September 10, 2009

I Caught A Foul Ball!

I caught a foul ball at a Pacific Coast League playoff game in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Wednesday night. It was the first foul ball of my life! It came off the bat of Memphis Redbirds second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir in the top of the fifth.

Then, in the top of the sixth, as it began raining, we saw the home team Isotopes turn a triple play! Eric Stults began the sixth by walking Brian Barden and giving up a single to Mark Shorey. With runners on first and second, Matt Pagnozzi grounded to shortstop Chin-Lung Hu near second base.

Hu tagged Barden, who was slow off the bag (we had moved back under cover, but I believe the ball was semi-lined and Hu played it on a short hop, so Barden was wary of straying too far off second), stepped on second to force Shorey and threw to first for the third out! There was a bit of confusion, but the umpires eventually got the play sorted out correctly.

A few minutes later, a huge clap of thunder scared the absolute shit out of most of the players -- I've never heard an actual bomb go off, but I'll bet it sounds a lot like that thunder -- and the grounds crew raced for the tarp. It was 8:52.

Having gone on two long hikes earlier in the day and knowing we had to get up at about 5:30 AM for our first flight on Thursday, we headed back to the hotel -- and got thoroughly soaked in the driving, windy, cold rain trying to find our car. I assumed the game was called, but now that we are home, I see that it was played to completion after a 2:21 delay. No more than 100 fans stayed to the end. Memphis won game one of the PCL's American Conference Finals 6-2.
Memphis Redbirds      - 220 010 010 - 6 12  1
Albuquerque Isoptopes - 000 000 200 - 2  3  0
Redbirds starter Jaime Garcia, in only his fifth AAA start, retired the first 13 Albuquerque batters (including striking out five of the first six) before an infield single by Jamie Hoffmann in the fifth.

A foul ball, a triple play and a perfect game was perhaps too much to ask for!


SoSock said...

Hi guys - I e-mailed a Dice report.
Short version -
Win ; 6 2/3IP ; 3H ; 1R ; 7K ; 1BB ; 1HB
If you want to share more details, use as much or as little of the e-mail as you want

laura k said...

Good post, A!

SoSock, that is SO cool you got to see Dice at HISTORIC ERNIE SHORE FIELD. :) I can't wait to read the report.

FenFan said...

Great post, redsock! Catching a foul is one thing I have yet to have had the opportunity to do.

The closest I came was two years ago at a AA game between Portland and NH. Jed Lowrie fouled off a pitch that landed about three seats away. The gentleman who caught it then gave it to my son. I only wish I had been able to snare Lowrie's autograph later but I never managed to find him after the game.

allan said...

The only other time I had a shot at a ball was a line drive hit at me by Robbie Thompson of the Giants in 1988 at Wrigley Field. I had wanted to see the park before lights were installed, so I flew from NYC for a weekend. Damn ball smacked me (hard!) right in the palm and caromed off somewhere.

Rob said...

My dad had a foul ball go through his hands, hit off his foot and roll away to someone else in a Sea Dogs game one evening at Hadlock Field.

Unknown said...

Jarrett Hoffpauir has started two games this year, once against the Cubs. In that game, the Cubs started Michah Hoffpauir, making it the only time two Hoffpauirs have played against each other in major league history. They were talking about it all game on WGN.

I've gotten a couple balls during BP, but never a foul ball. I'm green with envy.

laura k said...

I have a BP ball, too - and I was thrilled when I got it, jumping around like a little kid.

My dad had a foul ball go through his hands, hit off his foot and roll away to someone else in a Sea Dogs game one evening at Hadlock Field.

Allan traveled from NY to Chicago - back in our poor days, it was a very big deal - to see Wrigley Field before the Cubs started playing night games. A foul ball hit him smack in his outstretched hand and bounced away.

laura k said...

Also, very cool re Hoffpauirs. I love stuff like that.

mattymatty said...

My dad and I were sitting in the last row of a section watching an exhibition game at RFK stadium in DC in the late '80s. I believe the Mets were playing Baltimore. We were somewhere in the vicinity of behind home plate, though farther up than that sounds like. Directly behind our seats was a railing and a walkway. Fred Lynn fouled a ball back and it went right over our heads, hit the walkway and caromed right towards me. Everyone in our area and the people on the walkway dove for it. In the mass of people, I somehow found the ball in my hands for a moment. Then it was ripped out by someone else. I was upset at having lost the ball, but as the pile dispersed my dad leaned over and handed it to me. "I grabbed this out of someone's hands", he said with a grin. I'm not sure I've ever told him it was me.

laura k said...

MattyMatty, that's hilarious. What are the odds???

Zenslinger said...

Matty, that's funny. It's probably not that unusual. A friend of mine works for the Giants and every year has a big party in which a lot of us (30 or 40 people) go together to a game.

I had a home-run ball that was bouncing around torn from me at this event a couple years back. I looked up, and it was my friend who works for the Giants who had taken it!

Animals! That's all we are!