It helps to know your baseball. I am not talking about just the home team, or even the visiting roster, but having connections every once in a while. Twitter is a great place for these connections. Now I’ve never actually talked to CJ Wilson (@str8edgeracer) on twitter, but I do follow him. I think it’s really cool that he is so open about being “straight edge” while still making it cool. For those of you not in the know, I also choose not to drink or do any drugs (never touched a drop and never even smoked), so that’s why I followed CJ. So when the Angels were back in town to play the Twins, I thought I might try to talk to CJ and see if he’d toss me a ball. He was warming up in right center field and since that area was a tough home run and higher up compared to other areas of the field, no one was in that section behind him. I ran over and yelled out, “Hey str8edgeracer! I follow you on twitter!” He looked up at me and smiled and then I asked for a ball (always use “please”). he happy obliged and began his quest of trying to toss me a ball.
I use the term quest because it was not simple, especially for a pitcher (they tend to try to toss very gently in order to avoid fluke injuries). CJ ended up tossing it 4 times before it finally landed in my glove. Twitter gave me a bat back in Spring Training (Trevor Plouffe) and now an Officially Licensed Major League Baseball!! I’m glad my stubbornness towards social media only included a ban against Facebook and not Twitter.
As for the second ball, this one was a gamer. I love snagging gamers, it is a piece of the game and much tougher to come across compared to a BP ball. The scene: Torii Hunter, top of the 3rd, grounds out to 2nd base to end the inning. Parmelee was playing first base, and so when he came in towards the dugout, I stood up, flashed my glove, and yelled his name multiple times. He immediately saw that I was ready and so it turned into a 4-3-Tony putout to end the inning. A piece of history from the game touched by a future member of the Twins Hall of Fame (you cannot deny Torii’s importance to the resurgence of the Twins reaching the playoffs in the 2000s).
And so it’s time for my thank you list. Thank you CJ Wilson (@str8edgeracer)!! It’s very cool that you still tossed me a ball, even though I was wearing a Twins hat and no Angels gear on. I’m still a fan of yours and wish you success. it’s also cool to say that I caught a baseball from an All-Star, in the year that he was an All-Star!! Thanks also go out to Chris Parmelee. I know it’s been tough, you’ve bounced up and down between the Twins and AAA, but you’ll make it permanent some day.