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Monday, July 25, 2011

Granillo: The Joy of Catching a Foul Ball

My Fritz Peterson foul ball from 1966…(had to beat 5,896 others in attendance that day to the ball!)

image

But the best group is, far-and-away, the children. When a little kid catches a ball (or is the first to pick it up), that pride and excitement that you see on their faces is fantastic. They’re excited when a parent or adult gives them a ball that they caught, but catching the ball themselves is the best. The Giants and Diamondbacks had two interesting moments this week, when young fans were caught on camera at their two ballparks almost catching balls. The videos are a ton of fun to watch - here’s the Giants kid and here’s the Diamondbacks kid - but that’s only near-joy. For the best example of this joy, check out the video above.

He only shows up for about five seconds (beginning at the 16-second mark), but that’s the joy I’m talking about. The toothless smile, the hands upraised, the grinning high-fives… no one can watch that clip without smiling. Whenever I finally catch my foul ball, I hope I look half as cute as that. Something tells me I’m about twenty-five years too late, though, so it’ll probably just be a quick high-five and nothing else. What was it like the first time you caught a home run or foul ball?

Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:26 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, memorabilia

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#3884889)
Adults share all of the same traits as do the kids he glorifies. The only difference is we don't find it cute when some 45 year old balding man with a 54 inch beer gut pouts or is extremely happy that he caught a ball.

You can give a kid a twinkie or take one away and you'll see the same range of emotions.
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#3884903)
The thrill is still there for kids, I guess, but it's gotta be somewhat devalued if it's just a case of a de facto perk passed out by the ballboy in return for your Dad's buying you a front row box seat. It can't possibly compare to the thrill of actually catching a foul ball yourself, or even to the thrill of your friend's distracting the ball boy's attention while you pilfer a ball out of the ball bag.
   3. JE (Jason) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:59 PM (#3884917)
Randy Levine would have these kids caught and hung up by their Buster Browns.
   4. A triple short of the cycle Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#3884938)
I have yet to catch a foul ball on the fly, due to lack of good opportunity, but I am forever ready. (No mitt, however.) I have gotten two balls that I scrambled for and picked up off the ground. The last one, which I got last season, I had signed by three people: my season ticket buddy, Fran the beer lady, and John the Saags sausage guy.
   5. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:20 PM (#3884949)
Adults share all of the same traits as do the kids he glorifies. The only difference is we don't find it cute when some 45 year old balding man with a 54 inch beer gut pouts or is extremely happy that he caught a ball.


...or when he snatches it away from a kid, gloats over it, and then gives the finger to the fans who get on his case for not letting the kid get it, which happened at a ball game at Five County earlier this season.

-- MWE
   6. Vance W Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#3884963)
Had a foul ball bounce right to me once. I looked around for a kid and gave the ball to him. The section around me broke into spontaneous applause. You would thought I had donated a kidney or something.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:37 PM (#3884974)
On the flip side, I just saw this great compilation of douchiness over foul balls. Really makes you lost faith in hmanity.
   8. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:42 PM (#3884987)
As fun as it is to catch or pick up a foul ball, the feeling does not compare to catching, picking up a home run ball.

One foul ball I have (a Adam Kennedy foul ball over and well back of the 3rd base side on deck circle at Co. Stadium), bounced off a couple pairs of hands, missed swipes and trickled down the steps of two rows and came to a rest in my empty nacho basket. I simply picked it up under my seat and tried to be invisible. Lots of groans.
   9. Brian Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:51 PM (#3884997)
I've caught 2 balls so far. One when I was about 13 and had my glove with me, first row upper deck, old YS. Jerry Kenney foul ball off of Wilbur Wood. Line shot right to my glove sode, caught it clean. So focused I didn't hear the lady next to me letting out a blood-curdling scream because she thought she was going to die. I turned to my Dad, showed him the ball and looked around to see people laughing their asses off. Apparently that woman could really project. Great day: Yankees swept, bat day, foul ball, doubleheader, Mike Kekich pitched a 1 hitter (a Mike Andrews HR) in game 2.

The other one was in RF, OYS, homer to right, lower deck. A line drive that skipped across the crowd like a rock on a lake until it got to me and I plucked it out of midair. I was about 19 and gave it immediately to a kid in a wheelchair (Before handicao access, his dad carried him in and out) who we had been talking to all game. Same reaction, the kidney donation thing. That was one smiling kid. I have no idea who hit it.
   10. NewGrass Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:57 PM (#3885005)
Thanks Reuben Berman
   11. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:08 PM (#3885025)
Foul balls: Marquis Grissom, Dmitri Young, Adam Kennedy, some minor league dude can't remember.
Home Run: Richie Sexson
   12. villageidiom Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:30 PM (#3885042)
I caught a foul ball on the fly, in my hat. Pitched by Pedro, fouled by Vernon Wells. I kept it. My son has it now, and he regularly uses it like he would any other baseball.
   13. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:34 PM (#3885045)
I've caught 2 balls so far. One when I was about 13 and had my glove with me, first row upper deck, old YS. Jerry Kenney foul ball off of Wilbur Wood.


Let's see, if you were 13 when you caught a ball hit off Wilbur Wood, that would make you, what, like a million years old now?
   14. Brian Posted: July 26, 2011 at 11:16 AM (#3885558)
About a million on the head actually. I still remember it vividly.
   15. Busted Flush Posted: July 26, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#3885654)
Mike Royko's memory (scroll down) of catching a foul ball may just be the best ever.

Edited for coding.
   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 26, 2011 at 02:41 PM (#3885673)
Mike Royko's memory (scroll down) of catching a foul ball may just be the best ever.

You sure got that right. Great story.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: July 26, 2011 at 02:47 PM (#3885679)
Only one, and it probably needs an asterisk. Mike Jorgensen as a member of the Mets vs. the White Sox at Doubleday Field during the 1982 Hall of Fame game. The ball went crashing through a tree and I picked it up. Me and some other kids later chased one that landed on top of the bagging cages nearby, but the owner shooed us away before we could climb across the netting.

I don't know where it is now, but I suspect my son has done with it what vi's boy has, if my hole-in-one golf balls are an indication.
   18. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 26, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#3885683)
I've caught 2 balls so far. One when I was about 13 and had my glove with me, first row upper deck, old YS. Jerry Kenney foul ball off of Wilbur Wood. Line shot right to my glove sode, caught it clean. .. Great day: Yankees swept, bat day, foul ball, doubleheader, Mike Kekich pitched a 1 hitter (a Mike Andrews HR) in game 2.

your memory is quite good
   19. Dale Sams Posted: July 26, 2011 at 03:27 PM (#3885702)
My only complaint about catching home run balls is when the fans team just gave up the lead with the home run, and the guy who caught the ball acts like he caught the last out of the WS. Your team is losing! Show some humility!
   20. beefshower Posted: July 26, 2011 at 03:31 PM (#3885706)
I have been to probably hundreds of Tigers games but have never caught a foul ball, meanwhile my friend Josh has probably been to twenty games and has three foul balls with about five more near misses. He is a magnet for foul balls and I have never seen anyone with such luck at grabbing them. I was at a game with him once where we were walking together along the concourse when the drink he was carrying just exploded in his hand and scared the crap out of both of us. We didn't know what happened until a ball ricocheted off the concrete wall bounced off a seat and landed right in his hand that used to have the drink in it. Had that ball been about 2 feet higher it probably would have brained one of us.

I had one close call though. A Laynce Nix screamer down the third base line at Comerica Park back in 2004. My friend jumped up to bare hand it and being the gangly uncoordinated mess that he is (I'm talking about a guy who probably has never walked through a doorway in his entire life without banging his elbow on the wall) the ball jammed all of his fingers. Of course since my friends hand had the misfortune of absorbing the balls impact it fell gently into my hands. I gave him a hard time about how easy it was to catch it while he sat there and rubbed his swollen bright pink hand (it seriously looked like in the cartoons when a character hits their hand with a hammer). This went on for a few innings before I thought he was going to throw a full fledged hissy fit and I gave him the ball back because, well he earned it.
   21. Brian Posted: July 27, 2011 at 01:26 AM (#3886069)
Thanks JMac. It's amazing the things that you remember. Going into the game there was a lot of talk about Wood pitching both games for the Sox. It wound up he didn't but I still remember that. The Kekich one-hitter was the closest to a no-hitter I've ever seen. I think it was either just inside the short LF pole or it hit it. At least that's how I remember it.

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