9/7/12 at John Thurman Field

Minor League playoff baseball? I think so.

Yep, I’m back in Modesto! This game was going to be slightly different. Here is the story…

So the night before, I was listening to the Nuts/Giants game on the radio, and once the Nuts won the, the broadcaster said that the final game on the 3-game mini-series would be in Modesto at 7pm on Friday.

I then went to the Nuts website to try and purchase tickets, where I found a link where if I took a survey about my experiences at Nuts home games this year, then I would win 2 free playoff tickets.

Survey completed. Tickets won.

I somehow convinced my dad to take me (still trying to figure that one out) and he ended up surprising me by purchasing us 2 new seats right behind the Nuts dugout, where I had never sat before. I was excited.

I then told him that I was hoping to leave right after I got out of school at 3:05. It turned out that he had a meeting that was supposed to end at 5pm, so I was kind of disappointed. but still, my dad is taking me to ANOTHER game and it is hard to complain about that!

I got home from school around 3:30 (I walk home) and he showed up around 5:15.

We got to the stadium close to 6:30, and as soon as we got in, I ran to the right field corner

There were some Nuts players starting to get loose

My dad made his way to our seats

There were players walking past the bullpen, and I was able to get one to autograph my ticket

When the infielders starting throwing, I got ball #1 tossed to me.

I then headed back to my seat

Just in time for the line up cards to be exchanged

The sun began to set as the umpires concluded their meeting

The National Anthem was sung

And we were ready for some playoff baseball!

This was the view for the most of the game

The game would feature the Modesto Nuts and San Jose Giants, battling to advance to the next round of the California League playoffs.

My dad had a lot of fun wandering around the stadium, getting some fantastic pictures from different places like the 1st base side, where we had never sat at in Modesto before

He also got some great pictures down the right field line

My dad also went down the left field line to get some cool shots as well

When the Giants finished their ups in the top of the 2nd inning, I called out to Joey Wong for the 3rd out ball, and he tossed it to me for my 2nd of the day.

At the bottom of each inning, I would head over to the Giants dugout to try and get a 3rd out ball, and stood in the walkways between the aisle and concourse, chasing foul balls.

My dad was fantastic about letting me run around, chasing balls and all. Most of the balls that were hit into the stand flew out of the stadium, to be retrieved by fans outside.

When the Giants finished hitting in the top of the 4th, I got a Nuts player to toss me the 3rd out ball for my 3rd ball on the day.

When I caught the ball, a guy who had seen me catch the other ball started yelling at me because it the 2nd ball that he had seen me catch. I gave him my card and mentioned my blog, and he was pretty cool for the rest of the night.

After that incident, I decided that it would be in my best interests to not try really hard for thrown balls, just kind of chase foul balls and have some fun.

There were a few cool things that I noticed that I hadn’t seen before
1) This sign. I guess if a player hits a home run through it, some random fan wins $10,000

2) Oh Mike on the Mic…

Even though I didn’t have much luck, it was really fun just to run around chasing balls, and having a good time.

There was one foul ball that I came close to during the game, and that ball I should have had. It was popped up right behind our seats. I just simply misplayed it. Stupid me.

I Knew that this was an elimination game, and going into the 9th inning, the Nuts were winning, so I grabbed a seat right behind the Giants dugout.

As I was walking to the 3rd base side, I noticed a guy with a radar gun.

Cool stuff.

Of course, the Nuts won, advancing to the next round of the playoffs.

As soon as the game ended, I got down right next to the dugout

And before I had a chance to ask for the line up card, it was peeled off the wall and the manager walked away.

Then, I called out to the bat boy for a ball, which he handed to a player, who walked away.

Then, I noticed the Giants’ catcher with a few bat in his hand and asked him for one. HE then handed it to a kid next to me, who my dad overheard had gotten a bat in the previous 2 games. Wow.

That was it for the night. I wandered around the empty ballpark with my dad for a few minutes

It was fun to be at a playoff game, experience the great atmosphere, and just have fun. It really is amazing how calm everything was, and just a great experience.

After this entry , I have one more entry to get up before I am all up to date, which I will hope to get up in the coming days.

Now there are a few more pictures that my dad took and I have to show. They are pretty awesome!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 3 balls at this game
• 15 balls in 6 Minor League games this season = 2.5 balls per game.
• 37 balls in 19 baseball games this season = 1.947 balls per game.
• 15 Lifetime Minor League baseballs
• 42 total balls
• 6 consecutive minor league games with at least 1 ball
• 10 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
• 6 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.

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2 comments

  1. Pingback: 2012 in Review « 7000 Coliseum Way
  2. Pingback: 4/5/13 at Banner Island Ballpark « 7000 Coliseum Way

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