Thanks to their vantage point high up behind home plate, baseball announcers periodically find that baseballs come flying into their broadcast booths a few times a year. Most of the time they tend to duck in understandable safety.
Every once a while, though, announcers don't do their play-by-play from the comfort of the booth, but instead sit out among the fans in the far-reaches of the outfield. (The first time I'm aware of an announcer doing this was Harry Caray, when he sat in the Wrigley Field bleachers announcing the Cubs. It's possible he might have done this previously when announcing the White Sox, though I'm not certain.)
On Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies broadcasters were sitting deep in center field, calling the game. And not only did a home run pounded by Freddie Freeman of the the opposing Atlanta Braves come in their direction -- but Phillies' announcer Tom McCarthy caught it!
(Their excitement is only balanced by the reality that the home run was hit by the wrong team...)
Then came the decision on what to do. For decades, the fans at Wrigley Field in Chicago have a tradition of throwing back any home run hit by an opposing player. While this hasn't transferred to all other ball parks, or even as consistently in those parks where it does occasionally take place, the tradition has been picked up in a few places. And that is McCarthy's dilemma, since clearly he's pretty excited about catching the home run.
What was it all like? Here's the TV coverage as it happened --
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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