MINNEAPOLIS — Question: What's the only thing cooler than being the dad who surprises his kids with last-minute tickets to the Home Run Derby?
Answer: Being the dad who catches two home run balls once he gets there.
Yes, Adam Koering was living the dream at Target Field with his three children on Monday night. After buying four tickets in Section 229 from a friend, the Eden Prairie, Minn., resident caught two homers in the first round. The first came off the bat of Brian Dozier of the Minnesota Twins.
"We caught the first one and I said to the kids 'That's pretty good, we can probably go home now," an excited Koering said between batters. "But then the second one came."
As a television crew interviewed Koering about the experience of catching Dozier's homer, Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles stepped to the plate. One of his four blasts sailed toward the Koering family and Adam was able to snatch it up before it hit the reporter who was interviewing him.
That led to even more TV time for Koering and his clan, which led to his phone lighting up with texts from people who had seen his big grab from their couches at home. Another reporter approached Koering which led his 10-year-old daughter Josie to ask if he was famous now.
"It's been a lot of fun," said Koering, who also attended the game with his two sons, nine-year-old Ryan and seven-year-old Nicholas. "I kind of just stumbled onto these tickets. I wanted to go to the All-Star Game when it was here at the Metrodome in 1985 but it didn't work out. This makes up for that."
If you're sitting at home doing the math and wondering how Koering possibly made the math of two baseballs and three kids work, know that it seems he's raised his kids pretty well and they're into the whole sharing thing.
"We're saying they're family baseballs," Josie said as the derby contestants continued to slug. "Well, unless we catch three."
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- Brian Dozier