I could not make the Saturday (August 28th) game at AT&T park, but I watched it on TV and two HR’s were hit into McCovey Cove. The first HR was grabbed by Joe Dirt and it was hit by Pablo Sandoval. Joe’s 17th lifetime HR grab! But late in the 9th inning, red hot hitting Adam LaRoche of the Diamondbacks hit another splash (his third lifetime now) into McCovey Cove. It went way out there towards the buoys, about 425 feet from home plate. The kayakers in the Bonds Navy could not make this game, so it was only Joe Dirt fighting by himself for the ball. It was a long throw for his net but after two casts (one that just barely missed the ball) the HR ball sunk to the bottom of McCovey Cove. Balls only float for 2-5 minutes and in this case, the ball floated for only 2 minutes!
I carefully watched all the TV broadcast clips of the HR before it sunk (on both Comcast and on the Arizona Diamondback website) and looked at the McCovey Cove buoys for their relative position to the ball so I could try to recover it on SCUBA on Sunday. The McCovey Cove waters are murky salt water and the bottom of the Cove is mucky black silt. Since I am a professional diver by day hunting golf balls in zero visibility conditions in golf course water hazards and recovering thousands of golf balls every day, I felt I could find this ball. So I got my equipment together and paddled out on McCovey Cove before the Sunday game and first checked it out the Cove with my depth-sounder. It was a flat bottom of 18 feet deep. Not too deep, something I could easily dive. So I anchored at the spot where the ball sunk the previous day and got on my scuba tank. I jumped into the water and followed my anchor to the bottom to find visibility of about 1 foot in the 60 degree water. I used the same patterns I use for golf ball hunting and zig-zagged the target area underwater moving my hands back and forth in hopes of finding the HR ball. Within 2-3 minutes I had the HR ball and I came up to see that I was a mere 20 feet from my anchored kayak! The ball was clean and un-stained from the black muck that covered the bottom of McCovey Cove as it had been in the water for less than 24 hours. I decided to broaden my search to look for other items lost in the Cove and I spent the next hour having more fun. I found a pair of new sunglasses, a 10 pound lead anchor, a plastic give-away toy shaped like a baseball player, a small net used for scooping up HR balls and 3 old stained baseballs. All three of these baseballs where not in the target area and all three were stained black on portions of them from the mud. The staining told me they were old balls. Anyhow, it was a fun experience ballhawking on Scuba. Here is a photo of the ball and the small net I found.