Ballboys and ballgirls are the unsung heroes of the ballpark. They’re there through big wins and huge losses, scooping up baseballs and delivering them to the masses. They grab ground balls and railing ricochets and aside from the occasional appearance on camera, they go unheralded. But they’ve all got the chops to sit on the field and wrangle the craziest fouls that major league players can muster.
On Thursday night, a Detroit Tigers ballboy got a chance to wrangle one of those crazy fouls and show off his baseball skills for the camera. Well, not exactly for the camera. More like directly in front of the camera.
The Tigers were getting crushed by the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night, and by the eighth inning the score was a mind numbing 12-1. First baseman Efren Navarro was batting with one out, and on the first pitch he fouled a ball off the ground, and it ricocheted toward the Tigers dugout. More specifically, the part of the dugout that was home to one of the giant, expensive TV cameras. And it was headed right for the lens.
Then, the ballboy saved the day. (Which you may have figured out since this isn’t a post about a foul ball breaking a dugout camera lens.) With the instincts of a cat — a tiger, perhaps — he reached out and snagged the ball with one bare hand. And he did it directly in front of the camera.
The camera that the ballboy saved was on and recording, and MLB.com’s Cut4 made a gif of what that camera saw.
Tigers Ballboy, if TV cameras had brains and could think, they would be saluting you for saving one of their own.
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