Remembering the time I caught a foul ball, and the search for my elusive TV glory

Baseball Every March 22, my mind frustratingly wanders back to a warm, Florida day in 2004 when, out of nowhere while on vacation, I became a national sports hero. Wait, that's too strong. I'll rephrase.Every March 22, my mind frustratingly wanders back to a warm, Florida day in 2004 when, out of nowhere while on vacation, I had my greatest sports-related moment: I caught a foul ball on live TV.MORE: 19 reasons why baseball will be great in 2019 It was just as glorious as it sounds — fans around me cheering my feat, asking for high-fives, asking to hold the ball. It was great.So you may wonder: Why would this be frustrating, you lousy ingrate?Well, here's why: I've never seen the video.After 15 years and countless attempts to find ESPN's footage from that Cardinals-Braves spring training game, the video of my TV glory eludes me. This might seem petty or insignificant, but it's haunted me from the moment I returned home from that vacation and discovered that my TiVo had deleted the game to make room for other stuff.(I can't blame TiVo, though. The "save until I delete" option was there all along, but I dropped that ball, which was my only way to see myself catch the other ball. I am forever shamed.)The ball I caught wasn't some bouncer that hopped into the stands for an easy catch. No, this was a soaring fly ball down the right field line off the bat of the Braves' Andruw Jones, a ball that seemed to take forever to come down."That's us," a guy near me called out as the ball began its descent.I remember seeing the arms of several fans around me come into my vision as I began to realize I had a chance to snag the souvenir. I got into position the way you would for any fly ball. I extended my glove (yes, I brought my glove; come at me) and then ... POP. I caught this foul ball 12 years ago today, live on ESPN. Had 10 seconds of fame. I've still never seen the video.— Jason Foster (@ByJasonFoster) March 22, 2016My immediate thought was Man, I can't believe that happened. I actually caught a foul ball.Then came the cheers and high-fives, and every

thing had been captured by ESPN's cameras for the world to see. (Everyone except for me, of course.)It's important to note that this was long before my time in sports journalism. I was a news reporter at the time, so my wife and I were at the game purely as fans. I had no industry contacts and no means of acquiring game video. MORE: Opening Day schedule for all 30 teamsIn the weeks after The Catch, I searched ESPN's website for any contacts who might be able to help. Before long, though, I discovered a disclaimer that said, basically, "We're not giving you tapes of anything, so please don't ask."Years later, when YouTube became a thing, I thought maybe someone would post the game there. People post weird, pointless stuff there all the time, so I figured a Cardinals-Braves spring training game wouldn't be that unusual. Still, no luck.My next hopes were the .com and .TV archives, but neither offered any closure. I did once find a radio broadcast from the game, but that brought limited relief (and no mention of my catch).So, here I am, 15 years later, still without my 15 seconds of TV fame and wondering whether I'll ever get to see it.You may wonder at this point: How do you even know you were on TV? They don't show every foul ball that goes into the stands.Well, I know because I got an email from a colleague later that day that said, "Congratulations on your ball-catching ability.""How does he know about that?" I wondered, seeing as how 2004 was pre-social media. "I haven't told anyone."Well, he learned about it from another colleague who had been watching the game on ESPN, saw The Catch and called into the office: "Is Jason at spring training? I think I just saw him on TV."As the legend goes, I was on TV for a good five to 10 seconds seconds: making the catch, taking a bow, giving high-fives and basking in the overall glory that comes with such a momentous event. I'm told they even showed a replay.MORE: Five not-so-crazy rule changes should consider nextI have to take people's word for it because, again, these images have eluded my curious eyes for 15 years. And though the actual memory of catching the ball is still plenty vivid and special, having the video proof would be spectacular, a fun thing to show my kids, who weren't born yet, and my parents and siblings, who weren't watching the game.As needs go, this is minor. As wants go, this is huge. So my search continues for this Holy Grail of baseball footage. I remain hopeful that someone out there happens to have randomly recorded the March 22, 2004, spring training game between the Cardinals and Braves, and has kept it for some reason. If this is you, dear reader, please get in touch with me. I don't even need the whole game. Just my catch. That's all I ask.But I'm also a realist. I know the chances that anyone recorded this game, let alone kept it for 15 years, are probably zero. So I appeal to higher authorities.Help me, ESPN, help me. You're my only hope.