Then, I headed behind the stadium, where I had never been before. It turned out that the Rawhide were taking BP. I got my glove on and got ready for some action. Then, I saw some little kid walk by with AT LEAST TEN BASEBALLS IN HIS GLOVE. I guess there were a lot of balls hit out there.
Shortly before BP, a man approached me, and came up to me, asked me if I was Nick Badders, and shook my hand. He told me we had met at this game, where I met Zack Hample. I guess his daughter and I had gotten a picture with Zack. Bam! I remembered him.
Now I apologize because I never got his name, so if you are reading this, please let me know in the comments what your name is. Thanks!
At this point, I started walking towards the RF side of the stadium, where I took a picture with my phone of the Downtown Stockton Marina, where fans can dock their boats for the Ports game.
I then walked around the stadium to join my parents in line, with about 15 minutes before the gates opened at 6:05. Here, I formulated a plan with my dad to exit the stadium as soon as we got in and get back in line to get 2 more bobble heads with the two extra tickets I bought. One of those tickets was on the right side of the Ports dugout; the other was down the LF line.
Soon enough, the gates opened, at which point my dad and I gave my mom our bobble heads and programs and we looked for an exit, which we couldn’t find. After wandering around for a while, and past the cages where some Ports players were getting a little last-minute BP in, we exited out the Season Ticket Holder gate, and got back in the then very short line. We got our bobble heads, and we went to our seats, where my mom and sister were basking in the awesomeness, as they were not with us last month in Stockton.
I then headed over to where players were coming onto the field and where Ian Krol, the Ports starter was staring to warm up. I got one of my tickets autographed by some Rawhide player who I was unable to identify.
After Ian had finished warming up with Max Stassi, I called out to both of them for the ball, but I guess they had to use it in the bullpen, because that’s what Craig Lefferts, the pitching coach said.
I then tried for a ball from Nino Leyja, who was finishing up with catch, but it was a no. I went back to my seat, just in time for the line ups and first pitch. The closet I came to a foul ball was when Yordy Cabrera shot a line drive right over my head. Had I jumped straight up, I would have gotten it for sure. But considering how fast off the bat it was coming, I didn’t have enough reaction time to get it.
When there were 2 outs at the top of each inning, I would go behind the dugout in the section to my right, because that was where Ports players were entering my dugout. For the most part, I had no luck.
In the bottom of the 8th, I sprinted out of my seat and got right in the cross aisle, where I called out to Tony Thompson, the first baseman, and he tossed it just a little to my right. The guy I had been talking to before the gates opened jumped up, and it tipped off his glove, and bounced off the rail, onto the ground, where I fumbled it and picked it up. Finally!
In the top of the 9th, I stayed in my seat and when Zach Thornton got a strike out to end the inning, Max Stassi headed over to my side if the dugout. I shouted out his name, pointed to him, punched the pocket of my glove and held it up. He pointed back to me and tossed it to some guy next to the dugout. This prompted the man sitting in the section to my left to ask me if 1 wasn’t enough and how “kids these days are so selfish” and a bunch of other stuff. I could have explained my blog, but I didn’t bother.
The game went into the bottom of the 9th, tied 2-2, with Miles Head due up to lead off. Miles was the one that tossed me a ball in my game last month in Stockton. He fouled off a lot of pitches and then bombed it out to center field. Cue Celebration!
I ran over to the dugout, where there were a lot of other people, as Miles started a post-game interview with “Hot Rod”, the Ports in-game entertainer guy. I asked Webster Garrison, the Ports manager for the lineup card, he was like “yeah, sure, hold on’” and handed it to some guy closer to the front of the dugout.
I stayed around for a while, hoping to ask someone else, but I left at 10:00. It was a good game. I mean, 3 bobble heads, new hat, and a ball, it’s hard to complain! my next scheduled game is June 20th at the Coliseum, but I figure to go to another game before then.
• 1 ball at this game
• 3 balls in 3 Minor League games this season = 1 ball per game
• 7 balls in 6 baseball games this season = 1.16 balls per game
• 3 consecutive Minor League games with at least one ball
• 5 consecutive baseball games with at least one ball
• 12 total baseballs
• 3 total Minor League baseballs
Nick Badders is a unofficial reporter for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.