This was a weekend game against the Red Sox.
I knew it was going to be insanely crowded.
Why did I torture myself by even showing up?
Because I love baseball too much to stay away.
Ninety minutes before the stadium opened, it rained like hell. One minute after the stadium opened, I got a ball tossed to me in right field by Clay Rapada, and one minute after that, I found a ball hiding in a little hollowed-out nook in the front row:
Yes, there was batting practice — the sun had come out just in time — but it didn’t do me much good. Look how crowded it was when the Red Sox started hitting:
Here’s a closeup from the photo above:
Sorry for the poor quality, but anyway, that’s my friend Ben Weil giving a thumbs-down. The seats were so packed that I didn’t bother going out there. Instead, I stayed in foul territory and watched Alfredo Aceves play pepper for more than 20 minutes:
When he finished, I got him to throw me my 3rd ball of the day.
That was it for BP.
During the game, I sat in straight-away left field and got Andruw Jones’s warm-up ball before the 2nd inning.
This was my view later on:
In the bottom of the 10th, with the Red Sox clinging to a 3-2 lead, I moved closer to the bullpen. Here’s what it looked like:
In the photo above, the player on the bottom left is Franklin Morales. After the final out, he tossed me my 5th and final ball of the day. I then gave a different ball to the kid in the red shirt because the one from Morales was commemorative:
That was nice.
After the Red Sox cleared the bullpen, there were still two baseballs sitting around. Can you spot them in the following photo?
One of the balls was tossed to a woman. The other was tossed to Ben. I miss PETCO Park. The end.
• 347 balls in 43 games this season = 8.07 balls per game.
• 835 consecutive games with at least one ball
• 360 consecutive games with at least two balls
• 174 consecutive Yankee home games with at least one ball
• 6,166 total balls
(I’m raising money again this season for Pitch In For Baseball, a non-profit charity that provides baseball equipment to underprivileged kids all over the world. Click here to learn more about my fundraiser, and click here to see the prizes that I’ll be giving away to donors.)
• 38 donors
• $2.10 pledged per ball (if you add up all the pledges)
• $10.50 raised at this game
• $728.70 raised this season
• $19,885.70 raised since I started my fundraiser in 2009