I have three things to report, and I must warn you: the last one may be a bit shocking. It certainly was for me when I made the discovery a few hours ago…
1) In my entry from June 28th, I mentioned that a sports writer in Pittsburgh contacted me to ask about a fan who’d snagged three foul balls within a five-out span at PNC Park. The article came out two days ago, and I just received the link. CLICK HERE to check it out.
2) Today, I did a 20-minute radio interview (via telephone) with the Dwyer & Michaels Show in Davenport, Iowa. Halfway through, one of the guys remembered me from a previous interview; unlike Sports Illustrated, however, they were still interested in talking. Anyway, the producer had seen the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article. That’s how he found me.
3) In preparation for my 400th consecutive game with at least one ball caught, I did a little fact-checking to make sure that my next trip to the ballpark really would be #400. I counted 16 games at the end of the 1993 season and started adding…
45 games in 1994
59 games in 1995
38 games in 1996
10 games in 1997
31 games in 1998
41 games in 1999
26 games in 2000
20 games in 2001
30 games in 2002
31 games in 2003
37 games in 2004
and 17 games so far this year.
I ended up with 401. FOUR-OH-ONE?! Damn arithmetic. I crunched the numbers again–and got 401 for a second time. I still didn’t believe it. I added the numbers in reverse order. Same result. I was in shock, desperate to figure out what was going on, so I pulled out my early handwritten records. Was there was a discrepancy between those and the detailed lists on my computer? I flipped though page after page and discovered that there were two playoff games I attended (Game 5 of the ’93 World Series and Game 1 of the ’95 ALDS) that I did NOT count in my stats! My god. It was coming back to me…those were my first two playoff games…yes, suddenly I remembered my original logic: Since the players’ stats from those games wouldn’t count on the backs of their baseball cards, then the games shouldn’t count for me either. But then in 1999, when I attended Games 3, 4, and 5 of the NLCS, I did count the stats. Man-o-man.
After thinking this over, I’ve decided that my rules should be consistent–none of this designated hitter garbage–so I have officially ADDED those two playoff games to my stats. I always included the balls from those two games in my grand total, so that number won’t change, but the games never counted as part of my streak or when I calculated the number of balls I averaged per game. Anyway, there you have it. Instead of a 399-game streak, I actually have a 401-game streak. I’m still in shock. My world isn’t what I thought it was. It’s like I just found out I was adopted.
It turns out that the streak’s 400th game was that BP-only trip to Shea on July 1st. I’m bummed. I mean, it’s cool to have reached the milestone, but I was looking forward to it. I was all set to start hyping it up and sending out press releases. (Not really.) I was planning to reach 400 next Thursday at Shea, but instead, that game will be #402. Yawn.
At least I’m two games closer to 500…