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.
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.
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.
- 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)
I got off to an early start. I left my hotel around 8am and headed to Maryvale Baseball Park. I arrived at the park around 8:30 and started wandering around. Only a few of the big leaguers were out in the cages. Fielder, Gwynn, Jr., Rottino, Hall, Sveum and Yount. There was no potential for snagging so I wandered some more.
I found the Single A Brewers team hitting on one of the side fields, so, I set up camp.
A young player by the name of Rapoza #55 tossed one over the fence to me. Upon further inspection, it was a Florida State League baseball. Very cool.
About 20 minutes later, I spotted #14 PASCUAL, a minor leaguer for the Brewers. So, I yelled, “dame la bolla, por favor, senor!” He snapped his head in my direction and flashed a toothy grin. Between us, was a high netted fence that prevents baseballs from leaving the park in left field. Behind the fence is a parking lot, so, you can imagine how many windshields this net saves. But, it was now standing between me and baseball #2. So, I pointed over the top of this 80 foot fence. I then held up my glove for #14 PASCUAL. He looked up and fired it high into the sky. I took a few steps back, reaching the end of the sidewalk and the start of the curb and caught it. “Gracias!” To both #14 and baseball snagger Zack Hample for his bi-lingual snagging tactics.
It’s hard to see, but the baseball above (#2) was an Official Minor League Baseball with President Pat O’Conner’s stamped signature.
BASEBALLS #3 and #4
The stadium gates opened @11 am and I raced to the left field berm to claim my turf. The first Brewers group to hit was FIELDER/HARDY/WEEKS/KENDALL. The first 3 are BP studs. Prince jacked one to deep center and I took off after it. I chased it down on a bounce when I heard another one land about 100 feet away. I ran toward the sound and gloved it on a high 1st bounce. Two baseballs in 10 seconds!!
A few minutes later, I gloved one on the fly off the bat of J.J. Hardy.
It should be noted that there were a lot of people present with baseball gloves.
A few minutes later, Rickie Weeks hit a smash that I gloved on the fly.
J.J. Hardy hit another one I gloved on the fly.
The next group to hit included Bill Hall. Hall usually is a BP stud. Not this day. Although, he did manage to hit one in my direction. I took off after it and caught that one on the fly, too!
Upon closer inspection of the Bill Hall BP homer, I noticed it was an ’08 All Star game baseball. Cool stuff.
The 2008 All Star baseball used in Brewers BP at Maryvale Park 3-28-09. Ball was hit by Brewers 3B Bill Hall and caught on the fly. That unique blue mark was most likely from the hitter’s eye at Maryvale Park. (They have a blue metal backstop-this baseball must have been hit by another player beforehand).
The rest of the Milwaukee Brewers hitters did their best Pittsburgh Pirates imitation and failed to reach the warning track.
I decided to go down to the box seats for the 9th inning and a different view. While above the Brewers dugout, a baseball came popping over the dugout roof. I was in the 2nd row and reached out my hand and claimed it before it hit the ground.
Right place-right time.
Brewers won 4-2.
- 4 baseballs snagged on the
- 2 snagged on the bounce
- 3 toss-up baseballs
9 baseballs total 3/28/09
6 baseballs from 3/27/09
15 baseballs (2 days)