Diamondbacks v Pirates, Chase Field, 8/8-9/2022

It is always a good thing to see your home team on the road, familiarity is great.

Monday, 8/8

To begin, as in all the new cities I go to, I take a nice long run and get a feel for the architecture, weather, people, culture, etc…..

The dry heat and mountainous areas of Arizona are surely unique, I thought of going out to one of the trails outside of the city but thought otherwise due to cost of transportation, and kinda not wanting to get bit by a snake, get lost, who knows.

I first came upon a nicely designed small park, garden and pond next to a Sheraton hotel and other office buildings.

Frogs and Palm Trees

Picture below is from the street I stayed on, a ten minute walk to Chase Field and downtown Arizona

I took this one on the day that it rained, it was nothing much but I limited drizzle for a few hours after turning back to heavy, dry heat.

Arizona State University and Arizona University branch campuses were located close to my place and offered some nice desert like architecture.

An art installment at Arizona State University, this cloud like looking structure sits in the middle of a park of ASU, it is meant to resemble the often changing cloud, and wind patterns of Phoenix among the cacti of the land, it is suspended in the air about 100 feet up from the ground. One 30 feet rind and one 100 feet ring.

HER SECRET IS PATIENCE

Homes are typically one level.. no grass to be found of course..

A saint meditating..

One part of a large mosaic piece I ran into while running…

A large Catholic Church

Arizona Cultural Center

Mirrored twin buildings, I like the way they looked with the blue sky background.

ASU broadcasting building

The sand like color of this building is fitting for the surroundings..

Another twin building set up in downtown Arizona

I figured I would call this one the Sun building

ASU building

And one more appropriately colored building for the surroundings..

And onto the final two ballgames of the trip, both versus the Pirates.

Familiarity is great as I said before. On a more crowded evening in the ballpark then the prior two that had early entry for season ticket holders I got the attention of Oneil Cruz and Rodolfo Castro’s interpreter. His name is Michael, I do not know his last name. He hooked me up at least two or three times this year so far at PNC Park.

Nice to get on the board with a larger crowd at hand, Ball #1.

Another generous and friendly guy Wil Crowe who I want to say off the top of my head has thrown me 4-5 baseballs at PNC Park this year threw me another for Ball #2.

Scott Bonnett, another friendly face. The Pirates equipment manager, tossed my up Ball #3, it wasnt the best of throws over the net but close enough to get.

Bligh Madris tossed up his pre game warm up ball for Ball #4.

Tuesday, 8/9

The final game of five in Arizona.

Wil Crowe hit me up again for Ball #1.

A young call up pitcher of the Pirates hooked up Ball #2.

LF scrum for Ball #3.

Mitch Keller, another friendly Pirate tossed up Ball #4, he has also been generous multiple times in Pittsburgh this season.

Oneil Cruz scrum in RF for Ball #5.

Ben Gamel toss up of pre game warm up ball for Ball #6.

In game toss up of between innings warm up ball from Daulton Varsho, Ball #7.

A wonderful trip indeed…..

23 baseballs in five games, including a Sunday game.

Career Total-4255

Diamondbacks v Rockies, Chase Field, 8/5-6-7/2022

Friday, 8/5

The mountains of Arizona, a site to see only from afar, kinda like when I was in Colorado. I got baseball to attend to, not mountain hikes.

This trip to Arizona and Chase Field would make this my 24th park visited.

No time for sight seeing on the first day, I checked in early to my air bnb then headed over to Chase Field.

Open air in effect..

Closed panel Chase Field

Hot as a mfer.. Couldn’t wait to get in side the ball park.

I made sure I had season tickets for the Friday and Saturday games, these are the only early entrance days.

The security was a smooth process, unlike PNC Park, and the gate leads you right into LF. Upon entrance the Diamondbacks pitchers were warming up their arms.

Zach Davies was completing his warm up shortly after the gates opened, I was able to get over there prior to others and he kindly threw up Ball #1.

With limited people in the ball park still, I got the attention of Noe Ramirez for a toss up of Ball #2.

I took a jog over to the first base side and got the attention of some Diamondback pitcher who launched one nicely over the net for Ball #3.

Then some baseballs came landing into LF once the Diamondback players begin swinging.

Ball #4 scrum of deep home run. Ball #5 caught home run. Ball #6 scrum. All three in the LF bleachers.

In CF by the pool I got the attention of Tyler Henry for a toss up of Ball #7.

No hit baseballs from the Rockies during their bp, and no baseballs except for a long toss over the net for Ball #8 after Rockies pitchers finished warming up.

Some pictures from around Chase Field…

Upper most seat behind home plate view.

Welcome to Chase Field

Saturday, 8/6

No batting practice for the Rockies during this one, and the Diamondbacks practice was no ideal situation. Ball #1 was tossed up by one of the Rockies players/coaches sons after a throwing session.

Seth Beer hit me up over the netting on the third base side for Ball #2.

No hit baseballs caught or scrummed.

Ball #3 tossed up by an unidentified Diamondbacks player…

That was it for game number two in Arizona.

Some more pics around the ball park.

View from CF

View from RF to CF

Retired Arizona Numbers

52-Randy Johnson

20-Luis Gonzalez

42-Jackie Robinson

2001 WS Champions

West Champions – 1999, 01, 02, 07, 11

Wild Card – 2017

Diamondback Championship Plaques

Sunday, 8/7

Another view of Chase Field

No batting practice, one lonely toss up from Rockies outfielder Sam Hilliard #22, Ball #1.

I took some time to view the small Diamondback HOF area located behind CF, some real cool items in there, well done.

Logo History for Diamondbacks

I Like the 2006 and 2016 snake head logos..

Edwin Jackson no hitter..

Madison Bumgarner 7 inning no hitter and Tyler Gilbert first ever game no hitter.

World Series Winners-2001

Gold Glove Award Winners

Silver Slugger Winners

Jose Urena warming up for the Rockies

And, 420 from Home Plate

Pirates v Brew Crew, 8/2-3/2022, PNC Park

Tuesday, 8/2

I noticed the Pirates, at least some of the Pirates pitchers were still warming up as the Brewers were also taking the field for warm up throws.

As a Pirate lefty that I could not recognize walked off the field I got his attention for a toss up of Ball #1.

An unidentified Brewer, after warming up threw a baseball to me high in the upper first for Ball #2.

Christian Yelich is always a fun watch at batting practice and always provides opportunities for caught homers, this one would be Ball #3 and a second caught bp homer by Yelich on the year.

Ball #4, CF scrum.

Wednesday, 8/3

Jonathan Davis toss up, missed me on the toss but still able to get the ball, for Ball #1.

Scrum for home run in CF, Ball #2.

Scrum for Christian Yelich home run for Ball #3 in CF.

Career Total-4237

Pirates v Phillies, PNC Park, 7/28-29-30/2022

The series versus the Phillies is always a mob scene, you just have so many Philadelphians living here already, and they all love to come to PNC Park once a year for a road trip. Not the best for getting baseballs, however, one thing made this a decent series for baseballs. That was the fact that the Phillies leadoff bp hitter Kyle Schwarber was in the box ready to take swings very quickly, so the fast turnover allowed season ticket fans a half hour of time before the flood gates opened. I ended up with twelve balls in the three games I attended.

Thursday, 7/28

Arrived in the CF seating area and got one of the Pirates assistants to toss one up for Ball #1.

I then went over to watch the Phillies warm up tossing, no luck from the players. A baseball did however get sliced down the line and kicked away from me just out of reach. Old coaches are the toughest to get baseballs from but some old Phillies coach was kind enough to toss me up Ball #2 when I asked him for an assist on the near miss play I had.

Ball #3-Scrum in CF

Ball #4-Caught in CF

Friday, 7/29

Ball #1 was a toss up from some Pirate players child in CF.

Ball #2 caught home run also in CF.

Ball #3 toss up from an unidentified Phillies player.

Saturday, 7/30

This was the best of the three game set coming through with five baseballs.

The always generous with baseballs Wil Crowe helped me get onto the board with a toss up for Ball #1.

I think that is number three or four from him on the year now.

Ball #2 was a toss up from Cal Mitchell.

Ball #3 was a baseball that landed in the bushes of CF, I was able to stand on the seat arm and reach in just far enough to grab it.

Ball #4 was a toss up by Stubbs of the Phillies, I believe he is a bullpen catcher or somethin.

Ball #5 was a caught homer of several bombs that Odubel Herrera was launching into and all around the CF seats.

Reds v Marlins, GABP, 7/25-26-27/2022

And now on the road to see the Marlins after seeing them at PNC Park. And back to the best place in baseball, GABP. At least for getting in as early as 415 and seeing the entire batting practice of each team. That is if it isnt raining, I was in Cincinnati in early June where all three batting practices were cancelled due to rain. This time it was a three for three on nice days and batting practices. Also got to hang out with Zack Hample as he was in town also.

7/25, Monday

Hanging out in the corner spot of the right field seats I got the attention of young Reds outfielder Stanley Fairchild for Ball #1.

Tyler Mahle, recently traded to the Minnesota Twins, a solid starting pitcher on the Reds since 2017 tossed me up Ball #2, a bunch of people were screaming for the baseball, I happened to calmly say please and came through.

Alberto Almora Jr, he was being kind to everyone with the baseballs, and one was thrown my way for Ball #3.

Even the grounds crew got into the toss up game and threw a few baseballs to fans, one to myself for Ball #4 that were retrieved from the batters eye above the CF wall.

The pic below indicates where I was for these thrown baseballs.

Ball #5 was a scrum for a homer that was a close one between myself and about three other people.

Ball #6 was a caught homer atop the first row of steps in the rf/cf seating area.

Pittsburgh native JJ Bleday who had recently made his MLB debut in Pittsburgh, coming through with I believe a double for his first hit, followed by a run and I believe he also drew a walk. He gave me a wave when I gave him congrats and good job representing Titusville, PA. Ball #7. Bleday is to the left of Billy Hamilton wearing the black pullover.

Ball #8 was a toss up from Jose/Jesus Sanchez, not sure, he is not on their roster currently.

Ball #9 was tossed up by Pablo Lopez, very friendly, he was throwing baseballs harder into the infield with his left hand then I believe I can throw with my right hand.

Some sites around the ballyard

I love the open air spaces of GABP

Joe Morgan, Ken Griffey Jr, Frank Robinson, and Barry Larkin

Quote from Roy Campanella

“You gotta be a man to play baseball for a living, but you gotta have a lotta little boy in you too.”

7/26, Tuesday

Toss up in lower first prior to the start of Reds bp from a Reds bullpen catcher named Joe.

Richard Bleier, who I believe has some sort of personal connection to Zack Hample tossed my Ball #2. I mention Zack due to the fact that Bleier literally threw him at least fifteen baseballs during the Marlins bp, wild. Its always good to have connections I guess but it was really absurd. I actually put a little pressure on Bleier asking him why he was throwing all the baseballs to the same guy, he later moved away from my vicinity, and continued to throw Zack baseballs. You can see Zacks videographer getting footage of Bleier in the pic above.

The rest of this one turned out three scrums in the rf/cf area seats, Ball #3, 4, 5, and a found baseball in LF when the LF gate opened for Ball #6.

7/27, Wednesday

A large barge going along the Ohio river. Picture taken while taking a run across the Roebling bridge.

Marlins shirt, Reds hat for the series.

Picture taken from top most and left most seat of the LF upper bleachers.

Ball # 1 was found in the RF seats, this was after several other people searched around, so I came up with one that was missed.

Ball #2 was a toss up from Jose Duarte, Reds bullpen catcher.

Ball #3 was thrown by some coach or players kid who was patrolling left and center field.

Ball #4 was tossed by an unidentified Marlins player.

Ball #5 was a scrum in the RF seats.

A good time, no rain, good runs, etc. See ya soon Cincinnati…

Pirates v Marlins, 7/22-23/2022, PNC Park

Friday, 7/22

After being on vacation in Ocean City Maryland the Marlins were the first visiting team to play at PNC Park since the All Star Break. After a miserable outcome when the Yankees came to town and the break I cam into this game with ten baseballs on the month. I did have a trip to Cincinnati coming up at the end of the month.

For this game, things got off to a lucky start on the river walk behind CF, a staff member had a baseball bounce toward him after it ricocheted off the bar area, I was pretty close by and asked for it, and received it for Ball #1.

Ball #2 was a Cruz missile, Oneill Cruz bounced one off the bar roof behind CF, I got to the right area I thought it would come down near and caught it for Ball #2.

On the way over to the first base side where the Marlins were throwing I came across a rare find of Ball #3 in foul territory, ever more rare then finding baseballs in the outfield areas of PNC Park.

I went through fair territory to get over to LF for bp, on the way and almost there a Marlins player sliced one foul enough to grab it for Ball #4, and then another player, possibly the same one hit one that landed in a tunnel and rolled to a stop nearby for Ball #5.

Saturday, 7/23

Rained out batting practice, although I came up with Ball #1 prior to heading up to the gates, a single baseball was tucked nicely, out of sight to others in one of the bushes on the outside river walk, no shut out today.

Pirates v Yankees, PNC Park, 7/5/2022

Tuesday, 7/5

A freaking mob scene it was, I can do without ever seeing the Yankees at PNC Park again.

I was lucky to catch one baseball homer during bp, Ball #1. The only one of the day. I felt as though I was being strangled by an anaconda snake as the crowd grew and grew to the point where I literally couldn’t move but a few steps to my right or left.

Wednesday, 7/6

Rained out batting practice.

Pirates v Brewers, 6/30, 7/1-2, PNC Park

6/30, Thursday

When season ticket holders entered PNC Park the Pirates had just wrapped up their batting practice, however two baseballs sat lonely and left behind in CF. New bullpen catcher and bullpen assistance Hernandez tossed two of them, one to myself for Ball #1. Between this guy and Jordan Comadena I have one toss from bullpen catcher.

Things Change, I used to get a toss up every day from Heberto Andrade.

The Brewers then took the field to take their cuts. Christian Yelich didn’t take long at all to send a long ball from the plate to CF to my glove for a caught homer of Ball #2. I was close to catching a few long balls by big man Rowdy Tellez, but did come up with a scrum of one of his bp homers for Ball #3.

At the bullpen, the Brewers ball boy picked up a baseball that remained from bp, it took a few requests to get him to realize it was okay to throw it, and that it was hit during bp and came up with Ball #4.

7/1, Friday

Not a very exciting day for getting baseballs, I came up with an outside the park bounce off the CF bar roof, most likely hit by Oneil Cruz for Ball #1.

Found Ball #2 in the upper LF bleachers.

Ball #3 was tossed up to me by Jandel Gustave over on the first base side.

7/2, Saturday

A beautiful day was at hand, and Saturday is the only day you can count on seeing at least 3/4th of the Pirates batting practice and be in the ball yard one hour before everyone else. Too bad though, neither team would take batting practice, a big disappointment. I assume this was a small break after having a long string of games and being on the doorstep of the All Star break. Whatever it was I needed to find a way to make lemonade.

Not long after settling into acceptance of the situation several Pirates players came out to throw.

Oneil Cruz

No toss up from Cruz, but I waited patiently for Hoy Park to wrap up his throwing session and got on the board with a toss that missed me on the fly, but was good for Ball #1. Tucupita Marcano was to the right of park, and when finished, with rookie excitement he tossed a long one high over the net that reached my glove for Ball #2.

What happened next was pretty awesome given the circumstances of the day. Tarrik Brock, a Pirates coach, came out with Jack Suwinski, Bligh Madris, and Tucupita Marcano to hit them fly balls close to the wall, this had over hit baseballs written all over it, I got in a good position and put in work.

Brock hit a far one early on which was an easy catch for Ball #3, then throughout the rest of the time given the amount of time they practiced and the poor anticipation of others around I came up with two more that he accidentally hit over the wall on a scrum for Ball #4, and Ball #5.

It was pretty nice to have five baseballs before the game with neither team taking batting practice, but I was able to come up with one more. Roansy Contreras wrapped up a session with Yerry De Los Santos, at the conclusion, luckily no other fans had gathered around. I was all alone and called for a toss and received it for Ball #6.

Pirates v Cubs, 6/21/2022, PNC Park

To begin things I was able to get a longball from the bat of Oneill Cruz outside on the river walk, the home run cleared the riverwalk wall behind CF. Ball #1, how do I know it was Cruz, because he is the only player on the Pirates that can hit a ball that far.

Inside the Pirates wrapped up their portion of bp, I scanned around the Clemente Wall and found Ball #2.

After watching the Cubs warm up prior to batting practice I got the attention of Jonathan Villar for a toss up for Ball #3.

In the CF seating section I caught a Jason Heyward homer for Ball #4, and got a toss up from an unidentified Cub, Ball #5.

Back over in LF for the Cubs right handed hitters I came up with a second caught homer for the day, Ball #6.

Pirates v Giants, 6/17-18/2022, PNC Park

6/17, Friday

Ball #1-Toss up from one of the Pirates coaches or staff I have been unable to identify.

Ball#2-Toss up over the net on the lower first base side from an unidentified Giants pitcher.

6/18, Saturday

Early opening Saturday, I got on the board early with a caught homer in LF for Ball #1, followed up with a scrum for a home run also in LF, Ball #2. Before heading over to CF for Giants lefties I did a run through of the upper bleachers and found one lonely baseball that none of the staff must have noticed or found for themselves, Ball #3.

Over in CF next for some lefties and came up with a scrum for Ball #4, a toss up from a coach and a toss up from an unidentified Giants player, Ball #5, Ball #6.

It was also bobblehead day for Bryan Reynolds so that was cool, and my wife and kids made it for their

first game of the year.

Bryan Reynolds bobblehead and Baseballs