Pirates v Dodgers, PNC Park, 6/5-6/2018

Well the Dodgers can really crush the ball in bp, from both sides of the plate.  It was a bit more crowded for these two games that most have been this season with other ball hawks and Dodgers fans.

6/5, Tuesday

Heberto Andrade, Ball #1.

Caught homer, unidentified Pirate, Ball #2.

Caught homer off the bat of Matt Kemp, Ball #3.

Scrum for Ball #4, in LF.

6/6, Wednesday

Heberto Andrade toss up, Ball #1.

Two scrums in LF and RF for Ball #2-3.

Year-118

Career-3299

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Pirates v Cubs, PNC Park, 5/29/2018

One of the best teams to watch take bp over the last several years has been the Chicago Cubs, but in this series their would be no bp on Memorial day and Wednesday’s game of the series was a rained out bp.  The Cubs did not take bp on this one either.

Caught homer for Ball #1 in LF.

Toss up by Heberto Andrade in LF, Ball #2.

Toss up by unidentified Chicago Cubs pitcher for Ball #3 and a disappointing three days of no Cubs bp.

Pirates v Cardinals, PNC Park, 5/25-26/2018

What’s up, its been a slow start to June, but it was a good month of May all around, and ended with one good game with the Red Birds in town, one of which was a Saturday 4:05pm start.

8 of my last 19 on the fly over the last 5 games was the hi-lite, nothing else new or no new road trips recently.  The Cardinals, Cubs, and Dodgers series featured a day game a piece that wasn’t a Sunday.

Friday, 5/25

Heberto Andrade, Ball #1

Caught homer hit by an unidentified Pirate, Ball #2.

Toss up in CF by Richard Rodriguez, Ball #3, he has proven to be a generous player to the fans.

Caught homer hit by Josh Bell, Ball #4.

LF scrum, Ball #5.

Caught homer hit by Marcell Ozuna, a good play deep during bp, Ball #6.

I finished up with two more caught homers, Balls #7-8, both unidentified Cardinals, who as a whole put on a nice show during bp.

Saturday, 5/26

One baseball, I cannot stand the 4:05 scheduled Saturday games which have taken over the Pirates schedule.

Scrum in LF, Ball #1.

 

 

 

Pirates v Padres, PNC Park, 5/17-18-19/2018

The weather was still threatening for all of these games, we were able to see both teams practice Thursday, and Friday.  After narrowly escaping a lot of rain, Saturday would finally be the day that rain would cancel bp on field.

Thursday, 5/17

The new Pirates pitchers have been a little better lately, and today I started off with Ball #1 from Richard Rodriguez.

This was followed up with the consistency of Heberto Andrade for Ball #2.

Ball #3 was a scrum, hit by an unidentified Pirates player.

I headed over to the Clemente Wall to take a peak and see if any baseballs were up there, to my surprise I was able to find Ball #4-5.

Back over in LF, a strong final group of hitters from the Padres allowed me to come away with a caught homer and scrum for Ball #6-7.

Friday, 5/18

As I entered the bleachers I came up with an early chance for Kyle Crick to toss a baseball up off the track, he initially declined saying more would come.  On the next close one at the track he reversed his course and delivered me Ball #1.

On time like clockwork Heberto Andrade hooked me up with Ball #2.

Scrum, Scrum, Caught home run and Scrum was the final order of the day for me.  Ball #3-4-5-6.

Saturday, 5/19

All that was in play for this one, at least for the time that I stuck around was a toss up from a Padre pitcher during or after their warm up.

I wasn’t sure who the Padres pitcher was that threw a ball just a bit low for Ted L. but it took a contained bounce in the wheelchair seating area where I stood for Ball #1.

Someone from the Padres staff, a stout looking Hispanic man who I could not find on their website tossed me one of the remaining baseballs prior to the Padres leaving the field, Ball #2.

padres

I got a baseball autographed by Brad Hand, the Padres reliever who saved two out of the Padres three wins during the series.

hand ball

Series Total-15

Year Total-99

Career Total-3280

 

Pirates v White Sox, PNC Park, 5/15/2018

Going back to last week, there was a stretch of ten days calling for rain and scattered thunderstorms with this game included.

After a lot of poor weather to start April, and more dismal rain for May, today was a pleasant surprise of nice weather.  All of the fans that showed up over the weekend for Mccutchen were nowhere to be found.

Things got underway for me with a toss up from Pirates reliever Kyle Crick, Ball #1.

Heberto Andrade tossed up Ball #2.

I went over to CF and right center to play the hit balls off of Josh Bell and Gregory Polanco.  This finally worked out well after trying this play a few other times this year.  To start, I was able to get a toss up from Jose Osuna for Ball #3 as he practiced in RF.

Ball #4 was what I would call a pretty good catch, off the bat of Josh Bell.  I tracked the high homer behind the CF seats and Rita’s ice cream truck on a dead run from the CF gate area.  Josh Bell would provide Ball #5 which was a scrum.

Back over in LF I played the crosswalk for homers off the bats of Elias Diaz and Jose Osuna.  I hope Osuna stays up, as this gives an added powerful right handed bat for bp.

I caught three homers on the fly during this group, Ball #6-7-8.  Much improved final bp group for the Pirates from the last couple years.

Back over in CF a White Sox coach was hitting some baseballs it seemed to a player I couldn’t identify.  I figured I would line up behind and hope for a ball that was hit too hard into the stands.  On the first one I made a catch of Ball #9 three rows deep.

I was on the brink of double digits for the first time this season.  It took a little bit of time to get to double digits but I did on a towering homer into the upper bleachers.  I took a glance at it and ran back and up the steps for an easy scrum, and Ball #10.

The final White Sox group were hitting bombs so the fun didn’t end there, I was able to scrum another baseball for Ball #11 and made another catch on the fly for Ball #12.

6 of 12 caught on fly for the day!

Day-12

Year-84

Career-3265

 

Pirates v Giants, PNC Park, 5/11-12/2018

Friday, 5/11

This was a difficult and unproductive series, the crowds have been low, but all of Pittsburgh came back to see Andrew Mccutchen.

On the way in a ball hit off of the John Deere cart and into the stands which I caught on the deflection for Ball #1.

Heberto Andrade Ball #2.

Found Ball on the Clemente Wall for Ball #3.

Saturday, 5/12

Another rain out of practice, although the Pirates could have gotten their portion of on field bp in given the late arrival of rain.  Pittsburgh’s grounds crew would not be having any of that.

I raced over to the foul territory along the RF foul line in hopes of finding a SF commemorative, I had seen earlier what looked like Giants players throwing when looking through the gates.  My plan was to find a commemorative that was either over thrown or ditched into the seats after the Giants throwing session.  It took a couple rounds of looking but I did find Ball #1 and the only one of the day.  Disappointingly, it was a regular baseball.

Two game set-4 baseballs

Year-72

Career-3253

Mariners v Athletics, Safeco Field, 5/1-2-3/2018

Tuesday, 5/1

Seattle, Washington

View from Mt Vernon.

seattle mt vernon

 

Tuesday is the only early opening of any gates, the right field gate opens to season ticket holders on Tuesday and Saturday.  I was able to make a friend at the gate willing to let me in.

Safeco Field and Century Link field view.

high stadium views

A pic with the Kid’s statue, Ken Griffey Jr, my favorite player all time.

At nine years old the sweet swing Griffey had coupled with his awesome fielding skills and ever present smile made him my favorite.

pic wutn griffey

View of Safeco approaching from 4th avenue.

safeco below

LF gate of Safeco Field

lf entrance

And the RF gate where STH enter 3 hours early.

rf entrance

The STG line was pretty long, but all of them went in for autographs, on the way in I was able to find Ball #1-2.

I noticed two Athletics pitchers throwing a side session in their bullpen and headed over hoping to get an Athletics 50th year commemorative from Lou Trivino, Ball #3.

a gear a commem

Ichiro, who would decide after Wednesday’s game that he was done playing baseball and working in the Mariners front office threw me Ball #4 on the Safeco patio in CF territory, Ball #4.  It was cool seeing him play his final two games.

ichi toss

While I was on the CF patio a homer landed in the Seattle bullpen.  I decided to use the glove trick for this trip given the volume of baseballs that land in the visitor/home bullpen.  I only had to pull the baseball in for Ball #5 close to the gate and reached over the short gate for it.

Over in the CF area I was able to score a second toss up from the generous Lou Trivino who must not have remembered me from earlier or is just extra cool, Ball #6

To finish up the stats for the day I completed a glove trick out of the Athletics bullpen for Ball #7.

Some pictures around Safeco Field.

At the top of Safeco from the highest point behind home plate.

safeco at top

View of LF from high up

lf high view

Wednesday, 5/2

This game started off nice, as I ran in to the CF patio past the bullpens two balls sat in hands reach for Ball #1-2, no time to take a picture.  I grabbed them and continued on.

2 bALLS

I got Dee Gordon’s attention for a toss up of Ball #3 on the CF patio.

dee gordon

When all the gates opened I went over to foul territory along the RF line, and was lucky to come upon this for Ball #4.  An usher told me he plants them there, and didn’t seem to care that I was the finder of this one.

ball incuip holder

Ball #5 was a toss up in the same spot from an unidentified Athletics player generously throwing baseballs into the crowd.

a toss up

Hanging out toward CF a security guard tossed me up Ball #6.

I came away with Ball #7-8 hanging out in the same area off the track and into the seats.

cf spot

During the game I was able to get a toss up in between innings from Mitch Haniger after he warmed up with Dee Gordon, Ball #9.

haniger

Thursday, 5/3

This one began with two glove tricked baseballs for Ball #1-2, I was going for a third when security came over and handed me the third for Ball #3.  He also gave me a pen and pencil that I lost in the process of getting the first two.  I have work to do with the glove trick.

2 balls2

Ball #4 was a toss up from a Mariners pitcher on the CF patio who I could not identify.

Ball #5 was a ball that went under the overhang above the bullpens and bounced around the concourse behind for a scrum.

Back over in the CF spot of LF I came away with an unidentified Athletics player toss up, two caught homers with one from Matt Olson and a final scrum for Balls #6-9.

Some cool sights along the way.

Sunset on the Seattle port.

port sunset

Wheels and mechanics of the retractable Safeco Field Roof

roof wheels

Felix Hernandez warming up pre game

felix warm up

Track for the retractable roof from way up

rof track

On Deck Circles in the open area behind the CF wall

on deck circles

Ken Griffey Jr memorabilia in the Seattle Mariner, Safeco hall of fame hall

grf locker

Ken Griffey Jr memorabilia 2

griffey locker 3

Three game total-25

Year-68

Career-3249