Over a week without attending a game…hotdamn I was anxious for this one.
As you may or may not know, entering this game, I needed to snag only 6 baseballs to reach the 1000 baseball plateau. I wanted to do it at Wrigley-the birthplace of the ballhawk.
The day started with a train ride to Chicago.
A young man by the name of Kenny was attending the game with me. I met Kenny back in 1997 at Milwaukee County Stadium. At the time, he was a shy 13 yr. old kid, who seemingly, went to every game. He always sat in the bleachers and *always* brought his glove. Kenny only missed a handful of games over a 3 yr. period back in the late 90’s…incredible, to say the least.
Kenny and I arrived at Wrigley Field early so we could catch a few of the Brewers coming into the stadium. Wrigley Field is awesome for autographs because the majority of the players have to walk right past you to get into the stadium.
All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman had us line up along that green railing.
After a few more autographs, we saved our spot in line and played a little “catch.”
Eventually, the gates would open and we were perched in the bleachers (we had regular bleacher seats, not the bleacher box-so, we were restricted to the bleachers only).
My 1st ball on the day was an overthrow from an uknown Cubs pitcher. He was aiming for someone else and sailed it. I ran about 20 feet to my left and picked it up on the bounce. Immediately, all of the classy Cubs fans began to yell and shout to “give it away to a kid!”
I could not find any young Brewers fans nearby, so, I left the area.
While standing in left-center, I saw a different Cubs pitcher aim for a fan. This time, I was closer to the intended target. Like the previous overthrow, this one sailed, too. But, unlike the previous, I was in position to run about 10 feet to my left and make the catch.
Sorry Cubs fans…better luck next time.
Finally, the Cubs left the field and allowed a real team to take BP (the Cubs players only hit a couple baseballs into the bleachers in the 1st 30 minutes).
When it was Prince Fielder’s turn, I headed over to right field. I had been watching him all season long. I feel like I know his tendencies.
I was right.
My 3rd ball on the day came on the fly off the bat of Prince Field
er. I had him played perfectly. I only had to move up a couple rows and a few feet over to make the grab.
Fielder would hit one more to me before he was through. That one was snagged on the bounce and immediately given to a little girl dressed in pink sitting with her parents (having a daughter of my own-I’m a softie for girls in pink).
Does anyone recognize the autograph on the mitt? If you do, I’ll be shocked.
I’ll give you a hint…former Brewers 3B.
…four (4) total with two (2) shown.
One was given away to a small girl and an additional baseball was given to the usher in our aisle. He was extremely friendly to us which made the game that much more enjoyable.
2009 BALLHAWKING STATS
- 4 total balls 9/16/09
2 batted baseballs
2 tossup baseballs
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
348 baseballs (56 games)
6.21 average per game
…2 away from 1000…
Now that the old ballgame is firing back up again, I’ve been going
through a few of the baseball autographs I have amassed over the
years. I’ve always enjoyed collecting autographs. I guess it’s for
the same reason why I enjoy ballhawking so much. It sort of brings you
closer to the game. Gets you involved, in a way.
autographs I have obtained come with their own interesting story. Many
are not so interesting. Either way, collecting has always been fun.
Who knows, maybe someday my kids will enjoy them the same.
Here’s a few with more to follow…
was walking out of old Milwaukee County Stadium after a game. We would
always hang around after the game and goof off (we didn’t have anywhere
to be and we loved being around the park). I spotted Todd in
plainclothes walking to a cab. We approached him and kindly asked for
his autograph. Todd was holding a big cup of beer. So, he says to my
brother, “hold this” and hands him the cup of beer. Then proceeds to
sign our baseballs.
What a cool dude. He’s always been one of my favorite hitters.
This guy is so cool…I’m stoked he’s on my team. During the 1999
season, he was wearing my Brewers floppy hat at County Stadium for
about 20 minutes during Batting Practice. It all started when I asked
him if we could trade hats. I wanted his gamer hat for my collection.
He tossed his hat up in the bleachers to me and said, “if my hat fits
you, you can have it.” I tried it on and it barely fit on half my
head. He said, “see, I’ve got a pinhead!” I tossed his hat back to
him and he signed a baseball for me instead.
One cool dude.
met him when the All Star Game came to Milwaukee in 2002. He was doing
“The Best Damn Sports Show” right behind my right field bleacher seats.
he best known for being married to Roseanne? Whatever the reason, he
was cordial to me the day he signed the baseball pictured below.
was standing above the Phillies dugout at County Stadium when he popped
out. I asked him if he had time to sign a baseball. He said, “when I
finish warming up.” Now, I’ve heard this a million times before.
That’s a nice way to say not right now I hope you forget.
Well, about 30 minutes later, he comes running off the field toward
me. When he gets about 15 feet from me, he puts up his hands as if to
say, toss your baseball here.
He was a man of his word.
More to come…
I apologize for the lack of blogging the last few days…I’ve changed shifts at work so there was a slight adjustment. Now, let’s forget that-and get down to business.
This is the story (rumor) I’ve been waiting for. I hope it’s not another hot stove whisper. I hope this one’s for real (sorry Kaybee).
ATTN: BASEBALL GODS-Please make this happen. Please?
I’ve been a good fan…really, I have!
But, before I get too down so soon after I was so high up…
This guy needs to come to Milwaukee. Give him his two year deal and let’s get this thing done, already!
GM Melvin states Hoffman will probably know where he’s playing by later today (WED.)
I know Hoffman has three boys and is from California…BUT…
Milwaukee’s a pretty decent place. Just ask Jake Peavy, err…not really.
We’ve got a winning team and we can guarantee Trevor will be our closer.
I hope this is not another case of driving up the price just to sign with another team-like the Dodgers.
Besides, the Dodgers already have a closer-Jonathan Broxton (you know, the big fella with the really big **** and tight pants).
I could get used to seeing this in Milwaukee…