Tagged: mets

April 9, 2010 @ Citi Field

I got to Citi Field yesterday. It was on such short notice, that by the time I found out I was going to the game, it was 3:45 and I had almost no chance of BP. My friend Danny took me to todays game and we got there at around 6. I finally got my picture with the Shea Stadium Home Run Apple. Of course the H in home run was not in the picture. 

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I like what they did with that. It is better than last year when it was in a corner behind the bullpens. Like I said, I got there at around 6 and had tickets in section 113, which is right behind the Mets dugout. I stayed there and tried to get one of the Nationals to throw me a ball, and it failed. Then I went into the corner near the dugout and got Alex Cora’s autograph. Here is a short video of him signing that I posted on Youtube. I got him on a card and a ball, which can be seen below. 

                   After getting Cora. The weather took a rapid spike. It got cold and windy fast. So, Danny and I went to our seats 5 rows behind the Mets dugout. To make a long story short, I tried for 3rd out balls and tried to get Razor Shines, the Mets first base coach, to toss the first baseman’s warm up ball to us, but it never happened. During the game, it was so cold and windy that I needed gloves.  The Mets won 8-2 behind Mike Pelfrey’s solid outing and 2 homers by each Jeff Francoeur and Rod Barajas.  After the game, I stopped at the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. 

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Here are today’s Alex Cora autographs. 
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Sadly, I wont be at another game for quite some time. I have gotten some TTM autographs. HERE is a link to my YouTube account. Feel free to watch whatever you want.            Thanks for Reading,
                       Howie
Also, the Mets only win when I go to the games.That is actually true now. (2-5) I think I need more tickets for more games. 

April 5, 2010 @ Citi Field *Opening Day*

I went to Mets Opening Day on Monday at Citi Field. I had a great time, so let us get right to it. 

My father and I arrived at the Jackie Robinson Rotunda gate at around 10 AM. We were right at the front of the line and that was a good thing. I also was armed with a new yellow t-shirt. 
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That is correct. I got the Happy Youngster t-shirt.  It is a long story, and a special thanks to the Happy Youngster himself for the shirt. (The link above goes to his blog.) As soon as the gates opened at 10:30, I was off and running into the stadium. I chose to take the stairs rather than the escalator, and even though I tripped like 5 times wile running up the stairs, it was a good idea. 
I was running in the concourse down the third base line and I saw a security guard standing on the field holding a ball, I sprinted down the steps and asked him for the ball, and he tossed it straight into my glove, and within 2 minutes of me running into the stadium, BALL #1 was in the books. It was also a Citi Field commemorative ball from last season. Ball #1 is shown below. 
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It was the first ball given to a fan during the 2010 regular season  at Citi Field and the first Citi Field commemorative ball that I have ever snagged. On my mygameballs.com page, I counted it as a found ball because I found the security guard holding the ball. Literally a minute after I got this ball the person standing next to me noticed Nate Robertson of the Marlins was walking back to the dugout, and we asked Nate to sign, and he said sure. I got him to sign a separate ball that I had brought to get signed. He even signed  it on the sweet spot. Thanks Nate!
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Then I settled down in a good spot in the front row right behind where the Marlins started playing catch, but first during the end of Mets batting practice, Luis Castillo, hit a hard foul ball down the line bounced foul on the field then went into the stands and hit me in the thigh. I said, “Ouch.” as I bent down and picked up BALL #2, also a Citi Field commemorative ball. Here is that ball: 
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You could say I was a little happy. 
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During this time, I got so unlucky that I don’t even want to share the details on the blog. My bad luck changed when Anibal Sanchez threw me BALL #3. It was pretty much brand new, except for a small green mark on the sweet spot. After  he threw me the ball, Jose Veras, a reliever on the Marlins, started signing, and I got him to sign the ball Sanchez just gave me. 
Here is a picture of him signing:
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If you can see me, I am in the teal Marlins hat. Here is ball #3, which was signed by Veras. verassignedball3.JPG
Then, after with a quick photo with the 3 balls, we were off to the seats for the game.
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The game went great. The Mets won 7-1 behind David Wright’s 2 run homer and Johan’s solid outing.
See you next time from Citi Field
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Thanks for reading- Howie

Card Show

Sorry I have not posted in a while. Today I attended a card show. I usually went to these a lot when I was a little younger. This was the first time I’ve been to a card show in years. My father and I got there at about 12:30 pm and we immediately went to the back of the gym where former Mets Jack Fisher, Davey Johnson, Bruce Berenyi, Ron Darling, George Foster, Keith Hernandez and Kevin Elster were signing autographs. They all, cost a certain amount of money, except for Jack Fischer who was free with your paid admission. I bought 8×10 photographs of Foster and Fischer. How it worked was you would buy a card that entitles you to get 1 autograph from that player. You would give it to a person sitting next to the player then get the autograph. They gave you a card of Fischer with your admission. How the signing worked was there was 1 large table where all the players were sitting and signing. I went to George Foster first, but the  line for him was so short and I thought he wasn’t there yet. It turns out that the line for a former MVP, World Series Champion, and All-Star, was well, no one. I just walked straight up to him and got him to personalize the photo I had just bought and I got a (slightly blurry) picture with him. 

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It was surprising to see him decked out in Reds gear at a New York card show. 
Then we waited on line to get Jack Fisher. Thanks to a quick read on wikipedia earlier in the day, I found out that he was the Mets pitcher in the first ever game at old Shea Stadium, so I brought a Shea Stadium commemorative baseball with me and got him to sign it and an 8×10 with some inscriptions that I asked him to do. My father took a video of him signing, and you can check it out HERE. That is a good trivia question to stump your friend. Who threw the first pitch ever at Shea? Jack Fisher

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After that, we browsed the rows and rows of dealers. Recently, I was denied in the mail by Jeff Reardon, he returned my cards back unsigned, so when I saw a signed 8×10 of him as a Met for only $1, there was no way I could refuse, so I grabbed a dollar from my pocket, handed it to the dealer, said thanks, and walked away with this Jeff Reardon autograph:

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So, we looked around at the many dealers, saw some interesting stuff. Didn’t buy anything though except for a box of Topps Ticket To Stardom Baseball which contained 20 packs of 12 cards each and in one of the first packs my dad opened up, he saw this:
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Pretty nice. On the back it was numbered 338/489. Now here is the reason why the box is called Ticket to Stardom. 
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If you can’t tell, those are actual tickets from games in 2008. After that, we noticed the line for Davey Johnson, manager of the 1986 Mets, was small. So we bought a picture and a card needed for an autograph, and got on line. There was only one problem, we were on the line for Bruce Berenyi, and we didn’t realize that until we saw Davey Johnson get up to leave, so we ran over to him right before he was going to walk out the door, and got him to personalize an 8×10 for me. Here is a proof shot taken by my dad along with the photo itself. 
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That was it for the card show. Very successful. 

The Many Ways To Lose a Baseball Game

First off, today, September 30, is my birthday. So, happy birthday to me. Also, today is the 2 year anniversary of the Mets first collapse. While on the topic of bad Mets losses, lets take a look at some of the worst: 

June 12, Mets leading their first ever game at New Yankee Stadium, Alex Rodriguez hits a pop-up to Luis Castillo…
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Nothing else need be said. 
August 4, Johan Santana pitched 8 strong innings against the Cardinals, then handed the ball to Francisco Rodriguez and the bullpen, who promptly allowed 7 runs over the next 2 innings, capped off by a grand slam from this guy: 
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Mets lose 12-5. 
19 short days later, on August 23, the Phillies paid a visit to Citi Field, down 9-7 in the bottom of the 9th, with runners on first and second, Jeff Francoeur hits a line drive up the middle when shortstop Eric Bruntlett caught the ball, stepped on second, and then tagged Daniel Murphy going to second to end the game. 
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September 18, with the Mets coming back in the bottom of the 9th inning, and the tying and winning runs in scoring position, Jeff Francoeur hit a hard ground ball back off pitcher Mike MacDougal’s glove, then he picked it  up and threw out Francoeur to end the game.
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Today, against the Nationals again, K-Rod was handed a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the 9th, then with the bases loaded, Justin Maxwell, hit his first major league grand slam, a walk off job to beat the Mets 7-4. He also got a celebratory pie in the face. 
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This season could not get that much worse. 
Thanks For Reading- Howie

September 4, 2009 @ Citi Field

I went to Citi Field yesterday, here is the story. The night before the game, my father and I bought tickets in section 110 row D, which is 4 rows behind the field. It was quite a bargain if I should say so myself, the face value of the tickets is $270, and we paid $96 per ticket and it came with a free parking pass. We got there at about the time that the gates opened and I went straight into fair terratory in right field because the Mets were hitting. My father was standing in the 4th row near the foul line and I was in the front row. Daniel Murphy was hitting and he hit a homer into the 4th row then it almost hit my dad, hit a chair, rolled down to the 2nd row when I grabbed it with my bare hand, which then was grabbed by another kid who let go after I said, “It’s mine, It’s mine.” Upon looking at the ball, I realized that the stitches were not red, and the ball had a circular logo, it was: IMG_2145.JPG

That ball was the first commemorative one I have ever snagged, unless you count training balls commemorative. The area near the foul line was getting dead, so my dad stayed there and I went behind the Modell’s sign and near the bullpen when I saw K-Rod sign autographs for about 2 kids then left, I didn’t have anything on me to get signed but my hat, and I didn’t get him. I stayed near the Modell’s sign and when reliever Sean Green picked up a ball, I asked him for it, and he threw it to me. There was almost no one there when I got it. It was another 2008 All-Star Game ball, and when I looked at it after I caught it, there was a large black mark from where the hitter’s bat hit the ball. I have no idea who hit it.
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The rest of Mets BP was pretty dead, so while the Cubs were getting set up, I took a baseball, ran around to the field level in foul territory and got Pedro Feliciano and Nelson Figueroa to sign a baseball using their own black sharpies. Here is a picture of Pedro signing taken by my dad who kept my spot in fair territory. 
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I went back to my spot in fair territory and put on an old Cubs hat. The coaches were not giving anything into the crowd, so I moved behind the Modell’s sign in right field and tried to get a ball from a relief pitcher. And then a pitcher, whom I believe to be sean Marshall, to throw me a ball, I was in the corner near the bullpen, and I had to reach over and make a nice backhanded snow cone catch. Then he imitated me catching the ball and said nice catch or something, I couldn’t really see him. Here is a picture of Ball #3: 
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That was all I got for the Cubs portion of BP. After that, I had my picture taken with the 3 baseballs: 
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Then, my father and I returned to our seats before the game, and I just barely missed out on Anderson Hernandez. After the national anthem, Angel Pagan signed my other baseball in someone else’s black pen and I was almost crushed because there were so many people trying to get him. If you can see me, I am just standing there trying to leave.
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Then we took our seats and the game began. Bobby Parnell had easily the best game of his career. Cory Sullivan also had a pretty good game, as he started off the scoring with a second inning solo homer off the Pepsi Porch in right field off of Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano. Then, there was no scoring until the 8th inning, but the Cubs mounted a threat in the top of the 7th, the bases were loaded for pinch hitter Mike Fontenot, not even close to hitting anything, 1 out. Kosuke Fukudome, swinging at thin air, 2 outs. Ryan Theriot, hard shot off of Parnell’s hand, gets the ball and throws to first, inning over. In the 8th Brian Stokes could not hold on to a 1-0 lead as Jeff Baker got Milton Bradley home on an RBI single. In the bottom of the inning, the Mets exploded to score 5 runs against the Cubs bullpen capped off with a 2 RBI single by Omir Santos. In the 9th, the Mets brought in Frankie Rodriguez, who got save #29. 
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Winning Pitcher- Brian Stokes 
Losing Pitcher- Kevin Gregg
Save- Francisco Rodriguez
3 baseballs and 3 autographs, a pretty good day in my opinion. 
Here are the baseballs in the order I snagged them. 
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And here are the autographs, you could probably tell whose signatures they are. 
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Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave comments,
Howie

August 24, 2009 @ Citi Field

First game in 2 months. Went with my friend, Greg, again. Took the 10:45 train, was at the stadium at about 11, absolutely perfect weather, and I was disappointed when we ran inside and saw this: 

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No batting practice, so Greg and I sat down for a few minutes waiting for some players to come out. Eventually, 4 Mets relievers started warming up in right field, one of them was now former Met, Billy Wagner. 
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He was playing catch with Brian Stokes, and Elmer Dessens was playing catch with Nelson Figueroa. Once Figueroa snd Dessens were done, Dessens went to the bullpen and Figueroa started signing along the foul line with his own black sharpie. I got him on a baseball, and since I was in the front row, Greg passed me 2 cards of him and I got them signed for him. 
Here is a picture of him signing someone’s hat. 
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He started signing, and it seemed like he signed forever. I looked back maybe 15 minutes later, and he was still signing. Great man and very fan-friendly. I moved back to my spot behind where Wagner and Stokes were still playing catch. Then something odd happened, Stokes threw the ball well over Wagner’s head and the person standing right next to me caught it. Then, Billy asked for the ball back, and the man standing next to me gave the ball back to him. We all said he should have asked him to sign an autograph or something. After playing catch, both Wagner AND Stokes started signing along the foul line. I got Wagner on a baseball in someone else’s thin blue sharpie. Unfortunately, as I was pressed against the wall, I could not get a picture of Wagner signing. But I went over to Stokes, got him on the same baseball in my own pen, and got a picture of him signing someone else’s ticket. 
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After that, I wandered to the Phillies side to meet Greg, who was having bad luck with the Phillies. On the Phillies side, I missed out on Ryan Madsen, Brad Lidge, and J.A. Happ took my pen and signed autographs for Phillies fans, but not for me. After the Phillies left, we walked back to the mets side near the corner of the dugout and just barely missed getting Anderson Hernandez and Cory Sullivan. We got kicked out of that section, then went behind the dugout and got Brian Schneider to sign a different baseball than the one I had already gotten signed. No picture here either as he signed under the dugout and only signed 4 autographs. That was it for pre game. 
Our tickets had a $23 face value and we ended up sitting with this view of the field: 
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Again, over a $130 seat upgrade. I tried for third out balls, and was unsuccessful. The game itself was exciting for the first inning. Look at the linescore from after the first inning: 
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Yup, that was how it was going. The Phillies ended up winning the game 6-2, behind 2 Ryan Howard homers. Cliff Lee pitched great for the Phillies. It was no contest, the Phillies were all over my struggling Mets. I got a good picture of him pitching: 
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After the game, I stayed for autographs, but got absolutely nothing. Here are my autographs from this game:
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That is it from this game. Sorry for the delay in posting this entry. Ill leave you with a picture of the Mets during the national anthem. 
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Thanks for Reading- Howie

The 3 P’s

First P: Pete Rose. Two cards and a photo through the mail. I believe he should be in the Hall of Fame, and his managerial record erased from the record books. What do you think about him? 

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Second P: Preparation for tomorrow’s game at Citi Field.
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From left to right. Top Row: My glove, Cardinals hat, Mets hat. Bottom Row: Drawstring bag, Ice Cream helmet (For autographs.) 2 clean baseballs (For autographs.) Binder filled with cards for autographs. Shirt that I will be wearing. (Remember it.) Various sharpies and pens. 
Third P: Past experiences. Remember the shirt? Well, I wore that shirt to games where I had a hat of the visiting team to stand out. Last season at Yankee Stadium:
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Thrown to me by Mark Grudzielanek. 
Earlier this season at Citi Field: (Sorry about the poor photo quality.)
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Thrown by a player who I believe is Garret Mock. 
May 29th at Citi Field: See the speck of yellow?
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Shortly after getting Hanley Ramirez’s autographs. 
I hope my success with the shirt continues tomorrow. 
After tomorrow’s game, I will have one more entry, then I go away for the summer, and I probably can’t make any updates then.