Jul 20, 2015
Pittsburg ballhawk Nick Pelescak had one goal in mind when he decided to attend the 2015 Home Run Derby in Cincinnati, snag a Home Run Derby commemorative during the actual contest. This was Pelescak's third Home Run Derby and unlike most of the casual fans in attendance that evening, he not only had a game plan, but he had years of experience in catching baseballs on his side. Pelescak had also bought a ticket in the upper left field wheelchair section where he would not be boxed in and would have room to maneuver.
After coming close during the "work out" (batting practice) part of the evening, Pelescak was still sitting on zero balls for his efforts at the start of the Derby. Not to be discouraged, Pelescak liked his chances with a right handed dominated line-up that included Josh Donaldson, Kris Bryant, Albert Pujols, Manny Machado and Todd Frazier.
Pelescak snagged his first home run on a towering Manny Machado drive to upper left field that bounced off of another fan and into his glove. Still looking for more on a night that saw more home runs hit than in any recent contests, Pelescak would catch Todd Frazier's fifth home run in the final round "on the fly". Overwhelmed with the thrill of catching a home run off of the bat of the home town favorite, Pelescak handed off the Machado ball to a nearby young competitor who had come up empty that evening.
As Pelescak approaches 2500 lifetime balls, we can all learn from his example. Ballhalking is not always about taking home the most trophies. It is about good, clean competition, enjoying baseball and sharing the fun.
Congratulations to Nick Pelescak on his fine performance at the 2015 Home Run Derby. For more pictures and a full story read Pelescak's blog at steelcityballhawk.mlblogs.com.