I was running a little late to this, my last game before the All-Star festivities would start up, so imagine my surprise when I got to the Angel Stadium gates and saw this:
I’d end up being the first one in the gates at five o’clock and I headed straight up to the pavilion.
A few minutes after I got there I got Brian Stokes to toss a ball up to me. It’s a good thing I was still pretty much the only person in the section because his throw was well to my right and hit the staircase between Section 240 and 239. It bounced up a few steps and then right back down to me and I scooped it up with my non-glove hand. Stokes has been on the DL with arm problems so I was glad he bothered to try a throw at all… so I won’t criticize him for having a noodle arm on this particular afternoon.
That would be the only ball I’d get from the Angels. Once the Rangers started hitting I planned to move back up to the pavilion from where I had transitioned: right near the foul pole. But for some reason I stuck around in the lower seats and it paid off. Vladdy hit a ball that I could tell was lacing foul. I bolted a section to my left before anyone else moved and ended up snagging the ball after one bounce off a seat as I was sprinting full speed. Here’s a picture:
I started at the red circle, right at the wall and I snagged the Vladdy foul ball at the yellow circle, in about the third row. It wasn’t a home run–but it was still a good feeling to get another ball from Guerrero.
After that I headed back up to the pavilion and, though there were quite a few bombs, I wasn’t able to snag a home run… sort of. My third ball of the day was pretty run-of-the-mill… a toss from Neftali Feliz near center field. But Ball #4 on the day was pretty unique.
I was standing on the staircase between Section 239 and 240 (where I’d retrieved the Stokes ball) and the Rangers’ David Murphy hit a shot to straightaway center field. I could tell off the bat that it was gone but I also could tell that there was no chance to catch it. Well, there was no chance that I could catch it.
I watched the ball sail toward the rocks in center… where there were two cameramen stationed, getting ready for the broadcast that night. I thought the ball was going to smash into one of the cameras. Right as the ball got there the cameraman closer to me reached up and caught the ball–bare-handed! Well, sort of, He had those fingerless gloves that lighting and rigging crews often wear. Still… it was pretty impressive.
Here was the view from near where I was standing when he made the catch:
Since I’d seen it, and since I like to congratulate a person on a great catch, I yelled out to the guy! “Yeeeaaaahh!” And I gave him a thumbs up and a nod.
He looked over and fired the ball across the batter’s eye–right to me! I was kind of in shock. Like, he didn’t hesitate or anything. He caught the ball, heard me cheering for him, and made a spot-on throw right to me. And I made the catch without having to move an inch… it was a good throw. I was pretty excited about it–I mean, I’d never gotten a ball that way before. I yelled out my thanks to the cameraman–he waved at me… and then got ready to move down to the dugout.
I had plans later in the evening so I was going to leave after BP. I tried for a toss-up at the dugout as the Rangers headed in at 6:30 but got shut out.
That was it for my afternoon of snagging–I headed over to the left field gate and exited, but I made sure to reenter with my extra ticket so I could get an additional giveaway T-shirt… but as it turns out, the only size they had was extra large–way too big for me or Michelle to wear. I will probably end up putting at least one of them on eBay…
I took a picture of the crowds heading in as I walked to my car:
Four baseballs and two T-shirts… and the next time I’d be at the stadium would be for the All-Star games… five consecutive days in Anaheim…
Thanks for reading!