Fan saves boy from getting hit by flying baseball bat
A fan knocks down a bat thrown into the stands by the Pirates' Danny Ortiz during a spring training game against the Braves, at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.,on March 5, 2016. Christopher Horner / Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
BY ELISHA FIELDSTADT, NBC News
(NBC News) - A boy at a baseball game was nearly struck in the face by a bat Saturday after it slipped from a player's grip and went whizzing through the air.
Luckily, the young spectator was shielded from the blow by a nearby fan who reached out and deflected the flying bat.
The whole terrifying incident was caught on camera.
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Danny Ortiz lost his hold on his bat, flinging into the stands at the Braves' spring training stadium in Florida on Saturday night, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The bat was headed straight for a young boy — who was looking down at his phone — but a quick-thinking fan sitting next to him redirected the bat with his arm, photos show.
The close-call was captured frame-by-frame by Tribune-Review photographer Christopher Horner.
After the spring training game against the Atlanta Braves, Ortiz told the paper that he had no idea he had set off a dramatic sequence of events until he got home. "I didn't know what happened, if it (hurt) the boy or anything," he said. "I went home and my wife said to me, 'You almost killed that kid!'"
Last year, Major League Baseball suggested that all clubs extend the area of seating covered by protective netting and warn fans who sit close to the field that they are at risk of being hit by a bat or foul ball.