Jun 29, 2010
Joe Faraguna's Blog
Joe Faraguna joined Zack Hample for his third career "Watch With Zack" game last Wednesday at Camden Yards, but this time there wasn't much left for Hample to teach the young ballhawk. In fact, the way Faraguna's season is going it won't be long before he can start charging people for "Watch With Joe" games.
Faraguna snagged 11 balls, got batting gloves from two Marlins' players, and to top it all off snagged his second career foul ball.
Facing 98 degree heat and competing against a handful of seasoned ballhawks, Faraguna got off to a great start, snagging five balls in the first eight minutes of batting practice. The only thing that slowed him down was the Orioles, who ended BP much earlier than usual.
The Marlins didn't help much either. Scolded by their coach the previous day for throwing too many balls into the crowd, they barely handed out any toss-ups at all. Still, Faraguna snagged a couple BP homers to run his total up to seven.
Before the game, he headed down to the Marlins' dugout, where Chris Coughlan and Brian Barden both hooked him up with batting gloves. He then got toss-ups from Gaby Sanchez and Dan Uggla, increasing his count to 9 for the day.
When the game began Faraguna decided to split up from Hample and play for foul balls behind home plate. The decision would pay off big time. Early in the game, the Marlins' Jorge Cantu gave him his first opportunity, sending a foul ball screaming towards the press box behind home plate.
"I immediately took off, and ran through the cross aisle," he wrote on his blog. "I looked up on the run, and saw the ball smack off the press box. Then it bounced off the seats below, and into the tunnel. The ball rolled on the ground for two seconds, until I was able to run over and grab it in the tunnel!"
Hample, watching the whole thing unfold from the left field seats, immediately called him to congratulate him. ""Who else here would be streaking three full sections for a ball?" Hample exclaimed when Faraguna asked how he knew it was him.
At that moment it was pretty apparent to all involved that Faraguna had officially graduated from the Hample School of Ballhawking. Hample summed it all up at the conclusion of his blog entry: "Joe became the first client to snag a foul ball during a game, and he also broke two records: most balls by a client at one game and most balls by a client overall. Congrats, Joe. Snagging 11 balls (including a foul ball) and two batting gloves is about as good a day as anyone could hope for."