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March 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM

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The art of catching a foul ball

Take 2's Megan Stewart and Evie Carpenter spent some time among the 11,000-plus fans that packed Peoria Stadium for Thursday night's Mariners-Giants game and watched the mad dashes for foul balls. 


One advantage of a spring training game over the big-league parks is the smaller stadium crowd and the lawn seating beyond the outfield.

Why would a place on a patch of grass ever be better than plopping down in some stadium seats behind home plate?

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Besides the ability to get up and leave your seat whenever you want without the angry glances and the eye rolls from the other people in your row, it also offers you the mobility to pursue one of the great parts about going to a baseball game; catching a foul ball.

The West Hills Vipers baseball club team of 11-year-olds from Bremerton are in Arizona for the Triple Crown Spring Championship tournament, so the kids brought their gloves to the Thursday night's game at Peoria Stadium, camped out on the left foul line and waited for their chance to get a ball.

Cale Dower caught a ball before in Seattle, off the bat of Richie Sexson when he was 6. He'd like to catch one from Dustin Ackley.

Jacob Duarte from the Vipers explained how to go about pursuing a foul ball.

"You have to track it and get under it," Duarte said.

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Torre DiGiovanni, 11, throws a ball to his friend during the Mariners' game against the Giants Thursday in Peoria (Evie Carpenter).

Mark Heim, another fan hankering for a foul, further explained the method needed to catch a ball.

"You gotta judge how fast the ball is coming and you gotta look at where its going," Heim said. "Kinda like if you're an outfielder out there."

Heim said the left foul line was a good place to stand because right handed hitters often hit it to the left.

"I always see the fly balls come this way so I figured, 'Lets just hang out right here,'" Heim said.

"You gotta anticipate it as best as you can," Heim said. "Hopefully you're the person whose hands it lands in."


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