This post will re-visit one of our first visits to the new ball park circa 1998, I honestly can’t remember if it was the first or second full year of the new park or not. But, I was on a date with a girl that I had met from work and we were doing a double with her friend and another guy. It was great weather that night in June and I remember it quite well because it was a first date and somewhat awkward! And..my friend at Gwinnett Bankruptcy Attorney was there and we ran into each other at the Chophouse. Anyway, this night ended up being a unique and fullfilling baseball night and great game to be at, especially the seats we had.
We were walking down the aisle to get to our seats close to the third base side, and I remember thinking wow, i think these are going to be pretty close to the foul fence right here. You know how you look at your tickets, look at the seating rows, and you can kind of put two and two together..So, we got down to about five rows up from the fence and sat down in our seats. My date and I went up and grabbed a soda and some popcorn to share and came back to our seats. So far, so good, good conversation and watching the ball game and having a good night out with a great view of the game. Her friends left and then came back a few minutes later, probably fueling up on the healthy hot dogs and sodas from the concession stand like us.
During the game, I can’t remember which inning it was, the fans in front of us got up and left. After they walked off, we were wondering weather or not they were coming back or not. All of the sudden Michael Tucker of the Braves hit a foul ball towards our direction. It landed on the dirt right next to the wall in front of us and had so much spin on it that it bounced up and right at me, coming in hot towards me and our crew! I stood up, and since the folks in the row in front of us left, the ball came directly to me with no obstructions and I caught it easily with both hands! And no, I didn’t spill my drink. Everyone was safe and looking over, thinking man, I wish I had caught that ball! It was cool, and afterwards I was thinking should I give this to my date? Shamelessly, I didn’t and I kept the ball and everything for myself since I was such a huge baseball fan at the time!
Within a few minutes, an official of the stadium that works with everyone who catches a foul ball came down to greet me. They had a document for me to sign that had a “grandstand fielder” seal on it, pretty cool! And, they even bring a plastic case to put the ball in to protect it and on top of a little stand as well. So, this was a great night to be at a baseball game and sometimes luck plays out in your favor as well. I am not sure if I was on TV that night or not, but most foul balls get a quick peak by the camera into the stands to see who catches it. Never heard from anyone about that or seeing me on TV, but I still have that ball today with the date June 9th, 1998. Red Sox vs the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Some good memories there, and I wish it was going to still be around.