WATCH | Dave Edlund is no ordinary baseball fan. For every home game, the California native gets in his kayak and paddles out to McCovey Cove, a section of San Francisco Bay beyond the right field wall of AT&T Park. Then he listens to the game on the radio, ready to chase home run balls in the water.
WATCH | "Hits it high... hits it deep... it is outta here!"
A splash hit is a Giants' home run that lands directly into McCovey Cove. As soon as Edlund hears "deep to the right," he springs into action, taking a different position for every player.
'McCovey Cove Dave'
Edlund has been pulling dozens of home run balls from McCovey Cove since 2005, five years after the opening of AT&T Park. Around his 200th visit, fans started calling him "McCovey Cove Dave" -- a nickname that's stuck for the announcers as well.
On game days, he's easily spottable in the cove, wearing bright orange sweater that says "Dave" and sometimes with a foam ring hat he and his friend designed after the Giants won a third World Series.
Of course, Edlund isn't the only one out there. There are usually dozens of eager kayakers and boaters out in McCovey Cove, turning the ball chasing into a competitive sport of its own.
So far, Edlund has 28 of the 71 splash hit home run balls, including six from Pablo Sandoval. Noteworthy catches from other teams include David Ortiz's 333rd career home run and Carlos Beltran's 300th career home run.
Quit Hewlett-Packard to spearfish
In a way, Edlund has been training for this gig his entire life. In 2001, Edlund quit his 20 year career at Hewlett-Packard to pursue underwater spearfishing, eventually becoming a two-time freedive spearfishing national champion.
"Even now at age 60, I train athletically every week, I swim about five miles and I ride mountain bike." His professional background also helps him take a calculated position for each player's splash hit.
My goal someday is to catch more home runs than Barry Bonds hit into McCovey Cove -- and then at that point, maybe I will be king of McCovey Cove!
How much longer does he plan to come out to McCovey Cove for? At least another 20 years, he says. Barry Bonds hit 39 home runs into McCovey Cove and Edlund has caught 28 balls so far.
The short-term goal is to beat Bonds' record.