100 Baseballs

Tim and I have a blast going to MLB games (particularly, of course, Mariners games).

I am a goal-oriented guy and I’ll admit that I set all sorts of goals for things that I would like Tim to experience at games.  I’ll also admit (as I must) that I have always loved catching a baseball in the stands at a game.  However, other than some very basic things (e.g., I’d really love for us to catch a game homerun or a game foul ball), I don’t really set goals related to catching baseballs at games.

Basically, we just show up for BP and hope to find a baseball in our glove by the end of the night.  Often times, after we get a baseball during BP, we leave the field level to go explore the stadium during the rest of BP over visit the kids’ play area.

But things changed a little over the past few weeks:  I set a goal.

It all started on September 12, 2006.  Tim got his first baseball from Davis Romero…

10 - tim's first ball ever.jpg…at his first game ever.  He was about seven months old.  About 3 years and 10 months later, we had collected about 80 baseballs.

Now, Tim thinks that “100″ is just about the biggest and best number ever.  When trying to describe something *HUGE*, Tim often invokes the number 100 (e.g., “It was ONE HUNDRED BIG!”) 

So, one day I noticed on the MyGameBalls.com milestone tracker that it said *we* were approaching the 100 baseball milestone.  On MyGameBalls.com, Tim and I are signed up as a two-person team.  I started thinking that it would be cool if we could get to 100 baseballs before our little 2-man team takes on a third teammate on October 1, 2010, when Tim’s little brother Kellan makes his MLB debut at Safeco Field.

Still, it was a long shot.  In fact, there is no way it would have happened if not for the fact that we lucked out in Cleveland a couple weeks ago by finding seven “Easter Eggs” (our first and only ever) before witnessing a wonderful Mariners win over the Tribe.  All of a sudden, with just about a month to go before Kellan’s first game, it became an actual possibility that Tim and I might acheive the century mark before Kellan joins our MLB exploration squad.

Well, on September 12, 2010, sitting on 98 baseballs, we headed to Washington, D.C., for Tim’s 4th Annual MLB Anniversary Game.  I thought it would be incredibly cool to reach the 100 baseball milestone on Tim’s MLB annivesary, which is always one of the highlights of the season for us.

There was no BP due to the soggy weather conditions.  Nevertheless, quite possibly the very first baseball to find its way into the stands traveled from the pitching hand of Florida Marlin Alex Sanabia…

IMG_0414.JPG…to the happy little hands of this guy:

IMG_0418.JPG…and that made 99.

About 40 minutes later, Marlins pitcher Jay Buente finished playing catch with his partner down the LF line.  He started walking back toward the bullpen baseball bag.  But then he took a hard left turn, walked our way, and deposited the big number 1-0-0 right here:

And Buente was kind enough to stick around to pose for a picture with Tim:

IMG_0426.JPGBy the way, Tim has the milestone baseball in his left hand in that picture.

After Buente went on his way, Tim held up the baseball up and proclaimed with joy “We’ve got *one hundred* baseballs!!”  [BTW, he said that if we can get six more we will have *one million* baseballs!)

I grew up in a different era and did not get my first baseball until I was around 12 years old, after attending countless games at the Kingdome.  Thus, when we went to Tim's first game four years ago, I never imagined we would have 100 baseballs four years later.

Although "100" seems like a ton of baseballs, each one has been special to us.  We haven't forgotten a detail about how any of these 100 baseballs came into our hands.  To every player, coach, trainer, umpire and stadium attendant who has picked Tim out as a worthy recipient of an official MLB baseball, each of you made our day and we offer a very sincere:

Thank you!!!

Let's take a look at Tim's collection (click to enlarge): 

100 baseballs.jpgFrom left-to-right, top-to-bottom, here is a run down of Tim's 100 baseballs: 

  1. Davis Romero (Blue Jays) - BP toss up at Safeco Field.  (Sept. 12, 2006).
  2. Unidentified Blue Jay* - BP toss up at Safeco Field (Sept. 12, 2006).
  3. Brandon Morrow (Mariners) - Toss up during rain delay (Aug. 9, 2007).
  4. Glenallen Hill (Rockies) - In-game toss up at Citizens Bank Park (Sept. 12, 2007).
  5. Chris Perez (Cardinals) - BP toss up at Great American Ball Park (Aug. 15, 2008).
  6. Danny Bautista (Pirates) - Pre-game toss up at PNC Park (Aug. 18, 2008).
  7. Jarrod Washburn (Mariners) - In-game toss up at Safeco Field (May 1, 2009).
  8. Unidentified Mariner - BP homerun caught on fly at Safeco Field (May 4, 2009).
  9. Unidentified Ranger - BP homerun snagged on bounce at Safeco Field (May 4, 2009).
  10. Ian Kinsler (Rangers) - Pre-game toss up at Safeco Field (May 5, 2009).
  11. Jimmy Rollins (Phillies) - Pre-game toss up at Nationals Park (May 17, 2009).
  12. Baltimore Police Officer - BP toss up Camden Yards (June 10, 2009).
  13. Guillermo Quiroz (Mariners) - BP tossup at Camden Yards (June 10, 2009).
  14. Jason Phillips (Mariners) - Pre-game toss at Camden Yards (June 10, 2009).
  15. Jim Joyce (Umpire) - First umpire baseball - Camden Yards (June 28, 2009).
  16. Jason Phillips (Mariners) - In-game toss up at Yankee Stadium (July 2, 2009).
  17. Jason Phillips (Mariners) - Autographed post-game at Yankee Stadium (July 2, 2009).
  18. Jason Phillips (Mariners) - BP toss up at Fenway Park (July 3, 2009).
  19. Lee Tinsley (Mariners) - Pre-game toss up from dugout at Fenway Park (July 3, 2009).
  20. Bullpen Attendant (Red Sox) - Post-game toss up from Red Sox bullpen (July 3, 2009).
  21. Erik Bedard (Mariners) - Pre-game at Fenway Park (King Felix Auto) (July 4, 2009).
  22. Jason Phillips (Mariners) - BP Green Monster toss up at Fenway park (July 5, 2009).
  23. Erik Bedard (Mariners) - BP toss up at Fenway Park (July 5, 2009).
  24. Nelson Robledo (Nationals) - In-game toss up at Nationals Park (July 19, 2009).
  25. Ronny Cedeno (Pirates) - GFS BP toss up at Wrigley Field (Aug. 14, 2009).
  26. Unidentified Twin (Twins) - GFS BP toss up at H.H.H. Metrodome (Aug. 15, 2009).
  27. Bud Norris (Astros) - GFS BP toss up at Miller Park (Aug. 16, 2009).
  28. Willie Bloomquist (Royals) - GFS BP toss up at U.S. Cellular Field (Aug. 17, 2009).
  29. David Aardsma (Mariners) - BP toss up at Progressive Field (Aug. 22, 2009).
  30. Stadium Attendant (Indians) - BP baseball at Progressive Field (Aug. 22, 2009).
  31. Jason Phillips (Mariners) - Pre-game at Progressive Field (Aug. 22, 2009).
  32. Stadium Attendant (Yankees) - In-game BP baseball (Sept. 12, 2009).
  33. Stadium Attendant (Mariners) - In-game from Safeco Field bullpen (Sept. 17, 2009).
  34. Jason Phillips (Mariners) - In-game toss up at Safeco Field (Sept. 17, 2009).
  35. Garrett Olson (Mariners) - Pre-game toss up at Rogers Centre (Sept. 26, 2009).
  36. Brandon Morrow (Mariners) - Pre-game toss up at Rogers Centre (Sept. 26, 2009).
  37. Ryan Rowland-Smith (Mariners) - Toss up to Tim at Rogers Centre (Sept. 26, 2009).
  38. Jason Phillips (Mariners) - Post-game toss up at Rogers Centre (Sept. 26, 2009).
  39. Jose Cruz, Sr. (Astros) - BP toss up at Citi Field (Oct. 3, 2009).
  40. Strech Suba (Astros) - Pre-game toss up at Citi Field (Oct. 3, 2009).
  41. Damien Beal (Umpire) - Post-game at Citi Field (Oct. 3, 2009).
  42. Jeremy Accardo (Blue Jays) - BP toss up at Camden Yards (Oct. 4, 2009).
  43. Todd Tichenor (Umpire) - Post-game (end of season) at Camden Yards (Oct. 4, 2009).
  44. Cito Gaston (Blue Jays) - Pre-game toss up at Camden Yards (April 10, 2010).
  45. Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays) - BP toss up at Camden Yards (April 10, 2010).
  46. "Cowboy" Joe West (Umpire) - BP at Camden Yards (April 10, 2010).
  47. Julian Martinez (Nationals) - Pre-game toss up at Nationals Park (April 18, 2010).
  48. Stadium Attendant - BP toss up at Nationals Park (April 18, 2010).
  49. Stadium Attendant - BP toss up at Nationals Park (April 18, 2010).
  50. Stadium Attendant - Pre-game at Nationals Park (April 18, 2010).
  51. Jim Lett (Nationals) - In-game toss up from bullpen (April 18, 2010).
  52. Mike Everitt (Umpire) - Post-game at Nationals Park (April 18, 2010).
  53. LaTroy Hawkins (Brewers) - Post-game toss up at Nationals Park (April 18, 2010).
  54. Bruce Dreckman (Umpire) - Post-game at Citi Field (April 24, 2010).
  55. J.C. Romero (Phillies) - BP toss up at Citizens Bank Park (May 1, 2010).
  56. Dave Racaniello (Mets) - Post-game toss up at Citizens Bank Park (May 1, 2010).
  57. Unidentified Mariner - 26th-out toss up at Camden Yards (May 11, 2010).
  58. John Wetteland (Mariners) - Post-game toss up at Camden Yards (May 11, 2010).
  59. Billy Wagner (Braves) - Pre-game toss up at PNC Park (May 22, 2010).
  60. Melky Cabrera (Braves) - BP toss up at PNC Park (May 23, 2010).
  61. Brian Snitker (Braves) - BP toss up at PNC Park (May 23, 2010).
  62. Unidentified Brave - BP foul ball grounder at PNC Park (May 23, 2010).
  63. Orioles Coach/Trainer - Pre-game toss up at Camden Yards (June 5, 2010).
  64. Victor Carapazza (Umpire)* - Post-game at Camden Yards (June 5, 2010).
  65. Stadium Attendant (A's) - Pre-game at Oakland Coliseum (June 9, 2010).
  66. Jered Weaver (Angels) - BP toss up at Oakland Coliseum (June 10, 2010).
  67. Brad Ziegler (A's) - BP toss up at Oakland Coliseum (June 10, 2010).
  68. Michael Wuertz (A's) - BP toss up at Oakland Coliseum (June 10, 2010).
  69. Justin Miller (Dodgers) - BP toss up at Dodger Stadium (June 11, 2010).
  70. Luke Gregerson (Padres) - BP toss up to Petco Park beach (June 12, 2010).
  71. Ian Snell (Mariners) - BP toss up at Petco Park (June 12, 2010).
  72. David Aardsma (Mariners)* - BP toss up at Petco Park (June 12, 2010 - represented by University of Hawaii baseball give to Tim by Teemo Dixon at Camden Yards).
  73. Brandon League (Mariners) - Pre-game toss up at Petco Park (June 13, 2010).
  74. Jason Phillips (Mariners) - Pre-game toss up at Petco Park (June 13, 2010).
  75. Angel Hernandez (Umpire) - Post-game at Petco Park (June 13, 2010).
  76. Unidentified Angel - BP homerun on one-bounce at Angel Stadium (June 14, 2010).
  77. Giants Batboy - Post-game toss up at AT&T Park (June 15, 2010).
  78. Joe Vavra (Twins) - Post-Game toss up Citizens Bank Park (June 20, 2010).
  79. Unidentified Batter (Phillies) - BP foul at Citizens Bank Park (June 26, 2010).
  80. Jose Mijares (Twins) - BP toss up at Camden Yards (July 22, 2010).
  81. William Hohn (Umpire) - Post-game at Camden Yards (July 22, 2010).
  82. Erick Threets (White Sox) - Pre-game toss up at Camden Yards (Aug. 8, 2010).
  83. Phil Cuzzi (Umpire) - Post-game at Camden Yards (Aug. 8, 2010)
  84. Easter Egg at Progressive Field (Aug. 14, 2010).
  85. Easter Egg at Progressive Field (Aug. 14, 2010).
  86. Easter Egg at Progressive Field (Aug. 14, 2010).
  87. Easter Egg at Progressive Field (Aug. 14, 2010).
  88. Easter Egg at Progressive Field (Aug. 14, 2010).
  89. Easter Egg at Progressive Field (Aug. 14, 2010).
  90. Easter Egg at Progressive Field (Aug. 14, 2010).
  91. Jamey Wright (Mariners) - Pre-game toss up at Progressive Field (Aug. 14, 2010).
  92. Felix Hernandez (Mariners) - Pre-game toss up at Progressive Field (Aug. 14, 2010).
  93. Lee Tinsely (Mariners) - Post-game toss up at Progressive Field (Aug. 14, 2010).
  94. Jason Vargas (Mariners) - BP toss up at Progressive Field (Aug. 15, 2010).
  95. Rob Nodine (Mariners Trainer) - BP toss up at Progressive Field (Aug. 15, 2010).
  96. Alonzo Powell (Mariners) - BP toss up at Progressive Field (Aug. 15, 2010).
  97. Marcus Thames (Yankees) - BP HR clean catch at Yankee Stadium (Aug. 21, 2010).
  98. Livan Hernandez (Nationals) - BP toss up at Nationals Park (Sept. 6, 2010).
  99. Alex Sanabia (Marlins) - Pre-game toss up at Nationals Park (Sept. 12, 2010).
  100. Jay Buente (Marlins) - Pre-game toss up at Nationals Park (Sept. 12, 2010).

[* - Baseball no. 2 was given to my cousin Janet's daughter, Julie, who celebrated her first Mariners game along side Tim; baseball no. 64 was given to Tim's Hawaiian buddy from MyGameBalls.com, Teemo Dixon; and baseball no. 72 was given to another fan at Petco Park.  Pictures 2 and 64 above are actual pictures of Janet/Julie and Teemo holding baseballs 2 and 64.  I didn't take a picture of baseball no. 72 before giving it away, so it is represented above by the University of Hawaii baseball that Teemo gave to Tim, which Tim keeps in a hard case along with the rest of his MLB baseballs.]

6 Comments

Well, I recognize your dad, but who’s that skinny, younger guy holding Tim? I didn’t know your identical twin was younger than you! Just kidding of course. Great entry man! This whole entry is a testament to how important it is to document (or “photodocument” to steal your word) everything. I myself have been slacking on that lately. But congrats to Team Cook on this great accomplishment, and I can’t wait to read about #200.

Good luck 10/1, you better photodocument the hell out of that one!

Brian
http://txbaseballfan.mlblogs.com

hey congrats on the milestone, the picture of all 100 baseballs is the best picture on your blog ever.
I hope to reach your milestone sometime next season!!

Scott

Congrats on the 100th ball! Your montage of all 100 side by side is very cool to look at. Way to go!
http://torontoblogjays.mlblogs.com/

Congratulations on Tim’s MLB anniversary and the 100th baseball!
The picture of these 100 balls are just looking spectacular!! Hope this collection will grow to something like this…
http://cookandsonbats.mlblogs.com/8%20-%20pete%20rose%20wall%20of%20balls.jpg
(Am I the only person seeing the numbers 50 to 59 duplicated?)
http://nao.mlblogs.com/

Had a blast reading this blog. I am a White Sox fan and don’t get out to many games. My oldest went to his 1st game when he was around 6 months old and was on TV, sleeping on my lap. Been fortunate to get pictures and autographs on kid’s days but never really got any baseballs with the kids. Usually have to lug all 3 with me because the wife usaually is working. Well this year we were fortunate to get the Cell I prefer Comisky Park early and watch BP for 3 games against the Indians, Rangers and the Mariners. We got 2 BP balls from the Indians, 3 from the Rangers and 5 from the Mariners including an Aardsma autograph. The funny thing was that my kids and I were decked out in Mariners jerseys and hats because the men’s baseball team I play on for the summer is call the Mariners. My kids 2 boys (age 6 & 5) and my 2-year old daughter had fun screaming the players names and getting several autographs at the 3 games we went to. Your blog is inspiration to all the fathers out there to cherish these moments. Thanks

EVERYONE-
How did I fail to respond to these comment? Sorry about that.

BRIAN-
Good question. Who is that guy? Geez…you know, I was about a month away from running a marathon in that picture so I was in *much* better shape. Four years of sitting at a desk haven’t been kind to me. I better go for a run!

SCOTT-
Thanks. Glad you like the picture. I like it too, and I’m relieved I was able to make it without crashing my computer (it’s a huge picture).

JSKOOL81-
Thanks!

NAO-
Well, that’s a whooooole lot of baseballs. Maybe with lots of help from my boys and many, many, many, many years of going to baseball games. Those numbers are playing tricks on me too.

CPD11747-
You’re welcome. Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed. You’re a lucky guy to play for the Mariners, even if its not exactly the Seattle Mariners. Glad you team affiliation paid dividends at the ballpark. Going to games with your kids is the best. Take advantage of their youth and get out there as much as you can! That’s cool to hear you think my blog is an inspiration for fathers. The good thing is that I’m not doing anything that any other father can’t do too. So hopefully everyone will get out there and create some wonderful baseball memories with their kids! By the way, stay tuned. The regular season may be over, but we still have five games in the can that will eventually be written up here. However, I’m extremely busy right now, so it’ll take a little time.

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