May 10, 2011
A couple weeks ago Baltimore ballhawk Avi Miller, along with fellow ballhawk Matt Hersl, narrowly missed out on snagging a grand slam ball from none other than Alex Rodriguez. Thankfully, redemption wasn't too far off.
Saturday night at Camden Yards, slugger Evan Longoria launched a homer to almost the exact same spot as the ARod blast, but this time Miller and Hersl were well prepared and determined to snag it. As the ball closed in, it was clear that unless they really screwed up, one of them would be the lucky recipient of a Longoria home run ball. It was just a matter of which one of them would make the snag.
Both ballhawks reached up for it, and by a matter of inches Miller was the one who ended up with the ball in his mitt. It was his third career game home run, and first ever on the fly.
It was far from a typical game for Miler. He was still recovering from a bad illness that left him hospitalized the night before, and he attended the game on just three hours of sleep. He was able to snag one BP ball, but sat out most of it in the shade. His energy was low as he sat in the left field bleachers during the game.
Still, seeing the home run ball in mid-air brought back bad memories of the ARod homer, so he was determined to redeem himself. "I approached it slowly," he said. "With ARod's grand slam that I messed up, I went quickly too many steps down. This time, I went slowly one at a time, and the ball came right to me. That easy."