My uncle who had invited us to go to Seattle earlier in the summer was visiting for a couple of weeks, so we had decided to visit Yankee Stadium before he left. Late in the drive there, I thought that we had gotten very lost in the streets of the Bronx, but all of a sudden, we saw the giant letters of YANKEE STADIUM towering over everything else. My Dad let my brother and I out, and the two of us walked the rest of the way, while they found a parking space.
We were the only ones in line for about 10 minutes. It was nice having no one behind us for that time, when there is normally a line half a mile long.
I ran into Zack Hample who stationed himself in the other line, and we talked for a few minutes, and then the gates opened. I was one of the first ones in, and there were home runs being hit left and right, unfortunately, they were hit where there was already people, except for one that landed in the bleachers, where no one was yet. (Note to self: Go to the bleachers before anywhere else at Yankee Stadium.) Eventually, a security guard walked over and got it, and since I was the youngest person asking for it, he tossed it down to me.
After that, the right field seats started to fill up, so I ran over to left field, where I tried to get a ball from the Orioles pitchers without any luck, but I did see something strange, one of the Orioles pitchers overthrew a ball that hit a guy who was on the phone on the head, and all of a sudden a glove came into the stands that was apparently trying to stop the ball from going into the seats. Both the ball and glove were given back, with no questions asked.
Anyway, in the actual left field seats, I had been yelling to David Phelps to toss me a ball and at the very end of the Yankees portion of BP, he turned around and threw one to me, which was then intercepted by a very prominent ball snagger, who had already gotten a ball from Phelps, who had seen the whole thing. He pointed to me as if to say that that was who it was supposed to go to, and the ball snagger looked behind him to see me, and then a smaller kid who wasn’t wearing a glove behind me, who he handed the ball to. If it hadn’t been the end of their batting practice, I would’ve gotten a different ball from Phelps, but that wasn’t how the cookie crumbled.
The Orioles didn’t hit anything near me, and since the outfield seats were filled up like the game had already started, I headed up to the right field bleachers. At the end of BP, a security guard walked in to the bullpen and tossed up the baseballs that had been hit there, mostly by Chris Davis. He gave one to me, even though I was wearing Orioles gear. I noticed that there were still baseballs in the other bullpen, so I quickly changed into my Yankees gear, but somehow didn’t get one tossed up to me.
I tried to get a ball from Mike Harkey, but before he made his way into the bullpen, I felt like I was going to pass out, so I went to one of the concession stands on top of the Mohegan Sun Sports bar, and asked if I could have a cup of ice, to which they responded, “We’re not allowed to give out cups.” They eventually gave me a paper cup and filled it with some water, and I felt much better, but in that time, someone had called my Dad, which meant that I basically had to go back to my seat. A cop had already called the paramedics, even though there was absolutely no need, and as my Dad put it, on our way back to the seats, “We were poison up there for the rest of the game.”
As for the game, I had aisle seats in the same section that Zack was sitting in and had a good view of this guy.
After the eighth inning ended, my uncle and I ventured over to the Orioles bullpen to try to get a ball, which happened very quickly. After five minutes, one of the Orioles bullpen catchers saw that I was in Orioles gear and tossed one to me, along with two other fans who had been waiting. The one that I got was rubbed up. When I got back to my seat in the bottom of the ninth inning, Zack was at the top of the staircase, where the top rows were practically empty. We talked a little, and all of a sudden, we heard the sound of the ball hitting Curtis Granderson’s bat, and I turned around to see the ball going a few feet to my left. I was blocked off because my row was filled up. The ball missed Zack’s glove by a few inches and ricocheted off my brother’s back, and into the hands of the fan sitting next to him.
It really annoyed me that I hadn’t been paying attention, but there was nothing that I could do. I was just glad that it hadn’t been a milestone home run for Granderson, but it almost was. It was #201 of his career. In the following picture, you can see me as one of the only fans in Orioles gear, right at the tunnel. Zack was on the ground looking for the ball.
And a few minutes after all that happened, the game was over. I did okay, in terms of snagging. I could’ve done much better.
Here’s the box score:
3 balls at this game
1 consecutive game with a ball
27 balls this season
30 lifetime balls