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Hunting for home run balls outside Sahlen Field

Posted at 12:51 AM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 00:55:25-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — There are a lot of great places inside Sahlen Field to catch a baseball game, but if you're looking to catch a baseball, you may want to look outside of Sahlen Field.

A handful of people rush across Oak Street during rush hour. Thankfully, the light was red. Yankee super-star Aaron Judge just belted a batting practice home run. The ball is bouncing towards the Elm Street Underpass. The leader picks the ball and celebrates. Before he’s even congratulated, bang! Another Judge blast screams into the chain-linked fence. Another home run. This one didn’t travel as far, but there's still a chance for retrieval.

Contraptions straight from the movie “The Sandlot” are squeezed through fence and slowly maneuvered close enough for a hand to grab.

“We couldn't get in the game. So we wanted to stay outside if you even get any balls,” said Devin Clemons, from Lancaster.

“I labeled all of them from when and who's playing. So yeah, it's pretty cool. My girlfriend doesn't like it,” said James Sciandra, also from Lancaster.

Some travel from stadium to stadium to get as many baseballs as possible. Most outside Sahlen Field are local. They say they’re trying catching a glimpse of history.

“My team, in my hometown, really a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Zac Lomas, a Yankee fan. He likes to travel to different ballparks to catch batting practice balls.

If catching a game is what you're looking to do here on Oak Street, the netting on the fence makes that nearly impossible. The spots where you can see the game aren't exactly the safest. Cars are feet away from you entering “The 190.” The New York State Police showed up around first pitch to ask people to move. One fan did find a happy medium.

“You can see right in there,” said Eric Engler about his spot in a tree across Oak Street.

The Blue Jays are back in Buffalo, next Thursday.