The Future of my blog

As I write this entry, it is October 21st and I’m in full winter mode. I know I know…. With my Reds not making the playoffs I don’t really have much intention on watching the World Series. Anyway, the point of this entry is what should I do with this blog? I don’t attract many views and feel this is a “dead” blog. I’ve considered turning this into the “Ballhawk Talk” blog with Co-Host/Founder of “Ballhawk Talk” Larry Larson. If this were to turn into the “Ballhawk Talk” blog it would mainly focus on summaries of the show, and column type things…

As for writing about every game I attend, it just takes up too much of my free time. Given how long it takes to crank up a blog entry, it doesn’t make sense to keep blogging. After editing, labeling, selecting, and uploading images its a three to five hour process.

I don’t want to quit the blog just yet, so I would like to hear from you guys.  Any tips/recommendations would be appreciated.

7/22/16 at Great American Ball Park

I snagged 6 balls during BP on this day, but the main highlight was snagging this.

Arizona just came from a two day series in Toronto so I was eager for a Blue Jays commemorative this series. This would make it 2 for 3 with commemoratives this year so far. I’m only missing the Turner Field final season ball. I obtained the Cubs commemorative ball in April when the Rockies were in town and now finally got the Blue Jays one. It felt really great to get these two balls. I’m hoping to make a trip to Turner Field later this season. As for the game it’s self, it was grateful dead night and check out the Jumbotron.

The Reds went on to win 6-2 scoring 3 runs in the first and 1 run in the 6th, 7th, and 8th inning. 

6 balls at this game. 

6/26/16 at Great American Ball Park

Well, I’ve decided to blog about this game for a few certain reasons.

1. It was Pete Rose Weekend so why not???

2. I’ve heard that commemorative balls were being used during the game and I really wanted to get my hands on one. 

I arrived around 10:50, (gates were going to open at 11:10) I caught up with New York ballhawk Greg Barasch who made a special one day trip for this commemorative ball. Here was the view behind me a couple of minutes before the gates opened. 

Once the gates opened and I ran in, this was my view. 

It took me 43 minutes to get on the board!!!! Reds players weren’t friendly and once the rest of the gates opened it for crowded quickly. My first ball of the day was an Andrew Cashner toss up that went a couple rows over my head where I quickly jumped on the ball quick to make sure no one else got it around me. When there was a lull in the action, Greg and I wandered around the stadium to explore. Just as we got back down for the ceremony, this was our view. 

Our strategy for the game was to work the Reds and Padres dugout for a ball. However, we made sure to stay out of each other’s way and not interfer with each other. Well long behold, once the bottom of the first ended, look who ended up with the ball. 

It was Greg! I was happy for him but also jealous at the same time. I now had to get my head in the game and try harder. Well, 3 innings later, Brandon Phillips grounded out to first base and with Luis Pedromo with the ball I knew this was my chance. Once he got about half to the dugout, he pointed up at me and I knew for sure I was getting this. When he got closer and tossed the ball up here was the answer. 

YES!!!! Mission accomplished! Just as I was putting my ball away, I met another ballhawk who only goes for commemorative baseballs. He was from KC. Unfortunately, I don’t remember his name. However, here’s a group pic of all of us. 

Great day for sure. 

2 balls. 

Update/Future Plans

Hello, for those of you that are curious and still check out my blog, thank you! It’s been a while since I’ve updated or posted on my blog. I’ve been super busy with attending games and getting ready for the new school year. Here is an update of how my games have been.

I should also update that I’ve snagged some commemorative balls while I’ve been gone. 

Pretty cool, huh? Anyway, I’ve decided to only blog about certain games that were huge or important in a way of snagging a milestone ball in my ballhawking career or snagging a unique ball like the ones pictured above. As for my videos, I’ve decided to drop that too (call me lazy if you like, I welcome all the trolls!!) it’s just blogging takes time and vlogs take time as well. I mean c’mon, attend the game, write about the game, edit video footage from batting practice. I don’t have much time to do all of that in my busy schedule. Sorry. What are some suggestions you guys recommend? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

6/10/16 at Great American Ball Park

This would be my final game of the homestead, so I wanted to make the most out of it. It didn’t start off too hot, I didn’t snag a single ball for the first 43 minutes of entering the stadium. Finally, at 5:10 I ran over and found ball #1, #2, and #3 within a span of 45 seconds. Just like that, my day had gone from bad to decent. Just as the Reds were wrapping up BP, I had J. C. Ramirez throw me ball #4 as I had to lean WAYYY over the wall to catch it because it fell short. I then headed back to RF where I waited for A’s BP to get underway. Once A’s BP got started up, I got ball #5 from this guy.

I didn’t know who it was at first, but once I tweeted out the photo, I then discovered via my Oakland friend and fellow ballhawk that it was in face Sean Manaea. Thanks, Nick! Ball #6 was an over throw from Jake Smolinski that was intended for another fan but fell a few rows short, once I picked it up, I handed it to the intended fan. Then, for ball #7 I got Jake Smolinski attention and he chucked a ball 13 rows deep straight to my glove. Once the rest of the stadium opened at 5:40, here was my view.

Here was the view to my left and right.

Not a huge crowd, considering it was Fireworks Friday game. With a lull in the action, I quickly got back on the board for ball #8 from Marc Rzepczynski in right field. Then to finish off BP, I got former manger and current third base coach Ron Washington to hook me up with ball #9. He seemed pretty cool. If I remember, he tossed a lot of balls up which is always a positive aspect in the ballhawking life. Once BP was over, I made my way over to the bullpen and watched Sonny Gray warm up.

That’s where I got ball #10 from Sonny Gray after he was done warming up. Soon after, Rocco then got his other warm ball that he used in the bullpen. Here’s a photograph to show.

As for the game, Sonny Gray pitched a perfect game all the way through 6. However, Tucker Barnhart broke up the perfect game in the bottom of the 7th with a lead off single. Final score, Reds 2 Athletics 1.

10 balls at this game. 

157 on the year

6/8/16 at Great American Ball Park

Hello everyone! I apologize for my lack of entries lately. I’ve been super busy attending games and just haven’t found enough time to write a blog entry because blogging takes time. LOTS OF TIME. Anyway, not to get off topic. This would be day 2 of the Cards series and it sure didn’t disappoint. I got on the board quickly an Easter egg for ball #1 that was laying about 4 or 5 rows back tucked under a cup holder. Ball #2 would come from Ramon Cabrera using a little Spanish as he got a kick out of it! Ball #3 and #4 were easy eggs I found in the seats at 5:10 once the 1st base side of the park opened. About 30 seconds later, I got ball #5 tossed to me by Cardinals bullpen coach Blaise Ilsley as he was exiting the bullpen. He tossed one to myself, Jill (Rocco’s wife) and ballhawk Steve. Once Adam Duvall stepped into the cage, I knew I’d better get ready for some foul cuts. Sure enough, about a couple of swings in he launched one over my head but ended up bouncing off a chair and into my glove for ball #6. Then, I got ball #7 off the bat of Tucker Barnhart in LF as it bounced up into the seats where I rushed over and picked it up. Seven balls during Reds BP?!?! I knew this would be a good day. Once the rest of the stadium opened at 5:40, I ran over to the 3rd base side and found ball #8 and #9 within a span of 15-20 seconds. While looking to see who the next batter was, I noticed Holiday was in this group, so I rushed back to LF and got myself into position. That’s when (not Hoilday, but Aledmys Diaz!!) launched a towering fly ball to left and I scooted over and got into a scrum with some agressive fan who knocked my hat and sun glasses off of me. But, I still hung on and got the ball for number #10 of the day. Soon after the first group was done, I knew I had to make my way over to RF with power hitter Brandon Moss in the cage. He sure helped because about 30 seconds into the group he hit rocket right to me where I caught it for ball #11. Check out the seats towards the end of BP.

I love Cincinnati. With about 5 minutes left of BP, I figured I would finish with 11, which would make me a happy camper. But no, Jeremy Hazelbaker launched a HR that fell short a roll in front and I picked it up for ball #12 on the day. 

12 balls on the day and possibly the best ballhawking performance of my career. 

6/7/16 at Great American Ball Park

With the Cards in town, I was pumped up for some great BP. But before that, I got my first ball of the day from Billy Hamilton.

I then moved back a couple of rows and got on a row in an empty ballpark. 

Ball #2 was a Tucker Barnhart GRD that I picked up. Ball #3 was hit by Ramon Cabrera that landed in the 5th row. Ball #4 was a Jay Bruce HR that hit the smoke stacks in center field and bounced back down. Ball #5 was thrown to me by Dan Straily. An assist to Rocco on calling him out. Sorry Rocco, you didn’t get the ball! But hey, don’t feel bad you snagged 12 balls today! Ball #6 was a Joey Votto HR that no one noticed, so I walked over and picked it up. I ran over to the 1st base side of the field and found ball #7 and #8 tucked up against a cup holder. That would be it for Reds BP. This is probably one of the best Reds BP’s I’ve had in a long time. At 5:40, I ran over and found ball #9 that everyone missed. At this point, here was my view.

Cardinals BP was fun, however I felt out of position for the most part. It seemed like when I was in LF a leftie was up. When I was in RF, a right handed batter was up. Oh well. Just as the Cardinals were wrapping up BP, I got ball #10 from Michael Wacha, who was tossing up every ball in sight. After BP, Rocco and I gathered up today’s rally.

Great day for sure. 

10 balls at this game. 

June 7, 2016

6/3/16 at Great American Ball Park

My day started by arriving at the season ticket holder gate at around 4:50. Check out the small line in front of me.IMG_0098[1].JPG

Now, check out a quite longer line behind me.IMG_0099[1].JPG

Once I ran to RF, I got ball #1 that was a Ben Revere ground rule double that I picked up in the front row. Ball #2 was a toss-up from Tanner Roark. Ball #3 was an easy catch I made off the bat of Bryce Harper. FYI, I didn’t take many photos in the early part of BP, so I apologize about that. Ball #4 was a Daniel Murphy HR that I got in a scrum. Once the rest of the stadium opened at 5:40, I ran over and to my surprise, there was no balls to be found. Considering I saw Jayson Werth and Danny Espinosa launch about a total of 15-20 balls in the LF seats, I was hoping to rack up a bunch, but I guess the ushers had to get their pockets full.:/ Shortly after, here was my view. IMG_0101[1].JPG

Here was the view to my right. IMG_0103[1].JPG

Then, here was the view to my left.IMG_0102[1]

Not long after I took these photos, I got ball #5 fromJayson Werth that took a bounce from the upper deck and straight to me. Right before the Nationals wrapped up (an early BP I should add) I got my 6th and final ball of the day from Sammy Solis. After BP, I went and picked up my Pete Rose bobble-head from the Reds HOF.IMG_0108[1]

Rocking the white kicks. Ha! But really, that’s nowhere near close to looking like Pete Rose. Maybe a white Tony Perez? As for the game, it started off pretty boring with only a total of two runs combined between both teams scored. However, the Reds kicked it up in the later innings and scored six more runs. Final score: 7-2 Reds.


Sorry for the sideways picture.

6 balls at this game (5 pictured because I gave 1 away)

6/1/16 at Progressive Field

Before I start this entry, check out the breakfast I had.

While I’m sure it was loaded with more calories than I would like to know, it was a very delicious meal I had at Lake Manor Restaurant in Mount Orab, Ohio. Anyway, (sorry to get off topic) here’s the reason of my entry.

Ah, yes I made a one day trip up to the Northeast corner of Ohio, Cleveland! The reason behind it,  because the Reds weren’t home so I decided to go check out Progressive Field. I arrived about 2:30. Soon after, fellow ballhawk Nick from Pittsburgh arrived where we had a nice throwing secession before the gates opened. 

Jim Thome statue looking on. Here was the crowd behind me about 5 minutes before the gates were about to open. 

If you can’t tell, that would also another fellow ballhawk in the Indians jersey and hat, Erik Jabs, who also made the trip from Pittsburgh. Once the gates opened, here was view. 

When we ran inside, the Indians were no where to be found (that’s what happens when a stadium shaves off half an hour from there original gate opening time). However, the Indians built on this new bullpen area in center field that fans aren’t allowed in the section (even during BP) unless they have a specific ticket for that area. I had a specific ticket, but so did Nick and Erik. So I would have some competition. BP got off to a rough start as I didn’t get a ball for the first 14 minutes of Rangers BP. Finally, I got Jaref Hoying to toss up ball #1 of the day. Here was the view once Prince Fielder came up to bat.

I didn’t catch anything, however, I believed Erik caught 2 from Fielder. Once the players were done with long toss, I moved over and got ball #2 from Martin Perez. Finally, I finished BP with ball #3 from Jake Diekman. 

Post BP pic with Nick. After BP, we all parted our ways and went separate routes. I went back to the bullpen section and saw this ball laying in the Indians bullpen.

I got that tossed up to me for ball #4. Check out this photo and I’ll explain. 

Between those monuments (in heritage park) sometimes if balls land behind it, you can reach in there and pick it up or use a retrieving device. Well it just so happened there was a ball behind those walls in the bushes and I used to my secret device to scoot it closer to the wall and picked it up for ball #5. I then back out near the bullpens and got Hector Oliver to toss up ball #6 on the day. Then, when Rickey Pacione was unloading balls into the bag he flipped me one over the netting for ball #7. As for the game I went up to the bleachers and had this.

Trust me, it was worth $10.50, as it contained the following items. Mac n Cheese, bacon bites, and to top it all off, Froot Loops!!! I then headed back to the bullpen area.

As for the game it’s self, it mostly stayed nodded at 4-4 the whole night. But, in the bottom of the 11th inning, Yan Gomes sent everyone home with a walk off base hit. 

5-4 Indians. 

7 balls at this game. 

5/21/16 at Great American Ball Park

Today was struggle from the begining. I barely made it to the park with time to spare. The crowd was huge. It was Ken Griffey Jr. bobble-head day. Their was a zillion kids. Get my drift now? Anyway, on a bright note, I met up with a well known ballhawking family. The Cook family that is, who were great people super cool to talk too.IMG_0046[1]

But, from a ballhawking stand point, it was tough. I managed to get one lousy ball. It was an over throw from Keyvius Sampson, which I later gave away. Look at the crowd 5 minutes after the gates opened.

Oh well, sometimes, we, as ballhawks have our off-days. As for the game it self, the Reds went on to lose there 6th consecutive game in a row by a final score of 4-0. Oh what fun….