The 3rd Day of Spring Training – 3/29/10
This was Day 3 of Spring Training, and I was hoping to see an actual game played this time. It was the Blue Jays vs. the Tigers today and we got there about 3 hours before game time. I thought that the gates would open 2 hours before hand, but it turns out that if you have a season ticket you get in 30 minutes earlier than non-season ticket holders.
So I was excited to find out that it was 2 hours and 30 minutes of pre-game time; that would mean that I would see more of Blue Jays batting practice, right? I mean the Blue Jays were throwing right in front of the gates, so they would be taking BP, right? Wrong.
When the gates opened, nothing was going on. The BP cages were set up, so at least the Tigers would be taking BP, but the Blue Jays just disappeared into the bullpens. While just looking around the stadium, I noticed a ball was sitting right behind home plate, inches from the wall.
So when a worker walked by I asked him if I could have the ball. He went over, saw the ball, then tossed my 1st ball over the net to me.
Afterwards, I had time to just sit around and wait for someone to do something. That someone was Jim Leyland who started signing down over by the left field foul line. You see, at this stadium the Blue Jays all enter, practice, and exit in the right corner because I think that’s where their clubhouse is. It’s the same situation for Tigers, except by the left field foul line.
So I headed over there, but Jim Leyland left before I got there. But luckily the Tigers started coming out bit by bit and some of them signed. One of the people was Adam Everett, who I got for my 1st autograph of the day.
Then BP started, but it was horrible. Not only are you confined to the foul lines, but the foul lines got crowded. And it was even all of the foul lines; the seats stopped about 130 feet past first or third base. Yet I was able to get a ball during BP.
I was sitting behind the dugout because there was basically no chance in getting a ball by the foul lines, but then I noticed that a ball was lying on the foul line dirt over on the right field foul line. So I made my way over there, as there was no point in being anywhere else. It turns out that the ball was further from the wall than I thought, but I was considering using the glove trick when suddenly BP ended and the players came in. Mike Rabelo ran over and picked up the balls, so I simply called out and got him to toss me my 2nd ball.
There wasn’t much time to kill after BP ended because about 15 minutes later the Blue Jays came out to throw again. They weren’t going to take BP again, so they were just going to throw. I waited over there until someone I could identify finished…and that someone was Raul Chavez, who tossed me my 3rd ball.
Everyone from the pitchers to the catchers to the outfielders were out and throwing, so as you could imagine some people signed after they were done. I barely missed Aaron Hill, but apparently Aaron told Travis Snyder to start signing, and I was able to get him on one baseball for my 4th autograph.
Pretty soon after one of the most well known Blue Jays came over to sign–Vernon Wells, who was my 5th autograph of the day.
Those were the last people that I got for the day, and until game time I walked around and found a good foul ball seat down the line. But I got kicked out of that one, found another seat, got kicked out of that one too, and eventually I just decided to sit in my normal seats. But after a bit of just sitting around I decided to try for a third out ball. I was only going to try one side, and it paid of relatively quick as I got Miguel Cabrera to toss me a ball on his way in, which I caught with ease for my 4th ball. It wasn’t the game used ball; it was too beat up, so it had to be a pre-inning warm-up ball.
After I got that one ball during the game I just laid back and watched the rest of the game. The game didn’t even come to a win or loss as it was heading into extra innings, but both coaches “mutually agreed to end the game”. I was caught a bit off guard, but I got to the dugout in time and was able to get a random toss up from a Blue Jay, my 5th ball, and my last one of the game, which is represented by this blurry photo.