How To Get A Ball At Hadlock Field

The How To Get A Ball At Hadlock Field
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Area is mostly blocked off behind OF fence
Check the left field corner bleachers carefully to see if you can find a foul ball hit during batting practice.

At many Minor League parks, getting a ball during batting practice is a breeze. Although the bulk of facilities don't open their gates until BP is finished, you can often stand behind the outfield fence and shag home runs as they clear the fence. Unfortunately, that strategy won't fly at Hadlock Field.

This ballpark's construction all but guarantees you won't be able to get a ball during BP, although you're certainly welcome to try. A railroad runs through the area behind the left field fence, so it's not advisable to hang out on the tracks and wait for balls to come your way. The space beyond the center field fence is fenced off, meaning home runs don't have enough juice to get to the area that you'll be able to grab them. Finally, a tall fence and a taller seating section in right field keep balls from sailing out of the ballpark.

Challenges aside, you shouldn't concede defeat just yet. There's a parking lot beyond the right field corner that allows you to see the action on the field. If you're early enough that batting practice is still taking place, hang out in this parking lot and do your best to track home runs. Although ushers are required to gather balls that enter the stands, they're only human and can't grab every single one. If you observe a ball land in a particularly hard-to-notice area, remember where you saw it and head there once you can get in the park.

Finding a batting practice ball nestled in a seat requires a bit of luck, but you give yourself the best chance of success by being at the head of the line once the park opens. Once you get your ticket scanned, run through the concourse, up the stairs to the cross-aisle and move quickly toward either corner. If you run to the left field corner, look for any balls in the rows of seating, along the cross-aisle and in the large bleacher section in the corner. If you choose to go toward the right field corner, keep an eye out for balls in the seating sections and be alert once you reach the group picnic area. This is a common spot for BP balls to land, and you might get lucky. If possible, get up to the U.S. Cellular Pavilion section above the right field fence to look for balls.

Once the game begins, you can do a few things to increase your odds of going home with a game ball. As is the case at any park, sitting in a relatively empty section means you'll have less competition getting to a foul ball. At Hadlock Field, a prime spot is the bleacher section in the left field corner. If you prefer to roam during the game, the wide cross-aisle throughout the park will allow you to move quickly once a foul is hit into the stands. A ticket in the U.S. Cellular Pavilion in right field is also a wise choice. Many MiLB parks don't have outfield seating, but a seat in this section gives you a shot at catch or chasing down a home run to right field.