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Thread: For fun: How many batted balls (fouls and HRs) have you caught?

  1. #21
    We used to go in and sit first serve in left field in the Metrodome. If you got in fast enough,
    you could get all the way down to the first row that wasn't roped off. When you got in there,
    there was always balls laying in the aisles from the opposite team's batting practice. I caught a few batting practice homeruns while sitting down there. But the only one I caught during a game was during a game against KC. I had already found 1 batting practice ball in the aisle and I had also caught one during batting practice. 2 out of my 3 kids were happy. I gave them to my youngest ones hoping my oldest (10 years old) would be mature enough to handle it. He wasn't. He whined about it during the game. I told him if I caught a HR ball, I'd give it to him and I also told him that if I gave it to him, the fans would be screaming at him to throw it back. He said I'd never catch one so it didn't matter. Well, Joe Randa came to the plate and hit it right to me just above Jacque Jones glove. I took the ball and whipped it into his glove and told him to now be quiet. All the fans were screaming at him to throw it back but he refused and held his ground. Unbeknownst to me, my dad was reading the Star Tribune the next day and saw a picture of me on the front page catching that ball. I went out and bought 5 copies. I'll never forget that for the rest of my life.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer righty8383's Avatar
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    April 14, 2005 was quite a lucky day for me. I had never gotten a ball prior to that day. I brought my glove to the game because my tickets were in left field and we got there when the gates opened. I caught 3 batting practice balls hit by Detroit. None of which I had to move a foot in either direction to catch. Then during the game, Lew Ford hit a 3 run homer right at me. Like batting practice, all I had to do was stand up a stick my glove out. The ball has not hit the ground since it left Kyle Farnsworth's hand.
    That night, FSN replayed the game and I recorded it. The tape is in a box somewhere I'm sure. One of these days I'll have to pull it out and show it to my boy(if my VCR still works).

  3. #23
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer righty8383's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellis205 View Post
    We used to go in and sit first serve in left field in the Metrodome. If you got in fast enough,
    you could get all the way down to the first row that wasn't roped off. When you got in there,
    there was always balls laying in the aisles from the opposite team's batting practice. I caught a few batting practice homeruns while sitting down there. But the only one I caught during a game was during a game against KC. I had already found 1 batting practice ball in the aisle and I had also caught one during batting practice. 2 out of my 3 kids were happy. I gave them to my youngest ones hoping my oldest (10 years old) would be mature enough to handle it. He wasn't. He whined about it during the game. I told him if I caught a HR ball, I'd give it to him and I also told him that if I gave it to him, the fans would be screaming at him to throw it back. He said I'd never catch one so it didn't matter. Well, Joe Randa came to the plate and hit it right to me just above Jacque Jones glove. I took the ball and whipped it into his glove and told him to now be quiet. All the fans were screaming at him to throw it back but he refused and held his ground. Unbeknownst to me, my dad was reading the Star Tribune the next day and saw a picture of me on the front page catching that ball. I went out and bought 5 copies. I'll never forget that for the rest of my life.
    Good for you guys not throwing it back. I always thought that was kinda dumb. Especially the time I was at a game against the White Sox and Jim Thome hit a HR not far from where I was sitting. The man who got the ball gave into the pressure and threw it back. Someday he'll tell the story about how he caught a HR ball of HOF'er Jim Thome, and when they ask what happened to the ball he'll have to say, "I threw it back".

  4. #24
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe A. Preusser View Post
    Hmm, how many GR2B did Matty Lawton hit in his career? Do you two account for the majority?
    I have to imagine we have the monopoly on it.....

  5. #25
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    None. At least no game or BP foul balls/home runs.

    However, in probably 1984, maybe 1985, in Batting Practice, we were on the left field line, by the old bullpens at the Dome. A ball came over there and John Henry Johnson, a reliever for the Red Sox ran all the way over. Of course, I was yelling "Give me the ball. Throw it to me, please!" Johnson picked up the ball, looked up, and walked away. But i could hear him say, "Well, I came this far..." And he tossed me the ball. It was pretty exciting!

    I've told this story on podcasts before. Of course, few remember John Henry Johnson, but I will. Also, I took that ball and it was signed by a couple of Twins. One was Kirby Puckett. Another was Dave Engle. I tossed him the ball, and he said, "Thanks! We need some more baseballs." And he threw it into the ball bucket. I was saddened and was about to start walking away, and he said, "Just kidding, kid." He picked up the ball and signed it and threw it back to me.

    I wish I had kept that ball.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    None that I kept. I caught one ball from Chad Curtis, with the Detroit Tigers at the time. I was with a girl wearing a Curtis jersey (seriously!) and another guy from Detroit, and he threw the practice ball up to us, and I caught the ball. I gave it to the girl of the group who was infatuated with Curtis (later found out she attempted to get him to her hotel room when he was a Yankee and he declined).

    Close, but no cigar story: Being a huge Braves fan in the midst of the upper midwest was not fun for my growing up as there was no interleague for most of it, and the closest National League team was Chicago. By the time I was in college, however, Milwaukee was in the NL, so I had a closer destination to see them, especially since I was at the U. We went in Miller Park's first season to a Braves game, and we had very nice seats along the third base line. I always keep score at ballgames, and I was in the midst of catching up from a rough inning for John Smoltz when Andruw Jones came up to the plate. He hit a screaming liner that I looked up just in time to duck away from before it hit me in the head and get a fingertip on. It landed in the lap of the guy behind me.
    Staff Writer for Tomahawktake.com, come check it out!

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  8. #27
    Senior Member Triple-A TwinsGuy55422's Avatar
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    I have caught probably 20 or some batting practice homerun balls over the years. I have also caught 3 in-game balls. The first was in Kansas City in 2012. Alexi Casilla recorded the third out of an inning and threw the ball to me as he was running off the field. Then in 2013 at Target Field, I caught a foul ball down the first baseline hit by Chris Parmelee against the Phillies. Later that summer, I caught a homerun ball in left field hit by Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox. Despite the peer pressure, I could not bring myself to throw the ball back.
    TwinsGuy55422
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  9. #28
    Senior Member Triple-A Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
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    I have an old Morneau Team Canada jersey from the 2006 WBC. Morneau's number is #27, because Larry Walker had #33 that year. People ask me why his number is #27 on the jersey, and it's fun to replay, deadpan, "#27 is #33--according to the metric system..."

    Anyway, Morneau tossed me a ball in 2007 at an Orioles game at Camden Yards, then he signed the jersey. The jersey has been a draw ever since. He once signed a ball for my son, "Happy Birthday, John, 5/15/09" Justin Morneau" I kept the ball in my sock drawer until the following season, and when Morneau stepped to the plate against the Yankees, John got his birthday present. On the next pitch, Morneau hit a home run off Phil Hughes.

    Since then our family has attended two or three away games each year, and a few Spring Training tilts--one where we came up with a screaming Brian Dinkleman foul ball over the third base dugout.

    But my favorite moment was the last year in the Marlins/Joe Robbie Stadium. I was at a conference in Florida, and the family came along for a few vacation days. The Reds were playing the Marlins, and Ricky Nolasco gave up a home run to right field. The ball landed in the tunnel where the grounds crew keeps its equipment. My youngest boy, six years old at the time, could hardly catch a beach ball. But he stood on tiptoes and peered over the railing anyway. The groundskeeper soft tossed the ball into his waiting hands for a perfect two-handed catch. The proudest little boy in the world held the ball high over his head while the whole section cheered.

    Now that Hughes and Nolasco are Twins, hopefully that's the end of home run stories involving those two pitchers...

  10. #29
    I have been going to games since the Twins' first season of 1961; games all over the country. I don't know how many games that adds up to be but in all those years, I have never caught an in-game ball. I've gotten some BP homeruns and Jeff Reardon tossed me a ball that rolled out to the warning track at the Kingdome during BP in 1988. Greg Maddux, when he was a Cub, picked up a ball in the OF while he was doing windsprints before a spring training game in Mesa. He looked up into the stands and saw me standing there virtually alone with my glove raised (it was about two hours before game time) and tossed it to me. I keep that one on my desk at work and "worry" it like Captain Queeg and his marbles. My biggest "catch" was between innings at an A's/Red Sox game in Fenway back in May of 1972 while I was in college. Reggie Jackson was warming up his arm by tossing to Dave Duncan in the A's right field bullpen. He threw one high and it glanced off Duncan's glove and straight back over the fence and into the stands. It struck four rows of empty seats in front of me (the Sox rarely sold out back then) and bounced right into my hands. Jackson yelled at me, "Toss it back. It's the only one we have!" I yelled back a one-word expletive that let him know that I doubted the veracity of that statement. He shrugged his shoulders, Duncan reached into a ball bag, and they resumed their game of catch. Later, Reggie Smith hit a walk-off homerun into the right field bleachers but nowhere near me. As I was exiting the ballpark rubbing my baseball, someone thought it was Smith's homerun ball and offered me money for it. I said I wasn't selling. But I didn't tell him it wasn't the game-winner. It didn't matter: I wasn't letting go of that ball. I still bring my glove to games and hold out hope that a foul will eventually come my way.

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  12. #30
    Senior Member All-Star
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    I thought this was going to turn into a kids/fantasy team kind of thread, as in, everybody wants to talk about theirs but nobody else really cares to listen.

    Plot twist: Hell no! Great stories everyone and great thread.

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  14. #31
    Super Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    I thought this was going to turn into a kids/fantasy team kind of thread, as in, everybody wants to talk about theirs but nobody else really cares to listen.

    Plot twist: Hell no! Great stories everyone and great thread.
    You should go to a SABR convention. You get conversations just like this, because of the evident passion about the game.

    / sorry for the threadjack - I'll go sit in the corner now with Winston

  15. #32
    Member Single-A iTwins's Avatar
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    Zero. I ALMOST broke that streak last year. September 10th, versus the A's, Oswaldo Arcia launched a home run in the 6th inning to right center. I was sitting in the first row of the Power Ball Pavilion and the ball was coming right at me.

    Right. At. Me.

    Unfortunately(?), Arcia CRUSHED that ball and it simply kept carrying. It landed (fairly high if I remember correctly) in the second deck.

    If only Arcia had used a little less power...
    Last edited by iTwins; 01-15-2014 at 03:44 PM.

  16. #33
    Senior Member Double-A zenser's Avatar
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    I have caught two during the course of a game and countless thrown to me in either bp or when they are coming into the dugout. We were in KC a few years back and my wife and I had seats in the first row right on top of the Twins dugout. I don't know how many third outs were made at first base while the Twins were on the field, but I think my wife got all of them. She happened to be wearing a Morneau jersey at the time and there were really no kids by us and a lot of Royal fans. Good thing Morneau was throwing them to her because I would have been embarassed dropping one with my butterfingers.

  17. #34
    Zero.. I came soooo close to catching one, though. For my 8th birthday, I went to a Twins game with a bunch of my friends. We were sitting in left field, probably doing something obnoxious, not really paying much attention when Torii Hunter hit a bomb right to us. Oh lord. I can still remember freaking out, scrambling to put on my glove that I stupidly stashed underneath my seat, and thinking to myself: 'OH SWEET JESUS. THIS IS THE ONE. I'M GOING TO CATCH IT AND IT'S GOING TO BE MIIIIIIIIIIIINE.'

    But, I didn't catch it... I missed the ball and it landed two feet to my left, on my friends foot, and he got it. Oh how I wanted that baseball.

  18. #35

  19. #36
    Senior Member Triple-A gil4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
    Three
    - Caught a line drive HR to deep center in the dome off Chili Davis' bat (still hurts) in 1991 (American League Ball)
    - Got a pop foul in 1995 at New Britain, their first year of their Twins' affiliation when they were Hardware City at the old Beehive Field (Eastern League Ball)
    - Was tossed one (by Drew Butera of all people) while at the OF tables during Twins' BP at the Tampa ballpark last Spring Training (MLB Ball)
    My experience has been similar, except the HR ball I caught was in BP (Yankee Stadium, hit by Mark Salas. BP HRs sting pretty good too.) I caught a foul pop at Norwich, CT - I think they were still the Norwich Navigators (AA-Yankees), but they might have been the Connecticut Defenders (AA-Giants) by then.

    I had several that I caught that were tossed into the stands in San Antonio, and we had one game a couple of years ago in Arlington when we got in early and got 6 BP balls between 5 of us.

    My youngest son took his to get it signed by one of the Twins players. I asked him who signed it, and he said he didn't know, but he had catcher's gear on. I looked at the ball, hoping to see Joe Mauer's name. Nope - Drew Butera. Sorry Drew, but that didn't keep me from bashing you in the forum.

  20. #37
    Senior Member Triple-A gil4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
    Now that Hughes and Nolasco are Twins, hopefully that's the end of home run stories involving those two pitchers...

    That's what I was thinking when I read it. You need to sit the kids in foul territory so they can catch the ball and remember the next pitch being strike three. (Maybe the catcher will give them 1/3 of a putout on the play.)

  21. #38
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    The closest I got was Game 6 in 91. I was in Row 2 of section 210, right behind home plate. Gladden leads off the bottom of the first, takes a hack at the first pitch and fouls it straight back. It was coming right to me. I had my glove up (I was the only one in the second deck with a glove). And the drunk guy in front of me jumped up and swatted the ball back into the netting behind home plate. Bitter dregs to this day.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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