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Robbie Ross' quest to catch a home run in his hat: A story of courage in three acts

Robbie Ross catches home run in his hat on second try

Act I: The Fall

The life of a reliever in the early innings of a ballgame can be a dull one, and there are plenty of inventive ways to pass the time -- a bit of kidnapping, perhaps, or eating an entire bullpen's worth of cheesesteaks. But there remains only one Holy Grail of Procrastination, passed down through generations: catching a home run ball in your hat. It requires a truly perfect storm of events, from a remarkably well-placed home run to hand-eye coordination to sturdy hat craftsmanship, and its occurrence is spoken of in hushed tones.

And so Red Sox reliever Robbie Ross lied in wait. He calculated the angle, conducted several test runs, all in preparation for that one moment. When Rusney Castillo launched a home run to right-center during Boston's game against the Mariners on Friday, he took his shot at immortality:

Ross falling

As you can see, Ross failed to account for the pitching mounds and overestimated his route efficiency. His hubris was his downfall.

Act II: Resurrection

But this is not a story of failure. It is a story of triumph. Realizing that character is measured not by how many times you fall over a bullpen mound, but by how many times you get back up from that bullpen mound, Ross' teammates would make sure that their comrade kept his spirits high: 

Ross high five

All he needed now was another chance.

Act III: Redemption

Lo, the Hat Catch Gods smiled upon Fenway Park that day, because wouldn't you know it, Boston's Travis Shaw hit one into the bullpen just a couple innings later. This time, our intrepid hero would not be denied:

Ross catch

Let this be a lesson to us all: If at first you don't succeed, try, try to not trip and fall next time. 

Read More: Boston Red Sox