There have been plenty great fan catches at baseball games over the years, with many involving holding a beverage or food of some sort in one hand and snagging a ball with the other. While catching a foul or home run ball while maintaining a full cup of beer is one thing, the stakes are significantly higher when holding a human child.
Such was the case with Pirates fan Justin Kirkpatrick at the Pirates-Diamondbacks game on Friday evening, when he managed to snag a home run ball hit by Wellington Castillo barehanded while holding his 11-month old son, Riker, in his other arm.
When asked about his miracle catch afterwards by a reporter, Kirkpatrick was pretty chill about his accomplishment, chalking it all up to good instinct. I’m not so sure his wife would agree with that, as his instinct was to lean back to try and catch a relatively worthless baseball while holding their young child…but you can’t argue with the result.
To make it even better, the ball was taken to be signed by Castillo so that young Riker will have a keepsake from his second-ever MLB game, even if he won’t have any memories of the time his dad became Internet famous.