I remember this day like it was yesterday. Well not really, they is a lot I have for sure forgotten. February 3rd, 2007 was the first and only time I ever attending the Winter Fanfest events the Braves held. I was 9 at this point, so that was at the least 7 years ago this past week!
I felt very welcomed to the comfy confines of the Ted.
I don’t remember the order in which we did certain things, but I know I did the Speed Pitch in Scouts Alley, which is the childrens play area near the Fan Plaza in the outfield. My little sister, who had recently turned 2, looked super happy to be at the home of the Braves.
She was fired up!
I would consult my parents about the order of the events we did, but they both are asleep (If you haven’t heard, Georgia got hit with a ice/snow storm yesterday and today and my dad had to work overnight, so everyone is lagging in my house today).
I think we went to the bullpen first to pitch off the bullpen mounds
We stood in line for a little while, then I was up! I happily remember that I DID throw 1 strike out of 3 pitches, and as a 9 year old throwing the regulation 60 Feet 6 Inches I felt good about my strike!
Not too long of a line considering 15,000 people attended this event.
I did awful!
Fanfest was a great event, and it sucks that I didn’t accomplish more, such as get an autograph or two. Sadly, the Braves no longer do a Fanfest. They just do a “Braves Country Caravan” where a few players come to Academy Outdoors and sign autographs. Not nearly as good. Maybe it will make a comeback.
Until Next Time!
2013 was a record breaking season for me. I accomplished so many things, but I realized I never technically had goals for the season! So this year, I’m going to identify my goals before the season and get an idea of how to accomplish these goals by getting kinda technical about it!
#1: Snag 50 Minor League Baseballs
This goal shouldn’t be difficult if I can increase my amount of games by 2 or 3 games. I snagged 31 last season in 8 games.
#2: Snag 10 MLB baseballs
I snagged 5 balls in the single MLB game I attended last year, and BP was shortened by rain. Only the Braves took BP, and most players didn’t even take their full BP. I think if I make it to 2-3 MLB games this season, 10 balls is a reasonable goal.
#3: Visit 2 new Minor League stadiums
So far in my life, I have visited State Mutual Stadium, Grayson Stadium,Joseph P Riley Park, and AT&T Field. The stadiums relatively close to me (within 3 hours) that I could visit this year are:
Coolray Field (Home of the Gwinnett Braves, Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves)- Coolray Field isn’t too terribly far, but it’s closer to go to Turner Field then to drive to Coolray. I think that I will be able to make it to Coolray at least 1 time this year.
Lake Olmstead Stadium (Home of the Augusta Greenjackets, Single-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants)- this park is about 2 hours from my house, but a day trip is not out of the question. It may not happen this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m at Lake Olmstead this year or next year.
Joe Davis Stadium (Home of the Huntsville Stars, Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers)- This one is pretty much a done deal. 2 days ago, The Southern League announced that the Stars will be moving to Biloxi, Mississippi after the 2014 season. So, for my birthday this year, we are planning to attend the final game in Joe Davis Stadium, as the Stars take on the Mississippi Braves. This is the day before my birthday, so It will be a cool way to cap off a season.
Regions Park (Home of the Birmingham Barons, Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox)- this is a long shot. 3 hour drive plus a time change makes Alabama trips difficult. I don’t think this will happen unless I take the trip by myself once I can drive.
#4: Get 100 autographs.
I was probably very close to this last year so this should be easily reachable.
#5: Snag 3 lineup cards, 2 pairs of batting gloves, and 1 bat.
I got 3 lineup cards last season and 1 bat, but only 1 pair of batting gloves. So this should be reachable.
Thanks for reading guys! Can’t wait for the 2014 Season to start!
To start this off, I want to thank Zack Hample for the idea of Turn Back The Clock entries. His entries are some of the most interesting ballhawking pieces I have personally ever read, so check him out! So this trip was 2010. I had just returned home from a amazing experience playing Travel Ball in Cooperstown NY. While my parents and I were in Cooperstown, my grandmother took my little sister and my 2 cousins on vacation with her. She didn’t think it was fair for me to be left out, so she told me to plan a trip to anywhere I wanted to go. After careful deliberation, I chose St. Louis as my destination. I handled everything and bought the tickets for airlines and the hotel and then bought Cardinals tickets for June 15th, 2010. The day after the All-Star Break and they were playing the Dodgers. Now this was before I started ballhawking or really exploring stadiums. So all my pictures are from the same spot. My seat! First off, this is how I passed the time sitting at the gate at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. I was 12, and a total goofball so…. yeah. Skipping ahead to some baseball! We drove down into town from the Ramada near the airport in St. Louis into town and were on our way to Busch Stadium! But, my grandma missed the exit and we ended up crossing the Mississippi River and having to turn around in Illinois! But soon enough we were parking at Busch. We were about 3 hours early because we were planning to walk about a mile or so to eat dinner at a interesting restaurant called Max and Erma’s. They let you scoop your ice cream out of a old bathtub. It was interesting to say the least. By the time we got done, it was about an hour and 15 minutes before game time. So we headed back to the stadium and I bought a Albert Pujols Flag t-shirt and a Cardinals hat (both of which I still own). Then we entered at the 3rd base gate near our car and jumped on an elevator to the upper deck. we went to our seats and I started snapping photos! Most Beautiful Backdrop in baseball in my opinion. The arch over RCF is simply beautiful! The calm before the storm. 41,000 Redbird fans packed Busch this night. I was at a loss for words. It was too incredible. I didn’t get the full experience because I was too young. Maybe I’ll be back one day soon. 10-time World Series Champions at this time! I couldn’t get enough! I’m so happy I took as many pictures as I did. Starting pitchers that night: Clayton Kershaw vs. Chris Carpenter. A battle of Aces! Sadly, this would not be Kershaw’s best night. The bullpen. It was a hot week while we were in St. Louis. I believe it was 94 degrees at gametime. Until I saw this picture, I didn’t realize how shallow the Upper Deck was. Interesting! The Coca-Cola Pavilion. As a 12 year old, I guess this was really cool to me because I took 11 pictures of it… No idea who was getting a check, but 2 newly inducted Hall Of Fame managers are in this picture. Joe Torre and Tony “My Pitcher bats 8th” LaRussa. Ironically, Chris Carpenter batted 8th in this game. The one and only time I’ve seen King Albert in action. He was one of my favorite players back then, and I took 38 pictures of just him! As I said, not the best night for Clayton Kershaw. I want this framed in my room. One of the best 1st basemen of my generation up against the best lefty in the past 5 years! Our seats were right below the television press box. I was within feet of Bob Costas and Jim Kaat and was oblivious!!!!!!!! James Loney! Does it get any better than this?
I took this picture because my Braves were beating the Brew Crew. Little did I know that the pitcher for Quad Cities would be pitching in the big leagues in 2013 ! Shelby Miller was the starter for QC that night, as detailed at the bottom of the Out-Of-Town Scoreboard.
In the end, the Cardinals beat Kershaw and the Dodgers 8-1.
Here is the box score from Baseball Reference:
Thats all from St. Louis! I’ll leave you with 2 other pictures from the touristy things we did.
The Clydesdales! at Grant’s Farm
Until next time!
I have returned from the WordPress hiatus! Joe Webster is back in the ballhawking blog game! My life has been total chaos the past few months and I never got to blog about my games this season!
So now what? Why change blogs?
Farmin’ Braves Style just wasn’t going to work. I wanted it to be more then I could make it be, so I decided to create a new blog with a new name and a drag start in the New Year.
2014 will likely be the greatest season of baseball ever for me. I’ll be posting a tentative schedule for March/April that will knock your socks off!
Here’s an idea of what I will be posting on this blog:
1: Turn Back The Clock Entries- this is an idea I’m borrowing from Zack Hample. It’s basically posting about games from the past. I plan to do 4-5 of these, including my St Louis trip and my first MLB game!
2: Stadium Spotlights- I will post a few of these also. Spotlighting stadiums I’ve visited!
3: Overall Ballhawking News- Such as if I get a friend into ballhawking or someone has a big ballhawking accomplishment.
4: The games I attend: This one seems self explanatory but these will be my entries about the games I personally attend.
I think 2014 will be awesomeness I any wait to share it with my readers!
Until next time, y’all stay safe and Go Braves!