Nashville Sounds vs. Oklahoma City Redhawks 6/27-6/28/2013 Herschel Greer Stadium Nashville, TN

Since everyone seems to be interested in the 138 ball game, I’ll make an attempt at doing a blog for the Nashville games.

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20130630-213112.jpg The Nashville Sounds, Triple A Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, play their home games at a really outdated ballpark called Herschel Greer Stadium. Located in the “hood” of Nashville, this is one of the worst MiLB ballparks I’ve ever been to. In my opinion, the local government in Nashville needs to gas up the bulldozers are flatten this place. The list of improvements this ballpark needs is endless.

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20130630-213858.jpg I’d probably be up all night if I named every problem with this ballpark. Instead of naming them all, I’ll post a few. Let’s start with the restrooms. Usually upon entering a ballpark, I head straight for the seating area to search for balls. However, I arrived unusually early during one of the games to acquire a 2013 Nashville Sounds Team Trading Card Set that was given to the first 2,000 fans to pass through the gates. After waiting outside for nearly two hours, I had to take a wicked piss when I finally got inside. This bathroom was beyond horrendous. The piping behind the trough style urinals was broken and shooting a stream of water stronger than what was coming out of me. The sinks did not have hot water, and the soap dispensers were also broken. I’d hate to be a person who had to drop a #2. I quickly peered in the #2 stall and was surprised by a mouse chewing on the huge roll of toilet paper that was covered in dirt and laying on the uncleared floor. The only good thing I noticed in the bathroom was the huge mirror behind the sinks. Excellent for those Facebook “Mirror Pics”. Hopefully, someone from the Nashville Sounds reads this. Your bathroom on the Lower Third Base Line needs condemned. You should be ashamed to even let people use such facilities. I’ve been in Port-a-Johns at concerts that were in better shape.

20130630-215351.jpg Another complaint is the price of Parking. I understand that nearly every team charges for parking. However, the Sounds have by far the worst ballpark in the International League. How about being grateful that fans even come out to such a dump and waive the parking fee. $5 per car? Come on now. Where does the money even go? It sure as heck doesn’t go into upgrading anything inside of the ballpark.

20130630-220147.jpg Yet another complaint, the seating bowl inside Herschel Greer Stadium is in need of some major upgrades. Sun Dyed, Cracked Seats on Rusted Frames litter the Seating Bowl. I’m quite certain the vast majority of the seats are 1978 Originals.

20130630-220715.jpg Not all of the seats are broken. Apparently, Budweiser spent a few bucks to upgrade a few of the seats. I let out a sarcastic ohhh and ahhh when I saw these.

20130630-221355.jpg One additional complaint before I move on to a few more subjects. Just beyond the Right Field Wall is the only OF Seating available in Herschel Greer Stadium. However, I was denied access. Apparently, some sort of special ticket is required to utilize this area.

20130630-221819.jpg A Security Guard is usually posted just behind the 327. The dude protects the area like he is protecting Barack Obama. Sadly, I missed out on snagging a Khris Davis Home Run Baseball during my first game because I was denied access to the Outfield.

20130630-222352.jpg Luckily, the Security Guard is only posted until the 5th Inning. I was able to spend a few innings during each game in the outfield. The reason I can’t chill in the outfield during the whole game will forever remain a mystery. Below are a few random photos from in and around Herschel Greer Stadium.

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& Not everything about the ballpark was depressing. Below are a few of the better aspects of the ballpark.

20130630-224258.jpg Left Field features a pretty cool looking Scoreboard that is shaped like a Giant Guitar. I read online that if a player hits the Guitar with a Home Run during the game, the player is presented with a Real Guitar after the game. I found this to not be true. Oklahoma City Redhawks OF George Springer hit the Guitar with a Home Run during Game #2 of the Doubleheader. He was not presented with a Guitar.

20130630-224757.jpg The area above is located in RF and used as access to the Locker Rooms. This passageway also leads to the area below the Giant Guitar where the Springer HR landed. I was standing next to this area when Springer launched the HR. Since there were no signs saying No Trespassing or anything, I sprinted over and picked up the Springer HR. The Springer HR was my second Game Home Run of the day. During the 1st Inning of Game #2 of the Doubleheader, Redhawks SS Jonathan Villar blasted a HR to CF that landed in the Picnic Area and nearly decapitated Redhawks P Brett Oberholtzer who was seated on a Picnic Table. Brett and I both reached for the ball as it rolled under a table. I didn’t want to seem rude, so I let him pick it up. He immediately handed it to me then watched as I photographed the ball. He then quizzed me about who I was sending the picture to and wants everyone to know that I DID NOT CATCH THE BALL. LoL. There ya go Brett, everyone knows I didn’t “Catch” the ball. Anyways, below are a few more random photos.

20130630-231027.jpg Robbie Grossman Foul Ball.

20130630-231237.jpg Garden located behind the Party Deck in RF. Everything seemed dead with the exception of a few tomatoes. I’m not exactly sure why there is a garden, but whatev.

20130630-231538.jpg Ticket Stub. On Thursday, fans can purchase a General Admission Ticket for $5 by presenting a Burger King receipt. Without a receipt, the cheapest ticket is $11.

20130630-231804.jpg Banner hanging outside of the Gift Shop. Speaking of the Gift Shop. I can use 2 words to describe the Gift Shop. Small & Pathetic.

20130630-232154.jpg Prior to the Doubleheader, a Radio Station called The Buzz 102.9 was setup outside of the ballpark offering fans a chance to win prizes by playing a dice game.

20130630-232342.jpg I won a Pearl Jam CD. Sadly, I couldn’t tell you one song that Pearl Jam sings.

20130630-232805.jpg In addition to the Radio Station, Southern Fast Food Joint, Jack in the Box was setup giving away goodies. Incase you’ve never heard of Jack in the Box, they have some good grub.

20130630-233347.jpg Above is a photo of my lunch during one of my days in Nashville.

20130630-233745.jpg I also had a great meal at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.

20130630-233944.jpg Instead of a Cheeseburger in Paradise, I opted for the Diablo Burger. Yummy!! Now, I’ll get started on the 138 ball adventure. Below are some photos of the area beyond the OF Fence at Herschel Greer Stadium.

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20130630-235316.jpg As you can see in the above photo, just beyond the OF Wall is a Wooded Area and some Railroad Tracks. From previous trips, it has come to my attention that fans are very unlikely to enter any sort of Wooded Area. The reasons are numerous and include the following: Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Bacteria, Sewage, Trash, Homeless People, and most importantly, Venomous Snakes. I was actually bitten twice in Lexington by what I believe was a Milk Snake. Nashville is known to be home to deadly Copperheads and Rattlesnakes as well as a few other species. Entering any sort of Wooded Area is potentially dangerous. I have quite the adventurous side, so I wasn’t going to let the possibility of a little snake deter me from finding some baseballs. The Wooded Area was fenced off, so I scaled down the side of a bridge and ended up in a Homeless Camp.

20130701-000612.jpg Typical Homeless Bed. Trash thrown everywhere, dirty blankets, etc… I’m “nebby” so I did some snooping around in this dude’s crib. In addition to his queen size bed, I wondered upon his medicine cabinet.

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20130701-001009.jpg Apparently, this dude pops pills like I pop Peanut M&M’s. Anyways, it was into the woods I went.

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20130701-001340.jpg Shortly after entering the Wooded Area, I was finding baseballs left and right. It was like a “Baseball Graveyard”. Below are some photos of the balls I was discovering.

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20130701-002733.jpg In all, I snagged a total of 145 baseballs during the 2 games in Nashville. I could have probably recused many more from the Wooded Area too. However, my 2 backpacks as well as all of my pockets were full to the brim. That’s about it for Herschel Greer Stadium. In addition to the ballpark, I also toured the Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry House, and a few other places. More on that later. I need some sleep.

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Lexington Legends versus Savannah Sand Gnats 6/20-6/21/2013 Whitaker Bank Ballpark Lexington, KY

Since it’s fresh on my mind, I’m going to blog about my most recent trip. Once again, I was on the road for another MiLB adventure. Fresh off a trip to Erie and Buffalo and following 4 hours of sleep, I was headed to the Bluegrass State, Kentucky. Destination, Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, KY home of the Lexington Legends.

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20130622-001433.jpg The Legends are a Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

20130622-001708.jpg Lexington was opposed by the Savannah Sand Gnats, Class A affiliate of the New York Mets.

20130622-001840.jpg Both teams are members of the South Atlantic League. Below are numerous photos taken in and around Whitaker Bank Ballpark during my two day trip.

20130622-002402.jpg Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

20130622-002859.jpg Above is a look outside of the ballpark down the first base line.

20130622-003105.jpg Above is a look outside of the ballpark down the third base line. One would think this is “Foul Ball Heaven”. That is not even close to being accurate. In reality, at most, 2-3 balls will fly out of the ballpark on a given night. Below are a few more photos of the area outside of the ballpark along the first base line.

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20130622-004317.jpg As you can see in the above photos, the seating area rises high above the playing field preventing nearly all foul balls from leaving the ballpark. Great news for the patrons who park in the lots surrounding the ballpark. Bad news for me. Especially, considering I was 11 Game Balls from 100 on the season. I would still get my fair share of baseballs though. More on that later.

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20130622-005504.jpg LF Bleacher Seating

20130622-005646.jpg Above is a photo of the area behind the left field bleachers. Below are a few more photos of the areas beyond the outfield walls.

20130622-010324.jpg The Player’s Parking Lot is located beyond the RF Wall. Besides the Escalade which is driven by Manager David Buchanan, the rest of the lot looked very similar to one of those Buy Here – Pay Here Used Car Dealerships you see in the suburbs.

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20130622-010859.jpg As I was wondering around the ballpark, the Savannah Sand Gnats Team Bus rolled in. Since they had no big name prospects, I didn’t stick around for autographs. However, I do regret not getting their Pitching Coach, Frank Viola to sign a baseball. Viola was a World Series MVP as well as a Cy Young Award Winner during his MLB Career. O well, sheet happens. I had more exploring to do.

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20130622-011817.jpg Every MiLB Ballpark I’ve been to has had it’s fair share of problems. One of the problems I noticed at Whitaker Bank Ballpark is cleanliness. The area beyond the outfield fences is absolutely horrendous. The photos above say enough, no need for an explanation.

20130622-012928.jpg As I stood behind the bleachers in LF, I did some thinking. Where would a baseball land when it left the ballpark? That’s simple, on the pavement in the parking lot. What does a baseball do when it hits pavement? Duh, bounce. The parking lot is lined by a chain link fence which separates the lot from a wooded area. In my expert opinion, I figured there would be plenty of baseballs that bounced over the fence into the wooded area.

20130622-013845.jpg As I walked along the lot, I noticed a gap in the fence and decided to see if I could find any baseballs in the woods. Anybody want to guess what I saw when I first peered through the gap in the fence?

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20130622-014352.jpg Yup, more trash. In addition to the trash, I may have also discovered a murder scene. Do you see the hair in the above photo? I’m quite certain it was a skull poking out of a shallow grave. I wasn’t in the mood to exhume a body so I continued my search for baseballs.

20130622-014916.jpg Just below the wooded area are some train tracks. I walked along the tracks and didn’t find anything, so I headed back into the trees and bushes.

20130622-015232.jpg I was soon rewarded when I found a $1 bill. The dollar was most likely used by a hobo to snort cocaine.

20130622-015709.jpg Shortly after finding the dollar, I found a batting glove. I’d like to believe the glove was worn by one of the Legends players. However, it was likely worn by the person who buried the body in the previous photo. At the moment, I don’t have the time to write more about Lexington. I’ll finish this one later.

West Virginia Power vs Lakewood Blue Claws & Greensboro Grasshoppers 5/25-5/27/2013 Appalachian Power Park Charleston, West Virginia

This will be the first of many long overdue blogs. Once again, I was headed on an MiLB Adventure. Charleston, West Virginia was the destination. Below are a few photos from the trip in no particular order.

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20130620-234557.jpg West Virginia Power Ball #1. Found outside of Appalachian Park beyond the RF Wall.

20130620-234918.jpg Area beyond the RF Wall. Unlike Jerry Uht Park in Erie, the West Virginia Power do not have a 20 foot net lining the outfield. As a result, nearly all home runs hit to right will leave the ballpark. Below are a few more photos of right field.

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20130621-001034.jpg Also located beyond right field is a parking area that I assume is run by the West Virginia Power. This lot seems pretty secure and is located within steps of the ticket windows and entrance to Appalachian Power Park. I WILL FINISH THIS BLOG SOON… PLEASE CHECK BACK.

Altoona Curve vs. Erie Seawolves 4/27-4/28/13 Peoples Natural Gas Field Altoona, PA

I know you’re probably thinking, why so many MiLB games? Well, Minor League Baseball is much more enjoyable. MiLB is simply, PURE BASEBALL. I could careless if I attend another MLB game this season. With that said, I made yet another Minor League Road Trip. This trip took me through scenic Pennsylvania with a final destination of Altoona, Pa. Surprisingly, Altoona is a booming city. Hotels, Stores, and Restaurants galore. Nothing like the small “Redneck” town I had envisioned.

20130429-133505.jpg Shortly after arriving at the Ballpark around 1pm, I was on the board with Ball #1, an Eastern League Baseball found beyond the RF Wall.

20130429-133714.jpg As is always the case, I like to arrive early and do a bit of exploring. I noticed this open gate and had to do some investigating. Below are a few photos of what I discovered.

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20130429-134004.jpg Minor League Baseball is much more laid back. I probably could have strolled out onto the field and started shagging Fly Balls in the OF and nobody would have said a word. Obviously though, I was in a Restricted Area so I decided to move along.

20130429-134327.jpg Before hopping back into the car, I snapped a photo of this Roller Coaster which sits beyond the RF Wall. While it may appear as a target for players to hit during BP, the likelihood of a ball striking it is very minimal. The Power Alley in RF is 375 ft and the Coaster is another 50-100 ft from the Wall. It would take a Moonshot for a HR to hit the Coaster.

20130429-134746.jpg Above is a photo from atop the Parking Garage which also sits beyond the RF Wall. As you can see, there is quite a bit of space between the field and the Amusement Park. Below are a few more photos of the area beyond the Outfield Walls,

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20130429-135206.jpg Since there wasn’t much action on the field, it was time to do some more exploring. Below are a few more photos of Peoples Natural Gas Field.

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20130429-135507.jpg While roaming around the field, I noticed a player hit a Home Run into the grass hill in LF. The gates were not due to open for 3 more hours, so retrieving the baseball would take some trickery. I had already watched as 2 female Curve Employees scoured the LF Bleachers and pocketed a half dozen baseballs. I wasn’t about to let them snatch another one.

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20130429-140022.jpg Spiderman, Spiderman, gets them balls whenever I can.

20130429-140254.jpg After snatching up the ball from LF, I returned to the roof of the Parking Garage to try for a LONGGGGGGG Toss Up. I spent my time waiting in an area surrounded by this Crime Scene Tape. Chances are, I was getting my Ballhawk on in a Murder Scene.

20130429-140626.jpg This was my view as I tried to get Stolmy Pimental’s attention. After a few balls to the Warning Track, I got Pimental to notice me on top of the garage. Shortly after, he made an attempt to toss me a ball. The ball fell well short.

20130429-140958.jpg Can you spot the baseball?

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20130429-141103.jpg As much as I hate to leave a baseball unclaimed, I decided against trying to climb down the wall of a 100ft Parking Garage. I would try to get Pimental to toss me another one.

20130429-141538.jpg Above is Pimental with Toss Up #2.

20130429-141843.jpg Shortly after the Pimental Toss Up, the Erie Seawolves took the field. I was set on getting a Toss Up from one of them as well. James McCann would be the first to attempt to reach the roof of the garage. After 2 failed attempts, McCann called over Hernan Perez who made a windmill motion with his arm then launched a Toss Up that landed snugly in my Catcher’s Mitt.

20130429-142327.jpg Above is a photo of the Hernan Perez Toss Up. After getting the Perez Toss Up, it was almost time to enter the Ballpark. Below are a few random photos from in and around the Ballpark.

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20130429-143038.jpg Yes, that’s a couch in the Altoona Curve Bullpen.

20130429-143144.jpg Glove Trick. Erie’s Pitching Coach Jamie Garcia just stood and scratched his head and he watched me reel this in.

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20130429-143444.jpg Daniel Fields 9th Inning Foul Ball.

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20130429-143612.jpg TO BE CONTINUED… IPAD NEEDS CHARGED.

Buffalo Bisons vs. Pawtucket Red Sox April 25,2013 Coca Cola Field Buffalo, NY

The Original Plan was to attend 3 games in Buffalo. However, the weather changed as did my plans. What else is new? Originally I had planned on attending the Erie Seawolves Day Game on 3/24, followed by an evening game in Buffalo that same night. Both games were Rained Out. Instead of spending another day in Erie. Ian, Hunter, and Myself packed up the Explorer and decided to head towards Buffalo to do some exploring. One of our goals was to find some “Buff-a-Hoes”. Considering none of us are good-looking, we failed miserably. Hunter came closest though, almost purchasing a hooker for $200 an hour.

20130426-153929.jpg Prior to leaving Erie, I decided that booking a hotel in Buffalo would be a much better option than camping, which is what we usually do for MiLB games. I logged on to my favorite Travel Site, Priceline. I’m never one to pay full price for anything. I love Priceline because it gives you the option to “Name Your Own Price”. Considering it was a weekday, I knew hotels would be desperate to fill empty rooms. I made a ridiculously low offer of $45/night. My offer was accepted and we were headed to the Adams Mark in Downtown Buffalo. According to Buffalo Ballhawk Quinn, the Adams Mark is the Nicest Hotel in Buffalo. After checking in, I’d hate to see the worst. LoL.

20130426-154714.jpg Since we did not have any games to attend, we decided to head to Niagara Falls.

20130426-154938.jpg Above is a view of the Falls.

20130426-155056.jpg One of the Hidden Secrets of Niagara Falls is the Maid of the Mist. Luckily, we made it in time for the last voyage of the day.

20130426-155446.jpg Here is a view from below the Falls in New York prior to boarding the Maid of the Mist.

20130426-155606.jpg Just how I like it. HaHa

20130426-155703.jpg The Docking Station for the Maid of the Mist. Below are a few photos taken while on the ride. I would have loved to have taken more. However, we boarded the boat in a steady rain and had to deal with some wicked winds and some string misting from the falls. I wasn’t trying to lose yet another phone to H2O.

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20130426-160213.jpg Here I am soaked from head to toe. The ponchos given to us prior to boarding the Maid of the Mist were pretty much useless. After our voyage, we stopped in the Gift Shop.

20130426-160549.jpg I purchased a pretty cool Niagara Falls Commemorative Baseball. Below are a few more photos of the ball.

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20130426-160814.jpg After the Gift Shop, we did some more exploring around Niagara Falls. I have a few more photos which are on Hunter’s phone. Hopefully, he wakes his lazy ass up by the time I’m done typing this and sends them to me so I can share them on here.

20130426-161029.jpg After visiting the falls, we made the trek back to our hotel. Minus the 3am Fire Alarm and Hunter’s disgusting snoring, it was a rather pleasant night. The beds were comfy, the pillows soft, and I didn’t encounter any bed bugs.

20130426-161521.jpg I almost forgot to mention that prior to going to sleep, Ian and I made the walk over to Coca Cola Field to do some investigating. According to Quinn, there was an Oswaldo Arcia Home Run Baseball laying unclaimed in a fenced in area beyond the CF Wall.

20130426-161730.jpg We found the Baseball!!

20130426-161824.jpg Sadly, I couldn’t get my fat ass over the 12 ft fence to rescue the baseball. Instead of risking arrest by sneaking in another part of the ballpark, we walked back to the hotel. I had a Ball Retriever in the Explorer and planned on getting the ball the next morning.

20130426-163620.jpg We ended up sleeping in the next morning. After showering and getting lunch, we arrived at Coca Cola Field during the 2nd Inning of Game 1.

20130426-163751.jpg We purchased the Cheapest Tickets possible. The cheapest ticket in Buffalo was $10. It’s only $9 if purchased in advanced. Everyone knows that Minor League Games are empty and you can sit wherever you please. Why spend the extra $$$ on “Box Seats”?

20130426-164032.jpg Hunter and Ian spent the first few innings chasing Foul Balls.

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20130426-164256.jpg I took a few pictures then headed out to the area in Right Field.

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20130426-164453.jpg After a few inning in RF, I returned to the infield in hopes of snagging a few foul balls. While I was gone, Hunter was the proud recipient of a Jeremy Hazelbaker 6th Inning Home Run. Hunter ended up trading the ball to me for a Brand New International League Baseball. Below are a few photos of the Hazelbaker Home Run Baseball.

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20130426-165230.jpg Speaking of Home Runs, Hunter wasn’t the only one who would get one during the Doubleheader.

20130426-165342.jpg During the 1st Inning of Game 2, I was able to reel in a Mike McCoy Home Run off of the LF Berm with this device.

20130426-165457.jpg With this device, I’m able to reel in any baseball within 15-18 ft with no problem. Please don’t ask how it works. It’s a secret. Below are a few photos of the McCoy Home Run Baseball.

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20130426-170025.jpg After reeling in the McCoy Home Run, I returned to RF. During the 3rd Inning, Bisons CF, Anthony Gose began motioning something to me then yelling something. I had no idea what he was saying so I wandered towards CF and Gose told me he wanted the Big Glove. I just laughed it off because I thought he was kidding. During the Inning Break, Gose told me he’d trade me an Autographed Bat for the Glove. Josh Hamilton offered to trade me an Autographed Bat for it last season in Baltimore and I declined. Gose would be denied as well. During the 4th Inning, Gose continued to tell me he wanted to glove. I looked up him up on Google and noticed he got a $772,000 Signing Bonus. I knew he had more to offer besides a bat.

20130426-170621.jpg As Gose was jogging off the field in the 4th, I handed him this note with my “Trade Demands”. I didn’t think it was much to ask for. What do you think? During the next Inning Break, 2 employees of the team started walking towards RF with hands full of goodies. It was a deal.

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20130426-171022.jpg One Dozen Brand New International League Baseballs. Below are a few photos of an Official International League Baseball.

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20130429-104549.jpg In addition to the Dozen International League Baseballs, Gose also tossed in 2 Pairs of Batting Gloves.

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20130429-104806.jpg Another one of my “Trade Demands” was a Buffalo Bisons New Era Size 7 1/4.

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20130429-105015.jpg $33.99 plus tax. I wonder who picked up the tab for this.

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20130429-105243.jpg Close Up of the Buffalo Bisons Logo.

20130429-105340.jpg Marucci Bone Rubbed AP5-M Pro Model Anthony Gose Bat. If you notice, below the Handcrafted For is an Anthony Gose Signature engraved into the bat. A Signature engraved into the bat designates that the player has an MLB Bat Contract with the Company. Gose played a part of the 2012 MLB Season with Toronto and should be back in the Bigs soon.

20130429-105931.jpg Anthony signed the bat in a BOLD, Black Sharpie Marker on the Barrell and added his #8.

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20130429-110159.jpg Close Up of the Bat’s Knob. Incase you’re wondering what all the numbers mean, I’ll try to explain. The Black 8 is Anthony’s Jersey Number. The 2/08/13 is the date the bat was produced. The 4 designates that this is a 34 inch bat. The 2 designates the bat’s weight, which is 32 ounces.

20130429-110741.jpg Another item given to me by Gose was a Brand New pair of New Balance Baseball Cleats.

20130429-110923.jpg Model MB3000MS. These are an MLB Model, not available is stores. Size 11, Medium Width. I also wear a Size 11, so I will probably end up wearing these cleats.

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20130429-111954.jpg Yet another item given to me was a Game Worn Undershirt. I had originally asked for a Bisons Hoodie. However, Gose stated that he couldn’t find one and gave me this instead.

20130429-112150.jpg Bisons Logo on the Undershirt.

20130429-112253.jpg Undershirt is made by 4ORTE, Size XL. Anthony’s #8 is written on the Laundry Tag in Black Marker. I’m guessing the shirt was worn by Gose during the Doubleheader as it smells of a mixture of Cocca Butter and Sweat. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this item. Anybody want to swap me for a Bisons Hoodie in an XL?

20130429-112712.jpg Finally, I posed for a photo with Gose.

In case you’re wondering why Gose was so interested in the Big Glove. Apparently, the Bisons Shortstop (McCoy?) made some sort of Error on Opening Day and the Glove is going to be used as a prank. In all, I received the following in exchange for the Big Glove: Dozen International League Baseballs, 2 Pairs of Batting Gloves, Game Worn Undershirt, Bisons New Era Hat, Brand New Pair of Cleats, and an Autographed Game Model Bat. I understand that most of you will say I’m crazy for giving up the Big Glove. Not at all. I already have a new one on the way. ;)

In regards to a review of Coca Cola Field, I’ll say a few things. The Ballpark itself is quite impressive. Seating for 18,000 plus, that’s crazy. The Seating Area itself is very tough to navigate. 80% of the seats are stuck in the down position. Someone in the Bisons organization needs to look into upgrading the seats. The Concourse Areas behind the Seating Area reminded me of a Horror Movie. They were very dark and lacked any sort of life or excitement. How about some Games, Music, etc…? I tried a Soft Pretzel from one of the Concession Stands. It was the WORST Pretzel I’ve ever had at any Ballpark. I’m guessing it was atleast 4 days old. Just because it’s hot, doesn’t mean it’s fresh. The Gift Shop inside the Ballpark was decent. However, I didn’t see any Game Used items whatsoever. The Picnic Area in Right Field is wonderful. There is a patch of grass beyond the RF Wall that is so close, you feel like you’re playing RF in the game. Very cool. The bathrooms in CF were clean. However, there was no hot water. It’s no fun washing your hands with cold water on a chilly day. Ticket Prices were VERY FAIR. The staff at the Ballpark was also very helpful and knowledgable. One of my biggest complaints is the lack of a walkway around the Outfield Wall. In order to go from RF to LF, you must walk the whole way around the Ballpark. The area beyond the walls at Coca Cola Field is “Dead Space” filled with various Grounds Crew Junk, Broken Stadium Equipment, etc. In my opinion, the Bisons should look into some sort of walkway that wraps around the Outfield Wall. If you need help in a design, I’d be more that glad to help. All in all, Coca Cola Field grades out a 2 of 5 stars in my opinion. While I’m not planning any return trips this season, I’d consider a return trip if I was in the area.

Potomac Nationals vs. Frederick Keys 4/20/13-4/21/13 G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium Woodbridge, Va

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20130423-133802.jpg Potomac Nationals #30 Matt Grace

20130423-133918.jpg Potomac Nationals #30 Matt Grace

20130423-134025.jpg Mascot Uncle Slam

20130423-134213.jpg Uncle Slam, again.

20130423-134356.jpg Frederick Keys #40 Eduardo Rodriguez

20130423-134552.jpg Potomac Nationals OF #28 Caleb Ramsey. The Nationals were doing a Jersey off the Back Day on 4/21/13. I was the winner of this Caleb Ramsey Jersey.

20130423-134800.jpg Myself, Caleb Ramsey, and the Autographed Game Worn Jersey.

20130423-134944.jpg Former Washington Redskins QB Joe Theismann was signing autographs before the game on 4/21/13.

20130423-135203.jpg Scoreboard

20130423-135338.jpg Ball #1 in Potomac. Found behind the RF Wall. Official Carolina League Baseball.

20130423-135502.jpg View down the RF Line from outside the Ballpark.

20130423-135626.jpg Area beyond the Outfield Fence.

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20130423-140057.jpg “Easter Eggs”

20130423-140203.jpg Some of the “Found” Baseballs from 4/20/13.

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20130423-141459.jpg If it’s round and I find it within 500 ft of the Ballpark, it counts in my book. 2 “Found” Baseballs.

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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs April 1, 2013 PNC Park Pittsburgh, PA. OPENING DAY

20130405-113729.jpg Homeless Shower I passed on way to PNC Park.

20130405-113842.jpg Killer Geese.

20130405-113912.jpg My Kayak’s Parking Spot.

20130405-114001.jpg Rocky Steps.

20130405-114054.jpg Snow.

20130405-114123.jpg The Weather SUCKED!!

20130405-114156.jpg Blah.

20130405-114235.jpg The Ballhawkers.

20130405-114318.jpg My 1st REGULAR SEASON Baseball of 2013. Found in Section 142.

20130405-114413.jpg Prime Seat for catching an Opening Day Commemorative.

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20130405-114721.jpg Tarp.

20130405-114820.jpg WORST Grounds Crew in MLB.

20130405-114856.jpg Warm Ups.

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20130405-115035.jpg UMPIRE BALL from Tom Hallion.

20130405-115201.jpg Fujikawa who gave me the SMALLEST AUTOGRAPH I’ve ever obtained. I’ll upload a pic later.

20130405-115440.jpg Picture some AP Guy took of me prior to the Game.

20130405-115750.jpg Baseballs from Opening Day.
1. Starlin Castro MLB Authenticated Game Used Single Purchased for $50 from Hunt Auctions
2. Jeanmar Gomez Signed Brand New MLB Ball. (Starting 2013 Pirates Team Ball)
3. Darwin Barney Autographed Game Used MLB Baseball
4. Fujikawa Autographed Game Used Opening Day Baseball
5. Tom Hallion Umpire Baseball Opening Day Commemorative
6. Found Baseball from Section 142, my first OFFICIAL BASEBALL of 2013. (I’m not counting Workout Day Baseballs like everyone else. That’s #RACHET.)

Snagged 2 Opening Day Commemoratives on my own, purchased an additional one from Hunt Auctions. Found my 1st ball of 2013 in Section 142.

Had a chance for another Opening Day Commemorative. Foul Ball rolled 5 ft in front of me. Pedro Alvarez walked out, picked it up, looked right at me while I was waving Giant Glove, then tossed the ball 8 ft over my head to some MORON in a Cubs Jersey. Pedro better hope I never catch one of his Home Runs he wants back. I’ll just remind him of Opening Day.

2013 Goals

I’m going to start off by saying that I absolutely hate this blogging thing.

Okkkk, before I post my 2013 Goals, which I’m sure will generate (couldn’t figure out the word I wanted to use) quite a bit of laughs from my fellow “Ballhawkers”, I’d like to do a quick 2012 Recap.

Ive been regularly attending MLB Games since the Early 1990′s. I obtained my first baseball in 1997 via Toss Up from St. Louis Cardinals Pitcher, Andy Benes at Three River Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA. Seconds later, I caught my second, a BP Home Run On The Fly from an Unknown Cardinals Player. From that moment on, I was hooked.

I wasn’t sure how 2012 was going to play out. I spent the entire 2011 season in Florida. I was a “Regular” at Tropicana Field as well as Sun Life Stadium. In addition, I’m guessing I attended well over 100 Florida State League Games. The amount of baseballs I caught was absolutely ridiculous.

After the 2011 season, I started to get really sick and returned to Pittsburgh. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital, had 2 surgeries and was released just in time for the 2012 season. I had been a member of a website called MY GAME BALLS for a few years prior to 2012. I never uploaded my stats or anything, I just kept an eye on peoples stats and read an occasional blog here and there. Honestly, I thought everyone on the site was weird. However, I found the idea of “Ballhawking” intriguing. I decided to become an active member of the site in 2012. I discovered that the majority of the people who I labeled as “weird” were really cool dudes. During the first few months of the season, I just wasn’t feeling myself. I was always tired and just didn’t have the stamina to make it through BP at times. By the time July came around, I was completely exhausted. From July till October, my enjoyment in attending games began to dissipate. The thought of attending BP day after day became somewhat boring. However, I decided to suck it up and finish the season.

During a trip to D.C. early in the season, I came up with some “Goals” for 2012. How did I do? Well, below were my goals.

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GOAL: 500 Total Balls

REALITY: 521 Total Balls (Includes Minors)

GOAL: 10 Game Home Runs

REALITY: 13 Game Home Runs (Includes Minors)

GOAL: 25 Foul Balls

REALITY: 38 Foul Balls (Includes Minors)

GOAL: 5 Commemorative Baseballs

REALITY: 6 Commemorative Baseballs Astros, Mets, Dodgers, Orioles, Marlins, Twins
I’m not even going to begin to rant about the Red Sox Commemorative, it’s a sour subject.

GOAL: 2012 Home Run Derby Baseball in Kansas City

REALITY: DID NOT MAKE THE TRIP #MONEYPROBLEMS

GOAL: Attend 1 Game of the 2012 World Series and Snag a Baseball

REALITY: Attended Game 4 of the 2012 World Series in Detroit with Erik Jabs and I did indeed Snag a Baseball.

Top 5 NOT-Highlights of 2012 (Regrets)

5. NOT Catching Bryce Harpers 1st MLB Home Run. Yes, I made quite an effort to catch it. Harper’s First MLB HR ended up going in the Batter’s Eye in D.C. Nobody caught it. :)

4. NOT Catching a Red Sox Commemorative Baseball. Failed in numerous trips to Baltimore. I had a trip to Boston planned for August 2012. I ended up in Erie, PA instead watching AA Minor League Baseball.

3. PEDRO ALVAREZ HOME RUN The #1 Reason, I’ll never attend another MLB Game with a Chick. #MISSEDOPPORTUNITIES

2. ANDREW MCCUTCHEN HOME RUN Thats me with the Giant Glove and #58 Jersey

1.

20130228-140218.jpg Where were you when this happened? 2012 World Series Game 4. I know where I was. Erik, I’m sure you’re still ticked off too.

Top 5 Moments of 2012

5. 4/25/12 Garrett Jones Home Run My First Game Home Run of 2012

4. 7/6/12 Pedro Alvarez Home Run

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3.

20130228-142200.jpg Pedro Alvarez Game Jersey at Fan Appreciation Day

2.

20130228-142741.jpg April 27, 2012 Josh Reddick 3rd Out Toss Up *ORIOLES COMMEMORATIVE*

1. 6/21/12 Pedro Alvarez Home Run

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Recap: I caught a lot of balls. I also missed a lot of opportunities. I met some really cool people. Erik, Ian, Scoonz, Fake Pedro, you guys are great. You made my trip to PNC Park enjoyable. Matt in Baltimore, Flava Dave, thanks for the hospitality. You guys helped make Camden Yards my favorite Ballpark. I appreciate all your help. Dave and Dave in Detroit, it was nice meeting you guys. I appreciate all your help at the World Series. Everyone who attended Ballhawk Fest in Pittsburgh. Thanks!! I had a great time. I enjoyed meeting all of you. Rocco from Cincy, I love reading all of your blogs. You offer some great insight. Alan from MGB, Great Site. Thank you for taking the time to give people like me a place to share our hobby. Looking forward to meeting you in Philadelphia this summer.

Below are a few Random Photos from 2012…

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GOAL FOR 2013

1. 1,000 Baseballs. Go ahead and laugh. I GUARANTEE I GET AT MINIMUM, 1,000.
2. 50 Game Home Runs.
3. 100 Foul Balls
4. I WILL CATCH SOMEONE’S FIRST MLB HOME RUN.
5. Make ESPN Web Gems. It’s going to happen.
6. Finish #1 on My Game Balls Minors. NOBODY IS BEATING ME THIS YEAR.
7. Win Home Run Derby at Ballhawk Fest in Philadelphia.
8. Catch a Walk Off Home Run.
9. Get a Pirates Game Worn Jersey at Fan Appreciation Day. #CUTCH
10. Have Fun.

I’m done blogging for awhile…

After some thinking, I think I’m going to call it quits for awhile on the blogging. First off, I highly doubt anybody reads these things anyhow. I’m guessing I have 5 or 6 viewers a day and I could probably name them off the top of my head. Secondly, I’ve been pretty busy lately. Between Pitt Football Practice, Steelers Practice, and also Pirates Games, I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head chopped off. In addition, Penguins Training Camp is going to begin soon. So yeah, I don’t have much free time. I may do a blog here and there during the rest of the season, but don’t hold me to it. Feel free to check back every so often though.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Arizona Diamondbacks August 6-8, 2012 PNC Park Pittsburgh, PA

Yes, I’ve been slacking really bad lately when it comes to doing these blogs. Between Chasing Baseballs, Steelers Training Camp, Pitt Football Practice, Car Accident, Dating, Sleeping, and Kayaking, I’ve been quite busy the past few weeks. The Pirates were hosting the Diamondbacks for a 4 games series. I had big hopes for these games. My plans included finishing a Diamondbacks Team Signed Baseball, getting Kirk Gibson to sign a Dodgers Commemorative Baseball, getting Alan Trammell to sign a Sports Illustrated from 1984, finish my Pirates Team Signed Baseball, and snag as many baseballs as possible.

20120813-142157.jpg Pirates

20120813-142300.jpg Diamondbacks

20120813-142650.jpg Shot of LF and the Wicked Sun and Shadows

20120813-142944.jpg Despite the sun, I was still able to catch a Starling Marte Toss-Up during the 2nd Inning of the August 6th game.

20120813-143151.jpg Marte B&W

20120813-143652.jpg I had an AYCE Wristband for each of the 3 games versus the Diamondbacks. I probably ate 18 burgers, 7 hot dogs, 13 orders of nachos, 12 ice cream sandwiches, 19 bags of peanuts, 3 boxes of popcorn, 6 bags of peanut butter pretzels, and washed it all down with 104 soft drinks. Let’s just say I got my money’s worth.

20120813-143936.jpg Prior to one of the games, Ian and I spotted Garrett Jones who graciously signed our items then took a moment to pose with the Giant Glove.

20120813-144200.jpg The “Regulars” who wait at the Visiting Team Entrance to PNC Park day after day in hopes of getting their items signed for eBay. They are all pretty friendly for the most part.

20120813-144707.jpg PNC Park Security. The most out of shape Security Team in MLB.

20120813-145145.jpg The Security Member pictured above reminds me of Paul Blart, Mall Cop. Anyone else see the resemblance? I didn’t take any photos because I was running around like a lunatic during BP and didn’t have time. I apologize. During the 3 games versus Arizona, I was able to snag 23 baseballs. The majority of them were obtained via the Glove Trick. Also, in an embarrassing side note, I was hit in the head by a Josh Collmenter Toss-Up after BP on August 7th. Despite feeling a bit woozy, I was still able to reach down and pick up the ball before it was scooped up by one of the many kids screaming “Here!,Here!,Here!”. Now, to the autographing.

20120813-150612.jpg Dodger Stadium Commemorative. Goal: Kirk Gibson.

20120813-150723.jpg Mission Accomplished. After Gibson signed my Dodgers Commemorative, I asked if he would also signed my Diamondbacks Team Ball. His exact words were as follows, “JESUS CHRIST!, I just signed a ball for you”. He then stopped signing and marched off to the dugout.

20120813-151115.jpg Gibson might be a decent manager, but he sure as hell ain’t a people person. He doesn’t even look friendly.

20120813-151342.jpg The Diamondbacks do have a few friendly players. One such player is 2012 ROY Candidate, Wade Miley. Ian and I stuck around PNC Park late one night and were rewarded with signatures from quite a few D-Backs.

20120813-151708.jpg In addition to signing a baseball for me on the sweet spot, Miley also added his John Hancock to my Team Ball. The other signature in this photo is Josh Collmenter.

20120813-151906.jpg Chris Johnson # 28 and Paul Goldschmidt #44 also signed. Goldschmidt also thanked Ian and I for asking him to sign. I think he may have had a few drinks in the clubhouse prior to leaving the ballpark. Players who also signed my Team Ball are as follows: Jason Kubel, Ryan Wheeler, Stephen Drew, Miguel Montero, and Mike Zagurski. I forgot to take a photo of the panel of the baseball where they signed. :(. After Kirk Gibson refused to sign my Team Ball, I gave up on trying to complete it and instead concentrated on finishing my Pirates Team Ball. Below are some photos of my Pirates Team Signed Baseball as it is right now.

20120813-152709.jpg Clint Hurdle, Sweet Spot.

20120813-152828.jpg James McDonald, Erik Bedard, Jeff Karstens, Rod Barajas, and Andrew McCutchen.

20120813-152953.jpg Frank Coonelly & Garrett Jones.

20120813-153121.jpg Michael McKenry, Evan Meek, Drew Sutton, Travis Snider, and Chad Qualls.

20120813-153242.jpg Jason Grilli, Clint Barmes, Josh Harrison, Chris Resop, and Joel Hanrahan. I’m still missing a handful of guys including A.J. Burnett and Juan Cruz. I haven’t seen Burnett touch a pen once this whole season. Cruz signed once after a game. However, it was only because his POS Range Rover broke down while exiting the parking garage and he was waiting for AAA to come save him. Other notable players missing are Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez. Both are fairly easy to obtain. I would have both on the ball already but I’ve been getting them on Single Signed Balls, 8×10′s, etc. My goal is to add at least 7 guys to the ball during the series versus the Dodgers. That’s about it for the D-Backs Series. Stay tuned for a recap of Steelers Training Camp, Pitt Football Practice, Pirates vs. Padres, and Pirates vs. Dodgers. I have a lot of catching up to do. I promise to be all caught up before the weekend.

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