Sep 7, 2009
Having snagged only 20 balls last season and a measly 6 in 2007, Joe Faraguna couldn't have imagined he would even have a chance at 100 balls in 2009. But sure enough, last week at Citi Field Faraguna surpassed the 100 mark, and now with still a few weeks left in the season has snagged 5 times as many balls as he did last season.
The 100th ball was truly a memorable experience. Mets player Nelson Figeuroa was warming up in left field and decided to have a little fun with Faraguna and the other kids who were asking him for a baseball. "He said to play a quiet game," Faraguna wrote on his blog. "...and whoever could be quiet the longest would win. Elmer Dessens went along with it."
One by one, Figeuroa eliminated the kids who simply couldn't keep their mouths shut. All the while, Faragua maintained his poise and didn't say a word. "Every time Figgy fielded a ball, I would wave my hands and close my mouth," he wrote. "One time, he said 'Who wants this ball?' to trick us, and the other kid with body paint blurted out ME! ME!"
Faraguna was the last man standing, so it was time to claim the ball. It almost didn't happen, though, because Dessens informed Figeuroa that Faraguna had already gotten a ball. But Faraguna offered to give up one of his regular balls in exchange for the commemorative one. "I told Figgy that I was dying to get one, so he said sure."
"It felt weird to toss a ball to him," Faraguna wrote. "I'd never thrown one On to the field, so that was a first." Figeuroa accepted the ball, and then spent a few minutes finding the perfect ball to toss back. When he tossed him a World Series commemorative ball, Faraguna was ecstatic. "It was scuffed. I didn't care," he wrote. "I had just got a freakin WORLD SERIES BALL!"
Adding to the excitement was the fact that the baseball also signified a major milestone, Faraguna's 100th ball of the season. Snagging triple-digits at a young age puts him on the path to becoming an elite ballhawk. His season average of 6.44 Balls Per Game gives him the 4th best season average among myGameBalls members. And now with 103 total balls in 2009, he is less than 20 balls away from breaking into the top 10.