The One With Star Wars, Puppies, Baseball, and Dollies – Balls 411-417 (May 4, 2015)

Oakland Galactic Empire Athletics 7 – Minnesota Rebel Alliance Twins 8

Target Field – Minneapolis, MN

May 4, 2015


Like the title suggests, this entry will feature Star Wars (May the 4th, duh!), Puppies, Baseball (which is kind of a no-doubter, since this is an MLBlog), and Dollies – but just not in that order.

Randomize the list please…

  1. Puppies
  2. Dollies
  3. Baseball
  4. Star Wars
  5. ***Bonus Baseball!!***

Puppies:

I have a puppy – she is just shy of 9 months old.  I wanted a larger dog because of my childhood puppy – Kirby was her name – who was a Black Lab/German Wirehaired Pointer mix.  Evelyn (or Evie) is shorter (she didn’t get the long legs like the German Wirehaired Pointer gave Kirby) and she is lighter (almost 50 pounds compared to Kirby’s max weight of around 80).  BUT, Evelyn is still quite the handful.

But why am I talking about puppies?  What does this have to do with ballhawking?

Kirby’s birthday was on May 4, 1993.  She was named after Kirby Puckett.  And her name is permanently etched outside of Target Field – thanks, Mom and Dad!  I wanted to go to this game long before any of the Star Wars hoopla was announced.  My motivation was to see Kirby again (or at least her name) and take in a baseball game in her honor.

Side note:  She really loved baseball, too.  She came to many of my baseball games in grade school through high school.

So here she is, Ms. Kirby Puppy Voda, on the “Passion” pane in the Target Field Plaza.

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I’ve read many of the other names and can honestly say that I never ran across a name that was obviously a dog.

Dollies

Dollies, or better known as action figures.  Action figures for baseball seem to have gone extinct – anyone else remember Lineup Figures? – but the thing that replaced them are BOBBLEHEADS!  Since it was Star Wars night at Target Field (and across the nation), the Twins promotion for the night was a Star Wars-themed bobblehead of Phil Hughes… “Hughes the Force”.

Instead of having a limited number and having crazy lines with people just clogging up every gate, the Twins tried something new, and quite frankly, genius.  The steps were:

  1. You had to buy a special “Hughes the Force” ticket (limited sections available)
  2. Pick up your bobblehead at Gate 6/Target Field Station
  3. Only available from 5 pm to the 2nd inning

Simple, efficient, and genius sales strategy.  The early season sees low attendance in the cheaper sections, ones furthest from home plate.  In order to sell some of those seats, attach those to bobblehead night – the other seats will still sell, since people will always desire the “I’m sitting nearly on the field” type of ticket.  it also alleviated any crazy fights at the gates, and let people feel guaranteed a precious giveaway instead of feeling the need to show up at noon for a 7:10 game.

(A photo of the “doll” will be shown in the group photo… at least one of the box, with a photo of the bobblehead on the box itself.  Does that make it kind of a meta-photo?  A photo of a photo of said item… sweet.)

Baseball (Part 1 – Batting Practice):

Ball #1:

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Eduardo Escobar.  He now ties Ron Gardenhire for the second most by any player/coach – the top being Trevor Plouffe.

But the runaway leader of ANYONE is Dominique.

Ball #2:

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Mr. Athletic man.  I’m not quite sure who this is – damn you, BP jackets! – but it just might be Catfish Hunter himself.  Yep, another game where a man with his number retired by the ball club has tossed me a ball.  This is absolute craziness.

Ball #3:

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Red Hot Chili Peppers great, Chad Smith tossed me this ball.  I didn’t know that he gave up drumming and pursued baseball, but it makes sense.  If his lookalike, Will Ferrell, got to try baseball, why not Chad?

Ball #4:

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Dr. Sean Doolittle with the hook-up.  Eddie Murphy never looked so different, but I guess I’ve never seen him in person.  Love the beard, though.

Ball #5:

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Upon further investigation – mainly photo enhancement tools like they use on crime dramas on TV – I was able to pinpoint this otherwise faceless Athletic as the one and only, Dennis Eckersley!  He still looks like he can throw the ball.  I’m beginning to wonder why all these retired greats ever gave up on baseball in the first place.

INTERMISSION

Star Wars:

New security guards – Stormtroopers:

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Ground rules a la Star Wars Intro Scene:

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The evil one – Stephen Vogt – who hit a grand slam in his last at-bat:

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Well played, Twins.  You cause a massive deficit, you are part of the Evil Empire.

And how about one of your good guys…?

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#VotePlouffe… seriously.  Vote. Plouffe.

And a Star Wars take on an old Metrodome classic – Walks Will Haunt (Yoda remix):

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Baseball (Part 2 – Game Time):

Ball #6:

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Fresh from the mudding room (I can only assume that this is a thing… or at least WANT this to be a thing) from the hands of Target Field’s REAL Luke Skywalker, Dominique.

And for a second game in a row…

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The BP lineup card!  Joe Vavra is an absolute wonderful man.  He is like my Yoda of ballhawking.

Ball #7:

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This was a pitch thrown by Chris Bassitt to Brian Doier to make it a 2-2 count in the bottom of the 8th (no out).  Assist to Dominique, yet again.

Oh, and as for that massive 4-0 hole in the first inning?  ERASED!  The Twins came back to make it 4-4, then down 5-4, even things up, and then took the permanent lead with a 3-run Torii Hunter blast.

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There I am, cheering on a game saving catch by Jordan Schafer.  The umps ruled it a trap (“It’s a trap!” could be heard by the 2nd base umpire) only to realize that they could not be fooled by the Athletics’ mind games.  It was a catch and ultimately the good guys prevailed.

Another Family Photo:

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Recap:

Thank you:

  • Joe Vavra
  • Dominique
  • Eduardo Escobar
  • Sean Doolittle
  • Chad Smith
  • Unknown A’s – but more than likely Dennis Eckersley and Catfish Hunter
  • Star Wars/cosplayers
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2 thoughts on “The One With Star Wars, Puppies, Baseball, and Dollies – Balls 411-417 (May 4, 2015)

  1. Good entry. Need your help, who are some of the best Twins people (other than Dominique) for getting baseballs? Seeing them on Friday.

    • Unfortunately Casey Fien and Oswaldo Arcia are on the DL. Eduardo Escobar is incredibly nice (ask in Spanish and you’ll almost certainly get one), Trevor Plouffe is a good guy, and Nate Dammann is the bullpen catcher – who is usually a decent chance. Joe Vavra (bench coach) is another good guy on the coaching staff to try. Brian Duensing wouldn’t be a bad person to try, either. Hope this helps. Let me know how you do (and how decent the Twins were to you).

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