Mar 21, 2012
Last week Florida native Mike Calabro accomplished something that hasn't been done in the history of myGameBalls.com -- he snagged a walk-off home run. Only a handful of walk-off homers are hit each season, so possessing one of them is a ballhawk's dream.
The homer was hit by Brian Bixler during the Astros/Phillies Spring Training game last Tuesday, and when the ball sailed over the fence Calabro was watching from the other side of the park behind home plate. It was at that point that he put his extensive Spring Training experience to use.
"Ive been to Osceola County stadium a good amount of times to know the stadium and where things and people arestationed," he said. "This includes knowing where the grounds crew stays during the whole game."
"They stay behind the left field fence for the whole game on their carts waiting for the game to end to tend to the field," he continued. "I've seen many times before that a ball gets hit back there and one of them goes and picks it up and throws it to a fan, and that day that fan was me."
Calabro struck up a conversation with a grounds crew member who took a ball out of his pocket and tossed it up, informing him that it was the walk-off homerun ball. The other groundscrew members confirmed that the ball was indeed the Bixler homer.
This was Calabro's third career game home run and first in Spring Training. He currently leads all myGameBalls members with 48 Spring Training balls this season.