The Best Way to Snag a Fly Ball
Want to take a ball home from a game? Zack Hample has done it more than 3,000 times (and counting) at 42 major-league stadiums. (He’s also the author of Watching Baseball Smarter; $14, amazon.com.) Here are his techniques.
Sit in an aisle seat. For catching fouls, sit behind home plate, slightly toward the first-base side when righties are at bat and slightly toward third for lefties. To catch a homer, position yourself in the area behind the outfielders.
Wear your glove, even though it’s considered uncool for anyone over age 13. “I’d rather be a nerd and go home with a ball than be cool and go home with an ice pack,” says Hample. Keep your mitt on at all times and your eyes on the ball.
Get to the game early for batting practice if you don’t want to compete with legions of other fans. The stadium isn’t as crowded, the security guards aren’t as strict, the batters are hitting constantly, and the players are friendlier and often toss out balls to the people in the stands.
The Best Way to Win at Carnival Games
Yes, that stuffed bunny can be yours. Jim Strates, president of James E. Strates Shows Inc., which provides carnival midways to major fairs on the East Coast, shares trade secrets.
Shoot Out the Star
The game: Ready, aim, and fire a machine gun or a BB gun. The goal is to shoot out an entire red paper star.
The trick: Shoot around the star, not directly in the center. In other words, make an outline of the star and it will pop right out.
The game: A target leans at an angle, over a basket. Bounce a Whiffleball off the target so it drops into the basket.
The trick: Aim low. Throw the ball underhand and hit the target as low as you can.
Knock Down the Milk Bottles
The game: Three bottles are stacked in a pyramid. Your goal is to knock them all down with one ball.
The trick: Aim for the intersection of the three bottles, and don’t put too much power into it. The bottles are heavy, but the harder you throw the ball, the less aim you’ll have.