It’s a beautiful, sunny Saturday. Just now, I was on my balcony hanging out my laundry while a scrimmage or intersquad game was going on the ball diamond across the street. I was watching the action when an S.G. batter batted off a really high foul ball – it cleared the fence and netting (the netting is about four stories tall!) and hit the balcony rail of an apartment a floor down and a few over. From there it plopped into the open drain between the apartments and the street.
That ball almost landed snugly in that balcony. Another two inches higher would have done it. But I will probably never get such a souvenir – there’s overhead netting in the area around home plate, so a ball would have to have a pretty fancy arc and a wind to blow it backwards to get to me.
I might have been inclined to go and steal fetch the ball, but not with it being in the smelly, sewer-like drain – eww. Nevertheless, I quickly noticed two players apparently looking for it. They started looking too close to where I was, and so I (from the third floor), told them to go back a little more. They found it, and they thanked me. It was a sublime moment – one of those little ones that pleases you for a little while after the moment’s over. I mean, they would have found the ball without me, so it’s not that – it’s just a cool collection of happenings, I guess.
These foul tips may happen fairly frequently, or perhaps they feel that it would be littering to leave a bunch of balls lying around outside the ball diamond. I say this because the two players went back down the street to the far corner of the pitch and stayed there. They must be stationed there to keep an eye out for stray balls. Sometimes I feel that in Japan, they have to have people to do everything.