Tagged: royals

4/13/16 at Minute Maid Park

Kansas City Royals 4Houston Astros 2

A rainy day, no after-school baseball practice, and cheap tickets on StubHub equal what? Going to the game of course! With me being free, as compared to other days during my school baseball season, I was able to convince my dad to take me to the Astros game that day. We got there a bit before the gates opened at 5, and there was a pretty good line already. I headed to my usual spot in left-center as the Astros were wrapping up their BP.

 Nothing at all came close, and Ken Giles decided to ignore my request for a ball, pretty much describes how my day was going so far. As for my dad, he ended up getting us on the board first, as he snagged a BP homer, but not before some pain and busting his ass on the way there. (He’s okay. Dad, if you’re reading this, please be careful so I don’t have to laugh at you anymore this season.) Enough said.

For Royals BP, I decided to dress for them, and head out to right field as well. Plenty of balls came close and I ended up snagging our 2nd ball of the day on a Eric Hosmer ball that landed in the seats, and I picked up. The Royals were pretty much dead too, as all their power hitters were in the first round and nothing was coming to right field, so I decided to go to their dugout to maybe get a ball as they were jogging off at the end of BP. Despite me waving my arms like crazy, and standing ten rows back to distinguish myself from the hoard of Royals fans cramming the first row for autographs, nothing was tossed to me. Just like two days earlier, I only had snagged 1 ball during BP.  Here it is, but still, we had 2 combined for the day so far.

 Pre-game didn’t fare any better, as all the balls were tossed to little kids, or attractive women behind the Royals dugout. I decided to sit in one of my favorite spots along 3rd base in hope for some foul balls the whole night. Good view, but those damn new LED lights were lowkey killing me.

 It was a pretty good pitchers duel between Scott Feldman and Yordano Ventura through the first 5 innings before KC scored on an error and sac fly in the 6th, putting them up 2-0. Jose Altuve hit a Home Run in the bottom of the 6th, cutting the lead from 2-1, before Altuve once again got an RBI and tied the game in the 7th. It was getting late, and possibly looked like the game could go into extras. In the 8th, I decided to start playing the dugouts for a 3rd out ball, and I had a really good view when Ken Giles entered the game and gave up a 2-run home run by Salvador Perez to put the Royals up 4-2. Hmm, should’ve tossed me that ball? I had no luck with 3rd out balls despite people filing out after Ken gave up the home run. I decided to just wait at the umpire’s entrance/exit until the game ended, hopefully to get a ball there. My dad ended up joining me their and with their outstanding bullpen, the Royals locked up the win (sad face), 4-2. Surprisingly, compared to the Home Opener two days earlier, there was NO competition at the umpire’s tunnel. It was only me and my dad, which led to our polite request succeeding and both of us getting a ball from Mr. Cederstrom. We doubled our ball total for the day in 10 seconds. Way to turn around a day, and to get our first 2 game balls of the season.  

STATS after this game: 

  • 4 balls at this game
  • 12 balls in 3 games this season (average 3.00)
  • 54 straight games catching at least one ball
  • 2 games balls this season
  • Lifetime Total: 432
  • Attendance: 24,109.

 

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4/11/16 at Minute Maid Park (Astros Home Opener)

Kansas City Royals 2Houston Astros 8

After months of anticipation for the baseball season to start on April 4th, I was estatic, but the thing that wasn’t exciting was that I still had to wait another week for the Astros’ home opener, which would be my first regular season game of the season. (Read here for the exhibition I had attended a few weeks earlier.) Baseball was officially back in Houston, and last year’s postseason run really pumped the city up. The Astros have resurrected from the 100 loss seasons. Demand for opening day tickets were through the roof, and I was pretty lucky enough to get some at all, I was just ready to get back to good ol’ Minute Maid Park.

The day of the game, I was a little worried, considering that the Astros hadn’t made an announcement about what time the gates would open, but I heard 4:30 from my friend at school who would be there, so I arranged accordingly for that time. I had baseball practice after-school until about 3:30, when I left early, and my dad picked me up from there, both ready to go. It takes about 25 minutes to get to the ballpark from our house, so if you think about it, I would get there around 30 minutes before the gates open, right? It wasn’t till then when I asked my dad in the car if he knew anything at all about what time they would open, and turns out that the Astros announced (while I was at practice) that the gates were going to open at 4, a whole 3 hours before gametime. Damn, damn, damn. I kinda freaked, considering that I was going to be late to claim my regular spot for BP in left-center, as all the people with “standing room only” tickets would rush to claim them, thus backfiring my whole plan for BP. I decided to shoot the Astros a tweet asking if they knew the BP schedule, and sure enough, they replied with this.

 OK, I had time. we got there around 4:10 and thankfully there was a space in the area I like, and the Astros had not started BP yet. One thing that was VERY noticeable was that the Astros changed all the lights over the offseason to some new LED ones, as they were so gosh darn bright compared to the old ones, like wow.

 Yeah, the filter kinda makes it hard to tell, but trust me. There wasn’t any action, until Colby Rasmus decided to scan the crowd and randomly toss a ball. That ball came right in my direction, as I flashed to Colby and I was literally the ONLY one in the surrounding area that had a glove. It was intended for me, but surely he overthrew it (it was a pretty far throw, I don’t blame him, I still love Colby very much) and it landed in the people behind me. Rough start, oh well at least 5 minutes later, I got Luke Gregerson to throw me the 1st ball snagged in Minute Maid Park this year.

  
Nice scuff there. That was all for Astros BP, as nothing really came close other than that. Now, I did bring my Royals gear with me, and I did plan to go to right field for their BP, but I decided to stay put, and not put it on. Why not? I’m really not sure. I was pretty satisfied with my one ball and not getting shut out, and I felt like I had a good spot right there for some home runs.Our 2nd ball of the day came on a BP home run out in the Crawford Boxes in left that my dad managed to win a scramble to it. Another standard.

  
As for me, BP was pretty much dead, I ended up snagging a ball thrown to me by a Royals coach. Seems pretty average, right? Well, the family standing next to me had a small child, around 1-2 years old, and they were pleading with me to give him the ball. Now, I generally don’t give ball away, but hey it was opening day, along with the face that I may have been intended for the kiddo anyway, so I ended up giving it to them. I can’t remember the amount of times they thanked me, it made me feel great, they even made me take a picture with the kid! Cool stuff, and I didn’t count the ball. Many ballhawks do that, but as of now, it’s not my style, I’m okay with my stats!

Now, I really only got one more chance for a ball during Royals BP, but it was a BP homer that I really botched. I don’t know how I missed it/didn’t catch it, but oh well let’s not talk about it. That was it, 2 balls during BP. I went to go meet up with some friends all over the ballpark, including meeting someone (!!!), and after all this, we decided to head up to our seats then.

 I honestly did not remember the last time I sat up in the upper deck for a game, but hey, last minute tickets does that to you. A pretty cool pre-game ceremony was exciting.

 Also exciting? The first pitches being thrown by Jeff Bagwell & Roger Clemens to Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, respectively, was awesome. I was ready for some Astros baseball.    
 I sat up there until the 8th when some of the seats had cleared out near the dugout in hopes of snagging a opening day commemorative from the umpire. To hell, with third out balls at this game. I ended up running into (again) a die-hard KC fan/ballhawker named, Leiming Tang. I had previously met him back at the postseason game last year (against the Royals) and it was nice to catch up with him and bitter sweetly tell him congrats on his team’s championship season last year.

The Astros ended up winning, 8-2 (yay!), but the home plate umpire, Adrian Johnson, ended up only giving one ball to a small kid who was dressed in Royals gear, while his father had on an Astros jersey with a large backpack containing autograph stuff. Damn. It was commemorative too, I clearly saw it. 😦 Oh well, overall I had a nice night, and it was nice to be back at Minute Maid Park again. 2016 is our year!  img_4580

STATS after this game

  • 2 balls at this game
  • 8 baseballs in 2 games this season (4.00 average)
  • 53 straight games catching at least one ball
  • Lifetime Balls Total: 428
  • Attendance: 43,332.

3/19/16 at the Alamodome (San Antonio, Texas)

For a few years now (since 2013), the Texas Rangers have set up and played a pair of weekend exhibition games (dubbed, “Big League Weekend”) before the season starts at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Now, the Alamodome is mainly used as a football stadium, (for UTSA games) but for thesegames they transform it into a neat makeshift baseball stadium. The concept had me interested from the start and since San Antonio is pretty close to where I live, a three hour drive, I wanted to attend one. A new experience/stadium seemed really fun. Also, an exhibition game? It would be easy! When it was announced in the offseason of 2015 that they would bring it back again for 2016 when the Rangers would take on the reigning World Champs, the Royals (boo) I told myself, “I NEED to go.”  

   
The game was also going to be only 3 days before my birthday on the 22nd (which has since passed, I’m 16 now, hooray!) making it convincible, the only thing I needed to do was ask my dad. Well, let’s just say that I totally forgot to do so & ended up asking about two weeks before the game. I was worried maybe he had plans already for that day, like work or something. He said yes to the plan. Phew. So it was set, my “ballhawking season opener” would be on Saturday, March 19th, 2016. 

In these two weeks, I did lots of research over the Alamodome baseball experience. I wanted to know how ballhawking there was, good spots and everything. So much for that. I was practically going to be the first “real” ballhawk to snag baseballs there. (by real I mean registered member on mygameballs.com at least) I only found a few YouTube videos & lots of pics/maps of the venue. These were my only guidance. I did find out though 2 important things; 1) that because of the unusual configuration (it’s a rectangular football stadium, duh) left field was around 345 feet (yikes), while right field was only around 270 feet. Yes, 270 feet. Short fence= more baseballs, right? At least I figured out then where I was going for BP. To hell with left field. 

2) Despite this being a exhibition/spring training game, the games drew around 30,000 each night (respectable since the capacity of the Alamodome is around 50,000) The city doesn’t have an MLB team (only a triple-a team, the San Antonio Missions, affiliate of the Padres) so it was a pretty deal for the people of San Antonio. With the crowd/energy, this was going to be like ballhawking at a regular season game.

The plan was to wake up and leave at 7 in the morning for the 2:00 PM start. (We ballhawks are crazy.) On the official website of “Big League Weekend”, it stated that the gates would open at 11:30, 2 1/2 before game time. (Here in Houston at MMP, it’s only 2 hours.) Perfect. So, leaving at 7 would have us arriving at around 10 in the city, getting something to eat for breakfast around the place would take us until 10:30-10:45, the drive/parking another 15 minutes, getting there at 11, 30 minutes before gates opened. Good, right? I was surely ready. 

Finally that day came, and my whole family ended up coming along, not just my dad. (yay, family bonding!) Everything went to planned, a smooth drive, and we  arrived at about 10:15. We passed by the Alamodome for the first time.  

 Cool. After stopping for breakfast at Taco House, (one of my favs breakfast in the city) we proceeded to the stadium around. 10:55. The area around was pretty weird as its near the interstate & a railroad station, leaving only two sides to park on which were both considerably far from the stadium. There was a fanfest set up nearby which I wanted no part of, I needed to get to a gate. Now, a problem I did face was I had no clue where to enter. I got no help determining where right field was (where I wanted to enter). Based on where we parked & walked to, the gate was named “Northeast Entrance”. I just hoped for the best. I waited with my dad outside for about 15 minutes while my sister & mom checked out the fanfest. Not a lot of people were in line, but my anxiety kicked in then (I call it my ballhawking anxiety) and strong cold winds that morning meant I was freezing my ass off. Finally, at 11:30 the gates opened and I rushed inside. Well, the gate ended up being the one directly behind home plate (oh well) but I made up for it by running like crazy towards the short right field. I was surprised how short it actually was, I felt so close. The Rangers were still hitting. Sadly, I was so in the moment that I forgot to take pics but my mom did get a pic of the field (from the 3rd deck) as BP started/gates opened.  

 Looks like a second deck shot, huh? It took us 5 minutes to get on the board, as a home run bounced from the back of the section, and rolled over to me. The first ball of our 2016 season. Sadly, it was a regular ball. My main goal for the day included snagging a spring training ball. I saw and heard they were being used during BP, but I hadn’t seen any yet. 

Our second ball of the day came from a random tossup to my dad. Regular ball too. Ugh. 10 minutes passed as I stayed in right but these seats were fillin in fast. The sections were small & everybody pretty much had the same idea as me to go to right field. Our 3rd ball of the day was a cool snag. I have proved a visual representation.  

 So the ball pretty much landed in the third deck, but bounced back down at an angle, and with my swiftmaneuvering, it came right to me and I caught it on the bounce in mid-air . Cue crowd applause. Another regular ball. I had given up on the Rangers using ST balls. The last ball we snagged during Rangers BP, our 4th, was a ball that my dad got on a home run scramble. 

So far, so good. I changed into my Royals gear as they took the field around 12, many other kids had the same idea too, as I saw lots of kiddos bring Royals hats and put them on too. Smart. Tough. More competiton. 

Tossups at that point we’re going to be rough. Of course, as soon as a ball came near, every kid would yell at the top of their lungs, “BALL, BALL”. My polite requests were gone to waste. I brought a roster of all of the players on the Royals ST team, which helped since I was able to spot out certain rookies which would have meant an easy tossup most likely, but I was totally drowned out. With those, I had to rely on hit balls for Royals BP. 

It took about 20 minutes into Royals BP for something to come my way, as Eric Hosmer was completely having great rounds. He hit one towards the third deck but it didn’t quite make it, instead hitting the facade of it. It came right towards me, and once again, I made another rebound catch. Number five of our day. I pulled it out of my glove to examine it, and boy was I happy.  

 HELL YEAH. (Btw, this was taken during the game.) Thankfully, the Royals were using them, and I got lucky. After this though, things went dead. I didn’t snag another baseball, but my dad did! Commemorative too! He managed to get a toss up giving us 6 on the day. Not a bad BP. We posed with our respective snags.  

 Oh yeah, I changed into my Astros hat that I brought along (you gotta represent!) and my dad SURE WAS rocking and representing Houston.     Awesome. Also awesome, these beauties. 

 We decided to walk around for a little bit too and head towards a “sports memorabilia show” the was being hosted in the club level. The thing that got my interest was that several trophies were going to be displayed, including the Royals’ 2015 World Series Trophy. Bittersweet, as we all know that the Astros should’ve won it. Oh well, this year is our year!!!  

 Also there was a KC good guy, known as the person who puts up the “W” after every Royals home win at Kauffman Staidum, in full uniform too. We had to get a pic.  

 It was time for the game then, which I just wanted to watch neutrally since I now dislike both teams (I hate the Rangers more though.) I decided to take pics and roam a bit to show my view & the overall stadium “feel.”  

   

   Quite a big stadium, nicely transformed for baseball. The game was pretty good honestly, and the first 7 innings went by quick (only two hours!) as the Rangers held a 7-6 lead. I decided to go down to the lower level to maybe snag an umpire ball but the only problem was I didn’t know where they entered/exited from. I took a wild guess with down the 3rd base line where a black curtain was as I saw players enter from there throughout the game, so why bother. The last 3 innings ended up taking an hour, as the Rangers now took a 13-6 lead. Now before I left my section in the third deck to the lower level, I found a COOL sign on the floor, that nobody picked up. I saw these signs all around the stadium displayed, but this one was just laying there. So of course, my inner hoarder came out and I ended up taking (borrowing, not stealing!!!) the sign. What was this sign? This.  
 Thoughts? I loved it. I reached the lower level and took a pic of my view.

 The Rangers wrapped up the win, but sadly I picked the wrong spot for the umpires! Oh well. Overall I had a great time at this new ballpark for me, and yes these baseballs are counting. The paid attendance was above 30,000, so yes they WERE. Thanks, Alamodome for everything, especially your baseballs. My season has now begun and I’m ready to make this one the best. Go ASTROS!  

 Stats for this game:   

   

  • 6 baseballs this game 
  • 6 baseballs in 1 game this season. (6.00 average) 
  • 52 straight games catching at least one baseball 
  • 1 straight game catching at least five baseballs 
  • 8 straight games outside of Houston catching at least one baseball 
  • 38 baseballs snagged outside of Houston 
  • 426 lifetime baseballs 
  • Attendance: 33,592

ALDS Game 3 at Minute Maid Park

Playoff baseball in Houston, Texas in 2015? At the beginning of the season, I (and the whole city too) would have NEVER EVER imagined it happening. I was thinking, let’s get back to .500 baseball, and I’ll be really happy. Oh, I love how baseball works. In April, the Astros started off FANTASTIC with an 18-9 start, leaving us in 1st place in the AL West. How’d they start off so good? A major factor was a TEN GAME WINNING STREAK which left me thinking, “oh, thank god, they’re finally going to have a good year.” What an understatement. The Astros ended up most of the season cruising in 1st place (wow!) until the end of the season when the Astros ALMOST collapsed. The Rangers ended up sweeping a 4-game series to take 1st place in the middle of September, but we battled until the last day, and were rewarded with the 2nd AL Wild Card spot.

I couldn’t believe it that they were going to be in the playoffs, even if at the moment it was only for one game. Watching the Wild Card game was one of the most nerve-racking experiences of my life, because I wanted them to win SO bad. Well, they pulled it off, with a 3-0 victory against the Yankees, and better yet, breaking their hearts in the process. They were now moving on to play in the ALDS against the Kansas City Royals. How confident were we? Well based on this picture taken right after we won the Wild Card Game, I guess you could say, VERY.  ALDS Game 3 023

Now, in advance before the Wild Card game, we bought tickets to Game 4, so when they split the first two games in Kansas City, I knew I would be going, but I never thought that I would have gone to Game 3. We didn’t have tickets, and of course, the games would be sold out, but somehow, my dad got tickets from where he works, and we were set. I was stoked, and couldn’t wait. I was going to be at the first Astros playoff game in TEN LONG YEARS. I went to ALCS Game 2 in Arlington in 2010, and after that experience, even at ten years old, I couldn’t wait until the Astros could bring playoff baseball back to Houston. After the disastrous seasons of 2011-2014, and sticking through it all as a LOYAL Astros fan, this made it well worth the wait.

Finally, the day came of Game 3, we left the house around 9:30 in the morning for the 3:00 game time start. The gates were scheduled to open at 11:30, a full 3 1/2 hours before the game, which for me, was astonishing because that would be the earliest I would ever be getting in. The reason for that time? To accommodate the sell-out crowd, of course. There was going to be a street fest opening at 11, but I wanted NO part in it. The street included the left field gates, which during the regular season for some reason was HARDLY open. With that in mind, I decided to enter at the 3rd base/left field corner gate around 10 AM. I was there. First in line of course. (Thanks Snapchat, for the cool “filter” for this special game.)ALDS Game 3 002

ALDS Game 3 024ALDS Game 3 017Thanks Dad, for the awkward picture but I waited for 1 1/2 hours patiently and started figuring out my “game plan” in that time. One major problem with the gates opening so early, was that by the time I got inside, BP wouldn’t have even started already! The Astros tweeted out that day, that the Astros would begin BP at 12:15, a whole 45 minutes after the gates opened. I knew I was going to have to pick one spot and stay there with the massive crowd. I decided on my normal Astros BP spot in left-center, the only question was if I was to get there quick enough to claim it. As for my dad, I told him, that he NEEDED to claim the corner spot in Left Field. Finally, at 11:30 I got my absolutely BEAUTIFUL ticket scanned, like honestly, take a look at it. ALDS Game 3 016

*heart eyes* Thankfully I was the first one to my spot, and I was excited to be inside, and was very satisfying to see the scoreboard flashing all around the ballpark saying, “Welcome to the American League Division Series.” I was at a playoff game. Now, the hardest part was just waiting for BP to start. ALDS Game 3 012The Astros came on the field around noon to a big roar of cheers from the crowd, especially Colby Rasmus who had just been on FIRE during the first 3 playoff games. Right on time at 12:15, BP started. The small standing room area around me filled in pretty quick and I basically had no place to go. The ball basically had to come directly to ME, but I happened to be one of the only few with a glove, so I had a bit of an advantage. During the whole 45 minute BP, 3 balls came so close to me, and if they landed about 1-2 feet lower, I probably would have had 2 of them if they had not hit the sign above me. You can see the one I’m talking about after my dad just happened to catch a picture of me in my spot from the corner spot that he successfully got. He also got a REALLY nice panorama of the ballpark at the very beginning. ALDS Game 3 026

ALDS Game 3 027Very nice. Anyways, after the Astros were done, I headed out tor right field for Royals BP. It pained me to be stand out there in Royals gear (yes, I brought it, even at a playoff game), but it backfired on me tremendously, as players were barely tossing into the crowd. I thought for sure it would help me stand out wearing blue in a sea of orange, but to avail. Only one hit ball came my way, and I will admit, I totally messed up. The ball came to my left, and I had space maneuvering to it, but at the very last second, I guess I did something with my glove, and instead of an easy catch, the ball tipped of the top of my glove and into a kid’s glove right beside me. If I had a reason to blame, it had been about 3 weeks since my last game with BP (which was my 1st game back after having appendicitis surgery), so I was judging fly balls pretty terribly, I’m assuming. I felt like shit (emotionally) after botching that ball as BP was winding, and I started getting worried that my streak was going to be broken. Before that day, the streak for consecutive games attending with at least snagging one ball was at 49 games. I was really, really confident at the beginning of the day, that I could easily snag one, and finally extend it to 50 games (which to me, is a big accomplishment, as I keep progressing in my career) but I was panicking. I wasn’t watching my dad for the entire BP, and I didn’t know if he snagged anything so I was worried/anxious to catch one.

About 5 minutes before BP ended, a ball rolled to the wall in which a coach (who I couldn’t identify) who had a fungo came walking towards it. I believed my odds of getting the ball was slim since I saw that he didn’t toss anything up throughout BP, but it was worth giving it a shot. I waved my hands like crazy, and thank god that he saw my bright blue shirt. He picked it up, flicked it over the hands of people in the rows in front of me, and right into my glove. WHAT A RELIEF. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a playoff baseball, but I was on the board finally (in a way.) Thank you, unknown Royals Coach with a fungo!!!

BP ended, and I caught up with my dad. Turned out that he managed to catch TWO baseballs in his corner spot. A toss-up from Alex Gordon, and a home run too, so my ball from the Royals coach was actually the 3rd ball of the day. Thanks for the 2 baseballs, Royals! Of course, at a playoff game, he would out-snag ME. I needed some time to relax (and change back into my Astros jersey for the game) so I headed to my ticketed seat in section 108. What a view it was. ALDS Game 3 028

The matchup was going to be good with Edison Volquez starting for the Royals, against Dallas Keuchel who had been unstoppable at home all year, with a 15-0 and an ERA below 1.50 at Minute Maid Park. With those stats, I was very confident that we could get the win today, and go up 2-1 in the series.

On a sidenote, in the days leading up to the game, the Astros kept advertising/tweeting for everyone who was attending to wear orange, and keeping that in mind, as I was looking from my seat at all of the fans, I was amazed to see nothing but orange. It was an amazing sight to see that everyone was ready for this. Ten long years, in the making. ALDS Game 3 003

As the ceremonies came to a wind-down, and George H.W Bush throwing out the first pitch, it was time for the actual game. The Astros came out onto the field with a thundering roar from the crowd, and nobody was sitting down. The “giveaway” if you want to say, was that every single fan received a pair of ThunderStixx (popularized by the Angels during their 2002 championship season) and they were LOUD. Immediately, I loved them, especially in unison. It made the crowd even louder. ALDS Game 3 had officially started. ALDS Game 3 004

The game began with a mini-pitching duel as the game remained scoreless for the first 3 innings. In the 4th, Lorenzo Cain of the Royals hit a MOONSHOT to left field on the 11th pitch of the at-bat, to give them a 1-0 lead. The crowd kept getting more, and more anxious waiting for something to happen, as Volquez was dealing and looked like he was going to have a really good start, until the 5th inning. The Astros managed to get runners on 2nd & 3rd, with one out and Jason Castro at the plate. During the season, he batted in the low .200’s, striking out A LOT. There was two strikes on the count, I thought to myself, “Here comes another strikeout.” He proved me wrong. After going 0-9 in the postseason, he shot one up the middle to drive in both runs to give the Astros a 2-1 lead. The crowd went crazy, it was the first big thing to cheer about finally! I remember jumping up and down ,and everybody was giving anybody high-fives. There was so much love in the building, and I was totally pumped. They added another run in the 6th from a Carlos Gomez RBI single, giving them a 3-1. Finally, the crowd was buzzing going into the late innings, sensing a victory. C(HR)is Carter added another run with an absolute BOMB to left field, extending the lead to 4-1 headed into the 7th inning stretch. In the meantime, I was lucky enough to snag a t-shirt during the t-shirt toss, which was a very bright orange with the words, “Hustle Town” on them, which had become the Astros’ slogan for the postseason. Very, very cool. I put it on for the rest of the game.

As the game started to wrap up, I knew my only chance for a postseason ball was at the Umpire tunnel, it was either a make or break chance. Sure, I was going to be back the next day, but I REALLY felt the need to get it out-of-the-way. Luke Gregerson came on in the 8th, for a 4 out save, and managed to work out of a jam in the 8th. In the 9th, he surrendered an Alex Gordon home run, making the score, 4-2. A base runner was able to get on, to put the tying run at the plate with 2 outs, creating some drama.  At this time, I headed towards the umpire exit in hope of finding an empty edge seat, and thank god I did. I had a great view. I was cheering like mad, I wanted this victory badly (along with the sell-out crowd too), and I just wanted Gregerson to finish him! That’s exactly what he did, striking out Lorenzo Cain swinging to give the Astros a victory, a 2-1 series lead, and ONE win away from the ALCS!

As soon as the game ended on that pitch, I bolted myself as fast as I could, to the front of the umpire tunnel. I was conflicted in those few seconds to maybe go more towards the side of the exit, and not at the top of it, but I decided to stay put. Holy moly, I’m lucky I did. Home plate umpire, Mike Everitt approached, and I spoke as loud (because the crowd was still yelling in joy) as I could and said, “Excuse me, Mr. Everitt! Can I please have a ball!!!” He was almost gone, when he stuck the last ball he had into my awaiting glove. Thank you so much, Mr. Everitt!!! That was our 4th, and final ball of the day. I was so happy as I took it out of my glove, and saw the Postseason logo/stamping on it. I HAD SNAGGED A POSTSEASON BALL. What a way to end an amazing day, for my 2nd playoff game ever, but of course, I enjoyed this one way more better. I couldn’t believe it, and of course, the Astros were in perfect shape to win the series, and to possibly see a clincher the next day, and I would be there to see it, if it did happen? I was pumped for Game 4, and the city of Houston was too. ALDS Game 3 008

On a sidenote, I would really like to thank my dad’s boss, for hooking us up with the tickets for this game (and lots of more games throughout the past few years), and it was really a pleasure to be his guest, to have been able to enjoy this special game. It means quite a lot, as this game provided me memories, in which I will never forget. Sunday, October 11th, 2015. Oh boy, what a fantastic day. ALDS Game 3 001

STATS (after this game)ALDS Game 3 005

  • 4 balls at this game
  • 144 balls this season in 29 games (4.97 average)
  • 50 (!!!) consecutive games with at least one ball
  • 418 lifetime balls
  • 2nd Playoff Game Ever Attended (ALCS Game 2 in Arlington)
  • # of high fives given that day: too many to remember.
  • Attendance: 42,674