Tagged: Red Sox

Boston Strong on Jackie Robinson’s Day: April 15, 2015: Washington Nationals vs Red Sox @ Fenway Park

IMG_2343Having no classes on Wednesdays came in handy on a day game during the week. I was planning on going to this game for a while. When I was buying my tickets, I originally thought it was a night game and when I found out that it was a day game I was concerned that it would interfere with my classes at school. So, I didn’t buy the ticket and bought a ticket for the night game the day before. I wanted to go to a Nationals game to see if I could get Bryce Harper’s autograph. When I picked my classes and got everything figured out with school, I didn’t have class on Wednesday. The first thing I did was buy a ticket to this game. Not only was the game vs. the Nationals but it was also a special day throughout MLB. It was Jackie Robinson’s day. Jackie Robinson Day has been in the MLB since 2004, honoring the day Robinson made his major league debut in 1947. On April 15th every year, each player, coach, manager, and umpires wear the #42 honoring Robinson’s accomplishments. Also, this game was important to the city of Boston. It was also the two-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings. The game was very special and it was one of those games you wouldn’t want to miss. For the game I wore my Boston Strong shirt. After going to the game the night before, I stayed home and left my house around 9:00 am to drive into Boston. I hit some traffic going in and got to the ballpark around 10:00 am. I walked over to Gate C and there were tons of people walking in so I got in line. I didn’t know at the time but I wasn’t supposed to go into the ballpark. When I got into the ballpark I walked up to outfield seats to see if there was batting practice. On a day game, there isn’t batting practice but I wanted to check just in case. There was no batting practice but there were tons of people in the grandstands. Apparently, the kids were on a field trip from school. Dave Mellor, the head groundskeeper, was talking to the kids about the field and answers any questions they had. The kids were learning about the weather and were learning about how the field works.

IMG_2344As Mellor was talking to the kids some Red Sox players were coming out to warm up. Clay Buchholz and Porcello were warming up in the outfield with Pitching Coach Juan Nieves. After Buchholz and Porcello were done playing catch, they walked over to the Red Sox bullpen. I went over to the bullpen to go watch them. Buchholz went up first.

He pitched as Nieves watched. Buchholz threw a pitch in the dirt and gave it to Nieves. He then looked at it and then looked at me and showed me the ball to get my attention. He then tossed me the baseball. Porcello had come over near me during Buchholz’s session.

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I congratulated him on his new contract signing. He was very nice and thanked me. I also asked him if after he would sign. He said he would after he threw. After Buchholz was done with his bullpen session, Porcello started his session.

During Porcello’s bullpen session he didn’t like 3 of the baseballs. Nieves threw me two not even 5 seconds apart from each other. Then he also threw me one later on in the bullpen session.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.41.48 PM When he was done he went into the bullpen and sat down with Buchholz and Nieves. The gates for Red Sox nation opened around 11:05AM after I was already in the ballpark for an hour. Mike Davison had entered the ballpark and went over to the bullpen where I was. He took out his ball retriever and grabbed two baseballs in the bullpen. As Buchholz and Porcello got up to leave the dugout Porcello came over and signed.

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He signed for a lot of people who were over near the dugout. After they left the rest of the Red Sox pitchers were tossing over near Pesky’s Pole. When the security guards allowed the fans to get to the rest of the ballpark, I went straight to Pesky’s Pole. I saw Joe Kelly and Justin Masterson playing catch. When I got near them they were just finishing up. I called out to Kelly. He then tossed me the ball he had for my 5th of the day. I asked if he was going to sign autographs today. He said he could sign before he worked out and walked over to me. As he was signing I asked him since he was a fan of selfies if we could take one. He said we could and we took one.

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After the selfie, I started walking to the Nationals dugout. I saw Brock Holt taking grounders near third and I stopped walking towards the Nationals dugout and turned around and headed back to the Sox’s dugout. I waited at the dugout as Holt came in. He started heading right next to the dugout with a bunch of kids around. I went over and got in line. Holt then signed a baseball I gave him. After I left the area, Holt continued signing autographs.

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I headed to my normal spot near the dugout and waited around an hour before anyone came out. Around 12:50PM, the Boston Marathon survivors walked past the National’s dugout. Carlos Arredondo, the man in the Cowboy Hat who was seen helping Jeff Bauman off the ground into a wheel chair and then to the ambulance during the Marathon Bombings, was walking toward us to go near home plate. Carlos and his wife both saw my shirt and said “nice shirt.”

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15 minutes later Washington National’s players were coming out and warming up. Bryce Harper of the Nationals came over and signed. For me this was great because the day before I was so close to getting his autograph. My thought process was I couldn’t get turned down again. As soon as he grabbed my pen, I was so relieved. He signed the ball I gave him and he continued down the line.

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Jeff Bauman, who lost both of his legs during the bombing, and Patrick Downes, who lost his left leg during the bombing, threw the first pitches. Then the survivors and first responders yelled “Play Ball.” Ryan Zimmerman was tossing with Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper was throwing with Danny Espinosa. After they were done Ryan Zimmerman tossed me up a ball for my 6th of the day.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 1.12.39 PMCarlos Arredondo and his wife carried a Boston Strong Flag off the field and Washington National’s players talked to Jeff Bauman as he walked by.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 1.18.05 PM The starters of the Game were Gio Gonzalez for Washington and Wade Miley for Boston. Miley struggled in the first inning when a walk and two hits led to two runs. In the bottom of the 2nd inning the Sox responded when they scored 2 runs on 2 hits and an error by the National’s third baseman Yunel Escobar. In the top of the 3rd, Miley’s struggles continued as Ian Desmond homered to left giving the Nationals a 3-2 lead. The Nationals were not done as the next 3 batters got on with 2 walks and 1 hit. With the based loaded Ramos doubled that cleared the bases. After the hit, Miley’s day was done and Varvaro came in to pitch with the score 6-2. With two outs in the inning 3rd inning still, Uggla doubled, which scored Ramos and the run was charged to Miley, giving him 7 earned runs on the day. Michael Taylor also doubled in the inning that led Uggla to score making the score 8-2, National’s leading. During the Top of the 4th inning, around 2:47-2:48, the announcer said, “Ladies and Gentleman, our game will now pause for a moment, and we ask you to please rise. All of us know of the events that took place in our town 2 years ago on this date at this time. All of us know of friends whose lives were altered. All of us know of families who hearts were shattered. Our mayor the honorable Martian J. Walsh has asked us to stand together, feel together, and remember together those whom we lost on April 15, 2013 at 2:49pm. As we do we remember Krystle Campbell of Medford, Massachusetts, Lu Lingzi, a Boston University Graduate student from China, and 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester. We of course also remember officer Sean Collier, killed 3 days later. Let us remember them now.”

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A 50 second moment of silence occurred leaving Fenway silent. The announcer then continued, “Ladies and Gentleman we are One Boston. Ladies and Gentleman we are Boston Strong. Ladies and Gentleman this is our city. Lets play ball.” It was a great moment to be apart of. It was a great moment to see Fenway so quite for a change and it was amazing to witness. In the bottom of the 5th inning, the Sox finally got back in the game when Hanley Ramirez hit a home run over the Green Monster that also scored Pedroia. After the inning the score was 8-4 with the Nationals still in the lead. The Sox were not done offensively because in the bottom of the 6th inning, Brock Holt hit a ground rule double that scored Mike Napoli from second. Then in the top of the 7th inning the Nationals responded when Moore hit a two run shot that scored Ramos. The game would end with the same score with the Nationals beating the Red Sox 10-5 giving Gio Gonzalez the win and Wade Miley the loss.

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First Game of the 2015 Season: April 14, 2015 Washington Nationals vs Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

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Red Sox Nation stamp with two bats

The best feeling in the world is leaving your class to go to the Sox game. I have been waiting for 2 weeks after Opening Day to go to my first game of the 2015 season. Since the last time I went in September, the roster has changed. Our pitching rotation was completely different with two Red Sox starters returning from last years team. We signed the lefty Wade Miley and we welcomed Justin Masterson back to Boston. The Sox had an outfield overload and decided to trade Yoenis Cespedes to the Tigers in exchange for Rick Porcello. The lineup looked different as well. We signed Pablo Sandoval to play third base and welcomed Hanley Ramirez back to Boston to play left field. The signings will hopefully allow our lineup to have more power offensively. This season is going to be fun to watch and hopefully is less stressful then last season. Going into Boston for a 6:10pm was slightly weird. I left my school around 1:00pm and stopped by my house for my bag packed with my game day essentials. I always bring pens, 4 baseballs, Red Sox hat, visiting hat, and a Red Sox jersey. I also brought a cheat sheet of the visiting team that has everyone on the team’s picture, position, and which way they threw. Also on this sheet, are my autograph targets of the day. Since the Sox where facing the Nationals, I had a great amount of targets circled. I wanted to make sure I left my house at 2:00pm. I got to Fenway around 2:30pm, and headed to my favorite line at Fenway. One person was there before me. His name was Mike Davison. Some people might recognize that name. Mike helped out with Zack Hample’s helicopter stunt. We talked about all types of different things and it was great to talk to him in line. He’s a great guy! When Red Sox nation came around to stamp our hands, we didn’t have to show our Red Sox Nation cards. I guess I go enough now for them to recognize me. I was questioning if they were going to bring back the wristbands or keep it going with the stamps. They are using stamps again this year. I got a new stamp with two bats crossed. Waiting in line got interesting when the fast food workers on strike walked down Lansdowne Street. At first we didn’t know what was happening. They walked all the way down the street with signs that said “BU students stand with the fight for $15” I am not familiar with the strikes but it was entertaining to walk a bunch of people striking for the first time.

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Strikers walking down Lansdowne Street

One thing I did notice as I was looking into the ballpark was there are new security measures for this year. Instead of having a security guard with hand-held medal detectors, they have walk-through magnetometers.

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Fenway’s new walk-through magnetometers

Personally, I like the walk-through magnetometers because you can keep on walking instead of waiting for someone to come around with the hand-held medal detectors. The one thing that stinks is you have to take your phone and cameras out of the pockets and put them in a bin. You walk through the walk-through magnetometers and then they give your phone and cameras back. Going into the ballpark is always the best feeling in the world. I walked up the outfield bleachers entrance and the first thing I noticed was the cameras were gone. From the picture where Mike (in the Pedroia jersey) is standing you can see the different color in the walkway. My first reaction was there is a lot more room now. In the past years, batting practice homerun balls would easily bounce off the camera area and go back into the field. The cameras were moved upwards on a catwalk. Seats were also added to the area and it has a nice view that would be great to watch a game from. Taking away the cameras is going to give any one an advantage to catch a ball from that area now.

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Straight away centerfield from last year (Left) and this year (Right)

I have set many goals for myself for this year:

  1. Catch a ball from each starting pitcher
  2. Catch a batting practice homerun ball on the GoPro
  3. Catch 10 or more baseballs during a game
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1st baseball of the day

These are just a few but are my main goals for the year. With the cameras gone, I moved closer to the Green Monster. With-in five minutes of being in the ballpark, my first ball of the year was caught. Wade Miley was shagging baseballs around left/centerfield. Because the cameras were not there I was able to move closer to him. He was near the American League scoreboard. Mike may have gotten his attention but he threw the ball to me. There it was number one of the year.The ball was a Robert D. Manfred Jr. ball. Robert D. Manfred is the new Commissioner of baseball. Commissioner Allan “Bud” H. Selig had retired after being commissioner since 1992. Since I have been alive Bud Selig has been the commissioner. Each baseball has had a Bud Selig signature on each baseball under the Official Major League Baseball stamp. My thought process during the day was wondering if teams would still have Selig balls still around. After 20 minutes of hoping for a homerun ball to come my way, a ball was hit into centerfield. Junichi Tazawa caught the ball and then turned around and tossed me the ball for my second of the day. Just like the ball before, it was a Robert D. Manfred Jr. ball.

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2nd ball of the day with red check mark

This was also stamped with a red box with a check mark right on the sweet spot. I wondered if this ball was from other team because the Red Sox normally do not mark their practice balls. The National’s pitchers were warming up but in the weirdest way. They had a Nerf football and were running routes. I was watching them for a while. Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw a ball coming our way. I ran over and it was above my head, I jumped but missed it. Thankfully, the ball bounced off a seat and right into my glove for my third of the day. I then went right over to a little girl and gave her the ball. Her and her mom were very thankful that I gave them the ball. The ball was another Robert D. Manfred Jr. ball. The little girl and her mom were thanking me for the rest of batting practice.

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3rd baseball of the day with the little girl I gave it to

I had three baseballs through Red Sox batting practice and it was time to take off the Red Sox hat and put on a National’s hat on. I had to take the GoPro off and have it in my hand, which brought some weird angles. I was moving back and forth throughout the outfield sections. Homeruns were coming more often but were scattering all around. As I was moving around a ball was tossed up and missed. It landed if front of me and I picked it up. This ball was an Allan H. Selig baseball. The nationals must have been using a lot of old baseballs. I gave the ball to a little girl whose birthday was today. Happy Birthday to her!

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4th baseball with the little girl who I gave the ball to for her birthday

I then kept an eye out for more home runs. A National’s player hit a shot into the area would the cameras would be. It landed in the seats and I beat out Mike for the ball. Sorry Mike! Mike and I were going back and forth with balls all practice and it was nice to have some competition. I believe he ended up with 7 during batting practice. The batting practice homerun would be my 5th of the day and also at 249 lifetime. I was one away from 250! I didn’t realize this for a while. It randomly occurred to me when I was thinking of the fact that I had 5 on the day. I honestly didn’t think about 250 going into the game. Michael Taylor was in centerfield shagging baseballs. He caught one baseball and then ran for another one. He looked at me and threw one of the baseballs. BALL 250 lifetime and also my 6th of the day! I could knock off another milestone of 250. Next one is 300!   Since Taylor had two baseballs in his hand, Mike tried to get the other one. Taylor threw it to him but the throw was low.

Baseballs 249 and 250

Baseballs 249 and 250

A little later I positioned myself right at the end of the wall next to the monster. Fans were heckling Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez, and some other National’s players. They were funny but also may have crossed some lines. They were saying how Gio was on their fantasy team and this was also how they were trying to get a ball from him. They then started saying that their friend traded him away. When Max threw a ball back in to the bucket area, they were yelling “Hey! Wrong way.” They then started asking at Gio if he had a car seat or if he could get into the rides at the carnival. They finally got the attention of the players. Gio and Scherzer then started laughing at them. Then they told Scherzer to grow a Mohawk (like the kid had) and then Scherzer came back and say “Why? I don’t want to look like you.” They also went as far as asking Scherzer which eye he was looking at them with, the blue or the brown one. It went over the line but at least the players were laughing about it. Scherzer ended up tossing me a ball in-between the other fans heckling for my 7th of the day, which was also an Allan H. Selig ball. The nationals must have had only Bud Selig balls because that is the only baseballs I got from them. They where probably trying to get rid of them all.

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GoPro shot of the Max Scherzer ball

After the Scherzer ball I decided to leave the outfield and head towards the dugout. As I was heading toward the dugout I went passed the Good Sport table. At the table you pledge not to drink and be responsible at the ballpark. When you sign up you get a free soda and enter to win a Red Sox pullover. After, I headed to the dugout. When I got there, batting practice was just ending. Tanner Roark was signing autographs. He went down the whole dugout and signed for everyone.

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Tanner Roark signing the baseball

I got his autograph and moved to my autograph spot in between where the ball girl stands and the security guard are. When players started coming out a few of them came over and signed. Ian Desmond came over and signed autographs. I already had him so I was hoping others would come over as well. National’s outfielder Clint Robinson came around and signed as well. He signed one of the baseballs I had.

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Clint Robinson signing the baseball

Also, Bryce Harper came over and was signing autographs. I was very close to getting his autograph as he skipped over me. I then saw Scherzer signing autographs as well. I walked over to him with the ball he gave me and asked if he could sign it for me. He did and signed it right on the sweet spot.

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Max Scherzer signing the baseball

After he autographed the ball, it was time for the National Anthem. The starters of the Game were Stephen Strasburg for Washington and Justin Masterson for Boston. In the top of the second inning, Michael Taylor singled off of Masterson, which allowed Danny Espinosa to score. In the bottom of the inning, the Sox responded when Mookie Betts doubled off Strasburg allowing Mike Napoli and Brock Holt to score. In the bottom of the 3rd, the Sox responded by scoring twice making the score 4-1. In the bottom of the 4th, Pedroia hit a homerun into the Monstahhh. In the top of the 5th the Nationals responded by scoring 6 runs with 4 hits in the inning. After 5 innings, the score was 7-5 with the Nationals in the lead. In between the top and the bottom of 6th inning, first base coach, Tony Tarasco, collected the warm up ball that was thrown in from Ryan Zimmerman. He then tossed me the ball for my 8th of the day.

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Baseball number 8 of the night

In the bottom of the 7th inning, 3 errors helped out the Sox as they scored 3 in the inning without any hits. After the inning was over, the score was 8-7 with the Red Sox in the lead. In the bottom of the 9th, the first replay of the year at Fenway happened. Ryan Zimmerman hit a long foul ball near the left field foul pole. National’s manager went out and wanted the umpires in New York to look at the hit again.

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Umpires meeting with the Replay staff

The play was confirmed as a foul ball and Zimmerman ended up lining out to left during his at-bat. The game ended with the Sox winning after Uehara came in for the save. After the game, when the pitchers and coaches from the bullpens came back to the dugout. The Bullpen coach, Matthew LeCroy came around and tossed a couple baseballs to fans. He threw one right to me for my 9th of the day tying my personal best.

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Matthew LeCroy throwing me my 9th baseball 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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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 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