4/22/11 @ Citi Field

First off, I would like to apologize for not writing frequently during the offseason. It was the offseason, and baseball was not in the front of my mind. But now, on to this game. 

WIth spring break winding down, I decided to head out to Citi Field with my friend Richard after buying cheap tickets on StubHub. Too bad we didn’t sit in those seats once, but I’ll get to that later. After waiting on line for a good 15 minutes and watching many others walk into the stadium ahead of us, Richard and I got a good spot down the left field foul line in foul territory. 
After about 10 minutes, a guy wearing a Diamondbacks hoodie and thick gloves just leaned up against the railing a foot from Richard and I. We thought he was just a trainer/coach, so we thought nothing of it. Eventually a small child approached him and said, “Mister, can you sign my ball?” After reading his signature, we realized the man standing right next to us was none other than Armando “Mr. Imperfect” Galarraga. After scrambling through my bag to get something for him to sign, Armando signed a ball and a page in my autograph book for me and a ball for Richard. You can see what I got signed at the bottom of this entry. Then right before he left, he took a photo with me. Thanks Armando!!

As you can see, everyone around me was oblivious as to what was happening. 
Shortly after that, a foul ball flew over my head, hit a chair pretty hard, and was snatched up by the guy standing right next to me. That’s my luck with BP balls recently. I can’t catch a break. 
Then I got another autograph, this time from pitcher Barry Enright. Here is a short clip I took of him signing for some people. Thanks Barry!  

Then, shortly before the game, I got another autograph from former Yankee pitcher, Ian Kennedy. Thanks Ian! Here is a clip of what NOT to get signed at the dugout. 

I’m going to pause with this entry for a second to talk about something that is my pet peeve. 
When a player is signing autographs at the dugout. Make sure you have something that you can throw easily. Ian did sign this guy’s card, but he could have easily thrown it out and left. Just bring a ball/hat/glove or something like that. And make sure you have a pen. 

That was all the stuff I got before the game. However, I did manage to run into published author and possibly the greatest ballhawk ever, Zack Hample. Richard and I talked to him for a few minutes while he signed my copy of his most recent book, The Baseball. I HIGHLY recommend it. It provides a new perspective on the baseball itself with new information that you probably don’t know. Zack managed to snag 3 balls on the day, and you can read his account of the day on his blog by clicking HERE. Then we took a picture together. Thank You Zack!!!

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The game itself was very entertaining. Mike Pelfrey pitched 7 great innings on a sick stomach. I won’t go into details, because I don’t want you to do what Mike almost did on the mound. Joe Saunders also pitched great, leaving without allowing a run through 6+ innings. Then Ike Davis came to the plate and smacked one off the deep center field wall. It was originally called a double, but I noticed that it never hit below the orange line on the wall in center field. As soon as the umpires ruled it a double, I was in the aisle screaming home run and giving the homer signal. The umpires agreed with me and changed the call to a homer. Watch Ike’s blast HERE
You can see me in the blue circle below when Ike came home. 
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Fast Forward to the bottom of inning number 8. As you can see by the above photo, I ended up sitting in great seats (Not the ones we bought.) So when Daniel Murphy hit a Juan Gutierrez foul and Mets third base coach Chip Hale ended up with it, I was down the stairs in the front ball waiting for Hale to throw it to someone. He lobbed it straight in my direction, and about ten different hands all went up for the ball, and since I was the only one with a glove, I had the upper hand. All of a sudden, BAM, the ball went right into the webbing of my glove, and after pushing a guy off my mitt, the ball was mine. My first ball during a game this season. It is a beauty, rubbed up in mud with visible marks of dirt and grass on it, as you can see at the bottom of this entry.  
That was it for the game as the Mets held on to win it 4-1.
After the game I bumped into Zack, who didn’t get a ball at the Diamondbacks dugout, and we took another photo together, and I am the one who is holding a ball. (It was cold, that is why I am wearing gloves in many pictures) 
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A very successful day at the ballpark for everyone. 

Today’s Autographs: 
                                                                                       
Barry Enright                                                                         Ian Kennedy
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Armando Galarraga                            I got a ball I snagged at a game last season signed. 
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The one baseball I snagged today: 
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Thanks For Reading- Howie
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1 Comment

Ha, yes that paper signing was disaster from the get-go. I didn’t know you filmed it. I guess I was too busy trying to get Ian’s autograph. Then again, I didn’t even know you had a blog. Though, I was wondering what you were taking for.

See ya somewhere,
Mateo

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