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Monday, January 6, 2014

FLASHBACK: The Most Popular Article of 2013

One of the things I enjoy most about the website host I'm on is that I can easily view each article's "stats" - everything from a basic "hit count" to a breakdown of what countries each one was viewed from!

As the end of 2013 has now passed, I took a look at the stats the other day and happened to notice one certain post that far-and-above exceeded all others from the 2013 calendar year in general traffic.

That article was a full-length interview with then-recently-graduated Northwestern centerfielder Kristin Scharkey. From the day I posted the interview, the hit counter just kind of steadily grew. Even now, five months later, it's still gaining popularity!

As I'm sure most of you have noticed, I like to choose a photo to go with the majority of the posts, especially interviews. Sometimes I use Google, other times there's a great picture on the person's Facebook page, so I use that. I don't own any of the images (trust me, if I took a picture that was actually worth posting, you would KNOW about it!), but I try to give credit to the proper folks, when I can.

The photo I chose to go along with the post featuring Kristin was one that I found on Facebook. She was literally flying through a fence and making a full-stretch diving catch. In all honesty, it's one of the best pictures I've ever seen, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to share it.

Recently, I asked Kristin to share the story behind that picture, and she was kind enough to oblige. If you haven't already done so, you can see the original interview here; click "Read More" on this page to read the story behind the photo, straight from Kristin!






"The picture took place my junior year at Esperanza High School. We were tied for first place heading into our last two league games against Edison and Los Alamitos. That day, we were beating Edison by one run late in the game when their number four hitter came up with the bases empty and drove a ball deep into the right centerfield gap. Given what was at stake, I felt like I needed to do whatever I could to keep that ball in the park.

I took off to my left and was on a dead sprint when me and the ball reached the fence at the same time. I caught it and then proceeded to fly over the fallen fence. I landed, rolled over and showed the umpire that I had indeed caught the ball. However, much to my dismay, the umpire ruled it a home run.  The irony is that same umpire was my first rec ball coach!

It was all good, though, as we ended up winning that game and then beating our arch rival Los Alamitos to win the league championship!"

Some top-notch photographer at that game managed to capture the catch in a sequence of photos, from when the fence was standing all the way to Kristin showing off the ball to the ump. You can view the entire sequence of photos here.

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