Mar 30, 2010
Texting and driving don't mix. Accidents, injuries, and even fatalities are being attributed to this dangerous habit, and laws are being made to prevent it. Texting and snagging, on the other hand, isn't quite as dangerous but can still put a ballhawk in the hospital if he focuses too much attention on the phone and not enough on the balls flying into the stands.
Florida ballhawk Mike Calabro normally doesn't let texting get in the way of snagging, but during Saturday's Spring Training game at Champion Stadium he decided to multitask. And despite having his hands full trying to type out a message to a friend, he was able to quickly change course, track a foul ball, and snag it on the fly.
It was the 7th inning, and by that time Calabro had played a couple different locations without any luck. He moved to the concourse down the first base line as Eric Bruntlett came to bat in the 7th, but wasn't really expecting to get much action. "I knew there was a chance he would hit a foul ball where I was," he said. "But I didn't think much of it because I hadn't snagged one foul ball on that concourse in 5 games there this spring. So I took my phone out and started texting my friend back who had recently texted me."
Although his mind and eyes were focused on his text message, Calabro kept his ears attentive to his surroundings. And wisely, he popped his head up when he heard the crack of Bruntlett's bat. "I looked up and saw the ball curving foul right towards me," he said. "With my glove on and my phone still in my right hand I took 3 steps to my right and made the backhand snag just in front of a pole that marks the section number. The whole section erupted in cheers."
It was his second foul ball of the spring, and 29th of his career. He has snagged 60 balls overall this year and still has a couple more Spring Training games later this week. "Hopefully my good fortunes can continue," he said.