Summer 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 board 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After batting practice Jose Fernandez was signing autographs after he went and talked to fans near home plate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Junichi Tazawa replaced Miley and finished the inning
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.
Mike Dunn relieved Cishek and struck out Holt.
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.
The Sox never lost the lead as Koji Uehara pitched the 9th inning and got the save.
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.
To check out the rest of the photos from this game on Facebook: July 7th Album
Over 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 seats. 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:
After batting practice was over, I went over to the bullpen area to watch Joe Kelly warm up:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
Jeter’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 shortstop 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. After 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. 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.
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.
Not much later it was time for the National Anthem.
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.
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.
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.
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, the 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 and 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 Yankees 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:
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 great 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. 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 done 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 DiMaggio 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.”
They 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 manner, 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. Please 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. 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 efforts 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”
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.”
After, 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.” 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:
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:
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:
The ball bounced high to third and Red Sox third basemen Gavin Cecchini jumped to get the ball:
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: 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:
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:
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:
During the top of the 7th, Craig Breslow relived Buchholz:
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!
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: 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:During 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:As the rings were going around, the gates started opening up. We quickly went through security and found ourselves in straight away center field:Not much later Koji Uehara tossed up a ball:I 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:
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:
Also, 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:I 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:Wasn’t much longer before we were tied again, when Josh Outman tossed me a ball:After 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:It 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:And here is mine:Here is me with the 5 baseballs I had gotten so far:I also tried to get artsy and take a picture of just them:Here is my brother with his 3:The game started off with a moment of silence for Don Zimmer who had passed away:After 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:During the game, Jon Lester was pitching for Boston:In the bottom of the 2nd, Grady Sizemore hit a ground rule double that scored Mike Napoli:In the bottom of the 5th, David Ortiz hit a 2-run home run to center field, making the score 3-0.In 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.Me and my brother were in different place during most of the game. Can you find him?In 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:In 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: He pitched a 1-2-3 inning to help the Red Sox win 5-2.
I 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.Here is me with my season high, 8 baseballs that I got during the game:
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).
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.
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.
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.
We 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.
The 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.
Also in June, the lefty, Chris Capuano, was designated for assignment. He was then picked up by the Yankees days later. We 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.
On 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.
The 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.
The 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!
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
After the photo I went back out to the grandstand to see if anyone was throwing, sadly no one was:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
The American Flag was on the monster as the National Anthem played:
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:
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:
Right after Lawrie signed Encarnacion was walking in and then signed for me and the person next to me:
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:
The game started and Jon Lester was pitching for Boston. Lester pitching in the first inning against Jose Reyes:
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:
Jose Bautista also hit a home run finishing the back to back home runs:
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:
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:
Cabrera walked and Jose Bautista singled that scored Reyes (7), making the score 5-1:
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:
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:
The Sox responded in the bottom of the second when Xander Bogaerts hit a home run:
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:
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:
He was replaced by Burke Badenhop:
Badenhop then pitched to two batters allowing one hit. He was relieved by Craig Breslow.
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:
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:
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:
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:
Over the dugout protective fence:
My dad and I on the field:
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).