In the top of the first inning at Oriole Park, Dylan Bundy wound up and delivered a 91 mph fastball into the strike zone. Bryce Harper of the visiting Washington Nationals proceeded to launch a solo home run into the right field stands. It was the 15th home run allowed by Bundy this season already, in only his 12th game. He is already 2 homers away from his 2016 season total of 18, after giving up another long ball to former Oriole Mark Reynolds in the 4th inning.
So, uh, Tuesday night didn’t go so well, did it? I don’t know about anyone else, but watching Dylan Bundy get blasted for 7 runs before a single out was recorded and subsequently seeing Mike Wright give up 3 more runs before the first inning was completed gave me some major flashbacks to the 30-3 game against the Texas Rangers in 2007.
I thought I would mix it up a little bit and do a countdown of my seven favorite ballparks that I’ve competed on in one form of competition or another. They can be fields that I played at in college with UConn, in collegiate summer ball leagues, in pro ball so far, or in showcases in the past. Every field in the countdown has some special stories and memories, and I’ll be elaborating on those along the way.
Slowly but surely over the 18 years that I’ve played baseball, starting at ‘coach-pitch’ when I was 4, fastball velocities have increased year by year. The adjustment always takes a few at-bats to get used to, but soon it clicks. It was just last week, against the Minnesota Twins extended spring training team, that I faced a guy throwing a 100 mile per hour fastball. Brusdar Graterol was feeling himself that day, as he was 97-100 and touched 101 a few times.