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Catching a home run at a baseball game, let alone even receiving a ball requires a great amount of luck. For Dodgers fan Keith Hupp, the process has become routine. Hupp was once again on the receiving end of a home run on Friday night at AT&T Park when the Dodgers took on the San Francisco Giants.
Hupp famously caught Justin Turner’s walk-off home run against the Chicago Cubs during Game 2 of the 2017 National League Championship Series. That home run came 29 years to the day that Kirk Gibson walked off the Oakland Athletics during Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
Now, nearly one year later, Hupp caught another important Justin Turner home run. The Dodgers slugger launched a go-ahead two-run home run off Madison Bumgarner in the 5th inning to help Los Angeles secure a needed 3-1 victory.
Not his first rodeo
Hupp and Turner appear to be on the same page as he was also on the receiving end of Turner’s 2016 NLCS Game 3 home run.
Hupp also has a knack for catching history as he was also on the receiving end of Ian Kinsler’s game-winning home run ball from the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Not only has Hupp caught history, but he has also bought it. He purchased Cody Bellinger’s 35th and 36th home run balls from the fans who caught them. The balls helped Bellinger tie and break the Dodgers’ rookie home run record. Hupp later presented Bellinger with the balls as gifts.
How he does it
According to an ESPN profile in 2017, Hupp spent 33 years as a police officer before retiring. He has also been a Dodgers season ticket holder for more than 20 years. His preferred section? The left-field pavilion.
His strategy: “I study the ESPN Home Run Tracker before every game. I’ll try to position myself to be in the best spot based on the player and pitcher. I track the home runs of every player in MLB, so I have an idea of where a home run ball might go.”
After his NLCS catch, Hupp had caught 18 home runs over two seasons. Surely with luck like that the amount of balls he has caught has certainly grown.
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