Pirates vs St. Louis Cardinals 4/20-4/22 PNC Park

Well I tried to post the first Cardinals game once before, but things timed out on me, so I just decided to do a brief recap on each of the games in this series.

Unfortunately my computer was not on its best behavior, so pictures will be uploaded later.

Friday April 20th:

Wow a Friday April game, what are the odds? With Nick in Mexico, this was my chance to show that I am a force and that PNC Park is becoming my neck of the woods.

Here is a running total on what I snagged:

1. Easter egg found in Bleacher GA Section.

2. Toss up LF by Pirates Bullpen Catcher Heberto Andrade

3. Toss up LF from long distance by Cardinals coach John Mabry.

4. Toss up Victor Marte. Asked for in Spanish. Someone tried to make fun of the Spanish and when I snagged the bal he tried to threaten me. I laughed and kept walking.

5. Easter egg in CF and the most scuffed up baseball I have ever snagged.

6. Hit ball I got in CF right after the Easter Egg.

7. A toss up from Adam Wainwright. Jose Oquendo the third base coach was blocking Wainwright’s side so I was hoping to get his attention but him and Wainwright both had to field balls at the same time. Wainwright first heard the right field fans, but none of them satisfied him because they didn’t have Cardinals stuff on. Worked out for me in the end.

8. Toss up Chris Maloney the first base coach by the Cardinals dugout after BP.

Misplayed a couple of others or else I would have had double digits for the first time. Still eight was great and the snagging high of the day.

The Pirates lost the game 4-1 and the offense again appeared anemic.

Saturday April 21:

It rained hard all day it was cold to add to it all. I was at the Point Park Softball games earlier that day and it was cold and rainy and I then went to this game. I knew my streak was in jeopardy and that was confirmed with BP being cancelled. Here was how I did.

1. Toss up J.C. Romero. Romero saw my gear and also when his throwing partner Victor Marte nearly threw one into the seat. I was half going for the ball but also saw Romero had a chance to topple over and I helped support him.

2. Toss up Dyar Miller. He was throwing with reliever Marc Rzepczynski and gave me a toss up.

3. Found Rzerczynski. Many Cardinals tried to land their tosses in the upper deck and I found this one in the Pittsburgh Baseball Club.

4. Toss up Euclides Rojas. This was the ball A.J. Burnett used to warm up. It was Burnett used in the bullpen just prior to making his first start in a Pirates uniform.

I would have had more but wasn’t first into the third base side as I had to change gear. Erik benefitted or else I could have ended up with double digits again.

Burnett’s first start with the Pirates ended in a 2-0 victory and Pirates fans had a lot to cheer about.

Sunday April 22

Well once again the gates open 1/2 an hour later and there is no season ticket time, so this day stunk big time. The Pirates finished throwing and the Cardinals had wrapped up their session well before the gates opened for us.

Just to make things even better, both teams threw balls into the seats, but ushers were pocketing balls. Ushers were told during their yearly orientations that they were not allowed to pocket baseballs like they were able to in the past. This put my streak on the line again. Here is how I fared though.

1. Found baseball section 144- Erik and I braved today’s handicaps and I saw a ball go in right field that he missed. I went into the section I knew it was in and saw it was missing. I saw the usher who asked what I was looking for, and of course when I responded I quickly found out that he pocketed the basebll. He tried to act innocent but hey that was proof there that will not be tolerated.

2. Thrown ball from Herbie Andrade- Meant for a child. Had hand out in same place I always do and caught it/gave it to the child.

3. Toss up by Home Plate Umpire Mike DiMuro- It was Buc Day and many tickets and food items were a dollar. Erik gave me a ticket for section 124. The section right below it is 24 which is where the umpires enter and exit. I was able to get down there in plenty of time and get one of the two baseballs given out. Assist to Erik Jabs.

The Pirates lost the game and series 5-1.

Before I end this post I would like to give a couple of shoutouts:

1. There was a PNC Park Supervisor I met on April 20 that was very nice and we got to talk for 10 minutes. He said he reads my blog and had nothing but nice things to say. It was great to see his support and it is a part of why I keep writing.

2. To Erik Jabs for the help he gave me. He was leaving the ballpark and gave me that ticket for section 124 which helped out big time.

3. To Sara Guffey and Kelsey Robertson from the PPU Softball Team. The whole reason I went to the game was to do an interview with Kelsey for the school paper. Just doing an interview in the ballpark was cool and it was nice to sit down for a change.

12 Comments

You’re really cleaning up this year. It looks like top ten is a sure possibility for you as you are going right now. Two things, though:
1. Is it true that PNC Park ticket holders can bring guests into the ballpark? Todd Cook told me this, and if it is the case, I would just buy a regular ticket and not have to got through the extreme hassle of finding a season ticket.
2. This is just a suggestion, but I would say that even if you write three entries at a time like you did here, I would publish one and then keep the other two in my back pocket to publish later on. I completely understand wanting to publish them right away, but I would say it’s probably a better idea to wait and use them up later on, because people might not want to read three entries at a time and it also shortens the gaps between posts.
-Mateo

http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

1. Season ticket holders can bring a guest or two so you would have to get one of us to get you in if you got a regular ticket.

2. I would have spread them out Mateo, however the home stand starts today and I was way behind due to finals, so in this circumstance I had no choice but to publish these all today. I still have an entry or two I can use in my back pocket once pictures act up or I am bored.

1. Would you be willing to bring me in the day of Ballhawk Fest, and the game prior? I don’t want to intrude on your ground, but I would also like to be able to be inside the ballpark as long as I possibly can.

2. What I meant is saving the finished entries as drafts and then just waiting a day or two to actually publish the entry itself. What this would mean is finishing the entries like you have now, but instead of clicking the “publish” button, you would simply click the “save draft” button and then all you would have to do is click the “publish button after a few days, so there wouldn’t be a drought while you were going to games and working on other entries. Sorry about that; I probably didn’t explain myself well enough, but it seems like you’re busy, so I’ll leave you alone with all my commentary.

See the issue I have with #1 is that all of the ballhawks will be asking us, and I have to be fair with everyone. I am unsure how things will go on that day, but we’ll see.

I have to say, I enjoy your blog. It’s actually up there with Zack and Mateo’s as the one I read most often. But, on your MGB profile, you seem to act like you’ve created the rules to the Ballhawk League. Who cares if a home run was tossed up by a player? It is still a game ball. It’s not like someone bought it off a website and then “counts” it. By saying a gameball doesn’t count if it’s a toss-up, and now making statements that people are using inflated ball counts, is sour grapes to me. If you really wanted to get technical, then most of your balls, which are toss-ups, shouldn’t count by ballhawking standards.

I’m not trying to be crass, but I see a great deal of jealousy among certain ballhawks.

In looking at the MGB page, I’m guessing you’re referring to a certain ballhawk who has about 60 or so balls in a few games.

Mike,

I appreciate the reads. To be honest, I apologize if I ome off that way on MGB, but there is a fake ballhawker on there that lies about his numbers and many more who don’t understand what a game ball is.

I am not the only Pittsburgh ballhawk that feels that way, I just tend to express how I feel. Toss ups do count but they are not game balls, and I do not mark them accordingly. A toss up counts as a ball snagged, but people say that because it was a home run baseball that was tossed up to them it is an official game ball. It was caught during the game, but because you did not catch it on the fly or in a scrum, then it does not count.

Game balls are hard to get since they have to be home runs, foul balls or ground rule doubles. It is very hard to get a game ball which is why I am saddened that ballhawks do not attribute them properly. Third out balls are just like toss ups as well.

I am by no means jealous, and I support the other ballhawks as long as they do things properly. In fact, I was really happy to see Zack snag that Ibanez home run. I like that he is honest about game balls and understands how rare getting them is.

As for the guessing game, I am not going to name names, but it is obvious who the guilty culprit is. It is by no means jealousy but even someone close to him admits that he lies about his numbers. I will leave it at that.

Anyways Mike, I truly appreciate your support and concerns, and hope you will continue to read my blog when it is updated soon.

Hey man. No harm meant with my post. Although, it probably does come off that way. I do agree with what should be constituted as a game ball vs. a toss-up. I do enjoy your blog, and actually am waiting for you to post your more recent games you’ve attended. While I’m not a ballhawk in the sense that you all are, I certainly don’t mind getting a ball at the games I attend.

Do you think there should be a set of rules made to specifiy what counts and what doesn’t? Like a Ballhawk League Guide? The whole idea of something counting or not can be fishy too. I know Zack has not counted a ball before, because someone handed it to him, but someone else may count it. My own opinion is if you buy it off MLB Authentics, then it shouldn’t count, but if a person/usher/player hands you a ball, then by all means, count it.

The person you speak of, I know you don’t want to get into specifics, but it seems like they had a monster day at another park, and it seemed suspect, but pictures were posted. Of course, if we are talking about the same person, I do agree with you.

Anyways, keep up the great work both on the blog and field.

Mike,

No not a problem at all. I appreciate all thoughts as this is not just my blog but others as well.

I started my job earlier this week so I will be updating more games tomorrow.

There should be clear rules of what counts and what doesn’t. There was the BHL founded by Erik Jabs but he determined that mygameballs erases that purpose. It should be clear because so many abuse it. For instance tonight, there were two home runs that landed by the bullpen. If I had caught either it would have been a game home run but just a toss up and not a game ball. Again, it is hard to get a game ball and cheapening it ruins the true excitement when you snag a gamer.

The proven phony lied once again about his PNC Park stats tonight, which shouldn’t be a surprise. His “12″ actually are three and maybe a couple more.

Where did Mike’s comment go? I have it saved if you want to re-post it somehow. Also, do you think the Friday game before Ballhawk Fest will sell-out, because I was just going to wait until the Stubhub prices dropped below face value, or buy it at the box office the day of the game if that doesn’t happen.
-Mateo

http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

Mateo,

I think I have it up. The Friday, I expect 25,000 fans there so now sellout. Stubhub adds ridiculous costs though so I would try elsewhere unless the price is really low to be honest with you.

Yeah, now I see both of his comments. Thanks for the insight. I am trying at all costs to avoid Stubhub, and would be getting a LF seat, so the only way I’m buying there if there is no sellout would be if those seats are at $7 on Stubhub. Also, I actually thought you were talking about someone else in your conversation with Mike. All I’ll say is that there is a VERY good chance ,based on my the word of yourself and other ballhawks, there may be two undeserving ballhawks in the top-10.
-Mateo

http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

I can tell you both, without hesitation, that I was at a Phillies game last year, and one hawk said he got a ball tossed at the dugout to him by Herbie Andrade. This is definitely false, as Herbie had 1 ball in his hand, and threw it to me on his way in to the clubhouse. I’m sure it happens more than we realize.

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