6/3/11 at Citi Field
Injury Week rolls on…
The day started innocently enough with batting practice. Jona was with me and took the following photo at the start of BP:
Within the first few minutes, I got a ball tossed to me by a ballboy who was shagging in left field. Soon after, Ronny Paulino blasted a home run that hit the facade of the second deck in left-center. (It’s 384 feet to the wall there, so he must’ve hit that ball at least 430 feet.) Here I am running for it:
The ball landed in the front row and nearly bounced back onto the field, but luckily I was able to grab it.
My 3rd ball of the day was thrown over some fans’ heads by the ballboy. As soon as I chased it down in the seats, I gave it to them — and then I handed my next ball to the nearest kid. Mets coach Chip Hale tossed it up from the warning track. Here I am letting the kid reach into my glove and take it:
After I changed into my Braves gear, Braves pitcher Eric O’Flaherty tossed me my 5th ball of the day. Then, after a half-hour lull with absolutely no action, I snagged two home run balls. I’m not sure who hit them — David Ross and Brooks Conrad, I think — but whatever. I caught the first one on the fly…
…and snagged the second one after it landed. It had rolled underneath a woman’s seat, and for a split-second, I was thinking of giving it to her — that is, until she grabbed my arm and started yelling at me.
While running from the left field seats to the 3rd base dugout (BP was about to end, and I wanted to get there before the Braves cleared the field), I recklessly tried to cut to the right while running down some steps. I landed on my left foot, and my ankle rolled over. Pretty simple…and extremely painful. Let it be known that no one else was injured by my “recklessness.” The seats were mostly empty. It was Me versus The Stadium. I’ve gotten hurt several times at games over the years (including a cracked rib on 8/30/08 at Angel Stadium), but I’ve never EVER hurt anyone else. I want everyone to know that.
Anyway, this was the aftermath…
…followed by this:
I am SUCH a moron.
• 386 balls in 45 games this season = 8.58 balls per game.
• 706 consecutive games with at least one ball
• 520 consecutive games in New York with at least one ball
• 373 consecutive Mets home games with at least one ball
• 231 consecutive games with at least two balls
• 5,048 total balls
• 1 very stupid injury
(I’m raising money again this season for Pitch In For Baseball, a non-profit charity that provides baseball equipment to underprivileged kids all over the world. Click here to learn more.)
• 48 donors
• $6.94 pledged per ball (if you add up all the pledges)
• $48.58 raised at this game
• $2,678.84 raised this season
If you clicked the photo above of the five baseballs, you may have noticed that three of them have the word “practice” stamped underneath the MLB logo. Here’s a photo of the other two:
Finally, all five balls have traces of invisible ink, although it’s pretty faint on three of them. Here’s a comparison of the five balls in regular light versus black light:
As for my ankle, don’t ask. It’s currently wrapped up with ice (and yes, elevated above my heart), and I can’t put any weight on it. I’m on crutches and might go to the emergency room later for x-rays. Given the fact that I won the “Sprint Fan Favorite” contest for New York City and that the MLB Network is planning to film me at least twice in the next four days, this might just be the worst timing ever. Assuming everything goes according to plan — that is, the plan before I got hurt — I’m going to appear on the MLB Network’s broadcast of the Yankees-Red Sox game on Tuesday night, June 7th. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to describe exactly what I’ll be doing, so I’ll just say this: tune in at least 10 or maybe 20 minutes before the game starts, and pay extra close attention in the 4th or 5th inning.