Category: Fenway Park

Lets Play Catch: July 7, 2015: Miami Marlins vs Red Sox @ Fenway Park

IMG_4892Summer baseball on a beautiful Tuesday in July. My day started out working and after I was headed to Fenway; it doesn’t get better than that. My dad dropped me off at the intersection of Brookline Ave and Lansdowne St and I walked down to Gate C. I was the first in line and the garage door wasn’t even open yet. Around 4:15pm, Red Sox nation workers came out and stamped our hands. The security guards put out sandwich boards telling the fans what to take out of their pockets. One of the guys behind me was very confused with the process because he thought they were just like the airport security check ins. He was all prepared to take off his shoes and his belts. When I showed him the signs he was relieved that he didn’t have to take off his belt because his pants would fall down without it. I also noticed on the IMG_4896_2board that the picture over shoes and jackets had a New Balance logo-ed shoe. It is the only one that had a logo on it. Red Sox are sponsored by New Balance and it brings you to wonder if they are promoting New Balance or not. At 4:40pm, my Dad and I went into the
ballpark. The Red Sox have been doing this thing where they pull the starting pitchers and relievers in after the first group of hitters finish their batting practice. Everything in that time phrase was either hit to left field or right field. Normally the coaches do not throw baseballs into the stands so getting a ball would have to come from the bat of one of the players. The second group came up and Mike Napoli was in the cage. I had my phone on video and in the video you can hear the fans react to the ball being caught.

I turned off the camera and before I knew it another ball was coming into the stands. I ran over and caught that one as well for my 2nd of the day. When Hanley came up in the cage the first one was coming at us to our right. It was high and I knew it was going to bounce off of the wall behind us. I turned around and watched it bounced off the wall. I didn’t have to move as the ball bounced off the wall and then right into my glove.

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Hanley wasn’t done with his show of power during batting practice. He hit another shot to centerfield. This time it was in the first row seats. I reached up and grabbed it. I was on my way to give a kid a ball when the ball was hit. I then gave the kid one of the balls I caught. Turns out it was the first ball that I caught. The second ball I got from Hanley had two star marks. One on the sweet spot and one near the Official MLB scripting. The ball was 4th of the day.

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Miami Marlins came out to do batting practice. Frank Menechino was giving Jordany Valdespin fielding off the monster and centerfield wall. A few were coming close to the wall so I moved into a good position to see if he would hit one over the wall by accident.  He hit one that looked like it was going to clear the wall, I moved to my left to make sure it was going over the wall. As it came in I reached up and caught it for my 5th of the day.

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Sam Dyson was in centerfield for BP and he came around near me a couple of times. People were talking to him from the monster and all around me. A ball had come right near where I was. The ball was too far over from the right and I ran out of room but I reached for it and missed it only by a little. Dyson told me I should of had that one and I told him I ran out of room to get it and then he told me to reach farther and I told him to get that one I would have needed a longer arm. A couple minutes went by and he came near me again but this time he had a ball in his hand instead of asking him, I asked him if he would like to make a bet. And he probably thought I was joking at first but he was down for it. So I ask him if I catch a ball of the bat of a player, can we play catch? Can we make that deal? And he said if you catch a ball of the bat it will be a deal. At this point I had been lucky with catching balls of the bat and happened to be in the right place at the right time. Of course my heart was going about 100x of the normal amount. I just made a bet with a baseball player. I’ve always wanted to toss with a professional player also and was on my Bucket List for this year’s season. After around five minutes of looking out at the batter I saw one ball start flying my way. As it was coming towards me I thought this is it this is it!! When the ball hit my glove, the excitement I felt was like no other. I looked down at Dyson and he knew I caught it and he was watching. The first thing he said to me was wow I didn’t think you were actually going to get the chance to catch one. I told him to be honest I didn’t think so either but it was worth the try. I gave my dad my phone so he could tape what was happening:

I was slightly nervous. I didn’t want to throw the ball away. That would have been awful. It was also weird throwing down from the centerfield wall. I got comfortable throwing by the end of it. The last 30s of the video is the best because I had gotten used to throwing by then. Mat Latos also came over and was talking to Dyson and I am still wondering what they were saying to each other. It was a great experience. At this point it was my sixth ball of the day. It was near the end of batting practice so when we were done tossing the ball around I went over to the #GiftOfTheSox machine. I won a phone cardholder and then I went to the dugout where I usually go.

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After batting practice, a batboy had a ball in his hand and I asked him nicely for the ball. He then tossed me the ball for my 7th of the day. The ball looked like it was rolled in mud.

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After batting practice Jose Fernandez was signing autographs after he went and talked to fans near home plate.

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Mo’ne Davis who was an American Little League Baseball pitcher from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania threw out the first pitch while her teammates watched around her. She was the first girl African-American girl to play in the Little League World Series and the first to earn a win and to pitch a shutout in Little League World Series history. She is also the first Little League baseball player to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a Little League player. Even after almost a year since she played in the Little League World Series, Davis is still having an impact in baseball. After the first pitch, Dustin Pedroia greeted her with the baseball.

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Before the game started Sam Dyson came over to me asking if I was looking for anyone. I had told him that the ball we played catch with was in my bag and if he could sign after the game. I told him I would be at the end of the dugout and to look for me. I then told him some of the players I was looking for and he tried to see if some of them would come over but no one did. The game was going to start soon so many player were already in game mode. During the game, Wade Miley was starting for the Red Sox and Dan Haren was starting for the Marlins.

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In the bottom of the second inning, Shane Victorino and Travis Shaw singled. With Victorino at third and Shaw at first, Ryan Hanigan singled, which allowed Victorino to score the first run of the ball game.

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Mookie Betts came up to bat and grounded into the inning ending double play. Michael Morse who was playing first base came over to the dugout with the ball and then tossed it to me, for my 8th ball of the day.

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In the top of the 3rd inning, the Marlins got a run of their own when Christian Yelich hit a single to center that allowed Cole Gillespie to score from second. Yelich advanced to third on the wild throw but was stranded on 3rd when Adeiny Hechavarria struck out to end the inning.

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In the top of the 7th inning, the Marlins took the lead when J.T. Realmuto doubled to centerfield and scored when Gillespie singled to right. The Marlins were not done scoring because Yelich doubled to center field, which allowed Gillespie to score giving the Marlins a 3-1 lead Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 5.16.13 PM

Junichi Tazawa replaced Miley and finished the inning

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The lead didn’t last long because the Red Sox would respond in the bottom of the 7th inning. Steven Cishek replaced Dan Haren on the mound. Cishek allowed a hit and walked another batter and Miguel Rojas had an error that gave the Red Sox the bases loaded for Brock Holt.

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Mike Dunn relieved Cishek and struck out Holt.

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Dunn then was relieved by Carter Capps who gave up a single to Xander Bogaerts, which allowed everyone to come home giving the Sox a 4-3 lead.

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The Sox never lost the lead as Koji Uehara pitched the 9th inning and got the save.

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At the end of the game Umpire Mike Everitt was handing out baseballs and I got one for my 9th baseball of the day. Sam Dyson also came from the bullpen and saw me and came over to me. I gave him the ball and pen and he signed it. I also wished him luck for the rest of the season.

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To check out the rest of the photos from this game on Facebook: July 7th Album

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GoPro Game Strong: July 11, 2014: St. Louis Cardinals vs Milwaukee Brewers @ Miller Park

IMG_4082Over the summer I was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was interning at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. While I was there, I would have to go to some baseball games at Miller Park. On a cloudy, Friday afternoon my aunts and I headed to the ballpark. Miller Park is viewable from the highway and is quite the tease. It looks so close but yet so far. As soon as we arrived I noticed people tail gaiting. Now being from the Boston area, you do not see people tail gaiting at Red Sox games. It just doesn’t happen and there is not enough room for that anywhere. But, at Miller Park there was. The parking lot was built for it. Plus the parking lots were all attached to Miller Park. You didn’t have to worry about driving around the area for a parking spot that may have cost less or more somewhere else. So I went into the gates. We were a tad late so when I got there I had to hurry and get in line and go in. They were also giving out t-shirts. I took one and went on my way. I had not been to the park for two years. So I was a little rusty finding my way around. When I entered the ballpark I was behind home plate. I then took the long way to the left field IMG_4087seats. When I got there it paid off. I had my GoPro on my head and I was ready for anything that came my way. The Cardinals were doing their batting practice. All of a sudden a ball was hit and it look like it was coming right at me. I quickly pressed record on the GoPro and the ball came in fast. I put my glove up and was in perfect position to grab the ball. There were 3 gloves going for the ball. I happened to be in the middle of the three. I stuck out my glove in front of the other two and caught the ball. One of my goals for the season was to catch a homerun ball during batting practice and get it on camera. I could check that one off the list. Here is the YouTube link for the video:

Batting Practice Home run Caught On Camera

After batting practice was over, I went over to the bullpen area to watch Joe Kelly warm up:

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He was the starting pitcher and I liked his style of pitching. I then headed up to Toyota Territory where Ballhawk Shawn was. He is a great guy and it was nice to meet him. I stayed there to see if I could possibly catch a homerun ball. I do not get many chances to be in the outfield since I stay around the dugouts. Joe Kelly was pitching for St. Louis and Yovani Gallardo was pitching for the Brewers. In between the first inning and the second inning, Ballhawk Shawn and I took a picture for the 2014 Photo Scavenger Hunt for myGameBalls.com:

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The two challenges for the picture were.

-You posing for a picture with a MGB member with more 1,000 baseballs where each of you are holding a baseball — 5 points

-Bonus #2 — a photo with an official myGameBalls.com Verifier — 2 points each

Thank you Shawn for taking the picture!

I was going for another challenge and I was planning this one out strategically: While standing in the front row immediately behind the dugout and facing the crowd, you holding a sign over your head that says in large print “Braun Was Framed!” or “ARod Was Framed!” — 9 points (10 Bonus points if the shot shows Braun batting in the background) I went to the dugout around the top of the second inning. I was planning on getting this in his second at bat. At this point the score was already 5-0 in favor of the Brewers. Braun popped on the on-deck circle and I knew it was about to happen. I asked a man sitting behind me if he could take a picture of the photo. I explained to him what it was for and he laughed and said all right:

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The photo is me holding a “Braun Was Framed!” sign while Braun was batting in the background. I got the 10 bonus points as well as the 9 for the photo. It was a solid 19 points for one photo. Braun ended up getting a triple during the at bat and also drove in a run to make the score 6-0, Brewers, in the bottom of the 2nd inning. During the 3rd inning, I went to go get cheese curds:

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While I was in Wisconsin, everywhere I went I got cheese curds. I was rating them on how they were everywhere I went. The cheese curds were great but for the price and how much they gave you it wasn’t worth it. They ended up overall in the bottom 3 of the cheese curds I had. The thing I did like about them is the ranch they gave you. Cheese curds and ranch is a great combo and I recommend trying them. I then went to my actual seats for the first time in a while. My aunts were sitting with the Commissioners Public Relations guy. He gave me a Major League Baseball pin. I put the pin in my backpack and it will stay there hopefully for good luck.

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In the 4th inning the Cardinals scored twice, ending the inning with a 6-2 lead for the Brewers. I headed back to the dugout innings later. In the 6th inning the Cardinals came back scoring 4 more runs tying the game at 6. The “Diamond Dancers” were dancing on top of the dugout for the 7th inning stretch:

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In the top of the 8th inning, Peter Bourjos grounded out to the pitcher, Brandon Kintzler. Kintzler then threw the ball to the first baseman, Mark Reynolds. He threw me the ball, for my second of the day.

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I have been a fan of Reynolds so it was extra special for me. I have been a fan of his since I got him in a trade in fantasy baseball back when he was on the Diamondbacks. I even got his t-shirt while he was there. We have the same last name; you got to root for the guy. In the top of the 9th inning Matt Holliday homered to left giving the Cardinals a one run lead. The Brewers ended up getting a hit in the bottom of the 9th but left the man at first. The game ended with a score of 7-6. After the game was over I waited around the St. Louis Cardinals dugout and waited for the pitchers and catchers from the bullpen to come in. One of them threw me a ball for my 3rd and final ball of the day:

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Jeter’s Last Friday Game?: September 26, 2014: New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 11.58.09 AMJeter’s career was going into the final stretch. Jeter had just come off his last game at Yankee Stadium, which was an emotional night for all. He delivered when he ended his final home game with a walk-off single. Only Jeter would hit a walk off in his last at-bat in the pinstriped uniforms. After quite a night, he announced that he will not play shortstopScreen Shot 2015-01-01 at 9.42.58 PM during his last series at Fenway and his career but he would be the designated hitter for the Yankees. I was going alone to the game, again. Going alone has been come a norm for this year. I don’t mind it, less to worry about. As I was walking around Fenway before I got to Gate C, I saw “JETER’S Last Call Shots” $2 ALL WEEK!!!. Not sure if that is a good discount or not but thought the idea was great. I got to the gate and I was first in line. Red Sox Nation workers came around and stamped our hands. I got a new stamp that I haven’t seen yet. When we went in to the gate, I went up into my spot. The new outfielder Rusney Castillo was taking fly balls. Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 9.42.27 PMAfter he got his last one, he threw the baseball to me for the first one of the day. Later on in the batting practice, when most of the players were off the field, Coach Arnie Beyeler tossed up another baseball to me for my second on the day. The Red Sox were still batting and a Red Sox player, who I couldn’t tell who they were, hit a shot over my head.Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.10.36 PM I quickly got to it in the stands 5 rows up from where I was. No one was around me so it was a quick easy snag for my third ball of the day. I then headed over to the Red Sox dugout because the yankees were not doing batting practice. Words were going around that Derek Jeter was not going to be playing today. Of course, I was slightly disappointed but I don’t blame him, he had a long emotional night the day before. At the dugout Brock Holt was signing autographs, unfortunately I didn’t get one.

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I then headed over to my normal autograph spot. First sign of Jeter happened not to long after. Closer to game time Brett Gardner was in the dugout. He then signed a baseball I gave him.

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Not much later it was time for the National Anthem.

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Steven Wright would be pitching for the Red Sox and ex-Red Sox pitcher, Chris Capuano would be pitching for the Yankees. In the first inning, Yoenis Cespedes tried stretching a single into a double. He was called safe but the Yankees wanted to use instant replay to get the call right. After review, the call was overturned and he was out to end the inning.

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In the bottom of the 2nd inning, the Red Sox struck first. Allen Craig singled and went to second on a throwing error. On a Byrce Brentz single, Craig scored giving the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. In the top of the third the Yankees responded. Eury Perez struck out but reached first and then to second on both passed balls  by Dan Butler. Fransico Cervelli then knocked Perez in with a single to left, tying the game at 1 a piece. Later on in the inning, John Ryan Murphy grounded into fielder’s choice to shortstop and Cervelli scored on throwing error by second baseman, Mookie Betts who was trying to get the double play. The score on the error gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. Before the 4th inning, one lucky fan got an autograph from Jeter. Jeter went into the dugout and grabbed a ball and signed it. He then tossed it up to a fan.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.28.17 PM In the top of the 6th inning, Zelous Wheeler hit sacrifice fly to right that scored Murphy giving the Yankees a 3-1 lead. In the bottom of the 7th, Shawn Kelley relieved Capuano and then next batter Rusney Castillo hit home run over the monster to allow the score to be 3-2 in the Yankees favor. The Red Sox had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the night but finished the game with a runner in scoring position. Yankees won the game 3-2 in a night we saw Jeter sit on the bench.

Derek Jeter’s Last Game: September 28, 2014: New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

The last game of 2014 season for the Red Sox was at Fenway Park. This year it was slightly different. NO PLAYOFFS… for either team. Both the Yankees and Red Sox did not make the playoffs for the first time since 1993. The game may have been worth nothing in a normal season. This season was different. Back in February, one of the Yankees players said his career will be over after the 2014 season through a Facebook post. A year of #RE2PECT and #FarewellCaptain all leading up to his last game vs. his rivalry team of almost 20 years. Derek Jeter’s last game playing in a Yankees uniform and I was there. For the 20 years I have been alive, tIMG_3281he number 2, in a Yankees jersey, was always worn by Derek Jeter. I had seen him play before when I was little but seeing a future Hall of Famer’s last game is what makes a no meaning game to a game worth every penny spent. There was no way I was missing this game. Sunday games are not my favorite. They normally do not have batting practice so I didn’t expect it but I still went in as early as I could. I set my alarm for 7:30 in the morning for a 1:35 game. Gates were going to open around 11:05 for Red Sox Nation. I left my house around 8:00. The parking lot and areas around Fenway were empty. Maybe it was too early in the morning for Red Sox Nation at 8:45. I was the first in line. No one was showing up for another 30-40 mins. I decide to walk around at 9. I saw Yankees shirts being sold in Red Sox team stores and had to check it out. Thats right, Yankees merchandize in a Red Sox store. This seems so strange aIMG_3279nd it was. But, it was a hit with many fans getting their chance at a once in a life time souvenir. Of course I gave in to buying some merchandize. How was I not going to buy something? I also made a sign for the day. I got creative with it. Yes I am wearing a Derek Jeter shirt. This is the second time I have worn the shirt. The other time was for a bet I lost in High School to my 9th grade, Yankees loving, Math teacher. Our bet was she had to wear a Red Sox shirt to school if the Phillies won the World Series in 2009. If the Yankees won the World Series, I would have to wear a Yankees shirt to school. Well, the Yankees won the World Series in 2009 so I spent the day at school wearing a IMG_3301Yankees Derek Jeter T-shirt. Although, this time there was no bet. I did it on my own. In respect for Jeter, I wore the T-shirt. Waiting in line, I was getting nervous about no Red Sox Nation. They did not have Red Sox Nation during Opening Day so I was convinced that there wasn’t going to be any today as well. I was waiting for so long and forgot I got there early. Red Sox Nation came around and handed us Red Sox Nation glasses but also the people next to me were asking about VIP Red Sox Nation. It was a father and son. I had been talking to them all morning.  As they were getting their wristbands, the son also asked to put a band on me and the Red Sox Nation employee did. When the gates opened, I got my bag checked and then headed into my normal spot to see what was going on. I brought my camera from my photography class and decided to capture certain moments of the day. The first photo of the day was this:

DSC_0278 Red Sox pitchers were warming up but also, there was nets set up. The Red Sox didn’t look like they were going to hit but the Yankees were going to. I decided since I had my camera, I wouldn’t stay in the outfield for batting practice but get up close photos of Jeter in and around the cage. I went to the backstop and took a lot of pictures from there:  Jeter’s Last Game Photos Here. I got some greScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.02.56 AMat photos. It was worth going there instead of watching batting practice from the outfield. I had set up half way mark between the dugout and the cage. I snuck my way to the first row, right on the black ropes. All eyes were on Jeter and he was all smiles.Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 11.36.00 PM He would occasionally look over at all of the people. Spike Lee was decked out in his Jeter attire. Past Red Sox, Jacoby Ellsbury and Steven Drew made appearances.  There was a good amount of signs all in favor of Jeter. I was expecting the amount of signs but some were a lot more clever than I thought they would be. Through out the day I saw a lot of cool things fans did for Jeter. There was socks with the #2 and there was kid with  Jater’s number shaved into his head. When the Yankees slowly started to leave the field, I quickly moved to the dugout and got close enough that I would get a couple good shots of Ellsbury coming off the field. I then headed to left field where Ichiro was warming up with a trainer. I watched him doing running drills until Tanka came out and started throwing. I turned my attention to him. The grounds crew started to get the field ready shortly after Tanka was doneScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.07.35 AM throwing. When the grounds crew were finishing up Red Sox players started coming out and warming up. Then some Yankees players started to come out. Michael Pineda, the starting pitcher for the Yankees, started heading to the bullpen to warm up. Meanwhile the ball girls were putting buckets of baseballs near the bases and in the outfield.

After the video board started playing the song, “We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel. Then video to the song started to play, as it featured the history of the Red Sox and Yankees rivalry with key moments in history including key games, fights, and everything in between. They showed Ted Williams, the DiMScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.10.02 AMaggio brothers, Mickey Mantle, Fred Lynn, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, and Pedro Martinez highlights. They showed many pitching duels that led to close calls of batters getting hit. Then, they showed Aaron Boones walkoff home run and Yankees fans were cheering. Next they showed Jason Varitek shoving his glove into Alex Rodriguez’s face. Of course, Red Sox fans cheered with excitement. Then the video showed the 2004 ALDS series by “The Steal”  in Game 4 to keep them in the playoffs and and David Ortiz’s home run in Game 7. They continued the video to show the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series and then to celebrating the win. They showed signs of “Who’s Your Daddy and “Cowboy Up.”  Then the media board went black and showed the green monster scoreboard. They slowly removed the September 28th, 2014 from the score board and replaced them with “WITH RESPECT 2 DEREK JETER.” When the letters where all on the board, the crowd chanted “Derek Jeter.”

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.13.41 AMThey announced: “Good Afternoon, once again ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Fenway Park. All of us know that todays Red Sox, Yankees game marks not only the end of the season but the end of an era in this great rivalry between these two teams. For today, we acknowledge and celebrate the Hall of Fame career of a competitor on the field and a gentleman off the field. He has enhanced our game with his mannerScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.17.23 AM, he has elevated our game with his character and he has reminded us of what we seek and what we admire in our sports heroes. Ladies and gentlemen, won’t you please welcome the man to whom we wish to express our admiration, our gratitude, and our respect, number 2, Derek Jeter.” As they announced “Derek Jeter,” he came out of the dugout. As he was walking out, he tipped his cap to the fans. He came out to the outfield right behind second base. The announcement continued: “Derek, several of the greatest Red Sox ever, including our 3 living captains wanted to be here today to personally thank you for what you’ve done for the game we love.” First past-red sox captain that came out was #8 Carl Yastrzemski, Next was #6 Rico Petrocelli, then #14 Captain Jim Rice,#19 Fred Lynn, #23 Luis Tiant, #49 Tim Wakefield, and lastly #33 Captain Jason Varitek. The announcement continued: “Derek, while these Red Sox Legends have come from near and far to thank you, your impact extends beyond baseball. Here in Boston where passion runs high for our sports heroes and just as high against our sports rivals, 3 of Boston’s greatest and grittiest heroes from the 3 other major league sports have also gone out of their way to be here, to congratulate you for all you have accomplished and to express their admiration for how you have done so. Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.20.17 AMPlease welcome, from the Boston Bruins, the legendary, Bobby Orr. From the New England Patriots, former captain, the great, Troy Brown. And a former captain of the Boston Celtics, back today just for you, welcome back Paul Pierce. Derek, not only do the stars of Red Sox past congratulate you, and not only do the stars of New England sports thank you, but all of those currently wearing red sox uniforms seek to salute you, but one man has memories unlike any other because he was your teacher. No doubt, you remember 35 straight two-a-days under the hot sun of the Florida Instructional League back in 1993 at the beginning of your minor league career. How proud he is of the player you became and how proud he is of the gentleman you have always been. Welcome the outstanding teacher of baseball, now the Red Sox third base coach, bringing you custom boots from L.L. Bean made in his home state of Maine, your teacher and friend, Brian Butterfield.Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.21.54 AM And now just as little leaguers shake hands and say good game, and just as parents look to baseball to teach good sportsmanship, our 2014 Red Sox want to come out even though we have 9 more innings to go, to acknowledge your nearly 20 years of good games and good sportsmanship.” First one out was David Ortiz, then Joe Kelly who took a selfie with the Captain. The rest of the Red Sox came over and shook Jeter’s hand until they got to Pedroia, who was last. The announcement continued: “Now Derek, in this ballpark, second base belongs to Dustin Pedroia, but he would love to give this base to you, to commemorate the 153 games you will have played in Boston. May it hold only fond memories of your days and nights at Fenway Park. And Derek, all of us admire your heart felt commitment to the children of your Turn 2 foundation which successfully inspires youth to turn away from dangerous temptations and instead Turn 2 a healthy lifestyle. To support your effortsScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.25.03 AM the Red Sox would like to make a contribution to support your foundation. Congratulations to you and to your sister for these great efforts. And Derek, beyond your own philanthropy, you have touched some lives in Boston very deeply. In fact, this past summer one small gesture on your part was, shall we say, very cool. Lets look at the video board” On the video board, they showed Derek Jeter in the locker room in a chair with teammates behind him with a Gatorade tub. Jeter was doing the ice bucket challenge (Jeter’s Ice Bucket Challenge). The announcement continued: “Derek, just before you were doused, you recognized your legendary predecessor Lou Gehrig, who first made us aware of the disease 75 years ago. And you recognized the captain of the Boston College Baseball team, who heighten our awareness so much this summer. How happy we are that this hero in the fight against ALS can be with us today to thank you directly and personally. Please welcome a brand new father and a father of the ice bucket challenge phenomenon, Boston’s own freight train, Peter Frates”

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After Derek met with Pete half way to behind second base, the announcement continued: “Derek, we have tempted to convey our admiration and our gratitude. We now have one more sentiment to convey and it is the most important one. To illustrate it, we have one last gift, one more piece of the park. It is a heavy metal placard that hangs in the green monster and it is signed by our 2014 Red Sox, presented to you by David Ortiz and our young shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who as a child in Aruba looked up to you, emulated you, and now wears number 2 because of you. This inscribed sign has the one word with the unique spelling that symbolizes what we all feel for you, what we all have for you, and what we now give to you. It is the sign of our respect.”

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.26.18 AMAfter, Massachusetts native and Voice contestant, Michelle Brooks Thompson came out and sung “Respect” to Derek Jeter and even put in its own twist saying  “Hey Jeter,” ” its all about you #2,” and “from Boston, Derek Jeter, we respect you.”Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.28.34 AM The announcement continued: “And to you Derek Jeter, the Boston Red Sox organization and the fans of Red Sox Nation thank you for a career and in which you gained our admiration, inspired our gratitude, and earned our deepest respect.” Jeter than shook hands with the Boston Red Sox and New England greats. Then lined up on the third base side for the last time. The National Anthem was sung by Michelle Brooks Thompson. Red Sox and New England greats, plus Peter Frates stayed out near second base for the National Anthem. They were walked off the field after. When the National Anthem was over Jeter crouched down one more time, took off his cap, held back tears then headed out to warm up:

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One last time the legend will warm up before a game. Clay Buchholz would start the game for the Sox. In the top of the first Derek Jeter would have his second-to-last at bat:

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He lined out to the shortstop.  In the 3rd inning, the Yankees started scoring. Francisco Cervelli walked to start off the inning and Jose Pirela singled. Ichiro Suzuki then tripled which scored Cervelli and Pirela. Derek Jeter came up. Everyone stood and clapped and chanted “Derek Jeter.” Everyone had their phones out knowing that this could be the last at bat of Jeter’s career:

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The ball bounced high to third and Red Sox third basemen Gavin Cecchini jumped to get the ball:

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The ball just barely bounced off his throwing hand. As Jeter ran to first everyone knew this was it. Once the baseball was sent in the dugout the Derek Jeter era was ending. Brian McCann came in to run for Jeter:Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.32.03 AM He then headed out but first he tipped his helmet to the Sox dugout, then shook hands with Buchholz and went off the field. He was greeted by third base coach Rob Thomson:

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Hugs went around as he countined down to the dugout to Mark Texiera and Brett Gardner. He went down the line to each of his teammates giving them a hug and smiling. Jeter tipped his helmet a couple more times and then went into the dugout:

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That was the end of the Jeter era. After Jeter exited his pinch runner, McCann, ended up a third when Gardner doubled. Teixeira hit a sacrifice fly to center that brought McCann home making the score 4-0, Yankees in the lead:

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During the top of the 7th, Craig Breslow relived Buchholz:

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In the inning, Pirela doubled to center which caused Cervelli and Young to score. Murphy then singled to center and Pirela scored. Romine doubled to center, and Perez scored. Headley singled to right, scoring Murphy to take a 9-0 lead. During the middle of the 7th inning, Take Me Out To The Ballgame was special. The Red Sox brought in former New York Yankees outfielder to sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Bernie Williams came to Fenway and played his guitar while singing. He put his on twist to Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Only during this game, would a former Yankees player sing and play guitar for the seventh inning tradition.  In the bottom of the 7th inning Rogers relieved Pineda. Butler doubled to right which scored Craig and Cecchini. Castillo then scored on error by right fielder Perez. Mookie Betts doubled to center, which scored Butler and Weeks bringing the score to 9-5. The game ended with the same score. During the 8th inning I went over to the dugout for my normal “9th inning seats.” I waited until the game was over and tried to sneak in to get a Jeter autograph but had no luck. I stuck around a little bit and a saw a trainer walking around. I asked him if I could get a baseball please. He went back into the dugout and grab a ball and tossed it to me. I didn’t go out empty handed and the ball streak continued! Good Luck to Derek Jet in his retirement!

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Season High: June 12, 2014: Cleveland Indians vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

Another day another baseball game but this time, my brother, Joe and I went to the game. The game was between the Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. I was prepared:IMG_2002 We drove into Boston and made our way to gate C. We got in line and waited. We then got our Red Sox Nation stamps:IMG_2029During the line, I bought some Red Sox raffle tickets to win WS rings. I got to then try them on. Here are the rings up close:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 4.55.09 PMAs the rings were going around, the gates started opening up. We quickly went through security and found ourselves in straight away center field:IMG_2047Not much later Koji Uehara tossed up a ball:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.05.09 PMI then roamed around a bit so my brother and I weren’t in the same place. I moved to left field. Over to my right, I saw my brother in center. Felix Doubront tossed him a ball and he was on the board:

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At the end of Red Sox BP, David Ortiz tossed up baseballs and tried hitting them to us. My brother ended up getting one. He was officially ahead of me but not for long. When the Indians came out, Michael Bourn was shagging in centerfield. I quickly recognized this and called out for him when he got a ball. He then saw me and then tossed up the ball. Here it is:

IMG_2056Also, in centerfield was Justin Masterson. He was talking to one of the vendors in the “triangle” and then signed for a couple fans. Since Masterson was on the Red Sox at one point, he was on my autograph hit list. I could now cross him off my list:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.16.56 PMI then moved back into centerfield. My brother then got a ball from a little kid with “Cabrera” on the back of his jersey. He now had 3 baseballs and I had 2, taking the lead, again:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.19.46 PMWasn’t much longer before we were tied again, when Josh Outman tossed me a ball:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.26.30 PMAfter the gates opened, I headed over to the dugout to get ready for the players to come off. Two different coaches gave me a ball:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.29.11 PMIt was worth going over there for 2 baseballs. There were not a lot of people around. There were a lot of older men looking for autographs, so it was easier to get a 2, since I didn’t try for the second one. I then met up with my brother on the third base side, pass the media, where Justin Masterson was signing and taking pictures with fans. Here is my brother getting the autograph and his picture with Masterson:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.31.00 PMAnd here is mine:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.32.54 PMHere is me with the 5 baseballs I had gotten so far:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.36.22 PMI also tried to get artsy and take a picture of just them:IMG_2109Here is my brother with his 3:IMG_2113The game started off with a moment of silence for Don Zimmer who had passed away:IMG_2135After the National Anthem, Jason Kipnis and Mike Aviles were playing catch. As soon as they were done, Mike Aviles tossed me a ball for my 6th of the day:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.41.19 PMDuring the game, Jon Lester was pitching for Boston:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.42.44 PMIn the bottom of the 2nd, Grady Sizemore hit a ground rule double that scored Mike Napoli:Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.43.33 PMIn the bottom of the 5th, David Ortiz hit a 2-run home run to center field, making the score 3-0.Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.44.52 PMIn the top of the 6th, the Indians responded when Jason Kipnis singled to right allowing Bourn and Brantley to score. The Red Sox were still in the lead 3-2.Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 5.45.43 PMMe and my brother were in different place during most of the game. Can you find him?IMG_2188In the bottom of the 6th, someone I was talking to for most of the game recognized me from 4 years back. She goes to one game a year and we happened to go to the same game again. She remembered me because she never sees any other girls with the opposite jersey or hat. She then also said she remembered me because 4 years ago she bought me a hot dog. I instantly remembered her. Not to often does another fan buy you a hot dog at a game. Well, we may have started a tradition because she bought me another hot dog:IMG_2201In the same inning, the Red Sox responded with two more runs from a Brock Holt double when Jonathan Herrera and Jackie Bradley Jr. scored. Maybe the hotdog gave us some luck giving the Sox, a 5-2 lead. After the 8th inning I found my brother and we moved sections. We headed over to the umpire tunnel area and watched the rest of the game from there. In the bottom of the 9th, Koji Uehara came on for the save:IMG_2230 He pitched a 1-2-3 inning to help the Red Sox win 5-2.

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 6.10.56 PMAt the end of the game, a player inside the dugout out tossed up a ball:

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 6.20.44 PMI then grabbed the ball for my 7th of the day. Then the players from the bullpen came over. I then received my 8th of the day from one of the bullpen catchers.Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 6.22.57 PMHere is me with my season high, 8 baseballs that I got during the game:IMG_2251

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 6.42.11 PMBallhawking Stats for the Season:

8 Balls in this game

47 Balls in 8 game this season = 5.88 Average on the season

Baseballs #202 – #209 lifetime

19 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs

15 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs

15 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs

14 consecutive games with at least 2 baseball at Fenway

11 consecutive games with at least 3 baseball at Fenway

11 consecutive games with at least 4 baseball at Fenway

Special Baseballs this game: 0

Autographs this game: Justin Masterson (Indians)

Special Baseball on the Season: Opening Day Baseball (1), Rockies 20th Anniversary (1)

Autographs season: Grant Balfour (Rays), David DeJesus on batting gloves (Rays),R.A Dickey (Blue Jays), Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays), Todd Frazier (Reds), Brandon Gomes (Rays), Billy Hamilton (Reds), Brett Lawrie (Blue Jays), Jon Lester (Red Sox), Justin Masterson (Indians), Wil Myers (Rays), Jake Peavy (Red Sox), Brandon Phillips (Reds), Neftali Soto (Reds), Brandon Workman (Red Sox).

A Look Back at the Red Sox 2014 Season Transactions and the Trading Deadline

The Red Sox started the year with a 25 roster with 12 pitchers, 2 catchers, 6 infielders and 5 outfielders. That roster included new pick ups for the season. They signed Catcher, A.J. Pierzynski and outfielder, Grady Sizemore to a one-year deal.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.36.43 PMThey also, signed first baseman, Mike Napoli and right-handed pitcher, Edward Mujica, to a two-year contract.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.39.25 PMThe Sox traded away left-handed pitcher, Franklin Morales and in return got infielder, Jonathan Herrera from Colorado.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.41.28 PMThe season started out with this roster on Opening Day with:

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 5.28.42 PMIn April, Will Middlebrooks went on the 15-day DL which lead to the Red Sox signing infielder,  Ryan Roberts. Roberts quickly found himself in the minor leagues as Brock Holt was called up.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 6.13.44 PM With Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks both going to the DL in the month,  Drake Britton, Brock Holt, Ryan Lavarnway, Daniel Nava, Alex Wilson, and Brandon Workman began to flip flop between the Red Sox and the Paw Sox.

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In May, shortstop, Stephen Drew was offered a one-year deal to join the team to help out on the left side of the infield.

Boston Red Sox vs Cleveland IndiansWe then started seeing other minor league players make there MLB Debuts including Garin Cecchini and Alex Hassan. They both had their debuts on the same day and both got their first career hit! Not to much later, they were sent back down to the minor leagues.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 6.28.07 PMIn June, Grady Sizemore was designated for assignment and was released. Grady was then picked up by the Phillies several days later.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 6.39.03 PMThe MLB draft was exciting with two first round draft picks. The Red Sox selected Michael Chavis, a shortstop out of Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Georgia. With their second pick in the first round, they selected Michael Kopech, a right handed pitcher out of Mount Pleasant High School in Texas.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 6.41.12 PMAlso in June, the lefty, Chris Capuano, was designated for assignment. He was then picked up by the Yankees days later. Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 6.44.02 PMWe then watched Mookie Betts have his shot a the big time. He was brought up to be seen in the outfield. He was then sent back down to Pawtucket 21 days later.

2014-06-30T025452Z_498739984_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_MLB-BOSTON-RED-SOX-AT-NEW-YORK-YANKEES.rSox then designated A.J. Pierzynski for assignment. He was then signed by the Cardinals.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.08.36 PMSox then recalled pitcher, Rubby De La Rosa and catcher, Christian Vazquez from Pawtucket. Vazquez made his debut on July 9th and has been sharing the spotlight behind the plate with David Ross.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.11.07 PMOn July 26, 2014, we traded right-handed pitcher, Jake Peavy to San Francisco for two pitchers Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree. They both were sent to Pawtucket.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.13.26 PMOn July 30 2014, Felix Doubront was traded to the Chicago Cubs after requesting to be traded.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.21.24 PMOn July 31, 2014, the last day of the trading deadline, the Sox made some moves. They traded Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to Oakland but in return we got outfielder, Yoenis Cespedes, He is a key piece in the deal because the Sox needed a power hitter and a great arm in either left or right field.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.23.51 PMThe Sox then traded away John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder, Allen Craig and the right-handed pitcher, Joe Kelly.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.25.27 PMThe Sox still weren’t done trading away pitchers. They then traded away the left-handed pitcher, Andrew Miller to Baltimore for Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a left-handed pitcher and was said to be in the Orioles top 3 prospects.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.30.14 PMThe Red Sox then competed their 4th trade of the day sending shortstop, Stephen Drew, to the rivals, the Yankees for infielder, Kelly Johnson.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.34.17 PMThe Red Sox have 6/12 pitchers, 1/2 catchers, 5/6 infielders, and 3/5 outfielders that were on the Opening Day roster. Out of the 25 on the roster, 9 have been traded or released and one is on the DL. Thank You to all the players who are leaving us and welcome to the guys joining the club! #GoSox!

May 22, 2014 Toronto Blue Jays vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

Another day, another game. This game was apart of the Red Sox Opening Day pack that had I bought. My dad bought a ticket for himself so he could go to the game with me. Well, though out the week, I thought the game was going to be a 7:10pm start but realized on Monday it was a 4:05pm start. My dad told me he might not be able to go and told me to ask around to see if anyone wanted to go to the game. After asking multiple people, no one could go to the game. So, my dad took a half-a-day at work so the ticket wouldn’t go to waste. We headed to the ballpark earlier than I excepted. We left the house around 11:45am. When we got into Boston, the road to the parking lot was being redone so we had to go around to the back side of the parking lot to go park. After the minor detour we headed up to Fenway. We went into the new pathway and had a great view of the entrance on Yawkey Way:

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I bet you can guess where we next. Yup, GameOn for food. We got the usual buffalo tenders and I also decided to try something new:

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For $10 you can get “THE ROAST BEEF” with james river bbq sauce, American cheese, and sliced pickles on a toasted onion roll. The sandwich is served with a side of chips or you can sub fries for $1.50, onion rings for $2.50, or a side salad for $2.50. It was good sandwich. I would recommend it if you are a big roast beef person. The bbq sauce was a little spicy and can be asked to be on the side, which I did.  After I finished my sandwich, I headed over to Gate C for Red Sox Nation early entrance:

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It was a normal sized line. Not to short not to long. I headed over to the end of the line and saw a familiar face. One of the guys that was in line with me went to the same Rays game as me, and was here again. He was with his mom this time and we talked for a bit. The Red Sox Nation employees came over to stamp us. I was very shocked with the print I got. I was expecting a Red Sox stamp but instead I got a red star:

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News got out that there was not going to be any batting practice due to rain being in the forecast. Aka, a ballhawks nightmare. Not having bp makes it a lot harder to get baseballs. Mostly because when it is raining nothing would be going on. I stayed in line and waited to get in early still. Some people left the line after hearing about no batting practice. They probably went to go to the restaurants around the ball park so they didn’t have to pay the ridiculous cost of food and drinks inside the ballpark. At 1:40 they started letting people into the gates. There has been much talk about new security in ball parks, well heres Fenway’s at Gate C:

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Fenway Security can be seen with hand security detectors. Each fan has to go through this. Also, if you bring a bag in, you have to get it checked and then receive a tag that lets people know its been checked. When I went to my normal spot in centerfield to see if anything was happening, the tarp was on the field. I brought snuggles for a photo challenge:

  • You and another person posing in the front row of the outfield bleachers wearing matching Snuggies — 5 points

Here is my attempt with my Dad:

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To the fans that took the photo thank you! After taking the photo, I moved into Right-Center field to take a photo of the tarp on the field:

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I walked over to the left field/3rd base side where some Blue Jays players were throwing and doing drills. When I got over there everyone left except one Blue Jays player who was doing running drills and stretching:

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It was the knuckleball throwing right hander, R.A. Dickey. He came over after he was done. He then signed a baseball that I had and then we took a photo together:

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After taking the photo with Dickey, I went underneath the grandstands to stay away from the rain. Not too much later, two Blue Jays came out and tossed a ball around:

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One of the players was Brett Cecil. He is not a hard player to recognize because he wears glasses/goggles when playing. The rain started to pick up and they started heading in. Cecil had the ball when they were heading in and I asked for the ball. With no one else around Cecil tossed me the ball for my first of the day:

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After I got the ball, I went back to the grandstand where my dad was and we went to tour around Fenway to keep busy. We went to the 3rd base new area. Where you could look out the windows:

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I then made another attempt at a photo challenge:

  • You high-fiving a mascot — 2 points

I brought a stuffed Wally doll to have the high five:

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After the photo I went back out to the grandstand to see if anyone was throwing, sadly no one was:

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So, I went back down into the concourse at Gate E. I went and visited Lego Fenway. Lego Fenway is a scaled model of Fenway Park and was donated by the Lego company in 2004. It is in a glass case:

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The model is made with details of Fenway including the Red Seat. Many people went over and viewed Lego Fenway. A couple fans had said that someone had too much time on their hands. Another thing I noticed about gate E was this:

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Its a charging station for phones with many cords. Each of the 4 corners had 5 different plugs for charging. Finding one that worked was a challenge and only two iPhone 5 chargers ended up working. I used one as I waited for the rain to clear. I also noticed that there was a Dunkins at Fenway:

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If you wanted to get a Dunkins coffee or hot chocolate it would cost you. A medium ice coffee cost $4.25 and a large is $5.75. These prices are almost doubled than a regular Dunks on the street. A large hot coffee cost $4 and and x-large hot coffee cost $4.50. Medium Hot chocolate and a small hot tea are both $4. To get the most for your money, I would say go with the XL hot coffee based on amount of coffee and price. I did buy a coffee and I payed $4.25 for a Medium ice coffee with the flavor of my choice:

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I went up again to see if anything was happening but nothing. I went back to the charging station to keep my phone charged. I noticed a little boy with something in his hand, it was a mask that a softball pitcher or infielder would wear:

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I thought this was rather interesting. Maybe they were sitting close and he needed protection. As the time started winding down to 30 mins before game time, I started heading to the dugout area where I normal go. They started pulling the tarp not much later:

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The grounds crew started getting the field ready and they had a special military day. Players began to warm up but didn’t get to do anything when they got out there because members of each military were heading out onto the field. They all stood out in the outfield grass:

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The American Flag was on the monster as the National Anthem played:

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Players started stretching and throwing after all the members of the different militaries where off the field. Reyes and Edwin Encarncion were playing catch. All of a sudden, Encarncion threw a low ball and Reyes missed it:

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The ball came right towards me but was too low for me to grab. The ball landed right next to the Video guy. He picked up the ball and the guy next to me grabbed it out of his hands. Was very close to getting my second ball but unfortunately didn’t. Not to much later after that miscue of a ball Adam Lind was commenting on the GoPro and telling me it was crooked. Well it was crooked because my head was crooked because I was looking into the dugout on an angle. He was talking to Brett Lawrie and I asked him if he could come and sign. He gave the okay and I tossed him the ball. He then signed it and threw it back:

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Right after Lawrie signed Encarnacion was walking in and then signed for me and the person next to me:

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The game was starting soon. Starting pitcher Mark Buehrle, Catcher Dioner Navarro, and Pitching Coach Pete Walker walking back to the dugout after warming up in the bullpen:

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The game started and Jon Lester was pitching for Boston. Lester pitching in the first inning against Jose Reyes:

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Lester started out shaky. He got Reyes to ground out for the first out but the next two batters both hit home runs. Here is Melky Cabrera rounding third:

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Jose Bautista also hit a home run finishing the back to back home runs:

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At the end of the top half of the inning the score was 2-0 Blue jays. In the bottom of the first inning Gomes put the Sox on the board when his single scored Pedroia. After the last out, Edwin Encarnacion had the ball and tossed it to me for my second of the night:

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The Jays brought the bats back in the top of the second inning when Reyes singled. Steve Tolleson and Kevin Pillar (11) scored on the hit, making the score 4-1:

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Cabrera walked and Jose Bautista singled that scored Reyes (7), making the score 5-1:

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Next batter Edwin Encarnacion singled which Cabrera scored on making the score 6-1. On the play here is Jose Bautista sliding into third safely:

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The Jays kept it going when Lawrie grounded into a force out to second, allowing Jose Bautista to score, making the game 7-1 Jays. Here is Encarnacion coming in after being out at second receiving high-fives for his earlier hit:

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The Sox responded in the bottom of the second when Xander Bogaerts hit a home run:

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In the top of the 6th, with 1 out there was an instant relay. (My first time seeing one). The call on the field was upheld as Kevin Pillar was caught stealing 2nd base, with the throw from catcher A. J. Pierzynski to shortstop Xander Bogaerts. The replay caused a five minute delay. Here is home plate Ump Gary Cederstrom with the call:

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Lester settled down not allowing any runs from the 3rd inning to the 7th with one out when he was taken out of the game:

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He was replaced by Burke Badenhop:

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Badenhop then pitched to two batters allowing one hit. He was relieved by Craig Breslow.

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In the bottom of the 8th Dustin McGowan replaced Mark Buehrle who did a great job pitching. In the top of the ninth Junichi Tazawa relieved Breslow. As Junichi Tazawa was warming up a fan from the 3rd base side ran on the field. They didn’t catch her until around second base, when the on-feild security guard tackled her:

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In the bottom of the 9th the Sox went down in order to end the game. 7-2 blue Jays was the final score. As home umpire Gary Cenderstrom walked of the field, I asked him for a ball. He then tossed me one:

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A little bit later Josh Thole who was catching in the bullpen was coming toward the dugout. I then snagged the ball that was in his hands after asking for it:

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Jose Bautista after the game was talking to press on the field. Shortly after he came back to the dugout. He looked at me took off his hat, and flung it onto the dugout then went inside the dugout. I reached for the hat and grabbed it. A fan behind me jumped on my back then slammed his wrist into mine causing me to let go of the hat. He then grabbed the hat and took off. A security guard and  the police officer saw what happened and the security guard tried to chase after the guy but he got tripped up and the guy was too fast. Bautista sunglasses were also on the hat but when the guy knocked the hat out of my hand the glasses fell off onto the dugout and I grabbed them. I thought well at least I got the glasses. Well apparently Bautista didn’t realize that the glasses were on his hat and I had to give them back. The police officer felt bad about what happened and told me and my dad to wait. I thought maybe Bautista was going to sign a ball for me but I thought wrong again. The police officer invited me and my dad on the field and in the away dugout. It was pretty cool. He took pictures of us in the dugout and on the field. It would have been nice to get the hat but I guess it was a good experience of something I haven’t seen or been apart of at the field. Here are some of the pictures that the cop took:

In the dugout with my dad using the phone:

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Over the dugout protective fence:

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My dad and I on the field:

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Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

  • 4 Balls in this game
  • 22 Balls in 4 game this season = 5.50 Average on the season
  • Baseballs #181 – #184 lifetime
  • 15 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs
  • 11 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs
  • 11 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs
  • 13 consecutive games with at least 2 baseball at Fenway
  • 10 consecutive games with at least 3 baseball at Fenway
  • 10 consecutive games with at least 4 baseball at Fenway
  • Special Baseballs this game: 0
  • Autographs this game: R.A Dickey (Blue Jays), Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays), and Brett Lawrie (Blue Jays).
  • Special Baseball on the Season: Opening Day Baseball (1)
  • Autographs season: Grant Balfour (Rays), David DeJesus on batting gloves (Rays), R.A Dickey (Blue Jays), Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays), Todd Frazier (Reds), Brandon Gomes (Rays), Billy Hamilton (Reds), Brett Lawrie (Blue Jays), Wil Myers (Rays), Brandon Phillips (Reds), Neftali Soto (Reds).

May 06, 2014 Cincinnati Reds vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

Another day, another game. My dad and I had tickets together again for the second time this season and this was my third game of the year. We left when my dad got out of work. We headed out around 3:20pm. We hit some traffic but compared to Boston’s everyday traffic, it was nothing. You can always tell when you’re getting closer to Fenway by the CITGO sign:

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At 3:50 we go to our parking lot that we always go to. We started talking to the gate guard like we always do. We ended up going to Game On and getting something to eat. We sat at the bar and got my favorite food, buffalo chicken tenders:

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After I finished, I went to go wait in the Red Sox Nation line. When I got there the line was longer than I expected:

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I waited for my dad who was finishing paying for the restaurant bill. I was sitting next to the WEEI 93.7FM radio room. I noticed something really strange. Inside the room there was a big bobble head. I thought maybe it would be a current Red Sox player. It turns out its not. Can you guess who it is?:

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Thats right, its Johnny Damon, with his long hair and beard. Something we haven’t seen in awhile. I still don’t know why it is there. The Red Sox Nation girls came around to stamp us. I noticed that there is multiple stamps, so you might not get the same one every time. This game, I got the Red Sox hat:

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I saw my dad coming after I got my stamp. He got in line with me minutes before the gates were going to open. Well the gates didn’t open on time. They let a big group in before us (circled):

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After waiting 10 mins longer, they let us in. I was kind of disappointed with this because that was 10 minutes not in the ball park. Getting to the front of the line was difficult. They had to check everyone bags and then get melted down. Well we got an example for Wayne (Collection of Baseball) about security. Read his post and others comments, including mine here: http://stock350i.mlblogs.com/2014/05/01/492014-at-att-park/ Well it didn’t work in my favor. Not only did they let us in late, the build up was terrible:

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Dead stop in the line. It took an extra 5 mins more to get into the ballpark. There was a lot of people in line. Most had bags which only two people were checking. Also, there were only two people with hand metal detectors checking people. This did cause a back up but at least we know we will be safe inside the ballpark. When I finally got in, I went to my normal spot in centerfield:

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When I got there my dad saw a ball in the stand stuck in the seats. We went over and grab the ball:

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After staying out in centerfield for a little, I noticed the Sox were hitting everything to right field. I headed over there to see if I could get one. As I was going down to right a ball was hit near Jon Lester and John Lackey. Not much later, Lackey threw me a baseball:

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Here is the baseball:

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Over to my left was a young fan and his mom. I went over to the young fan and gave him a baseball:

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His mom told me to keep it and I told her don’t worry, I’ll just get another one. She gave me back the ball and said we won’t take it until I got another one. It didn’t take long at all. Lester got a ball near the bullpen and then tossed a ball over my way:

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I then told the mom now you can keep this one. He was happy and I was glad I could make his day. His mom then took a picture of us together. I then ask the little boy if I could toss him the ball so he can catch a baseball at the game:

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He caught it and I gave him a high five. He had a bright smile on his face for the rest of the time I was over there. His mom thanked me again. Here is the little boy and me with the ball we got:

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I talked to them for awhile before I moved back to centerfield. Not much was happening and Red Sox batting practice was coming to an end but one more ball was hit out into the outfield. Arnie Beyeler (Red Sox First Base Coach) came and got the ball that was laying out on the warning track. He looked up and then tossed me the ball:

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Red Sox BP ended. I ended up with 4 baseballs (3 pictured with the other one given away):

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Then the Reds came out. I did notice something on the wall edge:

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I thought this was cool. It looks like an imprint of a ball that was hit. (Maybe it was from the ball that we found) You can even see the stitches and logo from the ball. Pretty cool to see a ball come off the bat far and fast enough to make an imprint like it. Everything the Reds hit was either over the Monster or near it. Not much was coming my way. It started sprinkling out as well but it passed rather quickly. Eventually a ball bounced of the Monster and came around near me. It bounced right to Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto. He wounded up and then threw me the ball:

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Here is the baseball:

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I then went over to the dugout, knowing that Bp for the Reds would end soon. Its a good thing I did, as soon as I got to the Reds Dugout, Reds Bp ended. I watched Johnny Cueto sign autographs but ended up not getting one, sadly. I was hoping he would sign the ball that he tossed me but I was too far away. From the dugout coach, Jay Bell threw up 6 baseballs. I got one, this one right here:

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That was the last of the Batting Practice. 6 balls so far with BP, not a bad start to the day. I decided I was going to go do another photo challenge:

  • You hugging a foul pole with your left arm while you’re holding a balloon animal in your right hand — 3 points

So I headed over to Wally’s world to get a balloon animal. I got a monkey climbing a tree. Here is the balloon artist making the balloon and the photo that got me 3 points. I also gave away the ballon to a young fan sitting in the seats:

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The photo put me into first place with 12 points!:

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It was funny. After I got the balloon, I found my dad. He was out on Yawkey Way and I randomly bumped into him. I asked him if he could come follow me to take the picture for the photo challenge. After we took the photo, I went to the Reds Dugout area. I went over near past the press section to where a bunch of Reds Fans were. All of a sudden one of the fastest players in the league starting signing. SportCenter has been talking about Billy Hamilton’s speed for a while now. He was signing over by the dugout area. I walked over to see if I could get his autograph. He was one of the players on my autograph hit list. Here is Billy Hamilton signing the baseball and his autograph:

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He signed for almost every fan. I asked him back in the outfield, if he was going to sign or not because of his hand. He recently injured his fielding hand diving for a ball. He was using a left handed teammate’s glove during BP. He would take it off to throw the ball back into the nets or other teammates. Players started coming out, more and more. First Reds player to come over and sign was Todd Frazier. He said to me, “You got me on video, look at you.” It was funny, a lot of the players are liking the GoPro. Have had a couple comments on it. Here is Todd Frazier signing a ball and taking a photo with me:

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I kept the GoPro on because he said something about it. Todd Frazier was very nice and signed for everyone, making sure he gave one who wanted one. It is nice seeing players interact with fans like this and he was on my autograph hit list to get. Next Reds player to come over was Reds Rookie Neftali Soto. He signed for a couple of Reds fans. Here is him signing my baseball:

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Next Reds player to come over was Brandon Philips. He took pictures with a bunch of fans and signed the whole row of fans. He made sure everyone got one. Here he is signing my baseball and we took a photo together. I forgot to take the GoPro off for this one because I forgot it was on my head:

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As me and Brandon Phillips were taking the photo, an announcement for the National Anthem came on. Here is some of the Reds players during the National Anthem:

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Felix Doubront was pitching for the Red Sox. Here is the first pitch of the game:

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Doubront had a 1-2-3 first inning to start his outing. Homer Bailey was pitching for Cincinnati. He walked Dustin Pedroia to start the inning. Pedroia ended up scoring on a Mike Napoli ground out:

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In the top of the second, Frazier was walked. Here is Frazier on third and Ryan Ludwick on second:

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Later in the inning Frazier scored on a Skip Schumaker single to tie the game at one. Bailey then pitched a 1-2-3 bottom on the second. Then Doubront matched it with a 1-2-3 top of the 3rd inning. In the bottom of third inning, the Red Sox managed to get the bases loaded with 1 out. Bailey then walked Mike Napoli which scored Jackie Bradley Jr. Score was now 2-1, Red Sox leading.

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Next, Grady Sizemore singled and Pedroia scored putting the score to 3-1 after 3 innings. In the bottom of the 4th inning, Dustin Pedroia hit a ball right next to the dugout. Reds coach, Bryan Price, picked up the ball and then threw it to me:

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This ball was my 7th ball of the day. Its also my second foul ball in two games. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any texts saying I was on TV. Couldn’t redeem myself from last weeks on TV appearance. In the top of the 6th, Badenhop relieved Doubront:

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In the bottom of the 7th inning Ortiz faked a bunt:

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Yes that actually happened but he didn’t bunt. It was weird seeing him square around though. Going into the Top of the 8th It looked as if the Red Sox would pull out with the win being up 3-1. Tazawa was pitching. He got a quick out then things got shaky. He walked Joey Votto and then Brandon Phillips doubled. The double moved Votto to third:

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Frazier hit a single to left that scored Votto making the game a one-run game. Next batter Ryan Ludwick hit a sacrifice fly into right field and Phillips scored making the game tied at 3:

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The Red Sox had chances in the bottom of the ninth with a runner on third. The game would go into extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th, the Sox had another chance. Pedroia was at second with two outs. Victorino hit a ground ball to Reds pitcher, Logan Ondrusek. He then threw the ball to Votto at first. As they were coming in Votto tossed the ball to first base coach Billy Hatcher. Hatcher then tossed the ball to me. Here is that 3rd out baseball:

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There it was my 8th baseball of the day. In the bottom of the 12th, Ortiz singled to start off the inning. Napoli then singled to center, moving Ortiz to second. The winning run was 180 feet away and a hit away from winning the game. Grady Sizemore hit a ball off the wall and scored Ortiz for the win! WALK OFF CITY at Fenway!

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Final Score was Red Sox 4, Reds 3.  Here is the walk off from the view of mine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVP4fFXRb6Y

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Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

  • 8 Balls in this game
  • 18 Balls in 3 game this season = 6.0 Average on the season
  • Baseballs #173 – #180 lifetime
  • 14 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs
  • 10 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs
  • 10 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs
  • 12 consecutive games with at least 2 baseball at Fenway
  • 9 consecutive games with at least 3 baseball at Fenway
  • 9 consecutive games with at least 4 baseball at Fenway
  • Special Baseballs this game: 0
  • Autographs this game: Todd Frazier (Reds), Billy Hamilton (Reds), Brandon Phillips (Reds), Neftali Soto (Reds)
  • Special Baseball on the Season: Opening Day Baseball (1)
  • Autographs season: Grant Balfour (Rays), David DeJesus on batting gloves (Rays), Todd Frazier (Reds), Brandon Gomes (Rays), Billy Hamilton (Reds), Wil Myers (Rays), Brandon Phillips (Reds), Neftali Soto (Reds)

April 29, 2014 Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

This game was a little different than most. The reason for this is I was going alone. Before the season, I bought an Opening Day Pack that the Red Sox had offered. The pack came with one ticket for four games. Opening Day, my dad bought another ticket to go with me, but this game he did not buy an extra ticket for him. So, I had no choice but to go alone. It was different. I had to drive in by myself and wait in line by myself. When I got into the ballpark at 4:40 there was no difference. Since my dad and I normally spilt up when we get into the ballpark, it felt like a normal game for me. I left my house at the normal time my dad and I would leave. I hit no traffic and made it in good time. I parked in the same parking lot that me and my dad normally do. I went through the same walkway as I did on Opening Day. Here is the view walking up with Fenway in the background:

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I then headed directly to gate C:

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Gate C is where the Red Sox Nation Card lets you in earlier than the general public. I got there around 3:30. Around 3:45 I decided to see if I could get one of the My Game Balls scavenger hunt photos done. Heres the one I wanted to complete:

  • You posing with a life-size statue of a Hall of Fame player — 4 points

So I got out of line and asked a random person walking the street to take the photo. He was happy to take the photo. I got the 4 points from the photo. Here is me with Ted Williams Statue:

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After the photo, I got back in line. This took not even ten minutes to do. I was shocked that no one had joined the line and I was back in my spot. Around 4:25, the Red Sox Nation workers came out to give us our wrist bands. Instead of wrist bands, they now stamp your hands:

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While in line I was talking to people. Turns out its a small world. One of the people in line graduated from Southern New Hampshire University (Where I attend). We talked about school and professors we had. I talked with them, in line, until the gates opened. The gates opened at 4:40. I went to my normal spot in centerfield. Not to much later, I got my first ball thrown by Junichi Tazawa:

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After 10 mins, basically no one was standing near me in the stands (Which was a good thing):

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A little bit later a ball was hit off the monster and Jake Peavy went over to get it. He waved/pointed at me, got the ball, and then threw me the ball:

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The throw was high, I jumped and it tipped off the top of my glove. Its a good thing no one was there because it rolled down the centerfield front row but I ended up getting the ball:  Image

The Red Sox finished up batting practice but something was different. The grounds crew was taking away the batting practice protective nets:

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So the Rays didn’t have batting practice. Kind of saddening with the amount of people in the stands being in my favor. Rays pitchers were throwing in left field. So I walked all the way around. The outfielders were also getting balls hit off the wall, in order to get the feel of the wall. Grant Balfour was throwing to the bullpen catcher Scott Cursi:

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When Balfour was done tossing with Cursi, he started talking to another Rays’ pitcher. That Rays pitcher then threw the ball back to Balfour. Then I called out for Balfour. He looked at me and then tossed the ball towards me:

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Balfour then walked from the outfield to the third base side and started signing autographs. Here is Grant Balfour signing the baseball he threw to me and the autograph:

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Balfour was on my autograph hit list. We then took a photo together:

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The Rays all went into the club house except for one player. His name was Brandon Gomes. He took photos with fans and signed. Here he is signing and the baseball:

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The Rays were all gone now, so I went to do another photo challenge:

  • You throwing a ball into a speed pitch game, with your score displayed — 4 points

Out of Yawkey Way there is Wally’s World and I remembered that they had a speed pitch game. Couple years ago, they did fastest of the game and I won during one game. So I headed to Yawkey Way and waited in line. I asked a man if he could take a picture for me and he said no problem. So here is the photo worth the 4 points:

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I threw 58mph. I didn’t want to throw my arm out, that would have been bad. I headed back into Fenway after I threw the ball and thanked the guy who took the photo for me. I decided I was going to change the location of where I went for the beginning of the game. Instead of being right next to the away dugout, I went over pass the away media area. After going to so many Rays games at Fenway, and noticing that they sign more over there, I finally got the hint to go over there. It payed off. I had Will Myers on my autograph hit list and he was the first one out to stretch:

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Myers then stretched by himself and came over to sign autographs for fans:

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While Myers was signing for fans, another Rays player casually walked out of the dugout and came over to fans looking straight at me. This player was David DeJesus. He had batting gloves in his hands. He came over and he said, “Can I give you some batting gloves.” I said, “Yeah, cool.” DeJesus then said, “Here you go”, and then handed them to me. I then thanked him. Here is DeJesus coming over to give me the batting gloves:

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Here are the batting gloves he gave me. (This is my first pair of batting gloves!):

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After DeJesus gave me the gloves, he went and stretched. At that time, Wil Myers was coming over my way. Not to much later, I could knock of Myers from my autograph hit list. Here is the ball and him signing it:

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Myers signed for the whole row of people. Next Ray’s player to come and sign was Ben Zobrist:

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A few years ago, I got his autograph. So instead of getting his autograph again, I got my photo with him:

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Then the next Ray’s player to come over was Matt Joyce:

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Last year I got his autograph and instead, I got my photo with him:

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After Matt Joyce was done signing, the National Anthem started. After the National Anthem, David DeJesus came over again. He signed the left batting glove for me:

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Here is the glove signed:

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DeJesus then took photos with fans and signed autographs. As I was getting the batting gloves, Evan Longoria  Matt Joyce and Yunel Escobar were playing catch. After they were done, Escobar had the ball. He then threw the ball behind his back using his glove to flick it right to me:

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The ball was my fourth of the night:

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The Sox took the field. The game started. John Lackey was pitching for the Sox to start of the first inning against Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist:

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He started of great. Two strikeouts and a 1-2-3 top of the first inning. Erik Bedard was pitching for the Rays. He let up the first hit of the game to Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino in the first inning. Here he is at first base:

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The first four innings were solid by both pitchers. Combined, the starting pitchers let up four hits in the first four innings. In the bottom of the 5th inning, things got interesting. Will Middlebrooks was up first. The first pitch, he hit a foul ball right to the area I was sitting in. The ball girl grabbed the ball then threw the ball. The guy next to me bobbled the ball and the ball landed right into my hand. I was a little shocked because I just popped in my hand without me knowing. Funny enough they got this on the TV:

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I got texts from friends saying I was on TV and when I saw the clip on TV I was laughing. Wasn’t a good moment to be on TV. Here is the link of youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWF2D8Y7miY Here is the ball for my 5th of the night:

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During that at-bat, Middlebrooks walked to start of the inning. Next Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled that moved Middlebrooks to 3rd:

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The next play Dustin Pedroia lined out to third baseman Evan Longoria:

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Longoria then dove into third to try to get the double play with Middlebrooks being off the base.

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The ump singled safe and Longoria is calling Joe Maddon:

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Rays Manager, Joe Maddon, them came out and started talking to the ump:

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Everyone thought we were going to have a Replay. There ended up being no replay and Maddon went back into the dugout. Play resumed and Shane Victorino hit a sacrifice fly to center and Will Middlebrooks scored the first run of the game. 1-0 Sox:

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The Rays answered in the top half of the 6th, when Desmond Jennings doubled and moved to third on a Matt Joyce single. Evan Longoria then hit a sacrifice fly and Jennings came home to tie the game 1-1. In between the inning of the top and the bottom of the 6th, Rays First Base Coach, George Hendrick, gave me the ball that the infield use to warm up. Here is my 6th baseball of the night:

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Brandon Gomes relieved Erik Bedard in the bottom of the 6th inning. He walked to first two batters, Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes. He got Xander Bogaerts to fly out and then he was relieved by Juan Carlos Oviedo:

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A.J. Pierzynski singled that drove in Napoli and moved Gomes to third, 2-1 Sox:

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Will Middlebrooks doubled and Gomes scored with Pierzynski moving to third, 3-1 Sox:

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Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled scoring Pierzynski and Middlebrooks, 5-1 Sox:

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Bradley Jr. moved to third on a wild pitch during Dustin Pedrioa’s at-bat. Pedroia grounded out and Bradley Jr. stayed on third with the infield having a shift on. Shane Victorino hit a ground run double that scored Bradley Jr., 6-1 Sox:

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Ovideo finally got out of the inning when David Ortiz struck out. In the top of the 7th, Wil Myers double to start the inning. David DeJesus moved Myers to third on a ground out:

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Ryan Hanigan singled to left and Wil Myers scored, 6-2 Sox:

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In the bottom of the 8th, David Ortiz hit a single to center field that scored Pedroia, who was on second, 7-2 Sox. Evan Longoria trying to keep warm on the cold April Night:

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In the top of the ninth, Edward Mujica replaced John Lackey who went 8 innings. Mujica quickly struggled giving up a double to James Loney and walking Wil Myers. David DeJesus grounded out moving Loney to third and Myers to 2nd. Yunel Escobar then singled to Xander Bogaerts at short. Bogaerts’s throw sailed into the dugout and Escobar was given second base. Loney and Myers both scored on the play, bring the score of the game 7-4 and now in a save situation. Mujica then got out Hanagian to fly out to right. Farrell came to the mound and took out Mujica. Down from the bullpen came Koji Uehara. Uehara came in and stuck out Ben Zobrist to end the game and it was High-Five City in Boston. Uehara and Pierzynski high-fiving:

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Red Sox won!! Final Score was Red Sox 7, Rays 4.

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Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

  • 6 Balls in this game
  • 10 Balls in 2 game this season = 5.0 Average on the season
  • Baseballs #167 – #172 lifetime
  • 13 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs
  • 9 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs
  • 9 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs
  • 11 consecutive games with at least 2 baseball at Fenway
  • 8 consecutive games with at least 3 baseball at Fenway
  • 8 consecutive games with at least 4 baseball at Fenway
  • Special Baseballs: 0
  • Autographs this game: Grant Balfour (Rays), David DeJesus on batting gloves (Rays), Brandon Gomes (Rays), Wil Myers (Rays)
  • Special Baseball on the Season: Opening Day Baseball (1)
  • Autographs season: Grant Balfour (Rays), David DeJesus on batting gloves (Rays), Brandon Gomes (Rays), Wil Myers (Rays)

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April 4, 2014: Opening Day at Fenway: Brewers @ Red Sox

It was more than just your average baseball game day . Its was Opening Day!! Finally, it was here. Back in October the Sox won the World Series. Today would be more than just a baseball game, it would be the end of a celebration. RINGS. Thats right we get our rings. The long wait would be worth it. Well my day started out with excitement. What better day to have your first Opening Day experience with one on great importance. As I woke up, I was extremely excited. I had packed my bag the night before. 4 baseballs, 4 pens, 2 hats, one glove, one camera (My go pro), and one poster filled my bag. We headed out on the highway at 8:30 in the morning. We wanted to get into Boston early because gates opened 11:35 in the morning. As we got onto the highway right away traffic:

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Great this ride is going to take forever. It was a longer ride that I had expect normally a 30 min drive into Boston doubled. An hour had passed before we parked in our parking lot that we always go to. There was a lot of construction that had been done. They put a new train stop in across from Yawkey Way. Not only did they do this, they put a walkway from the train station to Brookline Avenue. The walkway is unlike no other. It is designed with the Red Sox in mind. Here is the view from the top of the walkway looking out at the train stop:

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All the retired numbers are in statues with information on them. The information includes their full name, when they played, and historical stats as well. Here is Ted Williams number and information:

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From there I parted with my dad. I went to Gate C, where Red Sox Nation gets let in earlier than the general public. I went to ask the guy if Red Sox Nation is going to let people in the gates early. He told me 11:05. I told him thank you, see you soon, and I’ll be back. I went back to Game On, where my dad had gone to grab something to eat. I sat with him at the bar and got my bottle root beer. I kept looking at the time. I wanted to get back in line to get a good spot. I left my dad to get in line for 10:35. Sure enough people where already there:

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My dad came around 10:50 and waited in line with me. By then the line was long. It was a good thing I left when I did:

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I counted down the minutes to 11:05. Something didn’t seem right. No one came out to give us our wrist bracelets. People at the gates said they should be down. At 11:10 I asked one of the guys if they were doing the Red Sox Nation. I got mixed answers from the gates. Some said yes, Red Sox Nation was happening and some said no, Red Sox Nation was not happening. Well, turns out there was not Red Sox Nation for this day. Kind of disappointing but 11:35 was still early enough. They actually started letting people in at 11:32. I got in and went to my normal spot in Centerfield to see if batting practice was happening. It was. I took off my Sox hat and put on my Brewers hat. Brewers only did batting practice. Not even 5 mins into being there I got ball number one of the year:

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It was looking good for me, one already. Wasn’t the case. I wounded up moving around a lot. As more people started showing up I moved from center field to right field. I watched Lester and Lackey throw to each other:

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I wounded up in left field foul line seats. No luck. Batting practice was over. The Brewers all went back into their dugout. I went to my normal spot to try to get autographs. No luck either. I didn’t mind because Opening Day Ceremonies where going to start at 12:40pm. They were a little late. Around 1:00pm the festivities started. Finally, after 5 long months after winning the World Series, we would get our rings. The ceremony started out with an announcement of “Welcome to Opening Day at Fenway Park America’s most beloved ballpark. Last years season was on that was difficult to put into words and so we won’t even try but instead, lets just remember the journey.”  The main scoreboard video started playing a video. The video was around 5 minutes long. It started out with Ben Cherrington talking about what a wonderful opportunity it was to build the next great Boston Red Sox team. Then showed bits of John Farrell’s introduction press conference. Next it introduced the new signings the Red Sox had in the offseason including Victorino, Drew, Dempster, Gomes, Ross, Uehara, and Napoli. Then cut out into highlight from the beginning of the season until Patriot’s Day. After they showed the walk off victory, they turned to photos of the Boston Marathon Bombing. The next clip was Boston Strong and David Ortiz yelling “This is our F******* City!!” Then showed countless walk off wins, great catches, and home runs from the season. They showed clinching the east, highlights of the playoffs until the famous “Cop” on David Ortiz’s home run. Everyone in the crowd cheered when this happened. Oddly enough they cheered more then than any other moment. The video ended with showing the Sox win the World Series and the parade. Everyone quickly turned their eyes to the Green Monster for the next part. Music started playing and then the first banner dropped (World Series Champs of 1903):

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The music kept playing as the next banner dropped (World Series Champs of 1912):

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Then the next banner (World Series Champs of 1915):

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And the next  (World Series Champs of 1916):

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And the last small banner (World Series Champs of 1918):

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Then the banner got bigger (World Series Champs of 2004):

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Then the next large banner (World Series Champs of 2007):

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Then the banner we were all waiting for (World Series Champs of 2013):

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After the banners where all down, the Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors came out with the rings from left field. The crowd clapping the whole way. When they got to second base, the ring carriers got to each step on the base:

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The rings were placed on the podium on the first base side. Then the rings were to be given out. First head coach John Farrell, then bench coach Torey Lovullo and the rest of the coaches including trainers, and translators. The first Red Sox player out was Pedroia, then Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Doubront, Ross, Nava, Gomes, and Napoli. Then over the speaker, Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” came on and people started singing along. Then Victorino came out. Followed by, Middlebrooks, Bradley Jr. Miller, Tazawa, Breslow, Workman, Wright, and De La Rosa. Then Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” came on over the loud speaker. Then Webster followed by Britton, Wilson, Holt, Snyder, Lavarnway, and Berry (who was dressed in street clothes) came out. Then there was a long pause. Then Carp, Dempster and his child came out. Next was Uehara. Then the music stopped and chants of “Papi” started. Ortiz then came out to reciveve not only his World Series Ring but his MVP ring as well. Next the Red Sox all in a line pulled a rope that pulled up the World Champions Flag:

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Then the firefighters of engine 66 and ladder 16 came out:

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Then over the loud speaker, “And now ladies and gentleman we begin our fresh new season the 103rd at Fenway Park with your Boston Red Sox” Then they welcome the Brewers to the field. As the Brewers walked to the line. Brewers Willy Peralta (Number 38), took a trip going into the line.:

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Then the Brewers were announced by starting order. When Braun was introduced, he was booed by fans. Then the Red Sox were announced. Due to the Brewers being on the field while the Red Sox were introduced I saw this:

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Then from left field past Red Sox players Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, and Tim Wakefield came out with the World Series Champion Trophies of 2004, 2007, and 2013. Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown and Ty Law brought Super Bowl trophies from 2001, 2003, and 2004. Leon Powe came out with the Finals 08 Championship Trophy. Mark Recchi came out in support of the 2011 Boston Bruins Stanley Cup victory:

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Mark Recchi with Tom Menino riding shot gun:

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The last part of the ceremony included Tom Menino handing the ball off to Marty Walsh who then threw the first pitch to David Ortiz:

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Marty Walsh Throwing:

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Ryan Braun signed some autographs for fans, unfortunately I did not receive one:

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Not to long after Aramis Ramirez and Jean Segura finished playing catch, seconds after this happened:

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The ball was tossed by Brewers shortstop Jean Segura. Then the game started. Peavy was pitching to start the game. When Braun came up to bat, he got booed. This year I am going to participate in MyGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt. The one I was trying to complete is:

  • While standing in the front row immediately behind the dugout and facing the crowd, you holding a sign over your head that says in large print “Braun Was Framed!” or “ARod Was Framed!” — 9 points (10 Bonus points if the shot shows Braun batting in the background)

So here was my attempt:

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The photo didn’t count sadly. I forgot to put the sign over my head. Will try to see if I can go to another game with Braun hitting again to get the bonus points. I will try to do more photos for the challenge this year. During the bottom of the first, Marco Estrada pitched to Daniel Nava to kick off the first at-bat at Fenway for the Sox for the year:

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In the top of the second, Jonathan Lucroy hit a home run off of Jake Peavy. Here is him rounding third of his home run trot:

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Later in the inning, Carlos Gomez singled and Khris Davis scored bringing the score of the game 2-0 Brewers leading. In Grady Sizemore first At-bat in a Red Sox Uniform at Fenway Park, he singled. On the play, the singled moved Mike Napoli over to third. On his way to third there was a throwing error:

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Mike Napoli then went home and scored, making the game a 2-1 ball game. No runs were scored until the bottom of the third when, Red Sox third baseman, Will Middlebrooks hit a home run over the monster:

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The home run from Middlebrooks tied the game. No runs where scored until the 9th inning. Later, in between the bottom of the eighth  and the top of the ninth inning, one of the Brewers pitchers had a baseball in his hand (If you can give any information on who this player is let me know!):

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Few minutes later, I got the ball for my third of the night:

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Edward Mujica started pitching the 9th inning. Khris Davis hit a double and got moved to third on a hit by Scooter Gennett. Lyle Overbay then hit a foul ball into the dugout. One of the Brewer’s players was holding on to the ball. Later in the at-bat, Overbay doubled to right and Davis and Gennett scored, bringing the score of the game to 4-2 Brewers leading. This left the Brewers Pitchers excited:

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Overbay ended up going to third on the throw home:

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The next batter, Carlos Gomez, singled, scoring Overbay making the game 5-2 Brewers.Then, Mujica got two outs with Jean Segura hitting grounded into a fielded choice, then stole second, and Ryan Braun flied out. Aramis Ramirez singled and Jean Segura scored on the play. Then Mujica got pulled. During the pitching change, I got this for my fourth baseball of the day:

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It was the ball that was hit by Lyle Overbay earlier in the inning. Andrew Miller came in relieved Mujica and shut the Brewers down, after Mujica gave up four runs in the inning. In the bottom of the night Francisco Rodriguez shut down the Sox in order and the Brewers won 6-2 over the Red Sox.

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Ballhawking Stats for the Season:

  • 4 Balls in this game
  • 4 Balls in 1 game this season = 4.0 Average on the season
  • Baseballs #163 – #166 lifetime
  • 12 consecutive games with at least 2 baseballs
  • 8 consecutive games with at least 3 baseballs
  • 8 consecutive games with at least 4 baseballs
  • 10 consecutive games with at least 2 baseball at Fenway
  • 7 consecutive games with at least 3 baseball at Fenway
  • 7 consecutive games with at least 4 baseball at Fenway
  • Special Baseballs: Opening Day Baseball (1)
  • Autographs this game: 0
  • Autographs season: 0