Early BP at Target Field – Balls 274-279 (May 14, 2014)

Boston Red Sox 9 – Minnesota Twins 4

Target Field – Minneapolis, MN

May 14, 2014


 

 

The Twins have a new perk for being a season ticket holder – early entry for night games on Mondays through Thursdays.  Normally the gates open 90 minutes before first pitch for the general public, but season ticket holders get in two hours early.  As the season ticket holder population is diminishing (due to a few down years), I didn’t know what to expect – turns out the crowd was much more than I anticipated.

***OK, the season ticket holder group is actually probably at a record high, but that’s only because people wanted to secure All-Star Game tickets, so the “true STHers” are still at the lowest rate in Target Field history.***

Being the forgetful person that I am, I lost my STH ID card, so I was freaking out.  Luckily I was able to get in touch with my former rep and all around nice guy, PJ Williams.  Once inside (and after I was already on the board with #1 of the day), PJ came up to me and asked me about certain ways to keep the early BP thing fresh, so that STHers keep coming back – read into that: “How can we keep some season ticket people?”  We talked giveaways and ability to get on the field, but the thing I brought up was incorporating “marked balls” in BP and allowing STHers who snag them to get certain rewards (concessions, tickets, memorabilia, etc.).  Reading other folks’ blogs gave me this idea, since a few East Coast teams were doing this at one point.

So enough about the background on “Early BP Access”, let’s talk results…

I made that bold statement and was partially correct.

Ball #1:

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Off of the bat of Trevor Plouffe – #VotePlouffe!! – I was on the board with my first “New Early BP” ball.  Nothing beats catching a ball launched by your favorite player.  While this was the only one I caught of his during BP, it at least made my Twitter proclamation partially correct.

Another bit of good news: Plouffe would begin the game with a double and end with a 2-run HR.  Not a bad offensive output; he still leads the league in doubles!

Ball #2:

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Short and sweet: Clay Buchholz is really friendly.

Ball #3:

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After making a terrible error (reaching over the railing in the front row only to have it hit my palm and drop onto the field), I regrouped and caught a Red Sox bomb on the fly.  I am guessing that it was Shane Victorino, since he was a righty, no beard, and he was not in the outfield or in later batting groups (when I was able to see the guys up close).

Ball #4:

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Dominique hooks me up.  He is the patron saint of ballhawking at Target Field.  No one was around and he had a ball; I was not expecting it, since I didn’t see the ball until he tossed it to me.

Ball #5:

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After spending the first third of the game up by the flag pole, hoping for a Papi moon-shot, I went back down and got a gamer between the 3rd and 4th from Dominique (again).  David Ortiz DID hit a HR while I was out in the RF area, but it was not at the flag pole – it was in the 2nd deck, 420 feet from home.

PS: I got a little bored of the standard photos, so I went back to last year’s photo idea (June, I believe), in order to be a little artsy.

Ball #6:

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If you want to get a gamer and don’t care if it is a toss-up, scuffs are your best friend.  This horrible scar on the MLB logo turned this gamer into a souvenir.  I have no problem with this.

This (last) ball in particular was a pitch in the dirt to AJ Pierzynski from Matt Guerrier – former teammates, who both left the Twins and who both nearly signed on for the 2014 squad.

 

Reminder:

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Yes, Vote Plouffe.

There is a promotion going on, and the first wave of folks already have some items set aside for their eventual haul for Voting Trevor Plouffe into the All-Star Game.

 

Speaking of hauls…

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Not a bad night at all.  I mentioned that Plouffe went yard earlier in the post, but what I failed to mention was that this was his 50th HR (or a term I have used “Splash Plouffe”).  I was present at his first game (first hit and first RBI in his first at-bat) and now witnessed his 50th HR in person.  It’s incredibly cool to see the growth as a player and person in that time.

Thank yous:

  • Trevor Plouffe – For the “Splash Plouffe” in BP and for everything in the past few years in general.
  • Clay Buchholz – While he isn;t exactly a talker, he was genuinely nice and tossed up a ton of balls to the fans.
  • Shane Victorino? – Thanks for the possible Hawaiian Punch to LF.
  • Dominique – MVP.  He will easily get a co-MVP pick with Trevor Plouffe this year when I eventually recap 2014.
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One thought on “Early BP at Target Field – Balls 274-279 (May 14, 2014)

  1. Haha, Hawaiian punch! *slaps knee*. I working on getting back up to speed on my ballots, but I have been super busy lately, but I’m trying my best. #voteplouffe!

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