Mar 20, 2011
It's mid-March, which means Florida teenager Mike Calabro is once again hitting the Spring Training circuit in pursuit of baseballs. And just like in years past, he's doing it extremely well.
After eight games, Calabro is leading all myGameBalls members with 61 balls, highlighted by five in-game foul ball snags. Averaging 7.62 balls per game, he is just one ball short of equaling his 2010 Spring Training total of 62 balls.
Calabro snagged his first foul ball of the Spring on March 5 on a ball hit down the first base line by Chin-lung Hu. "It bounced in the walkway then bounced of the hands of a gloveless guy holding a bear, then I grabbed it out of the air bare handed," he said.
Calabro's next foul ball snag happened the very next day during the Astros-Yankees game, when he decided to try his luck at grabbing a foul ball by standing completely outside the stadium in foul territory. "Within about 3 minutes of me being out there I saw a ball get fouled back behind the first base side of home plate," he said. "So I ran to my right about 15 feet and caught the foul ball on a bounce."
In addition to the foul ball, he snagged 13 balls on the day, including BP home runs hit by Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, and Robinson Cano.
A few days later, Calabro was back at it again. Hunter Pence fouled off a ball in the 6th inning, and Calabro made a great play on it. "I was sitting in the lower level and he hit the ball a section above me," he said. "It bounced off the seats in that section then back down onto the walk way below and I was able to catch it in my glove before it his the ground."
Calabro's spring has included two other foul balls, both snagged outside the stadium, along with a flury of BP balls. In his most recent game last week, he snagged four BP home runs, all on the fly.