As embarrassing as inadvertently or unknowingly scooping up a fair ball can be for ballboys and ballgirls, at least it's something we see regularly. If you fall into that category, yes, you probably wear it for awhile and lose a little sleep for a couple nights. But at least you know you're not alone.
Unfortunately for the ballboy down the right-field line at Kauffman Stadium on Friday night, he's very much alone in his feelings right now.
It happened during the seventh inning of the Blue Jays' 8-4 victory over the Royals. Alcides Escobar skied a foul ball down toward our ballboy who was seated just beyond the tarp. The ball was clearly still in play, which is why the cameras focused on Blue Jays right fielder Rajai Davis charging toward the ball. Then, suddenly, the ballboy comes into the picture and the announcers gasp, anticipating a collision.
Thankfully, the worst was avoided, but his appearance was enough to cause a distraction and allow the ball to fall safely in foul territory. No interference was called on the play, I guess because no real contact was made, so Escobar had new life at the plate. He would ground out harmlessly a couple pitches later.
Here's another angle of the play in gif form courtesy of GoldAndOrSmith.
A strange play indeed, though I'm glad we're able to leave it at just that and we're not talking about another freak injury for Toronto. It didn't seem like the ballboy intended to cause trouble. I think he just lost his train of thought for a minute or possibly assumed Davis would not have a chance to make a play.
I can easily see how either could happen (being out on a major league field can be overwhelming), though I doubt it will happen to this ballboy again if he's given another chance to perform the duty.