Monday, May 27, 2019

First Visit to FNB Field, Home of the Harrisburg Senators

2019 Chachi Ballpark Visits #7
While the Phillies were getting destroyed in Milwaukee (see below), we took a two-hour drive along I-76 to Harrisburg for our first official visit to FNB Field, home of the Harrisburg Senators.  The Senators are the Eastern League, Double-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.  Our first attempt to attend a Senators game was rained out in mid-April, so for this return trip we were treated to a double header against the Phillies Double-A affiliate, the Reading Fightin Phils.

2019 Chachi Ballpark Visits #1
2019 Chachi Ballpark Visits #2
2019 Chachi Ballpark Visits #3
2019 Chachi Ballpark Visits #4
2019 Chachi Ballpark Visits #5
2019 Chachi Ballpark Visits #6
We have yet to have a bad minor league ballpark experience, and this was another fantastic venue.  I strategically selected seats behind the Fightin Phils dugout on the third base side and Doug added autographs of several Phillies prospects to his card collection both before and between games.  Top prospects Adam Haseley and Cornelius Randolph were repeat signers and he also added autographs on the cards of Mickey Moniak and Arquimedes Gamboa.

For any players without readily available cards in his collection, or if the players came over more than once, he obtained signatures on Eastern League baseballs.  He had two baseballs to fill with signatures and the willing signers were coaches Tyler Henson and Nelson Prada, catcher Austin Bossart, pitcher Aaron Brown, infielders Gamboa, Jose Gomez, Darrick Hall and Luke Williams, and outfielders Haseley, Moniak and Randolph.

Nationals prospect Bryan Mejia was signing before the first game from a seat in Section 106, and Ben effortlessly added his autograph to his collection.  Ben's autograph hunting is limited to opportunities requiring minimal effort, which is the way I was in my younger days as well.  The Fightin Phils players liberally tossed baseballs into the stands after the bottom of each inning, and we caught balls tossed by Adonis Medina and Austin Listi.

Towards the end of the second game, and completely out of the blue, a ball rolled over the Fightin Phils' dugout roof and landed at my feet.  We were pleasantly surprised to see the ball had been signed by most of the Reading roster in a red sharpie!  Doug has catalogued the signatures and the ball was signed by the following players:  Bossart, Brown, Bailey Falter, Hall, Haseley, Henri Latrigue, Mauricio Llovera, Listi, Medina, Moniak, Randolph, Raul Rivas and Ramon Rosso.  How cool is that!

While the autograph additions were awesome, we also witnessed a double header sweep by the Fightin Phils.  Medina won the first game thanks in part to home runs from Hall and Josh Stephen.  Jose Taveras was masterful on the mount in the second game, throwing five innings of shutout ball in his first Double-A start.  Gamboa went 4 for 7 in the twinbill with two doubles and a triple.

Meanwhile, in Milwaukee . . .

Brewers 9Phillies 1
Game 53 - Sunday Afternoon, May 26th in Milwaukee
Record - 31-22, 1st place, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Brandon Woodruff shut down the Phillies offense and added a pair of RBI hits in this 9-1 loss to the Brewers.

What It Means:  The Phillies finished a tough seven-game road trip against the Cubs and Brewers with a respectable record of 4-3.

What Happened:  The only Phillies hit in this game was a solo home run from Andrew Knapp (1) in the sixth.  Zach Eflin departed after 3 2/3 innings having allowed three runs on six hits.  Vince Velasquez was knocked around in his second relief outing, giving up four runs on five hits in just 2/3 of an inning.  JD Hammer made his big league debut, pitching a scoreless sixth inning.


Steve F. said...

Sometimes good things just fall into your lap! Pretty cool!

Section 36 said...

I have dreams that involve autographed baseballs dropping at my feet. That's so incredible! Totally agree with the "minimal effort" autograph hunting. I was never a big "push my way through a crowd" guy. Although, I will add in some extra effort when it comes to placement these days.