Apr 21, 2010
Last year San Diego Ballhawk Leigh Barratt snagged 3 game home runs, tied for the most on myGameBalls.com. This year he would be well on his way to matching that total...that is, if he hadn't been at home sleeping during Sunday's game.
Barratt, who works the midnight shift, attends most Padres games but takes off the day games so he can get some much-needed rest. Normally Barratt will gobble up anything hit near him, but his absence at Sunday's game opened the door for his seatmate, Kathleen Lowe, to potentially make a play on a home run ball.
Ironically, on one of the few days that Barratt stayed home, Lowe was able to snag not just one, but two, home run balls. "That's what I get for sleeping," Barratt said. "What a day to miss!"
The first one came in the 6th inning on a Mark Reynolds home run. According to Lowe, the ball landed in the section above her, where a fan tried to barehand it. He dropped it, sending the ball down towards Lowe where she grabbed it out of the air. "There was an adorable family from East Lake sitting nextto me that included a little boy and his younger sister," Lowe said. "It was the boy's first year in t-ball and he had brought his glove. Immediately after catching the ball I gave it to that little boy."
Perhaps Lowe's generosity was rewarded. The next inning, Scott Hairston hit a home run that barely cleared the fence and caromed towards Lowe. A handful of people tried to go for it, but Lowe came up with the ball. Without hesitation, she gave this ball away too, this time to the first boy's little sister.
It was an incredible streak of luck, especially for someone who doesn't even bring a glove to games. To the fans in her section, she became an instant celebrity. The usher even came by to chat. "He said some people at the back of the section want to rub my head for luck," Lowe said. "Several people stopped by to high 5 and many others told me to buy a lottery ticket."
Several fans also made a point to thank her for unselfishly giving the balls away. It was truly remarkable. She had just accomplished something that ballhawks everywhere dream of, but it was more important for her to bring some joy to kids than to keep the souvenirs for herself.
Still, she acknowledges that there is some limit to her generosity. "I did tell the Mom after the 2nd one that if a 3rd came that I was definitely keeping that one!" she said.