Tagged: Joey Votto

8/26/09 @ Miller Park

My wife was running late from work, therefore, I was now running late to the ballpark.  I did not get to the ballpark until 5:55 pm.  There was nothing I could do to avoid it, so, I had to suck it up and make the best of it.  Batting Practice usually ends around 6:20/6:25 pm.  That gave me 25-30 minutes.

I’ll describe how I snagged Ball #1 with a few pictures…
8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 008.jpg

…the black wall is approx. 5′ feet high and separates my row of seats from the Toyota Tundra Territory seats.  The yellow smiley face depicts where I was standing when DREW SUTTON was taking his cuts.  Soon, Sutton would lift one in my direction. 

Unfortunately, it would carry over my head and bounce in the front row of the Tundra Territory where it came to a rest.

In my overly zealous state, the following picture shows the route I took to obtain the ball…
8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 010.jpg

…you guessed it.  Straight over the top of that wall.  I did it from a standing position without a running start and without falling. 

I had to or one of these two would have…
8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 002.jpg
…Casey and Matt.  Two young ballhawks with similar enthusiasm.

Who says white men can’t jump??

I’ll tell you who-
the usher in my section. 

He immediately came marching over and demanded that I throw the ball back on the field.  I cocked my arm back to throw it onto the field and then I paused, wondering if he was for real??  He then snatched the ball out of my hand and threw the ball back onto the field himself!!  Wow.  Take it easy.
I understand he has a job to do, but, c’mon…don’t take it so personal.

I would go on to snag three more baseballs (all on the fly).
Ball #2 was off the bat of LAYNCE NIX (easy grab).  
Balls #3 & #4 were off the bat of JOEY VOTTO.  The cool thing?  They were on consecutive pitches.  That rarely ever happens.

BP ended I somehow managed to snag four (4) baseballs in 25 minutes without asking a single player for a ball.  Some days I just don’t feel like begging for a baseball.  I rarely ever feel comfortable doing it.  But, this season I’m doing it for the sake of the Ballhawk League.

During the game, I hung out a bit with two of my favorite Brewers fans…
8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 005.jpg

…”Big Joe” and his cute little niece Madison.

The game went into extra innings for the 2nd consecutive day. 
Brewers lost in ten…4-3. 

I did not try for any warmup balls.  I did not try for any tossups, foul balls, ump balls, etc.
As is usually the case, I only focused on game home runs.

Blahblahblah…the Brewers season has been a major disappointment.

One of the cooler things of the day…
8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 014.jpg8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 013.jpg
…analyzing the marks on this baseball.

Three staggered green marks across one of the side panels?!

How do you think that got there??

Day’s snags…
8_26_09 Reds vs Brewers @ Miller Park 012.jpg

only three (3) are shown because one crazy usher tossed one of them back onto the field.

Okay, he’s not crazy, but, he was pretty **********…


  • 4 total balls 8/26/09

4 batted 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

306 baseballs (50 games)
6.12 average per game

…400 baseballs snagged this season is within reach…



4/13/09 @ Miller Park

As my wife and I walked up to the stadium, I spotted this…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 001.jpg                                                just lying on the ground. 

So, I bent down, picked it up and placed it into my left front pocket.

I’m a bit superstitious.

When we were allowed to enter Miller Park, I found the Brewers still on the field for BP.  I spotted Brewers relief pitcher JORGE JULIO shagging baseballs out near the left field warning track.  I asked him for a baseball and he tossed one up for a quick BASEBALL #1.

I ran over to take a peek into the Brewers bullpen for any glove trick opportunities.  When I arrived, I spotted one.  I pulled the necessary equipment out of my bag and pulled it up for BASEBALL #2

Now you see it…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 002.jpgNow you don’t…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 006.jpg4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 003.jpg                            That’s me in action with my wife as the photographer. 

After using the glove trick, I ran up to the loge bleachers (200 level) to shag a few.  When I arrived, I started combing through the bleachers in hopes of finding an overlooked easter egg.  There were about 15 people in the bleachers at this point.  I knew the odds were slim but I had to give it a shot.  After looking for about a minute or so…I had spotted one!  It was on the very bottom row of loge bleachers and I did not see it until I had walked about 50 feet away from it.  The angle was just right that it had been overlooked.  I moved toward the unclaimed baseball with a brisk walk.  I didn’t want to give it away to anyone (a few guys were doing the same easter egg hunt as I was).  When I was about 10 feet from it, I sprinted over and claimed it for BASEBALL #3
I love finding easter eggs.

Brewers pitcher MITCH STETTER was shagging baseballs in left field.  I yelled down to him for a baseball and he lobbed one up to me for BASEBALL #4.

Four quick ones and the Reds hadn’t even taken the field, yet.

When the Redlegs did finally start to hit the field, I moved over to right because I knew the big lefty sluggers would be starting things off.

I must admit, Batting Practice is not as fun without Adam Dunn on the Reds, but young sluggers JOEY VOTTO and JAY BRUCE both did their part to make up for his absence.  It didn’t take Jay Bruce long to hit one out.  When he did, I ran over and caught it on the fly for BASEBALL #5.  Hitting in the same group was the aforementioned stud Joey Votto. Joey cranked one out in my direction, too.  In the same fashion, I gloved his BP homer on the fly, too!  That was BASEBALL #6.

I was cruising right along.

I looked down to the field and Reds pitcher AARON HARANG was shagging some BP right below my seats in right-center field.

You can’t really tell by the picture…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 008.jpg                                but, take my word for it…that’s Aaron Harang.

So, I politely called down to him.  I asked him if he would be willing to sign a baseball for me.  He made a “toss-it-down” motion with his glove.  So, toss-it-down I did.

Here’s a picture of Aaron Harang signing one of my game balls…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 007.jpg

                                        Cool dude-that Aaron Harang.

Here’s the finished product…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers 012.jpg                           He really took his time, which is rare nowadays.

Autograph obtained…resume ballhawking.

Reds pitcher JARED BURTON was standing out in right-center field shagging some BP.  When he fielded one close to the warning track, I told him that if he left it on the track that I could pick it up.  He asked me if I had go-go gadget arms.  I said, “not exactly, but close to it!”  He took the baseball he had in his hand and tossed it up to me for BASEBALL # 7.  I was a little surprised that he even tossed it, but what the heck…I’ll take it.  I thanked him for the toss-up and then I told him I wasn’t kidding about picking i
t off the warning track.  He said, “next one.”

A minute later, another ball was hit out toward him.  He fielded it and lobbed it back toward the wall where I was standing above.  I had the glove trick ready to go.  He walked back toward it and kicked it closer to the wall below.  I lowered my glove down and picked it off the track for BASEBALL #8.  I thanked him for the opportunity and for being cool.  Cool dude. 

That concluded the BP portion of my day.

Before the start of the 5th inning, Brewers CF MIKE CAMERON was warming up with Brewers LF RYAN BRAUN.  When Cameron was finished warming up, I let go one of my famous whistles.  He turned, took two steps toward me and let it fly from shallow centerfield.  The throw was going to be low so I had to lean way out over the small railing and make the catch.  Of course, I made the catch…for BASEBALL #9 on the day.

When the 9th inning began, I scampered down to the box seats near the Reds dugout.  I wanted to get my 1st ump game ball of the regular season.  It worked in Spring Training for me a bunch of times, but that was exhibition.  I wanted to do it when things counted.  So, after the last out was recorded, I was in place.  I ran down to the front row and called out to home plate umpire MIKE REILLY.  He turned in my direction and reached into his ball pouch.  He grabbed one and fired a strike to my waiting glove for BASEBALL #10

I was glad to get that 1st ump game ball out of the way on this young season.

About 20 seconds later, the players and coaches were exiting the field.  I scanned everyone’s mitts and hands.  I spotted Reds 1B Coach BILLY HATCHER walking off the field.  Billy had a ball in his hands and you could see he was scanning the crowd for a fan in Reds gear.  I was decked out in my Griffey, Jr. #3 Reds jersey and cap.  I yelled out “Billy, Billy Hatcher” and held up my glove.  It was too easy…we made eye contact and he tossed me BASEBALL #11 on the day.

That concluded a pretty good day of hawking at the yard…
4_13_09 Reds vs Brewers.jpg11 baseballs (10 are shown-1 was given away)  Ump ball bottom middle/Coach Hatcher toss-up bottom right.  I do not # mark game balls.


  • 11 total balls 4/13/09

2 caught on fly (hit)

1 easter egg (hit)

6 toss-ups

2 device



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

49 baseballs (7 games)
7.0 average per game