The crazy kayakers hoping to snare coveted home run balls from the waters outside the ballpark are getting some competition from the Giants organization.
The $1 million reward for Barry Bonds’ 756th home run ball may have been pulled off the table on Monday, but that doesn’t mean it’s possible some other valuable launches won’t land in the water outside AT&T Park in San Francisco.
The Giants have launched a two boat fleet called "The McCovey Cove Crew" to chase any ‘splashdowns’ with recovered balls heading to the team’s charity auction. The club’s armada will try to recover any balls belted into the water beyond the right field stands–not just those hit by Bonds.
Balls recovered by the AT&T McCovey Cove Crew will be posted in an online auction at att.sfgiants.com, with all proceeds benefiting the Giants Community Fund, a nonprofit organization that supports Junior Giants baseball leagues for underserved youth throughout Northern California. In addition, every time a Giants player hits a ball into McCovey Cove, AT&T will donate $1,000 to the Giants Community Fund, regardless of whether the ball is recovered by the AT&T McCovey Cove Crew or not.
Giants players have knocked 43 "splash hits" into the water since the ballpark opened in 2000; 34 off the bat of Barry Bonds including this one on April 18. The only other ball to reach the cove was off the bat of Ryan Klesko, which was snared by this fan. Visiting players have hit 14 home runs into the cove in all.
"The McCovey Cove Crew combines our outstanding partnership with the Giants together with our philanthropy in the Bay Area," AT&T spokesman Ted Carr said.
The blue boats made their debut Friday night, adding "another great attraction at what is the best venue in Major League Baseball," Carr said.
Carr would not say whether the McCovey Cove Crew would battle long-established kayakers who have been chasing down balls since the park opened.
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