Sunday, June 26, 2011

HEADS UP!

Something happened at our game yesterday that got me thinking about a few things. While playing third base, I witnessed an older lady take a line drive foul ball straight to the cranium. I'm not talking about a glancing blow either. I'm talking about taking a ball hit over 90 mph right between the eyes, and she shook it off like she had just been bitten by a mosquito. It's tough to explain exactly what it looked like, but here is an attempt.


So, this got me thinking. Why doesn't this stuff happen more at ballgames. Now I'm not saying I wish it would, because it was pretty damn scary watching this lady take one straight to the dome, but I'm just surprised more people don't get hit. I play in close to 200 games every year and I might see one or two people really get hit hard by a foul ball. The crazy part is, I probably witness another 100,000 times where a line drive misses someone by an inch or two, ricochets off twelve empty seats, all while coming within inches of another thirty or so people. The craziest part is, most people are never watching the game and don't even flinch until a full two seconds after the ball has missed ending their life by a few centimeters.

This brings me to my second observation. Why is nobody ever watching the game! Now I understand, baseball can be pretty damn boring sometimes. I mean, I'm actually playing in the game and it is extremely tough to stay mentally focused pitch in and pitch out for every game of an entire season. But I do know one thing, if a ball was coming straight towards my face I would realize it's coming and get the hell out of the way. It is amazing how many times I witness a foul ball coming straight at people and not one person has any clue that a broken nose could be in their immediate future.

Anyways, I'm just looking out for people. So next time you go to a game, bring your glove, or at least where a helmet. It will make me feel a lot better.

27 comments:

  1. Up in Section 311, where our usual seats are, we get precious few foul balls. Those that make it that high lose their kinetic energy on the trip such that the ball is catchable sans glove. Down in the lower deck, watch out and be ready to flash some leather! @MJPinDC

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  2. I hate sitting right behind homeplate and to the side of the net because it seems everytime you blink a ball whizzes by you! Really any seat in a minor league stadium is small enough any seat is deadly area. I dont get it either though, why do people buy tickets to the game and not watch? Its pretty much sit at your own risk.

    ps any tips on being able to wait on the ball while batting? im playing summer league right now and am lunging at the ball a lot? I have been at the batting cages a lot but it is not really working! I just cant time the ball. i pull every ball no matter where it is and roll over on a lot of balls.It bugs me cuz normally i can hit to all field but im in a bit of a slump.

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  3. On TV the other day: foul ball straight back, and the fan who was in the line of fire didn't even flinch until well after the ball had bounced away off the screen. Then, a couple days later, I lucked into seats 4 rows behind the Nats' dugout (come up and see us sometime!), and a couple balls whizzed through almost before I knew they were there.

    Those two things underscored for me the reflexes you guys have and how closely you have to pay attention. Forget the hot corner -- I think I'd get my head taken off at the keystone sack!

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  4. Oh, and one observation of my own: we fans have the luxury of watching something other than the pitcher/batter matchup. I like to check out positioning, who's moving with the pitch. Sometimes I even watch the umpires. Of course, I try to only do that when I'm in the upper deck or behind the screen, so your point still holds.

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  5. I went to almost 70 games a year and sometimes, although I am looking at every pitch; I want to engage in some healthy conversation and that is why I sit behind home plate. Screen protects me when I drift and I like it but the few times I sit down the line; I always have my mitt. Last year, a guy was taken out by an ambulance, struck on the side of the face hard it was bad and he was sitting at the top of the 100 section not near the field.

    I'll let you know something, there is something about adults bringing gloves to the field, they get made fun of by other fans. I don't do it but I've heard people making fun of adults that have gloves at the games. (Those are for kids). So that might be on of the reasons? Some fan peer pressure and stigmas.

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  6. Tori your fans are just nasty. I bring my glove and the fans think I'm pretty smart. I'm just hoping to catch a good one sometime to make it worth toting in with my camera, score pad, seat cushion, sharpee pens, hat, cell phone, small purse and transistor radio, [yeah, remember that ginormous one I had at the Beavers Last Stand?] all while juggling a beer glass & hot dog!  I felt I was tempting fate a little a couple of weeks ago when I brought my crochet to the Stitch 'n' Pitch game. I was distracted by not only the local newspaper, but the local Fox news station interviewing our group and I couldn't figure out how to hold needles or hook with the mitt on! [Just kidding!] I don't normally bring projects to the game. I bring my daughter; she's enough distraction already. But she did twist my arm to get her a nice little pink T-ball mitt. Bring on those foul balls!

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  7. Yeah Matt, I was listening on the radio when Cordier took that hit off of Flores.  I think Jason B. was just about sick witnessing a hit like that.  The Captain at Cashman Field warns the school kids about "friendly" pop-up fouls and "angry" [line-drive] fouls. I've discovered that helicopter bats are another pest to be reckoned with as well! 

    P.S:  Synchronized Tweeting? Sorry, but  I don't think it will become the next Olympic sport!

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  8. Yeah exactly! As far as hitting goes, sometimes it can be mechanical and that's why u are pulling everything. Since I'm not there to see it its hard to help. But it could just be ur thought process to. U just have to mentally say ur going to hit a linedrive to the second baseman and that should get u to wait longer...hope it helps

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  9. Hahaha that's funny

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  10. Yeah I hear ya

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  11. Damn cause I'm pretty good at that lol

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  12. Even worse,  I've seen broken bats fly into the stands and hit people. Maybe people should were helmets and look like Mike Meyers from SNL.

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  13. Haha that will do too lol

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  14. Maybe people should were helmets and look like Mike Myers from SNL.

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  15. I don't know if it was a year you where with Falmouth, but I watched a ball lined over the chain link fence right at a woman sitting on the grass near FB. I was standing beyond where the pitchers sit, next to the dugout, so the ball came close by at a high rate of speed.  The woman saw the ball at the last second and put her hands up to deflect...the problem being that in her hands she held a two year old boy.  It was so bizzarre, she kind of instinctively ducked down behind her child. The ball hit this kid square in the forehead with the worst sound you've ever heard, I immediately got Doc out of the dugout, this kid is crying, the woman is crying...and I swear, the kid had the mark of the ball, complete with stitching, on his forehead. Two minutes later the kid was fine, they took him to the hospital to check for a concussion, but I don't even think he stayed the night.  I think we gave the kid a hat a ball and a bat...he was happy as a clam as they took him out.

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  16. Holy crap that is crazy...I don't remember it but that's nuts

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  17. Matt, way back when I once caught a foul ball from Steve Garvey's bat in the Astrodome. The ball hit the concrete steps and was heading for an old lady's face, I reached in front and caught the ball. It stung just a bit, but if it had hit her face she would have been crushed.

    As I was about to show off my souvenier to all in attendance and the national tv cameras, she pokes me and tells me that's her ball. I said "yeah right", sat down and went back to the game.

    She goes up and tells security that I stole her ball. Security guy tells her "That guy saved your life, you should buy him anything he wants for the rest of the game."

    She got up and moved away.

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  18. Sorry one other story.... back in the days of baseball in the Superdome, we were near the end of the section. This woman a couple of rows in front of us is yelling at the Pelicans (Tony LaRussa was on this team, and I'm pretty sure Jim Riggleman), and she is sucking down the beers as if they were free.

    In between sips, ball if fouled off, hits her right in the cup as she's slugging down her beer. Beer, blood, unconscious woman- and I must admit, a wee bit of laughter by the 14 year old boys in the area (me included).  She was okay, but I think she lost a tooth or broke her nose, maybe both. ...... good times.

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  19. Hahaha that is a great story

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  20. Haha...see if she was wearing a helmet like I said she'd be ok lol

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  21. Sometimes I'm distracted by the "scenery" in the crowd if you know what I mean.  That is the only thing that diverts my attention from the game.  I played high school baseball and organized baseball for a long time and I will agree with you it is tough to stay in tuned to every pitch of a game.  I think a lot of the fans in Syracuse and other minor league parks use the stadium as a social gathering spot.  They go there to talk and mess around while occasionally looking at the field.  It is disheartening to see as a big baseball fan (as it has consumed my life thus far), but I'm not going to knock them too much as we need fannies in the seats at ABS more than ever.  You guys are playing some damn good baseball and deserve a better following.

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  22. Yeah I hear ya! Thanks for coming out to the games and for reading!

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  23. matt just got back from my baseball game, hit a line drive to the second baseman but he robbed me! I had the bases loaded too!I swear he jumped ten feet off the ground to get it. I could have easily had one to the right center gap! I only got one at bat because i didnt start today but i played the last couple innings. I think i do just need to think i can hit because that is what i did and i got a hard line drive. I also think i was thinking a little to much and was getting really messed up. thanks for the help

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  24. Nice man no problem

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  25. Hey, baseball crowds can distract from the game. May it be a damn good looking person to catch your eye, 2 people who should get a hotel room, a guy with the meanest mullet around, or drunks falling down the stairs...ya can't help but look. At the last Sox game I went to I saw all of that (best part was the drunk guy on crutches falling down the stairs & being carried away by security) Anyways, damn fans are distracting. I try to focus as much as possible, I pay good money to go to games and I'm there to watch. I've gone to 35-45 games a year for the last 8 seasons and I am pretty sure I've almost died atleast a few times a season from a foul ball that tries hitting me in the  throat or eye. Red Sox are out to kill me. Thank God for amazing reflexes and the ability to use the people around me as human shields! I'm shocked to not see more injuries at games as well.

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  26. They sit the families of players behind the net for good reason!

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  27. Lol I guess so

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