7 Days of Spring…DAY 6 – 4/01/09 THE CATCH!!

Okay…what I’m about to tell you took place on April Fool’s Day. 
But the thing is, this story is no joke.
Without further ado…

I arrived at Maryvale Baseball Park at approx. 9:13 am for the morning workouts.  The Brewers were playing the D’Backs later that day at 1:05 pm.  I had some time, so, I wandered over to the minor league fields to watch some batting practice, fielding drills, etc. etc.

BASEBALL #1
While watching the AAA team for the Brewers, Nashville Sounds manager and former Brewers star Don Money flipped a baseball to me.  Baseball number 1 was out of the way.

BASEBALL #2
As I walked past the catchers doing their catching drills, a baseball bounced over the fence (they were adjusting the pitching machine and didn’t have it quite lined up yet).  I walked over and claimed ball number 2.  One of the easier ones of the trip.

BASEBALL #3
I wandered over to the AAA batting practice field.  An unknown Nashville Sounds player hit one over the fence that I ran down on the bounce.  The funny thing was that I wasn’t even trying to play for a baseball in this area.  I was just in the right place at the right time.

This would prove to be my day.

The gates to the stadium opened at 11:30 am for the 1:05 pm game.
When I ran into the stadium, I was delighted to see the D’Backs take batting practice.  Sweet!!

BASEBALL #4
As I ran in, I noticed an easter egg lying out on the right field berm.  On the run, with numerous people behind me, I scooped it up and continued over to left field.

BASEBALL #5
When I arrived over in left field, I noticed yet another easter egg lying on the left field berm.  I plucked this one off the grass for another easy souvenir.

BASEBALL #6
An unknown D’Backs player (possibly Chris Snyder) hit one out that I snagged on the bounce for ball number 6.

BASEBALL #7
As I was running back over to right field for a lefty group, I decided to take a slight detour over a small hill way behind center field.  It was an easily overlooked area.  What did I see?  Yet a 3rd easter egg lying on the grass.  It pays to take an extra second to look.  Keep in mind, the stadium had been open for about 10 minutes when I discovered this one.  Ha!

BASEBALL #8
Justin Upton hit a BP bomb in my direction that I ran down and gloved on the fly.

BASEBALL #9
Conor Jackson “jacked” one to left field that I snagged on the bounce.

BASEBALL #10
D’Backs young stud Justin Upton hit another bomb in my direction.  I took off in a sprint, camped underneath it and gloved it on the fly for double digits.  Woohoo!

BASEBALL #11
Conor Jackson hit another one to left field that I gloved on the fly.  That made 3 gloved on the fly during BP.

After BP ended, I headed over to the D’Backs gate to try for some autographs.
A few players obliged.
4_1_09 DBacks vs Brewers 006.jpgFrom left to right:  D’Backs LF Conor Jackson signed the baseball shown above.  RF Justin Upton signed the game ball above and former star 3B Matt Williams kindly signed a baseball for me.
It was really turning out to be my day…it was about to get better.

BASEBALL #12
In the top of the 3rd inning, D’Backs 3B Chad Tracy hit a bomb to dead center.  It hit off the hitter’s eye above the yellow line and bounced back onto the field.  Brewers CF Mike Cameron picked it up and turned to me standing on the right field berm.  I held up my glove and he fired a seed right to me.  I caught it for number 12 of the day and game home run number 3 for the trip.

BASEBALL #13
Brewers RF Corey Hart stepped to the plate.  I was sitting on the left field berm. 
Crack!  Holy crap-here it comes! 

I’ll let the following video tell the rest of the story…


4_1_09 DBacks vs Brewers 003.jpg        If you’re reading this, contact me so we can get on Ellen or Oprah or something!

Now, if Ellen or Rachel Ray or Letterman or Oprah would just call…I’m waiting and willing!

Actually, someone did call.  Bickley and MJ from 910 AM in Phoenix wanted to do an interview.  Of course, I obliged.

If you don’t know who Bickley and MJ are-they’re the award winning sports talk show hosts in the Phoenix area.  They’re two of the best in the business.  I found out first hand.

Click here for my radio interview on 910 AM KGME.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you!!

I’ll leave you with a few random photographs…
4_1_09 DBacks vs Brewers 004.jpg              Here’s a picture of the 13 baseballs I snagged on 4/1/09-no April foolin’!

4_1_09 DBacks vs Brewers 005.jpgThe Chad Tracy and Corey Hart game home runs snagged 4/1/09 at Maryvale Baseball Park.

4_1_09 DBacks vs Brewers 012.jpg         The four (4) game home runs I managed to snag on my 7 day trip (3/27-4/2).

CHRIS DAVIS – 3/27/09
MIKE WILSON – 3/30/09
CHAD TRACY – 4/1/09
COREY HART –  4/1/09

4_1_09 DBacks vs Brewers 013.jpg                           The five (5) ump game balls I snagged on my trip.
                           I gave a 6th ump game ball to a kid (not shown).

4_1_09 DBacks vs Brewers 014.jpg                            The forty-five (45) baseballs I snagged in 7 days.

4_1_09 DBacks vs Brewers 015.jpg                                                          Baseball art.

3_31_09 Fun Brewers vs Padres 008.jpg                                                   One tired 3 yr. old.

3_31_09 Fun Brewers vs Padres 009.jpg                                      
       I pooped-out little 2 month old.

Arizona hiking 3_29_09 029.jpg                                            One great time in Arizona.

TOTALS 4/01/09

  • 3 BP baseballs snagged on the fly
  • 2 game home run baseballs (1 on the fly/1 toss-up)
  • 4 BP baseballs snagged on bounce
  • 3 easter eggs
  • 1 toss-up baseball

_________

     13 baseballs total 4/01/09

+   3 baseballs 4/02/09
+   1 baseball   3/31/09
+   10 baseballs 3/30/09
+   3  baseballs 3/29/09
+   9  baseballs 3/28/09
+   6  baseballs 3/27/09
_________

     45 baseballs (7 days)

17 Comments

Nice work Happy. Always nice to get props from the announcers. Your Brewer feed Youtube video is showing that it is not available though. I still say your best grab was that one in your highlight reel where you reach out over the fence and snare it.

The Brewers feed is up now. They got it all wrong saying that nobody is safe from the Happy Youngster and that you almost barrelled over that girl. That ball would have plunked her for sure had you not warned her and then grabbed the ball. Good job!

Happy – WHAT GREAT VIDEOS!!!! I love the “he lived his shirt”! Ellen needs you on her show!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Wow, Happy. You’re a superstar! Talent plus perseverance plus a whole lot of baseball fan. If I were Oprah’s guest booker, I’d put you on the show for sure!

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

BIGGLOVEBOB…
I know Brian Anderson, no offense taken. Thanks for the props.

JULIA…
Thanks-I would love to tell Ellen my story if she’ll listen!

GREAT JANE…
That would be sweet to be on Oprah-my wife would go nuts!!

“Happy”

Holy freggin crap, dude I couldn’t be more proud of you and jealous at the same time you SOB. Wow, just incredible Nick. Funny thing to me was how the first set of announcers acted like you almost trampled that lady when you really saved her from getting tagged. Super sweet catch man. Don’t you just love grassy berms?…D
http://baseballsnatcher.mlblogs.com/

Holy freggin crap, dude I couldn’t be more proud of you and jealous at the same time you SOB. Wow, just incredible Nick. Funny thing to me was how the first set of announcers acted like you almost trampled that lady when you really saved her from getting tagged. Super sweet catch man. Don’t you just love grassy berms?…D
http://baseballsnatcher.mlblogs.com/

That’s amazing! I’m guessing the balls went home as carry-on luggage. You never know what might happen otherwise!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

D…
Thanks, bro. Coming from you-that means a lot!

SUE…
Thanks-you are absolutely correct. They did go on the plane as carry-on. I’m protective of my balls.

“Happy”

“I’m protective of my balls.” Happy, I certainly hope you are!! ;-)
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

EVERYONE…
Well, I’m headed for Toronto. It’s 6 pm CT and the drive is approx. 12 hours. Wish me luck!!
Sheffield or no Sheffield, I have some ballhawking business to take care of.

I will be blogging from Toronto…I promise!!

“Happy”

Happy,
I LOVED this entry! And I love how they know you in Milwaukee… like the announcers! I wish I had your amazing ball hawking skills. I’ll try that next year :). And I loved you referring to them as easter eggs seeing that Easter is coming up. I think you should go to the park with a basket and collect them next time haha. You are incredible!
Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

I saw that catch on TV and thought it might be you. I was right. Nice snag. I got a toss up HR myself today on opening day. Check out the details on Zack’s blog. Where was the happy youngster tshirt?

Leigh

I saw that catch on TV and thought it might be you. I was right. Nice snag. I got a toss up HR myself today on opening day. Check out the details on Zack’s blog. Where was the happy youngster tshirt?

Leigh

Wow and WOW, can’t say much else. Have fun in Toronto!

Dude, that was an incredible catch! Very cool! 45 in 7, eh? That’s great!
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible. – Air Jordan

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