The closest I ever came to grabbing a foul ball during a baseball game was Aug. 7, 1987. My family was on vacation in Philadelphia, and the Phillies were pummeling our Cardinals. (The game was such a blowout that Jose Oquendo pitched and Willie McGee played shortstop.) In the seventh inning, Tom Lawless hit a ball foul, deep into the leftfield upper deck at Veterans Stadium, near our seats. It was clear, even to an 11-year-old, that the ball was headed straight toward us.

There is a moment, as it becomes apparent that the arc of a foul ball is landing in your specific vicinity, when every person panics. We all love the idea of catching a baseball at a game, until we actually have the chance. Then it comes toward us, and the thought is unwelcome and undeniable: Please don't come to me. We are all awkward 8-year-old rightfielders when we're holding our phone and a beer and an object is hurtling in our direction. We want the ball. We would just like it to stop moving first.