Apr 12, 2010
Joe Faraguna's Blog
In what can easily be described as the greatest snagging day of his career, Joe Faraguna did two things at Citi Field on Sunday that he had never done before. First, he snagged 14 balls, coming within one ball of Zack Hample's Citi Field record that he set just a few days earlier. And second, he snagged his first ever foul ball and did it in style, snagging it on the fly.
Faraguna arrived at the ballpark determined to set the tone for the year with a big day. "I was so pumped for this game you couldn't imagine," he wrote on his blog. As one of the first people to enter the stadium, he quickly began tallying baseballs for the 2010 season.
His first ball was a toss-up from Mets' star 3rd baseman David Wright, and the snag seemed to energize Faraguna and give him the confidence needed to put up a big single-game total. "As soon as the ball hit my mitt, I just knew it would be a great season," he wrote. "Little did I know it would also be an amazing first game."
The crowd was sparse during the Mets' portion of BP, and Faraguna capitalized on it big time. In all he snagged 8 balls, including two home run balls, two balls with his newly-made cup trick, and toss-ups from Wright, Angel Pagan, Frank Catalanoto, and Jesse English.
His luck seemed to run out as the Nationals came to bat, however. The Nats barely hit any balls out of the park, and toss-ups were few and far between. He managed to get a Cristian Guzman toss-up during pre-game warm-ups, but that was it.
Faraguna had 9 balls at that point, a very good day, but the best was yet to come. He was sitting on the 3rd base side and got a great opportunity on the very first batter of the game. Nyjer Morgan lofted a foul ball toward him, and although he wasn't totally prepared he at least had his glove on and saw that he had a chance to make a play on it.
"I hadnt been watching," he wrote. "I think i was messing around with my camera, but I looked up and saw the ball at it's peak. Alex didn't have his glove on, I'm not sure why, and it started to descend right to us! I took two steps to my right, reached up kind of high, and made the one handed catch!"
It was his first career foul ball, and needless to say his 9 practice balls up to that point paled in comparison to the one he had just snagged. His buddy Alex was there to witness it, as was Gary who saw it from the upper deck, and even Zack Hample had seen the whole thing on TV. "I was literally shaking at first, and I was just so ecstatic," he wrote. "Alex wouldn't have gotten it without a glove on, and I might've saved his hands because he was trying to barehand it."
It was hard to focus on snagging anything else after he just recorded his first foul ball, but nonetheless the opportunites kept coming. He repositioned himself behind the Mets dugout and almost immediately snagged the infield warm-up ball on a toss-up from Razor Shines.
Then later in the game he got behind the Nationals dugout and got a third-out ball from Wil Nieves. It was his 12th ball of the game, tying his single-game record. And when the game ended, he rushed to the umpire tunnel and got his 13th ball from umpire Jim Joyce, establishing a new personal game high.
He then raced around to center field to try to get yet another ball with the glove trick, and although he didn't complete the trick a grounds crew member tossed him his 14th ball of the day.
With that his day ended, and it was without a doubt a game that will stay in Joe Faraguna's mind forever. Odds are that this will be just the first of many memorable games for him in 2010. If he's snagging this well in April, who knows how good he'll be by mid-summer?