San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is known for his intense and competitve nature (except perhaps when it comes to the pants he chooses to wear at times). His personality does extend, however, from the football field to the grandstand at baseball games. He's a big fan. He even brings his glove to games, which probably seems extreme, even nerdy, to some. But it's pure Harbaugh, because he's a COMPETITOR — even for a foul ball.
In fact, Coach says he's caught "20" over the years. Twen-ty. Some fans wait half of their lives for a clean chance at ONE foul, and Harbaugh says he's got 20. He broke this news in Tim Kawakami's column in the San Jose Mercury News from Wednesday. The entire post is about Harbaugh's new friendship and growing bond with Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin, who finds it "hilarious, but not surprising" that Harbaugh brings his glove:
Not surprising at all for anybody who has watched Harbaugh during 49ers games, during press conferences, or during any and every waking Harbaugh moment.
Harbaugh loves baseball, as a teenager played on the same Palo Alto-area American Legion team that Melvin had starred on two years earlier and when he goes to baseball games
Harbaugh absolutely wants a ball—including the six major-league games he attended in a two-week span last month.
“Yeah, I was very disappointed I didn’t get a ball,” Harbaugh said, shaking his head solemnly during a break in 49ers camp last week. “That’s just every time I’ve ever gone to a baseball game, that’s my main focus. Going and getting a ball…
“I’ve got 20. Got my 20th at a Giants game a year or two ago."
So it's really 20 and counting. He's like the Zack Hample of NFL coaches, only a few thousand behind. Still, Hample is pretty much a professional ballhawk. Harbaugh's got coaching to do and, back in the day, he spent most of his timing playing or practicing. So he must have been pretty aggressive on some of these fouls. Hopefully, he hasn't run over anyone under the age of... 16.
Look at this guy with Tony La Russa:
La Russa's giving him the side-eye because of the glove, you just know it. At least it's good to know an NFL coach has an interest of some kind away from the field. Typically, these guys lock themselves in their offices until Game Day(TM) and watch film, or Watch Film of themselves watching film. It's dedication, but it's also madness. Harbaugh gets out, good pants or no.
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