Best Sections To Catch A Foul Ball and Home Run

Posted in 2022 in

The ultimate souvenir. Feel like the chosen one. The 10th man. You coulda been a contender. What is more exciting than a piece of the game itself reaching out and touching your hands. Here’s our tips for the best place to sit at Petco Park if you are hoping to catch a foul ball at a San Diego Padres game.

Never Tell Me The Odds

For starters, how many balls are we talking about? Very roughly, there are 5-6 fouls per inning with 3 going into the stands. So you are looking at approximately 27 balls per game, plus a dozen balls tossed to the cutest fans at inning’s end, plus an average one home run per game. Given that Petco Park capacity is north of 40k, from a sheer math standpoint the odds of coming home with a free souvenir ball is 1 in 1,000 (or 0.1%). But don’t get discouraged. With a little strategy in your seat selection, you can swing the odds in your favor.

Best Section To Catch A Foul Ball

  • Field Level 108-114 — These sections, 108, 110, 112 and 114, are on the 3rd base side (left field). In baseball, fouls have a very slight edge in tendency toward going left into the 3rd base stands. To be sure, this edge is minor, amounting to roughly 1-2 extra fouls per game.
  • Field Level 107-115 — Behind 1st base in sections 107, 109, 111, 113, 115, you’ve got a great shot of catching a foul ball as well. In fact, in one study section 107 is the section that received the most foul balls (approximately 10%)
  • Field Level Outfield A little further out, you can snag a ball with a little luck, particularly sections 117 and 122.
  • Toyota Terrace Infield — On the second level right behind the dugouts. Sections 207, 208, 209, 210. You know those tall towering foul balls that reach great height before hooking back and plopping into some lucky fan’s glove? This is the spot.
Note: Statistically, you are not likely to see many foul balls reach the upper deck. If you are near home plate, around say section 305, you may catch a surprise.

Tip For Catching Foul Balls

Watch whether the batter on deck is a righty or lefty, so you can be ready. If it is a right-handed batter, the foul is more likely coming to the lower first base side. A left-handed batter more often fouls to the third-base side. If you are seated in those sections, get your glove / beer cup ready!

Approximately 30% of pitches are fouls, 1 out of every 3 or 4 pitches. Fouls are more likely to come with 2 strikes, when a batter must protect the edges of the plate.

Also if you want to take home a souvenir ball, make sure you are not seated behind the safety net.

Best Section To Catch A Home Run At Petco

Given that baseball fans see an average of one home run ball per MLB game, consider yourself truly lucky if you get your hands on one. You don’t need a glove, you need a four-leaf clover held by a rabbit’s foot wearing a horseshoe. Follow the data and grab a seat in the Left Field Lower Box sections 126, 128 and 130. Section 130 will give you your best shot. Also don’t overlook sitting in the Padres Home Run Deck.

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