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…
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.
Tommy Milone warm-up ball.
Eric Farris BP homer, caught on the fly.
Danny Ortiz toss-up.
Unknown Twin HR caught on the fly.
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.
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.
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.
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:
…And the haul from the entire trip (packed neatly in my suitcase:
The Game Recap: