Orioles vs. Royals 5/24/11 (11 baseballs – personal record)
I arrived at the stadium for today’s game around 4:30, and was extremely worried because there was a slight drizzle of rain at the time.
It stopped, and they hit.
Ben and Tim weren’t at the game, so Matt and I knew to race out to left field to go crazy with it. And crazy it was.
By 5:07 (yes, gates open at 5), Matt and I had a combined 11 baseballs. He had 7, I had 4. He found one or two, but other than that, Mark Reynolds and a few others kept ripping HRs, and we were the ONLY people out there. The ushers and even some Royals players were laughing and shouting things at us. We must have looked insane. We were running in every direction, and by the end of that when the Orioles were finished, we were dead tired. After those 4, I got no more from the Orioles.
I put on my Royals cap when the KC pitchers started throwing:
And as I did, a ball was hit towards them, and still standing in left field, Robinson Tejeda picked it up and tossed it into the stands. Randomly. He legit just tossed it into the first row of my section, with nobody there. I raced down and picked it up. Odd.
I went over to the foul line and got Aaron Crow to throw me his warmup ball, then I ran over and picked up a ball in the seats that was overthrown (I don’t remember by who), offered it back, but they let me keep it. Followed by a Blake Wood tossup, I was already at 8 on the day. 9 was my best ever (last Friday), and I had always wanted to hit double digits. Back to left field:
Well, I caught 0 Royals HRs. They hit a scattered few. Billy Butler mashed. I still got shut out.
I ran over to the bullpens, and got Rick Adair to toss me one of the balls laying in the bullpen (I was the only person with a glove asking). Then I charged over to the CF seats and got a groundskeeper to toss me a ball from the gap. 10!!! Woohoo. Note: I did text Tim telling him how mad he should be that he didn’t go, because he has a ball retriever, and there were about 7 balls in the gap.
Down to the 3rd base line.
Billy Butler stretched then signed:
And I got his ugly auto:
Then Hosmer came out to stretch:
He and Mike Aviles played catch. I stood right by them, and when they finished, Aviles tossed the ball to me. Well, by that, I mean he tossed it in my direction, but about 15 rows up. WTF! To nobody! And some random girl ran over and picked it up. I looked back at him and he covered his face with his glove. It was kinda funny how bad the throw was. Whatever. Hosmer signed:
How UGLY is that autograph?!
Oh yeah, and I got some pitcher to sign my ticket. But I forgot to take a picture of it, and I’m too lazy to now. Whoops.
After giving away three balls to a family of Royals fans that I chatted with and helped me to identify one of the Royals coaches, I got this shot of my remaining baseballs once I settled in LF:
Matt came by and I wanted to take a picture of his loot. In the following picture, not only are there about 10 in his glove, but he’s searching through his bag. He had at least 13-15 total or so:
Chilled with that Matt and also Matt Gardner and his buddy [Chris] Webber during the game. I had them move like 4 times so I could keep positioning myself in open rows as places filled up. But it was pretty empty, enough so that a home run within 2 sections either way would have been within reach.
Danny Duffy pitched for the Royals (only his 2nd career start):
And he destroyed the Orioles.
All throughout the game, these guys with jerseys labeled “Yard Guard” [1 and 2] would get up in the aisle and do an Orioles chant (so, so drunk).
Not to mention the girl in front of them that almost went on the field, then the guy behind her stopped her by pulling her pants halfway down. Full moon. It was a rough site to watch.
Oh yeah, there was a game.
In the late innings, Alfredo Simon got up to warm:
And he threw a pitch to Ronnie that skipped to the side. Other bullpen catcher Rudy Arias picked it up and was about to put it in his back pocket, but I asked from right above him if I could get the ball. And…
It was funny because I was over there to take pictures of Simon. SO I had my camera in one hand and phone in the other, no glove, so I caught it practically between my wrists without dropping my phone [almost] into the pen. Cool.
Simon did pitch, by the way. 1-2-3 inning. Shutdown sauce!
Then in the bottom of the 9th, I happened to snap these 2 pictures of the scoreboard as Adam Jones came up to bat:
And BAM! JONESY WITH A 2 RUN WALKOFF SHOT OFF OF TOP CLOSER JOAKIM SORIA! It was fantastic!
After the game, I went out to the players lot as always to hang out with Donna. We’re just cool like that. Carmen was out there too (she had come with Donna), and as I had randomly gotten Wieters to sign my shoe on Sunday, I got Chris Tillman to sign it this time. He was like “a shoe?!”. It was quite funny.
Oh, and by the way, from the Nationals series, here’s the video I got of manager Jim Riggleman getting ejected in the 1st inning. Ah, the advantages of sitting right behind the dugout randomly (good view!).
And now off to Royals game two of the series. Woot.