Again as a reminder, these goals are set in case I do not get this internship I really want. If I do get it, then these goals obviously will be changed. Here is my list:
1. Stay injury free/healthy- This is a huge one. I am working hard on my health as it held up for the season but I have been having some issues that I am trying to resolve. For that reason, I likely will not stay for the duration of many games and likely will leave after the first inning or pitches to keep my health intact and to keep my stamina up. I was lucky to avoid any real injuries although I fell trying to scale something in left field, I was hit in the chin on numerous occasions and I took the side of a bleacher hard to the left side of my stomach. That injury, although it does not look like much drew blood and actually took a few days for to heal. I still was at the ballpark the next day doing my thing, but it did not feel great.
2. Attend at least 50 games- I know that I can do this one. I was at around 45 games this past season so I firmly believe this should be a piece of cake. I am a true Pirates fan and I love seeing the team play.
3. Raise more money for The Children’s Institute- I really want to continue to give to The Children’s Institute. While not all of the money is in from this season yet, I am proud that I can help out a little bit. I hope to be able to receive more support in the future. With a full season, I have much more time to plan this out and hopefully raise even more money.
4. Being able to snag more commemorative baseballs- like this one
5. Set the foundation with some off-season training- Normally I do not do much to prepare for the season until about a week before the season when I will walk. This year I am fortunate to have someone at my college who will be my personal trainer and help get me ready for the season. The combination of the cardio and weights will definitely help me get off to a fast start this coming season.
5. Advocate a 4:30 gate opening time on weekdays- I took the initiative at PirateFest to speak to someone high up about opening PNC Park at 4:30 instead of 5:00. Among the reasons for this being good are: ability to see more than three minutes of batting practice, kids get their first experience of seeing their favorite players and we get to feel closer to the team/feel like a part of the team. I am hoping that those in charge of the park see it the way myself and much of the Pirates season ticket family sees it. I spare you the remainder of the details or else we will be here all day.
6. Continue controlling my emotions- In the ballpark I was not as frustrated or impatient as I was in 2010 and that was great. I hope to be able to continue this in 2012.
7. Catch more baseballs on the fly- Just like in 2010, I relied almost solely on toss ups, so much so that I led PNC Park ballhawks by a comfortable margin. I hope to be able to catch some more instead of being a one trick pony. I hope to be good at many things, and considering that I do not have a glove trick, I have to make up for that as much as I can.
8. Signatures- I took a different approach to signatures last season. In short, I did not get many. For those I did get, almost all of them were for charity reasons. Still I ended up keeping my Matt Kemp and Tim Lincecum signatures and also got an Adrian Gonzalez signature which was cool. I likely will take a similar approach this season unless I want someone who hit or threw me a ball to sign it. Other than that charity reasons only.
9. Have fun- This is a fun experience. Ballhawking has allowed me to meet so many people I otherwise never would have met. For me it is great cardio and something which has made me a better person as well.
10. Snagging goal for this year- Lastly, the moment a lot of you have been waiting for. How many baseballs do I want to snag this season? Last season I decided on 128, a weird number but double the 64 baseballs I snagged in 2010. I ended up with 135 and would have snagged many more if there weren’t so many rained out BP’s.
I thought long and hard about my number for 2012 and finally decided on 206. Yes it is another weird number but I look at it this way. I am going to 50 plus games and if I can average 4 baseballs a game, then I will be right at 200. I know there will be days where I can do much better, and I know I can reach this goal. 206 comes from the total amount of baseballs I have snagged in my ballhawking career, so I hope to double my output. All of the ballhawking goals I have set for myself I have either met or surpassed and I have picked I number I believe I can get to.
One last goal that I would like to share is that I want a double digit game. I have come close on a few occasions, but I would just like to get that done a couple of times over the season.