Jim Harbaugh is a maniac, and that seems to apply to every facet of his life, as evidenced by his love for chasing down foul balls at baseball games.
Harbaugh has spent a good part of his summer taking in baseball games across Major League Baseball, and one thing remains the same with each stop: Harbaugh always has his glove with him.
That’s because the San Francisco 49ers head coach loves coming away with baseball’s most prized souvenir. Harbaugh revealed in an interview with Mercury News reporter Tim Kawakami that he’s tracked down 20 foul balls in his life.
Harbaugh is also very specific when it comes to which baseballs he counts.
“It’s got to be in play, during a game, not batting practice,” he explained to Kawakami. “Not the kind where the third baseman runs off and tosses it into the stands. Legit.”
The head coach went on to explain that his father was friends with former Detroit Tigers outfielder Gates Brown, and he went to plenty of Tigers games as a kid. That’s where he did most of his foul ball work, but he also said he caught a ball as recently as a year or two ago.
Not only that, Harbaugh revealed the story about how he once got really excited — perhaps too excited — to meet a big league player. While he can’t remember the player he was so eager to meet, the rest of his story is pretty vivid.
“I know we entered the field from the first-base side, just to get a picture with him. Just to get a Polaroid picture,” Harbaugh recalled. “And I had to go to the bathroom really bad. So I had to make a decision: Me and my brother were like 20 people from actually being able to go on to the field and take a picture with (the player) right by the first-base bag.
“And it was either go to the bathroom and not get a picture, or do it right there in my pants. So I chose to go in my pants, and my parents have this picture of a big ring right here (points to an obvious place on the front of his pants).
“I just want that picture for some reason. I really want that picture.”
He’s not alone.