1. Juggling act
During a Giants game against the Nationals on May 22, a foul ball was knocked out to the seats along left field. The ball was miraculously plucked out of the air by a dad who grabbed it with his right hand while cradling his toddler in the nook of his left arm. The kid wasn't even fazed. If you enjoy watching multitasking parents, check out Sport Grid's delightful video round-up of the top six catches made by people holding babies.
2. A veteran's graceful catch
In 2011, Michael Kacer, a military veteran who lost his left arm in a rocket attack, was sitting near the visitor's dugout when Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson fouled a ball right into the stands. The ball bounced once and then right into Kacer's outstretched hat. He immediately handed the ball over to his 13-year-old nephew, Isaiah, who was attending his first Yankees game. "I watched it bounce and I'm like, 'I might be able to get it,' and it just happened to go right in the hat," Kacer explained, "so it makes for a great souvenir for [Isaiah]."
3. Right into her lap
Some people have all the luck. One elderly baseball "fan" had her nose buried in a book in the near-empty stands behind the third base line. A ball soared over the foul-ball line, making a generous arc in the sky, before landing right in the woman's lap. She didn't even see it coming, but was pleasantly surprised nonetheless.
4. A novelty catch
Unlike Granny, this Pirates fan had his sights set on catching a fly ball and came equipped with an oversized gag glove to do just that. With the Pirates at bat, a ball was sent to the boondocks of right field, where Mr. Big Mitt was stationed. St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran sprinted for the catch, and even looked like he could have grabbed it, but his thunder — and out — was stolen by the giant yawning glove. There were surely a few unhappy Cardinals fans flipping Mr. Big Mitt a certain giant foam finger.
5. A fan's biggest fan
Without a doubt, catching a foul ball is a thrill. But the unbridled enthusiasm expressed by this woman for the Texas Rangers fan who caught a fly ball has to be unrivaled. After the man leaps up to catch the ball with his bare hands, the woman in red climbs him like a tree trunk before shimmying back down to the ground where she flails her arms around in dramatic Y-shaped excitement. When the pair finally take their seats, the scene becomes a little more intimate, with the woman showering the man in hugs and kisses. The crowd surrounding them, once participants in their joy, turn their heads to give the couple their (cough) privacy.
6. Hold that thought
But not all Texas Rangers fans are created equal. During a 2011 game, one downright disinterested attendee was sitting in the bleachers talking on his cell phone. A foul ball was smacked out to his area, and the cell phone man calmly reached out and nabbed the ball with his glove. While people cheered around him, the man just went on talking on his phone, the ball tucked into his glove, as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
7. A surprise pizza topping
We Americans are not the only ones who know how to make an impressive foul ball grab. During a 2009 baseball game in Japan, a fan sitting in the stands was enjoying his personal pizza when a fly ball came toward him. Without moving from his seat, he lifted his small pizza box into the air and — voila! — the ball dropped right in.
8. Chug a lug
If you think catching a baseball in a cardboard box is impressive, check out this fan's impromptu mitt. During an Astros vs. Mariners game in April, Seattle player Justin Smoak sent a fly ball into the stands. As the ball sailed down from above, one fan reached out with his full beer cup, where the ball landed with a foamy plop. With his buddies cheering him on, the guy chugged the frothy brew, the ball still bobbing on top. If you want to see how this scene could have gone, cheek out this fantastic miss and subsequent boozy explosion.
9. Look Ma, no hands!
It's not easy to out-catch beer-cup guy, but this fellow comes pretty close. During a 2012 Blue Jays game, one fan didn't want to miss a foul ball opportunity, and rushed back to his seat carrying a mustard-drenched hot dog and large soda. The ball bounced in the aisle just as our food-bearing fan came running toward it. He reached out his arms, crouched, and turned just as the ball disappeared from view. He limped around to reveal that he caught the ball between his legs without ever dropping his food. The magic of baseball, people.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
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