Apr 8, 2011
Like a lot of fathers, myGameBalls member Dirk Elliott loves to take his son fishing. But instead of casting their lines in pursuit of fish, this father/son duo goes fishing for baseballs. Over the off-season Elliott revamped his one-of-a-kind ball retriever, and the ballhawk from Burleston, Texas, along with his 18-year old son Ryan, put on a ball-retrieving clinic during the opening week of the 2011 season.
Elliott snagged 28 balls during the Rangers' first four games, an astounding 21 of which came via his ball retriever. He believes that his passion for fishing has transferred nicely to the ballhawking arena.
"I have made some adjustments to my retriever which allows me to reel up the ball much more quickly," he said. "I also enjoy fishing so this ties together two of my favorite hobbies."
His retriever makes use of an actual fishing pole with some fishing wire attached to a ball-grabbing contraption. The inventive design has allowed him to reel in balls that were previously unreachable, and also has made him a celebrity of sorts at the ballpark.
"I give away the majority of the balls I retrieve and the kids usually know where to find me when they drop a ball in the gap," he said. "I heard a youngster yesterday call 'hey ball fisher man!' to retrieve his lost ball."
Elliott isn't afraid to give away the secrets of his trade, however, and he's even allowed his design to be photographed and posted on myGameBalls.com. He just has one simple request to those wishing to put his design into action:
"Good luck to everyone on their season and if you copy my retriever design please give away as many balls as possible to those less fortunate," he said. "That's what it is all about!"