Pirates vs Houston Astros 7/3 & 7/5 PNC Park
We’re going to start with the things that disgust me about PNC Park first so I don’t forget. Despite it being two games I attended, it was three games, so you get three things that disgust me.
#1 is the America’s Past time video. The guy is so annoying and it is on every game with no variation. It admits we strikeout and the even when the Pirates lose it talks about coming off of a win. Even bringing back something like the battleship animation where at least the teams changed each series is fine. It almost makes me miss the Pirate on the jumbotron that had that cool intro.
#2 Spiderwebs by the bullpen area. For a park that is so huge on cleanliness, you would think the area right in front of command post would always be taken care of. Nope. A couple of series ago there was this big spiderweb. Add that to the bee problem and the clear bug problem and it is a little gross. I ate a couple of slices of Diamond Pizza and put the plate down for 10 minutes during a game and when I looked back down, the plate was full of bugs. I’m glad I finished that pizza.
#3 goes to the Hunt Auction area. I love collecting things in general, baseballs, media guides, programs, ticket stubs, whatever. Hunt Auctions is really the only place where as the commercial says you can take home a part of the game. Game used baseballs in cubes at $25 are rather reasonable but otherwise these prices are ridiculous. $100 for the Mother’s Day lineup card? $65 for a signed Clint Hurdle baseball? $100 for a signed McCutchen baseball? $425 for a signed Derek Jeter baseball? These prices need to be much more reasonable if you really want fans to feel a part of the game.
Tuesday was a downish day since there was no Pirates BP. Snagging opportunities were kind of gone until around 5:30 to begin with as the relievers are tired of tossing baseballs up to us ballhawks.
So I had some time to snap pictures and enjoy myself for a little bit.
When 5:30 came, I got my first ball after the Silverio’s and Euclides Rojas were done throwing. I was on the third base side, and Rojas threw the ball. My glove was off for some reason and I had just beat Kansas City ballhawk Leiming down the steps despite not going as fast as I wanted. The catch was a barehanded one with my left hand for ball #1.
That sadly was it for BP on this day but at least I avoided the shutout which is easier said than done.
My day was not done yet though as I prepared for A.J. Burnett to do battle with Lucas Harrell.
Rojas would help me once more tossing another one up that I grabbed this time barehanded with my right hand. My hands were great today, I could have been on the Allstate All Hands Team today.
The Pirates won once again. Here are a few more pics:
It was once again very hot and I knew there would be BP as the Pirates were trying to go for the sweep, but with Carlos Lee gone to the Marlins, I expected both teams to have a tame BP.
I definitely was right on the Pirates end although I got a bit of help.
Euclides Rojas threw me either a duck or a slight knuckleball but no matter, it was ball #1 on the day.
Shortly after Herbie Andrade saw me at the wall and threw me ball #2.
That was it for me during Pirates BP as I have been working the foul pole lately in a change of strategy just to see different things.
At 5:30 I went over to the first base side where Wandy Rodriguez was throwing and when he was done he threw me ball #3. It was a little off but I was able to catch it.
Ball #4 involved a good amount of luck.
A guy was playing the spot I normally do and a batted ball bounced right to him. He had no glove and the ball deflected out of his hands right to me for career snag #350. Right place, right time and I of course gave him back the ball. He was grateful and let me play the spot although it didn’t work out for me.
I also ran into Javier Bracamonte again and went over my motion with him to his nods of approval.
Those were all of the baseballs I snagged at this game. Four has been the magic number for me lately.
Then I saw a tweet from the Pirates that changed the night.
So after ballhawk Ian Weir got some food and generously got me a burger, we went up to the Bowtie Bar a couple of minutes later thinking the tickets were gone but figured it was worth a try.
So after a nice walk, here we were.
So a nice walk inside and we took in the surroundings.
Why you ask, because I had to catch the T after and this was the wait on both sides.
Fortunately one came the shorter way and everyone flocked to it. I did not want to be a sardine so I waited and took the long way. At least I got to see Heinz Field.
The week wasn’t over though. I skipped Saturday and Sunday due to heat and activities but braves 105 degree heat index for Friday’s game against the Giants. How would I do? You’ll have to read the next entry to find out.