The fan, identified only as Malcolm, was attending Sunday’s game between the Texas team and New York’s Yankees with his young son. Spotting a fly ball headed his way and wanting to create a nice memory, Malcolm made his best effort to intercept it.
He was able to make contact with the ball but couldn’t hang onto it, pinging off his palm as Yankees left-fielder Emerson Pereira tried to catch it himself. The ball bounced off the wall, and Pereira went chasing after it before umpires called fan interference.
Crowd condemnation of Malcolm was swift. In the footage, boos and jeers can be heard before the ball touches his hand. His move resulted in Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez being called from bat, bringing an end to the sixth inning. The Yankees would go on to notch a crushing win against Houston.
Umps ended up calling fan interference here for the final out of the inning pic.twitter.com/QminrGRXef
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) September 4, 2023
Later in the game, after humorously avoiding another foul ball, Malcolm explained his side to ESPN’s Buster Olney. The interview won him instant acclaim on social media. A recent Astros convert after moving to Houston in January, Malcolm wanted to create a special moment he and his son would remember forever. He apologized to the Astros for any trouble caused.
“Y’all gotta understand, when it’s dropping down, it looks like it’s coming directly to you,” Malcolm explained. “So I reached, and my body went for what I know.” He went on to describe the crowd’s reaction as: “Shock, disgust, happiness, sweat, a little bit of lust, baby."
Malcolm reported that the ball “kinda hurt my fingers,” but credited the entire Astros organization and the medics who “weren’t even making it serious” as they examined him. While most fans who interfere in games are ejected from the stadium, Malcolm was allowed to stay. He reported that despite the controversy, nothing will stop him from rooting for the “Asteroids” in the future.