One Cincinnati Reds fan has become a cult hero after he caught a foul ball that was heading for his young son's head - all while bottle-feeding his baby with the other hand.
'Hero' Dad Catches Foul Ball While Feeding Baby At Padres-Reds Game
When attending a baseball game, fans often have to keep their head on a swivel -- especially when young children are involved. That certainly was the case during Tuesday's game between the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres.
During the fifth inning, Padres catcher Luis Campusano popped a foul ball into the seats on the third base and one fan quite an impressive catch. While feeding a baby that was strapped to his chest, the man was able to catch the foul ball -- while also protecting his child.
His effortless catch was spotted by camera operators during the fifth inning of the Reds' 9-6 loss to the San Diego Padres at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park on Wednesday.
Cincinnati pitcher Jeff Hoffman bowled to Padres catcher Luis Campusano, who sent the ball flying into the crowd. As spectators and camera operators followed the ball, it was snatched out of the air by Jacob Kingsley, who miraculously caught it with one hand and without disturbing his baby son Shepherd.
Catching a foul ball while bottle-feeding the baby... just dad things. pic.twitter.com/tTXL0oDquu— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 27, 2022
The crowd erupted in cheers. Kingsley's wife screamed and clapped in disbelief, while he held his hand up in celebration and soaked up the applause.
Even the commentators were impressed. "Holds the ball, no spillage, baby in perfect bliss and a souvenir," said one, while the other added: "That’s sensational … That’s the play of the night right now."
Jacob and Jordan Kingsley took their 11-month-old son Shepherd to his first Cincinnati Reds game Tuesday night. They left with a foul ball and a viral moment.
Mr. Kingsley told his wife before the game he would protect their son if a foul ball came close to their seats, which were located about 15 rows from the field. Then a foul ball actually zoomed in their direction. Shepherd was strapped to his father’s chest in a baby carrier and was enjoying a bottle when a foul ball popped over the protective net and headed in their direction.
“When I saw the ball, I was like, ‘OK, this is my time’,” Mr. Kingsley said in an interview. “I gotta step up.” The ball continued flying in the direction of Mr. Kingsley, who was using his left hand to feed his son his bottle. His right hand, however, was free. “It was just coming right towards me, and I was like, ‘I can’t not try to catch it,’” said the 26-year-old Cincinnati resident. “So I just reached my hand out—there wasn’t anybody right next to me
The video also caught Ms. Kingsley laughing in astonishment after her husband made the catch. “My wife was pretty shocked. She was pretty impressed,” Mr. Kingsley said. “I think I won some points with her.”
Ms. Kingsley said she was anxious about the possibility of the ball hitting her son throughout the game and told her husband to be on constant lookout for foul balls. “The entire game I was like, ‘Are you watching, are you watching?’” Ms. Kingsley said. When a foul ball actually came in their direction and Mr. Kingsley was able to catch it while feeding her son, she was shocked, she said. “What are the odds?” Ms. Kingsley said.
After the game, the super dad chatted to Bally Sport Ohio broadcaster Jim Day, saying that it had been his son's first game. "[Shepherd] probably didn't even know it was happening, but this will be a great memory to share with him," Kingsley told the outlet.
He went on to say that, in the moment, his main concern had been keeping Shepherd out of harm's way. "Safety first, obviously. Saw the ball pop up and just wanted to keep [Shepherd] happy. Did my best to protect him at the same time, reached the hand up," Kingsley said. "Definitely some bragging rights there, too," he added.
Shortly after the catch, text messages started flooded in, Mr. Kingsley said. Friends and family saw the video circulating on social media and sent him messages congratulating him, he said. The regional sports network broadcasting the game also interviewed him live on television.
Dad of the Year 🏆— Sara Elyse (@SaraElyse128) April 27, 2022
Since then, the video has gone viral on social media, racking up 28,600 likes and over 4,400 retweets.
"Dad of the Year," one fan commented.
"Sign him up! You just know he's able to bat. Dude didn't flinch!" added another.
Sign him up! You just know he's able to bat. Dude didn't flinch! Convinces me he can do anything!— it's just kimberly (@kimberlykemp20) April 27, 2022
Reds Super Dad showed us all what is possible. Dad doesn’t have to stop at simply taking his kid to The Game and buying them a foam finger before handing them off to Mom when they start distracting him from a great pitcher’s duel. Dad is capable of carrying the kid, feeding the kid, keeping the kid safe, and still securing a foul ball bare-handed when called-upon for a lifelong memory. Dad can be a True Hero, even a Hall-of-Famer, all thanks to someone who happened to be in the right place at the right time with a baby on his chest and a bottle (of milk) in his hand.