5/26/09 @ Miller Park

This was my 1st game back at Miller Park since the Chris Coghlan fiasco back on May 13th.
was a bit apprehensive.  I didn’t know what the reaction would be. 
Brewers fans had torn me apart (I’ve heard all the arguments) on the radio and
on the internet for a whole week.  This was their 1st chance to do it
in person. 

Yet, they never did.  I’m not getting my hopes up…it was only 1 game. 

BP was extremely slow.  I felt reserved about asking for baseballs
from the Brewers.  I needed time to ease back into it.  So, I made no
verbal requests for balls during the Brewers portion of BP.

My favorite player, RYAN BRAUN, did manage to sock one out to
left-center where I was waiting to haul it in.  Clean catch…BALL #1.

That was it for the Brewers BP…weak.

The Cardinals began to wander out to left field for their warmup.  I
spotted Cards reliever CHRIS PEREZ standing down the left field line.

chris perez.jpg

When he finished throwing, I yelled down, asking him for the ball. 
When he looked up and saw the Cardinals hat, he gave me a nod of
approval and tossed up BALL #2.  A fan standing directly to my left
then asked for a ball.  Perez looked up, noticed he had on all Brewers
clothes and shook his head (while signaling thumbs down).  Funny
stuff.  Gotta do what you gotta do.

The Perez tossup…

5_26_09 Cardinals vs Brewers @ Miller Park 011.jpg…with “PRACTICE” stamped on the side instead of the sweetspot.

I had heard from fans that attended the Memorial Day game that
Pujols and Ludwick were putting on a home run derby Monday afternoon. 
So, when those two came up in the same group Tuesday, I was camped out
in deep left-center.
Do you think they hit anything?  Of course not.  BP ended without further incident.

When the game began, I had two very special guests with me…

5_26_09 Cardinals vs Brewers @ Miller Park 003.jpg

…my Uncle Gary
and Aunt Sandy.

They took the drive down from Northeast Wisconsin and sat
with me.  I’ve always been close to those two.  It was awesome to have
them at the game with me. 

Gary has been a lifelong Cardinals fan.  Born and raised in
Wisconsin, Gary was in his adolescent years when the hometown team, the
Milwaukee Braves, left town.  Like many kids during this time, their
allegiances went elsewhere.  Can’t blame them for that.


Since the game was to be nationally televised on ESPN, I accurately
predicted the Brewers would lay a stinker.  Why do the Brewers always
play like crap on national TV??  The nation must think we’re the worst
team in baseball.  That is, if they don’t read the box scores or check
the standings.

In the top of the 4th inning, with 0 on and 0 out, Cardinals CF
COLBY RASMUS launched a deep shot to center off Jeff Suppan.  The ball
left the yard, striking the ivy-covered hitter’s eye.  The ball then
caromed back onto the field, coming to a rest in centerfield.  Brewers
RF Corey Hart picked up the ball and turned toward me.  We made eye
contact, I held up my glove and he lobbed the game home run ball right
to me for BALL #3 on the day.

GAME HOME RUN BALL #50 of my career was in the books.  It wasn’t a
flashy way to snag #50 but I’ll take it.  I’ve never had second
thoughts about counting home run ball tossups. 
If you are the 1st fan to obtain possession of it, why should it not count toward career totals?

A closer look at Career HR Ball #50…

5_26_09 Cardinals vs Brewers @ Miller Park 010.jpg

…you can see the green stain over “Selig” where the ball struck the ivy.

was thrilled to get a game home run ball from one of baseball’s future
stars.  But at the same time, I was bummed it put the Brewers down even

The Cardinals continued to spank the Brewers until both teams had had enough. 
Cardinals 8 Brewers 1

As he walked off the field, Home Plate Umpire Paul Nauert gave a
game ball from his pouch to everyone who was standing near the ump
exit…except me.

Oh well.  He must be a Chris Coghlan fan.


5_26_09 Cardinals vs Brewers @ Miller Park 009.jpg

…including the Rasmus game home run ball.



  • total balls 5/26/09


2 batted balls (1 caught on fly)
(1 game home run-COLBY RASMUS)

1 toss-up ball



4/7/09   = 5   baseballs
4/8/09   = 10 baseballs
4/9/09   = 10 baseballs
4/10/09 = 3   baseballs
4/11/09 = 5   baseballs
4/12/09 = 5   baseballs
4/13/09 = 11 baseballs
4/14/09 = 6   baseballs
4/21/09 = 5   baseballs
4/27/09 = 15 baseballs
4/28/09 = 9   baseballs
4/30/09 = 4   baseballs
5/01/09 = 7   baseballs
5/02/09 = 4   baseballs
5/08/09 = 11 baseballs
5/09/09 = 1   lousy ball
5/12/09 = 14 baseballs
5/13/09 = 12 baseballs
5/19/09 = 8   baseballs
5/22/09 = 3   baseballs
5/23/09 = 2   baseballs
5/26/09 = 3   baseballs

153 baseballs (22 games)
6.95 average per game


  1. padreleigh

    Nice job on #50. That is so many, it’s amazing. You know what this means right? Every time you catch one….I seem to catch one within a few games. I hope this trend continues!!


  2. MLBallhawk

    Congrats on #50 …………. on the day before 5/25 I grabbed my 100th career game home run in the same manner. Not really the way you want to get a milestone of your own but hey after I went almost 3 years without grabbing a HR ball I guess it will work!

    Glad you are back!!

    Baseballs 4 MADD – MLBallhawk

  3. me@rocketmail.com

    “Funny stuff. Gotta do what you gotta do.”

    Which, by your own admission, is cheating and lying.

    And you wonder why people are critical of the things you do.

  4. kll3021@aol.com

    Listen and understand… That Happy Youngster is out there. It cant be bargained with. It cant be reasoned with.
    It doesnt feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and it ABSOLUTELY will not stop, ever until he gets a baseball

  5. qrk10000@yahoo.com

    me@rocketmail.com: Way to take a sentence out of context! Nice job, genius.

    What I still cannot understand is all of the puritan, “holier-than-though” fans who all of a sudden have a problem with a fan who makes a hobby out of catching balls. OMG, he wears the opposing team’s clothing! OMG, he snatches unused and/or discarded balls using a clever trick! OMG, Happy is sitting in empty seats! My God, they make it sound like Happy is beating up an old woman and stealing a ball from her hands. The hypocrisy is astounding! If they want to complain about people that ruin a baseball game, why not focus on the must larger group of individuals who get drunk and start fights or just flat out act obnoxious. There are a heck of a lot more of those fans and they are not all from Chicago, contrary to popular belief. I avoid Brewers/Cubs games now to avoid both sets of fans.

    Big surprise that the majority of these “fans” originate or are egged by by the always-obnoxious, always-biased, ABSOLUTE casual-of-a-fan (I define casual fans as those that only read box scores and SABERmetric analysis rather than actually watching or attending a game), Al Bethke at Al’s Ramblings. Seriously. He must be on his 19th or 20th entry about Happy by now. I love how he wants to complain about this blog and how horrible he thinks it is. You should check out his extremely sorry excuse for a website. I have changed diapers that were prettier and more interesting than that waste of time and space.

    Best of luck to you, Happy, and your ballhawking in 2009. If I ever see you at a game, I will make sure to stop by and say hello. You seem like a great guy.


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