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Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy catches home run ball, tosses it back

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

We've become accustomed to watching broadcasters make great grabs of foul balls at their usual location in the press box. On Friday night in Philadelphia, we saw something a little different.

Phillies broadcasters Tom McCarthy, Jamie Moyer, and Matt Stairs were calling the action from the center field seats at Citizens Bank Park, and in the very first inning — the tenth pitch to be exact — they were already in the line of fire. Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman smoked a three-run homer that headed directly for their makeshift broadcast location. McCarthy, who does the play-by-play on the Phillies broadcast, described the home run as it traveled from Freeman's bat and cleared the fence. He then reached up with his first baseman's glove and caught the home run as he finished calling it live on the air.

Good thing he was prepared.  

Of course, we've seen broadcasters venture out to the bleachers to call games before. It's something that has been done on an almost yearly basis at Wrigley Field going back to Harry Caray's day. The ESPN Sunday Night crew even called a recent game from the bleachers. But this might be the first time a broadcaster has caught a home run he called.

McCarthy acted like a broadcaster first, but the fan side eventually came out after some encouragement from Moyer and the fans around him. He showed off the ball, and then he fired the ball back onto the field. A trademark move in Philadelphia and many other stadiums when an opposing player hits a home run.

Here's more from McCarthy himself. 

Pretty cool.

Unfortunately, it ended up being a long night for the crew, because Freeman's home run was all Atlanta would need in a 4-2 victory.

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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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