Jun 13, 2011
When Nick Markakis came to bat with the bases loaded Friday night at Camden Yards, Matt Hersl turned to fellow ballhawk Dave Stevenson (AKA Flava Dave) and said "He's going to hit one, I can feel it." Stevenson agreed and wisely took some steps back and positioned himself near the back of the flag court in right field.
Less than five seconds later, Markakis crushed a line drive that clearly had the distance, but it was unclear whether it had the height to clear the wall. It got just enough lift to leave the Yard, and as the ball bounced off the pavement a wild scramble ensued that included Stevenson, Hersl, and a pack of other would-be ballhawks.
The scramble was so intense that one fan ended up in the hospital needing stitches in his head. "He was a warrior about it, and I gave him one of my two BP balls," Stevenson said. Stevenson ended up with sole possession of the home run ball as Hersl helped to fend off some of the other fans. It was Markakis's first career grand slam, and Stevenson's first career game home run snag.
He came out of the scrum with ball in hand, wildly celebrating the snag and high-fiving Hersl and others. "Matt was going nuts too," Stevenson wrote on his blog. "I'm shocked I didn't get more coverage because I went completely insane. It was intense."