It was Ballhawkfest and the competition was going to be more than usual despite Erik and Nick leaving to ballhawk in Baltimore.
I left work at 4 PM and went straight into line. Immediately I needed to quickly stretch and prepare myself to throw.
I began throwing with Rick and Robbie on the bridge and was shortly joined after by the Happy Youngster and the Cooks who showed up late.
After the nice throwing session we all got to our spots in line and waited for the gates to open.
When they did open, I quickly searched left field for easter eggs and saw everything was pocketed.
With Erik gone, I checked the third base side, and wouldn’t you know it, there was ball #1 just lying there and I quickly grabbed it before settling for first base.
I was on a mission on this day to try and catch a Baltimore Orioles commemorative baseball and it cost me 3-4 baseballs in the process, something which I regret.
Ball #2 came on a toss up from Charlie Morton. It was almost certainly the last toss up he threw in a Pirates uniform this season as he will have Tommy John surgery and miss 12 to 18 months, a tough break for a guy who is just a season removed from his career year.
Ball #3 came from Royals coach Steve Foster. I asked him to help me out with an Orioles commemorative for charity. He went to get a ball and tossed it to me but it was a regular ball. Ball #3 but I was shaking my head.
That was it during the Pirates portion of BP, I likely could have been at 6 if I hadn’t tried things such as talking to Jeff Francoeur. I asked him to come over to me when he finished throwing the football but he never did.
Ball #4 came when it was hit towards the first base side. I knew I had it and picked it up and was sad to see another normal baseball.
I was still in Pirates gear at this point but with time winding down with Royals BP, I did a quick change and upon coming down saw that reliever Kelvin Herrera with a ball. There were people in the front row so I took the approach that worked for Erik when the Cardinals were here and stayed in the 100’s level around the middle of the section. I held the glove up and that did the trick for ball #4. A family of four did not see that I was there so they got scared and I had to extend to make the catch and I got some applause from them. The ball was not commemorative and was given to their child.
That was it for Royals BP as there were no toss ups following BP.
I saw recent call up Clint Robinson and asked what he knew with the baseballs and if he could help me out but he was unable to do so.
I went to the bullpen and Herbie Andrade came in with a ball. I asked him if he wanted me to warm him up but he just threw it up. A random ball #5.
The Pirates were able to find a way to get the victory much to the delight of a packed house at PNC Park which were mostly there because of a Boyz II Men concert. I wish that one of these days that fans will come for the right reason.
My quest for an Orioles ball would not be denied so just yesterday (June 14) Rick and I went up to Baltimore and then back after the game. Would I get the Orioles commemoratives that I needed? Would there be any Red Sox commemoratives, you’ll have to read the next (long) entry to find out.
Lastly, with it being ballhawkfest, we all took a group picture which is below:
Yes I do have an Orioles commemorative in here. It was given to me but I decided not to count it since I did not officially snag it.