Sunday, March 6, 2011

Baseball Detectives

Which Red Sox Game Was Featured in The Town?

The above question refers to the bank robbing / shoot 'em up film shot in Boston. The film includes scenes shot during a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, and blogger Neil Paine of wanted to figure out which game.

Through attention to detail, process of elimination, and baseball's documentation of minutia, Paine was able to identify the date of the game with some certainty. A commenter subsequently posted a photo of the scene being shot, confirming the date that Neil came up with.

I've done something similar, on more than one occasion. Recently, I figured it was high time that I catalog and label my foul balls and home run catches. I had never recorded the particulars of the the three foul balls I snagged at Fenway Park during my Boston years.

For one ball, I have a snippet of video tape (from the Red Sox / NESN broadcast) of me getting the ball. So, I knew the batter, the opposing team and pitcher, and some of the other players on the team. With a little digging on the aforementioned and my book of ticket stubs, I determined that I snagged that one on September 4, 1987.

For another ball (pictured), I had less to go on. I knew that Andre Dawson hit it, and that I remembered sitting in the first row of the upper box seats on the first base side. I also remembered it was a Saturday afternoon game. More digging revealed that I snagged that foul ball on September 4, 1993.

The only thing that I have to go on on the other on is that it was between 1982 and 1987, probably later than earlier, and that I was sitting in a roof box seat for a night game. I haven't given up trying to figure it out, but I might not do more than narrow it down.

I get a big kick out of this stuff. It's always fun to solve a problem or mystery, and these exercises combined two of my passions: Baseball and the Web. I remain fascinated that baseball records and compiles so much information and that the Web makes so much information available and easy to find.

©2011 Douglas T. Dinsmoor


At March 9, 2011 at 11:19 PM, Blogger Steve Scott said...


This is just awesome. I'm in the same situation with HR's and foul balls. I've got like 8 of one and 10 of the other, I just can't remember which is which. I love to try to figure out dates and such.

You might not be into baseball cards, but I started a 1974 Topps blog (my biggest collecting year when I was 10). It's fun to try to figure out the ballpark a photo was taken in, and in a number of cases you can figure out the date, at bat or even pitch, if it's an action shot, just from clues in the photo.


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