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Hero dad steals foul ball from Dodgers, keeps feeding baby

Is this dad a hero? A reckless parent? Or a reckless hero?


Josh Katzowitz

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 24, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 12:20 pm CDT

Two days after Father’s Day, here’s a moral conundrum for all the baby daddies out there.

You’re at the ballgame, and you’re feeding your kid a bottle of milk. You have great seats on the first-base side, and you’re just enjoying the sites, sounds, and action. Suddenly, a foul ball is headed right for you and your clueless kid, and a uniformed Dodgers employee is running toward you at top speed to corral the ball so he can go sit down in the shade for a few minutes.

What do you do?

Apparently, if you’re this hero, you try to have it all: catch the ball while stopping the Dodgers employee from doing so while your kid continues to imbibe his life sustenance.

Watch and learn.

Now, that’s one smooth catch by the Chicago Cubs fan. And the baby never misses a drop of milk.

Here’s the full MLB video, complete with commentary by the Dodgers TV crew.

Sure, the Cubs fan didn’t end up helping his team, because umpires ruled it fan interference—meaning Chicago was giving its third out of the inning and allowing the Dodgers to go sit in the shade of the dugout. But that’s hardly the point. This dude made a cool-ass catch, and his baby never got within inches of the ball. That’s what I call a responsible dad.

Others aren’t so sure.

Anyway the man’s name, according to ESPN Chicago, is Keith Hartley, and his 7-month-old son’s name is Isaac. From the website:

“I saw Twitter,” he said. “My Twitter is going insane. A friend from work gave us these tickets as a gift and I probably have 15 emails in the first 10, 15 minutes.”

What was going through his head as he went for the ball with his son in tow?

“Baseball is not a new thing to me,” he said. “I didn’t want it to hit the ledge and hit him, so I wanted to make first contact, I think.”

More importantly, what was going through his wife Kari’s head?

“I was a little bit nervous, a little bit scared he was going to drop the baby,” he said. “Fortunately he held on tight to both the ball and Isaac, so we were OK.”

It was better than OK. It was fan-tastic.

The best part of the story for me? The Dodgers employee who couldn’t get to the ball in time is first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Who Hartley owns on his fantasy baseball team.

Still, though, Los Angeles got the last laugh.

Screengrab via MLB

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*First Published: Jun 24, 2015, 12:51 am CDT