Sometimes it’s rough being a baseball fan. I had only had tickets to one game for the whole month of July and that just wouldn’t do. After I unexpectedly got hooked up on the first, I just had tickets for the 25th. Until I found tickets on StubHub for 2 bucks a piece so I picked them up. After Monday and what has happened all season with Jay Bruce, I decided to start up with what I had been considering for a couple years: Start up my hat and jersey collection. The previous night I went out and bought a new Mets hat and a K-Rod Mets jersey shirt. I wasn’t really expecting anything to come of it, but I thought why not? I was planning on starting up a collection of MLB gear anyway, and since the Reds and their players aren’t supportive of their die-hard fans I decided to start up on the gear switching and this was as good a time as any.
As usual, I got to the park early for the BP tour. After the game Monday night I was pretty sure I saw another ballhawk from out of town that I recognized from Zack’s blog, so I got on the Twitter and asked him. Sure enough, it was Benny Bang Bang and was going to be in town for the Mets series. Once he showed up at about 4:25, we pulled him to the front with us GABP regular balhawks was got ready to roll. We all looked for eggs, and honestly I don’t remember if they found any or not. I know I didn’t and mygameballs.com isn’t loading for me right now to check. If y’all read this you can post a correction for me.
I was roaming between 145 and 146 for righties and occasionally I wandered to 144 for the lefties but since Ben was with us and he was camped out there, I let him have it. Gotta be gracious hosts, right? Now I just need him to return the favor when I go to New York next season. If I could put up half the numbers he put up at this game, I’d be happy. Not too long after we got in, I got my first ball of the day. I was down in the first row looking for eggs when Drew Stubbs made a jumping catch at the wall. Before he had a chance to throw it back in, I asked him for it and he looked up at me for a second, and to my surprise he threw it up to me.
And that was it for me with the Reds on the field. I know Ben caught at least one homer on the fly, but really the Reds were pretty tame, as usual. A little bit before the Mets took over I saw a friend so I changed my gear and talked to her for the first half of Mets BP. I could have caught one other homer on the fly, but I didn’t care. The time spent hanging out with her was worth it. I tried to get someone from the Mets to throw me a ball, but I didn’t know who it was so he shot me down. And sure enough, the girl I was standing next to just said hi to the guy and he threw her a ball. Like I told her, a pretty girl like herself can get a baseball anytime she wants, us vermin of the bleachers have to work for ours.
While we were down in the front row, Manny Acosta started running in the outfield. I thought he was Willie Harris, but Rocco thought it was Manny, so I took his word for it since I didn’t have as much time to study the opposing players as he did. After he finished up his running and started shagging, I told Katelyn I was gonna get her a ball from Snoop Dogg. The first ball he caught, I yelled out “Manny!” and before I could say anything else, he rifled it to me. It was kind of a special ball for me since it broke my record for toss-ups in a game but I immediately handed it over.
After that, she left and I wandered over to deep right for the show that the Mets lefties were putting on Monday night. I guess they used all their energy then, because it wasn’t nearly as impressive. I had a couple close calls, and on one I would have caught but a couple pitches before some people came into my row and I had to move up a couple rows. Of course it landed in the row I just left, but I was fine with it. After BP we got a photo together and went on our separate ways.
I started out sitting on the third base side but the ushers must not have been having a good day because we got kicked out fast. This turned out to be my view from the game
If you click it to go full-view, you can see Ben in the bright orange above the Dodge sign. Really though, this game sucked from a Reds perspective. The highlight of the game was the bald eagle flying in from center field… Yeah. I don’t know what to say about it. Just for kicks, I figured I’d take a picture of Ben from the other side of the field for the blog. And here he is, at 7:30. Keepin’ your head in the game I see. The blue arrow is pointing at him for those unable to figure out what I’m talking about.
And then, half an hour later…
Still playin’ with that freakin’ phone. A couple minutes after I took that picture one of the Reds batters hit a foul ball over in my direction, ended up landing about 15 rows below me. Other than that… Nothing really happened. Stats time?
- Ben 12, Mets 8, Rocco 6, Mike 2, Reds 2
- 28 balls on the season for a 1.87 average
- 49 lifetime balls for a .69 average
- 45 balls since 2009 fora 1.10 average
- 3 game streak of at least 1 ball
- 1 game streak of 2 or more balls
- 0 for 0 in OTF chances, 10 for 21 on the season for a .476 OTF%
- 16 for 33 lifetime in OTF chances for a .484 OTF%
And something new I’m keeping track of, kinda like how Zack was comparing his balls to hits before he shattered the 4256 mark. I’ll do balls to homers and OTF% to slugging %
- 49 balls is right there with Yorvit Torrealba, Ryan Raburn, Yadier Molina, and Eric Munson. I gotta hurry up and pass that up… Hate being listed with Molina.
- .484 OTF% is connected to Fred Lynn and his slugging %.