Our new weekly installment of baseball fun centers on the greatest plays outside the lines. Each week, we are going to bring you the top player and fan plays relating to foul balls and anything that happens outside the lines. For the week of April 20-26, who’s Got Balls?
1) We need to make an adjustment to our efforts to keep track of the MLB ball boy/ball girl competition. We missed this amazing catch from ANOTHER Padres ball girl. This puts the count at Ball girls 4, Ball boys 1. (In case you care: It’s looking like the Padres have the best ball girls by far.) But the ball boys aren’t down and out yet. After this we count Ball Girls 4, Ball Boys 2:
2) Last week seemed to be the week of self-castration amongst players. Self-castration #1 belongs to Alejandro De Aza:
3) Self-castration #2 belongs to Pablo “Panda” Sandoval:
4) Ya know that commercial that has that tagline in it, “He went to Jared”? Yea. The foul decided to go to Jared/Jarrod/Jarod…and clearly didn’t like it. What’s amazing is how thoroughly embarrassed his wife/fiancé/date is for him. Sucks to be him…a lot:
5) Told you this would end up in our foul ball top 10 of the week too. When our Twitter feed lit up with two foul ball instances last week, we decided to take the funnier of the two and add it to our PWIB Notes top 10 of the week. But it is equally deserving of out Foul Ball top 10, so here it is again: The fan makes a valiant effort to get the ball, falls over BACKWARDS across a row, struggles to get back up, THEN—as if to add insult to injury—muffs a high five attempt. Sometimes it’s just not your day:
6) What was the second foul ball scene that blow up our Twitter feeds? This gem, where the young man is given a foul ball, and…well, you just gotta see his reaction. If only we all had this young man’s fascination still, the world would be a much better place. A FoulBallz cap tip to you young fellow:
7) This harkens back to the days when players didn’t have gloves…well, not what we would call a glove today, anyway. One handed+no glove = impressive:
8) The raw power of foul balls can’t be underestimated. These things are nasty. We’ve all seen pictures of shattered windows and dents in various parts of the field and press box, and even a spark on a mask, but the sheer kinetic energy these balls possess still amazes. Last week Will Myers had pinpoint accuracy and destroyed a camera:
9) This is a cool two parter, that gives you a pretty nifty POV of the reaction of fans when a foul ball is hit toward them. Watch both to get the full experience. Ball inbound:
Ball off wall:
10) We thought about subtracting one from the ball boys after seeing this one. Lazy play and should never have gotten away from him. Just bad. This clip is #6 on ESPN Sportscenter’s “Not Top 10”, so wait for it:
11) This is just a flat out great catch…we thought he might be the third self-castration victim of the week, but the sliding probably saved him from that fate:
12) Yasiel Puig looked like he was going for self-castration on this play last week. Thankfully he pulled up short, but hit that famous Injury Wall at Dodger stadium any way. Unscathed, though not happy, he then proceeded to pound a monster foul ball…backwards. And check out the snag by the guy in the upper deck! Sign him up!
Honorable Mention: This clip helps shed light on a group of often much maligned and VERY misunderstood uber-fans known as Ballhawks. We see these folks at various games, but too many other fans often ridicule them for trying to snag balls, but the reality of it all is, as we wrote in an earlier piece, very much contrary to the stigma. It’s a contest of sorts, and like Zach Hample says in this clip, he—and other real deal ballhawks, in fact—NEVER shove other fans out of the way. They always go for the clean catch. There may be accidental jostling, but never intentional. And kids are strictly off limits. So next time you see a real Ballhawk, ask them how many balls they’ve snagged. They’ll appreciate it.
Have a story or video you’d like to have included in this series? Got a picture or video of a family member embarrassing themselves over a foul ball or making an incredible catch? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and it’ll probably be included in our series on foul balls and other plays outside of the lines.