Before I get started with the game, look at the view from the hotel that my Dad and I were staying in.
Pretty awesome, to say the least. My Dad and I made our way to the H gate around 4:20, which we soon learned was a bad time to leave on a day with a t-shirt giveaway. This was the line when we got there.
Since my Dad got our bags checked earlier than most of the people in front of us, we were able to make our way to the front of the line while everyone else was getting what they had with them inspected. About 15 minutes before the gate opened, it began to rain lightly. I figured that BP would still be on but when I ran into the stadium, the tarp was on the field.
At that point, it began to rain a bit harder, so I understood why there wasn’t any BP. But this eliminated nearly all of my ball snagging opportunities that I would be able to have if there was BP before the game. The only action that was going on on the field was the Royals pitchers had come out to throw. Since only season ticket holders are allowed to be in foul territory and in left field 30 minutes before everyone else, they were the only ones that were able to get baseballs from the Royals.
I wasn’t too happy about this. It was painful having no real chance to snag a ball for basically the entire pre game.When the rest of the stadium was opened up to everyone else, I was one of the first people into the concourse, and so since I had nothing better to do, I went down near the Orioles dugout and waited for someone to come out and start to sign. I waited and waited for about an hour. There was no action on either side of the field except for when a few Royals came out to sign.
I was really hoping that Manny Machado would come out to sign, because it was his Major League debut, but right when the Orioles came out to stretch, myself, along with many other people were kicked out of the section, probably because it was “too close to game time.” I made my way to my seat to find out that this was my view.
Luckily, there were about 5 open aisle seats right next to me, where I spent most of my time unsuccessfully going for foul balls. There was one missed opportunity that I really should have taken advantage of. In the top of the first inning when the Royals scored four runs, Jeff Francoeur fouled a pitch off over the protective screen which went directly over my head and into the press box where a women retrieved it, and threw it to an elderly man who was the only one who stood up and held out his glove. If I had ran up there in time and jumped up and down, I’m sure I would’ve gotten the ball, but I wasn’t going to let it ruin my day.
Not much else happened during the game. Although, it was very exciting to see Manny Machado make his debut. Every Orioles fan was really pumped up to see the organization’s top prospect.
My Dad was able to get some great photos of him early in the game. In the following photos, he is #13. Here he is taking the field for the first time (on the far right).
When he was walking up to the plate for the first time, he got a standing ovation, which you don’t really see that often.
Towards the end of the game, I decided that my last chance to get a ball would be at the umpire tunnel from Tim Tschida. I was able to easily sneak down to to the fourth row directly behind home plate on either side of the tunnel. When the game was over, I was able to get a ball from Mr. Tschida.
And my adventures for the day came to a close. I was very glad that I was able to keep my short streak going.
Here’s the box score.
1 ball at this game
5 consecutive games with a ball
18 balls this season
21 lifetime balls
One more game in Baltimore tomorrow.