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It’s his lucky day! Fan grabs four foul balls at Cleveland Indians game

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

There's a contingent of baseball fans who believe no adult should bring a glove to a game. To properly catch a foul ball or homer, one must use his or her hands. Gloves are for kids.

You can agree or disagree with that philosophy, but you can't disagree with this: Greg Van Niel — and his glove — had themselves a day for the ages Sunday at Progressive Field, where the hometown Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals, 6-4.

He hauled in four foul balls, an odds defying stroke of luck that Van Neil — an Indians season ticket holder who had never caught a foul ball at Progressive Field before — seems to shrug off as chance. Records aren't kept on such things, but have you ever heard of catching four foul balls in one game? Consider it a win for glover-wearers everywhere.

Van Neil told's Cut4 blog:

“Three of them were catches and one was a ball I picked up off the ground,” said Van Niel. “The third one, I think was the hardest one … I ended up sprawled across a few rows, and I got some cheese on myself. But the other ones were just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.”

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By the fourth ball, seen in the video above, Van Niel was so amazed he just tossed the ball away to another fan. What a generous guy.

Maybe Van Niel missed his true calling. There are people who are ballhawks — "professional" home run and foul ball catchers. In that universe, Van Niel's haul shall henceforth be a thing of legend.

Ideal Seat — which tracks foul ball landing info — estimates that the odds of catching four foul balls in one game is roughly one trillion to one. One trillion to one! A little bit of perspective on that: In a $250 million Powerball jackpot last year, the odds of winning were estimated at one in 175 million.

Sounds like Van Niel had a lifetime's worth of good luck on Sunday. But do you think he wished he bought a lottery ticket instead?


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