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Catching a McCutchen foul ball sent this fan into labor

In the center of the above photo, you'll see Pirates fan Tiffany Gardone. In her arms is her six-month old son Jeremiah. And on the left, of course, is NL MVP Andrew McCutchen. What do they all have in common? It it wasn't for McCutchen, Jeremiah wouldn't have been born exactly when he was.

On June 16, Gardone was at the Dodgers-Pirates game at PNC Park with her husband, Micah (visible on the right of the photo, holding their daughter Lydia). She was pregnant with Jeremiah but had a due date two weeks away, and had in fact been that very day to see a doctor who reiterated that point. There was "no way I was close to having a baby anytime soon," she said in an e-mail.

But in the sixth inning, fate, and Andrew McCutchen, intervened. Was Gardone on the hunt for a foul ball? Not exactly: "I told Micah that if one came my way I was ducking with my purse overhead." Nevertheless, one came in her direction (while Micah was on a bathroom break) and she managed to snag it after it bounced off a railing.

Exciting, right? So exciting, in fact, that the moment appeared to jumpstart her labor. She felt cramping and began having contractions, and "it got to the point where I was intermittently crying (due to pain) and laughing." The couple left during the eighth inning and headed straight for the hospital, where Jeremiah was born at 11:36 p.m. A few days later, he posed with the foul ball that he can thank for his early entry into the world:


And it all came full circle last week, when Gardone and Jeremiah got to meet McCutchen at Piratefest -- and have him sign the fateful ball, of course.

Reporting by Alex Robinson /