Tim Kawakami sat down with Jim Harbaugh to talk about his love for baseball and two stories immediately stick out. First, he says he pissed himself as a five-year-old waiting for a chance to meet and get a picture with the Cleveland Indians first baseman after a game. Harbaugh also says there is a picture of him wearing the piss pants, which the world absolutely needs. Second, he is a straight-up lunatic about foul balls.
Let's deal with the incontinence first. Harbaugh and his brother John, who he says was seven at the time, went down to the field level at the old Municipal Stadium after the game to try to meet a baseball player. Then nature called.
And there was–I think it was a first baseman named McGraw (note: can't find a player named McGraw on the late-1960s Indians, but the blurriness is understandable; he was 5!). Might've been a third baseman.
Anyway, I know we entered the field from the first-base side, just to get a picture with him. Just to get a Polaroid picture.
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've got to get my parents to see if they can get that picture. I've seen it through the years. I'm the only one that really notices (the visible dampness)–there it is.
"(The visible dampness)." Shudders.
Don't be distracted by the pee anecdote and miss out on Jim Harbaugh, Foul Ball Nut, though. He loves getting foul balls at games and is deadly serious about what actually counts as a foul ball. There exist in the world 20 Official Jim Harbaugh foul balls stashed away, and who knows how many other lesser balls.
-Q: Those cameras caught you in Arizona with your glove just dying to get a foul ball. Just seems like you were thinking the whole game, "I've got to get a ball.'
-HARBAUGH: Yeah, I was very disappointed I didn't get a ball. That's just every time I've ever gone to a baseball game, that's my main focus. Going and getting a ball.
-Q: You must've gotten one or two in your life.
-HARBAUGH: Oh yeah, I've got 20. Got my 20th at a Giants game a year or two ago.
-Q: Foul ball?
-HARBAUGH: Yeah, I don't count those other ones. It's got to be in play, during a game, not batting practice. Not the kind where the third baseman runs off and tosses it into the stands. Legit.
-Q: Not from the ball girl.
-HARBAUGH: No, that is not counted. That is not counted at all.
Tim, have you lost your mind? That is not counted at all. At all. Also not counted? College foul balls. Harbaugh has some from his time at Stanford, but they don't count. For a foul ball to count towards the Harbaugh 20, it's got to be a major league, non-batting practice, in-game used foul ball. Not some trash from the ball girl. We're trying to live in a world with rules, here.
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