Jun 29, 2010
Joe Faraguna's Blog
It took over three weeks, but Nationals' rookie sensation Stephen Strasburg finally threw a ball to a myGameBalls member. And by all appearances, it could have been the first ball he's thrown into the crowd period.
"I did not see him acknowledge anyone all weekend," said Baltimore fan Matt Hersl, the lucky recipient of the first recorded Strasburg toss-up. "He did not even seem to have much interaction with his own teammates."
By all reports Strasburg is a really nice guy, so apparently he has decided to just block out all the attention from fans and just stay focused on pitching. According to Hersl, the toss-up didn't have any personal touch - he just picked up the ball off the warning track and tossed it up without saying a word.
Nevertheless, Hersl was pretty pumped up about getting the ball. He originally was hoping to get a home run ball from Strasburg when he saw him taking BP, but he failed to hit any into the crowd. Later when Strasburg was in the outfield and strolled toward the wall to pick up a ball, Hersl zeroed in on his chance to get a toss-up from baseball's newest superstar.
"I definitely thought it will be great to get a ball thrown or hit from him," he said. "Saying that though, I will probably give it away to my nephew, not having kids of my own. Ballhawking and autograph collecting are just sort of an extension of the game that I love."
More so than the ball itself, Hersl says he will simply cherish the memory of what happened. To him, the memories are much more important than the memorabilia. "I would have much rather watched Stephen Strasburg pitch against my beloved Baltimore Orioles (4 game winning streak!) and see us beat him, than get a ball or autograph from him," he remarked, adding "I hope most of you feel the same about your team and or the game."