Sunday, June 5, 2016



27-30 May
Coming home after a short three game road trip where the Ducks split the series 2-2 to the Altoona Curves. Akron will host the Memorial Day weekend four game series with Harrisburg Senators (Nationals).  This will be the only time Harrisburg visits Canal Park this season. 

Game one: There was a lot going on in the day and bleed over to the evening where I decided not to arrive early for for BP or to get autographs. I will leave that to the rest of the series. The Ducks had back-to-back home runs by Bryson Myles and Bradley Zimmer in the 4th inning. The only day I left my camera at home is the night I witnessed a little bit of history in my first every one hit game (no picture of the scoreboard). Michael Peoples went  6.2 inning before giving up the only hit (and run) of the night on pitch number 94. When the reliever came in the crowd gave Michael a standing ovation as he returned to the dugout. Two pitcher would pitch the last 2.1 inning to complete the combined one hitter.  Ducks won 6-1.

Game two: Indians major league pitcher Carols Carrasco was the staring pitcher on a rehab assignment. That makes the third major leaguer to make a rehab appearance in a Ducks uniform this year. Being the starting pitcher the likely hood of him signing before or after the game was slim to none, but I still tried with no luck.
I got to the park early and there was already a line even at the season ticket entrance. SGSA tonight was Bobblehead Happy Gilmore's Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald). The line was way to long to get him to sign his bobblehead.

 At BP I got 4 balls and 2 autographs of Senators player. When a minor leaguer has the chance to bat against a major league pitcher one of two things will happen; 1) the pitcher is on his game and the hitter looks like a minor leaguer or 2) the batters have no fear and wants to see if they belong in the majors. Over 4 innings of work Carrasco gave up two runs (1 earned) on 7 hits and had 6 strikeouts. If it was not for Senators trying to steal bases and getting thrown out (two times in back-to-back innings)by the catcher Eric Haase they could have had more runs. Once Carrasco was done for the night all the runs the Ducks need came on two swings of the bat from Nellie Rodriguez. In the 4th he had a 2-run homer to tie the game and a RBI double in the 8th to take the lead. Ducks won 3-2.  

Game three:I arrived early for BP, However, there was none as it was challenged baseball day at the stadium. I did get Lucas Giolito the Nationals 2012 1st round draft pick to sign his baseball card. He personalized it with "To Russ". I guess he dose that so no one will sell it. I like it, because I collect autographs and that just adds to my value of the autograph. All my Senators cards were signed, so I went to the Ducks side were I got 7 more autographs. Being an early afternoon start time I ate lunch at the stadium. I had chicken tenders and fries. There was just way too much food for me to eat it all. Hiromi would have loved to share this meal with me.
As the saying goes, "All good things must come to an end". The Akron RubberDucks club record of 17 straight home game wins came to an end. Senators Left Field Cutter Dykstra had two highlight real diving catches to rob extra base hits that would have scored runs.The Ducks out hit the Senators 7-4, but when you strikeout 15 times as a team, your not getting on base and when there is no one on base those 7 hits drive in ..... no one!  Final score 2-1.   

Game four: Did not go to the game, spent Memorial Day at the campground and had BBQ dinner at my parents house. Ducks lost 3-2 and split the series 2-2.

Akron is still leading their division at 35-15 with a 6.5 game lead.

Week's total: 3 games, 4 balls (0 give-a-way), 10 autographs, 1 SGA
Games: 1 day  2 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 2-1

Akron's total: 20 games, 91 balls (34 give-a-way), 69 autographs, 1 bat, 6 SGA, Give-a-way $ ($2.00)
Games: 7 day  13 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 17-3

2016 baseball season total: 35 games, 132 balls (39 give-a-way), 154 autographs, 8 bats

31 May-2 Jun

A rematch of last weeks road game Altoona Curve with prospects Reese McGuire and Austin Meadows will invade Canal Park. The last meeting between these two teams in Canal Park the Ducks swept the three game series. No time like the present to start another long home winning streak.

Game one: Got to BP, but Altoona had a late start to practice as the gates opened they were still on the field 30 minutes before first pitch (visiting teams usually finish BP before the gates open). I got two balls that I gave away to kids. I also got two autographs of Altoona's prospects McGuire and Meadows on MLB baseball. Akron's Clint Frazier returned from the disabled list (DL), Todd Hankins and Eric Haase had 3 RBI's each while the team ran at will with 4 stolen bases and pitcher Shawn Morimando improved to 9-0 on the season. Ducks won 11-4.

Game two: I got all the player autographs I need for this series I don't think I'll be arriving early for BP and just show up close to first pitch. There was a lot of roster transaction before the game today. After 550+ AB in Lynchberg over the last two season Mike Papi a 2014 1st Round draft pick was called up to Double A. While well traveled Cole Sulser who pitched for ADV A, AA and AAA this season was also assigned to Akron. Justin Brantley was released (no longer with Indians organization and now a minor league free agent), while Jordan Smith and Bryson Myles were called up to AAA Columbus. This marks the first game where all three outfielders in Akron lineup are 1st round draft picks. This game had a total of six 1st round picks three on both teams. Two costly errors and Eric Stamets leaving the bases loaded twice recorded the last out of the inning while the Ducks as a team left 13 baserunners stranded. Ducks lost 2-0. I got two game used ball. One in the 2nd inning third out toss up by Nellie Rodriguez and second on a foul ball toss up by D.J. Brown in the 6th inning. To make the night complete I got a broken bat after the game from Altoona Erich Weiss (currently batting .288). I noticed that the bat company is Zinger. I never heard of them before so I had to look them up. They are an Arizona company based out of Chandler. Located about an hour away from where we spend our spring training days in Arizona. Now, I have to put it on my list to visit when we are in Arizona next time.

Game three: The rubber game between these two teams to see who will take the series. The weather was calling for rain around game time. Now that Papi is in Akron and if the sky looks clear I'll go early to try and get autographs. Got to the stadium with about 10 minutes left in Altoona BP. I got one ball (gave it away)I got 3 autographs from Altoona players and 4 from Ducks including Papi. Not a lot of fans at the game maybe because most stayed home to watch the Cavs vs Warriors game one of the NBA Finals. Mike Papi collected his first AA hit and RBI but that was not enough as the Ducks had four errors that lead to two unearned runs and lost the game 5-4. This is the first series lost at home this season. Simple things can cause a team to win or lose a game, take away the four errors the Ducks win. As the saying goes, "That's the way the cookie crumbles".

Saw my dream hobby at the game. With a camera lens like that I could use my own photos to get autographed. The down side to a sports photographer is the cost of the equipment, that lens alone is over $1,000 and being that big there is nowhere to store it when driving on the road. Have a dream, set the goal and one day I'll accomplish my dream hobby.

Akron is on the road for a weekend series in Bowie. Lets hope the long bus ride tonight gives them something to think about and turns this mini slump (1-4 record) around. The Duck's record stands at 36-17 with a 5.5 lead in the division.

Week 8 & 9 Haul

Week's total: 3 games, 5 balls (3 give-a-way), 9 autographs, 1 bat
Games: 0 day  3 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 1-2

Akron's total: 23 games, 96 balls (37 give-a-way), 78 autographs, 2 bat, 6 SGA, Give-a-way $ ($2.00)
Games: 7 day  16 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 18-5

2016 baseball season total: 38 games, 137 balls (42 give-a-way), 163 autographs, 9 bats

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