Eric Sutcliffe may have the most impressive fielding statistics that McCoy Stadium has ever seen, but you won’t find him on the field playing for the PawSox. You will find him behind first base, or perhaps by the left field foul pole, or maybe even in the parking lot. Wherever he is, bet your beer and peanuts that the next foul ball is headed there. A passionate and lifelong baseball fan, Sutcliffe has channeled his deep understanding of the game into an ability to predict where foul balls are headed based on a mental calculation of the batter’s tendencies, the pitcher’s arsenal and the game’s situation. How good is he?
During the 2010 season, he caught 136 balls in 50 games, a lackluster total considering he didn’t realize he was onto something until halfway through the season. With laser focus and determination in 2011, he caught an astonishing 219 balls in 32 games (most of which were given to children in the stands). With nothing left to prove, Eric hints at retirement in 2012 but is quick to add that he would continue on behalf of a great cause. A documentary of his story, tentatively titled The Balls to Prove It, is currently wrapping production - look for it this summer.