After a couple of games outside of South Florida, I was excited to go to Roger Dean Stadium again. The Jupiter Hammerheads were hosting the Fort Myers Miracle:
I didn’t actually take that picture. It came off Google Images. I came to this game with my friend, Ben, who you might remember from this post. He plays baseball for my school, but we never actually got a picture for the blog.
On this date, the Hammerheads were playing continuation of a suspended game from June and playing the game scheduled for the night. Free baseball!
Back on 5/19, I won a free ticket to any Florida State League game this year, so I decided to use it on this game. Ben also got a free ticket:
More free baseball!
The night before, Roger Dean Stadium held its “Back to School” night, where kids got free backpacks and free school supplies. I heard from some fans that it was tough to ballhawk and get autographs:
We went into the stadium and found a seat on the Miracle side of the stadium. My goals were to get baseball cards signed by Doug Mientkiewicz, Jim Dwyer, and Casey Kotchman, who was on a rehab assignment with the Hammerheads:
Doug Mientkiewicz came out and signed some cards for me:
If you haven’t noticed, I used to take a ton of pictures, and now, there aren’t many. I have a camera with terrible zoom, and I plan to upgrade to the Nikon D3200 this December. Next year will be better.
Anyways, after Jim Dwyer and Doug Mientkiewicz signed, we went to the Hammerheads side to get some autographs from them and, most importantly, from Casey Kotchman. We saw Hammerheads manager Andy Haines walk out, and he posed for a quick photo:
And signed a couple autographs:
You can’t see it in this picture, but he actually had a stack of line-up cards in his hand. I asked him if he could give me one, and he said after game one. Then I asked him about Casey Kotchman, and he said Casey would be out for Game Two.
We continued getting autographs, and after a while, I decided to take some action shots of Joel Effertz, the game’s starting pitcher:
We went to get food, and the game started. After a couple of innings, I tried for 3rd out balls, but failed. There were lots of kids on the Hammerheads side, and the Miracle didn’t throw much into the crowd. As I said before, I’m not taking a lot of pictures because I’m not satisfied with the result. Here are some more photos:
This was one of the first pitches of the continuation of the game from June.
This is an edited shot of Hammerheads reliever Greg Nappo.
All of those players are actually on the Hammerheads pitching staff. They were walking to and from the bullpen when I took the pictures, and I spent most of my time on the Hammerheads side.
The first game ended not to long after its start, with a final score of 5-2 Miracle. And Haines came out with the line-up card, and he signed it. Then, I thought: “If all of the players are coming out for a second ballgame, why not get Doug Mientkiewicz to sign the line-up card?” That’s what I did, along with Casey Kotchman and several other Hammerheads.
When Casey Kotchman came up to bat, I decided to photograph the scoreboard. I took about 5 photos, and this was the best one:
During the game, I talked to some fans with bats. They were signed by all kinds of Marlins prospects like Derek Dietrich. One fan, the father, was a Yankee fan, and the other, the son, was a Sox fan. It was great to talk to them.
It was nearing 9:00, and I had been at the ballpark since 4:00. My mom was ready to pick me up, so I left in the 5th inning of Game Two. I’m never excited to leave a baseball game early, but I was satisfied with what I got:
This was the line-up card, which is actually my first ever! If you look on the top left, Andy Haines signed it, and on the top right is Doug Mientkiewicz’s autograph. That wasn’t it:
Mientkiewicz signed three other cards for me
It looks like Casey rushed to sign these cards, because “Kotchman” wasn’t completed.
Jim Dwyer probably raised the value of these cards about a cent- now worth 5 cents. That’s better than most 80’s baseball cards!
Andy Haines (who is now my favorite Hammerhead)
Josh Adams- He struck out in the bottom of the 9th in Game One and flung his bat into the dugout. I was hoping to get it from him, but decided not to, because he would probably throw it at me
I don’t know the autograph on the bottom
The next 3 autographs are from the Miracle
The first two autographs are from this game. The last one is JD Williams.
Other- 1 Line-up Card
Game One: Miracle 5, Hammerheads 2
Game Two: Miracle 3, Hammerheads 1
That is it. In case you’re wondering why this was so short, it’s because I don’t have many photos, and it’s hard to explain without showing a picture. Again, next year will be better. Thanks for reading!
Mail- September 1-21 (Fri-Sat)
2013 Baseball Season Recap (October)
After my last baseball game on 3/16, my Mom said, “Don’t ask to go for a long time”. I assumed that meant for a couple of months, but when I got a perfect report card, I knew this weekend was the perfect time to go to a game. The Charlotte Stone Crabs came to The Dean on the 20th to play the Hammerheads, while the Ft. Myers Miracle came on the 21st to play the Cardinals. It was best for me to go on the 21st, so my Mom could go to the beach.
Here is the view when I got out of the car:
I was 1/2 and hour early, and I thought I was late when I heard the announcer talking. It turns out there were kids playing a game; the teams being “Blue Team” and “White Team”. I was relieved when I saw the scoreboard through the fence (which I failed to photograph) and saw names I didn’t recognize. I walked by the team shop, which was closed:
And back to the ticket booth to get my ticket:
I stole Malcolm MacMillan’s (The Ballpark Guide) idea. After walking around the stadium two or three times, I went to stand in front of Gate B, where I got this shot:
Just before then, I got some pictures of Gate A:
The gates FINALLY opened, and I rushed to the bleachers to get a spot for autographs. While I was waiting, several graphers came over, but they were primarily looking for top prospect’s autographs. We talked about Miguel Sano, who is the # 1 prospect in the Twins organization, and how he isn’t a great signer. We talked about Jose Fernandez, who was here last year as a Hammerhead, and how lucky you would be to get his autograph. Finally, the players walked out, and I was calling out their names. I was the only one to get autographs from half of the players. When Doug Mientkiewicz came out (as well as the top prospects), everyone swarmed over for autographs. Angel Morales was confused for Eddie Rosario, who is another top prospect. Here are the signers:
A.J. Petterson came up, and I called out “Adam” because the Miracle roster said “Adam Petterson”. He said, ” Does my name say Adam on that roster? It’s A.J.- that’s wack.”
Once I got all of my autographs, I went to get a hot dog and a soda. When I sat in my seat, the field was just about ready. Then, the rain came down. I was going to get soaked, and my food would have been ruined if I didn’t run under the small roof above the press boxes (by the way, it was drizzling while I was getting autographs). The entire stadium ran for shelter, and it was pouring. Here are the managers out in the rain:
The rain started coming down:
I got this shot of the seats:
That was how far the roof went over the stands. There was water pouring out under my feet. Here is the tarp:
After about 50 minutes, I saw one of the Cardinals talking to some fans. I thought: “Should I get autographs during a rain delay?” I walked out into the rain, and it was drizzling, so I went to the team shop to purchase a Palm Beach Cardinals logo ball. When I got back out, I saw # 16 in the Cardinals dugout. Then it hit me- Stephen Piscotty! He is the best player on the Cardinals, and to my surprise, when I called out his name, he looked over. I will remember Piscotty as the 1st autograph I ever got during a rain delay. I went on to get a lot of signatures from players in the dugouts.
After the tarp came off the field, I thought I should try and get a ball. I went up to Michael Gonzaels of the Miracle and asked for a ball. He tossed me a ball that was soaking wet, but I was happy!
A little bit later, the Cardinals and Miracle came out to play catch. I was waiting behind the Cardinals for an overthrow, and near the end, there was an overthrow. It landed in the dirt, rolled to the wall (quickly), and immediately rolled back to the players. Danny Stienstra tossed me that ball (number 2):
I walked over to my seat to take that picture. Finally, the National Anthem was performed and the game started at 3:00. The game was a lot of fun, and I was chatting with Mark from the Tigers game for a little while. I tried for a lot of 3rd out balls, and I was pretty successful with 3 of them, all from the Miracle.
At one point during the game, I was behind home plate, and a foul ball hit the press box. I came rolling down, and I jumped out of my seat looking for it. Everyone was pointing at it, and I didn’t know where it was. Another fan got it, but she tossed it to me because I was the first one to look for it.
There were a couple of (excuse my french) douche bags behind home plate yelling at the Miracle players. They were cursing at players and yelling rude things at them, like “You f***ing SUCK” and “You’re the worst prospect in the league”. I thought that they were either drunk or they were jealous of the players success in being drafted.
The score was tied, 5-5 entering the bottom of the 9th:
You can see the time was 6:09. The planned start time was 1:05.
In the bottom of the 8th, there was a 3-1 count on one of the Cardinals (I don’t remember who) and he checked his swing. The 2nd base umpire called it a strike, and it prevented the Cardinals from taking the lead. In the top of the 9th, when the Miracle put a runner in scoring position, Johnny Rodriguez, the Cardinals manager, came storming out of the dugout. He was cursing and yelling at the home plate umpire, and the whole stadium (well, the 30 of us that remained) went silent. On his way out, he yelled “You belong in high school” to the 2nd base umpire. After the game, I thought of saying I liked his argument, but decided not to.
For the rest of the game, I moved on top of the Cardinals dugout in case of a walk-off. We entered the bottom of the 10th, and Jonathan Rodriguez stepped up to the plate. He drilled a pitch, and everyone in the stadium knew it was gone. The 20 people left were so excited, including me:
That shot is a little blurry, sorry.
The final score:
Here are my player photo’s- I will start with Palm Beach:
Johnny Rodriguez (yes, he is arguing):
Mr. Walk off, Jonathan Rodriguez:
Jose Almarante- I asked him for a ball, and he laughed:
Michael Gonzales- he smiled after I took that picture
Right before the rain delay, I got a soda in a souvenir cup:
I also got this scorecard:
After the game, I found this magnet schedule:
I also got some pocket schedules, but I forgot to photograph them. Here are the 7 baseballs that I caught:
Now, for the best part- autographs:
1) Doug Mientkiewicz
2) Lance Ray
3) Andy Leer
4) Miguel Sano
5) Kennys Vargas
6) Corey Williams
7) Michael Gonzales
8) Stephen Wickens
9) Kyle Knudson
10) A.J. Petterson
11) Angel Morales
13) Ryan O’Rourke
14) Eddie Rosario
15) Kennys Vargas
16) RECORD- Single Game High 2013: Zach Jones
17) D.J. Baxendale
18) Nelvin Fuentes
19) Eddie Rosario
I bought this before the rain delay
20) Stephen Piscotty
21) Tyler Melling
22) Heath Wyatt
23) Juan Castillo
24) Jonathan Rodriguez
25) RECORD- New All Time Single Game High- Cody Stanley
26) Jonathan C0rnelius
The previous single game high was 24, set on July 21, 2012 at Roger Dean Stadium. I wrote a poorly done post when the blog debuted. Those weren’t the order of the autographs, but I wanted to show you how many I got.
Thanks for reading, and sorry this was up so late!