The quick reflexes, the full-extension dive, the extended glove — this attempt by an Oakland A's ball boy to stop a line drive foul ball was an All-Star effort, except for one thing.
He didn't actually, you know, catch the ball. And then for good measure, it ricocheted off the dugout wall and bonked off the head of A's reliever Chris Smith.
Unlike most Major League stadiums, the A's don't have a fenced-in bullpen area for relief pitchers at their home park, O.co Coliseum. That means ball boys must try to stop foul balls from flying into the unprotected area along the third base line where relievers sit.
After being conked by the ball during Monday's 10-7 loss to the Angels, Smith whipped the towel that had been covering his head to the ground, stood up and glared at ball boy Scott Masler in perfect deadpan fashion.
"He was just joking, trying to make me feel bad,'' Masler told the Oakland A's team website. "It barely skimmed his head. He appreciated the effort and was more just having fun with me."
While Masler took the ribbing from coaches and players in stride, he still regrets the one that got away.
"Nine times out of 10, I make that play,'' he said. "I'm still pretty upset I didn't make the play."
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