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If you are planning to go to a game at Fenway this season, we thought we'd give you some inside scoop about how to use your baseball glove to catch a foul ball in the stands. Here's advice from baseball expert Zack Hample, author of “The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals and Secrets Beneath The Stitiches.” His book looks at the history of the baseball itself and is a how-to guide on how to catch them in the stands.
Hample said Fenway is really tough because it's such a small, crowded stadium:
The key for catching a batted ball is to have some mobility. Especially lateral mobility; you want to be able to jump up and run left and right.
Now, there is a narrow cross aisle that runs through the seats on the field level. But that aisle is so close to the field that most balls will zoom over your head, and you won't even come close to them. They might ricochet off the press box, or off the facade of an upper level of seating and drop back down, but it's really hard to catch foul balls there.
If you can grab a seat along the foul line, down the third baseline, there's a spot where the wall is really low and kind of juts out towards the foul line at a sharp angle — you might have to compete with the ball girl, but there's a lot of balls that end up right there.
And the best place to catch a home run is actually outside the stadium. If you hang out on the roof of the parking garage, across the street, behind the Green Monster on Lansdowne Street, a lot of balls fly out there during batting practice and during the game as well. If you're willing to not even see the game and stand out there, and look like an idiot for a couple of hours, there's always a good chance of catching a long ball.
This program aired on April 8, 2011.
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