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Thursday, September 8, 2016

AKRON RUBBERDUCKS WEEK 17 & 18

AKRON RUBBERDUCKS WEEK 17 & 18

1-7 Aug
Akron is on the road all week and no home games for week 17.


Week's total: 0 games, 0 balls (0 give-a-way), 0 autographs
Games: 0 day  0 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 0-0

Akron's total: 43 games, 142 balls (63 give-a-way), 134 autographs, 2 bat, 9 SGA,
Games: 9 day  34 night  1 doubleheader   Home record: 26-18

2016 baseball season total: 60 games, 174 balls (68 give-a-way), 219 autographs, 9 bats

9-14 Aug

Since the All Star break Akron is 6-18 and has falling out of the playoff race. They start the week at 56-59 and 7 games out. The Ducks look and play like a Freshman on the varsity team. With only five weeks remaining in the season, this is a do or die time to start making a run or they will not make the playoffs. Both first and second place teams are playing each other this week. All the Ducks have to do is win and let them two teams beat up on each other and we can sneak back into the hunt.

Game 1: Still busy doing lots of stuff during the day to get ready for our road trip next week. I arrived just as the players were taking the field. At the end of the first inning Ducks pitcher DJ Brown covered first and received the toss from Nellie Rodriguez for the final out of the inning. As DJ returned to the dugout I was the only fan standing asking for the ball and he threw it to me. I'm honing in on another BallHawk milestone. I now stand at 298 baseball and by the end of the week I will be over 300 baseball retrieved. I'm hoping for #300 to be special and no "Easter Eggs" (find a ball just laying on the ground).

The player I called the spark plug of the team was sent down from Columbus to make room on their roster for a player sent down from the Majors. When Eric Stamets plays the Ducks do pretty good. Case in point in the first inning he climbed the ladder to snag a ball from falling into Left Field. Then, he started a rally with a double. I like to see all players get promoted, but I'm glade he's back even if it's only for a short time.

Akron jumped out to a 4-0 lead through the first four inning. In the seventh I saw lighting in the sky and I started to the gate to get home before the storm came. Akron would hold on and win 6-2.


Game 2: Still busy around the RV, no BP or autographs. When I arrived to the ballpark it started to rain. The field was covered and the USA vs Australia basketball Olympic game was being show on the scoreboard. After a 1:33 hour rain delay the game was on. I'm glade I stayed, officially the attendance 3,090 but it looked to be half that (come on the 50/50 total was only $48... 3,000+ people ...NO WAY). After the Ducks starter Julian Merryweather struck out the side in the first inning catcher Danial Salters threw me the ball when returning to the dugout (#299). After watching the first inning with the Ducks at bat I knew it was going to be good game. I have not seen ever batter run down the first base line after hitting the ball hard in months. Take away the 6th inning where Merryweather gave up 2 hits (after I got home they changed a hit to error. I thought it was an error when I saw the play) and 2 runs he threw a gem. Unfortunately, he would only go 8 inning and the game was tied 2-2. I moved to the first base stands as there was fewer fans sitting. As the Ducks took the field in the 7th the last out ball was laying in the outfield and Jordan Smith threw the ball in the stands. I chased it down for my BallHawk Milestone #300. With runners on first and second Jeremy Lucas would have the game winning hit that would break the tie and the Ducks walkoff in the ninth. The play looked like Bill Buckner's 1986 World Series game 6 play, except the ball was hit to the third baseman.

After the game I stood next to the Hartford dugout and when Noel Cuevas was heading to the clubhouse I asked for his broken bat, and I got it. That makes my 10th bat this year.

Game 3: As a Duck fan it was a hard game to watch, but as a baseball fan it was a showcase on how to play small ball and win a baseball game. Hartford is the affiliate of the Rockies and in the National League is know for small ball. Yard Goats bunted, stole bases and scored runner with out the ball leaving the infield.  Ducks lost 4-6, but won the series. I know they can't win every game, but winning the remaining series will put them in good conditions to hopefully make a playoff puch.


Game 4: This was the biggest day for me as a baseball fan. Today would mark the first time for me to be on the field of play with player. First, I got to be on the field to watch Akron's BP. We arrive three hours before the game where as a season ticket hold I used my loyalty point to see BP on the field. Even Hiromi was allowed on the field with me. We stood on track behind the batting cage. Akron was using the pitching machine for BP to hit balls at 90 MPH and Jordan Smith broke his bat. When his round of BP was finished he came to me and thanked us for coming out and gave me his broken bat.

When BP was finished, manager Dave Wallace came over to thank us for coming out too and asked, "How we liked it?". Two weeks ago was Dave Wallace bobblehead give-a-way and I asked if he would sign the bobblehead and he did.


Dark clouds started to roll in and Portland did not get to have BP on the field. Second, I used my first pitch ticket to throw out the first pitch before the game. In front of 7,674 fans (68 from our campground) I threw a strike right down the middle of the plate to Jermey Lucas.

video

In the 5th inning Hiromi and I where on the scoreboard for Kay's Kiss Cam.


 Akron put a hurting on Portland scoring 18 runs on 20 hits. Every started got at least one hit. The top players was Todd Hankins who went 4-5 with 2 HR's (one was a grand slam) 6 RBI's. Nellie Rodriguez was a close second going 2-5 with a HR and 5 RBI's. This was by far the best game they played since the All Star break. I think I have to go to Ducks BP on the field and throw out the first pitch everyday now. I just hope they still have pop in the bat for the remaining two games this weekend.

Game 5:Brown's bobblehead give-a-way of two different players Kevin Mack vs Earnest Byner. Fan have to vote and they got only one bobblehead ticket when they entered the stadium. Good think I had Hiromi come with me. We were able to get one of each. The nice thing is that these bobbleheads are limited to 500 each instead of 1,000 like all the other bobblehead nights. Tonight is also Bradly Zimmer bobblehead give-a-way at Mahoning Valley Scrapper game (about 30 minutes from Akron). I think lot of people would be going to Scrappers game instead.


The rain came and would not stop, at least we got our bobbleheads. We saw a break in the clouds and took off for the gate to head home. When we got home we saw that the game was postponed. Doubleheader tomorrow with first game moved up to 1:05pm start vice 2:05pm with game two to follow. Hiromi will not be going to the games tomorrow. She did two games back-to-back and I thank her for helping me out. Before the rain came too hard I got Eric Stamets to autograph his 2016 Ducks team set I now have all the player (that are on the roster now) only need two coaches, one mascot and the super fan insert (I have not seen him at a game the last two weeks). I have only eight players who are in Columbus to left to complete the set. I hope they are still with the team next year so I can get them to sign at spring training in AZ.

Game 6: It has not rained in three weeks and now it rains six days straight. The last two days the rain has effected the games. Today's doubleheader was looking to be a wash with a four hour rain delay. I guess the two team decided to play only one game instead of two. Portland has a 15 hour bus ride back home and that might had something in the decision.

Jordan Smith had a 2-run homer and the duck won 3-0.

This week of baseball is one I will not forget in long time. I got to see BP on the field, throw out my first ever first pitch, I set a milestone with my 300th baseball and got not one, but two broken bats in one week.

The Ducks looked like the Ducks of old going 4-1 this week. They now stand at 60-60 and only 3 games back of the playoffs.



Week 18 Haul


Week's total: 5 games, 3 balls (0 give-a-way), 6 autographs. 2 Bats
Games: 1 day  4 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 4-1

Akron's total: 48 games, 145 balls (63 give-a-way), 140 autographs, 4 bat, 11 SGA,
Games: 10 day  38 night  1 doubleheader   Home record: 30-19

2016 baseball season total: 65 games, 177 balls (68 give-a-way), 225 autographs, 11 bats






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