Sep 10, 2009
Movie fans will remember Oliver Stone's 1991 film "JFK", which depicts the "Second Shooter" theory regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Probably more well-known, however, is the Seinfeld spoof of the movie, in which Kramer and Newman theorize about a "Second Spitter." The classic episode, filmed in 1992, depicts Kramer and Newman alleging that they were spit on by Keith Hernandez while passing him at the ballpark.
In a famous monologue, Jerry asserts that the person who spit on them could not possibly have been Hernandez. "I'm saying that the spit could not have come from behind, that there had to have been a second spitter, behind the bushes on the gravelly road." The second spitter, it was later revealed, was none other than Roger McDowell, now a pitching coach for the Braves.
Last night in Houston, 17 years after the episode initially aired, Ballhawk Donny Haltom encountered McDowell at Minute Maid Park and decided to use a Seinfeld reference to lure a baseball from him. "I spotted Roger McDowell hitting a few fungos from below the porch in CF," he said. "I got his attention and asked if he could toss one up to 'the gravelly road'."
McDowell recognized the reference immediately. "McDowell started laughing and said that it had been a while since he'd thought about that," Haltom said. "He had a ball and looked at it, but told me to wait until he got a 'good one'. I stood there for a minute and he examined a couple more balls before tossing what looked like a brand new ball up to me."
Haltom spotted McDowell again after batting practice and was able to secure an autograph on the ball. Wanting to commemorate the Seinfeld reference, he asked him to inscribe "The 2nd Spitter" on the ball. "Unfortunately my pen started to crap out during the inscription so he had to shake it a bit and ended up putting three Ts in spitter, but I didn't care one bit. I like autographs with a story or an inside joke attached, and this one is a prime example."
The ball is a great addition to Haltom's collection, which now totals 140 baseballs. He is in 8th place on the season leaderboard, even though he has only attended 19 games. His lifetime average of 7.37 Balls Per Game is the highest on myGameBalls.com.