7 Days of Spring…DAY 4 – 3/30/09

I arrived at Maryvale Park at 9:50 am for the morning workouts.  A little later than I’m used to but, hey, I have 2 small kids…what do you expect?

Anyway, the big leaguers workouts near the cages offered zero chance at any baseballs, so I ventured over to the minor league fields.  I discovered the Brewers AAA team was taking BP, so I settled in right field.

The field I was at had a short section of fence in right field and everywhere else it was pretty high.  My only real chance was with the lefties in that small section of outfield.

_______________________                                      _________________________
                                         I                                         I
 HITTER’S EYE                   I   I stood here    X             I              RT FIELD LINE
It looked kind of like this.

I ended up snagging the following:

BASEBALLS 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

  • 3 Florida State League baseballs
  • 1 Pacific Coast League ball
  • 1 Official Minor League baseball

Not a bad start to the day-and the gates hadn’t even opened up yet!

The gates did finally open up at 11:30 am for the 1:05 pm game.

I started to run to the left field berm when I spotted an easter egg lying out in deep right center field.  I plucked it off the grass for number 6.

3_30_09 Mariners vs Brewers 005.jpg                                         Uh-oh…look what I found?!!

Brad Nelson jacked one that I snagged on the bounce out in right-center field.

I asked Brewers relief pitcher Jorge Julio for a baseball in Spanish and his reply was, “oh wow” as he turned away from me.  At the end of BP, I asked him again and he tossed it to me.  I caught it and yelled, “gracias!”  He said nothing.  Until Brewers CF Mike Cameron pushed him and said, “say you’re welcome!”  Julio then turned to me and yelled, “de nada!”
Manners, manners.

3_30_09 Mariners vs Brewers 010.jpg                 “PLEASE-NO STANDING OR LEANING AGAINST THE WALL”
                                              I break all the rules.

3_30_09 Mariners vs Brewers 011.jpgThis picture shows me with some very special people.  From left to right:  Lucas, Julia, Hope and Carolyn.  I’m so glad you guys made it down to the Cactus League.  You guys did great!

It was the top of the 5th inning, Mariners OF Mike Wilson jacked one in my direction.  I was sitting halfway up the berm in left field.  I got up, started sprinting up the hill to the concrete walkway and looked back up for the baseball.  I picked it back up in the high Arizona sky and took another few steps to my left before catching it on the fly. 
My 2nd game home run of the spring.  This one on the fly.  Damn, that feels good!

When leftfielder Ryan Braun ran out to take the field in the top of the 6th inning, he looked in my direction.  Then he yelled up to me, “hey, nice catch!”  So, I said, “thanks!”  Ryan responded, “no problem.” 

I love Spring Training.

3_30_09 Mariners vs Brewers.jpgPictured above is the Mike Wilson game home run caught on the fly.  Don’t baseballs look so much better without those big scuff marks from hitting the ground?  ; )

After the game, I went down where the umps exit the field.  Home plate umpire Jeff Macias tossed me a game ball after I politely requested one from his baseball pouch.  Thanks!

10 baseballs today…not a bad day at the office.

3_30_09 Mariners vs Brewers 012.jpg                                       In order of retrieval from left to right.

TOTALS 3/30/09

  • 6 BP baseballs snagged on bounce (5 of which were minor league balls)
  • 1 toss-up baseball
  • 1 easter egg
  • 1 game home run baseball snagged on fly (Mike Wilson)
  • 1 ump game ball


     10 baseballs total 3/30/09

     3  baseballs 3/29/09
+   9  baseballs 3/28/09
+   6  baseballs 3/27/09

     28 baseballs (4 days)


  1. bigglovebob

    Good job on the blog Happy! I booked a trip to Miller Park for 6-23 and 6-24 against my Twins. I will be sitting in the first row right behind home plate both nights. I so rarely leave town so I thought I would treat myself. I already have people bugging me to bring them back secret stadium sauce.
    I picked up a Metrodome final season commemorative ball today at the pro shop. I wanted one pristine ball to display, but I hope to get a few more at the dome this year.
    I was at County Stadium twice but never have been to Miller Park. have you ever been to the Dome? What was your luck like?
    It looks like I will be staying at a Radisson on the outskirts of town. I will definitely come out to the bleachers and say hi.

  2. happyyoungster

    Way to go on the trip to Miller Park! I will be in attendance both of those nights. We have to meet up. My season seats are front row right center field. I sit right by a huge CITGO gas pump (can’t miss it!)

    It’s good to treat yourself every once in awhile.

    I have a trip planned to the Metrodome over Memorial Day Weekend. I’ll be at the Friday (22nd) and Saturday (23rd) games sitting out in left field home run porch. I have to get a commemorative ball that weekend!

    I have been to the Dome a few times. Never much luck due to those long rows of seats with backs to them.

    Looking forward to meeting you!


  3. nwest33

    When Brauny gives you a shout out, you know you’re a stud. I hear there is a vid of you there snagging a ball from this spring. Have you got wind of it yet? I’m trying to figure out what is the best day to get down to a game…hoping for April, but might have to settle for May.

  4. happyyoungster

    Thanks. That was pretty cool coming from Ryan freakin’ Braun.

    There is a video on youtube. It’s called “The Catch.” Over 150,000 views in under a week! Whoa.
    I’ll have both versions put up on the blog here soon. One is from the Arizona telecast and the other is from the Milwaukee telecast. I also have to upload the MLB TONIGHT highlight of the catch. It’s all coming!! All this and I’ve yet to unpack from my trip!!!


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