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  • Getting balls at games

    What's everybody's experience getting balls at games? Have you caught foul balls or gotten balls during batting practice? What's the best place to get balls during BP?

    In all the times I've been to Shea, I've never gotten a ball, but I've gotten two at other parks.

    When the Mets played at Fenway last year, I was standing near the visitors' bullpen during BP, and I saw that Guy Conte (Mets bullpen coach) had a ball in his pocket. I asked if he had any extra balls, and he gave me that one. I later had Tom Glavine (ugh...) sign it.

    Also last year I went to a game at Chase Field, when the Diamondbacks were playing the Padres. I was watching BP from the first row of the left field stands. Jake Peavy was throwing a ball around in the area, and a ball landed near the fence. I asked him for it. He turned around, and asked which person said please. It was me, so I told him, and he gave me the ball.

    In my experience, it's a lot easier to get balls during BP if you're in fair territory, since you're right near the pitchers shagging fly balls, which is why I had luck in Boston and Arizona but not at Shea.

  • #2
    The first time I went to Monument Park, a Yankees pitcher (I think it was Neil Allen) gave me a ball. Later on, during that game, I got hit in the head with a ball, and the guy in front of me wouldnt give the ball to me. He just took it and left.

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    • #3
      Shea Stadium, April 24, 2007, Mets v. Rockies: I caught the home run hit by Damian Easley in the bottom of the 10th to tie the game and keep the Mets in the game (they would win it in the 12th on an Endy Chavez bunt). It landed in the picnic bleachers, bounced up, and landed in my upraised hand.

      At the time I was taking pictures, and when I heard cries of "look out," "move over," and the like, my biggest fears were 1) getting conked on the head with the ball, and 2) my Digital camera getting damaged in the fight for the ball.

      So when I realized the ball landed in my hand, I was in stunned disbelief.

      (As an aside: My next game in the picnic bleachers at Shea was September 24 v. the Nationals. A home run did land in the bleachers, but it was a Washington homer; the fans were chanting for the guy who caught the ball to throw it back, which he did. I don't know if I would have.)
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      • #4
        Originally posted by nymfan9 View Post
        What's everybody's experience getting balls at games? Have you caught foul balls or gotten balls during batting practice?
        Yes

        <What's the best place to get balls during BP?>

        Probably field level, towards the foul pole but not in too big a crowd

        <I asked if he had any extra balls, and he gave me that one. I later had Tom Glavine (ugh...) sign it.>

        If it's that much of a tragedy I can take it off your hands

        <In my experience, it's a lot easier to get balls during BP if you're in fair territory, since you're right near the pitchers shagging fly balls, which is why I had luck in Boston and Arizona but not at Shea.>

        Pitchers don't always shag flies in the OF
        Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
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        • #5
          All at Yankee Stadium:
          1987, next to right field foul pole, hit by Ernie Witt
          1996, upper reserve sec 9, Jeter
          1998, upper box sec 4, Troy O'Leary
          2004, upper box sec 4, Bernie Williams
          2007, upper box sec 4, Jason Giambi

          My biggest tip, play the rebound. Rarley does someone catch it on the fly.

          When someone catches a ball, the same thing always happens. He looks at it closely a few times (like hes never actually held a baseball), grips it like a pitcher, rubs it. Then a good number of people in his section (usually a radius up to 10 rows) congratulate him and ask to see it. It gets passed around and everyone who handles it goes through the same routine. No matter how far it gets passed, it always works its way back. Like when handing hot dog money down the row. And for the rest of the game the guy who got it will hold it in his hand, occasionally looking at it and still doing the pitching grips.

          After I caught one of mine, a guy asked to see it, handed it to his son, took a picture of his son holding it, then gave it back to me. Can't make that up!

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          • #6
            My experience has been somewhat limited:

            1992--West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium, Dodgers v. Expos spring training--foul ball bounced into the stands, rolled along the bottom rail of the bleacher seating, right into my hands.

            2007--Oriole Park at Camden Yards--Batting practice. I had it signed by Boog Powell while waiting in line for his BBQ.

            My dad did once actually manage to catch a foul ball in his hands. He got it signed by Brooks Robinson.

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            • #7
              1998 - Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter FL - Expos vs. Cardinals - I was sitting down the first base line and I caught a Mark McGwire foul ball in my hands. It was before all the home run chase stuff that year. I've gotten a ton of foul balls at Jupiter Hammerheads/Palm Beach Cardinals single A games there
              1997 2003
              Parks I've visited: 30 for 30, plus 5 closed

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              • #8
                i got one at Fenway during batting practice in 2005 they were playing the Angles my seat was in left field right near Peske Pole im not sure who hit it but i know it was a redsox so i looked up and saw the ball comin right to me it hit a arm rest on a chair like 2 rows in front of me and i put my glove in front of my face and got it if i didnt have my glove the ball wudda hit me right in the kissa.

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                • #9
                  Hr

                  During the last game of this past season, Jonathan Wyatt of the Georgia Bulldogs hit his last home run of his collegiate career right at me. For a moment, I thought about trying to catch it, then realized that no one was around me and opted for the embarrassment-free option of letting it fall at my feet, holding it up for the people in the seats to see, and teasing my "dawg" with it.

                  The game was played on Mother's Day and Jonathan's mom was there so his brother came over and offered an autographed ball in exchange for it.

                  So, now I've got ball signed by the 2007 Georgia Bulldog team and Jonathan's mom has the last home run he hit as a Dawg.

                  I'm sure glad my dog didn't beat me to the ball.

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                  • #10
                    I caught a foul ball at Riverfront or should I say, it caught me.

                    I was coming back to my seat after visiting the restroom and a foul ball was hit in the section to my right. It bounced off a few hands and landed right at my feet. It bounced up and hit me in the jaw but I caught it. I had a sore jaw for a few days but I also had the ball.

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                    • #11
                      I have never personally caught one, but my buddy who I was with years ago caught a Paul O'Neil line drive in the short porch with one hand. People around us were going nuts. He was like OMG I caught I caught it!! Was so fun.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by donniebaseball23 View Post
                        I have never personally caught one, but my buddy who I was with years ago caught a Paul O'Neil line drive in the short porch with one hand. People around us were going nuts. He was like OMG I caught I caught it!! Was so fun.

                        I've been really fortunate.

                        Yankee Stadium-
                        7-29-2004 - Batting practice (Later signed by David Ortiz, and Andy Phillips)
                        7-14-2005 - Batting practice (A Rod hit thrown to me by Chein Ming Wang)

                        Shea Stadium
                        8-23-2004 - Batting practice (Ball given to me by trainer)
                        8-23-2004 - David Wright throw to Eric Valent at first, who tossed it into the stands (Got the ball signed by most of the 04 Mets, minus Piazza)
                        4-6-2006 - Julio Franco gave me a ball
                        4-6-2006 - Delgado throws a ball into the stands

                        Brooklyn Cyclones
                        7-19-2007 - Home opener vs. Yankees (Batting practice) My friend managed to climb under the fence where the Thunderbolt roller coaster used to lie, and got the first HR ball of the season
                        7-24-2007 - Practice ball

                        Long Island Ducks
                        5-31-2005 Atlantic City Surf basically give away a few balls by throwing them into the stands
                        6-15-2005 Pete Rose Jr basically catches a ball in foul territory while playing first, and gives me the ball

                        I only have the dates cause I saved the ticket stubs. Still, I'm pretty lucky that I've caught nearly 10.

                        Best advice, get to games early for BP. If you go to Shea stadium, go to the second tier right next to the foul pole. Players will often throw a few up there. For Yankee, the bleachers are your best bet. Stand a few rows back because the balls richocet really quick off the metal seats.

                        Minor leagues are different, they tend to give baseballs away if you ask them nicely, and catch them in a good mood.

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                        • #13
                          I used to go to BP at Shea all the time. Got many balls up in the last sections of Loge boxes just past the foul poles.

                          You get alot of BP homers up there plus sometimes the players in the OF throw balls up to the fans.
                          StadiumPage.com
                          Stadium Google Map

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                          • #14
                            I've gotten 3 during BP... All at Cinergy/Riverfront... One was a line shot by Sosa down the 3rd base line. I was the closest to it. Another was actually thrown into the stands by a Red player, and it bounced around under some seats... None of the people fighting over it even saw where it went. I calmly walked over, reached under a seat about 6 seats down from the scrum, and got it... The 3rd, I really can't remember. I just know I have one...

                            I got the middle one autographed by Mr Red for my little cousin, and gave it to him...
                            100 Years is long enough

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                            • #15
                              Tiger Stadium

                              The right field upper deck at Tiger Stadium had to be one of the best places to grab a ball in batting practice. It hung out 15 feet closer to the plate than the already short right field fence. I spent batting practice there the year before the stadium closed, and a regular came in with a glove and a duffel bag. I asked what his biggest haul was, and he said he'd picked up 16 one day when he was the only person in the RF upper deck. I believe he did, since I counted nine for him that day, when there was a fair amount of competition. Good guy, though--he gave four of them away to kids and young ladies. Two days later the Detroit news gave an interview with him, which I still have. I'll post it on this thread after I get it scanned. Some of you nuts might find it as interesting as I did.

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