Tagged: bleacher ballhawk

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)


7 Days of Spring…DAY 3 – 3/29/09

I arrived at Maryvale Park to watch the morning workouts.  I was forced to stand in the grandstands (staff would not allow fans to shag baseballs on the grass berm) as ball after ball fell harmlessly to the vacated left field berm area. 

So, I took pictures from above the dugout, instead.
                        Brewers RF Corey Hart finishing a warmup toss.

3_29_09 Brewers vs Giants 019.jpg                                 Brewers LF Ryan Braun at the hitting tee.

3_29_09 Brewers vs Giants 035.jpg                                 Braun taking some mighty hacks in the cage.

After workouts concluded, I was able to get a few autographs.  The following Brewers signed my baseball:  Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy, Casey McGehee, Bill Hall, Jason Kendall, Jeff Suppan, Mike Rivera, Corey Hart and Mike Lamb.

Off to Scottsdale Stadium for the 1:05 pm game.

I arrived at Scottsdale Stadium and headed to the left field berm for BP.  There were a ton of people, kids, guys with gloves, etc.

I snagged one on the fly in BP by running up the berm about 50 feet and jumping over some blankets that were saving someone’s spot on the grass hill.  The baseball was hit by #20 HOLM of the Giants.

That was about it for BP…very poor.  So, I headed over to the Brewers side for a warm-up ball.  I spotted Brewers minor league catcher Carlos Corporan.  I yelled to him, “Senor Carlos, dame la bolla, por favor!”  Carlos turned and looked right at me.  Without hesitation, he fired it into my glove.

The game was a pitcher’s duel.  At one point, I sat directly behind Brewers GM’s Doug Melvin and Gordon Ash in the 2nd row above the Brewers dugout.

The Brewers ended up winning 1-0.

When the game concluded, I was positioned above the Brewers dugout where the umpires were leaving the field.  I spotted home plate umpire Paul Schrieber.  I yelled out, “Paul, Paul Schrieber.  Can I get a baseball, please?”  He looked up at me with a funny look on his face and said, “you’re good” and flipped me a game ball from his pouch.

3_29_09 Brewers vs Giants 055.jpgThree baseballs snagged on this day…not very good.  The ump game ball helped make up for it, though.  I’ll have better luck the following day.


  • 1 BP baseball snagged on the fly
  • 1 toss-up BP baseball
  • 1 ump game ball


     3 baseballs total 3/29/09

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


    18 baseballs (3 days)