Let me just say that this was one of the MOST EXCITING days of my life.
It didn’t start off too well, though.
I got to Frontier Field pretty late- I was got into the stadium when the first pitch was thrown. So that meant no pre-game balls. Uh-oh. BIG uh-oh. If you’ve read my other blog entries, you can see that pre-game is one of the most important times of the game. Easiest to get balls then.
Our seats were ok. Not great. It was in the “upper deck” of the stadium- really there is no upper deck. It’s just the seats that aren’t premium. Another problem was that they were perpendicular from the batter. It’s pretty hard to hit a foul ball that way. I stayed there for the first four innings or so. A lot of foul balls came close to our section, but because it was Opening Day, I wasn’t able to move around to different sections very easily.
But around the second inning, the announcer said that people who were standing could move into the grass area where there was more space. I wasn’t really sure what he was talking about because the berms were PACKED. (I was going to move there, but like i said, it was really crowded). So I started looking around, and i saw people standing/sitting in the grassy home run zone. I never knew that people were actually allowed there. So me and my friend went over to the right field fences and moved into right-center field. It’s pretty cool- kind of like the one in Coca-Cola Field (Buffalo).
There were a ton of home runs that day- unfortunately I didn’t catch any of them. One landed in the Red Wings bullpen, and I looked to see if it was tossed anywhere. It was, and after a while I looked around to see if I could get next to the pen so I could try to get a ball. There was a TINY little nook that i stood in for a while. Some smaller kids (9 or 10) were also over there. They asked me if they could have my spot so I (politely) told them that I would like to stay in my spot.
I asked Phil Dumatrait for a ball when he was done. He responded jokingly “I’m probably going to throw it to the little kids!”
So I said “Well what happens if I say please?”
Then he smiled and walked away. And ended up never throwing a ball to either me or the other kids.
So then it was about the 7th inning and I moved to the other end of the bullpen- where it was more open and i could talk to the players more easily.
During the rest of the game, i stood there. At about the 8th inning I just asked to the bullpen if at the end of the game i could have a ball. I was a little worried I wouldn’t get one. A player had already given a ball to a girl and a little kid. So ANOTHER group of little kids got up on the railing. NOOOOOO!!! DARN LITTLE KIDS RUIN MY CHANCES OF GETTING A BALL!! Or do they?
Lucky for me, they were pestering those players like crazy. “Throw me a ball! Throw me a ball! Can i have a ball? Can I have a ball??!!!” Jeez kids. So I just kept my mouth shut- except for cheering the Wings on.
Ok so bottom of the 9th- Wings are down 6-5. Then Trevor Plouffe is up. Guess what? SOLO SHOT BABY! HECK YEAH!! EXTRA INNINGS!!!
11th inning: No score. Kids still pestering. And one player kept looking over at me sometimes (maybe to make sure that i was still there to give me a ball?)
12th: No score for Scranton Yankees. Red Wings? Hm… nothing but a WALK-OFF HOME RUN!!!!!!! 7-6!!! 12 INNINGS!! JEFF BAILEY ALL THE WAY!
But what about getting a ball?
WELL the catcher left with the outfield warm-up balls. Oh no. If i don’t get a ball, my 7 ish game streak of at least one ball per game will be killed!!
So that player that kept looking over at me grabs the bag of balls. And looks around for one- then looks up at me, my friend, and all the little kids. And guess what? Points at me- and that ball is mine!! MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Best game of my life! I think that player was Kyle Waldrop. Not really sure, though.
1 Ball at this game
1 Ball in 2011 season
24 Lifetime balls