Raining Milestones at Target Field – Balls 296-301 (June 19, 2014)

Chicago White Sox 2 – Minnesota Twins 4

Target Field – Minneapolis, MN

June 19, 2014


 

For this game I had 3 goals/milestones in mind:

  1. Take over the Target Field career lead – Mateo has 204, I had 202.  3 balls needed.
  2. Set a personal best for one season/year – I got 109 in 2013, I had 106.  4 balls needed.
  3. Reach 300 career balls – I was at 295 entering the gates.  5 balls needed.

Even though the forecast for the day looked TERRIBLE, I still wanted to get a ticket for this game, since the weekends are both busy at home and at the field (now that school is out, the kids are in full attendance).  The promising sight when I arrived about 45 minutes before my early season ticket holder entry (half hour before public) was that the batting cages were up and the Twins were hitting.  in fact, a lefty was bombing them deep and a few ushers/gate workers even got balls… which were not shared with anyone at the gate.

The bad news?  About 14 minutes before our scheduled early entry, the tarp came on the field and the cage quickly disassembled.  The rain was coming.  And came it did; within 2-3 minutes, a soaking downpour – which would last for about 2 hours – ended any chance of snagging BP balls…

Ball #1:

Or so I thought.

Ball 296

Once inside the stadium, I decided to run up into the grandstand area in RF.  That lefty I told you about above?  Well, I saw a few that might have reached this area and hoped that something remained.  My patience was rewarded.

Oh yeah, guess who else showed up at the ballpark…

Paul Kom and Nate Duppler!  Photographic evidence will be included later in this post.

And yes, this is the exact scene that I found the ball in.  Kinda pretty.

Ball #2:

Ball 297

After searching the upper deck areas, I focused on getting down to the lower deck down the lines in foul territory.  Nothing was in the LF/3B area, but when I walked the 1B/RF line… oh boy!

Ball #3:

Ball 298

Yes!  This was the second ball within 15 feet and the ball that would put me (most likely only temporarily) in the lead for career Target Field snags.

Ball #4:

After the 3 Easter Eggs that were probably left in a hurry before the wicked rain, I focused on the only players visible – Jose Abreu and company.

Ball 299

With a blurry Jose in the background, this is the ball that broke my 2013 record for most balls in one season (personal record, mind you).

Ball #5 (300!!!):

Ball 300

When you think of milestone baseballs, you think of grand scenarios.  Your favorite player hitting a walk-off grand slam using a commemorative baseball sounds like the dream.  This one?  A random stray tossed to me by Dominique as we entered a two-hour rain delay – plus, it was a beat up stray.  I am not ungrateful, but it’s not the sexy and appealing idea that you have for a semi-historic (to me at least) baseball.

 

RAIN DELAY:

TF Rain Pano

(Scene shortly after entry.)

Weather at TF

(Weather gauge.)

Rain Delay

(Painfully obviously evidence of a Rain Delay.)

After 2 hours and 6 minutes…

GAME ON!!

 

Ball #6:

Ball 301

Keeping my streak of gamers alive, a toss-up in the top of the sixth from Dominique, as we waited for the home plate umpire to be switched out (he took a wicked foul to the chin).  I love this ball – the game marks are fantastic.

As I am an old man with an early job, I figured I’d make my way back to my car at this point – hey, the game didn’t start until 9:15, it was already 11 pm, and I want to normally be sleeping by 10 in order to wake up at 6!

Look who I saw before I left:

TF Ballhawking Gang

Target Field’s very own hawk club.  If only we had Mateo there…

The haul?

Ball Haul

As I regularly get StubHub tickets now, I have to search for hard tickets.  It’s easy when you stay for the whole game, but hard when you don’t; even harder to find one if it rains a few inches.

 

Thank yous:

  • Dominique – I might as well make this a permanent fixture in this list.
  • Easter Bunny – 3 eggs.  SCORE!
  • Jose Abreu – A slugger who is also nice, very cool.
  • Paul and Nate – Thanks for the company, it’s much cooler to see familiar faces, especially during a slow, rainy game like this.
  • Weather – Though you ruined a promising batting practice, you also allowed for a game to be played when it looked like none was possible.
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4 thoughts on “Raining Milestones at Target Field – Balls 296-301 (June 19, 2014)

  1. Pingback: White Sox vs. Twins @ Target Field (06-19-14) « A Piece of The Game

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