TheComeBack- It’s preposterous that Chad Pinder hit back-to-back foul balls to the exact same seat. And it’s even crazier that the fan sitting in that seat proved capable of snagging both pop ups with his bare hands. That’s not easy!
So who was this man with some of the softest hands in Northern California? His name, he told the A’s broadcast, is Bill, and he lives in Pittsburg, California.
“I caught the first one, and by the time I could get the other ball and put it in my pocket, the other one was coming at me,” Bill explained. “I reached up and grabbed the other one too.”
Bill said he goes to about 10 Athletics games a year and had never before caught a foul ball, which should give hope to all you out there waiting for that pop up to be hit in your direction. One of these days it will happen. And then it just might happen again.
Before now, I didn't necessarily think that you can learn a lot about someone by gauging their reaction to a rare event like the snagging of their first ever foul ball, but I feel pretty damn confident in saying that fan is second only to Beane as the Bill that's most invested in the success of the Oakland Athletics.
We can even set aside the fact that the self-torn sleeveless is the unmistakeable mark of a grown ass man in his comfort zone, because the outfit isn't even as telling as the actions of the person in it. I know that fame is typically measured in 15 second increments in 2018, but how many excitable fans out there would set their watch to not overstaying that observance after casually snagging their first souvenir in decades? Bill didn't just act like he'd been there before in quickly pocketing that ball, but he managed to swiftly make it through all his rounds of slapping fives and kissing babies to be standing back at attention for the next wind-up. I don't even think it's a 7th inning-esque stretch to say that there were active Royals' outfielders who weren't as fiery in their focus on the upcoming pitch during the 6th inning of a game between divisional doormats in early June.
Of course it bears mentioning that the odds of back-to-back pitches being hit to the exact same seat are about as overwhelming as the pythons on Wild Bill, but - as some of the greatest athletes have our time have taught us - you create your own luck. In this case, it probably wasn't so much the creation of luck as it was the avoidance of a massive migraine. Still, always keeping your eye on the ball isn't just characteristic of the tee-ball players that have the chops to hit a coach's changeup. It's also characteristic of the type of fan that's not just there for a fearsome farmer's tan, but also to root on his team throughout the entirety of the afternoon.