Pirates v Red Legs, PNC Park, 9/27-28-29/2019

This was a cool end to the year, Cincinnati was in the house with KC Bobby and his daughter present.  Also in from Cinicnnati was Cole Adkins.  Myself, Eric A. and Brandon G. rounded out the group for this series.

KC Bobby very generously got me an extra Ken Griffey Jr bobble head, much appreciated.  On top of this, a little fast forward here to the very end of the Saturday game, Kelsey gave me a Steve Blass 60th anniversary baseball.

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Ken Griffey Jr bobblehead and the Steve Blass bobblehead

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As was the case for the rest of September the weather was very much cooperative for baseball.

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Friday, 9/27

To start the series I was thirteen baseballs away from making it to 300 on the year for the first time in three years.

Friday began with a thrown baseball from Heberto Andrade, Ball #1.

The entire rest of the Pirates bp was abysmal, the next baseball that landed in  my glove was during the Reds portion of bp, Philip Ervin tossed me one early on when he was fielding some fly balls, Ball #2.

The Reds hitters provided ample amounts of action, throughout their bp I came up with 5 hit baseballs, two hit by Aristides Aquino, one caught on the fly deep by Aquino.  Ball #3-7.

Saturday, 9/28

After Friday’s 7 baseball day, I needed 6 more baseballs for 300 on the year.

A day game was not good for meeting 300, on top of this it was Steve Blass commemorative day and bobblehead day.

The Reds were out in small groups to throw before the game, one of them was Kyle Farmer, one of the Reds catchers.  I was able to catch is first home run of the year back in May, to get the Reds 150th commemorative baseball.

After he finished throwing I came up with a second 150th Reds baseball that Kyle threw to me, Ball #1.

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Happy

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I got Kyle Farmer’s signature on the 150th commemorative.

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I got a second toss up since it was a sparse crowd, Ball #2, wasn’t sure what player or coach threw it.  That was all for the day, I did get a beauty of a Steve Blass commemorative baseball, but that was generously given to me by Kelsey of Cinicinnati.

Michael Lorenzen, Born to Flex, he started CF and played it well then came into pitch.

Sunday, 9/29

This was the scene on the field Sunday afternoon.  Not good.  I needed four baseballs for the day to make 300.

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No Reds were present.  Not all the Pirates were out to throw.

I made contact with Heberto Andrade who flipped me a final baseball for the year, and then got Euclides Rojas to throw me a baseball.  Rojas is always a questionable target that I dont like to bother much, especially being that he knows Heberto throws baseballs to me like everyday and who sees me catching many baseballs.  So I came out of the brief Pirates warm up avoiding a shut out and getting Ball #1, #2.

At the bullpen prior to the game I was able to get a Trevor Williams toss up, Ball #3.  This involved a lot of luck as Trevor Williams doesn’t like the regulars, he goes out of his way to make sure baseballs don’t enter the bleachers.  It was a good thing that it was pretty empty of people prior to the game.

So things were looking good, I needed one more baseball within the game to land at 300.  It wouldn’t happen.  I don’t like to go into a section I am not ticketed for in the outfield for the player toss ups, and didn’t have any other chances along the way.  299 it was.

Series-12

Year-299

Career-3774

See yinz next year, I will be working to get to that #4000th baseball as soon as possible and be looking to eclipse 300 baseballs in a year.

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Pirates v Cubs, PNC Park, 9/24-25-26/2019

Despite the miserable season and end to the second half, the Pirates matched up against the Cubs who were right on the brink of elimination.

The Pirates ended up sweeping the series and driving a stake through the heart of the Cubs season, so that was cool.

Joe Maddon sent his starting lineup out on each of the games which included slugger Kyle Schwarber who provided much action with long home runs hit onto the river walk of right center field and over the CF seating.

All three of the games were met with good weather.

pnc oci

9/24, Tuesday

Pirates bp started with a rare found baseball in the LF bleachers for Ball #1.

The Pirates hit well, and with a low crowd coming up with three scrums wasn’t too difficult for Ball #2, 3, 4.

Then it was to the fun stuff, playing a river walk that was pretty empty, I had ample space and opportunity to cover a lot of ground.

Kyle Schwarber did his thing, and I did mine, I was able to come up with two long, caught homers, both over the CF seating that covered a good amount of ground, Ball #5, 6.

Over in LF after the Cubs lefties finished up I came up with two hit balls for scrums in a scarcely crowded LF bleacher section.  Ball #7, 8.

9/25, Wednesday

Unfortunately, old Clint sat the boys for this game, no bp for the Pirates.

The Cubs hit the ball all over the place though in their bp.

I came up with two caught homers in CF, another by Schwarber deep on the river walk included for Ball #1, 2.

Over in LF their was a lot of activity with all the hit balls the Cubs had coming into the bleachers, even with a handful of near misses I caught three on the fly for Ball #3, 4, 5.

9/26, Thursday

Heberto Andrade made an appearance in LF during bp, and he brought a baseball with him, he tossed it to me for Ball #1.

Not much of a change in the crowd which remained low, neither team really went off in bp but both did pretty good.

Out of the Cubs and Pirates practices it was nothing but scrums of hit balls.  Ball #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.  Quite a bit of movement that was aided by another minimal September crowd.

To end things I got the Pirates staff member who cleared out the CF ivy to toss up one of many baseballs he took from there for Ball #8.

Series-21

Year-287

Career-3762

 

 

Pirates v Cardinals, PNC Park,9/6-7/2019

It was a good series overall, nothing extraordinary.  This series with the Cardinals was met with good weather.

I was able to come away with eleven baseballs in the two games of the series that I attended.  8 hit balls, 5 caught on the fly.

clemente bridge

9/6, Friday

The series began with a toss up from Heberto Andrade, Ball #1.

Following this were two hit balls and a toss up from Pirates pitcher Dario Agrazal, Ball #2-4.

I caught two homers off the bats of Cardinals hitters for Ball #5-6 of the day.

9/7, Saturday

Another nice day for baseball on this one, September weather was pretty awesome, other then a few opt outs by the Pirates, rain was not a factor.  This was helping my effort to make it to 300 baseballs on the year.

cards gear

Ball #1-Heberto Andrade

Ball #2-Hit ball scrum

Ball #3,4,5-Caught Homers

The night weather was not as pretty as the day.

pnc nihty sky

Two Game Set-11 baseballs, good weather, good times.

Pirates v Marlins, PNC Park, 9/3-4-5/2019

9/3, Tuesday

Its always good to see the Marlins in town, they have always been a pretty cool team that is good for toss ups.  I remember Jose Fernandez and how he would throw just about each and every practice baseball to fans.

They also don’t travel well so when they come to your town, you are likely the only fans they have if you have some good gear.

marlins gear

For the Pirates portion of bp I got a toss up from cool bullpen catcher Heberto Andrade for Ball #1.

Another Pirates second group bp showing ended up resulting in a caught home run and two scrums for Ball #2-4.

During the Miami Marlins batting practice I got an unidentified Marlins player to throw one up, and two more scrums for Ball #5-7.

9/4, Wednesday

Another nice day and another action packed start.  To begin I was able to catch a home run for Ball #1 early immediately followed by a toss up from Heberto Andrade, Ball #2.

I do have to say the crowd was at a low level for the year, but there was a lot of running around for homers hit by the Pirates and Marlins.

Ball #3-6 all were scrums of home runs hit by the Pirates second and third groups.

For the Marlins portion of bp: 3 scrums, and 3 caught homers for Ball #6-12.

Brandon Ghast got his 500th career baseball.

brandon number 500

Curtis Granderson aka Grandy Man took the time to talk to myself, Brandon, and Zach about catching baseballs, what a cool player and good dude.  Always been so.  I was able to congratulate him on his career to date, and wish him luck for the rest of his career.

grandy man

9/5, Thursday

Well, despite continuing to play poor all around, the Pirates took a rest day and I guess hit inside.

The cages were up for the Marlins.

rodgers no bp

The Marlins may have been resting as well, their bp went on a steep decline from what it was the day prior.

I came up with a toss up from Marlins pitcher Kyle Keller, and a scrum of a home run.  Ball #1-2, and the end.

Three Game Set-21

Year-243

Career-3718

 

Pirates v Reds, PNC Park,8/23-24/2019

8/23, Friday

An excellent day for baseball.

pgh skyline

Aristides Aquino had me excited for some long homers as this would be the first time seeing him take bp and play at PNC Park.

Things got off to a good start with the Pirates, when I entered onto the walkway a homer was sailing in.  I had enough time to get over to catch it for Ball #1.

Heberto Andrade was then present with an extra baseball he threw up to me for Ball #2.

As the Pirates second group progressed they had a flurry of homers, three of which I got to, two scrums and one home run on the fly for Ball #3-5.

Nothing would come about for me during the first Reds group.  Aquino would hit in the second.  He hit alot of long shots over the CF fence and RF fence to begin then begin to hit LF.  I caught one on the fly for Ball #6 behind the handicap seating on the walkway.  I played him in the upper bleachers next, and just came up short, running out of space to catch one on the fly up top.  With nobody else up there it was an easy grab for Ball #7.

To end the day I came up with one other scrum for a homer, Ball #8.

8/24, Saturday

Another excellent day for baseball.

gateway clippe

I decided to try out CF for any found baseballs, early home runs or toss ups.  I was lucky to come away with a toss up from Francisco Liriano and a homer that landed calmly into the seating. Ball #1-2.

Heberto Andrade had an extra baseball he threw to me for Ball #3, Ball #4 was a caught homer from a Reds player, Ball #5 was a scrum from a Reds player.

13 baseballs in two days was good..

reds gear

Pirates v Nationals, PNC Park, 8/19-20-21/2019

It was nice to learn this series vs the Nationals that Eric Abneri, a well known east coast ball hawk who is an expert on commemorative baseballs would be a new PNC Park regular since he is going to the University of Pittsburgh.

eric abneri and me

8/19, Monday

No Pirates batting practice to start the series, rain was the cause of this.  The Nationals would hit though after a bit of waiting around, I was lucky that Heberto Andrade was on his way out of the bullpen, he saw me and threw up a baseball to get the day going with Ball #1.

During Nationals bp I was able to come away with a caught homer in the North Side notch portion of the LF bleachers.  It was an opposite field homer that Juan Soto seemed to casually crush.  I would say it was hit about 430-440 feet.  Ball #2.

On the LF crosswalk I caught a second Nationals bp homer for Ball #3, not sure who provided the long shot.  Ball #3.

A nice day at PNC Park.

View toward the West End

ft duquesne bridge

8/20, Tuesday

To start this one I took a run over to the CF seats and came up with a toss up from Pirate rookie Mitch Keller for Ball #1.  This will likely be the last one from him after Jordan Comadena, the Pirates second string bullpen catcher/ball boy, takes his time to tell Mitch not to throw myself or any regulars any more baseballs.

The first string bullpen catcher, and most friendly one in baseball, Heberto Andrade came out and was in a good mood.  He decided to throw me Ball #2.

For the rest of the way, all through the Pirates and Nationals I stayed in the LF bleachers.  It was balances activity from both teams, I did not make any clear identifications of the five hit balls I got.  Three were tracked down with quick feet, two were caught on the fly, Ball #3-7.  And that was it.

A nice day for sure.

pixburgh

8/21, Wednesday

This was just a tough one, the Pirates provided nothing of substance to catch, and the Nationals were lackluster as well.  I came up with two baseballs on this day, Ball #1 was a lucky encounter with Pirates bullpen catcher Heberto Andrade, Ball #2 was a toss up from the Pirates staff that clears out the baseballs from the Pirates ivy at the end of bp.

That is baseball.

Pirates v Beer Makers, PNC Park, 8/6-7/2019

The first game of this series was a late, and unsuspected rained out batting practice.

The fourth one since mid July, between April and June there were only three rained out practices.

This series was pretty good though..

Aside from two Heberto Andrade tossed baseballs, and one scrum, during this two game set I came away with 7 of 10 baseballs caught on the fly during Pirates and Brewers batting practices.

Two of these were tracked from the CF gate to the right and caught over the CF seating section.

Two Game Set-10

Year-197

Career-3672

brewre gear