The Foul Ball of Domingo Ramos

June 17, 1987, the Chicago White Sox against the Mariners in a midweek afternoon game before a sparse crowd of 10, 561 in the Kingdome. The White Sox starting pitcher was Bill Long, the Mariners starter was Scott Bankhead.


In the fifth inning of a scoreless game the Mariners Mike Kingery led off and was plunked by Bill Long.  The next batter was Domingo Ramos, playing second base that day, Harold Reynolds given the day off.


Long pitched a fast one, Ramos swung and it skied upward and behind the first base dugout up into the crowd where I was sitting. I had my scorecard and pen in one hand watching the ball come down in my direction. Only my friend sitting to my left was within the ball’s reach. He stayed seated, but I stood, and with the ball coming down, I tried for the one handed catch.


The ball hit my hand with a sharp hard sting, then caromed off my hand, hit the seats arm rest to my left, bounced straight up, and as the ball rose, not quite reaching its apogee, I plucked it from the air with one swift grasp. It is on my baseball book shelf, resting comfortable, a fans trophy. My first foul ball.


For those keeping score, Ramos then doubled in the first run, scored the second later in the inning and the M’s won 2-0.


July 6, 2010, the Kansas City Royals were at Safeco Field. Zach Greinke was pitching for the Royals and Ryan Rowland-Smith for the Mariners. I was seated down the third base line, watching the game while listening to the broadcast with a headset.


The Mariner play by play announcer gave an interesting statistic, something I thought I could use in my next blog, so I jotted down the information while Greinke pitched to Ichiro. I was still writing when people stood up around me, for what I did not know. They were reaching over my head, but they all failed to stop the ball, which I did not see, but felt, as it whacked my right shoulder. It was a major ouch. It must have been hit high, its downward plunge picking up speed as it thumped me, fortunately missing my head.


For the next inning a young man sitting in front of me, kept turning to look at me. I could not tell from his facial expression whether it was one of disappointment in me for not catching the ball, or whether he was looking to see if I had passed out from pain.


I not believe I should be charged with an error on the play. I lost it in the moon.


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