Yep, no game. Rain has wiped out nearly half of my total baseball so far, and 75% of the Twins home games. It could be worse, it could be snowy, lows at or below zero, and no baseball at all (aka, Minnesota right now).
So what did I do with my time today? First, and probably most importantly, I slept in until 11! It was glorious. To say that I needed that would be an understatement. I am still short on sleep for my vacation, but not scary to the point where driving would be unsafe and unwise.
I then check out just a little of the minor league games, until I could finally enter Hammond at 4. The whole day it was sunny and very clear, it stayed that way until batting practice, when it started to cloud over. Towards the end of the Rays BP we got a few slight sprinkles. Then at about 6:30, the rain started… and it still continues as I type this at nearly 10 pm (all times listed are in Eastern, as that is where I am).
I found one of the crappiest balls possible. To say that it is soft would be like saying the sun is warm. The cover of the ball seems like an XL on a super-model. The stamping is very faded and almost unrecognizable. I found this outside the stadium as I roamed the complex. If this is an Easter Egg, this egg is a poached egg.
When I finally got into the stadium, I headed over towards the autograph area, since that is close to the Twins who were tossing around. Normally the area is packed, but today it was maybe 5 other people, all autograph seekers, so I was not in any competition. When Chris Parmelee let one get away, I decided to reach over the fence (with help from a gentleman) and I pocketed my second of the day.
As BP got under way, I moved over to the area right behind the dugout, closest to home plate. I ended up having Justin Morneau toss me a ball, which was pretty cool.
During the Rays portion of BP I tried the same trick as when the Twins hit, but did it behind the Rays dugout. I finally got someone to toss me up a ball as the Rays were picking up their stuff after their session was done. I don’t know who the coach was (he had a catchers’ mitt, as did I), but he tossed me a “PRACTICE” ball. My second such ball, and this one is in much better condition.
The last ball of the night came after the Twins got done taking infield practice. After their drills Drew Butera and Scott Ullger each had a ball and I got Scott to toss me his. It was a very uneventful end to my adventures at Hammond Stadium for 2013. The rain soon came down harder and just stayed steady enough until they canceled it at about 8.
The good news about the early ending? I got to go back over to Evan’s Pizza one last time. Their pizza was great! But more on that in my “all encompassing entry”.
Now for the last of the Fort Myers thank yous: The Easter Bunny, Chris Parmelee’s glove, Justin Morneau, Scott Ullger, and the Tampa Bay Rays’ coach.
Here is a little preview of my adventures to date: