MMXIII

Hey everyone.

Welcome to 2013.

2013 has been absolutely life changing thus far. My Dad has been cured from his lung cancer, and I’ve lost 40 pounds.

Since I’ve talked to you guys last, my Dad had his surgery to remove 3 ribs, and his tumor.

Image

I’ve also lost 40 lbs since December.

I’m primarily writing this entry to give you guys my goals for 2013 regarding ballhawking.

1. Go to 6 new stadiums. (Great American Ballpark, Miller Park, US Cellular Field, Progressive Field, Camden Yards, and Nationals Park)

I have a trip scheduled with Erik for April 5th-7th that will hit those first 3 I listed, but I’m sure I’ll be hitting the rest this summer.

2. Beat Zac Weiss’ single season record of 228 balls.

I’m very determined with this goal. I want to be in the Top 10 on MyGameBalls this season, and I want to be a threat to the rest of the ballhawks. I’m gonna be going to at least 60 games, so I think this is very attainable.

3. Stay healthy.

I’m gonna need this to get all my other goals done, so this just has to happen.

4. My on the fly catches.

I think this will be better this season, because I’m not too bad at catching. Last season I was just testing to see what worked. I want the majority of my balls to be on the fly catches.

5. Stay focused during BP.

It’s hard to get out of focus during BP, and I know I need to stay focused to get my 228 ball goal. Can’t talk as much to everyone either.

Thanks for reading this, and I’m gonna try to update this sorta regularly.

Peace.

I’m alive.

Hey everyone.

Clearly, I haven’t been very active on this. I’m not gonna make excuses, I just didn’t feel like doing this anymore. I really don’t have the time between hanging out and sleeping. (I do a lot of sleeping) I promise to be a bit more active next season, but I’m gonna be doing a lot stuff on here throughout the offseason.

 

This season ballhawking was absolutely amazing, and I met some people I truly consider to be great friends. It’s really crazy what kind of connections you make with people after being at the ballpark day after day. But, I just wanted to give some individual shoutouts to some people who made this year awesome.

 

Erik- Where can I start? You were the reason I started ballhawking, and you’ve taught me a lot about ballhawking, and stuff. It was absolutely awesome ballhawking with the person’s who blog who got me into this awesome hobby. Congrats on your second child.

 

Zac- Man, you dougie hard man. Your life is literally sports, and it’s amazing how much of a work ethnic you have. Hopefully you’ll be back next season. If not, you’ll be chasing something way different than baseballs, your dream. Good luck pal.

 

Rick- I had fun with you this summer dude. I hope you don’t move down Florida, because you’re the man. I can’t believe you sat in that park every game, all game long. Thanks for hooking me up with tickets. I’m forever grateful.

 

Ian- Finally someone who shares the same music tastes as I except for Shawn B. Keep it real man. It was fun throwing with you and Harold. Have a good offseason, and hopefully your eBay sales pick up.

 

Nick- I’ve never seen someone get into the zone as much as you do. You’re a really good dude, and I hope to do some road trips with you and Erik next season. Have a good offseason with your kids.

 

Mateo- First off, you’re an excellent writer. You have a lot of ambition, and I hope to ballhawk with you at some point next season. I absolutely love your blog. Thanks for all the tips throughout the season.

 

Shawn B- Where do I start with you? I love your music, and you’re a elite ballhawk. I hope to ballhawk with you next season. We’ll hang out for sure. You’re a good dude. Thanks for everything you’ve done this season.

 

It’s been a rough end of the season, and a rough offseason thus far taking care of my Dad. If you haven’t heard my Dad was diagnosed with Stage 3 Lung Cancer on September 16th, 2012. He finished his last chemo session yesterday, and he’s gonna have surgery next month or January. He may have chemo after the surgery, then he’ll be cancer free. Very fortunate. If you’re gonna be in the Pittsburgh area sometime in the spring, I’m thinking of having a softball tournament to raise money for lung cancer or something of the sort. Just saying.

 

Now for ballhawking, I finished the year with 67 balls, a game high of 6 balls, 3 games of 5 or more balls, and a 10 game streak of at least 1 ball. My average ended at a 2.48. I had 4 clean catches on the year. (I know this isn’t much to a lot, but it is to me, so yeah) They were Denard Span, David Freese, Ryan Ludwick, and an unknown Brewer.

 

For my ball totals, I counted a ball too I probably shouldn’t have counted, and didn’t count some I should have, so I’m sticking to 67. I’m gonna be laying out my goals sometime in the offseason for next season.

 

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Pirates v Marlins; July 21st, 2012

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!

Pirates v Marlins: July 20th, 2012

Today would be an awful weather day, and I’ll be straight up. I got shutout. There would be no BP, and it would just straight up suck.

When I got to the park, I found Ian sitting at a table for Diamond Pizza to stay dry. I was glad I at least found someone, so I wouldn’t have to go through this alone. Harold would soon show up, then Zac soon after. Erik Jabs (a regular at PNC, one of the best ballhawks in the land) went to Cleveland, and did awesome, as we did not.

Once gates opened, we ran in to find a typical rain delay. No cage, tarp, and no players.

Ian, Zac, and I dediced to just goof around, and take some pictures.

The PNC staff were messing with the scoreboard, and got a derp picture of Tim Neverett and (my favorite) Bob Walk.

Soon after, we saw a pair of kids playing catch, which one was rumored to be Rod Barajas’ kid. Whatever.

Ian ended up getting a ball off of one of those kids, and it was a little bit of a conspiracy that Zac came up with. I’ve heard that you don’t count balls that aren’t staff of ballparks or MLB related people. I don’t know, I’ve saw people count kids. I’m counting baseballs I get. I’m never gonna get to the level Zack Hample is at, so I really don’t care.

Zac ended up getting a ball off a Marlin that threw it up to the 300 level, that was actually a commerative. So, I got left out in the cold. I ended up leaving, and driving Zac and his friend Colston to the Pittsburgh Power game across town.

I was pretty pissed off, not gonna lie, but it happens. Ballhawking is about having fun right? We did have a really fun day without BP.

Would my luck change at the next Marlins game? Stay tuned kiddos.

What I do between homestands, I have a life, I promise!

This will be the second part of this segment. This segment will be in between the Giants and Marlins series. I actually didn’t make it to the Saturday game of the Giants series since Matt and I were doing other things. Basically, all I’m gonna do is dump some pictures, and give some captions.

Matt and I took a trip to Splash Lagoon in Erie, PA on Saturday. If you’re not familar, it’s an indoor waterpark. It’s more kid friendly, so if you have kids I’d highly recommend it. We had more fun swimming in the lake. This is a picture on the way home, as we were on our way to my best friend Trevor’s grad party.

Matt and I went to Kennywood the next day. This is us on Garfield’s Adventure. We got the ride stuck, because they had the awesome idea of putting us both in the front. We’re both really big dudes, so it was pretty hilarious.

We visited the Carnegie Science Center hours before his plane took off, and the air guitar was pretty cool.

This is a picture of us right before he went through security. Excuse the dirt on my shirt. :p

It was really awesome meeting someone you’ve known for years, and finally actually physically seeing them.

More pictures!

I met Max and Rick at Hampton High School with Brendon to hit some baseballs. I sucked, but Max and Rick were hitting them left and right!

Trevor and I made our weekly (more like daily) trip to Denny’s. The iPhone 4S’ quality is absolutely astounding.

After games you can usually find me here. From left to right, it’s Trevor, Brendon, and Tyler. Brendon is trying to make a valid point I think. I’m usually here from 10 PM to 3:30 AM every night just about. Chilltown.

We’ve also dusted off this game. THE greatest game ever. We’ve been playing it nonstop the last few weeks.

One of my friends finally uploaded this picture from graduation. This picture from L-R is my friends Nasser, Me, Chris, Brendon, and Devin.

I finally got to visit my friend’s grave with Trevor. We finally found where he’s buried, and it was really nice to see him. Our friend Jimmy took his own life in December of 2010. Very sad, because he was just a good person all around. RIP.

Back when I was working at Kmart, we tried to load a table into someone’s SUV, and forgot the tile pops out of the table, and it shattered. Thought it was pretty funny.

This is kind of it. I’ll have the Marlins’ series up soon.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Pirates v Giants; July 6th, 2012

This entry is going to be a long one, and it’s going to be half Robbie’s life and half baseball. I hope that’s okay with you guys. Well, if you read my last entry you would know that my friend Matt would be coming in last night. We finally met around 12:45 AM. Matt and I have been friends since I was 15. Matt was born in Valparaiso, Indiana, but has since settled in Cape Coral, Florida. He’s a manager of Chick-Fil-A down there. Did I mention he’s 24? We met on Call of Duty 4 on PS3. I know how weird that sounds, but it happened. We always used to play a bunch of different games together, but in the last few years we’ve extended our friendship away from the PS3. We talk daily, and I would consider him a best friend. Easily one of the smartest people I know.

Matt and I would eat at the local Chick-Fil-A for lunch, and I would take him on a tour of the area. We proceeded to go up Mt. Washington, and it was actually my first time up there. As a native of Pittsburgh, I’m as shocked as you all are. I was a bit apprehensive of taking the incline up, because I’m pretty claustrophobic. I don’t do elevators at all. Last semester at SRU, I lived on the 4th floor, and I did the stairs everyday. My mother told me a few days later that the incline got stuck a few hours after we were on it. The thought of that just scares me.

We would then drive down to the North Shore, and get some Rita’s before I showed Matt what Pirates baseball is all about. 😉 We would then make our walk down Cedar Avenue, and we would then warm up. Baseball Joe and Matt would strike up a friendship, and we would wait until the gates opened in the hot hot hot weather. Did I mention it was hot?

Oh yeah, here’s a picture of Max and I. Wanted to get a picture, because this would be his last series in Pittsburgh for the summer. That kid is not 15, there is no way.

Well, we got in, and today was a really awesome day for BP. I think I should win the award for the coolest way to snag a baseball. The day before I asked extremely friendly Jason Grilli for a ball. He said, “Get me an Italian sausage.” I replied back with, “I can’t, tomorrow for sure.” He didn’t believe me, I could tell. Once Matt and I got to the gates I ran over to Dominic’s, and tried to get one. They didn’t have one. How crazy is that? I then went to the concession stand right under the LF bleachers, and they told me they couldn’t process payments until 5:30. I was a bit disappointed to say the least. Oh well. But what do you know, the concession guy COMES DOWN TO THE BLEACHERS WITH THE ITALIAN SAUSAGE. I was in absolute shock, but wait it gets better. I ask him how much I owe him, and he says some amount. I pull out my debit card, but then he just gave it to me for free. I then called over Jason Grilli, and the look on his face was priceless. Less than a minute later, he motioned for James McDonald to give him the ball he just shagged, and I was on the board for Ball #1! We then chatted for a bit, and we posed for this picture.

He is really one of my favorite players, and I really appreciate him taking the time to do all this. It’s nice to make such an awesome memory, because I know we both will never forget this.

My next opportunity would be a ball that would bounce into the upper bleachers. Rick, Erik, and I both ran up to get the ball. I want to say Rick came up with that ball, but something odd happened. I found a ball in the bleachers that I thought was that hit ball. I had Ball #2! It was very odd though, because I was convinced, but Erik told me otherwise. A ball is a ball right?

I would get shutout all of Giants BP, and it was extremely frustrating. There were literally 7 straight HR’s into the LF bleachers. It was really raining balls. I would be perfectly fine with two balls. I would end up giving the ball I found to Matt as a souvenir to take back to Florida.

I’m gonna dump a bunch of pictures of the game right now…

My friend Ryan was part of Disability Awareness night, and he is representing Best Buddies. An organization that is dedicated to forming one-on-one friendships with individuals with disabilities. I’m deeply involved with at SRU.

Matt and I look pretty dumb.

This is the view from our seats.

That’s about it. For all the ballhawks that met Matt, thanks for making him feel welcome. He really enjoyed Pittsburgh, and is strongly considering moving here. This is basically it for this entry; again I don’t have pictures of both balls together since I forgot to number them. 😦 Thanks for reading, and if we haven’t met please introduce yourself. I love meeting new people, especially readers! 🙂

Pirates v Astros; July 5th, 2012

Today would be one crazy day. Originally, I had plans to go to BP, then walk across the bridge into downtown to see “Annie” with my Mother, then after that, I would drive home to get my car, then pick my friend Matt up at the airport. I’ll talk about Matt in my next entry. Our meeting is pretty legendary to say the least. I won’t spoil too much, but I’ve known him since I was 15, and I’m 20 now. Try and process that one.

I tend to write these entries about two weeks late, so I forget a lot of the details.

Well, I was shut out all of Pirates BP. I had a lot of drops, and that was just beyond frustrating. That is something I’m really going to work on over the offseason is my catching. I really think I could be a Top 10 ballhawk on mygameballs next year if I could catch, because I plan on buying a full season plan for next season.

I would end up getting Ball #1 off a scrum in CF. I was told it was Brian Bogusevic. I was so relieved, because I was just getting really mad. There would be a string of righties off the Astros, so naturally I’d make my way over to LF. It was beyond crowded, and I was convinced I would only get one ball.

I would have my chance for another ball, but of course I would drop it. I asked this kid for the ball. I’m going to call him a kid, because he was acting like one, also I had no idea who he was.

He said something back to me, and I thought it was something normal like, “Sorry man, I can’t” or “I’m not allowed” According to some people in the front row he said, “Time for a new glove”. I don’t know. I’m not sure why people have to be so jerky about stuff. People seemed to be more pissed off than I was. Oh well.

Again, I would get my chance for another ball, and I screwed that one up as well. I had my infield glove on, and I feel if I had my new glove on I probably would have made the catch, but oh well. It literally bounced out of my glove. Lucas Harrell (I think) would flip me the ball, and that would be Ball #2.

Did I mention it was unbearably hot during BP?

I would actually go home to watch the game, then Matt and I would have a fun weekend ahead of us.

I’m not going to give pictures of balls for the next few games, because silly me forgot to number them, and I only have like 3 blank balls. I usually give a ball or two out at every game I go to if I’m in a good mood. If you doubt my totals, ask any ballhawk at PNC. I wouldn’t lie about something so silly. 🙂 (Besides, I’m not even that good!)

Thanks for reading these. I’m doing the rest after work tonight. I tried to get this one in as fast as I could, but I get distracted on Facebook pretty easily.