This was looking to be a very fun game! I had told my dad that I wanted to go to this game, and he was a little unsure of whether or not he wanted to go.
My sister really wanted to go an spend some time with me, so she convinced him into taking us to this game.
My dad is awesome! He was feeling a little under the weather, but was willing to take us anyway!
On our way to the game, I sent a tweet Theo Bowe, on the Blaze, telling him I would be sitting behind the dugout, asking if he could hook me up with a souvenir of some sort. 30 seconds later, he retweeted it, and 5 minutes later, a guy in the Royals Organization (random) replied, telling me that the player would be able to give me a bat and batting gloves after the game.
Pretty cool! I doubted he actually would, but hey, you never know!
I walked closer, and had noticed a ball to the right, maybe 10 feet, but I didn’t want to get in trouble, so I didn’t go in.
Freaking glory. So awesome. Just an empty field for lots of balls to fly into
At this point, it was 4:30, so I wasn’t expecting BP, and that somewhat disappointed me.
Christian Bergman walked out to the bullpen with someone who I assume is their bullpen catcher, and the team’s pitching coach, Darryl Scott. I talked with Scott for a few minutes, and then let him get back to focusing on the pitching
While I was paying attention to the bullpen, a loose ball rolled to the wall to my right. I heard a player said “Here buddy” I looked and he tossed a ball up to me over the wall for my 1st ball of the day.
I decided that the player was Nick Schnaitmann, mostly because I heard someone call him Nick.
I just stayed there for the most part, hoping for another snagging opportunity. I waited for about another 15 minutes or so.
Pascale then called me on my phone, telling me that the line was getting long, and that I needed to get there soon. I looked at my watch, and realizing the gates opened in 5 minutes, I ran back to get in line with them. The line was pretty long for a minor league game with no giveaway.
Knowing this, my sister had brought a ball with her, but I decided that Pascale and I would use the ball I had snagged earlier.
My dad got a lot of tremendous shots of Pascale and I playing catch.
Now the reason that I did this was because the last time I was at John Thurmond Field, I got my only ball of the day when I saw a ball on the ground as some players walked into the dugout, and got one of them to toss it to me.
The players were all just sitting in the dugout, so I decided to go buy myself a Nuts hat and spend a little time with my dad and sister.
I was unable to get a ball from the players throwing, so I headed back to my seat in time for the first pitch. I them remembered about the shaved ice stand, so I go a shaved ice, sliding right into my seat in time for the exchanging of the line up cards
That is Ken Griffey Sr. The father of Ken Griffey Jr. Pretty awesome!
The seats we had purchased were row 2 aisle seats behind the visitor’s dugout, so I brought my Reds hat, as the Blaze are the High-A affiliate of the Reds.
I already had 1 ball, and my goal on the day was to get a foul ball and a few 3rd out balls or infield warm-up balls, as well as the line up cards after the game.
In the middle of the second inning, my dad accompanied my sister in her pursuit of cotton candy.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Juan Crousset stepped to the plate. I was sitting in the 1st row aisle seat, ready to jump out and chase a foul ball. He blooped a little foul pop up over my head. It knew it would land right behind me, but because I didn’t have time to get out of my seat to make a clean catch, I pushed my feet of the dugout wall, kind of jumping, and caught the ball right before it bounced off the table behind the 2nd row.
When my dad and sister came back, with a shaved ice of her own (The cotton candy machine was broken), I showed them the foul ball, and they were pretty impressed. My dad then got a picture of me with the ball.
While I had been trying to get a ball when the Blaze were throwing, I heard a player talking to his mom. I got 2 things in their conversation. 1) All of the pitchers want their pitching coach fired. 2) Because they had won the 1st half in their division, they had a 1st round bye in the playoffs, so they were being lazing and not trying in the 2nd half. I wonder if that is why their pitcher didn’t pitch well.
I chased foul balls and 3rd out balls during the game, but was unable to come up with another ball during the game. One reason was because their was a girl who got most of the 3rd out balls, and got a head start on a lot of foul balls over me. Oh well. It was still a lot of fun!
In the top of the 9th, I got a seat right next to the dugout, so that right when the final out was recorded, I could try to get a ball, bat , or the line up card.
I asked for a ball, but had no luck. Then, I asked the bat boy for the line up cards. He was peeling them off for me, when he told me there was a player who wanted it because of the night before or something like that. I then noticed a broken bat on the dugout floor, and asked the bat boy for that. He told me that he wanted to, but wasn’t allowed to give away broken bats because I could injure myself.
It was a great game! I got the opportunity to play catch with my sister on the field, a lot of fantastic pictures, I got 3 balls (I forgot to grab my 1st ball for the picture below), a Nuts hat, and I got a chance to wear my new A’s sweatshirt!
• 3 balls at this game
• 12 balls in 5 Minor League games this season = 2.4 balls per game.
• 29 balls in 16 baseball games this season = 1.8125 balls per game.
• 12 Lifetime Minor League baseballs
• 34 total balls
• 5 consecutive Minor League Games with at least 1 ball
• 8 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
• 3 consecutive games with at least 2 balls
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. You can also LIKE his blog on Facebook or follow him @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay on Instagram. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.