D-Backs fans come equipped to catch memories
February 26, 4:41 pm
Hayden HarrisonBy Hayden Harrison
Brayden Campbell, 4, sat on his Mickey Mouse blanket waiting for the Diamondbacks game against Oakland Tuesday to begin with his glove on one hand and cotton candy in the other.
“(I bring it) to catch a ball when it comes over here,” Campbell said smiling.
It’s a typical ritual for baseball fans. Young and old bring their gloves to the park hoping to catch one of the game’s most treasured prizes – a foul ball.
Brayden’s favorite team is the D-Backs and his favorite player is Justin Upton. One problem: Brayden didn’t realize Upton had been traded.
Another fan, 21-year-old Kevin Kesler, said he caught Upton’s broken bat home run in 2011 at Chase Field. He has come to 30 games a season since 2002 and brings his first base glove he uses in softball to every game.
Kesler’s father comes to most games with him. Kevin thinks he brought him to his first game.
“If I’m one (a baseball fan,) then he’s probably one,” Kesler said.
Before the game, kids practice their baseball skills with their families.
Nixon Fisher, 2 1/2, pitches peanuts to his father as he prepares to hit it with a souvenir Diamondbacks bat. But this isn’t the only place he plays.
“In our living room, there’s constantly a game going on,” said Britney Fisher, Nixon’s mother. “We try to get a soft ball in so he doesn’t hurt anything.”
Visiting from Canada, the Fishers were excited to add a spring training game to their vacation since baseball isn’t as big across the border. Both parents, however, grew up playing the game.
“I guess now that we get older and time runs out, we have two boys, so now we’ll be running after them playing ball, which is great,” Fisher said. “It’s a good sport.”
Such a good sport that Jocelyn Potter, 10 months old, attended her first baseball game at three weeks old. Her older brother, Colton Potter, 2, attended his first game during spring training two years ago.
Colton brought his glove and practiced throwing to his father, Matt Potter. Potter said Colton is always ready to play. They have base pads set up in their house so he hits off a tee and runs the bases.
He hits a home run every time.
“He loves playing at home,” Potter said. “We don’t have to do anything. He’ll just say, ‘Play tee-ball Daddy.’ ”
Even though Colton brought his glove, Potter didn’t expect his son to catch a foul ball soon.
“Catching is his weakest point right now,” Potter said laughing.
Although most of the fans who wear a baseball glove are younger, there are a few adults with gloves in the stands.
Dan Anania, 47, has a Brewers and Dolphins room in which he displays the balls he has caught and gotten signed with the card of the player. If the Major League Baseball logo on the ball caught is tarnished, he tosses the ball to children adorned in Brewers or Diamondbacks memorabilia.
He is a Brewers fan, but when he comes to Diamondbacks games he converts for his wife. Even though he collects balls, that’s not his reason for bringing it along.
“We usually sit pretty close, so I pretty much use the glove for protection,” Anania said.
Post Author: Hayden Harrison.
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