Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Looking at Twins batting practice from a new angle

One of the benefits of being a member of the Twins Season Ticket Holder's Club is the chance to take part in a variety of Sweet Spot Rewards Program Events during the course of the season. On Monday night, I was able to take part in one of those events by getting to enter Target Field an hour before gates opened to watch the Twins take batting practice.

Other season ticket holders and myself gathered outside Gate 29 to be let into the stadium before most other fans had even thought about getting in line for the game. When we entered Target Field, one of the Twins representatives escorted us to the overhang near the flag poles in right field (see picture above). This is where we were suppose to gather for the event and it seemed like a good spot to catch some home run balls.
Upon arriving in our designated area, most of the team was gathered along the right field foul line to play catch. Dustin Dimmler, a buddy that shares season tickets with me, got the first ball of the day that was tossed to him by Anthony Swarzak. A few minutes later I was tossed a ball by Matt Capps as he finished playing catch with Alex Burnett. The ball was in really good shape and looked like it was straight out of the package.

This view was not good enough for us so we quietly moved from the overhang in right field to the foul line down the first base side. We definitely were not suppose to do this but in the end this turned out to be a great decision. Our new location became a heaven for collecting foul balls because there was only one other family of four along that side of the ball park.
My buddy and I each had our ball gloves on and we were ready to use them for any flying white objects that made their way into the stands. A ball came flying at the family that was near us and the dad tried to catch it with his bare hand. The ball rolled to me and my buddy but we already had a couple balls so we handed it back to this group. They had two kids with them and we made sure that each of them left with a ball.
Later in the batting practice session a couple of balls came in succession to me. One was off of the bat of Jim Thome and the other was off of the bat of Jason Kubel. I threw the Kubel ball to some of the other season ticket holders and I kept the Thome ball for myself as a souvenir of the day.

Dustin, my buddy: 3 balls
Me, NoDak Twins Fan: 4 balls
TOTAL: 7 balls

There is a story that goes along with one of the balls that I had received on this day. I had two balls left in my bag as the gates opened for the evening game. I had given the rest to other people that were around for the STH event. We started to make our way around Target Field and I knew that I had an extra ball that seemed to be burning a hole in my pocket. There had to be someone out there that would enjoy this ball more than me.

I eventually saw a family that had a boy that was around two to three years old. They were standing looking at the field near Gate 34. The little man was situated behind his parents and I walked up and pulled the ball out of my bag. I asked him if he knew who Matt Capps was and of course he shook his head no. I told him that Capps had tossed me the ball and that I wanted him to have it. A huge smile went across his face and his mom asked if it was okay for me to take a picture with her son. I left by telling him to cheer loud for the Twins and he was still amazed by his new treasure.

A very fun experience for myself and I am glad that I got to brighten some people's day with the simple gift of a baseball.


Brandon Anderson said...

That's a great story. That is very nice of you to hand out so many balls and make some kids happy. How did you make your way down to the foul line without someone stopping you?

NoDak Twins Fan said...

The Twins representatives were busy escorting people to the outfield area. We were in plain sight down the base line and they probably just thought we were with another group.