Savage: Hunting for home runs with Wrigley’s famed ballhawks

From SABR member Bill Savage at on September 14, 2016:

If you want a taste of Wrigley history, stop at the corner of Waveland and Kenmore Avenues, beyond the left-field bleachers. There you’ll find the ballhawks, a group of Cubs fans who hang out with their baseball gloves on — from before batting practice until after the final out — hoping to snag a home run ball from beyond the ivy.

I spoke with a couple of them before a recent game: Rich Buhrke, who’s been chasing glory for 57 years, and Dave Davison, with a mere three decades on the job.

I watch them scan the skies; the stiff north-by-northwest winds suggest slim pickings during the night’s game, and with no batting practice scheduled, it’ll be slow. So they have time to chat.

My first question: Why? What’s the purpose of spending so many days outside Wrigley, all for a ball?

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Originally published: September 14, 2016. Last Updated: September 14, 2016.