Author Archive

Random Mets Player – Jerry Grote


I am going to start doing a new column every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday called “Random Mets Player”. I will choose a random player from New York Mets history and write a little biography about him. The Met I chose this week was Jerry Grote, Grote was raised in San Antonio, Texas, A place where he would play his first professional baseball game. When Jerry was only 10 years old, he and his family were caught in a tornado at his home, and while his sister, mom, and dad survived it, his grandmother passed away in the storm. He attended Douglas MacArthur High School and played as a pitcher, catcher, and third basemen. As A pitcher, he threw A no-hitter. He transferred to Trinity University for the 1962 season, where he led their team, the Tigers, in average (.413), RBIs (19), home runs, (5), runs (29), and hits (31). After one year at trinity, he signed an amateur free agent contract with the Houston Colt .45s, and was assigned to play in his hometown, for the San Antonio Bullets, which I guess they tried to make the names punny (The Bullets to the Colt .45s). Only one year later, when he was 20, he made his Major League Debut with the Colts on September 21st, 1962 as a late inning defensive replacement, and he hit a sacrifice fly in his only at bat, giving him his first Major League RBI. That year, Grote made a total of three appearances, including being in the starting line up on September 27, 1963 when every starter on the Colts team was a rookie, not uncommon considering they joined the league that year. He continued to catch through the 1964 season, and caught the game on April 23rd, when Ken Johnson became the only pitcher ever to throw a complete game no-hitter and obtain a loss (the games only run was scored was scored when an error was committed, Pete Rose got to second base, he reached third on a groundout, and scored on yet another error, Johnson lost the game 1-0.). The newly renamed Houston Astros had All-Star Catcher Gus Triandos and prospect Ron Brand, so Grote spent the whole season with their Triple-A team, the Oklahoma City 89ers, and was traded to the Mets at the end of the season for pitcher Tom Parsons.

He became the starting catcher immediately after arriving in New York, and only batted .237 with three home runs, but he  was solid defensively in 1966. After batting over .300 at mid season, he was selected to the National League All-Star team in 1968, he went 0-2 in that game and finished 1968 with a .282 batting average.

The 1969, obviously, would be ‘Amazin’ for the Mets. The Chicago Cubs had been in first place since the beginning of the season and had a nine game lead as late as August 15. However, the Cubs began to falter while the Mets continued to play well. When the two teams met for a two-game series on September 8, the Mets won both games to move just a half game behind the Cubs.Aside from calling Tom Seaver’s five-hit pitching performance in the second game, Grote drove in the Mets’ seventh and final run of the game. The following day, the Mets swept the Montreal Expos in a doubleheader, with Grote catching all 21 innings. Coupled with a Cubs loss, the Mets moved into first place for the first time in their history. The Mets stayed in the lead for the rest of the season, finishing with a 37-11 record in their final 48 games while the Cubs slumped to a 9-17 record in their final 26 games, and clinched the National League Eastern Division title on September 24. The Mets went on to sweep the Atlanta Braves in the 1969 National League Championship Series but they were heavy underdogs heading into the 1969 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles, who had 109 wins opposed the to Mets 100 in 1969. Following a 4-1 loss in the series opener with Cy Young Award winner Seaver on the mound, it seemed as if the Mets had little chance against the Orioles. However, the Mets bounced back, winning the next four games to capture their first world championship Besides catching every inning in the post-season, Grote contributed offensively with a single in Game Two to keep a ninth inning rally alive and Al Weis followed with the game-winning hit. With Game Four tied, Grote doubled to start the tenth inning, then pinch runner Rod Gaspar scored the winning run when an errant throw hit J.C. Martin on the wrist. With Grote calling the pitches, the Mets pitching staff held the Orioles hitters to a .146 batting average during the series. The 1969 Mets were considered a great part a baseball history, and still are, because they finished in last place five time the last seven seasons, and the team became known as the Miracle Mets.

He continued to play with the Mets, and in 1972 had to miss late September when he had bone chips removed from his shoulder. In May 1973, Grote broke a bone in his right arm when he was hit by a pitch and went on the disabled list for two months. When he returned in mid-July, the Mets began winning, climbing from last place on August 30 to win the National League Eastern Division pennant. They then proceeded to defeat the heavily-favored Cincinnati Reds in the 1973 National League Championship Series. In the World Series, the Mets took the Oakland Athletics to the seventh and final game, before they were defeated. By the 1977 season, John Stearns had taken over as the Mets’ starting catcher as back injuries continued to plague Grote and in August, after twelve seasons with the Mets, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two players to be named later.Neither of the minor leaguers the Dodgers sent to the Mets ever reached the majors.

Shortly after joining the Dodgers, Grote struck out in his only career at-bat against former battery-mate Tom Seaver, who was now with the Reds.During his two seasons with the Dodgers, he played part time as a backup to Steve Yeager and appeared in two World Series against the New York Yankees. He retired from professional baseball after the 1978 season, only to be lured out of retirement in 1981 by the Kansas City Royals, who were experiencing a shortage of catchers. On July 3, 1981, at the age of 38, Grote went 3 for 4 with a grand slam home run, a double, and a stolen base, driving in a team-record seven runs. After another short stint with the Dodgers, he retired for good after the 1981 season.

-Austin

Websites Information was taken from:

Mets.Com Wikipedia.Com CBS.Com Yahoo.Com MLB.Com .milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t510

Bisons Pregame 5/3


The Buffalo Bisons, who are 15-11 on the season so far are set to face the Syracuse Chiefs, who have gone  10-6 this season tonight at 6:05 p.m. The Bisons last two games against Syracuse were cut short by rain, yesterday, and on Tuesday lost 8-0 is a slugging fest for the Chiefs against Garret Olson. The Bisons starting lineup tonight is as follows, with the players being listed in the batting order.

#32 Dustin Martin, CF

#4 Vinny Rottino, LF

#2 Josh Satin, 1B

#33 Fred Lewis, RF

#7 Matt Tuiasosopo, SS

#29 Brad Emaus, 2B

#46 Rob Johnson, C

#9 Omar Quintanilla, 3B

#28 Jeurys Familia, P

 

Bisons Win, Harvey Homers


The Bisons destroyed Philadelphia’s AAA affiliate Lehigh Valley 12-1 today.That’s not a typo. 12-1. Mets top prospect Matt Harvey pitched 7 scoreless and even added some offense with a 2-run homer in the fifth. That was 2 days after Bison hurler Dylan Owen left the yard. Search Dylan Owen in the search engine in the top right of the sceen to see our Q&A with Dylan. Dylan Owen’s homer was the first by a Bison pitcher since John Hope on 8/6/94 against the Indianapolis Indians.

Also, how about Daniel Murphy and Kirk Nieuwenhuis? Murphy is currently batting .333 and Nieuwenhuis has really been heating up in the outfield and he is batting .327. I’m watching the Mets/ Marlins game right now and Bisons’ announcer Ben Wagner was just on talking about prospects. I’m sure Quinn is betting with Austin on tonight’s game, so let’s go Mets!

                         

-Danny

Q&A With Bisons INF/OF MATT TUIASOSOPO


We recently had a Q&A with Bisons INF/OF Matt Tuiasosopo through Twitter.  Here it is:

 

Question #1:  Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?

Answer:  “My favorite baseball player growing up definitely was Ken Griffey Jr. I grew up only 20 minutes from downtown Seattle and would always Imitate him in the backyard with my friends even though I wasn’t even left handed,” replied Tuiasosopo through Twitter.

 

Question #2:  What was your favorite baseball team growing up?

Answer:  “It was a three way tie. Being from Seattle I always watched the Mariners but I also loved watching the Braves and Indians,” replied Tuiasosopo through Twitter.

 

Question #3:  What are your goals for the rest of the 2012 season?

Answer:  “My goal for this season is to go out every day and work hard and smart and play free. Gods given me a gift and passion to play this game and I’m so thankful for a fresh new start here with the Mets. I want to help Buffalo win in any way but ultimately my goal is to get back up to the big leagues and help the Mets get that ring,” replied Tuiasosopo through Twitter.

 

Question #4:  What advice would you give to kids trying to make it to the pros?

Answer:  “Nothing is impossible. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do something or reach your dreams. It’s going to take a lot of heart. A lot of sacrifice and perseverance. At the end of the day ask yourself was I the hardest worker? The smartest worker? Did I leave it all on the field? And lastly did I have a good attitude. The only things you can control are your attitude and effort, replied Tuiasosopo through Twitter.

 

Question #5:  Will you somehow be involved with baseball after your playing career?

Answer:  “My wife’s family has a ministry called Lords Way and a division of that will soon be Ozone Sports Academy which will be a not for profit organization. Our faith in Jesus Christ is the central most important thing in our lives and to share that love and good news thru the game of baseball to kids as young as 3 and 4 years old on up to college aged is something I look forward to when that time comes,” replied Tuiasosopo through Twitter.

 

Question #6:  Did you ever dream of going professional in another sport?

Answer:  “When I was a kid I loved every sport and dreamed of being either in the NBA, NFL or MLB. It didn’t matter to me I just knew I wanted to be a professional athlete. When I was young I’d run around the house wearing my Dad’s old NFL jerseys and helmets. I wanted to be just like him and my older siblings,” replied Tuiasosopo through Twitter.

 

Question #7:  Do you have a best friend on the Bisons?

Answer:  “It’s been so much fun getting to know everyone here in the Mets organization and the team we have here in Buffalo. This is a solid group of men. As good of players they are they are all better people which always makes it so fun. I’ve played with or against quite a bit of guys here on the team but I’d say I’m closest with Rob Johnson. We were both drafted by Seattle the same year and spent many seasons together,” replied Tuiasosopo through Twitter.

 

Question #8:  What stadium is your favorite to play in?

Answer:  “I’ve played in some awesome stadiums over parts of the 3 seasons I spent up in Seattle. Playing in my hometown safeco field in front of family and friends was special but I’d have to give Fenway park the nod over that and Yankee stadium. Just all the history there and the Green monster and atmosphere there with sell out crowds was unbelievable. Sweet Caroline there is pretty sweet too,” replied Tuiasosopo through Twitter.

 

Question #9:  What was your favorite moment in your playing career?

Answer:  “Two things come to mind when I think of my favorite moment in my career. My major league debut against the Yankees at home in Seattle in 2008 and meeting and playing with my childhood favorite player Ken Griffey Jr. Carrying him off the field that last game in 2009 was surreal. I’ll always remember the times with him on the field in the dugout and in the clubhouse. If I had to chose though getting my first hit, a double, in my debut versus Andy Pettite will always be my favorite! Jeter meets me at the base “congrats kid that’s awesome man.” I’ll always remember that,” replied Tuiasosopo through Twitter.

 

Thank you Matt Tuiasosopo for doing the Q&A with us!  We truly appreciate it!  You can follow Matt Tuiasosopo on Twitter @MPTuiasosopo and you can follow us @NYBisons on Twitter.

-Quinn

Q&A With Bisons Pitcher JEREMY HEFNER


We recently had a Q&A with Bisons pitcher Jeremy Hefner through email.  Here it is:

Question #1:  What was your favorite team growing up?

Answer:  “Being from Oklahoma we did not have any major sports teams… So naturally I routed for the Rangers and Royals in baseball, Dallas Cowboys in football. And now that we have the OKC Thunder I am a fan of the NBA,” replied Hefner through email.

 

Question #2:  What is your favorite stadium that you ever played in?

Answer:  “My favorite stadium I have ever played in is probably Petco Park.. I was in the lower minor leagues and to get the opportunity to play at a Big League field, all be it a minor league game, was none the less special,” replied Hefner through email.

 

Question #3:  What are you looking forward to most in the 2012 season?

Answer:  “Traveling to new cities and states.. Being with the Padres the last 5 season I have stayed mostly on the west coast.. Now being with an east coast team I get to experience new ballparks and everything that comes with traveling with the Bisons,” replied Hefner through email.

 

Question #4:   What are your goals for the 2012 season?

Answer:  “My goal is to compete every time out and give my team the best chance to win.. Obviously making the big leagues would be a plus, but I am not worried about that.. Just do my best in Buffalo and if the Mets need me I’ll be ready,” replied Hefner through email.

 

Question #5:  What other sports did you play besides baseball in your life?

Answer:  “Football and Baseball were my main sports in high school, but also played basketball and golf as hobbies,” replied Hefner through email.

 

Question #6:  Do you think you will be involved with baseball after your playing career?

Answer:  “I do believe I will be involved in the game some how.. Whether it be coaching or an administrative job… I also believe that God calls us to do certain things in our lives and I believe that he could use baseball as a way to go across seas and teach underprivileged kids a new sport… Or who knows what else,” replied Hefner through email.

 

Question #7:  What is your favorite baseball memory so far?

Answer:  “Without a doubt my career experience is when I hit a home run last year in Nashville.. As a pitcher the only thing better would be a no hitter/perfect game.. Since I have yet to do either one of those i will stick with the homer,” replied Hefner through email.

 

Question #8: Do you have a best friend on the team yet?

Answer:  “The whole Buffalo team is great… One of the best teams, talent and character wise, I have ever been on.. Not to take anything away from my padre teams, but being the new guy I have fit right in,” replied Hefner through email.

 

Thank you Jeremy Hefner for doing the Q&A with us!  We truly appreciate it!

-Quinn

Triple-A All-Star Game Luncheon


It might not sound like fun but this is an event that you don’t want to miss out on. It will take place at 12:00 pm on July 11 (the day of the AAA All-Star Game) at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Buffalo. As you may already know, guest speaker TOM SEAVER will be at this lunceon along with the all-stars from the International League and the Pacific Coast League. This means those in attendance could have oppritunity to meet and greet with future MLB stars and HOFer Tom Seaver. Tom Seaver won 3 Cy Young awards and recieved the highest percentage of votes of any Hall of Famer.

I wonder who the players will be because some pretty good players have played in this game.

Derek Jeter

Chase Utley

Perhaps the recently promoted Bryce Harper will play in the game/ be at the luncheon this year. Although, I wouldn’t really care if he was at the luncheon because I already met in Erie, PA when he was on the Harrisburg Senators and got hin to sign a ball and the cover of a Sports Illustrated. Austin and I already have our tickets and that’s pretty lucky because the event is sold out.

-Danny

4-11-12 Potomac Nationals vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans @ TicketReturn.Com Field At Pelicans Ballpark


I can’t believe that I went to this game.  My family and I faced a lot of problems during our visit to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Let me explain:  We left for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at about 3:30 in the morning on 4-7-12.  After a long 14 hour drive, we finally got to our destination in Myrtle Beach, SC.  According to our GPS, we were at our hotel, but our hotel was no where in site.  My dad then pulled into a parking lot for access to the beach.  As my dad turned around to go back and find out where our hotel was, his car began to smoke.  For all we could have known, our hotel could be a hour or so away from where my dad’s car broke down.  My dad then went to talk to some people near by.  Fortunately, people near by said that our hotel was about 15 minutes away.  My family and I then called a taxi and a tow truck company.  When the cab came, we had to pack all of our luggage, food, beach items, etc. into the taxi.  Shortly later, the tow truck company came and told my dad that his car should be ready in a couple of days.  I was okay with that considering it was Saturday and the Pelicans had games on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Sunday, Monday, Tuesday passed on without any word on how my dad’s car is doing.  Now I started to panick and think I might not be able to go to a Pelicans game.  My parents told me that we would not be able to go to Thursdays game because we had to leave at 6 o’clock on Thursday and the game started at 7 o’clock.  On Wednesday morning, my dad called the tow truck company and they said it would not be ready until Thursday morning.  I started to get really worried that I would not be able to attended a Pelicans game.  My parents came to the rescue though as they said we could take a taxi to a Pelicans game.  Thank you mom and dad!  You guys rock!

Now to the game part of this entry:  We arrived at the ballpark at 6:15 p.m.  The gates opened at 6:00 p.m., but the taxi we took to the game picked us up 25 minutes late and as a result, it made us late.  We then got out of the taxi, paid our driver and bought our tickets.  Here is what the ticket stub looked like:

I then went into the stadium and picked up this awesome program that they were giving away for free:

I saw the Pelicans mascot, Splash, so I took a picture with him:

Splash and I.  Yes, I know I was wearing a Nationals shirt when I took this picture with Splash, but I had my Nationals hat on and switched it to a Rangers hat at least.

After I took a picture with Splash, I ran over to the Potomac Nationals bullpen and got my roster out.  This was the scene when I got to the bullpen:

Players where playing catch, so I stood there and waited for the players to finish.  I waited for a little bit and then I saw ballhawk Mateo Fischer about 10 feet away from me with his Nationals gear on.  I knew that Mateo would be in Myrtle Beach, SC the same time I was, so I told him about the Pelicans and was hoping to see him at a game.  Mateo then asked an unidentified Nationals player for a baseball in Spanish.  The player then gave him the baseball with a very hard throw.  I then went over to Mateo and said hi to him.  It was awesome meeting Mateo.  We spent the whole game together roaming through the cross aisles and trying to catch foul balls.  You can check out Mateo’s blog at www.mateofischer.mlblogs.com.  Here is a picture of us that my dad took later in the game:

After we chatted at the Potomac Nationals bullpen, Mateo went over to the Pelicans side and tried to get a baseball.  Shortly after Mateo left, I got the same unidentified Nationals player to throw me a baseball.  The throw fell short though and landed into the bullpen.  Potomac Nationals catcher, David Freitas, picked up the baseball and threw me ball #1 on the day and my first Carolina League baseball.  Here is the baseball:

Here is Potomac Nationals catcher David Freitas who threw me ball #1:

David Freitas is the catcher on the right.

Before the game started, I went back to my seats and found out that an unidentified Pelicans player tossed my sister a baseball.  My sister is 3 years old and actually caught the ball on her own.  I’m really proud of her.  She’s turning out to be a little ballhawk herself.  I asked my dad if the Pelicans threw out anymore baseballs after my sister got one and my dad said no, so I guess they did not threw out a lot of baseballs before the game as they only threw Mateo and I one baseball each when we where by the Nationals dugout.  Here is the baseball that my sister caught:

So that was it for me before the game.  Not bad, 1 baseball is pretty good considering they did not give out that many baseballs.  The game then started and Mateo and I went to the cross aisles and tried to catch foul balls.  We were shout out though, as no foul balls came close to us except one, when there was a foul ball and Mateo was running toward the ball and an old man ran in front of the baseball trying to get away from it and the ball hit a blanket that he was holding and back down into the seats.  If that old man was not there, Mateo would have easily had that baseball.  So, after this all happened, we continued trying to catch foul balls.  In the bottom of the 5th inning though, with 2 outs, there was a line drive that was caught by Potomac Nationals SS Brent Greer.  I thought that he was just going to throw it on the pitchers’ mound like they did many times in the game, but he kept the baseball with him and started running with it toward the dugout.  I then ran down the stairs and asked him for the baseball.  He threw it up into to the stands right where I was standing.  I thought it was going to be an easy catch for me, but an older gentlemen put his hand in front of my face.  I lost the ball for a couple of seconds as it traveled toward me.  The older gentlemen than realized that I was standing there so he moved his glove, but it was too late for me to track the baseball as it soared towards me.  Right as I tracked the ball again, it hit the tip of my glove and smacked the brim of my hat.  Fortunately, the ball landed right at my feet and I bent over and picked it up, as it made it ball #2 for me on the day.  Here is the baseball:

Shortly after I got this baseball, I found out that my brother got a baseball from a very nice usher.  Then, in the bottom of the 8th inning, there was a foul ball that was hit into the stands.  I realized that the baseball would bounce back onto the field.  I then ran down the seats and positioned myself to try to get the baseball.  Potomac Nationals SS, Brent Greer, got the baseball and flipped it to 3B Sean Nicol.  Nicol then threw the baseball into the area in which I was in.  All of sudden, these college kids surrounded me.  I reached up as tall as I could to try to get the baseball.  Even though I was the smallest one trying to get that baseball, I ended up getting it for ball #3 on the day.  Here is the baseball:

As the game came to an end, with the Potomac Nationals edging out a hard-fought victory 6-3 over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, I went over to the Nationals bullpen to try to get a baseball.  Unfortunately, I was not able to get a baseball, but my dad did catch one, which he offered me and I declined, so he gave it to my brother.  After I was not able to get any baseballs at the Nationals bullpen, I saw Potomac Nationals batting coach, Marlon Anderson, walking towards the Nationals clubhouse in left field with the line-up card.  I ran over and asked him for it.  Unfortunately, he said that he had to give it to the Nationals manager, Brian Rupp, but if it was up to him, he said that he would have given it to me.  That was it for me on the day.  3 baseballs, pretty good considering that the players barely threw out baseballs.  Here our some pictures that I took throughout the game and at the end of the game:

Potomac Nationals players warming up before the game.

 

Potomac Nationals bullpen pitchers talking before the game.

 

A view of the game behind home plate.

 

An unidentified Nationals player up to bat, with the Pelicans dugout in the back round.

 

A view of the game from the 1st base side of the stands.

 

A view of the game from the left field bleachers.

 

The Pelicans scoreboard.

 

Me standing outside the Gate 1 entrance before I left.

 

A Myrtle Beach Pelicans t-shirt and hat that I bought before leaving the stadium.

 

Here are the 3 baseballs that I caught during this game:

Stats for Class-A Advanced baseballs:

Total baseballs at this game: 3

Total of all Class-A Advanced baseballs: 3

-Quinn

Bisons vs Yankees 4/11


Well, I know I didn’t mention it before, because I kind of wanted to make it a surprise, but I got to throw out a first pitch for the Bisons. They did this cool thing where a person born in 1988-2012 throw out a first pitch to celebrate the clubs 25 year existence at Coca Cola Field.

Well, my journey starts before that, though, as I arrived at the stadium and had to wait in a huge line to get the Bisons 2012magnetic schedule. Seriously, the line was huge. Ok, not really, but still, I hate lines 

The line I had to wait in to get the magnetic schedule.

Once we finally got into the stadium and out of the ‘long’ line, we got the magnetic schedule, which I think are really good, and I like them better than Rochester’s giveaway.

The schedule that I received upon entering the stadium.

Once I got into the stadium, I immediately had to report to guest relations to i could go down not the field to throw out the first pitch. Okay, hopefully I will get up in time to get a baseball before they go in, I thought. We went down onto the field and waited until 1:50 to start throwing, and game time was 2:05. I was stressed out at this point. They did it quick though, they lined everybody up in the infield and had them throw at the same time, so it didn’t take that long and me and my dad we off the field and back up at 1:55 or so.

Heres the ball I got to throw the pitch with.

Heres me getting ready to pitch……

and here I am after I pitched.

While we were down on the field, we got to see a lot of sights, like this one, of Dave Miley, the manager of the Empire State Yankees, and Wally Backman, the Buffalo Bisons manager:

Wally Backman and Dave Miley shaking hands.

I also got some pictures of the field…..

Heres the view to left field…. notice the 25th anniversary logo behind home plate!

Heres the view to center field…..

and the view to right field.

I was down their long enough to take pictures of the teams starting line ups on the big board….

Heres the Bisons lineup….

and the Yankees Lineup.

I also got pictures of the Bisons and Yankees lineups after they were introduced.

Heres the Empire State Yankees backup players.

Here is the Buffalo Bisons 2012 team.

Here is a view of the Yankees dugout.

After I threw the first pitch and headed up back to the concourse, I ran over to the Bisons side and saw Adam Lowen playing catch with Omar Quintinilla and Bobby Scales, and camped out there and asked for a baseball.

Here they are playing catch.

I stayed until they were done, and got the baseball from them.

After that, it was game time! I ended up with a total of 6 baseballs, one of which I gave away. Almost all of them were toss ups from the Yankees and or the Bisons, but one was a foul ball that was off the bat of Rob Johnson, Bisons catcher. The sixth ball was also A different story, too, as I got that one from Juan Cedeno, in the Yankees bullpen after I asked him for it in Spanish.

As far as the game goes, it was a slugfest, the Bisons winning 12-3. Four home runs, two of them being from Zach Lutz, one from Valentino Pascucci and one from Jordany Valdespin, propelled the Bisons to victory. I think the Bisons have a really good team this year, looking at what we can do, granted that they and the New York Mets stay healthy throughout the season.

After the game, I ended up going to the Yankees dugout, hoping I would get something, even though things looked slim, considering it was mobbed, they got crushed, and probably weren’t going to be in a good mood. Then, I spotted something. In the garbage can, by the bat rack, was that a broken bat? It had to be! With one player left, who I assume was Ramiro Pena,  I asked him for the bat. He looked like he was going to go into the clubhouse, but suddenly he turned, got the bat, and gave it to me. I looked at the bat, and it was that of Chris Dickerson, the yankees center fielder who got injured earlier in the game almost going head first into the wall. I didn’t think I had a chance in the world at getting that bat!

The Chris Dickerson bat that I got

Heres the baseballs I got, the ball I used to throw the first pitch in the back right, not counted towards my collection.

Oh, but that isn’t all, oh no, theres more. I also got what may be the coolest and most bizarre snag of my ballhawking career. The Yankees were playing with a pair of gloves used for keeping their hands warm, and a pair landed on top of the dugout because of them being careless. Needless to say, I was going to get them, and I did. These aren’t batting gloves, I know what your thinking, no they aren’t. I have no idea who’s they are other than that they were used by someone on the Yankees. That was a first for me, and definitely bizarre.

The gloves that I got from the Yankees dugout.

So here are my stats:

4/11:

Baseballs: 6

Broken Bats: 1

Pairs of Gloves: 1

Total

Games Attended: 2

Baseballs: 15

Broken Bats: 1

Pairs of Gloves: 1

Baseballs snagged per game: 7.50

-Austin

 

 

Q&A With Mets INF JUSTIN TURNER


We recently had a Q&A with Mets INF Justin Turner through Twitter.  Here it is:

 

Question #1:  Who was your favorite player growing up?

Answer:  “I always looked up to Fullerton players, guys like Nevin, Kotsay, Reed johnson and Aaron rowand,” replied Turner on Twitter.

 

Question #2:  What was your favorite team growing up?

Answer:  “I grew up in so cal so I always watched and went to Angel game,” replied Turner on Twitter.

 

Question #3:  What stadium is you favorite to play in?

Answer:  “I love citi field but if I had to pick a favorite park it would be Camden yards,” replied Turner on Twitter.

 

Question #4:  What is your favorite sunflower seed flavor?

Answer:  “I always just eat regular but i prefer the fritolay brand,” replied Turner on Twitter.

 

Question #5:  What advice would you give to kids?

Answer:  “don’t let anyone tell you you can’t,” replied Turner on Twitter.

 

Question #6:  Why do you wear #2?

Answer:  “I’ve always worn 2, and I was born at 2:22 pm,” replied Turner on Twitter.

 

Question #7:  Have you ever thought of going professional in another sport?

Answer:  “I only wanted to be a baseball player,” replied Turner on Twitter.

 

Question #8:  What are your goals for the 2012 season?

Answer:  “just want to win, so whatever that takes,” replied Turner on Twitter.

 

Thank you Justin Turner for doing the Q&A with us!  We truly appreciate it!

-Quinn and Austin

Rochester Red Wings vs Buffalo Bisons 4/7


Danny and I met up at my house at 9:30 a.m. to get ready for Rochester, and were on the road by 10.  After a few stops to get food, drinks and other stuff, we finally arrived at about 11:45.  At 11:45, we drove into town, and pulled into the Bisons team hotel.  Not long after we did that, Ben Wagner, the voice of the Bisons, came down to meet us and go to lunch, which we already had pre planned.  We had lunch at the Galleria Pizzeria across the street from the hotel, which, as Ben said, is a well known staple through out the International League and that players ate there all the time, this would be proven later.

Here is the dining room of the pizzeria

and the counter/menu.

Danny and I ordered a large cheese pizza, which we finished impressively (we were hungry), and drove Ben to the stadium so he could get ready for pre game.  We got done eating at about 1 and had an hour to waste, so we went down to the Rochester Visitor Center, and looked around.  After that we went to high falls, a big waterfall behind it.

Here is the bridge leading to the falls…

High Falls in the distance on the right and the land scape.

Here is high falls and the running off rivers up close, very serene.

After that, we had about 40 more minutes to waste, and we didn’t know how we were going to waste the 40 minutes, until we saw players walking out of the hotel onto the streets of Rochester.  We remembered what Ben had said earlier, that the players liked eating at the Pizzeria, and we went back to it with a sharpie and a baseball.  Danny didn’t bring anything, though.  I then proceeded to walk in and see Bison players Omar Quintinilla and Valentino Pascucci sitting down and eating Pizza.  I approached them and asked them to sign a baseball, which they happily did.  They were very nice, nicer than I thought they would’ve been considering we were interrupting their lunch.

After that we went and met my dad at the Tim Hortons right by, and, to our surprise, there were baseball players there, too!
In the seats by the window we saw Dylan Owen and Chris Schwinden!  I got them to sign my baseball, too.

From left to right:

One of their friends, Dylan Owen, and Chris Schwinden.

Valentino Pascucci Signature.

From up to down:

Omar Quintinilla, Dylan Owen, and Chris Schwinden.

After that, we drove to Frontier Field and got possibly the most annoying giveaway in baseball history.  It was cowbell giveaway day!  Great, awesome!  You can guess what we had to endure the whole game.

The Cowbells that the Red Wings gave away where given to the first 5,000 fans.  They sucked.

It was also magnetic schedule giveaway day!  I actually liked this, they don’t make noise when you shake them.  I swear those cowbells gave me a monster headache.

The 2012 magnetic schedule, notice how it has Empire State Yankees games and their logo on it, as they play 38 games in Rochester.

So, after that we got into the stadium and I proceeded to get 3 balls, while Danny got 4 by going in left field to pick up the home runs.  I asked Daniel Herrera for a ball, and he gave me ball #1.  Ball #2 came from the grassy area in right field, as I found one buried under some plants there.  #3 for me came when the pitching coach tossed up a ball from the bullpen after Matt Harvey was done pitching to Rob Johnson.  My #4 ball is weird, in a way that it has a DENT in it.  This is the first ball I have ever seen that has a dent, or cut, or whatever you would like to call it on it.  I got this one with Danny.  We noticed the whole cart full of balls was still full and outside the dugout from batting practice, so, when Red Wings manager Gene Glynn came out, we asked him for a ball.  He politely declined and said they were needed for batting practice.  We weren’t going to take no for an answer, and asked the catcher Drew Butera for them.  He said yes, and tossed us each one. Awesome.

Once the game started, I got 3 more, toss ups from the dugouts, and Danny got two more along the way.

The Bisons ended up beating the Rochester Red Wings 4-2.  The stand out batter of the game was Bobby Scales, who went 3-4 with two doubles helping the Bisons edge out the Red Wings in a nail-biting game.  After the game was over, Danny and I went to the Bisons dugout to ask them for batting gloves, broken bats, baseballs, anything. There were two baseballs laying down in the corner, and I got one as Rob Johnson tossed it up to me (I really like Rob, he seems to have a personality and is very nice).  The other one was never retrieved and was there when everyone went in.  Danny tried getting it, but was refused, and ended up getting Bobby Scales batting gloves!  Danny and I went to the team store and bought items;

Danny got a Justin Morneau tee-shirt and I got a dark blue Rochester Red Wings mini bat (I collect mini bats) and we walked out to the car, got organized, and we went for dinner at a barbecue place called Sticky Lips.  It was pretty good.  We then piled into the car and drove home on the highway.

On another note that I didn’t mention, there are so many places a baseball can hide in Frontier Field, behind the scoreboard, in the picnic places, behind the Rochester bullpen to name a few.

Here are the bushes behind the scoreboard where I would think baseballs could commonly be found.

Here are some shrubs in right center field that is one of the many places inside Frontier Field that baseballs could hide.

Here are all of the baseballs I obtained in Rochester, a total of nine.

My nine baseballs I got, of them, two are major league baseballs.

Stats:

Game attended: 1

Baseballs on day: 9

Broken Bats: 0

Total baseballs: 9

-Austin-