Have you ever wanted to feel like a Major League player? Well the Pirates try to give their season ticket holders an idea of that experience with their field days.
Each year fans get to hit on the field, snag fly balls and throw on the very field the Pirates use for 81 games a season.
I have done this for three years now and again if I have my way this sadly will be the last time.
Of course I brought my friend Colston as always to the event.
From about a month before the event, I stepped up my workouts as I had a specific goal in mind – get the ball out of the infield on the fly. Last year, I hit a couple or so grounders out of the infield, but that was not good enough.
I had a nice lifting session right before heading down. We headed down with caution though as we hit on Friday, the day there was a hostage situation right by my Point Park campus. I was right on campus and very close to this. The area was mostly closed off. I will spare you the details and give you the link if you want to find out more:
I was okay and safe the whole time, although the Point Park gym had both TV’s in the room I mainly worked out in tuned in for coverage on it.
Once I was done with my workout, I met with Colston and headed straight down to the ballpark.
Upon getting to the ballpark, I saw that fellow ballhawks Ian and Rick would be at the session as well which was great.
Rick and Ian would start out throwing in left which meant they hit last. I would field the fly balls in right field which meant my group hit second.
Last year even while sick the flyball machine was a piece of cake. This year it actually was a challenge and I struggled with a couple of them.
It was then off to the hitting. I had done a lot of promising and now it was time to put up or shutup.
Looking back at the video, I can see how bad my stance was and it usually is never that bad but here is the video to show you if I made my goal.
In short I made it despite a really messed up swing. Still the video is worth watching and I was pleased to reach my goal.
Colston had his struggles in the cages missing everything but it’s tough when the pitches were all over the place.
I then went into left field to throw with Colston. When it finally got to the jumping the fence to rob the balls, I got the first one but then Colston severly misfired and that was the end of that ball. Oh well.
I then played shallowish left and of course my first throw to where the balls are usually thrown was too strong [whoops I guess I lifted too much].
My one regret is not playing much deeper left. A season ticket holder hit a deep fly ball that just cleared the fence. I could have easily brought that back. Oh well, congrats to him.
Also Ian missed everything in my session and Rick’s power looked like Jose Tabata’s BP, then again Tabata is [somehow] a major leaguer, so there’s that. They would hit again in the next two hour session.
After all was said and done, everyone then went up for lunch, and I had a hamburger, ice cream and some chips while talking to Ian, Rick and Baseball Joe.
It was a great time, although I wish the Pirates had brought back the former players to interact with the fans.
Also in case you wanted to know, the baseballs were training balls, [whether or not they were from the Washington Nationals is anybody’s guess]. Training balls are much harder to hit.
Still the positives outweighed the negatives and it was fun.