9/2/13 at John Thurman Field

Like my last entry, this one will be short, since I am trying to get caught up. Sorry!

This was my last Minor League game of the season, so I wanted to make the most of it!

It was Labor Day, a 1:05 game. The gates were supposed to open at noon, so I got there around 11am with my dad and sister. We chilled in the car for a bit before getting in line just before 12 o’clock.

I ran over to the LF corner, where some Ports pitchers were throwing. All of a sudden, I saw Seth Frankoff pick up a bat. Then a ball. Then he popped a ball over the CF fence. What did I do? I took advantage of the reentry policy.

I got out there and picked up the first ball. It was an MLB ball! Moments later, a Cal League ball came flying over the fence.

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I then saw a 3rd ball fly over the fence, which I ran and picked up. I headed back inside and got a picture of my 3 balls.

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Note that the top left ball is a California League ball. The top right one is an MLB Ball. The bottom one is an APPALACHIAN LEAGUE BALL. Check it out:

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The Cal League Ball had something written on the back.

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Do you remember the day before when I was talking with Seth Frankoff by the Ports bullpen? He asked me if I had tickets to the game today and when I told him that I didn’t he said that he would leave tickets for me for the game! How awesome is that? Here is where I sat for the game!

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A few players were on the field warming up.

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Mostly pitchers getting some throwing in.

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By the Nuts batting cages, Trevor Story was taking some hacks.

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My sister and I decided to grab sno-cones, then we headed over to the Ports bullpen, where players were starting to come onto the field. Dusty Robinson:

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B.A. Vollmuth:

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Manager Webster Garrison (aka WEBBY!!!)

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The Nuts starting pitcher in this game was Ben freaking Alsup. It seemed like the bajillionth time had had seen him pitch this year, and I was excited!

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Normally, I don’t like to see the same guy pitch over and over again, but after Ben pitched in my first 3 Nuts games of the season, I took a liking to him!

Pitching for the Ports was their pitcher of the year, Tanner Peters!
IMG_6741He threw a solid 4 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits.

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In the bottom of the 2nd, Tyler Massey lined out to Dusty Robinson to end the inning, and Dusty tossed me the ball, for my 4th on the day!

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Beauty.

Then, in the bottom of the 6th, Niko Gallego grounded out, shortstop Wade Kirkland to second baseman Antonio Lamas. On his way in to the dugout, Lamas tossed me my 5th on the day, which I gave away to a little kid a few sections over.

After 6 strong innings, Kraig Sitton came on in relief of Ben Alsup in the 7th.

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He pitched 1 inning, allowing 1 hit, 1 walk, and he struck out 2 Ports hitters.

In the 7th inning, Philip Phol, the Ports catcher, stepped to the plate with 1 out and runners on 1st and 2nd. At the time, I was standing behind the Nuts dugout, in hopes of a 3rd out ball, or foul ball, when he popped a ball just behind the dugout, that I caught on a bounce! My 6th ball on the day and 10th foul ball of the year!

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On the pitch, he broke his bat, which I made a mental note of to ask for after the game…

Guess who came on to pitch the 7th inning for Stockton? Seth Frankoff!

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Going into the 7th, the Ports were down 3-0, with the Nuts having scored a run in the 6th to add to their 2 runs from the 2nd inning.

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This definitely was not his best outing of the year.

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Tyler Massey led off the inning with his 18th double of the season. David Kandilas followed up by grounding out, while Tyler Massey advanced to to 3rd. Matt Wessinger then singled to center field, scoring Tyler Massey, bringing the score to 4-0 Nuts.

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Then, when Ryan Casteel stepped to the plate, Matt Wessinger stole 2nd base. Casteel then singled to left field, bringing in Matt Wessinger to score, making it 5-0. On the next pitch, Jared Simon was hit by the pitch, putting runners on 1st and 2nd, with only 1 out.

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Trevor Story then flied out to Rashun Dixon for the second out of the inning, holding the runners. The next hitter was Jordan Ribera, who singled to Dusty Robinson, scoring Ryan Casteel and advancing Jared Simon to 2nd base. Harold Riggins was the next batter, and he singled to left field, loading the bases.

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Then, Webby made the trip to the mound…

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And that was all for Seth…

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He escaped having only allowed 3 runs, but he was still responsible for the 3 guys on base.

T.J. Walz came in to relive Seth. Niko Gallego reached on a throwing error by 3rd basemanTony Thompson, scoring Jared Simon and keeping the bases loaded. Tyler Massey proceded to hit his 2nd double of the inning, driving in Jordan Ribera and Harold Riggins. Then, David Kandilas finally grounded out to end the inning.

In all, Seth allowed 6 Runs (3 of them earned), 5 hits, 0 walks, and 0 strikeouts. It was really hard for me to watch. This put the score at 9-0 Nuts.

Nelson Gonzalez came on to replace Kraig Sitton in the top of the 8th inning for Modesto.

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Meanwhile, T.J. Walz pitched the 8th inning for Stockton, allowing 2 more runs, making the score 11-0.

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Since the Nuts scored 10 runs, that meant everyone in the stadium received a coupon for a free taco from Taco Smell Bell.

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In the 9th inning, I moved here, in hopes of getting a few souvenirs, since this was the Ports last game of 2013.

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The Ports were unable to push across any runs in the 9th inning.

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This gave the Nuts an 11-0 win.

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When I got to the dugout, everyone was clearing out as fast as they could, so I grabbed the lineup card off the wall. Then, Philip Phol approached me and handed me a bat!

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It was the bat he had broken earlier in the game! However, they had used tape to put it back together. So I got a foul ball that he hit and the (broken) bat that he hit it with… AWESOME!

We then headed out to the Ports team bus, where players were filing out of the clubhouse already!
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Everyone was in street clothes, ready for the ride back to Stockton.

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A lot of the players were handing out their hats and such. I asked just about every player for a hat, but none of them gave me one. Most of them did hand out their hats though. Tanner Peters came out of the clubhouse at one point and asked if anyone wanted something game-used. I asked him if he could get me something, since nobody else had heard him, and he came out with 2 pairs of cleats! Which he handed to the people on each side of me… Oh well!

It was really cool though to see all the players heading out! As Seth walked out, he said a quick hello, and I thanked him for the tickets. He thanked me for all of my support over the season, and told me to make sure to keep in touch with him.

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PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go follow him on Twitter! Also, follow his wife Bess on Twitter as well! They have both been so kind to me, it would mean a lot if you could follow both of them! While you’re at it, send them both a tweet letting them know that I sent you! Thank You VERY much!

The last guy out of the clubhouse was manager Webster Garrison. He took time to shake their hand and thank each person waiting outside the clubhouse. He approached me and told me “Thanks for all of your support this season Nick. You’d better be at a lot of games next year!” He smiled, shook my hand, and moved on to the next person.

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How awesome is that?

Well, after that, I decided to head out. What a way to end my Minor League season, huh?

In my 2013 MiLB games, I was able to…

  • Attend 13 MiLB games (7 in Stockton, 6 in Modesto)
  • Snag 80 balls
  • Snag 10 foul balls
  • Acquire 11 Lineup Cards
  • Acquire 1 pair of batting gloves
  • Acquire 4 bats (1 broken, 2 unbroken, 1 broken and taped back together)
  • Get Seth Frankoff’s Pink jersey
  • And have a WHOLE lot of fun!

That’s all for this entry! My next entry should be up in a couple days, so stay on the lookout for that!

Thanks for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 33rd Game of the Year… 13th MiLB Game of the Year
  • 6 balls at this game
  • 80 MiLB Balls in 11 MiLB Games = 6.15 Balls Per MiLB Game
  • 95 Lifetime Minor League baseballs
  • 113 Baseballs this Season
  • 156 total balls

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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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