After a day of getting shutout, I was really looking forward to this game, and was definitely determined to get good numbers today. Just warning you guys now, this is gonna be a long entry, so go grab that beer right now. After not having a real ballhawking day after 3 weeks, it felt good to see everyone, and just get back into it.
Just to make you hungry, here was my lunch a few hours before the game at work.
I ran into this guy with his family in the parking lot who was one of the first people who I saw with a Zoltan shirt, but this one is by far my favorite. We chatted for a bit about ballhawking and stuff, real nice family.
This was outside one of the places in PNC Park. I wanna say Dominics, but I could be wrong! All the things!
Once I got down to the ballpark, I said my hellos to everyone, and Erik, Nick, and I had a good catching session going down on the Allegheny Landing.
We then played this pitching game, which I couldn’t throw a strike to save my life, but I digress.
But it was time to go to work.
We all rushed in as usual, and it was go time. I’ve struck up a solid friendship with Jason Grilli throughout the season. Once I saw him, I asked him how his Italian sausage was, and he wasn’t too impressed. My hopes weren’t that high with ballpark food, especially PNC’s. I think he appreciated the gesture either way. I asked him for a ball, and he was asking me all about ballhawking. I told him we’re all in a competition on http://www.mygameballs.com, and he didn’t “want to have a favorite” He was wondering why we love the balls so much, and stuff of that nature. He was telling me I need to get better like Erik and Nick. He told me a bit of stuff about his career, and how he didn’t pitch good in Colorado. He said he truly loves Pittsburgh, and that’s awesome to hear. I really hope he stays with us, because he’s a good pitcher more importantly, a really good dude otherwise. While he was lecturing me, he made an example out of me while he hooked up everyone else. I did miss out on a few balls while I was talking to him, but that’s A okay. He’s a cool dude, and has awesome advice.
I kind of played the left field corner until 5:30, because once the clock strikes 5:30, the LF bleachers get as crowded as a Sunday, and it’s fairly hard to get a ball. I would kind of just wait around for a ball to come my way, and Jason Grilli got a ball, and I just help up my glove, and it bounced off a kid’s glove right into mine. I was on the board for Ball #1! I gave the ball to one of the two kids, and not even 5 minutes later the Dad hands me the ball back, saying, “He has enough”. Whatever.
I would stay over in the left field corner for the Marlins to hit one down the line, and what would you know I got one! I got a nice ground rule double off the bat of John Buck. Ball #2!
I ran over to CF once 5:30 rolled around, and it was like BP wasn’t even going on. The Marlins didn’t toss anything up, and this was my view for the Marlins BP. Absolute boredom. I would end up with 2 balls.
I would make my way over to my seats, and the Pirates/USPS honored late Willie “Pops” Stargell with a commemorative stamp. His family was there was well for the unveiling. I’ll be sure to get a book of these or whatever. He is definitely one of the greats.
This is his family at home plate for the unveiling.
Here is Carlos Zambrano on his way back to the dugout after getting pulled. Pittsburgh really let him have it. Never have I heard much more booing.
On the polar opposite, here is AJ Burnett getting pulled to a standing ovation.
Here is the Buccos raising the Jolly Roger!
My Mother and I were on our way back to our car leaving before the fireworks started, because I don’t know about you guys, but I’m so over fireworks. I swear to god, every two weeks I’m seeing fireworks. It’s definitely lost it’s “cool” factor for me. But here are pictures on Federal Street where we stopped to look for a bit. They look cooler outside the stadium.
I would go home, and go right to bed. I had to be at work at 5 the next morning. Let me tell you how fun that was…
Stay tuned for the Cubs series!