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On May 20, 1964, a Cardinals fan named Keith Eickenhorst attended this ballgame — a complete-game shutout by Bob Gibson — and apparently caught a ball in the stands. It’s not clear whether this was a foul ball, a home run ball, a BP ball, or what. But whatever it was, the Cardinals rewarded Keith with an “Honorary Contract,” signed by owner Gussie Busch himself!
I learned about this when Keith’s daughter-in-law, Danni Eickenhorst, tweeted about finding the contract during a household “dejunking” purge and Twitter-er @LosingSideOf25 brought it to my attention. I’d never seen or heard anything like this and thought it was pretty much the greatest thing ever. Like, did the Cardinals just seek out people who caught foul balls and present them with these souvenir contracts? How totally excellent!
To my surprise, I found that the Cardinals did this for decades (and are maybe still doing it..?). Here’s one of the honorary contracts from 1955; here’s one from 1969; and here’s a blog post from a fan who says he got one for catching a foul ball in 2014! (Search on “honorary” for details.) The contracts even show up sometimes on eBay and other auction platforms.
As explained in this blog post (and echoed in a few other places), the contracts were given out by ushers, who would approach a fan who made a good catch. (This page says the fan had to give up the ball in exchange for the contract, but I haven’t seen that detail repeated anywhere else and I’m somewhat skeptical of it.)
How had I never heard about this before? And it’s not just the Cardinals:
• The Tulsa Oilers — a Cards farm team — also gave out honorary contracts.
• Here’s an account of the Reds giving an honorary contract to a fan who caught a foul ball in 1963.
• According to the 2007 book The Ultimate Minor League Baseball Road Trip, the Cedar Rapids Kernels gave a contract to any fan who brought their ball to the Guest Services Center.
• The Diamondbacks apparently give out contracts to fans who catch foul balls. Here’s a sequence from 2015 where the catch and the contract presentation were both captured during a TV broadcast:
A few months later, the D-backs gave another contract to a fan who unsuccessfully tried to catch a foul ball and was instead hit in the face. A consolation contract, you might say.
I’ve been a big baseball fan for half a century now and had zero idea that this was a thing. I can tell you for sure that the Mets have never done this at any of their ballparks, so that partially explains my ignorance, but I’m surprised these contracts never came across my radar before. Did everyone else know about them? Has anyone out there ever received one? Has anyone ever been an usher who bestowed one?
I can tell you this much: I have never caught a foul ball, and I really hope that changes one day. But now I hope even more that I catch one at a ballpark where I’m rewarded with a contract.
(My thanks to @LosingSideOf25 for sending me down this very rewarding rabbit hole.)
ITEM! Coaster/magnet raffle: Reader Chris Hickey has generously provided funds for me to raffle off a set of three coasters and a set of two magnets, so that’s what we’re going to do today.
This will be a one-day raffle. No entry restrictions, but you’re not in the USA and end up winning the raffle, I may ask you to cover the difference between USA shipping and foreign shipping. To enter, send an email with your mailing address to the raffle in-box to the raffle in-box by 10pm Eastern tonight. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow. Good luck!
Dove update: All seems to be going fine with the dove nest. Mama and Papa continue to take turns sitting on the eggs (we’ve now witnessed the “changing of the guard” a few times), and the other birds seem to be leaving them alone.
We’re not sure exactly when the eggs were laid. But based on when the doves “moved in” and a bit of research on how long it usually takes for dove eggs to gestate, we think there’s a decent chance that the eggs could hatch next Thursday. That also happens to be the first day of the MLB season, so it could give a whole new meaning to Opening Day.
Baseball News: Longtime reader Jason Lefkowitz likes his son Josh’s high school baseball uni and low-cut stirrups. … The Japanese soccer team Yokohama F. Marinos have unveiled kits modeled after the jerseys worn by the Yokohama Bay Stars of Nippon Professional Baseball’s Central League (from Kary Klismet). … New powder blues for the U. of Illinois (from Jacob Rajlich). … We all know spring training uni numbers can get a little weird, but Cubs prospect Ed Howard has worn three different numbers in the past two weeks!
Football News: A Lego version of the Rams’ and Chargers’ stadium is the largest Lego stadium ever built (from Anthony Nuccio). … Newly acquired KC RB Ronald Jones is asking fans to help him choose his new uni number. … Here’s a ranking of SEC jerseys.
Hockey News: The Wild wore pregame Pride jerseys on Tuesday, the OHL’s Oshawa Generals had Pride stick tape and helmet decals that same night, and Edmonton Oil Kings D Luke Prokop had Pride skates last night (all from Wade Heidt). … Lots of good pics of last night’s Canucks First Nations pregame jerseys here.
Pro Basketball News: Cavs F Lamar Stevens was wearing an upside-down 8 last night (from Jay Mazzone). … Pride uniforms tonight for the G League’s Iowa Wolves. … A Las Vegas group is trying to lure an NBA expansion team by building a new arena (thanks, Brinke).
College and High School Hoops News: Missouri apparently gave new coach Denis Gates an old jersey with a cover-up nameplate at his introductory presser, instead of making a new jersey for him (from Logan Stiles). … Here’s a story about the process of installing the basketball court for the men’s Final Four (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: Socastee (S.C.) High School is renaming its basketball court in honor of former boys’ basketball coach Dan D’Antoni.
Soccer News: Cross-listed from the baseball section: The J1 League’s Yokohama F. Marinos have unveiled kits modeled after the jerseys worn by the Yokohama Bay Stars of Nippon Professional Baseball’s Central League (from Kary Klismet).
Ukraine News: Ukrainian designers are asking brands to drop the letter “z” from their logos because of its links to support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (from Kary Klismet).
Grab Bag: Here’s a very entertaining podcast clip in which an evolutionary biologist explains that the U. of Minnesota’s costumed mascot, Goldy Gopher, isn’t actually a gopher after all (from Jeff Ash). … The city of North Charleston, S.C., has selected 10 finalists for a new municipal flag design and is requesting public feedback on them (from @BBRayRay1). … Four Boston police uniforms were stolen from a supply shop over the weekend. … A police officer in Georgia has resigned after being caught on video receiving a blowjob while in uniform. … Jordan Brand has recruited 33 women to redefine the jumpman logo. … Puma has partnered with White Castle to produce burger-themed sneakers (from Jason Hillyer). … Prefer your sneakers custom-painted? Here’s a video clip of a really good Canadian artist who does that (from Ted Arnold). … Whoa, check out this wild Nike video billboard in Japan (from Michael Rich). … The mascot for the multi-sport 2022 European Championships in Munich is a cartoon squirrel designed by an eight-year-old German girl (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: D2 school Catawba College in North Carolina will unveil new athletics logos on April 26.
Not just any Ohio burger chain: They’re White Castle sneakers!
I love looking through flag proposals like North Charleston’s. Which are you all’s favorites?
I dig #5 on the page, but they all have their charms and are pretty well-designed.
When Rex Barney was the O’s PA man, he would say, “Give that fan a contract!”, and the usher would do just that
Yep! He was famous for that. I didn’t know other places did it.
From Wiki: Rex Barney was the PA announcer for the Baltimore Orioles from 1969 until his death in 1997. He was famous for often using the phrase “Give that fan a contract!” when a fan snared a foul ball on the fly. However, if the fan misplayed the ball, Barney would intone, “Give that fan… an error!” This was an expansion on the old radio and TV announcers’ comment, “Sign him up!” He would also end every announcement with his signature “Thank youuuuu.”
I was fortunate enough to catch a foul ball off the bat of Brady Anderson in the upper deck at Memorial Stadium back in 1989 and Rex Barney said to give me a contract. It arrived in the mail a couple of weeks later and I still have it somewhere.
Came looking to see if someone else mentioned Rex. I don’t think the Orioles still do this, but not certain.
Came here to do the same! Rex signed the bill of my O’s cap a few years before he died. Hope I find that old hat one day.
The greatest “fan catches ball” moment in sports history. And no, it wasn’t a baseball, it was a football.
Careful with the doves – if you want your feeder to actually be a feeder the rest of the summer you may want to (gently)evict them after this brood fledges. Doves will breed all summer and have multiple broods.
I was watching a webinar that involved the Cornell University Bird Center, and one of the people commented that the doves found a safe spot to next and raised 6 broods one summer.
Obviously that should say safe spot to neSt, not next. :)
Don’t see the problem! When I had mourning doves next to my window, after the squabs started fledging, I opened the window to get better pictures, and I think that spooked them and they never came back. I would have loved to have them all summer!
It’s a problem if you want to use the feeders to feed other birds :).
Personally, I don’t like them – the ones around here are bullies and gluttons. They get on my feeders and eat all the food, while bullying off other birds. If they didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have a problem with them :).
Same with the mourning doves in our yard. I recently learned that the mourning dove is my state’s official symbol of peace, and I’m kind of upset about that. Aside from insects, mourning doves are the only wild creatures the sight of which makes me fantasize about killing them. For me anyway they’re literally the least peaceful-feeling vertebrate species on the planet. Sharks or rabid weasels or a grizzly bear actively mauling a hiker to death are better symbols of peace than mourning doves to me. At least, the mourning doves in my neighborhood. (I don’t actually harm the mourning doves! Not even the ones that regularly perch on top of my car and poop all day long and don’t fly away as I approach until I’m well within grabbing distance, and as a chicken-keeper I’m quite confident that I could grab it if I tried. We do, however, sometimes disrupt inconvenient nests after the squabs fledge.)
As for the feeder, once the squabs fledge, duct-taping a strip of 2″ chicken wire over the opening should allow birds to feed, including the doves, while preventing nesting. 1″ chicken wire will make it a lot harder for bigger birds, like the doves, to feed, but they’ll probably manage, and 1″ chicken wire is usually a lot easier to find. And alternately to duct tape, a couple of holes drilled in the plastic would permit securing the wire with zip-ties, which would be stronger and less disruptive of viewing the birds at/on the feeder.
Back in the 70s the Phillies gave out honorary contracts to people who caught a foul ball on the fly. If I remember correctly, the announcers would say something like “he’s gonna get an honorary contract” when it was shown on tv.
Proofreading: Should be “whole” not “while” in the last sentence of Dove Update.
I remember the foul ball certificates in Cleveland in the 90’s 00’s but I don’t know if they still give them out.
Like, you sound like a 13 year old when you use “like” at the beginning of a sentence. It’s almost as annoying as the word “iconic”.
For better or worse, a great many people (including me, and maybe including you, and definitely not limited to 13-year-olds) use “like” when speaking. So when I’m trying to make my writing sound conversational, I sometimes include it. I wouldn’t want to include it in every single sentence (and, indeed, I *don’t* do that), but I think it’s fine when used judiciously. In this case, I used it exactly once in today’s lede. I realize some people may find that distressing for various reasons, and I’m sorry to hear that you’re one of them. This too shall pass.
As if. ;)
Looking at team websites, many teams have an A-Z ballpark guide that includes a foul ball section. Relevant passages:
Nationals: Please see the guest experience representative in your section to find out how to receive a certificate to memorialize your catch. [I assume a “guest experience representative” is an usher.]
Pirates: Unfortunately, the Pirates are not able to accommodate requests for player autographs of foul balls.
Cardinals: The Cardinals are not able to accommodate requests for player autographs on home run or foul balls. If a fan catches a ball on the fly, they are awarded with a foul ball contract.
The Brewers, A’s and Tigers guides are empty at the moment. The Braves, Giants, Yankees, Orioles, Rays, Guardians, Rangers and Diamondbacks have no foul ball section.
I love the dove story. Please keep the updates coming…set up a webcam for us. I’m looking forward to photos of the babies when they arrive (I don’t know the actual term for baby doves, or if there even is one).
Squab or chick
For this contract, we can rule out a home run ball, as the box score shows no home runs.
10 points to whoever redirects dove-watch.com to this page.
I vaguely remember the Cleveland Indians handing out honorary contracts sometime in the early or mid-60s.
I can verify the Cedar Rapids Kernels handed out contracts if you showed a foul ball at Guest Services as I have been fortunate enough to end up with multiple souvenirs over the years. They made a small mark on the ball (so that you couldn’t bring the same one back more than once) and then gave a “contract” that included a tearaway coupon from a local business on the bottom. I’ll look around to see if we still have a contract – I know we used the coupons for a free dinner at a pasta restaurant and “take and bake” pizza from a grocery store.
That’s cool! Thanks for the further detail. Having grown up in Cedar Rapids in the ’80s and early ’90s, I went to lots of minor league games at old Veterans Memorial Stadium when the team was known as the Reds. I never caught a foul ball, though, so I can’t say whether the team was giving out contracts as far back as that.
I’m glad to hear you could keep the ball! I was concerned that maybe a cost-conscious minor league team might have been trying to entice fans to exchange baseballs still in usable condition for a cheap piece of paper! That would not have been a bargain I’d have been willing to make!
I really like the video of the U of Illinois players being hyped up for the new uniform being revealed…I feel like I can relate to that feeling. I loved when any team I was on got that sort of thing.
The Nike ad in Tokyo is the same as the 3D cat. link
Looks like your bird feeder has become a perfect Dove Condo.
I’ll bet they’re loving your hospitality – the babies are cute too, all head and beak.
And they will raise at least a couple of broods when they like the spot.
Also, had a friend in high school that made an amazing one handed catch of a line drive
foul at Busch Stadium II……he got a big round of applause and an usher awarded him a “Contract”.
That was back in the mid-seventies. I know the Cardinals did that for year, but not sure if they still do. Jack Buck and Mike Shannon always mentioned it on the air.
I was fortunate enough to catch a foul ball off the bat of Brady Anderson in the upper deck at Memorial Stadium back in 1989 and Rex Barney said to give me a contract. It arrived in the mail a couple of weeks later and I still have it somewhere.
The only foul ball I ever got was at an independent game in Johnstown; the stadium was nearly empty and I got a fortunate bounce. I don’t even really count it in the truest sense.
However, great story. The first year the Expos moved to DC, went to RFK to see them against the Pirates. Afternoon game, seats were baking in the sun so we were like “let’s just sit in the shade in the section above. A foul ball literally bounced on the seat i was supposed to be sitting in!!!
The honorary contract for catching a foul ball is awesome. Surprised I had never heard of this before because it is a great way to boost the fan experience. Baseball needs to be doing more stuff like this, less like… well pretty much all the other changes Manfred has initiated, to get fans back into baseball.
MLB needs to look down at the minors for some ideas like this. I remember reading an article where a minor league owner talked about promotions and said only 10% of fans come out to the park for the actual game-the rest come for the ambiance and promotions.
That 10% is most certainly higher for MLB, but maybe making the experience a little more light hearted will cause some of the empty seats to get filled.
100% right. Pricing is a factor too. But consider how the Falcons had real low concession prices in their new stadium and supposedly made more revenue as as result. Now you can argue football is different than baseball given the larger number of people who eat pregame at tailgate parties. But I think it would hold pretty true in baseball. If you are making the stadium experience more friendly, you get more people at the game. The more people going to game, the easier to hook them into becoming serious fans.
Between the cost of tickets, food, parking, travel time, quality of in home tvs and broadcasts, it becomes harder and harder to justify going to a game. I know as I inch closer to 40 that the thrill of “being there live” for games really doesn’t move the needle very much in my decision making anymore. You are going to have to offer a lot to offset cheaper beer and no bathroom lines benefit of watching the game at home.
As someone else posted above, the Orioles PA announcer would award “contracts” if a fan made a good catch and “errors” if they bungled it.
My father has such a contract signed by Lee McPhail, who was President/GM of the Orioles at the time. A good friend was in the Orioles front office and my father was watching the game just a few seats over from McPhail. He caught a hot foul that came straight back and McPhail just reached over and gave him the contract right there.
Have only caught one foul ball on the fly in my life. It was a Single A game, line drive into the right field bleachers. The ball flew directly at me-all I had to do was stand up and hold my mitt out. Was probably sitting 300 feet or so from home plate, but it stung for days despite catching with a glove. If I had tried it barehanded, bones most certainly would have been broken.
Didn’t get a contract, but did get a pretty good ovation from the 1,000 or so fans, so I’ll take it.
Looks like the Luke Prokop skates link missing. Here it is. He will be wearing the skates Apr 9.
Notable that Predators prospect Prokop is the first player under NHL contract to come out as gay.
I was hit in the face by a foul ball once at a Dbacks game. All I got was a shiner and one of those candy ropes!
The only foul ball I ever “caught” was at a minor league game at old Mile High Stadium in Denver when I was four years old. We were visiting family in Colorado that summer, and my grandfather accompanied my dad and me to the game.
To be sure, I didn’t “catch” the ball. And neither did my grandfather, for that matter. Rather, he saw where the ball landed in a nearby section of seats that were closed for construction and set out to retrieve it. He ducked under some barriers and talked his way past a security guard to claim his prize. Then he wrote the date, the location, and “FOUL BALL CAUGHT” in all caps on the ball and gave it to me. I still have it, and it remains one of my favorite memories of my grandfather.
I had no idea WVU had a cricket team, let alone a National Championship team. Looks like they had/have a version of their uniform with gold pants as well (bottom of the page). link
Someone mentioned this the other day, but a DIY Doves jersey concept like the Branches one would be a fun project!
You should totally do it, Wafflebored! Oh wait, you’re retired. :^( Well, maybe you could design it if someone else could to the cut-and-sew part! (Sadly, not me! I should not be allowed anywhere near a sewing machine.)
I second the idea!
Fine, I’ll get on it. What do we like better, Fighting Doves or Dovehawks?
Just Doves. Or Fledglings!
I had a pair of doves nest in a tree outside my daughter’s window last year. The thing that’s a bit startling is how fast the squabs grow up and fledge. The mom and dad would take turns sitting on the eggs, and after the squab was hatched, the mom would sit there pretty much 24 hours a day for the first few days. Then suddenly she was gone and the squab was sitting in the nest by itself. Within another week or so, it took off and that was that unless the pair came back to brood again. It wasn’t more than two weeks from hatching to fledging and an empty nest!
As one who attended hundreds of games, I can safely guess that the Dodgers have never had any sort of fan contracts over the past thirty years for caught balls. I certainly never remember Vin Scully, or any other Dodgers announcer stating anything to that effect either.
I do like the idea, although the caught ball is a pretty good souvenir in itself. I have never caught any sort of ball at a Major League game. So many close calls! I did catch one at a minor league game off the bat of a kid named Ted Williams, who was in the Mariners organization in 1988. I guess if you are going to catch just one, it might as well be off the bat of a legendary [named] player!
Catawba College. Also famed in NFL Films lore for the late Steve Sabol’s fascination with Bucky Pope, known as the “Catawba Claw”, a one year wonder with the Rams in 1964
Thanks for posting the pics of Josh. He said that he famous now thanks to you. Josh is not just a fan but a card carrying member with a Purple Rockies membership card.
As a side note, Josh had a solid outing 5 IP 1 ER and 4K on the way to a 9-1 victory. Needless to say, the stirrups are going to hang around for awhile.
I definitely remember the Reds doing the honorary contract thing when I was a kid in the 60s. Anyone who caught a ball, fair or foul, was offered one, as I recall. You still got to keep the ball, it wasn’t a trade deal, just a nice little bonus. Quite a big deal if you were a kid, but I’m sure adults enjoyed it too.
I’ve never heard “give that fan a contract” or anything similar in Toronto. My dad caught a foul ball on the fly a few years back (a nice one handed snag behind home plate) and nothing happened.
The Rockies give out pins when a fan catches a ball that says “clean catch”. I’ve been a Rockies fan all my life but had no idea they did this until I caught a foul ball in 2018 and was given the pin from one of the ushers.
Never heard that before!
Just googled “Rockies clean catch pin” and found this:
Is that what your pin looks like?
I just posted a similar comment as yours was processing. Still haven’t got one, as I usually sit in the upper deck right behind the plate… great view, cheap tickets, but not foul ball territory.
The Colorado Rockies give out “Clean Catch” pins if you catch a foul or home run ball on the fly. It’s at the usher’s discretion, and if they see it hit something else first, no pin for you!
The Cincinnati Reds used to give out certificates to folks who caught foul balls on the fly in the 1970s. Not sure if they did it before that or after that. I think it was even mentioned in their yearbooks/scorebooks.
Closest I’ve come to catching a ball was at Derks Field in Salt Lake City in 1991. I was visiting Utah and it was the only game I saw there. An early inning. Popped up along the first-base side. My wife cowered in fear as the ball took an eternity to drop. I just missed it, and I suffered a nasty scrap on my ankle on the aisle steps as I lunged for it.
A few years ago, I had a ball go off my fingers at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City. Sitting in the party patio down the left field line. A screamer was hit behind us. I yelled for my adult son, sitting in front of me, to duck, because I know how those things can ricochet. The ball bounced off the steel beams and went right past where his head had just been, went off my fingers and down to the field. I didn’t get the ball, but I was just happy he ducked.
In Phoenix a couple of decades ago, I caught a baseball, one of several plush-toy items the radio and TV announcers tossed from their booths during the seventh-inning stretch. I looked at it for a moment and then handed it to a kid in the row behind me. A minute later, an usher — a kind, older lady — told me that was extremely nice. It made my day.
Found a link to a site (might be a bit dated) that tracks all the Foul ball offers.
There are more than a few bucket-list things I will probably never get to cross off, but the thrill of legitimately catching a Major League Baseball foul ball — not just getting, but catching, on the fly — is the kind of thing you don’t ever forget.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011. Cardinals are up 8-3 on the Brewers at (then) Miller Park. Two out, bottom of the ninth. Many of the fans have already headed out, but I and my scorebook are still holding steady in Section 215, just to the first-base side of the press box. I have a personal rule about never leaving before the final out if I can control it. Say what you will about a 29-year-old alone at an MLB game wearing a glove in the stands, but I like the ability to focus on the game’s details that going alone provides me, and even though I hadn’t gotten one yet in my life to that point, it’s prime foul ball territory and I am not one to be unprepared.
Jason Motte working to Jerry Hairston, Jr. with no one on. 0-1 offering. Hairston swings and sends it foul, up and over the screen guy line.
The instant he hits it, I know it’s tracking. I stand, keep hold of the scorebook and pen with my right hand, and watch it all the way in. Didn’t move my feet and it came directly at my left hip. Felt casual as casual could be.
It was kinda surreal because it was definitely hard-hit — pretty much any time a major-leaguer makes contact, it’s hard-hit — but I didn’t feel a thing. It also nestled straight into the glove’s pocket, so I also didn’t even see it in my glove, either as I caught it or after I closed my mitt around it. Before I even saw the ball, I heard the clapping of the few fans remaining in the sections surrounding me. Of course, I do open the glove, still kind of in disbelief. Inside, like a Christmas present, is a genuine-article, Rawlings, official Major League baseball, complete with a fresh scuff from being fouled off and Bud Selig’s signature on it. The real deal, and I caught it.
I smiled and held up the glove with the ball in it to acknowledge the few clapping fans. The thought occurred to me, even as my first, that I should find a kid to give it to. But with two out in the bottom of the ninth, the families that had been sitting around me had all left earlier. I quickly realized I was even going to get to keep my first foul ball without any real guilt. I then sat back down as the enormity of finally getting one sunk in. I think it was only as I put an exclamation mark in the scorebook that my heart started to race, thinking about how many games I went to as a kid where it was disappointing not to get one, only to finally have lightning strike at age 29.
I sit in 215 pretty often, so I’m pretty sure the usher, Bill, at least knew my face, as I like to give him a high five after wins. It’s SOP for ushers in Milwaukee to check to make sure anyone who encounters a foul ball isn’t hurt, but his check-in included a big smile and a “nice catch” acknowledgement, which made it sweeter.
Hairston would foul off another couple pitches before doubling off Motte, though that would be the last of the Brewers’ offense in the loss as George Kottaras followed with a flyout to end the game.
I still have the ball, the ticket stub, the scorebook and the glove. Still the only one I’ve ever gotten, 11 years later. Truly meaningless in the grand scheme. And yet, it still somehow feels like one of the greater moments of my life as a big baseball fan, knowing a major-leaguer hit a ball and I caught it on the fly. Baseball is awesome.
Very cool story, Dan! Thanks for sharing it!
That interview with Harvard biologist Hopi Hoekstra is fantastic! Thoroughly enjoyable! She also wrote a piece for Sports Illustrated that’s also worth a read:
Never caught a ball, but I was able to retrieve three batting practice balls before a Cards/Phillies game in the late 70’s. We had good tickets on the 1st base line – and as we were walking down to our seats – here comes a screaming’ line drive right past us. I ran down and grabbed that one, then before I could bring it back, another one, and another one, before I ever sat down. On top of that, the minute I did sit, my Brother in Law got a rebound pop foul.
We had been going to games for about 30 years by then and had never come close to getting a ball. So within about ten minutes, we had four.
My sister even got Lee Smith to autograph one of them.
And Jay Johnstone kept up a running trash talk with one of the guys in our section throughout the game. Very memorable game.
Several years ago my then- girlfriend and I attended a game in Dayton, Ohio. First pitch of the game was fouled off our way and she got it on the rebound. In all the excitement she also ended up knocking her sandwich to the ground.
My rule of thumb when attending baseball games is to find the child sitting closest to me in case a foul ball comes our way. That way if it ever happens I’d hand the ball over to said child. It would make both our days!
Caught two foul balls at Shea. Neither would be contract worthy. First one bounced off the loge deck behind field level and caromed right to me. Second one, I had brought my Dad to the game and it was raining so we moved from field level and took cover in back row of mezzanine. Mark McGwire fouled one back and it hit a 7 or 8 year old kid at the end of the row and bounded to me. As much as I would have liked that ball hit by Big Mac, I gave it to the kid. I count it as a caught foul though.
The Colorado Rockies give out “Clean Catch” pins if you catch a foul or home run ball on the fly. It’s at the usher’s discretion, and if they see it hit something else first, no pin for you