January 31, 2011
I start this off by congratulating Erik Jabs and Joe Faraguna on winning the Ballhawk of the Year awards (Overall and Junior, respectively). Props to them on not only putting up big numbers, but doing so in a respectful and impressive fashion. I say that because if you look at how the awards were given out, it was totally based on a vote from the ballhawking community. Though Erik did have the highest total of the year (breaking records) and Joe (I believe) had the highest total for all those who were qualified for the junior award, people voted their names based on factors like making the news, meeting them in person, watching them hawk, and hearing stories about them. So again, with all due respect, congratulations to you two on winning awards that were not just to the highest totals, but to the combination of stats and fan opinion, which can mean just as much, if not more.
I am here to look more into some different statistics. I wanted to take a stab at establishing some other awards that are completely based off of stats. So even if you're a real jerk, you could still win one of these awards! Kidding.
So here's a look at some top ballhawk awards and stats over the 2010 season. If I am wrong on any of these, please forgive me and leave a comment below. I did my best to look through lots of pages of numbers to make sure that I got these right, but I know that I'm far from a perfect human being. I tried to stray away from using Spring Training and minor league stats (nothing against those, was just going for MLB regular season), but I know that a bunch of the stats used include those things. I couldn't help but use them, so sorry for confusion on some things if one stat includes it and another doesn't.
Top 3 in average number of balls hawked per game:
Top 3 in double digit games:
Top 3 in game balls:
Top 3 in game home runs:
These members each hawked the highest number of baseballs at the top four busiest/most hawked ballparks in 2010. This stat is a combination of the quality of these ballhawks but also takes into account how popular the ballparks:
Top 10 in balls hawked in the ballhawk's home city:
Now onto some tops in terms of other people and places, not necessarily ballhawks:
Top player in toss-ups: Andrew McCutchen (Pirates) with 32
Top coach in toss-ups: Alan Dunn (Orioles) with 15
Top umpire in toss-ups: Tie between Bruce Dreckman and Joe West with 4
That's it. I actually hope to track more stats daily throughout the 2011 season so that I can bring you an extensive look at some stats that you may be interested in, and I hope that it will honor even more ballhawks. And a big thank you to everybody reading this, as the 2010 season was a great one for networking and meeting new people, and I hope to see even more at Oriole Park and elsewhere in the coming months.
The season leaders ball count chart on the mygameballs.com home page has been reset. That means it's time for a new season. We welcome new ballhawks, improving ballhawks (like myself), and old timer ballhawks to the program, and here's to 2011, a year to even further the ballhawking world.
Avi Miller is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com and also maintains a Blog.