I went to The Bank yesterday for the fourth time in five days to enjoy me some Phillies/Nationals lopsided baseball action. It was pretty much a repeat of the two previous games and exactly what I expected — lots of drinking in the parking lot followed by the Phillies handing the Nationals a well-deserved “L” then followed by even more drinking in the parking lot. There was, however, one part to yesterday’s adventure that one could never prepare for: I was in prime (repeat: PRIME) position to catch Chris Coste’s home run ball in the bottom of the 2nd inning. And I failed miserably.
Before I get to my depressing tale of dropping a home run ball, I might as well let you know that in my 30 years of attending major league baseball games I have yet to catch a foul ball — let alone a home run — and to be honest, I’ve never even been close.
Well, all that changed yesterday when Costey sent a frickin’ lazer shot for a solo home run to the exact spot that I was occupying — Section 143, Row 15, Seat 15. If you’d like to hear the first-person account, you must proceed past the jump.
Here’s a sneak-peek that was captured oh, so beautifully by Daily News staff photographer David Maialetti:
Alright, so it was the bottom of the 2nd inning with one down and a 2-0 count to Chris Coste. I was seated comfortably in left field when all of a sudden a John Lannan pitch gets SMOKED by the backup catcher and I could tell right away the ball was gone. Not only that, but it was traveling in the general vicinity of where I was sitting, so I got ready to make a play on the ball.
There were about 4-5 open seats to my right, so as the ball was in the air, I got in outfielder mode and began tracking its flight. I casually strolled passed the unoccupied seats, and just when it was about to land, I made a Torii Hunter-esque leap (timed perfectly, I might add) and the ball hit me square on the palm. I’m not talking about brushing my fingertips, or barely grazing my hand, I’m talking PALM. I was about to squeeze my stubby little fingers around it when I felt some resistance from the guy behind me who (as you can tell from the first picture) grabbed a hold of my right hand causing the ball to bounce forward. I’m not telling you that as an excuse or anything, jussayin. It looks like the guy is trying to rape my hand for chrissakes.
Check the MASN screengrab from that exact moment:
Surprisingly, my chance at catching the ball wasn’t over with. Because it was hit so cot damn hard, when the ball smashed against my palm it caused it to pop up in the air giving me one last chance to Pete Rose the ball that I had just Bob Boone’d. Here I am trying to get the rebound:
And here I am stretching out as far as I possibly can to snag it. The ball is right next to my hand here:
I swear to God the entire ordeal was going in slow motion. But between the copious amounts of beer consumed up until that point and the sun beaming down directly onto my face for two and a half hours, the whole “slow motion” thing was easily offset by my slower-than-normal reaction time.
That miss led to this — my last lame attempt at recovering Coste’s homer. Uckgh.
And here is me getting ready to punch Section 143 right in the face:
It was honestly one of the most disappointing moments of my entire life. Chances are that I will never be in such a perfect position to do this again in my life. At least I had my friend there to continuously quote Copland in his best obnoxious-DeNiro voice –
“YOU BLEW IT!”
I definitely can’t argue with you, DeNiro.
I spent the next two innings trying to pay attention to the game, but I just kept replaying the missed opportunity in my head over and over as the people seated close by made fun of me. So I could either sit there and feel like shit while being tortured by the guys in the row behind me, or go to McFadden’s, get shit-face drunk, and dull the pain. I went with option b.
As humiliating and depressing as it was, if you happen to notice my left hand in these pictures, you will see that throughout the entire home run catching maylay I did not fumble nor spill a drop of beer from my 16-oz. plastic Miller Lite bottle. I would’ve been really pissed if I dropped the ball and my $6.75 beer.
Although that still doesn’t change the fact that I suck.
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