Pirates vs Miami Marlins 7/21 PNC Park

Finally a Saturday 7:05 game, which meant BP. About time, I hate Fox ruining Saturdays for me.

It also meant I got to go to the first base side for once which was nice.

I came in when the ballhawks already were deep into their throwing session and had were doing situation pitching. I of course came in cold and proceeded to walk the batter on four pitches, but whatever.

Upon getting to the first base side, I checked the second area and then ran down just as Jared Hughes was picked up a ball. One sinker later and I had ball #1.

He ended up moving to centerfield and Tony Watson who has thrown me a few balls, was walking towards me.

“Could you do me a favor,” he asked.

“Yeah, what do you need,” I replied.

“If you throw this water bottle away, I will get you a baseball,” I said.

Honestly would have thrown it away even if there was no baseball involved.

He tossed me the bottle and I took care of it.

As I threw it away, I heard, “here comes your ball now”.

The toss was high, but I reached the glove up high for ball #2.

That was it for Pirates BP.

Although I did have a nice conversation with Euclides Rojas.

“How was school,” he asked.

“School was fine. Now I have about a couple of months before I start though. I am doing an internship now though,” I replied.

“Great,” he said. “What do you go to school for?”

“I go for journalism, and I really am learning a lot,” was my reply back.

It was awesome talking to Euclides about something other than baseball.

When they ran off the field. I saw Marlins coach Randy St. Clare and my buddy from back in Cleveland Jeff Urgelles who hooked me up with the Marlins Park commemorative ball.

While both them and I waited for the pitchers to come over, I decided to work on my pitching.

Urgelles saw my motion and much like when the Astros were in town, it led to conversation.

“Is that your curveball,” he asked.

“Yeah it is,” I replied.

He then gave me a couple of pointers on it, and it made sense. This is the second time I have had the opportunity to talk to a coach just based on throwing and I think that is cool. Just learning from people who catch professional pitchers and their various pitches on a daily basis is just an awesome opportunity.

When Marlins BP came, I waited for an overthrow from the pitchers and that never happened. Although I did get to the bottom of one mystery.

Remember how in yesterday’s entry I got a ball from a mystery Marlins lefty who threw a ball into the 300 level? I had asssumed it was Mike Dunn and when I saw him, I decided to ask him.

“Mike, was that you who threw that ball all the way up there (point) yesterday. It was a great toss up, and I ran up and found the ball,” I said.

“Honestly, that wasn’t me,” he said.

“Must have been Randy then, right” I replied.

“Yeah it was Randy,” was the answer.

Randy was Randy Choate. Choate is in his 11th season in the Majors, and thru Sunday’s game had a 2.19 ERA. Glad I got to the bottom of that mystery. Thanks Mike and Randy.

Ball #3 meanwhile came in a weird way. I was waiting for Anibal Sanchez to finish throwing and Jose Reyes was taking cuts. All of a sudden, I here a loud boom and a ball was rolling hard to me. I gloved it and was confused. I initially thought a kid threw a ball up and lost it. So when I got it, my first question was naturally, who dropped it. It was then that I was informed the ball was hit. Not a commemorative baseball however and the Marlins hitters did not appear to be using any.

Ball #4 came shortly after from Sanchez. Urgelles was giving Sanchez pointers on the release point of a pitch and then he looked for a glove. He found mine and threw it. It was a Marlins commemorative baseball.

That was it for Marlins BP. I tried for a dugout toss up but it didn’t workout.

While I waited by the bullpen here were some pictures I took:

The slow moving, stupidity and just oblivious nature. This one’s for you.

I would get a fifth ball from Euclides Rojas which was a low toss up. He must have been in a good mood, because the other three balls he had were tossed up as well.

Another highlight was my buddy Randy Page/Big Yellow being on Baseball Quiz. He embarassed us all by stating the 1979 team was his favorite team only to pick a choice that was eliminated first.

He did take the box and would win a signed Kevin Correia jersey.

The Pirates made Randy wait a while though scoring four runs without registering a hit. Randy was “Bedarded” and any Pirates fan knows that’s a reference to Bedard taking forever among other things.

The Pirates would win and continue to be a hot team.

Lastly the thing that disgusts me today are “fans” who come to the game wearing Penguins or Steelers clothing. You are at a BASEBALL game. Please dress for the occasion or don’t come to the game. Better yet for all of us true fans, leave now so you are first in line for Steelers Training Camp which starts Wednesday.

6 Comments

Nice, 5 balls is great! Keep up the great work Zac. Glad you also got another Marlins Park ball.
-Quinn

Saw Dunn get into an argument with a guy right next to me (during Marlins BP) that same day you talked to him. It was kind of funny. A guy who looked about 30-40 years old (I could tell he was not a ballhawk) asked for the ball by saying “Give me that dude” and when Dunn proceeded to give it to a little kid, the guy and Dunn started to argue.

Zach, I’m not a ballhawk, I’m from Wheeling, W.V. My son and I are huge Pirate fans and have attended 5 games together this year. My son and I love to come early for BP and he has always been fortunate to leave with a ball. I came across your blog and I had a question that you might be able to answer for me. At our last game I purchased a game used ball for him at what I remember was called Hunt’s auction. Do you know the name of the website to reveal who the ball was hit by. If you would happen to know it would be appreciated. Thanks

Art,

I am a little confused as to what you are asking to be honest. Did the ball just say that it was used in a specific game? I am unsure if Hunt Auctions has the item listed on their website to see who hit it or if the ball was just game used. Unfortunately this is something I don’t know.

Glad to hear that you and your son make the drive from West Virginia to cheer on the Pirates and hopefully you’ll be able to make trips throughout October. Let’s go Bucs!

Zach the ball that I got for my son had a Sticker with a code on it and she mentioned a website where you can find out whom it was hit by but I totally forgot . Guess I’ll have to wait tip we head up again. I promised my son if the Pirates make the playoffs this year that I would definitely take him. I don’t want to jump the gun but things are lookin pretty good. If things go well and the Pirates do reach the playoffs would you have any access to extra tickets when the time comes. I’d be willing to spend extra money due to their limited availability. Feel free to reply or Email if the time comes. Keep with the good work it would be nice to see all of the other guys do the same for a really good cause

Probably the MLB Authenticed website regarding your first point Art.

Regarding tickets, I should have access and more and more people are asking me by the day.

Thank you for the kind words, and it would be great to meet you at the ballpark.

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