Sinking feeling: Cowser 'yeets' Kimbrel's historic ball into fountains

April 21st, 2024

KANSAS CITY -- caught the final out of the Orioles’ 9-7 win over the Royals on Saturday night, then lined up at the edge of the left-field warning track and ceremoniously threw the ball backward behind his head.

“I just yeeted it behind me,” the 24-year-old outfielder said.

It was at that moment, he knew: He had made a big mistake.

The reason? It was the ball that sealed Baltimore closer ’s 422nd career big league save, which tied Billy Wagner for seventh on the AL/NL all-time list.

“Right when I threw it, I said, ‘Craig has a lot of saves, that one might have been important,’” Cowser said. “I literally told [center fielder Cedric Mullins] right whenever, ‘I might have messed up.’ And it turns out I did. We got the ball back, though.”

Not without a bit of a scavenger hunt.

Shortly after the game, Cowser ran through the tunnel behind the third-base dugout at Kauffman Stadium, hoping he could track down the ball. As it turns out, when he “yeeted” it, he threw it into one of the ballpark’s trademark fountains.

There were only two balls at the bottom of that fountain, and one was so old that it was easy to tell which one was the final out from Saturday’s game. A stadium employee retrieved it for Cowser, who then returned to the visitors’ clubhouse and started to dry it off with a white towel.

“Apparently the balls sink after two minutes,” Cowser said.

It won’t be something Cowser lives down any time soon, and he knows it.

“That’s a fine, isn’t it?” manager Brandon Hyde said jokingly. “We’ve got to do something about that.”

As Cowser discussed his adventurous evening with the media, teammates Jackson Holliday and Gunnar Henderson sat nearby and gave him a hard time, making him repeat what he’d done multiple times.

By night’s end, Cowser had placed the ball safely in Kimbrel’s locker. A lesson was learned.

“Every time I catch the ball and it’s a last out from him now, it’s staying in the glove,” Cowser said.

On Sunday morning, the ball was still in Kimbrel's locker. However, it had since been placed in a container of rice in an attempt to dry it out.

As for Kimbrel, he was never upset by Cowser's mistake and found it to be a funny story.

"It's fine, it doesn't bother me none. We'll see what the authenticators think when we talk to them here in a little bit," Kimbrel said. "There was some hurt, I could tell that he was a little distraught about it, and I told him not to worry about it too much and not to lose sleep."