Pirates vs Arizona Diamondbacks 6/8/11 PNC Park

 Considering how I nearly melted the game before, I came a little later and got the second spot in line.

 I did not have a ticket though, and Erik Jabs gave me his spare which saved me from having to get one. In turn, I gave him my second spot in line. He would lead the pack as Baseball Joe does not run for baseballs.

 What none of us counted on, were Season Ticket Holders getting the chance to come in earlier and scoop up balls in left and on the field. I found nothing, but Erik got one in the left most section, which was abandoned.

 The Pirates once again hit nothing out, and Joel Hanrahan gave three balls to two children and someone else.

 Rewinding the tape a little bit, I wrote a letter to Joel asking him to help out for charity, more on this in the next entry.

 The Pirates left and things stunk. It was hot and the Pirates stopped hitting a few minutes earlier.

 The Diamondbacks hit right away and I put back on the purple Under Armour. A ball quickly came onto the warning track and sat, and Pitching Coach Charles Nagy came over. Erik, Nick Pelescak and I were all in on it, but I was the only one who knew his first name, and he rewarded me with ball number 1.

 

 I was hoping that this would be the start of something, but the few more minutes I stayed in left, I got nothing. No balls were found in center and right and I kept leaving areas at the wrong time.

 Because of the heat, the D-Backs left after only two groups. I was stuck on one ball, but considering the circumstances was quite pleased. I was banking on getting a couple more at this game, but it never worked out.

 I went by the bullpen to watch friends Zach Duke and Paul Maholm warm up and nothing came out of it.

 I was given free PBC tickets again tonight thanks to my buddies at SongWhale, and sat back and relaxed content with my one. My body is thanking me, but I have to think that I would have caught a toss up.

 The game was exciting but Jose Veras ruined my chances of leaving with an umpire ball extending the game. I had to leave with the outcome of the game very much in question, and it was an exciting game as Andrew McCutchen hit a walkoff to end it.

  I was at today’s game and I took a huge risk by going as Pirates BP was indoors and rain was quite possible. Will make for an interesting entry.

 Lastly, I have some big news. Paul and Joanne, the creative geniuses behind buccozone.com have enjoyed reading some of my work, and have asked me to write articles for their website. I have accepted, as I love going on the site regularly, and will meet them Saturday. I will let you know how that goes later

 Ok that is truly it. Tomorrow I will be at another Bucco game and will have the entry up on tonight’s game. Trust me, you do not want to miss it.

Pirates vs Arizona Diamondbacks 6/7/11 PNC Park

 I got to this game early, and was nursing a sore hip. I was second in line behind Baseball Joe. All of the main ballhawks were present as well for this game which we all knew would be light in attendance.

 I ran in searching for Easter Eggs, and there were none to be found, so I moved on. Apparently, the Pirates did not, as not one ball while we were in there got into the seats. Even Matt Diaz who does hit them into the seats could help us out.

 So Pirates BP ended, and the Pirates tossed a couple up, but all but one of them went to this little kid, who between him and his father kept hurting our ballhawking numbers.

 I was unable to get any luck in left, so with 5:30 fast approaching, I decided to search the center field seats. There, I found ball number 1 lying in section 139.

 I then saw an unknown Diamondbacks player taking cuts, and he hit a couple of sharp cuts into center field. They were retrieved by their bullpen catcher Jeff Motuzas. I had on my old school Diamondbacks purple Under Armour on and I asked Motuzas for the ball. He inspected the first and then a second was hit to him as if it was karma that I was going to get the ball. Sure enough, Jeff tossed me up one of the balls, for ball number 2. These two snags continued the streak now at 27 straight games with a baseball.

 Both of these baseballs took two minutes tops to get, and thus when I went into right, I thought there was still a chance that I could get a baseball. So I was searching, and was not finding anything.

 Then two ushers who are not usually in right told both myself and Ian Weir that there was a ball there, I was surprised, and before Ian had a chance to react, I ran. The usher guided me to the ball, which was well hidden and I picked it up for ball number 3. I thanked the ushers and talked to them about my charity operation. Who knows what it may lead to, but perhaps a couple more baseballs could be in my future.

 I then headed over to first base, as the Diamondbacks were not hitting as many bombs as I would have expected. I set up shop, and nothing was hit foul ball wise either.

 So when Melvin Mora came to sign autographs I went over knowing it would go to charity. However, I did not get him.

 Still a bigger prize came over in Diamondbacks skipper Kirk Gibson. Every baseball fan knows that Gibson was involved in one of baseball’s most memorable moments hitting a home run against the seemingly unstoppable Dennis Eckersley while pretty much on one foot. It was his only at-bat of the series, and willed his team to win the World Series.

 Anyways, I had Gibson sign one of my baseballs and was happy as I will likely sell the baseball for my charity operation.

 I decided to stay in foul territory, and there were no foul balls hit. Still I was rewarded. Willie Bloomquist, scopped up a baseball, and three people stuck up their gloves. Two were teenagers not wearing anything near to D-Back colors, they maybe had white on. The third was me, and my old school purple. Bloomquist rewarded the dude in purple, arching a perfect throw over their heads and right into my glove for ball number 4. This is him signing autographs.

 I then played the dugout for tossups, but got nothing out of it. So I went to SongWhale and then won an upgrade to the PBC, and stood there for most of the game.

 I just missed out on a t-shirt, a foul ball because I was eating cashews and the hot dog toss never came close.

 I stayed until the end of the game, and failed to get a tossup from the umpires.

Pirates vs Philadelphia Phillies 6/4 PNC Park

 I went to this game very early, and placed my bag down a little after two. The interesting thing was that upon walking on the Clemente Bridge, I saw Andrew McCutchen and we walked side by side. He tuned everything out as he was blaring rap music and using oversized headphones.

 I then checked out the five tents that would be used for PhotoFest, and caught up with some familiar faces. I then decided to go in the line containing Herbie Andrade and Evan Meek, and was the first in line.

 I then drank some water, lathered on some sunscreen and talked it out with those in line. The players and coaches came out a couple of minutes late, and Evan Meek was not there. We were all confused, but I found out that he was getting treatment for his injuries. Still I was there as much for Herbie as I was for Evan. Herbie loves me and knows/recognizes him and I love him as well (you know what I mean).

 I stepped up and shook hands with Ray Searage, Matt Diaz and Herbie who immediately said his usual, “What’s up Papi” to me. I should have given him one of my charity fliers, but I am sure that I will do this at some point this week.

 I then moved on to the tent containing my second favorite coach Euclides Rojas. He was with Paul Maholm and Gregg Ritchie. Euclides was seated futher away from us which was kind of weird. Still the photo turned out quite well.

 I then went over to see Jeff Karstens, Jeff Banister and Mark Strittmatter. Karstens had that great start last night.  Karstens gave me the biggest smile I have seen from him and when I thanked them all,  Banister was the only one who responded.

 My favorite group was the one containing Jose Ascanio, Jose Tabata, Luis Silverio and Brandon Wood. The line was the second longest behind the Clint Hurdle, Kevin Correia, Pedro Ciriaco and Nick Leyva line, but it was so worth it. I got my picture taken with them and then thanked them all in Spanish, and they all went “ooooohhh!!” They were surprised that I knew Spanish and used my Spanish accent to roll the r in gracias. They then replied back with Silverio being the loudest. They had the biggest smiles on their faces. The fact that someone spoke their familiar language seem to loosen them up.

 I did miss the Hurdle group but to make up for it, I got interviewed by my buddy Joe Klimchak, the in-game host at the ballpark. Hopefully the interview is a part of their package which goes online. Joe was talking to someone and pointed me out, saying I was a “great interview” and always “good for a quote”. Unlike Pirates Quiz in 2008, I was ready.

 He asked me about my PhotoFest experience, and I said I was using optimal strategy hitting the least crowded lines and then working my way to the heavier lines. I then said that much like the crowd, the Hurdle line looked sold out. I then made my mark by saying the Meatloaf said it best when he said four outta five ‘aint bad and it drew laughs from Joe and all around. Joe then thanked me, and I got ready for the next half hour.

 I lined up for a photo with Joel Hanrahan, Daniel McCutchen and Chris Snyder. Snyder never smiles and I am convinced that Joel hates me. I was going to give him my flier about what I am doing for charity, but I kinda wanted to give it him with someone with me. It never materialized but at least he gave me his biggest smile.

 I then got into a crowded line with Ronny Cedeno, Xavier Paul and Daniel Moskos. It would be my first time meeting Moskos and Paul, so it was nice to make some small talk.

 The Neil Walker, Lyle Overbay and James McDonald line was huge for obvious reasons. I have posed with Walker before and neither Overbay nor McDonald were smiling, so I skipped that line as well as the Andrew McCutchen line which was ridiculously crowded.

 I took my final picture with Josh Harrison, Garrett Jones and Jose Veras before taking some pics of the Cutch line and moving into line to get set for the game.

I was sent a text that the Pirates would be doing indoor BP, although shortly before the start of the game, that was retracted and 10 minutes before I was to go in verified. We would get to see all of the groups hit.

 Nick Pelescak would not be at this game, as he was getting married. Congratulations are in order to both him and his wife Lauren, and I wish nothing but the best for both them and their children.

 Continuing with the entry, it would be just Erik and myself today, and I would find no Easter Eggs upon looking around. Interestingly enough, right after I came off the second deck, a ball was hit by an unknown Pirates off the steps and it rolled right to me, where I trapped it for ball number 1.

 There was not anything being hit into left field so I concentrated my efforts on getting the warm up ball from Paul Maholm who was warming up in the bullpen. As he exited the bullpen, he gave me ball number 2.

 I was the victim of bad luck as the bounces were not going my way, so I tried to go up the steps but the ushers were blocking the area. I would have to play the waiting game, and suck it up for a few more minutes and I would lose out on more scrums.

 Finally the cost was clear and I went to the dugout area. The reason why I went was that I needed to get Andrew McCutchen to sign a baseball so that I could get a $36 donation for charity.

 It ended up becoming more than that though. As Pirates BP ended, Pirates Head Trainer Brad Henderson had a baseball right by the dugout he had just picked up, and I was the only one there, so I got that for ball number 3.

 I then was trying to locate Cutch, and in the process randomly put my hand up. A couple of Pirates saw my hand and tossed me baseballs. One was caught for ball number 4, and the other was bobbled but I recovered for ball number 5. I then saw Cutch go a different way than what I expected so I changed gears and was the only one by where he came. He seemed to tune me out, but I finished my request regardless and he heard it and saw that I was the only one there, so he signed and then left.

 I tried to get some more signatures from both teams and failed, so I went over to try and get an overthrow from the Phillies but in the few minutes I was there, got nothing.

 Then I looked at the time and realized that I had six minutes to run from the right field foul pole all the way around the stadium and around the rotunda walkway onto the Riverwalk and right field. I tried right field for Easter Eggs, but found nothing. I got all kinds of unlucky during Phillies BP. Just nothing was coming my way.

 So I called it a wrap for BP and walked around the concourse and saw that Pirates Charities was doing another raffle this time for assorted items from a Kids Basket to a signed Neil Walker lithograph. I of course lost again, one of these days I will emerge victorious though.

 I was by the bullpen and talked to Herbie again and waved/said hi to Evan but with Phillies fans crowding the bullpen had no chance for any tossups.

 I lost out on the first Cutch tossup and actually sat down for most of the game, as it was just hard to move much. The second was meant for me, and I think he recognized me and I had the ball measured up in my glove, but a Phillies fan put his hand on my glove and got it. Normally I would think that it was intentional, but the guy was cool and it was just an honest mistake.

 I did not have any other opportunities later in the game so five was what I ended up with.

 It was nice to lead the cheers for the Pirates in the ninth inning. The Phillies fans in center tried to stir things up, but I got things started for the Pirates and we quieted them.

 The Pirates won in front of a crowd of 39,411 PNC Park’s biggest ever.

  My next game will be Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. They are a hot team right now, so we shall see what they can do.

Pirates vs Philadelphia Phillies 6/3 PNC Park

 Pictures will come later as I have to get to today’s game in a couple of hours, and thus I will not have enough time for the photos yet.

 I came to the ballpark a little earlier than normal, as the Arts Festival was Downtown and I was worried that I would get caught in traffic. Still I was second in line behind Nick Pelescak who was already in the area. Baseball Joe was nowhere to be found.

 I decided to play the river before the gates opened and ended up with nothing. I then got back in line and prepared to go into the ballpark.

 Because of the crowd which was over 33,000, the Pirates used a second ticket scanner when the gates opened. Nick entered the first one, which meant I had no choice but to enter the second one. Erik went right behind Nick. I meanwhile was not moving. Why? My ticket would not scan. This was just not cool, and countless fans passed me, and I was upset. The guy told me to wait five seconds but it was at least another two minutes. It felt like an eternity.

 I then raced to the outfield, and quickly searched the second deck and came up empty handed. I was concerned, as the people who pledged money for each ball I snag would start pledging today and I wanted to get off to a good start. I out of frustration checked the lower level, and was quite surprised by my findings. Erik and Nick must not have searched well as I found ball numbers 1 and 2. I asked Erik if he checked and he said no. I then looked and found ball number 3 two rows right behind him. I was surprised by this one as well, and this was my best start of the season. I then talked to Nick who seemed surprised that I found them.

 Joel Hanrahan is still not throwing us ballhawks baseballs. Pirates BP ended without me ending anything else.

 Phillies BP started right away, and not much came out. By the way, Ryan Howard is a terrible BP hitter. Anyways, the one Phillies player in left field was not tossing up anything even though baseballs were bouncing to the warning track.

 Luckily there was another Phillies player in left and when a ball landed in the North Side Notch, I asked Dane Sardinha for the tossup, and he underhanded me ball number 4. It was a great start to the day and there was still a ton of BP to be had.

 I tried to go between getting signatures and getting baseballs, and unfortunately got shut out the rest of the way. The Phillies were not hitting many out, and although they tossed a few up, I was not close to any of them.

 A little sad, I figured four baseballs with this crowd was pretty commendable. I then went to section 117 where I spent most of my time and talked to many of the Pirate Wives including Charlie Morton’s. They were holding a raffle for Pirates photos signed with the players and their dog. I tried to win but unfortunately being that I never win those kinds of things, I of course lost.

 I went by the bullpen to talk to a buddy of mine, and we always joke around with each other, and all of a sudden I saw a baseball come up. It was intended for a girl and was thrown by Phillies reliever J.C. Romero. I was momentarily confused, it was late in the game and the outcome of the game was much in question. The ball started rolling down and I told them I would get it. I knew it would count as my snag, and also I wanted to make sure it didn’t make it all of the way down so someone else could get it. I caught up to it well before it reached the bottom for ball number 5. I then gave the ball to the intended person, and her friend seemed surprised I did that.

 As for the game Jeff Karstens definitely impressed me showing some moxy and personality on the mound. He kept us in the game.

Cole Hamels was pitching a gem for Philly, so good on Andrew McCutchen for getting the team’s only couple of hits against him.

 Xavier Paul stealing second base in the decisive inning won us the game. Jose Tabata’s seeing eye single helped, and he was so excited. He has been slumping and I think no one would have been as grateful as Tabata.

 

PhotoFest is today, so I am quite excited for that. I just hope I do not get caught up in the Arts traffic. Should be quite an interesting an exhausting day and with Charlie Morton on the mound, I would expect the Jolly Roger to be raised.

What I liked about yesterday afternoon’s Pirates game

Well that certainly was a tough loss yesterday. Hopefully the Pirates will learn something from this and come back home tonight and defeat the Phillies. Here is what I did like from the game.

1. Xavier Paul- Paul had a great series and was a huge reason why the Pirates stole three bases in the game. He is hitting .306 since joining the team, and that triple in the ninth almost was enough to come back against the Mets.

2. Neil Walker- Walker is known to foul all kinds of pitches off a la Freddy Sanchez. Walker has much more pop in his bat that Sanchez ever did though, and that homer yesterday proves that. He does need to get more RBI at home, but Walker is a force on the road.

3. Josh Harrison’s at-bat in the ninth inning- Yes it was an out, but you have to look at the small things. Harrison went down 0-2 after fouling off two pitches. Many hitters just decide to waive the white flag at this point, but not Harrison. He knew the pitcher on the mound can get quite wild, and a couple of pitches that many guys on this team would have reached for became ball one and ball two. It was made even more impressive when the next batter in the lineup Andrew McCutchen fished for a ball that barely crossed the plate for a strikeout. Harrison is impressing me more by the day, and even though the at-bat was an out, he proved that patience can go a long way.

Cole Hamels will be pitching for the Phillies tonight as he takes on Jeff Karstens. Should make for an interesting game, and the crowd should be fairly large for the entire series.

What I liked about tonight’s Pirates game

 There was quite a bit to like about tonight’s victory against the New York Mets, a victory which assures another road series split.

1. Kevin Correia: Kevin Correia once again pitched his butt off. The team waited until the last possible minute to support him, but it was enough for him to earn his eighth victory. He is truly a road warrior, and his start gave the starters 13 consecutive starts with two runs or less allowed.

 2. Jose Ascanio: Is still inconsistent, but liked the way he closed the game. He should have been gone a while ago, but his off speed stuff looked good tonight.

 3. Winning on the road: This was the Pirates 17th road win of the season, equaling the amount they won all of last season. Good for this team to show that they can compete, and make believers out of some fans.

 4. McCutchen bounceback- After foolishly hacking at knucklers last night, Andrew McCutchen came to play tonight. Baseball is all about short memory. Whether you went 0 for 8 or 8 for 8, the next day has a new game and a clean slate.

5. McCutchen web gem- What a play by Andrew McCutchen in the first inning. It ended the inning with a bang. People are calling it the catch of the year, and I would disagree. It does not beat the Roger Bernadina catch, but its importance is quite huge.

 6. Xavier Paul web gem- Daniel Moskos came in with two outs in the eighth inning, and the fly ball came to Paul who stepped forward and misjudged the play. Fortunately he ran and dove towards the wall to make the catch. If he does not make web gems tonight, then ESPN really does hate the Pirates. Kept the momentum on the Pirates side.

 7. Do the hustle- The Pirates legged out a ton of infield hits and the Mets infield did help, but Jose Tabata in particular legging out a play that normally would be a double play was huge. Andrew McCutchen was benched earlier in the season for not hustling, and it is a lesson learned, as the team is legging out everything.

 It will be interesting to see if the Pirates can win the road series tomorrow afternoon. They definitely have taken the wind out of Mets fan’s sails over the past two games.

What impressed me about last night’s Pirates game

 The Pirates won a game which for a good while looked like a loss cause. Here is what I liked about the game.

1. Josh Harrison- Brandon Wood has been a bust as of late at the third base position, after a good first impression with the club. Harrison became a call-up earlier this week and after another Wood fail, Harrison got his first chance last night, and rewarded the team. His first Major League hit and RBI, have him quickly becoming a cult favorite and he is a gutsy player going from first to second base after a throw and a bang bang play. Hopefully Harrison can keep it going and furthermore not be an abhoration.

2. Evan Meek- The contribution Meek made may go unnoticed. The box score did not though and Meek got his first Major League win of the season. A great start after the illness and injuries that plagued Meek’s season thus far. Meek’s velocity hit 94 which is a good sign as well. With his ERA now under 5, here’s to hoping that the 2010 version of Evan Meek will be back.

3. James McDonald- A rough first inning, but after that pitched well. The no-decision he got was not what he deserved, but the Pirates just had no answer for R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball for a good while. McDonald is making many forget about his rough start to the season.

4. Jose Vera’s nasty curve- Did you see that pitch that Jose Veras threw? It was just nasty. Once the Pirates took the lead the team had a fire about them. Veras has been a reliable option in the bullpen and that pitch has been his highlight on the mound.

5. The comeback- Again other then Dusty Brown and Josh Harrison, the Pirates just were not figuring out the knuckleball. Andrew McCutchen just looked foolish up at the plate. Still, this game was a perfect reason of why you do not give up. These young hitters possess a fire that helps them stay competitive, and in the late innings, the Pirates clearly wanted to win more than the Mets, and that is what they did.

 The Pirates with the win also got road win #16 after only 17 all of last season. If they can keep winning, then they will be a factor. Kevin Correia looks to be doing well thus far tonight, and the Pirates bats once again woke up in the seventh inning due to tons of infield hits and some shody Mets defense. I will have a similar entry like this for tonight’s game.

Plans for June

Here are the games I plan on attending in June. These are subject to change.

Friday June 3 vs Phillies

Saturday June 4 vs Phillies

Tuesday June 7 vs D-Backs

Wednesday June 8 vs D-Backs

Thursday June 9 vs D-Backs

Friday June 10 vs Mets

Saturday June 11 vs Mets

Monday June 13 vs Mets (work depending)

Monday June 20 vs Orioles (work depending)

Tuesday June 21 vs Orioles

Saturday June 25 vs Red Sox

A lot of games this month, but with interleague, things will get quite exciting. With my potential job, things could get quite demanding physically, but with Ballhawking 2011 Proudly Supporting The Children’s Institute officially underway on June 3, things could get quite interesting quite fast. Also will make for a lot of interesting posts but with works and less down time, recaps could end up taking a little while longer.

Ballhawking 2011 Proudly Supporting The Children’s Institute Update

 Some big news about my charity operation. I have been given another one time donation. This donation is the biggest amount of money that I have received to date, and is only contingent on myself snagging a baseball and getting it signed by Andrew McCutchen. This may or may not prove to be hard.

 Also, the interview I had with Matt Shetler of Sports Haze Pittsburgh on Tuesday was made into an article which came out yesterday and is entitled Pittsburgh Pirates fan going to bat for a worthy cause. What follows is an exact transcription of the article.

“In today’s age of sports, where so much attention is paid to high-priced athletes running afoul with the law, the good stories tend to go unnoticed at times. We tend to put more stock these days into professional athletes’ Twitter accounts then noticing when a truly good story comes around.

That’s not the case in Pittsburgh, where a young fan is trying to do something very special.

That fan is 19-year old Zac Weiss and his crusade is a special one.

That crusade is entitled “Ball Hawking 2011, Proudly Supporting the Children’s Institute.”

The concept sounds simple. The results though could be remarkable; especially coming from someone only 19 years of age.

“Basically, I try and get to the stadium as early as possible,” said Weiss, a die-hard Pirates fan who is in his third season as a partial season ticket holder. “Then I just try and get as many balls as possible.”

 To date, Weiss, who graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School and is currently enrolled at Point Park University, has collected over 100 baseballs using a variety of techniques. He has hung out in the outfield chasing down home run balls during batting practice. He also has worked both dugouts during warmups. You can even catch him hanging out by the bullpens trying to get players to throw him a ball.

Watching Weiss attempt to do his thing during a recent game against the Atlanta Braves, I also realized that there may be some strategy involved in what he’s attempting to do. While hanging down by the Braves dugout I noticed him donning the familiar red and blue colors of the visiting Braves.

As he made his way to the Pirates dugout, Weiss changed shirts and was now in the more familiar black and gold he would normally wear to a Pirates game.

 “I noticed that visiting players tend to pay more attention to the fans wearing their colors,” added Weiss. “I just attempt to blend in and catch their attention.”

Most of these ball hawkers get a bad rep from stadium to stadium around the major leagues. Most of us have all been in a spot to take home a souvenir, only to see some ball hawker come along and swipe it away. What separates Weiss from the rest is what he’s doing with the balls.

 Weiss doesn’t take the balls home to hang on his wall. He doesn’t sell them to put money in his pocket. Instead, what he’s doing is quite commendable.

Every ball that Weiss collects at games gets auctioned off, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to The Children’s Institute.

“I consider myself to be a good person,” said Weiss. “I looked at what I am doing and I asked myself how I could help others by doing this. A lot of people hate people like myself that go around catching baseballs, but I always make a point to give back to children.”

If you’re not familiar with The Children’s Institute, it’s a charity that helps kids that may be behind or lacking certain skills. They also reach out to help children that are in real need of help. It’s an institution that Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is also firmly behind.

It wasn’t very difficult for Weiss to select The Children’s Institute as the beneficiary of his work, since Weiss himself has a close tie to the institution, having attended there as a child.

“I went to The Children’s Institute once a week when I was in Kindergarten, as I was well behind my age group in terms of motor skills,” added Weiss. “They helped me with smiles on their faces and it made me more confident then. It is a big part of the person that I have become today, and that is why I am inspired to do this.”

Weiss has had many of the balls autographed, which are also being auctioned off. To date, he has balls signed from Tim Lincecum, Adam Wainwright, Ubaldo Jimenez, Billy Wagner, Matt Garza, Ryan Braun, Colby Rasmus, Todd Helton, Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez, among others.

Not only does Weiss auction off balls, you can also find programs and equipment items, both signed and unsigned.

The Pirates have also been helpful to Weiss. He has spoken to Kiere Bulls, the team’s assistant equipment manager, who has offered to donate some equipment to the cause.

Hurdle is also involved in his “Wins for Kids” campaign, which also benefits The Children’s Institute.

“I am hoping to speak with him in an effort to communicate my cause and potentially collaborate with him,” said Weiss. “I really want to join forces with him and hopefully even help each other out. The Children’s Institute is a great non-profit that does so much for children, and I commend them for that, I just hope others realize that they cannot do it all alone, and thus will need people’s help.”

Who said one kid can’t make a difference? Weiss is sure trying to do his part.

If interested in bidding on some of his items, you can do so by email at yngzc@yahoo.com. You can also keep up to date with his progress by visiting his webpage.”

 All in all, it was a great article and being a journalist, I know how long the article took as well.

 I also have heard nothing regarding meeting with Clint Hurdle, but I know what to do to try and fix that. Please help support this initiative as it all goes to a great cause, and I cannot do this alone.

Favorite catches from the past couple home stands

 Earlier this week, I realized that after last home stand I did not post an entry with my favorite catches, so this post accounts for last two home stands. Here are my favorite catches:

1. Clayton Kershaw May 10- It was the second of a four game series against the Dodgers. Was going to try and go to dugout to get some signatures and try to get a baseball, but I found a ball on the field and it was out of reach, especially when the policeman is right around the area. When the Dodgers finished BP, Kershaw slowly rolled me the ball. It seems like an ordinary play, but I had to box out others and Kershaw is a star in the Bigs.

2. Jerry Sands May 11- Jerry Sands ignored us the entire home stand, so when he handed me the baseball for ball number 99 of my career it meant a lot. I was the only one he ever gave a ball to. Since then, he may be the hottest Dodger outside of Matt Kemp. This is living proof that when you give me a baseball, good things happen to you.

3. 100th May 11- Next ball after the Sands gift, and it was just lying there in center. Nothing much too it, but it was a year and a month of hard work, and 100 baseballs later, it is something remarkable.

4. Garrett Jones May 21- Garrett Jones threw me a toss up in the second inning. It was the first time that I had ever snagged a Jones toss up.

5. Usain Bolt May 24- I ran from the Pirates bullpen all the way past the left field foul pole to get a hit baseball. It took seconds and it was a tough sprint as the ballhawks were all after it. I was well behind all of them and I was quite pleased with the catch.

6. Commemorative time May 24-The Braves were using Angels commemoratives and I was quite pleased with this as I ended up getting one in a scrum. I got injured on it, but it was worth it. It still hurts and it likely will be a few days.

 Signatures:

Wandy Rodriguez

Matt Kemp

Clint Hurdle

Jose Veras

Lyle Overbay

Season Stats

Total Balls 43
Games Attended 13
Average Per Game 3.31

Most Balls in One Game 8
Average Competition Factor 58,485
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