Houston Astros 10 – Atlanta Braves 4
SunTrust Park – Atlanta, GA
July 5, 2017
Stadium TEN of 2017. Wow! Oh, and…
I GOT TO SEE DAVID!! My YouTube brother – Ballhawk Blab for those not in the know – and this was the crux and main focus of my trip. The rest of the travels were purely superfluous.
Fun fact: Atlanta is the first city/organization outside of Minneapolis/Twins where I have seen multiple ballparks and gotten a ball. I waited until the dying days of Turner Field to get my first game in (during the last season) and in its relative infancy for SunTrust Park (first year). I must say… SunTrust is the anti-ballhawk park. Good luck being the first to double digits there. It will be quite a feat – maybe once the new stadium attendance wears off and conditions are perfect, it could happen, but not any time soon. The outfield configuration is atrocious and the exclusive area in right eliminates catching any HRs from lefties.
But let’s move on, shall we? Also in attendance for tonight’s game, Doug Hakey! I knew he was going to be at Tampa a little in advance, but Atlanta was more of a surprise. When I found out a few days ago I laughed at how similar our trips were – since we also booked the same hotel in St. Petersburg. It was great seeing Doug for the second time of three total times in 2017.
So how did I get the balls? A toss-up from Mike Foltynewicz (because of the big glove) and a BP HR that landed 2 rows ahead of me and me diving over two rows to claim it ensured that I got two before the game. Then a rain delay forced us to wait a half an hour or so longer than scheduled. I had a seat in the wheelchair accessible front row on the foul line of the third base side. I ended up sitting right next to the ball boy and asked if he could help me on my quest. He was willing to, but he also made sure the kids got the balls first – too bad there were always going to be more kids.
After a few balls were given away without a single glance at me, I realized I would either have to make a play on a ball down the line or run over to get a toss-up after the Astros completed the bottom half of the inning on the field. Braves All-Star, Ender Inciarte, helped me choose the former. In the third inning he shot one down the line and a little deeper into the section than where I was, but slightly closer to the end of the dugout. Since no one in the area had a glove, I thought there would be a good chance. It hit off a guy’s hands in the front row before my sectioned-off aisle and bounced once. I was there to pounce, and pounce I did!
Success! The second of two targets had been acquired on this trip. Now I could rest easy and go home accomplishing exactly what I set out to do. I had given up hope of big numbers, but settled on the bigger task at hand – commemoratives.
I am sure that with a little more knowledge of the field and some more hustling, I could have squeezed a couple more balls out of SunTrust, but a great day at a ballpark meaning you only get 5 balls? That’s harsh.
Now listen to the podcast and my “show”. David and I talk about some deep issues and drop all sorts of knowledge bombs.
Introducing the back-to-back Atlanta stadium commemorative series. Available only in Atlanta MLB stadiums for a limited time. Hurry, supplies are dwindling!
Podcast from the gates of this game…
Ball 1 – Mike Foltynewicz
Ball 2 – Unknown Brave (probably Hank Aaron testing out the new park)
Ball 3 – Ender Inciarte
MVP Thank Yous:
- David – for chilling with me and helping me out with the new stadium
- Ender – for smacking souvenirs
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.