Sure, most baseball fans go to a game with hopes of catching a foul ball. To add a little icing to that cake, it would be even sweeter if they could prevent the opposing team from getting an out. Well, that's what happened at Wrigley Field in Chicago Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Dodgers took on the Chicago Cubs -- and Cubs fan Keith Hartley was holding a baby in one arm when he did it, the Chicago Tribune reported.
That’s right. The Cubs fan stole a fly ball from Dodgers’ first baseman Adrian Gonzalez while cradling his 7-month-old son, Isaac, with his other hand. After the catch, he held the ball up in triumph and then pointed to the child who calmly sucked down a bottle.
Hartley, 29, said he had an ulterior motive. “I’m just trying to protect him [his son] first,” Hartley told the Chicago Tribune. “We have the seating configuration so my two friends were closer to the ball if a sharp foul ball came. We’d all kind of stand up and make a wall. This one was a little easier, a pop fly. Just kind of a reaction. It just came to me.”
Hartley’s wife, Kari, was “a little bit nervous” when she saw the pop fly, hit by Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel, come their way. “I was a little bit scared that he was going to drop him,” she said. “Fortunately he held on tight to both the ball and Isaac.”
Gonzalez didn’t have anything to say to Hartley after he stole the ball. “I think I turned around too quickly for him to interact with me. Hopefully he’s not too angry. He is on my fantasy team,” the fan told the Tribune.
Ultimately, Hartley didn’t help his team. After Dodgers manager Don Mattingly protested, fan interference was called, and the Cubs’ inning ended.
Twitter users thought the catch was pretty hilarious and flocked to the 140-character social media site to discuss the strange moment.
The guy who caught the foul ball holding his infant baby is a hero to us all and @cathsalfino just buries him. Bitter.
— Michael Salfino (@MichaelSalfino) June 24, 2015
— David Schwartz (@davidontv) June 24, 2015
Dude got the foul ball robbed by a guy holding a baby lmao
— Al Bundy (@Heel_Pick) June 24, 2015
It’s not the first time a fan has interfered with a fly ball at Wrigley field. Recall the Steve Bartman incident from 2003? During Game 6 of the National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and Florida Marlins, fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball left fielder Moises Alou was ready to catch. The Marlins went on to win the game and the series the next night.
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