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Monday, July 15, 2013

Indians Fan Grabs 4 Foul Balls in One Game

Greg Van Niel is a Cleveland Indians season-ticket holder. But curiously, he wasn’t sitting in his usual seats when he grabbed four foul balls at Sunday’s game at Progressive Field against the Kansas City Royals.

He accomplished his feat by the fifth inning.

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: July 15, 2013 at 09:32 AM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fans, indians, progressive field

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 15, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4494650)
Wow. I swear I'm not making this up - I've never caught a foul ball in real life, but I have a recurring dream in which this happens to me. I've had it so often that the last time it happened (just last week), in the dream I said "This always happens to me in dreams, but never in real life before." Alas...
   2. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 15, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4494672)
I got two in one game at SkyDome once -- back in 2002 when there were a lot of empty seats.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4494682)
You know who else is good at grabbing balls?

Your mom.
   4. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 15, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4494692)
I've never caught a foul ball, but I did catch a football once at an "indoor football" (fake Arena Football) game. I had this weird feeling that the kicker was going to bank an extra point off the wall and right to me, and 10 seconds later that's exactly what happened. Hit me square in the chest. I've still got the ball.

As for this guy, it's pretty cool, though I have to say I think it's sort of crappy that he scrambled to beat someone to the fourth ball, picked it up, and flipped it to people in a different section. Dude, give it to the guy you ganked it from.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: July 15, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4494733)
I've never caught a foul ball, but I did catch a football once at an "indoor football" (fake Arena Football) game. I had this weird feeling that the kicker was going to bank an extra point off the wall and right to me, and 10 seconds later that's exactly what happened. Hit me square in the chest. I've still got the ball.


Had almost the exact same thing happen to me at a Jets game at Shea Stadium, with one significant exception. The Bills scored late, and a bunch of people, of which I was easily the smallest, gathered under the net (the outfield end zone) in case Tom Dempsey cleared it. Not surprisingly with this many teenage New Yorkers in one crowded place, a fight broke out. I figured this was perfect, since everyone would be paying attention to the fight and no one would notice when the ball came right to me. Sure enough, that's what happened. Unfortunately, I was so damn stunned that it happened just as I imagined it would, I never even raised my hands. The ball bounced off my chest, fell to the ground and everyone scrambled for it while I walked away in a daze.

Now, I can take some solace in the fact that an 11-year-old kid was not going to make it out of that pile with the football even if I'd caught it (and damn it, I had good hands, had I opted to use them), but it still would have been nice to catch it rather than bat it down with my chest.

I got one foul ball, from the 1982 Hall of Fame game. Mike Jorgensen hit it outside the park, it crashed through a tree and I picked it up. It never had the feel of a real foul ball, even if was off a major leaguer's bat.
   6. Moe Greene Posted: July 15, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4494802)
I've caught 1 foul ball. Off the bat of JR House (remember him?) at LP Frans Stadium in Hickory, NC.
   7. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 15, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4494811)
I've got one, Andrew Brown in Pittsburgh. I also am the proud owner of a Brian Daubach batting glove that he disgustedly threw into the stands at Fenway after a 22-1 loss to the Yankees.
   8. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 15, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4494820)
Marquis Grissom, Adam Kennedy, and Dmitri Young hit my in game foul balls that I've caught/retrieved. Richie Sexon hit the HR ball I got.
   9. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 15, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4494828)
I have caught one foul ball, at a Kingsport Mets game. I also used to have a ball that Charlie Moore threw to me during batting practice just before the Brewers-White Sox 25-inning game.
   10. I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape Posted: July 15, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4494831)
Never gotten a foul ball, but I have caught (well, picked up) a home run ball. It was off the bat of Richard Hidalgo when Texas was visiting the Oakland Coliseum. It was ridiculously rainy weekday afternoon blowout and the crowd thinned out real quickly, so I didn't have much competition for it.
   11. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: July 15, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4494840)
I've never caught an in-game ball. I've caught (or picked up) a few batting practice home runs. I gave them away except for the first one, hit by Frank Thomas at Dodger Stadium in 2003.
   12. kthejoker Posted: July 15, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4494842)
Ken Griffey, Jr, in 2003 with the Reds, at Minute Maid, against Roy Oswalt. So weird to go the BBREF game logs and actually point to my foul ball in the PBP.
   13. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 15, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4494847)
My friend got hit in the face with a Steve Balboni foul ball. Naturally, someone else darted in and yoinked the ball away.
   14. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 15, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4494860)
As for this guy, it's pretty cool, though I have to say I think it's sort of crappy that he scrambled to beat someone to the fourth ball, picked it up, and flipped it to people in a different section. Dude, give it to the guy you ganked it from.

After catching THREE foul balls at a game, what is he doing diving across multiple rows for a fourth?
   15. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 15, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4494919)
My first season at work a foul ball went straight back towards the press box and hit the edge of the window in front of me. Had it been an inch higher it would have destroyed my laptop and hit me in the face.
   16. Worrierking Posted: July 15, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4494925)
I got two in a game. 1987 Astros at Busch stadium, a guy who I had worked for in the past called and said he had procured front-row tickets to the game, down the third-base line. He was not a baseball fan but knew I would be thrilled so he invited me.

Early on, Kevin Bass, batting right off Joe Magraine pulled one down the line foul. It bounced off the rail and in the air towards my group. As the tallest in the crowd I snagged it one-handed. Later Dale Berra hitting against Rickey Horton ripped one down the line that was just foul. It rolled down to the bullpen area and hit the bullpen bench, rolling back toward home. Again, using my height to my advantage, I was able to lean out over the rail and grab it, which some other shorter fans were unable to do. I held the ball high in triumph and the fans around me cheered. Then, when I held up the other ball I caught earlier, they turned on me, booing my arrogance (best fans in baseball? Are you kidding? Vicious!). I gave the ball to a small kid behind me and placated the rowdy mob.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLN/SLN198708240.shtml

The very next game I attended was in 1988 in Arlington and I got another foul. Cecil Fielder hit one in the upper deck above us and it rebounded back down to the deck below, and once again, I was the tallest in the area and caught it on the way down.


http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TEX/TEX198808260.shtml

After having destroyed all notions of probability in that two-game span, I haven't come close to another since.

   17. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 15, 2013 at 04:20 PM (#4495030)
Had it been an inch higher it would have destroyed my laptop and hit me in the face.


Which of those two events would have bothered you more?
   18. jdennis Posted: July 15, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4495041)
there's a whole industry of people who pore over hit charts and scouting reports and position themselves for foul balls
   19. PreservedFish Posted: July 15, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4495056)
Is "industry" the right word?
   20. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: July 15, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4495059)
there's a whole industry of people who pore over hit charts and scouting reports and position themselves for foul balls

I have a book, "How to Snag Major League Baseballs", by this guy, who has apparently caught thousands of baseballs and uses his prowess to raise money for charity. It seems he has another, better book, but that one is somewhere on a bookshelf.
   21. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 15, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4495066)
there's a whole industry of people who pore over hit charts and scouting reports and position themselves for foul balls


reminds me of the time Charlie Sheen and his pals bought out entire sections of LF bleachers at Anaheim for the purposes of catching a HR ball, problem was, there were no HRs to LF that day.

Sheen didn't get that memo.
   22. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 15, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4495071)
Happy Fun Boy (so named by Vasgersian years ago) used to haul in prodigious amounts of HR balls at County Stadium.

Nothing beats this guy's effort all by his lonesome
   23. The Polish Sausage Racer Posted: July 15, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4495073)
The only one I've ever caught, I caught with my face and it fell into my lap. Thanks, Aramis!
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: July 15, 2013 at 05:16 PM (#4495092)
I've never caught a foul ball in real life, but I have a recurring dream in which this happens to me.


Wow, both of these are true for me too. In the recurring dream, i often get multiple foul balls in the same game. Odd.
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 16, 2013 at 02:48 AM (#4495491)


Wow, both of these are true for me too. In the recurring dream, i often get multiple foul balls in the same game. Odd.


Not only in the same game, but the same inning - they just keep coming to me, one after the other. I never would have imagined anyone would have this same dream. Are you sure you aren't me?
   26. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: July 16, 2013 at 03:31 AM (#4495497)
I've had two foul balls bounce off my hands. I usually sit mid-to-upper deck right behind home plate, so if a ball gets to where I am, it's moving a lot faster than I'm prepared for.
   27. Greg K Posted: July 16, 2013 at 06:32 AM (#4495503)
Never caught a foul ball, though one was hit to me by Donald Lutz at the Armin-Wolf Baseball Arena in Regensburg, Germany. I managed to both break my finger and drop the ball allowing an old German lady to pick it up.
   28. ajnrules Posted: July 16, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4496068)
I've never caught a foul ball either. The closest I've ever come to one was when Aaron Rowand hit a foul ball to the row behind me on Randy Johnson's 300th win. Because I was so busy capturing the historical on camera, my friend got it instead.
   29. BDC Posted: July 16, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4496161)
Never. Of course, my typical seat is in the 13th row of the third deck.
   30. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 16, 2013 at 06:33 PM (#4496201)
I got three at Five County one night (all of which I gave away). Of course that night was cold and rainy and there were maybe 50-100 people in the stands.

-- MWE
   31. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 16, 2013 at 07:02 PM (#4496226)
I got six one very cold, rainy night (morning, actually; the game ended at around 1:30 AM) in Altoona four or five years ago. I had a whole section to myself, up high behind the first base dugout. I don't think there were 40 people left in the stands and probably all of us were either being paid to be there or a close relative/significant other of someone who was.
   32. catomi01 Posted: July 16, 2013 at 07:10 PM (#4496230)
I worked for 2 minor league teams and have been to hundreds if not thousands of games and never laid a hand on a foul ball...my company has a suite at the local atlantic league team, but between the position and he angle necessary for a ball to come our way, it will be traveling hard enough that I would not ant to catch it.
   33. BDC Posted: July 16, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4496274)
I got six one very cold, rainy night (morning, actually; the game ended at around 1:30 AM) in Altoona four or five years ago. I had a whole section to myself, up high behind the first base dugout. I don't think there were 40 people left in the stands

I'm surprised they didn't start asking you for them back so that they didn't run out of baseballs :)
   34. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 16, 2013 at 08:44 PM (#4496373)
Eh, it was like one an inning in a game that went 14. There was a rain delay after the 8th or 9th and after that I had the section to myself; it's an area that always sees a lot of foul pops.

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