The year is 1993. The Texas Rangers are in Cleveland to play a three-game series against the Indians. Light-hitting infielder Carlos Martinez has just lofted a fly ball toward right-center field. Jose Canseco, the right fielder the Rangers’ acquired the year before in a trade with the Oakland A’s, is drifting back toward the fence. He appears to have a bead on it. But as he gets to the warning track, either because he lost sight of the ball or because he was closing in on the wall, he puts his head down and takes his eye off the ball. The ball hits him square on the top of the head and proceeds to bounce over the fence for a home run.
It is my position that this is the single funniest play in the history of sports. My reasoning for this rests on three primary factors, which I will now present.
1. It happened to Jose Canseco
It cannot be overstated how much funnier this is because it happened to Jose Canseco. Don’t get me wrong, a routine fly ball — and let’s be clear here, this very much should have been a routine fly ball — bouncing off someone’s head and over the fence is funny, full stop. But the fact that it happened to Jose Canseco really takes it to another level. You know how I know this is true? Because a ball bounced off the head of Padres outfielder Wil Myers for a home run last year and no one cares. It exists as barely a blip on the internet. The official YouTube video of the play is sitting at under 15,000 views as of this writing. I had totally forgotten it happened until I Googled ‘ball bounce off head home run’ looking for the Canseco thing and stumbled across it as I scrolled down.