Jul 20, 2010
While Pirates' fans were groaning last night after the Brewers' Rickie Weeks hit a 6th-inning homer to spoil Jeff Karstens' otherwise brilliant pitching performance, one Pittsburgh fan wasn't quite as frustrated as the other 12,000 or so fans in attendance at PNC Park.
Ian Weir (IJWBallhawk) couldn't care less at that point that the hometown Pirates were on their way to yet another defeat. The young ballhawk had just snagged his first career game home run, and to him it didn't matter who hit it.
Weir was hanging out behind section 136 in left field when Weeks sent a fly ball sailing into the seats. He raced down the steps and saw the ball land in the third or fourth row, bouncing into the air. Another fan had a shot at it but dropped the ball, leaving it up for grabs among Weir and two others.
Weir was the only one of the three with a glove, and he reached up to secure the snag. "After I grabbed the ball, I went nuts," he said. "I can't even explain it. I ran around and shouted like a little kid on Christmas."
And who could blame him. In his 5th year of ballhawking he had yet to snag either a game home run ball or a foul ball, and as many veteran ballhawks will tell you, the feeling of snagging your first gamer is truly indescribable.
Weir has now snagged 20 balls this season, nearly doubling last year's output of 11. Of his 39 career balls, 37 have been snagged at PNC Park and 2 at Tropicana Field.
Interestingly, he also goes by the nickname "Chives". "I got that nickname at my old job, and for some odd reason the nickname stuck," he said.