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posted: 7/13/2013 4:40 AM

Fabulous foul ball memory for the ages

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My family and I attended the White Sox-Indians doubleheader June 17 at the Cell. It was the longest doubleheader in history for two nine-inning games; 7 hours and 53 minutes, plus 63 minutes between games and a 25 minute rain delay. The Pale Hose blew a 5-0 lead in game one, getting crushed 19-10. Then they blew a three-run ninth inning lead in the nightcap, losing 9-8.

Though bummed a bit by the play of our local heroes, a magical moment made the whole evening special. Around midnight, a hot foul ball scooted down the first base sideline wall near our seats. Hoisting my aging bod on the wall I grabbed the top of the wall with my left hand and did a Dumpster dive with my right. I had one shot at the spinning horsehide and then ... splat! The ball hit my palm and my fingers snapped shut stopping the spheroid in its tracks. Swinging back to my feet I turned right and handed the souvenir to a little girl, maybe 6 years old, sitting next to us with her dad. If she can stay up past midnight and not give up on the home team while so many thousands had left, I thought, she sure deserves this.

She beamed; her dad beamed; and a nice round of applause broke out from the thinning crowd around us. A little while later as we were leaving, the father daughter duo, foreigners apparently, from a Latin American land where baseball is revered, again thanked me. The father said they love baseball and attend often. I'll remember that moment, hopefully, for many years to come. The little girl may remember it into the next century.

Walt Zlotow

Glen Ellyn

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