When the Cardinals play in Kansas City, I usually try to make it to at least a couple of the games. The drive to Kansas City is shorter for me than the drive the St. Louis and Royals tickets are far cheaper than Cardinals tickets. Watching batting practice is one of my favorite things in the world to do so I typically force the friend attending the game with me to get to Kauffman Stadium extra early so we can watch the Cards take batting practice.
This was the case a couple of years ago. My buddy and I were out amongst the left field fountains at Kauffman, watching the hitting group that included Matt Holliday. We stood, drinking our beers, taking in the lovely summer scene of batting practice, and listening to the crack of bats meeting baseballs.
The repetitive cracks turned into gunshots--nay, cannon fire--when Holliday stepped into the cage and took his hacks. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
Holliday's aerial assault shifted from right-center field to the left-field bleachers, where we stood. Baseballs landed in the pool of water that the Kauffman fountains call home. They skidded around the seats and concrete, the equal and opposite reaction of having come into contact with a wooden bat swung by Holliday. Some brave (or stupid) souls used their bodies to deaden the baseballs' rapid descents back to earth in the hopes of securing a souvenir. My friend was amongst them.
He played college football. Was an offensive lineman. My buddy is a big guy. I suspect he didn't think much of sticking the hand that wasn't holding his beer out and attempting to catch the Hollidinger, even as he and I heard it hiss in the humid early evening air. The noise it made upon hitting his hand was sickening one. Needless to say, my friend didn't catch the ball, yelped in pain, and began shaking his hand while swearing. Somehow he didn't spill the exorbitantly priced beer in his other hand.
It was his encounter as someone who placed a body part on the wrong end of a Holliday-hit projectile that immediately came to mind last night after Holliday's moonshot against Kyle Lohse. The thunderous BOOM of lumber on horsehide followed by ooh's and ah's from the crowd and the loud CLANK of the baseball hitting the center field scoreboard that could be heard even over Ricky Horton and Al Hrabosky's yammering.
Holliday is a serial baseball murderer. He kills these children of Rawlings without remorse. Last night was perhaps the most the grisly of his violent bludgeonings.
Addendum: In the MLB.com condensed game video, you can watch and hear Holliday's homer without any announcers talking over the top of it. The murder begins at about the 4:45 mark.