Kolten Wong flashes range on foul catch, avoids tumbling into the stands and a Marlins fan
The architectural nuances of any big league ballpark can lead to some adventures when players set out in pursuit of a foul ball. Some stadiums have miniscule foul territories, while others have cavernous expanses of real estate to cover. Some are set up in ways that make full-sprint tumbles over the wall a real possibility, too.
Marlins Park doesn't really have a ton of extra space, but Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong needed every inch of it to make a sterling defensive play in Friday night's 11-6 win over the Marlins. Ranging far to his left and eclipsing the pace of first baseman Matt Adams, Wong arrived at the divider at the same time the ball came down. But his work wasn't done yet: Wong then had to brace himself for a collision with the wall and a nearby Marlins fan in an Ichiro Suzuki jersey.
Wong, the picture of determination, (mostly) avoided everything but the ball:
Asked about the play by MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch after the game, Wong had this to say:
If you check out the highlight clip atop this post, you can see Wong made sure to check the wall as he ran toward foul territory -- lest he be oblivious and wind up toppling into the seats without at least being able to try and brace himself.
That's the value of focus.
Meanwhile, here's what the play looked like up close:
Those are some rather amazing reaction faces.