The Art of the Foul Ball – Brandon Belt

We’re getting ready to go to the ballpark where we’ll take buses to the airport. I love that our wives can go with us. We don’t have to make separate travel arrangements and worry about all the logistics. And it saves us money, too – which still matters to the younger guys.

Haylee and I moved out of our rental in Walnut Creek and now are staying in a hotel in San Francisco. I walked to the park for the first two games and it was like there was a carnival in town. It felt a little like going to a college football game. Everybody’s in orange-and-black. There’s an excitement in the air. I’m kind of recognizable because I’m pretty tall, but I walked with my hood up and tried to blend in so I could just enjoy the atmosphere. (The only disappointment was no fly-over before the game. I love the fly-overs.)

Last night’s win was great all-around. Vogey was the Vogey we’ve seen all year. He pitched his butt off. The bats came alive, the defense was strong as usual. I haven’t heard anything about Marco yet this morning. I’m sure we’ll learn more when we get to the park. He’s a huge part of the team, but if he can’t play, we have Theriot. So we’ll be in good shape. I didn’t see the slide because I was looking to catch Marco’s throw.

There’s a lot to talk about from the game, but I thought I’d give you a little insight about something a little more obscure – catching foul balls. I made a catch in the third inning that was far up the right-field line where there’s an indent past a VIP box. Those kinds of plays illustrate how important it is to know the quirks and characteristics of a park. I learned that from Will Clark and J.T. Snow. You learn about a park in different ways. You roll a ball down the line to see how it breaks. You watch the way the wind pushes fly balls. You take note of the configuration so you’re aware of how much room you have in foul territory.

With high foul balls, the first thing is to get some sense of where the ball’s going as soon as it comes off the bat. Then you head there as fast as you can. And then the biggest thing: Find the rail.

Last night I knew I had more foul territory to play with because of that indent. I’m told a fan had his glove outstretched while I was trying to catch it. I didn’t see him. But if he did interfere, I don’t think I’d be mad because if I was a fan I’d do the same thing. It would be awesome to catch a playoff ball.

A few innings later, I caught a ball that really was probably the second-baseman’s ball. But I had a bead on it and, more important, I have a bigger glove than any of the other infielders. It’s a glove made for catching, so theoretically I have a greater chance of catching. That’s why you see first-basemen catch so many infield flies.

One of my favorite moments of last night’s game was watching Aubrey Huff score from second base on Theriot’s single in the sixth. He looked like he was running with a trailer hitched to his back. We all give him a hard time about his speed. When he got to the dugout and everybody was high-fiving him, I took the opportunity to give him a turkey tap, which he didn’t like too much. (I’m not describing what a turkey tap is but you can google it.)

Ok, that’s it for now. This should be a pretty happy flight today. A little different from when we headed to Cincinnati in the NLDS.

Thanks for reading!

 

-Brandon B.

37 Comments

Great game last night I was in McCovey Cove cheerin’ you guys on with my Belt jersey on! Not many people have belt jerseys so I’m sure glad I do! :)

Wow! So you were walking to the ball park in San Francisco, during the postseason! Hahha! Wow that’s guts! I’m surprised fans didn’t mob you! But we love you man and the rest of the Giants, so not likely. Beat the Cardinals tomorrow! GO GIANTS!

Hilarious comment about Huff. We were all laughing SO HARD watching him run. There was a time much, much earlier in the season where I was so frustrated with Huff’s at bats, but he’s been great lately, and there’s something uplifting that happens when he actually makes it on base in time…he’s like that crazy uncle who’s a little embarrassing at times, without whom things just aren’t the same. Have a great flight!

Great, Brandon. Now, I’m going to get fired because I just Googled “turkey tap” at work! ;-)

I just wanted to tell you how much I believe in you guys. You can do this. It makes me be so proud to be a Giants fan for the last 32 years since my husband took me to my first San Francisco Giants game at Candlestick. Giants have and still are a huge part of our grown kids lives. Go get them in St. Louis, play hard, have fun and bring it home to San Francisco.

Love watching the Giants in the playoffs, Brandon. Icing on the cake would be to see Haylee in the stands………….still love her precious smile! Good luck in SL! Keep up the great plays and hitting!!

Hey BB! I’m on Kauai on vacation right with my husband, but I gotta tell you, the island is filled w/ Giants fans & gamer babes. We could hear the cheering from the bars as we walk past bars in Hanalei!! So proud of you, BB! Safe travels & happy catching!

Always enjoy reading your posts…they are so down to earth and real. Missed your great plays last night because I have a hard time watching because I feel I am bad luck. The only two games I got to see live (because I live in So Cal) you guys lost. However, I am a big fan of yours and enjoy watching you play. Thank you for signing my giraffe hat in Anaheim. Was nice to see you up close.
Thanks again for endulging the fans with this blog. We get to feel a little closer to our favorite player.
Go Giants!!!

Omg, we were all dying in the living room when we saw Aubrey Huff score also. Hilarious!! Gotta love that guy, haha :) Has anyone else fallen victim to the turkey tap this year?? Hahaha :) Keep doing what you’re doing Brandon. You’re amazing, and can you give the other Brandon a pat on the back for me? :) looking forward to great things in St Louis :)

Great job last night Brandon and I’d be pissed at the fan if he did interfere. We don’t need a Bartman situation. Us fans know the rules, don’t interfere with balls in play. Keep up the posts and GO GIANTS!!!

Brandon Belt,
You’ve become a great inspiration to the fans of San Francisco. I can’t speak for other teams fans. I’m apart of a group on Facebook called Bay Area Sports Fans. It’s private, so we all know each other well and it cuts down the clutter, non related topics of discussion. Us giants fans often talk about how much you’ve grown and also how clutch you’ve become. It’s so weird for me as I grew up watching some greats play under the Giants organization like Will Clark, Robbie Thompson and JT Snow to name a few. Us on the FB group all agree you are our new big thing amongst others on the team. I wanted to share that. Like I said its so weird to now be inspired and admire someone new. A new fresh player changing ever single game. Watching them grow and enhance their game while correcting their flaws. Stay classy Brandon. And great interview last night. You looked sharp. Drop an F bomb on the air like Timmy though and maybe you’ll get some YouTube attention haha. Keep slugging.

Rick Poynter

Love the turkey tap comment! Very funny..Keep up the great work on the field Brandon..I’m flying in from NYC this weekend to be at games 6 & 7, if necessary..You signed my nieces ball by the Citifield dugout in April..My nephew was jealous and asked me to get your autograph..When I see you I will shout..”Hey Brandon, I read your blog, can you turkey tap my baseball with your autograph, please!!” Good luck in St. Louis this week..Stay calm and focused, and no more champagne on Haylee’s head…

Brandon, thank you so much for your blogs, they are so insightful and real as many people have said before me. Keep up the great work! Today’s blog was especially hilarious. Thank you! Go Giants!

Seriously, if Brandon blogged 100x a day, i’d read every word! Keep it up BB!

So much fun! I love reading both of your posts!! Thanks for letting us in on what you guys are thinking. I love Giants baseball!! And it’s easy to love this team… You are relatable and can really kick some ass on the field! Thanks for making this season memorable!! Now let’s go get us some!!

Thanks for posting and keeping us glued to our screens and your blogs. Last night was such a great game and great plays. Pagan’s homer. Really hope Scutaro’s okay. Loved watching Aubrey Huff get to cross home-plate again…even with the trailer (great description). Kick some Cardinal butt tomorrow – Go Giants!!!!

I mean, here’s the slide:

It’s a gray area because he was clearly going after the player and not the bag; the replay leaves no doubt about that. Is it a suspendable offense? No, I don’t think so. Was it interference though? You bet your butt it was.

I always get a kick out of it when I see you guys around town. Timmy likes to drop into Ruth’s Chris down the block from me. He orders himself a giant meal and then gets a filet for his dog. Weezy is everywhere. I think there must be three of him. One day he’ll be having a beer in the Marina, the next I’ll see him by the post office in the Financial district. My only question is this: if there is more than one of Brian Wilson, why isn’t the healthy one pitching? Answer me that!

Glad you are enjoying the atmosphere around town. I wish there was a way for you to experience the scene at an SF Giants bar when you make a game-changing play. Maybe you can steal the secret from Wilson since I doubt he’s sharing.

I totally disagree. It was not a gray area in my mind for two big reasons: because Holliday only hit the bag at the last second, then he rolled into Scutaro, tangling up his leg and body, Had he gone in straight, maybe I can buy that it was a clean enough slide to be gray (I don’t like these period, there should be penalties involved when you endanger other players’ livelihood), but then he rolled in like he was tackling somebody in football. HELLO: THIS IS BASEBALL MATT!

Maybe Brandon can pass this on to Cainer to bring up with the players union. Make injuries on the field like no-fault insurance, where no fault is assigned. However, if the fielder ends up on the DL because of the play, the runner also is DLed for as long as the fielder is laid up. Thus, Cousins would have been DLed until spring training, when Posey started playing again, and Holliday would be DLed for as long as Scutaro is not used, or DLed if Scutaro was lost to the Giants, so the Cards would not be able to use Holliday until the Giants use Scutaro. A penalty like this would make runners think twice about boneheaded moves like Cousins and Holliday.

The Art of Double Play…now Foul Ball?!? :) lovin’ it :) btw: you are fast!!!

island gurl

You never fail to impress, #9. Whether it’s your clutch D, your approach at the plate or your writing skills in this blog. I’ve been a fan of the Giants since I was a kid and am so glad you are a part of this team. I really enjoy watching you play and seeing what you bring each night. It’s impressive, especially for such a young player. Thanks for it all and good luck the rest of the way! Now in your honor, I’m going to turkey tap some of my colleagues at the office.

Oh, you bad boy you, Brandon! Turkey tap! Is that what the title was referring to? :^D

Thanks for all the great play so far, keep up the good work, same for the whole team: Go Giants!

And thanks for sharing your thoughts even during the playoffs, we all know how busy and preoccupied you all must be.

Hey Brandon – your writing is so descriptive! And your playing is so great to watch! I am so excited about the next three games. I know you and all the rest of the team are ready to PLAY TO WIN! Thanks for making Fran the Fan enjoy every play in every game! Keep on keepin’ on!

Been a baseball fan since my boys started t-ball, 15 yrs now, love the Giants and love reading your blogs, it’s nice to see how down-to-earth you guys are. Keep up the great work, I’ll continue to pray for you guys. God bless!

Brandon! I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Thanks for you and BCraw keeping up with this blog. It really means a lot to me as a fan. I love the personal stories and descriptions of things like we are sharing this whole crazy journey instead of just watching from the outside. First I really believe after last night that if you guys can play your best ball that you can beat this very good team. Ryan was lights out and and the D was solid. You are starting to hit the ball and everybody is playing for each other thats what its all about and that is what makes this team so special. I really believe you guys can get it done and I am so excited. I love your fearlessness in defense it gives such a charge to the pitcher when he sees that extra effort.

Agree that Huff scoring was one the highlights of the game comedic and dedicated all at the same time!! About this Turkey tapping…you mischievous little scamp! you are going get yourself thumped one of these days…LOL!!! I’ll bet that Aubrey didn’t appreciate it! LOL! Play hard and proud and have fun and bring the World Series back to the City by the Bay! Love you guys! Go Giants!!!

Brandon! jaja cochino!
i’m sorry you’re too much i love ya xD
anyways,
Let’s go Giants! let’s go for the win :D

Pingback: Bay Area Sports Guy – Belt celebrated Huff’s mad dash home with a friendly ‘tap’ to the family jewels

Get post, thanks for sharing!! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

As I was reading your post yesterday, my husband walked in so I asked him what a Turkey tap was, since he played ball all through high school and college. He just looked at me and said, “no.” When I googled it and found out I started to laugh and couldn’t stop. I read the “Urban definition ” and all my husband could do was cross his legs and say oooohhhhhhhhh. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for the great laugh yesterday. It was much needed! In Belt we Believe!!!

cool post bro. Keep up the momentum!

How could you move out of lovely Walnut Creek? Such a wonderful downtown area and beautiful Broadway Plaza and even BART! Don’t you miss Nieman Marcus?

Interesting info about the logistics of the ball park. I love posts where we get the insight of the games and the players that we wouldn’t otherwise hear about. Having advice from Will Clark and J.T. Snow must be awesome. I loved watching Will Clark play on the Giants. He’s great. Talk about a man who lives and breathes baseball. Definitely an ace to have as an adviser. Just listening to his stories must be pretty amazing. Good luck – hang tough!

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