What was happening here with rookie infielder Rougned Odor of the Texas Rangers on Monday night? Did a ground ball eat him up, or did Odor's blue jersey eat up the ground ball? Answer: A little bit of both.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Matt Dominguez of the Houston Astros hit a sharp grounder to Odor, who was making his fifth career appearance in the majors. The ball took a wicked hop and then appeared to defy physics by disappearing into Odor's chest. After a moment of confusion, Odor reached between a pair of buttons, just below where it says "Texas" on the front of his jersey, and pulled the ball out.
The play was ruled a single, one of 11 hits by the Astros. No matter, because Dominguez didn't score and the Rangers won 4-0, with Odor hitting his first major league home run. That's a heck of a day: He makes the ball disappear on offense and defense. Only recently did Odor turn 20 years old, and he was named the No. 39 prospect by Baseball Prospectus before the season. Were they even taking into account his wizardry with the baseball?
Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram said teammate Adrian Beltre took note of the play:
“Memorable night for him,” Beltre said. “He had the nice big hit, big homer and then that play at second base …"
Odor joked that he’ll likely see that play quite a bit, but at least it’ll remind him of his first big night in the majors.
It's an oddity that happens from time to time in baseball. Jarrod Parker of the Athletics lost a ball in his jersey a couple of years ago that became a hit for Ichiro. And Brooks Conrad of the Braves had perhaps the most infamous recent instance of making a ball disappear in his uniform.
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