Matt York / AP

Jim Harbaugh is after foul balls when attending baseball games

Would it surprise you at all to hear that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh takes going to baseball games seriously — perhaps too seriously? The man is there to catch some foul balls, and if he doesn’t get one, he’s not happy.

The San Jose Mercury News‘ Tim Kawakami got this out of Harbaugh in a story about his developing friendship with A’s manager Bob Melvin. Melvin thought it was funny that Harbaugh — who is 50 years old — still brings a glove to ballgames. We saw this when Harbaugh was the guest of D-Backs chief baseball officer Tony La Russa in July.

Harbaugh didn’t get a foul ball that night, nor at the other five games he attended last month. And it was still bugging him when Kawakami asked him about it.

“Yeah, I was very disappointed I didn’t get a ball,” Harbaugh said. “That’s just every time I’ve ever gone to a baseball game, that’s my main focus. Going and getting a ball.”

Kawakami made a point to mention that Harbaugh was shaking his head solemnly as he said this. The coach’s competitiveness is nearly legendary, easily his most recognizable trait. That’s probably how he’s nabbed 20 foul balls, by his count.

But can you imagine sitting next to Harbaugh during a ballgame if his “main focus” is getting a ball? That’s probably not fun.