From Famine to Feast – Balls 435-443 (June 22, 2015)

Chicago White Sox 2 – Minnesota Twins 13

Target Field – Minneapolis, MN

June 22, 2015


The condensed version:  I went from panicked during batting practice to best night of the season during the game.  Plus, there was a virtual Ballhawk Fest at Target Field, along with a reporter from the Star Tribune that Mateo brought into our confines.  Here’s the details…

Ballhawk Fest-lite: Target Field 2015

The “players” – in order of arrival:

  • Myself
  • Nate Duppler
  • Eric Bottern
  • Paul Kom
  • Mateo Fischer

The rationale was simple: attendance couldn’t possibly be as high as it was the previous 3 days (weekend PLUS Cubs equals one giant cluster), we all had the opportunity to put up good numbers.

After some short discussions and introduction to a journalist who writes for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, we entered the gates early – 5 pm was finally here!

Ball #1:

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All I can say is, “Sorry, Nate.”  I honestly didn’t see you/him that close until my glove was floating into position.  Chris Herrmann was the one tossing this heartbreaking ball.  (It made me happy to see Nate get a few more balls later and definitely not get shut out.)

Ball #2:

IMG_5989

My second game in a row of making a “nice catch” that got some applause. (Does anyone else get a little dyslexic and read “applause” as “applesauce”?  Me either.)  This ball was launched courtesy of a White Sox player, maybe a former player-turned-coach.  This ball was hit by my all-time favorite, Robin Ventura.

(By now you know not to believe me when I describe a caught ball hit by a player I couldn’t identify, right?)

I was in the overhang in RF, the corner closest to CF and reach over, with my backhand, to snag this one.  not quite as good as the one the game before, but it still felt good.

Ball #3:

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With both teams’ batting practices in the books, I tried for any amount of pre-game toss-ups I could find.  I thought that if I got one in pre-game and one during the game, I would finish with 4.  not great, but not nearly as bad as what could happen after finishing BP with only 2.

This ball is kind of special, since it was the 50th ball that Dominique (former Bat Boy) Frost has thrown me.  See him in the lower-right corner?

Ball #4:

IMG_5991

*Working the Chicago White Sox side.*

I decided to try the visitor’s side, since the first 7 or so innings see all balls thrown to the home bench go to the MLB authenticator.

The middle of the 1st inning saw Mark Parent toss me this gem of a gamer – a nice foul ball that was hit towards his bench.

Time out for a Robin Ventura break…

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Ball #5:

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Might I get up to 6 balls this game and bring my average back up to an even 5 for my lifetime?  This toss-up from the new visitor’s bat boy helped.  This came at the end of the 3rd.

Ball #6:

IMG_5994

Woohoo!!  Goal achieved; massive success, considering the lackluster BP.  My first toss-up from the new Bat Boy, Bobby.  It was still only the middle of the 5th at this point…

Ball #7:

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A ball from Torii Hunter?  Yes, please.  Middle of the 8th and still a little time left to keep going…

Ball #8:

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TWINS WIN!!  This is the ball that was used to turn a game-ending double play, courtesy of my favorite, Trevor Plouffe.  I was honestly not expecting this one.  I thought seven was a good number and would be the end.

Ball #9:

IMG_5997

The last one of the night came from the new Bat Boy again.  BOBBY!!  He keeps the game balls that don’t get authenticated in a white 5 gallon bucket next to the black “game ball bag”.  This one was one of those.

While it was no “I caught Alex Rodriguez’s 3000th hit” game, it was still…

Un-REAL.

Here’s Nate and I (and Eric creeping in the background)…

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The Haul:

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Recap:

Thank You:

  • Bobby – new bat boy extraordinaire
  • Dominique – the all-star veteran
  • Mark Parent
  • Chris Herrmann
  • Trevor Plouffe
  • Torii Hunter
  • New visitor’s bat boy (sorry, “name unknown”)
  • Mateo, Paul, Eric, and… ummm… hmmm… anyone else?
  • Oh, right, NATE!  (Told you we’d see each other again.)
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