Mar 15, 2014
Minnesota ballhawk Tony Voda is a Jarrod Saltalamacchia fan. The reasons for his fandom are a bit quirky though.
"I have always been a fan of the guy for the pure fact that his name is like a rainbow on his jersey," Voda remarked. "I've even debated getting his jersey, just to know that I'm getting my money's worth (letter-wise). My wife is also a fan of his because of a rather funny video.
Voda hasn't pulled the trigger on the jersey yet, but he definitely got his money's worth during a Spring Training game at Roger Dean Stadium earlier this month. He snagged his first ever game home run ball, and it was hit by none other than Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Salty's first homer as a Marlin just cleared the right field fence in the bottom of the fourth, and Voda made sure to keep a close eye on it.
"I noticed that no one was going after the ball and after a couple I minutes I decided to walk over to the corner as close as I could get to where the ball was," he said. "I met one other person who was half-heartedly making a claim to the ball, but a lack of glove and being on a cell phone was his downfall."
Voda pounced on the opportunity, shouting a request for the ball to a man who had just exited the Cardinal's locker room area. As Voda flashed his glove, the man asked "What do you want?"
Voda stated he was hoping to get the Salty home run ball, and unexpectedly, the man capitulated.
"He had the sound of anger or annoyance, so I wasn't exactly confident I'd get the toss up," he said. "But then without hesitation he threw it right into my glove - and the other guy wishing for the ball was visibly bummed out."
And just like that Voda possessed in his hands his first career game home run ball. And believe it or not, this was just one of many highlights during his trip to Florida. He finished the trip with 57 balls, currently leading all ballhawks on myGameBalls.com. The 57 balls include an 18-ball snagging clinic that he put on the day immediately following his home run snag.