You know the cliche about how every baseball game brings something you’ve never seen before? Check this out — click the picture to play it:
Of note: Curtis Granderson realizes it’s hilarious but Chad Jenkins acts like it’s no big deal and walks toward the dugout. That’s got to be adrenaline, right? There was just a baseball rocketing in the general direction of his head, so you can excuse him for maintaining a straight face. Otherwise, Chad Jenkins just has no appreciation at all for the absurd.
For what it’s worth, I saw the aforementioned Edgardo Alfonzo do something vaguely similar in 2000 while I was working at Shea. They made vendors show up a few hours before game time to get assignments, then we had nothing to do until about a half hour the first pitch. So I’d always sit somewhere in the Field Level seats and read while the Mets took batting practice and the women of Queens held up signs with their phone numbers on them proclaiming themselves “The Future Mrs. Piazza.” (That actually happened.)
Anyway, one time Alfonzo was at second base while some lefty hitter hit a sinking line drive about five feet to his left and a little over his head. Alfonzo took a step and sort of lazily tossed his glove at it, and the glove somehow actually caught the ball in flight and held it in the webbing until they hit the ground.
The best part about it, to me, was that Alfonzo — by then already a five-year Major League veteran — expressed about as much excitement as I would have if I did the same thing. He shot his arms up in the air, yelled out, and started looking around to see if anyone else had seen. When none of his teammates acknowledged it (there’s a lot going on during BP, and it was entirely possible no one had seen), I applauded as loudly as I could from 10 rows deep behind the Mets’ dugout. Then, playing it cool, he sort of nodded in my direction and collected his glove like it was no big deal.
Edgardo Alfonzo rules.