In the same tune as last year’s post, I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving/Thursday Maximus. While I have more people that I can count that deserve thanks, the ones listed below were instrumental to making 2014 another great year.
- Ballhawks of Target Field (both official and honorary) – Catching your first home run? Amazing. Catching it in front of friends and other fellow Target Field ballhawks? Priceless. Mateo and Paul had many work commitments, which is why I’m back on top for lifetime balls caught at Target Field, but I’d imagine that next year’s race will be a wonderful thing. I think Target Field ballhawking is growing nicely.
- Nate Duppler
- Nick (whitesoxfan)
- Dave Forstad
- Mental Illness advocates – I said this last year, but whether you support NAMI financially, or helped support a friend going through a tough time emotionally, thank you. It was also great to hear from a Twins player and his wife about how anxiety has affected their household.
- Chicago – The experience was amazing. Getting to view the stadium tour for FREE and snagging a ball while inside the stadium early was insane. Add on top of that a few more commemoratives and best of all hanging out with friends afterwards? Not a bad road trip at all.
- Florida – Lovely tradition. Meeting up with Paul was a highlight, for sure. It’ll be weird to see the newest renovations… hopefully they don’t shut off access like other teams have seemed to do in the area.
- The Minnesota Twins – I see the bright spots, I really do, but here’s hoping that we finally see something positive in 2015. Thanks for a great ASG experience and friendly players who are good to the fans.
- Trevor Plouffe – Continued progress is a good thing; breaking your arm in the last home game is not. Career highs in games, plate appearances, Runs, Hits, Doubles, Triples, RBIs, Walks, Batting Average, On-Base Percentage, Total Bases, and OPS+ should translate to a well-deserved pay increase and maybe a shot at an All-Star Game in the future? Plus, he also put up a better fielding percentage at 3rd than any previous year. We’ll see if he stays at that position, though.
- Dominique Frost – Dominique contributed to the most amount of money by baseballs for my donation to NAMI for a second straight year. All those commemoratives snagged at Target Field? Yep, I have no one to thank but Dominique.
- Mother Nature – It’s like you know how to treat a ballhawk at Target Field. When games have low attendance you give us perfect weather, and when attendance looks to be on the uptick, a rainstorm you send. The Home Run Derby and final home game come to mind most vividly; a perfectly timed downpour caused a few extra balls to be pocketed by this humble narrator. Thank you.
- Evelyn – The newest addition to my numerous “collections,” she is a one-of-a-kind puppy that I got at the end of the baseball season. I got to watch the World Series with her and will probably be attending fewer games in the future because of her (more accurately: because I want to spend time with her).
- You, the reader – I know a decent amount of the regulars who visit my site, but there are countless others, people I do not even know by name; to you, THANK YOU! Feel free to make your presence known and sign in on the comments below.
My 2014 in slideshow form:
Another “copy and paste from 2013”:
Lastly, I want to thank my wife. She didn’t “make the top ten” because she’s just too damn vital. Thanks for all of the baseball stuff (by going, not going, listening to my stories, looking at my pictures, storing the baseballs in our home, sharing links via your Facebook, and not strangling me) and all the non-baseball stuff (every other single thing under the sun). THANK YOU! And yes, I know that you technically got a ball before I ever got one; you can hold that over me for all of eternity.