May 21, 2024

Meet ‘foul ball guy,’ Mariners fan who went from 1-in-10 million catch to throwing first pitch

Catching a foul ball at an MLB sport doesn’t usually flip into a possibility to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on the subsequent sport. But snag foul balls on back-to-back pitches, and it could be time to begin warming up your arm.

For Josh George, it was a actuality. With a baseball in hand, George was standing on the mound at T-Mobile Park preparing to toss the opening pitch earlier than the Seattle Mariners’ sport Tuesday in opposition to the Kansas City Royals.

George’s unbelievable place on the mound in an MLB stadium began within the backside of the first inning of Monday’s sport. Brady Singer’s second pitch of the night, a sinker, was fouled off by the Mariners’ Josh Rojas. Kansas City left fielder MJ Melendez tracked the ball to the wall in foul territory, but it surely discovered its means into the stands, touchdown in George’s arms. Then, on the following pitch, Singer lofted one other sinker into the zone. Rojas once more made contact, with the ball crusing down the left-field foul line, discovering its means to George.

“Honestly, W-T-F,” George spelled out as he recollected his response to the catches. “I had no idea what was really going on. I couldn’t even believe it. I had to look at them at first. I was looking at them like, ‘no way!’ then held them up to show everybody.”

There was solely a .00001 p.c probability of catching two consecutive foul balls, per MLB. That’s a one in 10 million chance. George’s bewildered look as he proudly lifted each palms within the air with a ball in every completely depicted simply how uncommon the feat was.

“Absolutely not,” George mentioned when requested if he thought it’d be potential to seize two balls. “I thought that second one was definitely going to be going over my head. Sure enough, it was coming straight for me.”

He loved the remainder of Monday’s sport, a 6-2 Mariners win, along with his grandfather. Fans close by dubbed him the “foul ball guy.” George mentioned he spent roughly 5 hours taking a look at social media feedback about his unbelievable feat.

After an area radio station gifted him tickets to Tuesday’s sport with an invite to batting observe, George was in a position to get each balls signed by Rojas. The two who share a first identify will now perpetually be linked in implausible MLB lore.

But George’s luck from the day earlier than didn’t cease — it rolled over. Shortly after signing the foul balls, Rojas knowledgeable George he’d be on the mound throwing him the first pitch in a matter of hours.

“I was meeting Josh and then he’s like, ‘Hey, they’re also going to have you throw out the first pitch,’” George mentioned. “Luckily they let me get a couple practice ones in the back. It turned out alright, nothing bounced to the plate.”

And to suppose, George virtually went to Seattle’s sport Sunday as a substitute of Monday.

“I got tickets to take my mom to the game for Mother’s Day and she wasn’t able to go with me,” George mentioned. “So I ended up selling those tickets and bought the tickets I sat in (Monday), the day of. That kind of makes it even crazier. I wouldn’t have been sitting there if my mom was going with me.”

To take it a step additional, had it not been for a dependable coworker, George wouldn’t have been in a position to attend batting observe to discover out he’d be throwing the first pitch.

“My homie Jacob covered for me (Tuesday) so I could go to the game,” George mentioned. “He came in on his day off and took over for me so I could go to the game.”

The universe was working closely in George’s favor over these 48 hours, or possibly he was simply due for some good luck.

“I’ve gone to 30-plus games and I’ve never even had a ball land in my section,” George mentioned.

Required studying

(Photo: Steph Chambers / Getty Images)