Jul 14, 2010
According to HitTracker, Carl Crawford's towering home run last Thursday at Tropicana Field came off the bat at 113.3 MPH and traveled 446 feet. The ball's final resting place, after smacking off a wall behind the right field bleachers, was Mike Calabro's glove.
The Florida ballhawk, stationed near the very back of the bleachers, had narrowly missed tracking down Crawford's first homer of the game in the first inning and was still venting about it when Crawford came back to bat in the third. Calabro was in mid-sentence in a conversation with his Dad when Crawford ripped a monster shot right at him.
The ball sailed over his head, but it sailed over everyone else's head too. Calabro turned to play the bounce, determined to redeem himself after his missed opportunity earlier in the game. "I could see it spinning above my head," he said. "That's when I reached back and made the catch and started going crazy. It was the first homerun ball I caught at Tropicana Field, and the first homerun ball I got to keep because the first one I got was in Miami and the owner wanted it back to give to Dan Uggla because it was the first homerun he hit in the upper deck."
It was Crawford's 95th career home run and 10th of the season. A home run ball from a 2010 All Star and one of the Rays' top sluggers certainly ranks at the top of Calabro's collection, which now totals 459 balls.