With all the hoopla surrounding the MLB right now, this post – at least ballhawking-wise – will be quite short.
Topics I could instead right about are:
- Biogenesis suspensions (A-Rod banned for life?!)
- Trade deadline drama… or lack thereof (Playing the role of fantasy GM)
- 2014 All-Star Game… IN MY HOME STADIUM!! (OK, I’ll cover it a little bit, but don’t be surprised to see numerous posts dedicated solely to this celebration.)
Back to the topic/game at hand…
July 31st: This was my FIRST game at Target Field for the entire month of July; in fact, it was the first game at Target Field in six weeks! I had gone to a game at Coors Field back on the 4th of July, so I wasn’t completely baseball-less, but pretty darn close. My ball total for the month? TWO. I have not had a worse month than that since July of 2011 – and if you follow my blog, you’ll know that 2011 was mainly a year of autograph seeking, while trying to just stumble across balls. In March of 2012 and April of 2012 I only had 3 balls in each month, so as long as I prevented a shut out, I would not have my worst true-ballhawking month in history. (OK, OK, going to more than 2 games would also help the cause, I know.)
I was actually excited for this game for more than the reasons above. I was worried about how much rust had developed in my 27 day down time, but I was excited to see a friendly face, PAUL!! Paul finally has his license, so I hope to see more of him at gate 34 (we are already planning for the game tomorrow (August 2), in hopes of snagging some Astro commemoratives – unfortunately it sound sliek they are all 2012 versions and not the inaugural 2013 AL versions. Paul is a cool dude, and it was great catching up with him and his friend who he decided to bring along with to the game… But I’ll let Paul handle the details from here (I don’t want to steal his thunder).
I got to the park rather early (OK, super early), hoping to snag a ball at the gates while the Twins took their first reps in the cage. All hopes were dashed, though, as I walked from my car to the field and got soaked by a nice, quick 5 minute downpour – this caused me to later roll up my pant legs and look like I either had capris or two LL Cool J legs. After my 20 minute walk, I reached gate 34 while a non-existent batting practice was being held. The cages were up, but the players were inside avoiding turning into the Wicked Witch of the West.
Said conversing with Paul, as mentioned above, took place during this part the story. Paul wasn’t to keen on the idea of receiving free samples of cheese after a rather long car ride… let’s just leave it at that. After 45 minutes of randomness wrapped in a conversion, we entered the stadium to the hard-hitting Royals!
BP sucked. Very few homers coupled with a kid-heavy turnout made my day hard.
During BP I shouted at Salvador Perez, you know, the All-Star catcher who caught Mariano Rivera’s final ASG appearance?! THAT Salvador Perez! Anywho, I shouted at him and flashed my glove. He saw me and threw the hardest ball I’ve yet caught from a player toss-up. it wasn’t anything special, but it preserved “The Streak”.
Sorry, but I forgot to take a picture until later on. So this rather meh-quality pic will have to do.
The final ball of the day – yes, final – came during the game. I was trying to position myself for a gamer all night, and at the end of the top of the 6th, Joe Mauer came through for me. Kevin Correia got Mike Moustakas to strike out, ending his night on the mound. The Twins tied it up at 2 in the bottom of the 6th, but ended up losing the game 4-3.
I could end the blog here, but I not only have my traditional thanks to give, but a few extra photos to share.
This photo was my photo of the day on Instagram for day 212 in my #Project365Pix series. See the ASG logo in the background? (RF to the left of the granite overhang.)
Speaking of All-Star Game logos and signage, here’s a rather pixelated photo of one of the ASG logos (not the one that will be used on the balls) that was placed on the backstop. This was the best I could do with my iPhone and awkward angles.
And lastly, a group shot of the sad haul:
I’m glad we still have Justin Morneau on the team, otherwise these scorecards would have looked silly. It really bums me out when I think of “what-if”; what if he wouldn’t have had that concussion issue back in 2010?…
- Two of the best catchers in the AL (and MLB) – Joe Mauer and Salvador Perez! How cool is that? Two all-stars at the same position hook me up with my only balls of the day.
- Paul – Thanks for keeping me company at the gates. It’s awesome to have a friend there that shares the same passion as you. If you are a ballhawk that has NOT met with other hawks, do yourself a favor and seek out the others, you may make a new friend or two.
***Edit: After looking at my handy spreadsheet of ballhawking stats (yes, I’m a nerd with a separate spreadsheet with detailed stats), I noticed that 7/31/2012 – exactly one year ago from this game – was also a terrible day for snagging balls. I only received one that day, so does that mean I’m twice as good this year?!***