Josh Hamilton didn't expect to get a warm reception in his return to Texas on Friday afternoon (and he was right), but the response was much more favorable for one Rangers fan who not only made his own day by grabbing Ian Kinsler's foul ball (check the jersey) during the sixth inning, but also made the day of his female companion sitting alongside.
And boy did she let him know how happy she was — in front of the 48,845 fans in attendance and a live television audience — for the next several moments, and perhaps longer, by repeatedly jumping into arms and, well, thankfully the camera cut away or who knows else what we may have seen.
I know we've seen some pretty great fan reactions to catching baseballs over the years. Heck, we even saw a wild one in Toronto earlier this week when a fan caught a flying bat. But this lady's excitement is usually reserved for the much younger fans in attendance, like the one seated to their right, and certainly doesn't involve the physical interaction we see here.
I think I may actually have a few good theories to explain why she reacted the way she did, so I'll run them by you to see what you think.
1. She's just as big an Ian Kinsler fan as her boyfriend (or husband, but we doubt brother).
2. It's the sixth inning. You know how that goes. Sometimes we're a just little looser by that time of the game and are enjoying the experience in a different frame of mind.
3. She's just happy he didn't bail and let the baseball take a chunk out of her arm or her cheek.
I think No. 1 is the most likely correct answer, though far from a given. It's also likely she was in a sound frame of mind and just really excited for whatever her reason is, so we'll gladly give her the benefit of the doubt there. And no one could blame her at all if she felt like her knight in shining armor rose to the occasion and prevented the embarrassment and pain suffered by the couple in Arizona. Granted, this wasn't a screaming home run like Pete Kosma's was earlier in the week, but it could have left a bruise had he not made the play.
Whatever the reason is though, her reaction was priceless and the moment is one we won't soon forget. It should also serve as a milestone in a relationship that we hope stands the test of time.