This would be my 2nd and final game at Coors Field on this trip. Due to a family obligation, I would be flying out of Denver (on standby) early in the morning. I would be skipping the last game of the series because I *HAD* to get back to Milwaukee earlier than I originally planned.
As it turns out, this was going to be my last game of the 2009 season.
I absolutely had to end my season on a positive note…
Kenny and I arrived at the ballpark around 4:15pm and a small line had already formed by the Rockpile Gate. Shortly thereafter, our friend Don “The Rockpile Ranter” showed up with his son Hunter. I had read all of Don’s blog entries where he talked about his son. Finally, I was able to meet him. One cool little dude. Unfortunately, I wasn’t thinking straight, and failed to get a picture with Hunter.
We didn’t have to wait long and the gates to the stadium were open.
It also didn’t take me long to snag ball #1. It came off the bat of Troy Tulowitzki and I fielded it on a bounce off the warning track. It took a playable bounce unlike the Ryan Braun ground-rule double the day before.
That’s the only baseball I snagged during the Rockies portion of BP.
Soon, the Brewers took the field.
You could tell they were out of the pennant race…
It originally said: COFFEY IS A FA_
The author was Yovani Gallardo and he was referring to teammate Todd Coffey. Gallardo was trying to find a teammate who would give him a “G” to finish the sentence (those are his words, not mine).
Eventually, I would snag ball #2 off the bat of Ryan Braun. The ball was snagged on the bounce after it managed to elude my glove. I say this because I’m pretty sure I should have caught it on the fly. For whatever reason, I didn’t play back toward the railing as far as I could have.
It’s kind of like an outfielder going back on a ball that’s on the warning track. He knows the wall is coming but jumps prematurely or doesn’t play as far back as he could out of fear that he will strike the wall. That’s what happened to me. But, I still ended up with the baseball.
My 3rd and final baseball of Batting Practice came via tossup from Brewers 3B Coach Brad Fischer. “Fisch” was walking toward one that had rolled down the left field line. I saw this and ran over to the “well” (the large grounds crew opening down the left field line). I held up my glove and flapped it once or twice. Mr. Fischer spotted the Brewers gear and gladly tossed it up.
BP was not as good as yesterday, but, the same held true-most baseballs would land up in the pavilion. The bottom row offers much room to roam, but, there just aren’t many front row jobs at Coors Field during BP. That considered, I *still* would not have changed a thing regarding my game plan.
Sadly, Batting Practice for my 2009 season came to an end with another 3 baseball performance.
I needed to release some depression with nature…
After the sadness subsided, I met up with these two Rockies superfans…
As you may recall, I met Dan & Emily back at the 2009 Home Run Derby in St. Louis, MO. Emily has attended over 300 Colorado Rockies games to date…wow.
Dan is a veteran ballhawk who has snagged 41 game home runs on the fly and an additional 33 by other means. Very impressive.
Being a loyal blog-reader of fellow ballhawk Zack Hample, I recognized him as the guy who shoved Zack going for a BP baseball that was hit into a tunnel back on 6/17/08. Because of that fateful moment, Zack tabbed the guy as “pure evil.”
Having looked pure evil in the eyes many times over the years, I wanted to see if this guy lived up to the billing.
His name is Douglas and he’s a season-ticket holder in the front row at Coors Field. He’s attended games in 50 different MLB stadiums including a few World Series and All-Star games. His baseball-related resume goes on and on…
I know this because I ended up sitting next to him the entire game. Actually, he turned out to be a pretty decent guy (the fact that he did NOT shove me into a wall probably had something to do with this perception).
Coors Field reminds me a lot of old Milwaukee County Stadium. A gigantic front-row aisle to run for game home runs, an open well down the left field line and an overall fun atmosphere were just a few of the similarities.
I truly loved Milwaukee County Stadium and miss it dearly.
Just when I was beginning to love Coors Field
…I started to love it a whole helluva lot more.
In the top of the 2nd inning, Brewers slugger Prince Fielder stepped to the plate.
Prince has been pretty damn good to me over the years. I’d snagged three (3) of his game home runs at Miller Park (career #61, #67 & #97).
My 54th career game home run snagged during actual MLB regular season games.
In addition, I collected the coveted “Clean Catch Pin” in the process for making it a clean snag.
Did you see the tip of the cap to Rockies CF Carlos Gonzalez? It occurs at 17 seconds during the video highlight. Carlos was staring at me, so, I tipped my cap to him.
Did you notice by the pictures how everyone was dressed at this game?? The temperatures were in the low 50’s with a 25 mph wind. It’s safe to say-I froze my asss off wearing shorts and The Happy Youngster shirt.
The picture below warmed the Rockies faithful up a bit…
I was shivering so badly, I thought about leaving. But, I couldn’t when there was an outside chance I could snag 2 game home runs in a single game for the 5th time in my snagging career. I had done it on 5/29/99 (both on fly), 9/29/99 Game 2 (both on live bounce), 5/16/00 (both on fly) and 4/12/01 (one on fly/1 player tossup).
But, it wasn’t meant to be.
I was thrilled to end my 2009 snagging season with a bang.
After the game, I proudly posed with my newest prized possessions…
372 baseballs (including 7 game home runs) later…and my snagging season was over.
FINAL 2009 BALLHAWKING STATS
- 4 total balls 9/30/09
3 batted baseballs (including Prince Fielder’s game home run)
1 tossup baseball
2009 TOTAL BASEBALLS
4/7/09 = 5 baseballs
4/8/09 = 10 baseballs
4/9/09 = 10 baseballs
4/10/09 = 3 baseballs
4/11/09 = 5 baseballs
4/12/09 = 5 baseballs
4/13/09 = 11 baseballs
4/14/09 = 6 baseballs
4/21/09 = 5 baseballs
4/27/09 = 15 baseballs
4/28/09 = 9 baseballs
4/30/09 = 4 baseballs
5/01/09 = 7 baseballs
5/02/09 = 4 baseballs
5/08/09 = 11 baseballs
5/09/09 = 1 lousy ball
5/12/09 = 14 baseballs
5/13/09 = 12 baseballs
5/19/09 = 8 baseballs
5/22/09 = 3 baseballs
5/23/09 = 2 baseballs
5/26/09 = 3 baseballs
5/29/09 = 6 baseballs
5/30/09 = 5 baseballs
6/01/09 = 1 baseball
6/02/09 = 9 baseballs
6/09/09 = 4 baseballs
6/10/09 = 0 baseballs
6/11/09 = 2 baseballs
6/12/09 = 9 baseballs
6/23/09 = 6 baseballs
6/24/09 = 9 baseballs
6/26/09 = 9 baseballs
6/27/09 = 4 baseballs
6/29/09 = 3 baseballs
6/30/09 = 5 baseballs
7/07/09 = 6 baseballs
7/10/09 = 3 baseballs
7/20/09 = 7 baseballs
7/24/09 = 6 baseballs
7/27/09 = 8 baseballs
7/29/09 = 3 baseballs
8/04/09 = 4 baseballs
8/11/09 = 7 baseballs
8/12/09 = 6 baseballs
8/15/09 = 4 baseballs
8/16/09 = 3 baseballs
8/17/09 = 10 baseballs
8/25/09 = 10 baseballs
8/26/09 = 4 baseballs
8/28/09 = 18 baseballs *(new Milwaukee record)*
8/29/09 = 2 baseballs
9/04/09 = 5 baseballs
9/06/09 = 5 baseballs
9/08/09 = 8 baseballs
9/16/09 = 4 baseballs
9/18/09 = 10 baseballs
9/21/09 = 3 baseballs
9/24/09 = 4 baseballs
9/29/09 = 3 baseballs
9/30/09 = 4 baseballs
372 baseballs (61 games)
6.10 average per game