August 1, 2012
When I went to the recent Angels-Royals game on July 24, I knew that I needed 1 more ball for number 600 on MyGameBalls.com. I don't usually pay too much attention to my career stats, especially when compared to the numbers of the lifetime leaders. I started a little late at age 49, I don't ask for toss ups, and no glove tricks or other devices are allowed at Angel or Dodger Stadiums. I also concentrate on catching or running after BP homeruns. It is difficult to put up big numbers most nights under those circumstances, so I consider my count somewhat respectable, especially the number of balls caught on the fly.
Like all Angels games, fellow ballhawk and friend Rob McCoy (bbshagger) was also in the right field bleachers that night. I am talking to Rob after batting practice and tell him that I snagged my 600th career ball. Rob tells me that he just shagged his 1200th ball that same night! It kind of put me in my place, realizing that I was still a "Ballhawk Rookie" compared to him. Like myself, Rob concentrates on BP and game homeruns. He also does not ask for toss ups. Rob's stats are very respectable considering his self-imposed limitations. Rob, TC from San Diego and Zack are some of he best ballhawks that I have seen in action going after hit balls in Southern California stadiums.
My goal is to stay in the top ten each year that I am competitive and reach 1000 balls maybe next year.
Rob and I are asked all the time what we do with all of our baseballs. We give away almost every one. Number 600 is already gone.
Devin Trone is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com.