The amount of foul balls, ball in the dirt cast offs from the catcher and pitchers asking for a new baseball for whatever reason has always made me wonder just how many baseballs are used in one Cubs game. Now, with the pandemic in play, I wondered what they do with all those baseballs…especially since players have nobody in the stands to throw (unless you consider a Patrick Mahomes cardboard cut out an option) inning ending balls to.
Lucky for me, the Chicago Tribune has the in-depth coverage of a foul ball’s destiny in these COVID times.
Some clubs have been more frugal than others when it comes to collecting baseballs. Betts, for instance, took it upon himself to grab that abandoned ball after making a nifty grab in the sixth inning of Thursday night’s season opener against the San Francisco Giants.
In order to be alert for foul balls, it helps to know the most dangerous locations for foul balls to land. Enter FiveThirtyEight. The site analyzed the most dangerous ballpark locations to define where fans need to be most alert. According to the analysis, Camden Yards and PNC Park average the most foul balls per game…meaning fans of the Orioles and Pirates are most in need of being alert for fouls coming their way.
In recent news from the Yankees (outside of their free agency signings and announcing Aaron Boone as their new manager), the team is also looking to keep fans safer next season. The Yankees are extending protective netting near the field after a 1-year-old girl was hit with a foul ball last season. Fans should have a reasonable expectation of safety when at the park and not have to constantly be alert for foul balls. Story below:
You truly do need to be alert for foul balls when playing the Reds. Joey Votto, or the Dennis Rodman of MLB, is a weird cat that does whatever Votto wants to do. Witness as he takes routine foul ball and launches it upward at Wrigley. Much to the dismay of @lovablewinners
There weren’t a ton of highlights in Tuesday’s game between the lousy Padres and free-falling Twins, but at least FS1 had one memorable moment to show for putting this game on for a national audience.That it came courtesy of the Padres ball girl was fitting for a 3-0 Padres victory in which the deciding run scored on a sacrifice fly.The play in question came in the top of the seventh. The Twins’ Eduardo Escobar led off and smoked a hard line drive foul down the right field line. The sinking drive was snared by the leaping ball girl, who rightfully looked quite pleased with her effort. Escobar, for his part, was as impressed as anyone with the grab. pic.twitter.com/w4mhvqfSVz— Gabriel Haro (@gharo34) July 1, 2017
In addition to always being alert for foul balls, there are ways to put yourself in position to catch a foul ball at your next MLB game. This USA Today article covers the methods in detail.
But fans can attend hundreds of games and not come close to a ball. Want to improve your chances? Take some advice from Zack Hample, who has snagged around 9,800 baseballs since 1990, including Barry Bonds’ 724th career home run and Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit (a home run).