Tagged: Baseball

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.
Candlestick%20Park[1]

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:
DSCF7578
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:
DSCF7578
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:

DSCF7466

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.

DSCF7475

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.

DSCF7477

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:

DSCF7479

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:

DSCF7485DSCF8476
And have also a look at the bobblehead that they were giving:

DSCF8480

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:
DSCF7415

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:
DSCF7414

One of the great thing about LM field is that you have a great view of the beautiful mountains near by. Look at that:
DSCF7423

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!
DSCF7424

I then sit there for potential foul balls:
DSCF7426
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!
DSCF8474

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!

DSCF8351

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!
olympicstadium_baseball-1691[1]

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:
DSCF7322

And finished like that:
DSCF7358

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:
DSCF7351

But I soon decided to go to left field because there was less competition.
DSCF7355

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)

U.S. Cellular Field,2013-06-28

Earlier this day, I went to another great sporting event in Chicago. Football? No. Soccer? No. Hockey? Well,almost!

DSCF6729

It was the Stanley cup parad and there was like a ZILLION people in the streets. I was affraid that a lot of them were going to say ”Why not go to the ballgame tonight?”,a ballhawking nightmare! Look at that! It was just crazy!

DSCF6740

Ok,ok. Baseball now! Before this game(well,the doubleheader), I was always wondering why the White Sox are considered as a second-class team in Chicago behing the Cubs. Well, I kinda get my answer… I arrived two hours before the first pitch. When I got in line, an employee told me ”Don’t wait in the sun like that(Because it was like 100 degrees), the gate won’t even open before another hour.” WHAT? I was really bothered about it! Why don’t they open at 5h30 as they usually do? Well, that wasn’t even the worst thing. After an jour, there was like 3-4 hundreds people in line at the only gate that was going to open for the game(Why,White Sox?!?!). Suddently the rain started,not only a little rain. It was a flood. The employee, dry inside the gates were looking at us and doing nothing at all(and all that was 45 minutes before first pitch). After 10 minutes of rain,they let us in and at least,i was the first in line.

I ran to the left field bleacher,the best spot to catch ball in all THE MLB. I found my first ball of the day in a puddle. It wasn’t an official MLB ball(damn) but at least, I wasn’t blanked. I looked at the right field bleachers,and i saw a white dot. People were already coming in close to it, but I decided to go look. And that’s what i found:

DSCF6744

Great success! But there was no BP (plus a lot of people in the stands)so I knew that my chances for a third ball were during the game.

During the first game of the doubleheader, i was running for the third-out ball each inning,but it just wasn’t happening. It was always thrown to my right or to my left. In the six inning, I decided to look around the stadium. I went to the upper deck and took this picture.

DSCF6746

And this one:
DSCF6750

And that one too:
DSCF6751

I don’t really understand why people don’t like this stadium. It’s not gorgeous as PNC Park Or Camdens Yard,but at least,it isn’t a copy of another stadium like a lot of the ballpark that have been built since 1992.

I went back down in the bottom of the 7th inning, and tried to get the warm up ball of Mark Reynolds. And he threw it to me! Third ball of the game,first warm-up ball ever! Soon,the first game of the doubleheader was over and there was a break for 20 minutes. A men from Chicago saw that I was wearing an Expos jersey and talked to me. It was already 10:30 and i had to leave at 11:00. So by the time the game started,it was 10:45 and I knew that I probably only going to see the first inning. I noticed that the first baseman was now Nick Swisher. I decided to try to have his warm up ball of the first inning. He saw me, threw directly at my glove and…another fan with a blackhawks jersey in his 30’s pushed me and took the ball. Seriously? I didn’t wanted to argue with him but i was really pissed. All the section was booing him,but he kept the ball…At least I wasn’t blanked,and i had already gotten a warm up ball. But still… Even with that sad event,it was another great day/night at Chicago!

Stats:
*Streak of one game with at least a ball
*10 balls this season.
*10 balls in 7 games this season = 1,42 average ball per game.
*13 total MLB ball.
*13th Stadiums in my life.(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 and Miller Park)

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

Miller Park,2013-06-26

Because the Brewers were playing against the Cubs, I had bought my tickets a long time ago. I was really looking forward for this game. Minute after I arrived at the Miller Park’s parking,i took this photo of the fiel:
DSCF6558

Even if you can’t see it in the picture,there’s a bridge that is crossing a small river where people can walk or bicycle. I think it’s call the Hank Aaron trail. Great idea from the Brewers’ organisation!

After I walked (Well,Ran…) inside, I headed to the right field second deck, from where i took this picture:
DSCF6559

Even if I stood there more than 20 minutes,no player suceed to hit a homerun. That’s when i decided to go to the left-field second deck. A lot of players were tossing balls into the crowd. But when i got there,it was over… Before i knew it,the BP was over too and I was empty-handed. I headed to my seat and i took a lot of pictures of the Ballpark like that:

DSCF6563

And that too:

DSCF6565

Even if the roof is pretty great,the Park itself isn’t that great. I ranked it 10th in the ballpark that I did,only in front of O.co Coliseum and Chase Field.
Anyway,there’s a lot of great seats in the stadium like this one with a great view of the roof:

DSCF6570

This was the view from my seat:
DSCF6571

Even if the team isn’t that good,there’s a lot of interesting things in the stadium during the game like the Bernie’s terrace:
DSCF6562

…And the famous sausage race!
DSCF6579

I took this pic during the game…
DSCF6580

…And it was over!
I took another pic on the way to the car of stadium that makes it look very cool! Check it out!
DSCF6583

Better luck next time at Milwaukee!

Stats:
*End of the streak of 5 games with at least a ball
*7 balls this season.
*7 balls in 6 games this season = 1,16 average ball per game.
*10 total MLB ball.
*13th Stadium in my life.(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 and Miller Park)