Jun 21, 2010
Angels' catcher Mike Napoli has a ton of opposite-field power, but that's certainly no secret to Los Angeles ballhawk Rob McCoy. A regular at Angel Stadium, McCoy has snagged four batting practice homers hit by Napoli into the right field bleachers.
The experience catching high flies off the bat of Napoli paid off in a big way for McCoy last Wednesday in Anaheim. Camped out in Napoli's power alley in right, McCoy brilliantly tracked down his towering opposite-field shot, out-snagging a few other ballhawks en route to his second career game home run.
It was a day game with a 4:00 start time, and McCoy was upset that the Angels had opened the gates just and hour and a half prior to game time. This of course resulted in reduced opportunities during batting practice, but he hoped that the smaller crowds would mean less competition once the game began. "Come gametime I decided to sit in a friends seat who I knew wasn't going to be there instead of my my own seat two sections away," he said. "Both spots are pretty prime homerun areas but his was less populated so I sat there."
Napoli's big blast ended up landing in a spot directly in between the two spots. "When he hit it it was just pure reaction," he said. "very similar to what I've done many times in bp except for the fact that I started from a sitting position rather than standing."
McCoy bolted out of his seat and ran down three rows, and then moved laterally through about six or seven seats. Battling the sun and a few other fans, he didn't arrive quite in time to catch it on the fly, but luckily he had picked the perfect row to get the ball. "I was very fortunate it didn't bounce away and I was quick to reach down and snatch it up," he said. "If I would have been even a second slower I would have missed out as two others were reaching for it too."
Now it looks like McCoy may be getting an autograph to go with his game ball. His daughter posted on Facebook that her dad had caught the ball, and then her friend responded saying that she is friends with Napoli's girlfriend and offered to get the ball signed. "Cool by me, first good use I've seen for facebook," McCoy said.
McCoy now has 75 balls on the season and 755 lifetime. If his four Mike Napoli BP balls were a good warmup for the game home run, he should be due for a Kendry Morales gamer any day now (well, if he wasn't injuried at least). McCoy has snagged a staggering 34 batting practice homers from Morales.