Aug 28, 2009
Matthew Jackson (sn=SonicMAJ) now has 99 career baseballs and is eagerly anticipating his 100th. But after what happened at Angel Stadium on Wednesday, it is more than likely that his 100th will pale in comparison to his 99th. Battling a crowd of 36,329, Jackson snagged his first career game ball on a foul ball off the bat of Miguel Cabrera.
It happened in the top of the sixth inning, and Jackson got a great jump on the ball as it came towards him in the upper deck on the first base side. "I knew it was going to get up to us," he wrote on his blog. "... I took off to my right along the empty row and I got to the green handrail at the staircase just as a fan stood up to catch the ball (bare-handed) up in the fourth row."
Luckily for Jackson, this particular fan didn't have the hand-eye coordination to pull off the catch. Not only that, but a second fan actually had a chance at it and also came up empty after the ball hit his hand. Jackson seized the opportunity. "I lunged to my left, reaching out with my glove hand," he wrote. "All of a sudden I felt weight on my right shoulder... a lot of weight. Later, I found out that a guy had tripped going for the ball and had fallen on me. I braced myself against the concrete wall with my left arm (sticking my glove into that wet spot in the process... ew), scraping it against the concrete wall, and stretched out my right hand to grab the ball. My first foul ball. Ever!"
Snagging the first career game ball is an exilerating experience for any ballhawk, and Jackson is no exception. "I was thilled," he wrote. "Every one of my ninety-eight baseballs in my collection had been BP/warmup/3rd out/postgame baseballs. This one was my first live game ball. Man, I couldn't believe it! I'm excited about it even now as I'm writing this. Woo!"