Ballboys and ballgirls are the unsung heroes of baseball. They scoop up foul balls to give to small children (and make dreams come true in the process), and they even make fantastic plays to snag foul balls before they rocket into the crowd. They sit on the sidelines every game, sometimes getting applause for their efforts, but mostly doing their jobs unnoticed.
But sometimes, a ballboy or ballgirl makes a play that’s so amazing that it warrants recognition from major league ballplayers. During Thursday’s game between the Kansas City Royals and the Tampa Bay Rays, a ballboy at Tropicana Field made such a catch. A catch that was so fantastic and so incredible that Royals catcher Salvador Perez had to take a moment and give that ballboy a hand.
It was the second inning, and Perez was facing Rays pitcher Jake Odorizzi at the plate. On the 0-2 pitch, Perez hit a screaming foul ball toward the third base side. And like almost every other foul ball that’s traveling that fast, you assume it’s going to go into the crowd and you hope everyone will be okay.
But this time, the ballboy came to the rescue. He leapt up from his seat next to the bullpen and went fully vertical in the air, stretching his glove to snag the ball before it hit the crowd. It was a phenomenal grab, and everyone was completely amazed. The announcers were beside themselves, the crowd gave him a nice round of applause, and the bullpen guys gave him some well-deserved recognition.
But the cherry on top was Salvador Perez’s reaction. After he saw the catch, the four-time Gold Glove winning catcher clapped his bat against his free hand, giving the ballboy a round of applause to reward his incredible effort.
Stay with this baseball thing, ballboy. With those instincts, and the praise of Salvador Perez, you could have a future in it.
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