(They’ll) Probably Start A Riot In Oakland – Balls 653-663 (May 3, 2017)

Oakland Athletics 4 – Minnesota Twins 7

Target Field – Minneapolis, MN

May 3, 2017

Short summary: It started out average and turned out amazing.

The longer story is a bit more dull, but I’ll at least hit the main points. Right off the bat, I’ll flash forward to the middle part, a non-ballhawking part, a rarity that presented itself nicely: I got a Trevor Plouffe autograph. I am not a huge autograph guy, especially getting multiple from the same person, but since Trevor has a new number and therefor a “new signature”, I decided to have him sign a ball I brought from the game before. It should go nicely with the other items and signatures I have from him. So, thank you, T.P.

Going back to the baseballs, I had an average day. Got a toss-up from a Twin, a HR (not on the fly) from a Twin, and a couple toss-ups from some Athletics. Sitting at 4 as the A’s finished up BP set me up for what I imagined would be another “6-spot”. I’ve fallen in a groove/rut/habit of posting 6s and 7s. In fact, since the beginning of the regular season last year until this game, I had gotten strictly 4-8 balls per game. The variance was low and my ability to hit that sweet spot of 6 was pretty much on a lock.

But then I got a toss-up from Chip Hale as he came in from BP. And between BP and warm-ups I got a ball from Jeff Smith in the Twins dugout. Suddenly 6 was acheived and warm-ups weren’t even underway. Maybe 8?

*edit: This is the revisionist’s account. I also got another ball that was hit by a Twin during BP, but I eventually gave that away (instead of a gamer) later on.*

But during the game it not only rained, it poured… metaphorically. The weather was delightful, and as the title suggests, Oakland fans were probably getting mad at their team, because the Twins snuffed them out for a second night in a row.

I got five game balls during/after the game – Joe Vavra, then Miguel Sano, then the Bat Boy twice, and finally Kennys Vargas as he walked in from being interviewed after the game.

Skip to the collage below, if you’d rather not hear about a silly schism in my niche hobby of ballhawking. The only person who needs to read below is someone who has a beef with me.

Remember: This is an aside, aimed directly at weird individuals who are concerned with other people’s baseballs…

And if you would like to challenge the legitimacy of any of these balls, “anonymous”, do so directly (ie: contacting me via any social media platform using your own name). You don’t have to confront me in a rude way, just ask about the balls and their circumstances. If you have a specific thing that you think is weird: ASK ME. I have every ball written down, logged in a spreadsheet, and photos taken of them, as well as have every ball in a baggie kept in a Rubbermaid bin at home.

I don’t make up tall tales and bend truths to gain some sort of higher status, I catch baseballs because I enjoy doing so. I log them in a communal place because that was easiest and because it seemed like others might want to see how I did without having to read these posts. Now with people questioning me (not until my sixth full year chasing baseballs), I feel less inclined to share on that site.

My catches aren’t done out of competition, they are for myself and for a love of baseball (the game). I don’t want to answer to anyone, because I am not asking to be judged or held against some arbitrary standards that you hold that are different from mine. Everyone has a different approach and different way of categorizing their snags. Live with it. This hobby isn’t uniform, we don;t live in a uniform world. I know my gamers don’t hold as much weight as other people’s gamers that they only count as foul balls or home runs directly hit from the bat. But that doesn’t mean I can’t count them as or call them “gamers”.

I apologize to everyone else who read that part. I am feeling like the community that surrounds itself with the hobby I enjoy is becoming cannibalistic. Rather than live in harmony – especially for a niche hobby that already has a bad name in the larger baseball community – a large faction have decided to create a schism. I hope to still meet new ballhawks and continue talking to the already befriended ballhawks I’ve met to date, but I deciding how to properly remove myself from the MyGameBalls community, at least for the foreseeable future.


Ball 1 – Unknown Twin

Ball 2 – Unknown Twin

Ball 3 – Unknown Athletic

Ball 4 – Unknown Athletic

Ball 5 – Chip Hale

Ball 6 – Jeff Smith

Ball 7 – Joe Vavra

Ball 8 – Miguel Sano

Ball 9 – Twins’ Bat Boy

Ball 10 – Twins’ Bat Boy

Ball 11 – Kennys Vargas

MVP Thank Yous:

  • Trevor Plouffe – for the autograph and quick hello
  • The Herbivorous Butcher – for my third vegan brat/sausage of the year at the ballpark

As you may have been able to tell, I am running low on storage space via WordPress. I have resorted to posting one collage per post, but I miss having extra pix, especially showcasing some panos from new stadiums. If you have a good work around or would like to see them posted somewhere else, let me know. If interest is high enough, I could be swayed to additional platforms.


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