DENVER (CBS4) – If catching a home run ball was a form of art than one Colorado man would be considered Picasso.
His name is Dan Sauvageau and he is a master at tracking down Coors Field home runs. He has caught a total of 81 home run balls.
“Most of them are in a big bin in my closet,” said Sauvageau.
Now those are just home runs from games, you start adding in batting practice and the numbers go through the roof.
“It’s actually 2,961 batting practice balls,” he said.
It helps that Sauvageau has been to 1,226 Rockies home games.
He’s the definition of a die hard fan, having missed only 94 games since 1997 and it’s only because he had to.
“Weddings and funerals and stuff like that or the kids are sick. But usually it’s just a wedding. I’ve actually had people change their wedding dates if they wanted me in the wedding because they knew it was going to be tough for me to be in the wedding if the Rockies were in town.”
Sauvageau’s passion for the Rockies has infected his daughter Emily. Now when dad heads to the ballpark more often than not she’s right there with him.
She’s only 10 and she’s been to more than 500 games.
“Just being able to spend time with my dad and my brother and stuff and watch the Rockies hopefully win,” said Emily.
“She actually loves it. My wife stayed at home with her so it kind of gave me an excuse to say ‘Hey I’ll take Emily to the game and you can have the night off,’ ” said Sauvageau.
Emily has not only picked up her dad’s love for Rockies baseball but also his penchant for tracking down home runs.
Like her dad knows, every one of those home run baseballs holds a memory. Two years ago at age 8 she snagged a home run hit by Chris Nelson.
“It kind of bounced to me but I still got it,” she said.
She was even able to get Nelson to sign the ball, which she keeps with her other Rockies collectibles.
Emily and her father have decorated their basement using 4,600 baseball cards as wallpaper and added a giant Rockies logo Sauvageau painted.
“It’s as big as I could make it without having it too low to the ground. It was a lot of fun to do,” said Sauvageau.
For Sauvageau his passion is a win-win situation; he gets to spend hours watching the Rockies and gets to spend time with Emily.
“You only have so much time to spend with your kids, so we’re taking full advantage of that, so it’s pretty nice,” he said.
Sauvageau and his daughter give almost all the balls they catch at batting practice to kids at the game who didn’t get a chance to catch one.
For them, sharing the experience is what matters most.