I was skeptical of this game even starting, let alone it finishing. I thought at 8:00 we’d all be going home, and I would only have one ball. Things just didn’t work out that way, though, and I ended up staying at Frontier Field until 1:00 in the morning and it was all worth it.
Here’s how it started on the way to the stadium:
Half rainy, half not, right?
Then things started to look like this:
WAIT! Then there was cricket demonstration. (It was India Night and you can see in the photo above that there were some dancers in front of the first base dugout. The Indian Cricket team won the championship for cricket):
Then it looked like this:
And from the pictures above, you can see how good our seats were for foul balls. I was really worried that this game would be rained out. Even though I did get a ball during pre-game throwing from Jared Goedert. By the end of the throwing, I asked a for a ball from one of the coaches, and he held up a finger as to say “One second, I’ll be back.” I waited, and nothing happened.
And then, please excuse the slightly explicit language, all hell broke loose and in came the rain- or should I say the downpour that lasted an hour and fifteen minutes. Luckily, my mom and I ran into some people we knew, so we talked baseball all that time. We got some food and headed back to our seats at 8:10.
Then this happened:
…and by 8:20 we heard an announcement that the game was going to start at 8:55.
So I went off to find some fried dough for my mom and I. Now, I didn’t have my camera at the time so it’s a little hard to explain what happened next. Basically, I saw the players coming out of the dugout while I was on the first base side of the isle that runs around the entire stadium. I thought they might be throwing, so I speed walked back to my seats (on the third base side) and speed walked (even faster) back to the first base line.
Some people might be asking me sooner or later why I didn’t just stay on the third base side for the second pre game throwing. It’s simple: the guys on the third base side probably would recognize me and not get me a ball. Plus, I still have the urge to get a ball from Toby Gardenhire.
The last game I went to, a bunch of Red Wings players were signing autographs. I got Toby Gardenhire to come over and sign. While he was signing my ticket, I asked him “You know you’ve tossed me like 4 or 5 balls in the past, right?” And he said something like, “Yeah, man!”
AWESOME!!!! My first player who recognizes me, yet still tosses me balls! haha
I ended up getting a ball from Rene Tosoni during the second pre-game throwing. The balls could easily get wet, so I wasn’t worried about getting shutout during this time. One ball had already been tossed into the crowd because of it’s dampness.
So the game started at 9:00, and all was good in the world.
I think that’s the darkest it’s ever been at Frontier Field in the first inning…
And this is where the pictures end.
I never really moved from my seat (other than to get food/napkins/stuff like that) until the bottom of the 6th. But as for the game, the Red Wings lost it horribly. They blew a 6 run lead in the 6th inning. Nice job, guys. Even though our seats were so good, I only had a chance of getting one ball. It rolled to where the grass knoll meets the seats. The left fielder Thomas Neal came over and picked it up. I was the only one saying anything (“Hey Tom! Right here, please!” if you wanted an exact quote). He was looking at me, but then someone said give to the kid. There was a kid (no older than 7) to my left. Neal ended up giving it to the kid and when I got back to my seat, I realized I could’ve said “I’ll give it to the kid” and I really would have given it to him. But I remembered what I had said about giving my baseballs away to kids. I think I’m going to wait until I get 100 balls to start giving them away. If things are going the way I want to, my hundredth baseball should be in the next 2-3 seasons. Why 100? Because I want to have the satisfaction of saying “Hey everybody! Here are the first 100 baseballs I’ve snagged!” Catch what I’m saying? Yes? No?
The later it got, the more people left. That meant more room for me to move around so back to the bottom of the 6th inning. (By the way, I was going for third out balls all night, but nothing came to me)
There was one section on the third base line where a ton of foul balls where landing. I decided to leave my precious seat to go move over there. (This place will be known as “The section” Nothing came anywhere close to me. Take one second, though, to remember when I mentioned my friend who was coincidentally here. He also likes to snag baseballs, but we never really got in each other’s way today. He came close on one, but if he had gotten it, it might have been called fan interference. While I was up in “the section” I saw a foul ball popped up over to where our seats where. At first, I was like “Oh man! Why did leave those seats?” But then the catch was made three feet in front of the seats and thrown back to the field. My friend ended up with four balls and a bat in this game.
Nearing the end of the game, I moved to the seats right next to the clubhouse entrance side of the dugout. Remember Thomas Neal? Well, he somehow pulled through to get me a ball. He chopped a foul back to the protective screen and the Red Wing’s ball boy went out to get it. While he was walking back I asked if there was any chance I could have the ball. He brought it back into the dugout and was looking at it. I was still looking at the ball boy/the ball incase he was going to toss it up. He did. Without saying a word, we made eye contact, and he flipped it to me. This is, by the way, the second game in a row in which I’ve gotten a ball from the ball boy/girl.
After the game, my friend and I each got a ball from the home plate umpire Tony Something-or-other. Then, while the Clippers were still high-fiving each other on the field, I went to their dugout (with two balls in one hand) and noticed a somewhat dirty ball just lying on the ground. When the players came in, I did my best to hide the other balls and I asked Tim Fedroff if I could have it. He flipped it to me, but it fell short of my glove. Then he tried again, and the same thing happened. Then he walked away, but came back with another ball that tipped off of my glove. Finally on the third try, he got it to me.
I was at Frontier Field for 7 hours starting at 6:00 in the evening.
And when all was done 1:00 in the morning.
All the stats will be not entirely accurate seeing as I cannot get to my MyGameBalls.com profile.
-Total balls at this game: 5
-Total lifetime balls (MLB and MiLB): 47
-Total 2011 balls (MLB and MiLB): 24
-Consecutive games with at least one ball (MiLB and MLB): 25/25
-Consecutive games with at least one ball (MiLB): 20/20
-Consecutive games with at least one ball (MLB): 5/5
-Consecutive games with at least two balls: 2/3
-Lifetime balls per game (MLB and MiLB): 1.88
-Lifetime balls per game (MiLB): 1.73
-Lifetime balls per game (MLB): 1.40
-Season balls per game (MLB and MiLB): 2.36
-Season balls per game (MiLB): 2.90
-Season balls per game (MLB): 2.00