May 29, 2010
When the calendar hit May 16 a couple weeks ago, it was a bittersweet day for San Diego ballhawk Leigh Barratt, AKA Padre Leigh. On one hand, it was cause for celebration because it was the one year anniversay of his spectacular snag of an Edgar Gonzalez home run. One the other hand, it was a depressing day because it meant he had gone an entire year without snagging a game home run.
This past week, he was determined to change that and headed out to PETCO Park for a rare day game on Thursday. "I normally don't go to day games because of my work schedule, but I have been extremely agitated at not snagging a game home run all year," he said. "To increase my chances and change my luck I went to the day game."
Unfortunately, the game just brought more frustration. Albert Pujols launched a home run in his direction and despite getting himself into good position for the snag, Barratt came up 10 feet short of the gamer. "Uggh. I sank to a season high low," he said.
The next night the Nationals came to town, and with seats in the left field bleachers he was hoping to have a shot at Ryan Zimmerman's 100th career homer. so when Ian Desmond came to bat with 7 career home runs, there wasn't much anticipation for a ball to be blasted into the seats.
Little did Barratt know that his year-long dry spell was about to end. "The snagging Gods smiled on me and he launched one right at me," he said. "At the ball's peak I knew I should have it and I reached up and made the catch."
The snag made the highlight reel, and the video shows Barratt reaching up amist a sea of fans and coming down with a clean catch. "Later, after I looked at some pictures of the catch I realized how close I came to not catching it," he said. "There were a lot of hands and at least one glove right there. I believe my experience, concentration and positioning allowed me to haul it in."
It was his 16th career game home run and first of the season, and Padre Leigh is hoping that his new glove, which he just starting using on Thursday, may be his good luck charm for the rest of the season.