For the next few weeks, FoulBallz.com will include a series of short interviews with ballhawks and uber-fans of baseball. These fans all agreed to answer 10 simple questions, no pressure, and very little editing. It’s been a wonderful experience for me to get to know these individuals in some capacity through Twitter. I hope you enjoy reading the answers as much as I have.
Next up is Eliot Podgorsky.
When he’s not reading about baseball, he’s watching baseball. When he’s not watching baseball he’s at a baseball game. Eliot is an enthusiastic baseball fan who has visited 18 ballparks. From April to October you can find him at Yankees games on Friday nights (as well as a ton of other times).
Eliot contributes to The Greedy Pinstripes. You can follow Eliot’s sports rants on Twitter at @EliotRants, check out his ballpark photos @PodsPhotos. He also reminds Yankees fans of players whose tenure was forgotten to fans at @ForgottenYanks.
1) When did you snag your first ball?
I got my first ball April 8th 2015 at Yankee Stadium. It was the 8th inning of Yankees vs. Toronto. My girlfriend and I were given tickets by a former co-worker and we were in the Delta Sky Box Suites. It had been raining the entire evening so a lot of people had taken shelter in the suite. We were soldiering on and in the 8th inning Alex Rodriguez hit a lazy foul ball into the section. We both stood up and then after realizing I had a shot at getting the ball I said something to “Shanice get out of the way!” and went after the ball which was further down in the section. It hit the top of a chair just out of my reach. I grabbed it on the second bounce. We still laugh about it to this day because we had been only dating two weeks at that time.
2) What do you think about the extended netting
There is no doubt that a screaming line drive is definitely scary and potentially dangerous but I’m against extending the nets. People in seats that are close the the field need to stay alert during game action. Looking at cell phone during an at-bat or play to me is definitely an issue that causes injuries and I feel that fans need to take some responsibility at the games.
3) Did you play ball growing up?
I played Little League during my childhood from tee-ball to 13 or 14 years old. I also played baseball in 7th and 8th grade. After 8th grade I knew my skils weren’t up to snuff to play on a team with cuts so I moved to coaching, managing and umpiring. From 9th grade through 12th grade graduation I was a student coach for the 7th and 8th grade team on alternating years and from 15 until I aged out at 18 I was an umpire for Valley Stream Little League.
4) What’s your greatest memory of the game?
I’ve been a Yankees fan since I could remember watching baseball with my dad at 6 years old in 1995. Since I was young during the dynasty years I have a lot of great memories but my fondest memories were games I got to experience in person. I was at Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, Mariano Rivera’s last save, Andy Pettitte’s last game of his career (it just so happened I was in Houston), Raul Ibanez 2 HR game in the 2012 playoffs, Alex Rodriguez’s 3000th hit and Alex Rodriguez’s last game as a Yankee. I was also at the debuts of Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin when they homered in back-to-back at-bats.
5) What’s the worst memory of the game?
Crushing losses are definitely my worst memories. The Red Sox coming back from 3-1 in 2004, Luis Gonzalez single off Mariano Rivera in 2001 are all moments where I had to take the next day off from school. I’ve been lucky in that all the playoff games I’ve been to I was able to see Yankees victories.
6) Is there a favorite spot in your park to sit? Why?
I have season tickets to the Yankees and I like my section 420B because it is right behind home plate so I can pretty much tell exactly what the ball is off the bat (homer, can of corn out, etc.). Despite spending most of my time in that section and really enjoying it I would say that sitting with the Bleacher Creatures in Section 203 is an absolute blast. Everyone is a die hard fan, you get to participate in “Roll Call” and the energy there is great.
Monument Park is a must visit in my my opinion but a sorta-secret gem in the Yankees Museum. There are tons of memorabilia and exhibits from the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig all the way up to the current Yankees. As for food I prefer to get a Nathan’s natural casing hot dog. You can find them at the kiosk concessions.
8) What advice do you have to other fans? In general, or specifically.
Appreciate every game you go to. You never know what you’ll see or what will happen. No games you attend will be the same, every single one is special.
9) Do you prefer MiLB or MLB and why?
I prefer the MLB because I get to attend more Major League games and the competition is definitely a higher level. There are a few MiLB teams in my area so I do get to attend a few games a year and the atmosphere is fun but I would prefer to see MLB games.
10) If you could create one rule for pro baseball, what would it be and why?
I’d like to see more consistent use of the roster size throughout the season. I’d change it because it bothers me that a team in last place could be playing nothing but rookies against teams fighting for a playoff spot. I think a 28 man roster is something that would benefit teams all season long.
Miss the earlier posts? Here they are: