Florida is Closed For Business – Balls 393-400 (March 20, 2015)

Pittsburgh Pirates 4 – Minnesota Twins 2

Hammond Stadium – Fort Myers, FL

March 20, 2015

The last day in Florida and I had one last goal: snag my 400th career ball.  Doable?  Yes.  Tough?  Snagging 8 isn;t exactly a cake walk.  Hopeful?  Mildly, but not stressing over it.  If I was able to reach 400, then it meant that I averaged more than 10 balls a game in Spring Training for the 2nd straight year.

As sad as it was to be leaving, I was also looking forward to getting home.  When you have your own little slugger waiting for you, it’s hard to stay away…

Evelyn Baseball

I love my little Evelyn.  She was staying with my parents and getting spoiled (and being the subject of many photos).  Check out her Instagram feed for more examples.

Ball #1:


Tommy Milone warm-up ball.

Ball #2:


Eric Farris BP homer, caught on the fly.

Ball #3:


Danny Ortiz toss-up.

Ball #4:


Unknown Twin HR caught on the fly.

Ball #5:


Unknown Pirate HR, caught on the fly.  This was AFTER I took a ball to the inside part of my right calf – one that was hit by my favorite player, Trevor Plouffe (and one I didn’t even snag).  I should have dove for that ball in hind-sight, but thought I would get hurt.  I was wrong.

Ball #6:


Another unknown Pirate HR caught on the fly.  This one was caught on a dead sprint – I started in the corner closest to left-center and tracked it down at the line.  Numerous people told me “nice catch” afterwards – some even said it after BP as I wandered the stadium.  Nothing beats making a good catch that goes noticed by those around you.

Ball #7:


Have no fear, the gamer streak carries forward to the regular season of 2015!  This one was a toss-up from Joe Mauer after the Twins recorded out #3 of the first inning.  Since the kids weren’t aware of the toss-ups yet, this was my only chance at landing one before it turned into kid-central.

Ball #8:


I was honestly happy with being at 399, and thought I would have to crack 400 at Opening Day at Target Field (doing so with a commemorative ball would have been perfectly dandy).  Oh well, this near-pearl was from a stadium worker who was cleaning out the dugout.  Not exactly the most memorable of ways to reach a milestone, but still unbelievable when I think of it with my grade-school version of myself.

Here’s the haul from the game:

20150320 Group Shot

…And the haul from the entire trip (packed neatly in my suitcase:

FL Suitcase 2015


The Game Recap:


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