A powerful thunderstorm rolled through Pittsburgh around 4PM, knocking out power and backing up traffic at every intersection.
I knew there wouldn’t be batting practice, but I went anyway. Things had cleared up by 5PM and the sun was shining at least.
I thought I may get shut out, but managed to get a ball from Chris Carpenter as the Cardinals finished throwing.
He rolled three balls from right center field to the fans along the right field fence in foul territory. One ball was out of reach for everyone, so I went over and used my long arm to reach over and grab it just over the four foot fence down the right field foul line in right field.
Unfortunately, that would be the only ball that I got prior to the game. My newly minted girlfriend of one day Amy was working this game, so I decided to stick around for the game.
However, my luck changed for the better in the 2nd inning. John Bowker stepped up to the plate and hit a home run to right center field, right in the area where I was hanging out talking to fellow ballhawk Ian Weir.
I knew I had a chance to make the catch. However, at the last second, the ball started to die, and almost didn’t have enough carry to reach me. I had to reach over a handicapped railing and make a basket catch.
Once I did, I raised the ball in triumph.
Here’s the VIDEO of the catch.
Another cool fact is that the Bowker home run ball was Ball #1,111 of my career. That would be the last ball I’d get for the night, but what a snag!
Here it is:
Game: 2 balls ( 1 hit, 1 thrown )
Season: 533 balls (253 hit, 131 thrown, 72 device, 77 found)
Games: 84 games
Average: 6.35 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 6
Career: 1,111 balls
Streak: 180 cons
ecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Balls needed to break single season record: 11
What’s worse than attending a Sunday afternoon game?
Attending a Sunday afternoon game with the Cardinals taking batting practice.
When I got to PNC Park, I stood outside for awhile and looked in. There were no cages set up, and the garage doors to where the screens and cage were kept, were closed.
After talking to fellow ballhawk Nick Pelescak before the gates opened, I decided to not enter the park, and just go home. I didn’t feel like running all over the place to try and get a ball. I would basically have to beg players to throw me a warm up ball, which is something I’m not fond of doing.
On my way walking back to my car, I got a call from Nick. The groundscrew had just rolled out all of the screens. I stopped in my tracks and turned around to head back towards PNC Park.
Unfortunately, the team taking batting practice on this Sunday was the St Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals are notorious for their line drive, opposite field approach, making home runs rare.
Luckily, when they began hitting, one Cardinals batter hit a ball to the left center field wall. I threw my glove out on the field twice to roll the ball to the base of the wall, and used the glove trick to reel up ball #1.
Game: 1 ball (1 device)
Season: 344 balls (181 hit, 101 thrown, 62 device)
Games: 71 games (7 of which didn’t have BP)
Average: 4.85 balls per game
Career: 510 balls
Streak: 86 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.