Aug 27, 2010
Poor weather conditions often make life miserable for a ballhawk, specifically when they cause batting practice or even the game itself to be cancelled. Sometimes, however, bad weather is a blessing in disguise.
Such was the case Monday afternoon when the 107 degree heat kept all but the most diehard fans away from the ballpark. Rangers' fan Dirk Elliott was one of the few that braved the heat, and it paid off in a huge way. Elliott set himself up in a sea of empty seats and proceeded to go on the biggest snagging frenzy of his life, finishing with 13 balls and breaking the all-time myGameBalls.com record for balls snagged in one game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The day began with Elliott abandoning his usual spot in the left field bleachers for a spot higher up, saying he had a "gut" feeling that his new spot would yield more balls. The Rangers' power-hitting lineup quickly proved him correct. "I did not have to wait long before the Rangers batters started raining balls in my general direction," he said. "Unbelievably, the whole section was all mine because no one else was even around. I guess due to the heat, which was merciless, but I was having way too much fun snagging balls to care."
Elliott ended up snagging nine BP home runs, five on the fly, including two each from Vladimir Guerrero and Michael Young. "I was running around like a crazy person and must have looked like a fool chasing balls back and forth," he said. In between all the homers he caught or chased down, he also found the time to snag three balls with his ball retriever and get a toss-up from C.J. Wilson.
Meanwhile, his buddy Brian Powell was hanging out in Elliott's usual spot, but that spot wasn't getting quite as much action. "I kept looking over at Brian who had only one ball at this point," he said. "He would just mutter something under his breath and shake his head. Best BP that I have had this season. Ballhawking Rules!"
Elliott's 13 balls edged out the previous record of 12, set by Donny Haltom in June of last season. He has now snagged 85 balls this season in 23 games.