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A group of Yankees fans valiantly searched for a Giancarlo Stanton foul ball ... but eventually gave up

If you've watched even just a couple baseball games, you know what happens when a foul ball heads into the stands. If a fan catches it on the fly, he or she earns praise from other fans nearby. If no one catches it on the fly, fans scramble to be the first to find and gain possession of the ball.

In the eighth inning of Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Red Sox, Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton hit a towering foul ball into the upper deck at Yankee Stadium. After no one caught Stanton's foul ball on the fly, a group of fans converged on its landing spot to try to be the first to recover it. So far, so normal:

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After the initial search party failed to immediately produce the ball, neighboring fans saw an opportunity to get in on the action:

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OK. Now this is getting weird. Where is the ball? Apparently these fans decided that it wasn't where they originally thought it was -- where they saw it land with their own eyes -- and moved the operation to an adjacent site:

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Still failing to find the ball, these fans determined that enough was enough, called an end to their search, packed their bags and went home:

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The question remains: Whatever happened to this baseball? We saw Stanton hit it. These fans saw it land just a couple feet away from them and six of them got on their hands and knees to search for it. It couldn't have just disappeared, right?

Perhaps one of them subtly pocketed it early on to avoid a fight and kept up the act of the search to keep his comrades off the scent. That guy in the black shirt sure looks perfectly content to leave the scene of the search, after all.

We'll likely never fully ascertain the fate of this baseball. Maybe one sneaky fan knows what happened, but that's the sort of secret one holds onto for some time, at least until we've all forgotten that this search ever happened. As such, this appears to be a mystery we'll all simply have to live with.