Orioles vs. Rays 5/9/11 (Longoria HR on the fly)

Just a note: for some reasons that I
rather not share publicly and all, I was in the hospital ER on Friday afternoon
well into the night (5/6).  Therefore, I
obviously did not go to the game on Friday night.  With finals work also piling up on me for
school, the next week or two of entries will be delayed a bit.  But, working on getting better and moving on.

 

So this game.  Saturday. 
It was a 1 o clock game because it was on FOX and FOX likes messing up
everybody’s schedules.  After only a few
hours of sleep, I still rushed down to the park for the game, thinking there
would be BP.  I was coming from my house,
so I had to stop by my apartment for my glove and drop off my computer, so I
showed up at the park in a rush in jeans and a random brown Adidas shirt.  Matt and a few others even realized I looked
different.  Besides the whole no sleep
thing, they saw me in jeans and not an orange shirt, two things that I have
never had at a game before.  Ever.  You’ll understand later more why I’m
mentioning the clothes.

 

So I got to the gates about 3 minutes
before opening.  I was supposed to be
buying Todd Cook and his son tickets
for the game, but due to the last minute complications, I could not make it in
time, so I contacted Todd and Matt, and Matt was able to hook him up.  This is what connections/friends are for.

 

Once inside, I had to take it easy on
myself still.  I got a Derrek Lee ball quickly
that he hit down the line and I picked up in the corner, followed soon after by
a Mark Reynolds HR on the fly in the aisle of 82/84.  Here’s a map:

 

Screen shot 2011-05-09 at 5.19.24 PM.png

 

So the lower red dot is the Lee ball, the
higher one is Reynolds.  Yes, there’s a
star there.  Hold on.

 

Matt, Zevi, and I found seats on the
aisle between sections 80 and 82.  Todd
and Tim joined us for most of the game there as well.  It was a beautiful day for baseball, and
after spending most of Rays BP and then pregame down time in the shade (I
needed to rest, so it meant missing out on some baseballs, but it was needed
for my health), here we were with a great spot in LF:

 

Oriole Park Left Field 5711

 

Notice the open seats in front of
us.  They became important.

 

Here’s another view:

 

Oriole Park Left Field 5711 2

 

In the top of the 3rd, with 2
men on and 2 out, up steps Evan Longoria to the plate.  Longoria has been on the DL for most of April
(was put there during the opening series vs. the O’s in Tampa).  And BAM, Longoria hit a shot to deep
left.  As opposed to a few weeks ago when
I ran down the steps too quickly and overplayed an Alex Rodriguez grand slam, I
took these steps very slowly.  With a lot
of room around, as seen above, I played the ball perfectly, and BAM, I caught
Evan Longoria’s 3 run home run, his first shot of the season, first RBIs of the
season, and 83rd career blast.

 

Matt was right behind me in case I
misplayed it, as you can see in the
video
, but I was in the perfect spot for it.  Now why did I mention the clothes?  Of course, if you watch, there I am, on
national TV, catching a HR in random street clothes.  Way to represent as an Orioles fan, Avi.

 

No, I did not throw the Longoria ball
back.  I got lots of heckles to do so,
but of course I just sat down and ignored them. 
People were telling me I wasn’t a real fan, Miss Kelly even came down
the steps and had to shush a fan who was pointing and screaming at me non-stop
for being a horrible person.

 

Here are some screen shots of the HR
catch (taken by @RobEffinBrown for
me):

 

Here’s the snag as it happened:

 

Shot1.jpeg

 

And zoomed in (with Matt right behind and
Zevi is there like 2 steps up in the orange):

 

Shot2.jpeg

 

Then here I am once I have the ball and
Matt is congratulating me on it:

 

shot3.jpeg

 

And zoomed in:

 

shot4.jpeg

 

And here’s the ball itself:

 

Evan Longoria Home Run 5711

 

Soon after, I got a text from Todd Cook
asking if Matt had caught the ball.  I
told him no, I did.  Then, I got lots of
tweets and texts of people asking about it. 
It was exhilarating, and definitely a positive part to my day after a
really bad day before.  Although it meant
the Orioles went down 4-0, so I didn’t celebrate it publicly at all.

 

Todd and Tim came over to sit with us
soon after, as well as Nats fan and all around baseball fan Michael Jasser, who
I had never met before but who follows the blog.  Was great to meet Michael and good to talk
with him for the rest of the game as he sat with us in LF for the remainder of
the afternoon.

 

Oh, here’s Super-Jew Sam Fuld:

 

Thumbnail image for Sam Fuld Oriole Park 5711

 

Tim Cook had brought a toy with him from
an Indians game that he had gotten of the mustard hot dog that runs in the hot
dog race in Cleveland, and as I was taking photos, he told me to take pictures
of the toy:

 

TimCDog.jpg

 

Matt had talked with Brandon Guyer the
day before (the day Guyer hit his first
ever HR on his first ever AB
), so he told Matt to come by the dugout after
the game.  Around the 8th
inning, Matt, Zevi, and I relocated to the Rays dugout:

 

DSCF3132.JPG

 

Where after the game, Guyer gave Matt his
batting gloves.  I attempted to get
Longoria to sign the ball, but he didn’t. 
I knew I could try again tomorrow, though.

 

Oh, and Guyer was optioned the next day.

 

Good stuff.

 

DSCF3136.JPG

 

Pictured there are 2 balls (one on left
is the Reynolds HR, right is the game HR from Longo, gave away the Lee ball),
my ticket, and a kids Orioles mag I found on the way out.

 

 

Season stats (somehow, a ball got lost in translation
here, not sure where, but it’s either 39 or 40):

 

Baseballs: 39 (28
hit, 11 on fly, 8 toss up, 3 found)

Autographs: 4
(Scherzer, Guerrero, Oliver, Pavano)

Orioles home games
attended: 14

Orioles total games
attended: 14

Total MLB games
attended: 14

Total baseball
games attended (MLB+MiLB): 14

Rainouts: 2

 

 

 

Follow me on Twitter: @2131andBeyond

Email me at: indiansfan621 at aim dot com

4 Comments

Congrats on the Longoria homer, I saw he hit his first on SportsCenter and was wondering if one of the Baltimore ballhawks got it. Again, congratulations.

Dude! Congrats! It looks like you played it perfectly. Those balls that come right at you on the stairs are hard to judge. Nicely done, hope you’re feeling better, and hope to see you this week.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaavi! Way to go on the HR ball. As I mentioned, it was the first game homerun ball that I have ever held in my hand. Thanks for the experience. It was a great day at Camden Yards, as always.
-Todd

@michaelky Was very exciting to get it and represent the ballhawks of Baltimore! Thanks!
 
@Zack Thank you, kind sir. This comment is a bit late, so I have already seen you since. But yes, I have learned that sometimes the hardest ones to judge are when there’s all the room in the world.
 
@Todd Glad that I could provide that experience for you Lol!
 
-Avi M
 
Follow me on Twitter:@2131andBeyond
 

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