World Futures 2 – USA Futures 3
Target Field – Minneapolis, MN
July 13, 2014
I’m still not sure where I am or what just happened. This whole “extended-weekend” of festivities has taken a toll on not only my feet, but my mind. The anticipation is like the illegitimate lovechild between an insomniac and a child waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve. For about a week before the ASG I was prepping in my head, trying to come up with a game plan, but knowing full well that I had no clue what to expect. And when exactly was I thinking of this? When I should have been sleeping. The result: I spaced on the simplest of things and was in a completely different kind of fog compared to the one I am now in. (Just ask my wife, she can attest to my forgetfulness during this time period.)
If you look at my previous entry – the one about what exactly the ASG was bringing to town and the time-table, that gives you the basic structure. That was all I had to go off of. I had a leg up on some folks, since Target Field is my home field, but the ASG is run by the fine people of the MLB, not the Twins – any changes or additional rules would be completely new to me (and might be ones that carried over from previous ASGs). I was dreaming of each of the four commemorative baseballs followed by nightmares of me not getting my hands on them – or coming up just short and making a terrible error. It was an anticipation purgatory.
Once the weekend came, I tried my best to keep myself occupied with non-baseball things; Friday night was a free orchestral concert on a lake and Saturday was supposed to be paddle-boarding (though that was rained out). It was also the last few things I was able to do with my wife before I was essentially gone for 3 days straight due to baseball (save for a few hours of long “naps” after the games).
Sunday, July 13th @ 7 am:
The alarm sounds and I am already awake. Whenever I am happily anticipating something I wake up BEFORE my alarm goes off. This isn’t a terrible habit, but the bad part is the anticipation the night before keeps me up late and my sleep dwindles faster than an hour-glass while playing charades. Today is “All-Star Sunday!”
FanFest was the first stop on the list before eventually waiting at the gates for many hours and finally being let in to enjoy some future MLB players and “celebrity” softball players. I would cover FanFest here (or even in my next post), but I’ll save the non-game stuff for a later time.
The first event at Target Field for the All-Star Game came in with an adrenaline rush and quickly calmed with this…
Sean Coyle (of the Boston Red Sox organization) was the one to help me out. Being dressed loudly (bright orange suit jacket, for those who don’t follow me on Twitter) and having a catchers mitt did the trick. Sean was done with his warm-up tossing and this gem of a commemorative was my first ASG ball of any sort. SWEET!
Shortly after receiving this ball I had Alex Meyer – future Twin great – sign the ball (see the last photo below).
With the US team done taking some grounders as the batters were taking BP, coach Brian Snitker hooked me up with this wonderfully filthy ball. I chose to attack toss-ups this entire All-Star Game, since I thought (and it was confirmed) that the outfield would be packed.
Another beautiful logo, this time compliments of the 2014 MVP pictured in the background – Dominique Frost. I was worried about just getting one, but here I stood with three and the game hadn’t started.
Another ASG/Futures ball!!…
Wait, what?! How did this get in there? Looks like some, if not all, of the infield warm-up balls used by the USA team were regular MLB balls. Thanks to Justin O’Conner, this one is now safely asleep with all his other friends.
That ball was it for batting practice, but the night was not over. There was still a game and then a celebrity/legends game.
Here is the lineup for the US team:
Note: Tom Kelly – two time World Series winning coach – was the coach for team USA. It was cool to see the coach of my childhood Twins coaching again.
GAMER! A pitch grazing the dirt during Domingo German’s warm-ups in the bottom of the 2nd led to my amazing streak of gamers. Every game this season (including Spring Training) has led to at least one gamer in my bag. Dominique is definitely the MVP – and we are only in day one of the festivities.
Celebrity & Legends Softball Game:
Admittedly, I hadn’t heard of many of the “celebrities”, but I haven’t compared this to previous ASGs, so is this normal? Do people just not want to visit Minnesota? Don’t get me wrong, the athletes and Legends had amazing names and accomplishments, but the TV/music personalities were in no way A-listers. No worries, though, it was pure entertainment and fun. Jennie Finch and Adrian Peterson stole the show, but seeing Jim Thome swing a bat again was the real treat.
Oh yeah, I also snagged a couple of THESE balls:
Thanks Charlie McDermott!… Did I really just say that?! I flashed my glove and tried seeing if he’d toss. He politely said he couldn’t, but then gave me the “shhh” with the finger to the mouth as if we were keeping a secret as he wound up and tossed it to me.
I wasn’t expecting to actually land this and wasn’t convinced it’d be commemorative, but what a fun surprise.
Yep, two softballs snagged at a baseball game. That’s some sort of record, right? This time it was Minnesota’s very own, Chef Andrew Zimmern. I really like Chef Andrew and his story, so this is kinda special. Having said that, I would not eat it, even if it were a crazy food like he has on his show. Now to find a softball cube or two…
Five baseballs (four commemorative), two softballs (both commemorative), and a buttload of stuff from FanFest.
- Sean Coyle
- Brian Snitker
- Justin O’Conner
- Charlie McDermott
- Chef Andrew Zimmern
PS: Joey Gallo is an absolute beast. One of the best BP sessions I’ve seen this year… and he’s in the MiLB!! Look out Texas Ranger fans, you are in for quite a treat.