This was a very sad day. It was my last Red Wings game of the 2011 season. It went by so fast. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t have a fun last game!!
I really didn’t know what to expect attendance-wise for this game. It was either going to be semi-empty or pretty full up. I was very happy, though when I went down to get ready for pre-game throwing (30 minutes before game time) when the stadium looked like this:
In case you hadn’t found it, the left-centre Jumo(ish)-Tron reads “Only 1 Home Games Left.” The Red Wings have been starting that countdown for a while, and that really proves that persons really need too got back two schools to brushes up on they’re grammar. Hehe.
While the players were throwing, some kids came down the steps behind me with gloves. They were obviously younger than me. Oh no… not this again. I’ve had too many instances this season where there are other kids trying to get balls when/where I am. This never happened to me before. BUT I did get a ball from Jeff Bailey. I hated to do this, but I had to. It was my 50th career ball (I’ve decided to get every 50th ball signed by the player who got the ball into my sweaty little hands)- the kids were talking about getting a ball from Bailey. It was kind of the only ball in use at that moment. So I had to say (while he was about done throwing) “Hey Jeff! Any chance that when you’re done I could have that ball?” He turned around, looked at the ball, and threw it to me. The one kid was like “Man! You are so lucky!” I told them “I do this all the time. All you have to do is ask them by their first name and say it loud enough so they can hear it” (Their voices were not nearly loud enough).
There was still a decent chunk of time left before the game was going to start, and there were some players still over in left field warming up. I decided that there was no I way that I was not going to get another ball during pre game warmups.
So I went down the steps and into the front. I had to squeeze by a smaller kid (7-8 years old) and I felt, again, a little bit guilty doing it- but it was my last game at Frontier Field for 2011. I was going all out. I had to ask his name at least 5 times (“Hey MATT!”) and on the 6th try (“Matt Antonelli!”) I got his attention. I asked him for the ball, and he kept looking back and forth. I seriously have no idea why. He was looking at me and the infield, but ended up giving the ball to me.
When I got that ball, there were STILL Red Wings players out. I went down to try to talk to Toby Gardenhire who was signing autographs. I asked him if there was any chance he could get me a ball. He said he didn’t know where to get one, and I was about to ask him about after the game if he could hook me up, but someone else stared talking to him. Ohh well. Thanks for the many balls you threw me this season.
As for the game, here were our seats:
Some people would say that these were good foul ball seats, but I beg to differ. I you draw a straight line from the right fielder through home plate and keep going, those sections are the right ones for a foul ball. Our seats were a little too low and a bit to much to the right, but not enough to the left. Basically, we were in a hole where foul balls don’t tend to land.
I ended up going to the Chief’s bullpen because I hadn’t been there for so long. I saw this:
…which I knew I had less of a chance to acquire, but still it was nice to know they were there. Why am I showing you ALL of these balls? Because I didn’t get any of them. I asked one of the players for one- well, I kind of did- here’s how the “conversation” went:
“Excuse me- is there any chance-”
Yeahhhh. That kind of ticked me off. I hate players like that. About an inning after that, I moved- but here’s the view from the bullpen:
So I went on a hunt for third out balls and foul balls. I stood here for righties (sometimes it was a little bit farther up):
(See what I meant about drawing a line from the right fielder to home to the seats?)
I came close to one, but I was slow getting started. My dad told me that I got to where it landed in a flash, though, so I still have no idea how I didn’t get it. OH WELL…
I went back to the bullpen. And when I left it, I got this:
I asked Jeff Frazier if there was any chance I could have one of the dirty balls (which were still there) he said “Sorry we can’t give ’em out during the game.” Then some kids came around and started pestering him for one. He ended reaching into the bag and throwing them that squishy ball. The kid was like “Oh come on! Next time give me a hard ball!” Then I said, “I’ll take it if you don’t want it” and the kid gave it to me. Weird.
There was some rain that drove away a ton of people- but the paid attendance was 10,331 and I still had no luck with foul/third out balls. I also got a ball from the home plate umpire.
Good bye Frontier Field until next year. I LOVE YOU!!
PS- My final game of 2011 will be in Toronto on Monday- Boston vs Jays.
-Total balls at this game: 3
-Total lifetime balls (MLB and MiLB): 52
-Total 2011 balls (MLB and MiLB): 29
-Consecutive games with at least one ball (MiLB and MLB): 27/27
-Consecutive games with at least one ball (MiLB): 22/22
-Consecutive games with at least one ball (MLB): 5/5
-Consecutive games with at least two balls: 4/4
-Lifetime balls per game (MiLB): 1.88?
-Lifetime balls per game (MLB): 1.40
-Season balls per game (MiLB): 2.40?
-Season balls per game (MLB): 2.00
Here’s how I labeled my “ball”