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When a foul ball pops into the stands at a baseball game, it’s usually kind of a mess. The fans see it and then scramble to get to it, and there are way too many hands reaching up to catch it. Sometimes there’s even a battle on the ground when a ball falls without being caught. But a vendor at Comerica Park (home of the Detroit Tigers) showed us on Monday that catching a foul ball doesn’t have to be so crazy.
It was the top of the seventh inning, and Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander was about to throw his 117th pitch to Kansas City Royals batter Whit Merrifield. When the pitch came in, Merrifield popped it up, and it went behind him toward the stands on the first base side. It came down fast and took a big bounce before shooting up in the air and toward an eagle-eyed group of people.
At the front of this group was a vendor, just walking in the stands and doing his job. He’d been watching the foul ball as it came in, and he was perfectly placed to make the catch. He didn’t even have to move. The ball bounced, he reached up and the ball fell right into his hands.
It was so casual and graceful that it looked like he was receiving a ball during an impromptu game of catch. He made the guy in front of him, who made a dramatic jumping attempt only to awkwardly fall when he forgot there was a metal railing behind him, look hilariously uncoordinated. Actually, that catch makes most people who attempt to catch a foul ball look uncoordinated, like confused chickens having a seizure while doing the electric slide.
Maybe ballpark vendors are more used to baseballs flying around than the rest of us. Or maybe that vendor has unshakable poise and coolness. Either way, anyone who wants to try catching a foul ball at a game should watch that video for tips, because he made it look incredibly easy.
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