Free Two Days of Baseball – Balls 262-265 (April 17, 2014)

Toronto Blue Jays 5Minnesota Twins 9

Target Field – Minneapolis, MN

April 17, 2014


 

First off, “big ups” to Paul – A Piece of the Game – Kom.  He was gracious enough to give his unused ticket to me for the Wednesday match between the Jays and Twins… which morphed into a 23 hour delay for the Thursday second-half of the double header between the Jays and Twins.

I was really hoping for the game to be on Wednesday, since it’d be more likely to have the possibility of BP – and probably no one in the seats with this impending storm on the horizon (some places just 40 miles north did receive 20 inches of snow.

But beggars can’t be choosers, a free game is nothing to scoff at, so the delay to Thursday made for an interesting situation.

  • Game 1: Scheduled for 12:10 start
  • Game 2: Scheduled for 6:10 start

I did the math and at a typical 3 hour rate, this meant that the game was over at about 3, fans filter out and clean-up processes begin and last for at least an hour; so gates couldn’t “open” back up until 4 at the earliest.  Neither team would want BP, especially outdoors, since it was only in the low 30s and they just spent 3 hours playing out there.

Gate times were later confirmed by the Twins President, Dave St. Peter:

Dang, only 1 hour of pre-game chances to snag balls?!  Oh well, at least I wouldn’t freeze too long while watching a field with no one taking batting practice.

The other odd thing about this double-header was the closure of the upper deck for the first game.  That’s right, the entire upper deck area was closed so the workers could continue SNOW REMOVAL!  Now I was kind of wishing I had either the complete double-header package or tickets to at least the first game.

As it turned out, the second game was attended by even less people! It’s not often a day game beats out a night game, but that’s what an April snowstorm/doubleheader will do.

Throughout the lack of BP, I contained myself by talking to some of the great ushers and the best bat boy in the MLB, Dominique Frost.

I do not make it a point of mine to tell of the times I give away a ball or help others around me get one, but this game was unreal.  As you can tell by the title, I got 4 balls (not bad for no BP or warm-ups), but if I had kept all the ones that entered my glove?  I would have set a Target Field record and they would have all been gamers. Instead, I worked with my ushers friends and was like an elf working for Santa.  I’d get Dominique or the player’s attention, snag a ball, then give it to the usher who had a little guy picked out as the recipient.

Ball #1:

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This was a base hit by Aaron Hicks that was tossed in towards the Twins dugout. Some random guy with the last name of Mauer tossed it into my catcher’s mitt.

Ball #2:

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Mike Pelfrey was pitching (which meant that it was an incredibly slow game) and as he took the mound for warm-ups before the 3rd inning, he tossed one in the dirt. Dominique hooked me up.

Ball #3:

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Dioner Navarro hit a single in the top of the 6th. Another “Dominique’s the best”-ball.

Ball #4:

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Brian Dozier (who hit a lead off homer in the 1st) fouled off a pitch in the bottom of the 7th – and it looks like it took some of the bat’s paint with it. Broken record, but Dominique is THE MAN!

I already told him this, but it will come true, be on the look out at the All-Star Game for a shout out to Dominique – I’ll make it happen.

After a miraculous and WILD comeback (pun intended, as long as you know how the Twins took the lead) I got Gardy to hand over the lineup cards. These are a great memento for showcasing the awesome comeback and Eduardo Núñez’s debut as a Twin.

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Again, why didn’t people show up to the game?

Well, when that was the temp on the walk back home AND the Minnesota Wild had their first game in the playoffs going on at the same time, the answer is clear.

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And lastly, the “group shot”:

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Thank yous:

  • Paul Kom – You are 100% responsible for me being able to go to this game. That means you are 33% responsible for the ball total… add bonus 1.333 balls to your stats. ;)
  • Dominique – MVP! MVP! MVP!
  • Joseph Patrick Mauer – Thanks for the reverse birthday present (since yours is in two days), or was it a delayed gift for my 30th?
  • Ushers – Thanks for talking to me and having fun on the job. It’s cool to see people that live what they do and help make other’s experiences awesome.
  • Ronald Clyde Gardenhire – Well coached and great team win! Thanks for the cool souvenir!

4 Comments

Looks like a lot of fun! Do the ushers at Target let you get into the dugout sections for 3rd out balls if you don’t have a ticket there?

The dugout area is heavily guarded and tough to get down into. It’s easier to get down for the umpire toss-ups and post-game toss-ups though.

u gave all the pregame balls away but kep the gamers?

Nope, no pre-game balls, gave away probably close to a dozen gamers and kept 4 for myself.

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