Pirates v Royals: June 8th, 2012 @ PNC Park

This would be my first day ballhawking, and I couldn’t be more excited. My friend Brendon and I got to the stadium around 5, and got straight in. I was under the impression that it opened for STH’s at 5, but according to a fellow ballhawk, it was changed to 4:30, oh well. I was a little bummed out, but I wasn’t about to let that stop me from getting a ball. Live and learn right? Another handicap I had against me was the fact that it was so packed. Way more packed than it was on Saturday for sure.

I would run around the left field bleachers for about 10 minutes, until I would have a decent shot at a ball. All of a sudden, Casey McGehee would smack one to deep left. It would smack off the bleachers, and roll into the concourse. I put on the jets. Another fan and I would be sprinting up the steps. I don’t think I’ve ran that fast since my gym class, but I wasn’t about to let this one get away. I did a fatboy roll over one of metal bar things, almost had it in my glove on the bounce, but then grab the ball on the second bounce for Ball #1!

I felt bad for the other fan who wanted it, but I wasn’t about to let a homerun get away, especially my first ball. We knocked over a garbage can, and one of the concession workers would say, “Don’t hurt yourself! It’s just a baseball!” Just a baseball… This is where I’m rolling my eyes.

I would have a my second chance at a ball in the front row of the left field bleachers. I’m not even sure who hit it, it was a Royal, but there is a bit of a story behind this one. I struck up a conversation with some guy who kept insulting ballhawks who were changing into the opposite team’s gear. To get back on track, he has been coming to games for 15 years, and never got a ball. It landed right next to me, and I easily could have robbed him, but I figured he would have beat me up, or something, so I wasn’t about to fight that. I was definitely happy for him.

My second ball would be a piece of cake. I was in direct left field, trying to get a tossup. Humberto Quintero hit a nice line drive to left, and I called out Alex Gordon for it, and he happily obliged for Ball #2! I have a great story regarding Humberto Quintero that happened the next day. Stay tuned for that!

I would make my way over to the right field seats for the 5:30 opening in hopes of Easter Eggs. There were a few close calls that went over center field gates that I would have easily gotten if I was near the gate, oh well. I sadly wouldn’t find any Easter Eggs, but I did have some luck on my side. I befriended a fellow ballhawk who has been ballhawking before I was born. He has over 1,500 balls. His name is Harold, and he has gray hair, he’s very friendly, so I’d suggest striking up a conversation with him! He definitely knows what he’s talking about, he only grabs home runs. He would give me a few tips about right field on how not get really hurt running around the Clemente Wall.

As we was in line for the gate opening Brendon and I would get into a conversation with an Uncle and his niece. This was her first game, and we just BS’d about Pittsburgh, and stuff of that nature. I had my hands on a home run into the stands that I would give to him. As I had my hand on it, he was like “It’s for my niece.” I didn’t even realize it was him, and I felt real bad about it. She ended up with two balls, so I don’t feel that bad. 😉 I would get my last ball of the day from Luis Mendoza. I’m not sure who hit this ball, but it was a line drive that rolled to the wall. I would kindly ask for a tossup, and he would give it to me for my final ball for the day which would be Ball #3!

I will be putting pictures in the blog after Saturday’s game. These were just my first few games, and I was just worried about getting balls.

Fun Facts:
Game: 3
Season: 3

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