I've been a life-long Royals fan and in all those years I've been to numerous games at Kauffman Stadium. But in all that time I've never caught a foul ball or brought home any kind of souvenir ball. I can only remember a few times I've even had a ball come close to me.
That all changed this season. On May 31, 2009, a date which will leave in infamy, at least in my life, I had the best chance I've ever had at catching a ball. Zack Greinke had just finished his warm-up tosses in the outfield and tossed the ball up into the stands. Amazingly it headed right for me.
Time slowed down to a crawl as the ball soared through the air. I readied for the catch and prepared for my first souvenir. But the next moment turned horribly wrong.
I must have had too much time to think about it or maybe it was just my stone hands but the ball hit my hands, grazed my nose, and dropped below. The guy below me got an easy souvenir and I walked away with a lifetime of what-ifs.
A fan next to me made me feel even worse when he joked "It's not like it hit you somewhere you could catch it, like your hands!"
What's worse is that the Royals went on to lose that game to the White Sox 7 to 4, in the middle of their long losing stretch, and Greinke didn't pitch his best.
I believe I may have cursed Greinke's season. Before I dropped that ball he was 8 and 1 with an ERA still under 1.00 but since then he has had four straight bad outings, with the Royals losing all four, and his ERA is nearing 2.00.
Hopefully I'm wrong about my curse but I still keep wondering if I had only caught that ball. Greinke might still be on the roll he started the season and I'd have a souvenir ball that I could tell my grandkids about.