The highlight of the season for the struggling Mariners took place Wednesday night. No moment at Safeco Field – save a Felix Hernandez perfect game – will top this catch. To paraphrase the folks at Grantland, there is just so much amazing going on in this clip. Allow me to walk you through it and explain why this is the greatest play you will see at a Seattle Mariners game in the 2013 season.
Let’s start with the obvious: The guy caught a ball in a beer. That’s insane. Your average solo cup has a diameter of about four inches. A baseball’s diameter is about three inches. Just tossing a ball across the room and trying to get it into a cup would be a challenge. This guy managed to catch a foul ball from a Major Leaguer inside his cup while there was still beer in it.
Which brings us to point two. The guy had to have had a buzz going. No stone sober fan is going to go for a beer grab when he has a perfectly good open hand sitting right there, doing nothing, as this guy did. Instead of reaching his empty hand toward the ball, he sticks the cup out.
From the looks of the clip, you don’t get a sense that he’s doing this to say “Hey dude, look at me!”
He thought, “Hey, why don’t I try to catch it in here? It’s a container, that’s gotta give me better odds than trying to barehand it.”
And he was right.
You’ve also got to give the man credit for reaching across his friend to make the grab. Not only did he steal the ball from his buddy, he somehow managed to do so without spilling a drop of his Bud Light on him (And yes, this guy was definitely drinking Bud Light).
Now his chug job … that’s a different story. I suppose you have to commend him for foam-avoidance, but for most people it’s hard to imagine spilling that much beer. His beer-in-mouth to beer-on-chest ratio was about as good as Bobby Ayala’s strikeout-to-walk ratio circa 1997.
This catch is exactly what Seattle needed on a night when the Mariners lost to the Houston Astros, expected to be the laughingstock of the MLB this season. The Mariners have started the season with a decent 4-6 record, but there is little reason to hold out hope for a postseason run. The front office shocked the Northwest by locking up Felix Hernandez. With the exception of Bone and Edgar, the team is remiss to spend money to keep its talent in teal and navy.
The fanbase has picked up on this. That is why there were more than 40,000 empty seats at Safeco on Wednesday. With all those empty seats, that foul ball still managed to find the one man who could catch the ball in his beer.
Kyle Boggs is on Twitter. Follow him at @KyleKBoggs