A series of photos by Pittsburgh Tribune-Review sports photojournalist Christopher Horner is making rounds on the internet, showing the exact moment a baseball fan sticking his arm out at just the right moment to save a young boy beside him from being hit by the bat flying at full speed during a game at the Braves’ spring training stadium in Orlando, Florida.
It is yet unknown whether the boy was his son or in any way related to him but netizens are praising the guy for his quick reflexes which saved the boy from serious injuries.
With the bat flying to the stands at full speed, it could have caused serious physical injuries to the boy – and you can even see the bat turning 180° towards the boy’s back after hitting the man’s arm, because of the force of the impact.
The photo could possibly spark a number of memes on the internet, with some people likening the guy to famous cartoon character, Popeye. Truly, real-life Popeye or not, it was a good thing he had thick arms and lightning speed reflexes!
— Christopher Horner (@Hornerfoto1) March 6, 2016
Now, a lot of people (including some news sites) are blaming the young boy for being too distracted with his smartphone to pay attention to the game, saying he could have easily moved out of harm’s way if he was fully watching the game but there were also many who defended the young man, saying that anyone could have been distracted in the game whether using a smartphone, talking to somebody, or even just taking a moment to look at another part of the stadium.
In short, the boy is not to blame in the incident because even adults could be distracted (by their smartphones or something else). This incident was merely a freak accident that was, thankfully, averted by this beefed up guy.
Meanwhile, the player who lost grip of the bat, Pirates outfielder Danny Ortiz, had no idea what happened to the bat after it left his hands because he was busy running across the field. He was shocked when his wife told him, “You almost killed that kid!” after he arrived home.
He was even more shocked upon seeing Horner’s photos. He said, “That guy took (a blow) for the kid. The father, or whoever he was, he protected that kid.”
The Pirates won that game, 9–6.