A quick-thinking fan is being called a hero for saving a boy from being hit in the face by a flying baseball bat during a spring training game in Florida between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves on Saturday.
The bat flew into the stands when Pirates outfielder Danny Ortiz lost his grip on a swing, nearly hitting the young fan who appeared to be looking at his cellphone at the time.
A man sitting next to him managed to deflect the bat, saving the boy from a potentially serious injury.
“I didn't know what happened, if it (hurt) the boy or anything ... I went home and my wife said to me, ‘You almost killed that kid!'" Ortiz said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
— Christopher Horner (@Hornerfoto1) March 6, 2016
Photos of the incident taken by a Tribune-Review photographer showed just how close of a call it really was. Other fans in the area were observed ducking for cover and flinching as the bat headed their way.
“I saw the picture. It was crazy,” Ortiz told the newspaper. “That guy took (a blow) for the kid. The father, or whoever he was, he protected that kid.”
— Rob Biertempfel (@RobBiertempfel) March 6, 2016