March 12, 2012
I started ballhawking during the 1997 season. As the years passed and the game home run balls started piling up, I kept hearing the same question asked from fellow fans, "how do you get so many home run balls?" I would usually respond with the typical right-place-right time, gotta know how to play it, get a good jump on it, etc. That sounded good at the time, but, the truth was simple. There was more to the story.
Allow me to let you in on a little deep-seated reasoning. The "secret-weapon" of ballhawking, if you will. It's called the law of attraction and it's very real.
The law of attraction (according to Wikipedia) is a natural law that determines the complete order of the universe and of our personal lives. As we think and feel, a corresponding frequency is sent out into the universe that attracts back to us events and circumstances on that same frequency. More simply put, if you think and feel positively, you will attract back positive events and circumstances.
Now, I'm not a philosopher and I'm not off my rocker just yet. I'm just someone who believes in the power of positive thinking.
Here's an example:
At the start of the 2007 season, former Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Geoff Jenkins was sitting on 191 career homers. I was coming off a very disappointing 2006 ballhawking season. My attitude was negative and I swore I was one over-sized walking jinx at the ballpark. If I was standing in left field, the ball would be hit to right field. If I was in right field, the ball would land in left field. It didn't matter where I was, the ball just didn't like me...so I thought.
That's when my lovely wife April introduced me to a new way of thinking. She told me to start visualizing myself in successful situations. Instead of dwelling on failures, she insisted I start picturing success. For the next few months, I concentrated on Jenkins' quest to reach the 200 homer plateau. I pictured myself snagging the milestone home run. I went so far as to personally tell Geoff Jenkins that I would catch his 200th and return it back to him. On May 20, 2007, Jenkins connected for his 200th career tater and I snagged it.
Here's another example:
On September 29, 2009, I made a trip out to Coors Field to see my Brewers take on the Colorado Rockies. I put myself on a quest to obtain the coveted "Clean Catch" pin. I was only attending two games and knew it would be no easy task. The weeks leading up to my trip, I had visualized myself making a "clean catch" of a game home run. The following night, in the top of the 2nd inning, burly slugger Prince Fielder connected on one that made its final descent into the web of my mitt. A "clean catch," indeed.
I did the same thing as Prince Fielder closed in on 200 career home runs early in the 2011 season. On May 11th, I would snag that one on the fly, too...again, a direct result of mentally visualizing the act of success.
So, don't knock it until you try it. You have nothing to lose and much to gain. It won't cost you anything and I guarantee you'll enjoy each trip out to the ballpark that much more. Plus, it works and it's easy to do...just think positively, visualize the baseball coming to you and watch your luck start to change. More importantly, watch your home run collection start to grow.
Nick Yohanek is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com and also maintains a Blog.