and homeruns were going into the spacious area in the back. It was perfect.
As soon as I got down to the corner spot near the batters eye Livan gave me my first ball of the day.
After that, things got really slow. I tried using the glove trick on a ball but the usher stopped me. Once, I lost a homerun in the sun. Another time resulted in a tossup being throw to me. A guy deflected the ball back onto the field. I ran through the confusing concourse and got to right field when a Nats coach threw me ball number two. Thats it!
Just follow the arrows to see my path from the game.
I went to monuments and the White House and museums. Thats pretty much it for DC!
On June 11th 2011 I went down to Citizens Bank Park to see my Phillies play the Chicago Cubs. I raced into the stadium and found a spot in left field. As I turned towards the bullpen, I noticed that somebody on the Cubs was having a bullpen session. I put my Cubs hat and shirt on and went to the bullpen. My path is in the yellow line.
When I got there I got a great spot behind bullpen coach Lester Strode
After the pitcher finished, the catcher who I think was Andrew Lane gave the ball to Lester and he was going to give it to an older ballhawk in Cubs gear but I shouted out his name and he turned around and gave me the ball instead.
I went back to left field and got a good spot where Danys Baez instantly spotted me and gave me my second ball
Notice that Baltimore doesn’t have an opponent on the out of town scoreboard.
I went to right field shortly before the Phils left the field and glove tricked my 3rd ball of the day as the Phillies were leaving the field.
The Cubs took the field and within seconds a translator hooked me up with ball number 4.
The next 10-15 minutes were slow and uneventful. I noticed that a foul grounder was hit to right field that Rodrigo Lopez had left for ten minutes so I went over there. My path is in yellow.
I glove tricked the ball and that was all for the day.
On August 28th I went to Citizens Bank Park with my family. When we got near Cherry Hill, it started to rain hard. It was on and off mostly but, when it was on, it was coming down really hard. This caused very few people to show up before gametime. Like it was on cue, the rain stopped as we parked our car in the parking lot so we headed into line. I knew that BP was not going to happen so I waited in line with my Marlins gear on which caused ushers from letting me into a section near the dugout later on. We headed down the left field line to section 138 (circled in red)
We had a view of the field and the Marlins pitchers that looked like this
As you can tell in the photo above, it started to rain again, this time very heavy. I got autographs from Mike Dunn, Steve Cishek, Clay Hensley and, Burke Badenhop.
As Burke was signing for me, he said “hey buddy want a ball” obvously, I said yes and he walked over to the equiptment bag and grabbed my first ball of the day.
Later on, I asked somebody for a ball as they were walking in. Somebody behind me said, “really, he already got a ball” I turned around and explained the whole ballhawking thing and she was just like whatever.
Dunn and Cishek were the last ones out and they were walking in togheter. I called them over and asked them to sign. They said that they would of both given me a baseball but, Randy St. Clair had already brought the bag back into the dugout. I went to the Phillies dugout but I thought that Marlins skipper Jack McKeon was signing autographs but he was done. Atleast I got a wave.
As I stood behind the Marlins dugout I felt taunted. The entire team was in the dugout waiting out the rain just like the phillies were. Since I couldn’t get into the Diamond Club, I wasn’t able to get autographs from players as they went to and from the clubhouse. The tarp remained on the field as game time approached. Dan Baker, the PA announcer went on to the field to announce that the game was canceled and that we could come back on September 15th at 2 pm. As we went out Dan baker said hello to me and I saw the new Harry Kalas statue.
Once again we made the drive to Philadelphia in the rain. We arrived at the stadium shortly before noon, under an hour until gate time. When I called up the Phillies they said the gates opened at half past tweleve but they didn’t open intil a quarter after one. I was the first in line as normal. We got into the stadium and I ran to the same section that I was at on August 28th, 138. When I got there, Jeff Urgelles and two other people I can’t identify were talking to eachother. I acted dumb and looked like I was trying to find my seat, which happened to be right in front of them. They ended up talking to me for 15 minutes and signing and taking pictures. It was pretty cool.
Later, as a player was walking in he took the remaining balls that were on the field. He threw the first ball to a little kid directly behind me. The next ball was thrown into the batters eye and he walked in with the third ball. As he walked by, I said “How ’bout one for a Marlins fan” he said “what?” and I repeated what I said. He flipped me my second ball from about 10 feet away.
Some guy from Miami recignized me from August and told me who signed autographs for me, which was kind of creppy but also kind of cool. Shane Victorino threw his warm up ball into my section twice. I was at the scoreboard porch because I wanted to take a break from ballhawking. I was in the second row. Both times that the ball was from to my section resulted in failures. Once, the ball hit the ribbon board and bounced down. The second time resulted in someone younger that me pushing me aside and robbing me of the ball. Whatever, there is nothing that you can do about it!
One hour before the gates opened I arrived at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia for game 1 of the NLDS and I saw a familiar face, ballhawk Zack Hample. We took pictures togheter. One of the pictures is below,
After getting a rally towel and denying a Phan Photo picture I ran to left field and quickly got a Hunter Pence homerun in section 144. The picture is from Phillies.com
Later on, I went to section 101 and got denied by the Cardinals so I went to the center field camerawell which the fans where allowed to stand in during BP and got Arthur Rhodes to sign a Sprin Training Cardinals logo baseball that I got in Jupiter last Spring. In the same section, Arthur tossed up my second, and sadly final baseball of the day. I went to my standing room section in Ashburn Alley and met up with Zack again.
The Phillies Phans were pumped up for playoff baseball!
We had a great view of the field
The Phillies won the game and took a 1-0 lead in the NLDS
—————————————————————————————-Lifetime Stats as Ballhawk————————————————————————-
|Average Per Game||2.50|
|Double-digit Games Outside Philadelphia||0|
|Game Home Run Balls||1|
|Game Home Run Balls at Citizens Bank Park||1|
|Most Balls in One Game||5|
|Average Competition Factor||91,253|
|Spring Training Balls||0|
Average Per Game-2.00
Game Home Run Balls-1
Most Balls in One Game-5
Average Competition Factor-91,253
Spring Training Balls-0
Yesterday I realized that I hadn’t made an introduction post so here you go. I live near Philadelphia so I go to a lot of Phillies games. I also go to MILB games in Trenton. I ballhawk. I have been on Zack Hamples blog, http://snaggingbaseballs.mlblogs.com/ and I have a profile at myGameballs http://mygameballs.com/home. I am going to make entries from last season. Happy reading!!!
I can’t get my photos uploaded because my phone is being really stupid so you will just have to look at pictures from other websites to take the place of my pictures.
As I was on my was to the city I saw the beautiful Philly skyline for the first time since the playoffs in October.
Suddenly, I saw the beautiful stadium that I have been to many times.
We went to the team shop and saw Phoebe, the Phanatic’s mom.
Along with Phoebe we saw the Christmas carolers.
Suddenly, fire sirens went off and a truck with the Phanatic, Vance Worley and Charlie Manuel came near the tree. We all counted down for the tree to be light with “Phanta”
I can’t believe that we are only 71 days until pitchers and catchers report!
Credit where it’s due—
Philly Skyline- http://transitionalwork.org/corp1/