There are all kinds of fan catches in baseball. Catches with a glove, catches where the ball gets juggled, catches that save another fan from getting beaned in the face, catches that almost happen but don’t, and catches that ruin ballpark snacks. But the catch that happened on Thursday night was none of those. It was, as Mary Poppins would say, practically perfect in every way.
It was the bottom of the sixth inning, and the San Diego Padres were putting beating on the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park. (They were leading 10-0, and would win 14-1, yikes.) Rockies pitcher Matt Carasiti was pitching to the Padres’ Wil Myers, and Myers flared the 2-2 pitch foul. The ball went up and back, and a fan in a Padres All-Star jersey saw his chance.
As the ball came at him, he reached one arm out over the railing. His other hand was occupied by a small plastic baseball helmet full of ice cream, and even the chance to catch a foul ball isn’t worth risking that delicious prize. But it was a gamble trying to make a foul ball catch with just one hand. A gamble that paid off when the ball landed right in his hand like a magnet to a refrigerator door.
When he made the catch, the crowd absolutely roared. And for good reason: not only was it a beautiful, perfect catch, but the fan hadn’t lost a drop of his precious helmet ice cream. He celebrated accordingly.
If there’s ever a statue to honor MLB fan catches, I nominate that guy and his celebratory pose: both hands aloft, one holding the baseball, and the other a helmet of ice cream.
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