I’m skipping DAY 6 for now because I want that day to be the “grand finale.”
You’ll know what I mean when I post that day because it was an amazing freakin’ day.
But, anyway, on ahead to DAY 7-the last day of our trip.
The Brewers were playing the White Sox @ Maryvale Park at 12:05 pm.
I arrived nice and early and made this day geared a bit more for autographs and pictures since I hadn’t really grabbed too many sigs on this trip.
I watched the AAA team take some batting practice in the morning. It was a good chance for me to take an up close and personal look at some of our future stars. I’ve been reading all about them for awhile now, but this was fun to actually see them in action.
The aforementioned Alcides Escobar was hitting and lined one down the left field line. It rolled far enough foul and close enough to the fence where I was standing that it trickled right out of an open gate and into my waiting mitt. I was on the board.
The gates opened at 10:35 am but it didn’t matter because there was no BP. Again!! What the hell people??? BP is half the fun…throw me a bone, willya??
Anyway, the game started at 12:05 pm and I took my post in left field on the grass berm.
Nothing happened during the game that’s worth writing about. After the game ended, I again headed down to where the umpires exit the field.
Home plate umpire Cory Blaser and his crew were walking off the field when I yelled out to him, “Cory, Cory Blaser. Can I get a baseball, please?” Without hesitation, he grabbed a game ball out of his pouch and tossed it to me.
Cory Blaser then tossed one to a 12 year old kid standing next to me. The kid muffed the catch (probably because he was too cool to bring his glove to the park) and it ricocheted right to me. I grabbed it but handed it over to the kid because I had already gotten mine.
I counted this baseball toward my stats because I was the first fan to obtain possession of it…a longtime ballhawk rule of mine.
Our trip was over.
But, stay tuned for DAY 6 which I have chosen to do last. Check it out and you’ll know why!
- 1 BP ball (Pacific Coast League baseball)
- 2 ump game balls
3 baseballs total 4/02/09
+ 1 baseball 3/31/09
+ 10 baseballs 3/30/09
+ 3 baseballs 3/29/09
+ 9 baseballs 3/28/09
+ 6 baseballs 3/27/09
32 baseballs (6 days)
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
- 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)