Jun 10, 2010
Nick Pelescak's Blog
Nearly robbed by Pirates' pitcher Joel Hanrahans, Pittsburgh ballhawk Nick Pelescak snagged his 500th career ball Monday on a Delwyn Young batting practice homer. He snagged the milestone ball on the fly, just over Hanrahans' outstretched arm.
Entering the game with 495 balls and averaging 5.77 per game this season, Pelescak knew that this game, a day makeup game against the visiting Cubs, would probably be the game of the big number 500.
Although the Cubs skipped batting practice, he ran his total up to 499 pretty quickly during the Pirates' portion of BP. He then positioned himself at the top of the center field steps, expecting a big bomb from Garrett Jones, but instead it was Young who launched one deep to center. Pelescak ran down the steps, anticipating that the ball would barely clear the wall.
At this point his main competition wasn't another ballhawk, it was Joel Hanrahans who was hanging out in center. Hanrahans leaped into the air but didn't have the distance to catch it. Pelescak kept his concentration and made the clean catch right behind the center field wall.
Like most ballhawks, Pelescak was pleased to snag a major milestone on the fly, but he was also glad that Young was the one who hit it. "Definitely a cool player to get number 500 from," he wrote on his blog. "I have always liked Delwyn as a bench player, and spot starter. He seems like a fun loving guy as well."
Pelescak got one more ball on the day to finish with 501 total. With his 8-ball performance the next day at Progressive Field, he is now at the top of the season leaderboard with 173 balls.