'Greene's Hill Kid' gains fame snagging home run balls

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by TED MADDEN

WFAA

Posted on July 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 14 at 12:50 PM

ARLINGTON - He has a ball player's name -- Trent Williams.

He also has a ball player's sunglasses -- literally. His used to belong to Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish.

And when he sits in his seat in center field at the Ballpark in Arlington, he has a ball player's approach. He watches batting practice to get used to judging home run balls, and during games, he is always ready.

We took him to the Ballpark the day after the All-Star game, went to his seat, and he showed us his approach.

"The ball's coming toward me," described Trent, getting up out of his seat. "I get up, plant my foot, hop over, and go catch it."

Despite all of this, 18-year-old Trent Williams is actually a hockey player.

"I started when I was like four or five," he said.

He plans to join a junior team next month, and it might be as far away as Florida or Montana. But until then, he has the coolest hobby in the world -- catching home run balls at Texas Rangers games.

Trent said he's gotten 13. The first one was in June 2010, off the bat of Josh Hamilton.

In the video from two years ago, you can see Trent wearing a blue t-shirt, stretching over the railing, trying to catch the ball. It glanced off his glove and landed on the hill.

"I forced my body to go over the rail," Trent said. "I face-planted right on the [grass.] But hey, the thing is, I still got the ball."

Rangers home runs he'll keep or give to little kids. The ones from opposing players go back where they came from.

Last weekend in the series against Minnesota, he scrambled across Greene's Hill to come up with a home run ball from Josh Willingham, and then promptly threw it back on to the field.

"I'll get it back to second base before the player even gets to second base," Trent said.

The hobby has become a passion. He even bought special shoes to deal with the slope on Greene's Hill.

"There was an Adrian Beltre home run -- kind of got away from me," he said. "I went up on the hill and I kind of slipped."

That was on April 25. The very next game, you can see him wearing the new shoes as he chases after an Evan Longoria home run.

And the sunglasses? Trent had his stolen and tweeted it. Darvish follows him on Twitter, and at a game a couple weeks later, gave his sunglasses to Trent.

"So he tossed them up to me and I've had them ever since," he said.

He's been a season ticket holder for two years now -- it's become the annual Christmas gift from his grandfather. And Trent Williams is making the most out of them.

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com

Twitter: @tedmadden

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