All-Star Tune-Up – Balls 306-311 (July 1, 2014)

Kansas City Royals 2Minnesota Twins 10

Target Field – Minneapolis, MN

July 1, 2014


 

 

July has traditionally been a slow mo nth for me in the ballhawking department.  Sure, last year I finally made it out to Denver for the the first time AND got my hands on a commemorative, but even then I only got a total of 4 balls in two games.  In fact, I had only snagged 16 balls in 7 games since I began my ballhawking adventure – and outside of 2 games in 2012, the totals are virtually non-existant.  My high of 5 in one game was in jeopardy (7/20/2012) and for sure my Target Field best of 3 (7/19/2012) was surely to fall with the early entry for STHers.

After a long hiatus apart, I met Paul for the second time in only a couple weeks (before that we hadn’t seen each other since Spring Training).  We missed out on a ball that was thrown over the gate by a worker (to a guy who more than likely had a connection or had bribed said worker in the past).  But my attention wasn’t fully on the game, BP, or even baseball, it was on the soccer match between the US and Belgium – spoilers: we lost.  The game was being shown on the jumbotron, but due to the way that Target Field is designed, you cannot see any of the scoreboards from gate 34 – this meant that I was listening to the moans and groans of the final minutes of regulation time fromt the workers inside.

Finally, we were let loose and the gates were open.  I had noticed a ball hit deep and more than likely stuck somewhere in the grandstand, so I raced up the stairs and looked all over.  Paul even came up and started looking for this Easter Egg.  Both of us were stumped and couldn’t find it, until…

Ball #1:

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The Old Cup(holder) Trick!  Sneaky, sneaky.  Thankfully as I was giving up on the ball and about ready to go to the overhang, I saw this white sphere just waiting to be plucked from its awkward home.

Balls #2:

After making the grueling 50 foot trek to the overhang in RF, I asked Oswaldo Acria for a ball.

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Excellent!

Ball #3:

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With the Royals now on the field, I was able to get a toss-up from Alex Gordon.  Alex was SUPER nice to the fans and gave away a ton of balls (seems like around 10 or so).

Ball #4:

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Francisley Bueno. Muy Bueno, indeed.

After my fourth of the day things kind of stalled out.  I was mainly more concerned with Jeremy Guthrie and Bruce Chen.  I was lucky enough to play catch – for the second time this year – with Jeremy while he was in the Twins bullpen, cleaning out HR balls.  After a few knuckles he tossed the ball back in.  Dang.

I was hoping to get Bruce Chen to toss me up a ball and act like we’d play some catch, but he didn’t fall for it.  I was going to toss back a lacrosse ball that I had in my pocket.  If you need further reasoning as to why I wanted to give Bruce Chen some “pay back” read my past blog entry on the “Bruce Chen Incident“.

Ball #5:

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Dominique for MVP.  Enough said.

Ball #6:

Straight out of the game ball bag, Chris Parmelee with a beautiful mud-rubbed hook-up.

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Just like that, my night was over, but that was my own choice.

I still stuck around for some decent food, a Twins win, and ballhawk talk with Paul, but I didn’t really try much harder for any more balls the rest of the night.  My streaks were intact, so why press?

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(Champions Club dining.  My numerous variations on a “salad”… plus fortune cookies.)

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(A vegan dog!!  Not too bad.  Don;t order it if you are expecting an exact replica of a regular hot dog, but do expect more flavor wothout the worry of “what is this mystery meat?”)

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Although there was a very brief rain in the bottom of the 7th, I did not get to use my clever sign…

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I brought that due to the weather outlook that called for a chance of rain and even isolated storms.  Nothing panned out and no tarps were used.  But I did get the following:

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How cool is that ASG mini-helmet?  And who leaves those behind?!

 

Thank yous:

  • Dominique – Broken record, but he is my MVP of 2014.
  • Random Twin – More than likely it was Oswaldo Arcia or Kendrys Morales, but whoever planted the bomb that eventually was placed in the cupholder, thanks.
  • Oswaldo Arcia – ¡Gracias, hermano!
  • Alex Gordon – Thank you, from all of the fans you hooked up with a ball.
  • Francisley Bueno – Tú eres “Bueno”.  (Broken Spanish pun.)
  • Chris Parmelee – Your streak is much more impressive and takes better skill (double-digit hit streak with an over .450 average in that span), but thanks for extending mine, too.
  • Jeremy Guthrie – Thanks for playing catch with me… AGAIN!

 

BONUS!!

Because this is my blog and I call the shots, why not show my travel photos of my weekend trip to Iowa a few days ago?

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My cousin lives in Cedar Rapids and so we went down to see her, her husband, and their daughter (see the cute Uncle Sam and the little one in the selfie with me above).  The other group of photos was from a dam outside of Iowa City.  Snakes, fossiles, flood waters, and dead fish… OH MY!

And there it is, potentially my last post (definitely last ballhawking post) until the All-Star Game.  it still doesn’t feel real that I am going.  Any tips?  (I’ll be arriving super early and trying to experience EVERYTHING the ASG has to offer.)

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