Keith Hartley may have accomplished the ultimate. First, he caught a foul ball at a major league game. Second, he did it with one hand while bottle feeding 7-month-old son, Isaac. Finally, he caught a ball that was hit by a Cub (Jason Hammel) and about to be caught by Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. That is the stuff of legend.
Of course, the Dodgers had good reason to object. It was fan interference and he should have yielded when he saw Gonzalez go for the ball. We have had painful experiences with fans catching balls at Wrigley.
A replay showed Hartley clearly reached over the tarp and the inning was called against the Cubs for fan interference. It does look like Gonzalez would have easily caught the ball.
Hartley had a great line afterwards: “[Gonzalez] didn’t say anything [to me]. I think I turned around too quickly for him to interact with me. Hopefully he’s not too angry. He is on my fantasy team. I want to keep him happy.”
Gonzalez matched it with an equally good line. After first saying that he did not think Hartley should have been removed from the game, he noted “It would have been more impressive if the baby would have caught it.”
Hartley even got a shout out from Cubs manager Joe Maddon who said “That was outstanding. You worry about the baby, of course, but he looked like he had it under control. It looked like he did it before. That was really a great play, a great play. There was some levity involved for the entire audience.”
Ok, as a lifelong Cubs fan and a new Maddon fan, I am now very very jealous.
By the way, Cubs fans this season have made news in multitasking catches.
In addition, the Cubs are now 39-30 and virtually tied for second in the NL Central (though the Cardinals in first appear unstoppable).