My 2009 All-Stars

Every year I enjoy making my own hypothetical All-Star teams, using only players who have thrown baseballs to me. Here’s what my 2009 teams would look like:

American League:

1B — Miguel Cabrera
2B — Brian Roberts
SS — Jason Bartlett
3B — Mike Lowell
C — Rod Barajas
LF — Johnny Damon
CF — Ichiro Suzuki
RF — Nick Markakis
P — Roy Halladay

Extra starters: Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, Josh Beckett, Cliff Lee
Relievers: Brian Fuentes, David Aardsma, Mariano Rivera

National League:

1B — Albert Pujols
2B — Freddy Sanchez
SS — Hanley Ramirez
3B — David Wright
C — Brian McCann
LF — Adam Dunn
CF — Willy Taveras
RF — Jayson Werth
P — Johan Santana

Extra starters: Matt Cain, Jason Marquis, Zach Duke, Carlos Zambrano
Relievers: Heath Bell, Kevin Gregg, Trevor Hoffman

Who would win? Looks like my AL team has better pitching while the NL has a stronger offense.

In other news…

The ballhawk web site MyGameBalls.com has a cool new feature. From now on, the home page is going to be updated with the Top 5 headlines…headlines about the snagging achievements of members of the site. Here’s what the home page looks like right now:

mygameballs_home_page.jpg

If you click on any of the headlines, you’ll see a short/original article written by Alan Schuster, the president of the site. It’s amazing how much work he’s putting into this, and he’s not charging any money for people to become members.

Finally, in case it’s unclear, I will NOT be in St. Louis for the All-Star festivities. It would’ve been too expensive to fly there and get a hotel room and buy tickets, so I’ll be watching it all on TV and living vicariously through my friend Nick Yohanek (aka “The Happy Youngster“). During the Home Run Derby, he’ll be sitting in the first row behind the right field bullpen, and of course he’ll be wearing his famous yellow shirt. (I want to see Pujols hit one completely out of the stadium to straight-away left field. Think that’s impossible? Just you watch…)

17 Comments

Is this people who threw you balls this season or in the past? I recall Ichiro or Pujols this season for you.
-Todd
http://cookandsonbats.mlblogs.com

PS – Make that I *don’t* recall…

I’m new to this whole Ballhawking hobby, myself having only gotten 4 balls so far (three thrown, one in-game foul), but already my NL pitching rotation is looking good: my three thrown balls are from DBacks’ closer Chad Qualls, DBacks’ starter (and ’09 All-Star, and hopefully All-Star Starting Pitcher) Dan Haren, and 2008 Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum!

No slouches in those lineups … Good job!

http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

Zack two things,
i hope this works, but i just stumbled upon this

http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-us&vid=9ed93ba2-5c48-4d39-86e5-11cb3789f9a2
its the vid from kansas city i think.

and when do u plan on going back to citi?
u should bring 4000 next time cuz livan was friendly and kinda interacting with fans yesterday, especially throwing them baseballs. just a suggestion.
Joe

Are you going to be working on the book over the A.S. break? How’s it coming by the way? Well, take full advantage of the down-time my friend, it’s well deserved!
Brian
http://txbaseballfan.mlblogs.com

No Brad Hawpe in you’re lineup? When will you east-coasters learn? Enjoy the break brotha…D
http://baseballsnatcher.mlblogs.com/

TODD-
I’m using my lifetime list of thrown balls.

DBACKS1985-
Awesome. I’m really hoping to get a ball from Lincecum someday.

WELIKEROYWELIKEROY-
Thanks.

JOE-
Yeah, but was Livan signing? He always throws a ton of balls into the crowd. My next game at Citi, at the very earliest, will be July 31st, but I might not go that night.

BRIAN-
Yes. I’m always working on the book. :-)
It’s coming along pretty well, actually. I’ve written about 15,000 words so far. Might be time for another update…

ROCKPILE RANTER-
I only picked players who have thrown me balls, so the question is: When will Hawpe give me one?

Hey Zack,

I went to both games of the double header yesterday. Game 2 was bad for the Cubs fan AND ballhawk in me. There was no batting practice or players warming up.

Game 1 was fun. The Cubs won 7-3, I snuck into the first row of the upper deck (1 inning too late, I had my eye on a seat, and I saw a foul ball land right in the open row I was aiming for, oh well).

I only ended up getting one ball, but it was in a cool way. Coach Tim Buss threw me a ball like normal, but then he gestured for me to throw it back, and I played catch with him for a few minutes in front of everyone that was there for the Cubs/Cards game. It’s not like I was the only fan there or anything. It’s definitely an experience like to no other.

Happy has been spotted several times.

Looks like he came close on 2 of Fielders in the first round.

Nice snag by some guy with dreads right over the bullpen.

Zack, thanks for letting us know that The Happy Youngster would be at the game, I spotted him during the first couple batters, forgot who. Glad to see he was rockin’ a Twinkies hat!!

I was watching the happy youngster chase ball after ball in right feild from the left center feild bleachers. Nothing to exciting out there a pujols homerun landed 2 rows down and a few others 4-5 rows and 1 that i miss judged and landed in some ladys glove a row behind me i would probably had the pujols if i wasnt taking pictures with my dads camera. My uncle caught an Adrian Gonzalez bp homerun. I was to busy trying to get tim lincecum to sign a multipule exposure picture i made earlier this season. All Star Game today i think its gonna be good.

Oh man, I hope Heath isn’t the losing pitcher tonight. All he needs is a well placed grounder…

Aaron

Soory about Heath. I was listening to him on a radio interview before the game and he was about as excited as possible to be at the ASG. Perhaps Leigh can tell us why no Padre pitcher has ever come through when more than 12 were watching (Sorry Leigh, I couldn’t help myself!).

Btw, NHL schedules come out today with a game set for Fenway on New Year’s. How cool it would be to snag a puck from that game!

Zack…
I am going to a game at Us Cellular next week and was wondering if you had any tips for the stadium. Also, do you know where a good foul ball spot for that stadium is? Thanks!

talkingbaseball.mlblogs.com

CUBS0110-
So they took BP before the first game only? No big surprise…but that’s very cool about playing catch. Congrats. Usually that doesn’t happen when it’s crowded.

JAMESCHUNTER-
Yep, I saw him a bunch of times.

THOMASB-
Twins hat? Are you sure? I couldn’t tell.

BUSCH STADIUM BALL COLLECTOR-
Damn camera! Too bad you weren’t ready, but it still sounds like you had a good time.

AARON-
:-(

FATHER PUCK-
Yeah, it’s a real bummer about Heath.

CUBS TALK-
Anything I could possibly suggest has already been written right here:

http://snaggingbaseballs.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/04/42409_at_us_cellular_field.html

As for foul balls, just pick a staircase on one side of home plate. There’s no great spot in that stadium, so standard strategies apply. Hope that helps, and good luck.

WOW. How in the world do you get so many baseballs?!
http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/

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