Bracamonte… Muy Picante! – Balls 289-295 (June 6, 2014)

Houston Astros 5 – Minnesota Twins 4

Target Field – Minneapolis, MN

May 26, 2014



Before I get into the game recap too much, let me get my biggest thanks out in the open…


As you can see, I reached out to him on Twitter in the hopes of getting that tricky commemorative ball from last year – the inaugural AL ball used in Houston.  When I saw him once I was in the stadium, he mentioned that he had one for me and that it was the last one he could find (they were out in April).

So, Javier, if you are reading this, next time you are in Minneapolis, let me know ( and I will personally buy you a slice of pizza from one of my favorite spots close to the ballpark – Pizza Luce.  It’s the least I could do for you.  My mancave has a great addition, thanks to you.

Ball #1:



Within a few seconds of gates opening, I grabbed my giveaway (surprise that you will see at the end) and went Easter Egg hunting.  This is what the bunny left me in section 102.

Ball #2:


This is not the second ball that touched my glove.  Minutes before this ball was what could have been my death.  I was up in the grandstand area in right-center.  A place I do not frequent often.  As it is in the upper-deck area, the stairs are steeper and thus, more deadly.  I got Brian Duensing to toss me up a ball, but it went a good 20 rows behind me.  I went racing up, but a few bounces brought the ball back down and as I turned I lost my balance.  I ended up nearly catching myself, but the steepness proved too much.  I went head first, bouncing two rows on my face (hitting just above my eye).

This ball, though, was a monster blast by some Twin.  I do not know who, as I was in a rather poor state.

Ball #3:


My first comedy ball.  “How so?” you say?  Well, it’s not because John Mallee threw it to me.  Nope, it’s because shortly after receiving it, I had a local comedian (and movie star – mainly in Adam Sandler films), Nick Swardson sign it.


Here he is walking back into the clubhouse area.  If only he had a spot in the dugout as a Benchwarmer!

Ball #4:


Ralph Dickenson toss up.  Plain and simple.  He was very nice.

Ball #5:


The main attraction.

This is such a beautiful design.  I am honored and pleased to have it in my collection.  Javier is the nicest bullpen catcher in the league.  If only I could vote for him for the All-Star Game…

Ball #6:


A “gamer”.  From the ball-bag before the rain delay struck.  Quite possibly the first ball taken from the “game bag”.  Dominique is the man, and Joe Mauer graciously signed for a handful of us during the rain delay.  The mancave has such a great new collection of baseballs – Nick Swardson, Houston commemorative, and Mauer gamer.

Ball #7:


The cherry on top?  Trevor Plouffe’s pearly ball chosen for the warm-ups… which were postponed for an hour.  Lucky for me, I guess.

Oh, and the craziest part of the game?… The first ball of the day was number 100 of 2014!  I am now at 106, just 3 behind last year’s total.  And we’re only in the first week of June!!

Here is the haul, including a Snoopy ASG statue giveaway:



Thank yous:

  • Javier Bracamonte – Quite simply… THE MAN!
  • Easter Bunny – Thanks for #100 of 2014.
  • Mystery Twin – Your power helped me overcome a huge blow to my ego.
  • John Mallee and Ralph Dickenson – The Houston coaching staff is amazing.
  • Dominique – Thanks for the gamer and for pointing out that you saw my tumble.
  • Trevor Plouffe – For the “Splash Plouffe” in BP and for everything in the past few years in general.
  • Nick Swardson and Joe Mauer – (Weird combo) For the autographs!

One thought on “Bracamonte… Muy Picante! – Balls 289-295 (June 6, 2014)

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