Category: Uncategorized

Candlestick Park Visit

Even if the giants were not playing the week I visited San Francisco, I knew I couldn’t miss a great stadium of the bay area that will soon be demolished, Candlestick Park.
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This stadium is the one that brought baseball to San Francisco and the one that also almost killed it.Countless greats players played there and broke records that seems today impossible to reach. It’s also not only about baseball,but about football too. No one can say that he’s a real football fan if he have not seen ”The Catch” of Dwight Clark thousands of time.
I knew I had to see it before the end. When I arrived from the highway,this was my view of the famous stadium:
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I made a quick loop around the stadium in car and all that I can say is ”God! The hills near the stadium are I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.Y sheer!” Anyway, I took my favorite photo on top of the hill:
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That’s it for now,next entry about Stockton and Banner Island Ballpark!

Raley Field,2013-07-14

As you may recall,my last game was in L.A. more precisly at Rancho Cucamonga. And what’s the best road to travel North-South or South-North in California? Yeah,you are right! The highway 1 is incredibly gorgeous! Look at some pictures that I took on my way to Sacramento:

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That first photo was taken at Julia Pfeiffer Sate Park. If you ever go to California,you absolutely have to stop there! What a beauty! And the second picture is the Bixby Bridge, another wonder, a Man-made one.

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Ok,ok. Time for some baseball now! I decided to once again go to Milb game this time. It was a bobblehead day and honestly,who does not love bobblehead? This was the line when I arrived to the stadium 35 minutes before the game.

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As soon as I finaly entered,I took my BB box and immediatly headed to the right-field grass. There was no BP underway,but that’s almost always the case in Minor League game. The gates usually only open an hour before game time, and this was the case this day.
When I arrived near the bullpen, I immediatly spotted a ball that was an easy target with the glove trick. There was almost nobody near me so I thought I wasn’t going to be bothered by anybody. I’ve never been so worng. I started as usual by lowering my glove and the ball immediatly went into it. When I started to get my glove higher, I heard someone saying ”Get it down,get it down immediatly!!!”. I turned around and saw a security guard that was running toward me like an FBI agent on an dangerous criminal. When he was around 1 meter from me, he told me to immediatly throw the ball back to the bullpen,and that he was going to call the security if I wasn’t doing that immediatly… As a Canadian that don’t want any troubles and arguments, I immediatly did it. He was kinda yelling at me and saying that if everybody was doing like me,there would not be any balls left in the whole stadium. Excuse me? The average AAA team of the pacific league have a value of ”Only” 30 millions dollars! I don’t really think their main issue is about finding money for the baseballs! Let the kids have fun and creativity to get great memories for later! He finally left,just after telling me that e was going to watch me for the entire game! Jeez… At least he came back later, was calmer and explained himself.

Some people came back after he left and wanted to know how this device was working. I even talked to a man and his kids for 20 minutes about the different stadiums that I have did in my life,my favorite ones,etc. Great people! And last thing, the ”Glove Trick” is not one of my invention. You can have more detail about it by looking at Zack Hample’s blog. Just google it,you’ll find it.

Want to know the funny things about this baseball? As soon as a player walked into the bullpen, I asked him for it and he threw it to me. Simple as that. And you know what? There was still balls for the game to be played!
The game itself was really great! Even if it was really hot(35C) I had a lot of fun and the stadium is beautiful! Look at this picture of it:

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See the people in the right of the picture with the weird machine? Well,it was a T-shirt thrower and I ended up with one. Great stuff!
And another photo of the game:

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And have also a look at the bobblehead that they were giving:

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I love Milb baseball because your are always close to the players and the people are SO much relaxed. Even if I follow more the MLB, I think it would be a great option for Montreal maybe for some years to prove that we can support a ball team…That’s it for now! Stay tuned,new entries are coming very soon!

Stats MILB:
*2 balls at this game.
*13 balls in 3 games this season=average of 3,6 balls per game.
*Streak of 3 games with at least one ball.
*Total of 13 balls.
*Total of 1 game ball.
*Total of 2 Lineup Cards
*2 lifetime Stadium (San Manuel Stadium,LoanMart Field and Raley Field)

LoanMart Field,2013-07-11

I wanted to see a baseball game before heading to northern California,and beacause the Dodgers weren’t playing and that i had already seen the 66ers couple days before,I went to Rancho Cucamonga. I was pumped after my 9 balls game at San Manuel Stadium and I was hoping to accomplish another ballhawking feat. But when I entered in the stadium,two things immediatly stroke me:
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1)There was no BP underway,not even players playing catch for both teams
2)There was protective nets EVERYWHERE in the stadium to protect the fans from being hit(or catch) any balls

I waited maybe 30 minutes,and then some High Desert’s players came to play catch in right-field. I was watching them pitching and succeed memorizing all their names by looking at their numbers(A dozen in total). When Jamal Austin finished,I called his name and he immediatly threw the ball to me. Then,my second ball of the day came from Jabari Blash,after calling his name. Both balls came in a 20 seconds span,and these were going to be the only balls for the day.

I went to buy some food(FYI,LoanMart Field have definitly the best choice of food around the MiLB stadiums,or at least the one in the California League,give it a try next game you’ll catch there!) and the game started. This was my view for the first pitch:
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One of the great thing about LM field is that you have a great view of the beautiful mountains near by. Look at that:
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I love the California Baseball League! The weather is great,the stadiums are great and the teams too!
The sky was crazy during the game!
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I then sit there for potential foul balls:
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But none came close.
At the end of the game, I went to the HDM dugout and asked to manager to have the lineup card. He told me no,but I didn’t give up. I asked the players,the other coaches,etc. The manager finally saw what was going on and told me:
”You really want that card that bad?”
”Yes sir,absolutely!”
”Ok then. There you go!”
Look at that!
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Stats MILB:
*2 balls at this game.
*11 balls in one game this season=average of 5,5 per game.
*Streak of 2 games with at least one ball.
*Total of 11 balls.
*Total of 1 game ball.
*Total of 1 Lineup Card
*2 lifetime Stadium (San Manuel Stadium,LoanMart Field)

Toronto Blue Jays And New York Mets At Olympic Stadium!

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It’s now official,the Toronto Blue Jays are going to play an exhibition game at Olympic Stadium on march 28&29. I already have my tickets for the first two games. On Friday,I will be in section 210 and section 406 for the Saturday game(Row AA). It is going to be my lifetime’s 16th stadium,and I am hoping to snag at least one ball during the week end. Can’t wait for this event,and hope to see at least 40,000 fans at each game. Play Ball!
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Petco Park,2013-07-10

For the second time in two years, I was going to Petco Park. The first time, I’ve got NO balls at all. I was hoping to snag at least 1 baseball,because as you may know,my pbjective is to catch at least one baseball at every stadiums in the MLB. Altough a lot of people thinks that PP is an easy place to snag balls, I got frustrated each time i go there,and this time is not an exception.
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I arrived very early(Park at the park and the beach opens 2½ hours before the first pitch). I was hoping that the Rockies’ players were going to use commemorative baseballs for their BP but,as I found out,they don’t… So for the first hour of the batting practice,there’s only the beach that’s open.
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You can’t really see,but it was really crowded,and it’s a very tiny section, so the ballhawking level was very high. Plus,during all the time that I was here,only 1 ball was hit at the beach. When the whole stadium opened at 5:30, I ran to the left field bleachers,near the Metal Supply building.

My first and only ball of the BP was a ball that went to the gap at the left field. I retrieved it with the glove trick. And that was it for the BP.
Before the game, I wandered around the stadium. Petco Park is sor gorgeous! This was my view of the game:
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And here’s a panorama from the same seats:
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If you ever go to Petco Park,you really should buy tickets behind the plate in the upper deck. These are simply the best seats in the house and you’ll have a way better experience than in you were sitting in the bleachers(WAY better!). I took a lot of ”Game Action Photography”. Here’s some:
Chris Denorfia hitting
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And Denorfia making contact
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And the Rockies’ pitcher DeLaRosa:
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I also noticed a cool ad on the right field foul pole, It’s a golf club that is in the pole! Cool stuff.
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But one of the coolest thing that I saw at the game was a poster from the Padres organisation. It shows before and after the construction of Petco Park how the city was looking like. It is INCREDIBLE. It proves that you really can change the face of a city with a building that will be prestigious for the city. Not necessarily a Ballpark,but it could be a tower(Like the CN tower in Toronto), or anything. Check out before:
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And after:
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WOW!
After the game, I succeeded retrieving another ball that the Padres’ coaches had forgot. It was stuck against the wall,and I saw an employee and I ask him for the ball.
-”I really can’t give any balls…”(And it was probably the 1000 times that a kid asked him for a ball in this game.)
-”No,I don’t want YOU to throw it to me,just put it a foot from the wall!” He saw the glove-trick and said:
-”You don’t think that it is going to work,are you?”
-”You have to give it a try!” And he did. A dozen of people were watching me and when they saw that it was working,everyone was cheering me! It was an awesome moment. Thanks to the employee and to the security to be that cool at Petco! I’ll be back one day,you can count on that!

Stats:
*Streak of 4 games with at least a ball
*20 balls this season.
*20 balls in 10 games this season = 2,00 average balls per game.
*23 total MLB ball.
*14 Stadiums lifetime.(Rogers Centre,Orioles Park,PNC Park,Great American Ballpark,Chase Field,O.co Coliseum,Dodger Stadium,Petco Park,Citizens Bank park,Progressive Field,Comerica Park,US Cellular Field,Miller Park and Kauffman Stadium)

Check out more at: http://www.mygameballs.com/baseballdata?db=MtlExpos

Montreal’s Olympic Stadium Visit

I know, I am a lot of game late for the blog. But I wanted first to talk to you about a visit that I did last week in my own town(!). I visited the Olympic Stadium of Montreal. As you may know, Montreal hosted the Olympics game in 1976 and use this event to built a new stadium that was supposed to be revolutionary… So my day started near the Jackie Robinson statue just outside the stadium.
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Robinson played for the Montreal Royals, the farm club of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 30s and 40s.
From this side,this was a view of the stadium.

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After a 10 minutes wait,our guide came and we entered the stadium in the rotunda.
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Our guide briefly talked to us about the Olympic in Montreal and the opening and closing ceremony. It was really basic stuff but,hey what are you expecting for 5 bucks!
We then entered where the seats are situated. I immediatly noticed something quite interesting; you still can see were the home plate and the bases were located in the field,even after almost 10 years since the last ball game!
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These are the luxuous seats located just behind home plate,a little bit like Anaheim and Cleveland nowadays.
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In the time that we were in(about 10 minutes) I took about 50 pictures. Here’s the roof that was changed since the Expos left(It’s now blue,not yellow).
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A panorama of the entire stadium(and believe me it’s GIGANTIC)
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Some pictures of the seats(more than 56,000 in the big O,witch is more than Dodger Stadium).
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A great section just behind homeplate to catch foul balls(If ever the Blue Jays decide to play an exhibition game at Montreal…)
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And finaly a picture just behind the former home plate. I was thinking about all the great players that stood there over the years(Carter,Rose,Dawson,Raines,…) and I felt great vibe in this place…
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And just before exiting, i took an image of the main entrance:
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I know what you think ”This place sucks big time!”. But,you know, I think it wasn’t THAT bad. I mean, maybe it’s because it was in my own town,but I really felt that a part of my city’s history was there.
After that, I headed to the Montreal’s Tower wich is the 175 meters tower tha is supporting the stadium’s roof.
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It’s actually the tallest inclined tower in the world. It have a 45 degrees angle wich in enormous.You can see one of the incline in the next picture:
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You can get up there for about 10 bucks. I believe it’s the only observation deck in Montreal. Downtown is about 2 miles away.
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And a panorama:
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Here’s the Saputo stadium,home of the Montreal’s Impact,the soccer club actually playing in the MLS. Behind the stadium,you can see ”Les Habitations Olympiques”,the place where the athletes were staying during the 76′ games.
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You also have a great view of the roof from up there!
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If you ever get the chance to come to Montreal, you absolutely have to make a stop at this place. It’s a part of Montreal’s history and one of the most special bulding in the world. That’s where so many Grey Cups were held in the past years,and were great bands like Pink Floyd performed. Also if you know, even just a little bit about baseball,this place will remind you the great players that once called this place ”Home”.

San Manuel Stadium,2013-07-09

My camera just die at the begining of the game,so for this blog entry,let’s just say that there’s not a lot of pictures. First of all, I can say that the day began there:
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And finished like that:
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But let me tell you how I’ve got all these balls! Well after climbing Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park(God,I love Utah!) in approximatly 4 hours and a half, i realized that it was just 10:00 and that we could be at San Bernardino for the games at 7:05. Plus,jetlag was helping me to get to the beggining of the BP. So after a long day of road,crossing the Californian desert, I arrived at San Manuel Stadium. I bought a ticket,and decided to look around the stadium. Just ou of my reach in rightfield,there was 3 balls just sitting there! I knew that if I was the first in line to enter the stadium,it would be a piece of cake to get them all!

I went to the main entrance,and realized that the gates were already opened. I saw a sign that was sayin ”Early entrance for seasons tickets holder ONLY” but I still tryed to pass,and I suceed! I ran to right field and got all the ball. The first one (my first MILB ball) was not an official California League baseball (…) but the two other were officials.

Two players saw me in the right field and were joking about me throwing the balls to them. I knew that i would’nt suceed to get toss-up from them since I actually was the only fan in ALL the stadium. I headed to left-field where i got my fourth ball of the day(toss-up). After this ball, I decided to look around the stadium to buy a 66ers cap(their logo is just incredibly cool!). But a usher called me,and I didn’t knew why. I was afraid to be in trouble for X reason. But as soon that he got close to me, I saw him looking in his pocket,and held me an official ball. A usher was giving me a ball! How cool is that? It was,at this point,the fifth ball of the day. The sixth was a ball found near a fence in right field. The last ball of the BP was thrown to me by a player of Rancho Cucamonga (the visiting team) after playing catch with one of his teamate. 7 balls in the BP,it was unreal! After that, I met a guy (I forgot his name) that was taking pictures of the players to make card and give them back to the player for the next game! Cool guy!
This was my view of the first picth:
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But I soon decided to go to left field because there was less competition.
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My goal for the game was to catch a foul ball(and trying to not be distracted by the awesome mascot called Elmo!(Aka:Bernie)).DSCF7357

At the top of the 4th inning, McDonald,a Rancho player grounded the ball right to me. I made a couple of steps,but I still managed to caught that foul ball. Eight ball of the day!
At that point, I was just watching the game. My 9th ball of the day was totally unexpected;the bullpen at this stadium are situated near the foul ball line,a pitcher made a wild pitch and it landed at my feet! Awesome time at San Bernardino! The stadium is awesome and everyone that love baseball and visiting L.A. and don’t want to pay too much to see baseball have to go there! See you soon 66ers!
Stats MILB:
*9 balls at this game.
*9 balls in one game this season=average of 9 per game.
*Streak of one game with at least a ball.
*Total of 9 balls.
*Total of 1 game ball.
*1 lifetime Stadium (San Manuel Stadium)