Sep 9, 2011
Tony Bracco's Blog
Country singer Luke Bryan recently produced a hit song called "Rain is a Good Thing." If you're a New Yorker named Tony Bracco, you'd probably assume the song is all about ballhawking.
The song actually refers to rain helping to make whiskey, but don't tell that to Bracco. On Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium rain was a very, very good thing because it left the bleachers very, very empty, and from those empty bleachers Bracco snagged a home run ball from none other than Yankee great Jorge Pasada.
"Now don't get me wrong, I love Yankee baseball more than anyone I know and I try to go to as many games as I can but sitting in the rain all evening long isn't exactly what I look forward to," Bracco said, referring to the miserable weather forecast that called for rain all day long. "But with that being said, this game had the possibility of being a special one. The only thing that had me fired up to go was that no one was going to be crazy enough to be in attendance tonight and whatever people did show up were not going to show up in great numbers."
Sure enough, the rain came in huge amounts, leading to a rain delay over four hours in length. So when Pasada came to bat in the third inning, Bracco was one of only a handful of fans left in the right field bleachers. Pasada connected and drove the ball deep to right, setting up Bracco's first career gamer.
"I located the ball at its highest peak and saw that it was coming right to me!" he wrote. "This is when things get a little blurry and the tunnel vision kind of sets in. I don't see anyone around me, I don't hear anything around me, all I see is the ball coming straight towards me. As the ball was descending over the wall I quickly realized that it wasn't going to be an easy play. Not because of the couple of people around me but due to the ball was falling a little short and I wouldn't be able to catch it anywhere above my chest. So as the ball was finally looking to hit its mark, I reached over the seats in front of me, stuck my glove up in front of me, and?POP!"
Bracco had successfully snagged Pasada's 274th career homer, a feat that is undoubtedly the most memorable of his ballhawking life. For a die-hard Yankee fan like Bracco, you couldn't have scripted it better.