When a fan catches a ball at a baseball game, the truly great, noteworthy catches typically fall in one of three categories. The first is a kid catching a ball, which is adorable and uplifting. The second is someone catching a ball while holding something else, like a cup of beer or a baby. And the third category is for major league-caliber catches.
This catch in Wednesday night’s game between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers falls into that third category.
It happened in the third inning at Globe Life Park. Neil Walker led off the inning, and he hammered a home run to center field off of Doug Fister. It looked like it was headed for the grassy area beyond dead center, but the ball curved to the left toward the stands. One guy, a Yankees fan decked out in an Aaron Judge jersey, had his eye on the ball the whole time. He was standing at the rail between the grass and the stands, and as the ball came down, he made a leaping grab. He caught the ball, but his momentum took him fully over the rail so you could only see his legs flailing in the air.
Once he was upright again (with the help of several Rangers fans), he held up his glove in triumph. And he should have, because it was a seriously impressive catch. Here’s a GIF from MLB’s Cut4:
You can see the ball land in his glove when he was completely stretched out. That’s the kind of catch you typically see in the outfield, not the stands.
The fan’s name is Christopher Ciccione, and here’s what he told MLB.com about the catch:
“Throughout batting practice, my brother [Jonathan] and I were in a competition to catch more homers,” he said. “We decided the first ball coming our way in the game would be my ball. Right off the bat, my dad knew it was gone and told us to jump the rail. I followed it into my glove and was aware of the rail and just made the catch — it was a family effort.”
Giving his family credit for his amazing catch? That’s a class move, Christopher.
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