June 23, 2011
On Wednesday night, a San Francisco Giants fan experienced what it must have been like to be Steve Bartman — well, if everything had gone right for Steve Bartman, that is.
In the sixth inning of the game between the Giants and Minnesota Twins at AT&T Park, the fan in question reached in front of left fielder Cody Ross(notes) and caught a foul ball hit by the Twins' Alexi Casilla(notes). No interference was called, though, because the ball had entered the stands and the fan was within his rights — in theory, anyway — to go after the ball.
Though a regular-season game is obviously a lot less lower stakes than Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, the initial similarities to Bartman's incident with Moises Alou were striking. The play took place in a similar spot down the left-field line, the fan instantly realized his mistake and, according to the AP, he and his companion had to be "escorted to another section for their safety." (In the wake of the Bryan Stow beating, I really hope there weren't any real threats from the Giants fan around the man.)
Unlike Bartman, though, this story has a happy ending. Not only did the fan actually catch the ball, but Casilla grounded out and the Twins were held scoreless in the inning.
Final result: A 5-1 victory for the Giants and a funny, if awkward, memory for this fan. Check out his reaction at the instant he realized what had just happened.