July 11, 2003

Winning Streak

I had a feeling my luck was changing a couple weeks ago when the Indians finally won a game with yours truly in the house, after eight unsuccessful tries.

So tonight's exciting, 3-2 extra-inning win over the hated Yankees (I know, that's redundant) was especially sweet. And not just because it's now a two-game winning streak for me, and not just because it was the Yankees.

I got a foul ball. And that's a first in my half-century on the planet. But hey, I've only been going to baseball games since I was about five years old. My best "guestimate" is that I've been to about 400 games, give or take.

The circumstances didn't exactly make for a story worthy of telling while bouncing grandchildren on one's knee, so I may have to embellish a bit when that time comes. But for now, here's the unvarnished truth.

As so often happens, the first guy to get his hands on the ball takes the heat off of it, and some lucky Johnny-come-lately gets a Sunday-hop souvenir, while the first guy rubs his hands and curses under his breath. So, call me Johnny.

My Section 259 friend Dave, who has been sitting six seats down from me since 1994, happened to be the guy with the sore hands. He reached across in front of an elderly couple and made a good grab at it, and I in turn, reached across in front of the two young ladies to my right, lunged, and snagged it as it hovered in midair, having popped out of Dave's grasp. The guy in the seat between the elderly couple and the two young ladies, would have had an easy souvenir, had he not stepped out to make a phone call moments before.

After hearing some editorial comment from some lady a row or two back about chivalry being dead, I figured I should apologize to the nice girls for reaching in front of them for the ball...okay, practically diving in front of them for the ball. But I had made a nice one-handed grab, and hadn't bumped them or knocked them down or anything, so they were OK with it, even complimenting my catch. I have no idea if either of them made any attempt to make the catch, so single-minded was I in pursuit of "my ball".

Later, I explained how I had had a pretty rough half-century where catching foul balls was concerned. I figured they didn't need to hear the story of how my sister once had a Joe Altobelli foul ball land in her lap, a mere seat or two away from me, since that happened a decade or so before these two girls were born.

Besides, that would have made me seem bitter and full of self-pity, if only because I still remember this obscure player's name, (the bum). My sister never even saw it coming, but she's always had one more foul ball souvenir than I did. Till tonight.

Posted by dan at July 11, 2003 12:09 AM