The Worst Damn Sports Column Period: How To Catch A Foul Ball

Posted on July 1, 2011 by

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When you’re at a Major League Baseball game, the coolest thing that you can possibly do (besides run onto the field and get tasered by the cops) is catch a foul ball.  Who cares if it’s a meaningless ball in a meaningless baseball game?  That ball has been touched by the hands of Major League Baseball players!  And it was propelled by a bat that has been touched by the hands of Major League Baseball players!  So if you catch a foul ball, it’s almost like being groped by an entire Major League Baseball team.  Awesome!

Now, if you’ve never had the fortune of catching a foul ball, then you’re probably just not trying hard enough.  You have to want that ball, damnit!  You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get it.  And you have to be prepared, both mentally and physically.  Luckily for you, I’m here to help.  Here’s an easy-to-follow, five-step guide to catching a foul ball at a baseball game:

1. Make Sure To Wear Your Glove

Are people going to laugh at you?  Absolutely.  Should you care?  No way!  You don’t even know any of these people.  And they’re probably a bunch of losers anyway.  They don’t even care enough about foul balls to show up fully prepared!  They’re the ones who panic when a ball comes their way and end up taking it in the face.

Nice catch, scumbag.

But not you.  You’re going to make them all look like fools when you make a sweet grab with your childhood baseball mitt.  The announcers on TV will even tell everyone how awesome you are.  “Great catch by a fan on that foul ball!”  Who’s laughing now?  You are.  That’s who.

2. Secure An Aisle Seat

This one can be a little tricky, but it’s vitally important to your foul ball pursuit.  You need to be mobile.  Your chances of catching a ball increase by something like one million percent (scientific fact) if you have access to an aisle.  And just think about how cool it’s gonna be when you snag a ball like Willie Mays in front of some asshole three rows up from you.  But what do you do if your assigned seat is not on an aisle?  All you need to do is approach whoever did get the aisle seat in your row and tell him some phony sob story about how you used to play college baseball, but your dreams of making it to “The Show” were derailed by a serious knee injury, an injury that now requires you to be able to stretch your legs out at all times.  You can even throw in a part about how you “always gave 110%” (baseball fans love hustle) and your body broke down because of your unmatched passion and dedication to the game.  Also, make sure to mention that this is the first game that you’ve attended (the memories are too painful) since your injury. Sounds like a bad Kevin Costner movie, right?  Well, guess what?  Baseball fans love Kevin Costner.  And they especially love baseball movies starring Kevin Costner.  You’ll be in that aisle seat in no time.

"Excuse me, sir... you're in my seat."

3. Intimidate

Now that you’ve got the mobility that you require, it’s time to take it up a notch: psychological warfare.  You need to make sure that the people around you know to stay out of your way when the moment of truth arrives.  This can be achieved rather easily.  Just step into the aisle (it’s a short trip now that that Kevin Costner-loving freak gave you his seat) and start mimicking the stretching the players are doing on the field.  Not only are you limbering up, but you’re also letting the rest of your section know that you mean business.  To complete the process, you’re going to need to throw in a little trash talk.  Every few minutes you should look over your shoulder, make eye contact with another fan, and say something like, “Nobody’s gonna stop me from getting a foul ball tonight, Meat… especially not you.”  After you say it make sure that you continue to stare at your victim for a few extra seconds for dramatic effect.  You’ll have that little 60-year-old lady shaking in her orthopedic shoes.

4. Drink… A Lot

Let’s face it, if you’re going to catch a foul ball, you might have to do something that you’ll later regret (don’t worry, we’ll get to that in a minute).  You can’t have your conscience interfering with your quest, though, so make sure that you hit up the beer man early and often.  In fact, you should probably just slip him $5 before the first pitch and tell him to stay close.  The rest is easy.  Just drink heavily for the entirety of the game.  The bonus is that even if you miss out on a foul ball (unlikely, but still possible), at least you’ll be the funniest guy in your section.  Baseball fans can’t get enough of drunk guys cracking hilarious jokes in front of their children.  You’ll have them rolling with classics like, “You suck, Jeter!” and “Pull your pants down so you can see, Ump!”

"Put your glasses on, Blue!"... Classic.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “If I drink too much, I’ll spend the whole night in the bathroom and likely miss the foul ball with my name on it.”  Frankly, I’m disappointed in your lack of dedication.  Nobody said this was gonna be easy!  I don’t even need to tell you what you have to do… just do not, under any circumstances, abandon your seat.  You’ll figure it out from there.

5. Put Your Morality Aside

Okay, it’s time.  You’ve done everything that you could possibly do to get ready and now that baseball is headed your way.  But what do you do if some annoying little kid gets in your way?  It’s pretty simple.  Have you ever seen footage of the “Running of the Bulls” in Pamplona?  It’s time for a reenactment.  You should have enough alcohol coursing through your veins by now that steamrolling this little shit should come pretty naturally.  Just focus on the ball and pretend he’s not there.  This will probably lead to this kid crying hysterically, but chances are that he was going to be crying hysterically about something pretty soon anyway.  That’s what kids do.  All you did was give his parents an advance on his next tantrum.  And when they get mad and call you an asshole, just tell them that they’re raising their kid to be a whiner and they should try raising him to be a winner like you instead.  That should shut them up.

Man up, little Jimmy!

And now that you’ve summarily dismissed those tree-hugging hippies, you’ll suddenly come to a startling and unbelievably satisfying revelation: You did it.  You caught your first foul ball.  Your hard work has paid off and nobody got hurt (the whiny kid doesn’t count, he’ll be fine).  Now bask in the glory.  Hold that ball high in the air.  Pump your fist.  Your level of awesomeness can no longer be quantified.  You’ve got Major League Baseball players’ hands all over you.  You’re just like Madonna.  Congratulations!  Wait… is that not what you were going for?  Ah, screw it.  That ball is still gonna look sick next to all of your old Little League trophies!