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Philadelphia beer vendor unknowingly catches foul ball in bucket

Philadelphia sports fans are always a tough crowd to please, but one beer vendor at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday afternoon brought them to their feet collectively with literally no effort at all.

No, we don't mean to suggest he wasn't doing his job. He was actually doing it quite well, which is why he was making every effort to get out of the way when he heard a foul ball off the bat of Carlos Ruiz was coming toward his section. With his back turned to the field, he literally had no idea where the ball was or which direction he should move to avoid being hit. Then, just as he turned around, the ball found him, or, more specifically, it found his beer bucket. A perfect landing that probably couldn't be repeated if he stood in that spot for another 5,000 foul balls hit to that section.  

The vendor, whose name is Earl Chaney, later confirmed to the Phillies broadcast team that he never saw the baseball and didn't intend to catch it in his bucket. It was just there. It's a first for him, though he says he was hit by a foul ball one time before.

"I've already been hit once; I didn't want to get hit again," he said.

We don't blame him.

Chaney says he's been employed at Citizens Bank Pank since it opened in 2004. That's a lot of baseball games and a lot of opportunities to be in the right place at the wrong time, but so far he's been quite lucky.

And now, he might even become a ballpark celebrity. The response from the crowd was awesome, and the TV time won't hurt either. People will remember Earl Chaney when they see him at the ballpark, and they'll also want to buy a beer from him.

That's good for business! 

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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