Day after snagging back-to-back foul balls, fan throws out TWO first pitches

May 15th, 2024

SEATTLE -- Josh George has been a baseball fan all his life, so he knows all about the game. And he works at a casino sportsbook, so he knows all about odds.

Combine those two areas of his life, and he seems to be the perfect person to know exactly how improbable the feat he pulled off Monday evening was.

Then again, maybe it’s just too unbelievable.

“It’s crazy,” George said on the field at T-Mobile Park before the Mariners’ second game against the Royals. “One in a million.

“I used all of the luck from my life right there.”

In the bottom of the first inning of Seattle’s 6-2 win over Kansas City on Monday, Josh Rojas flared a foul ball the other way. George, sitting up against the wall down the left-field line, pulled off any fan’s dream, catching the ball like a punt returner against the inside of his elbow.

Day made, right? Especially, for someone like George, who had never caught a big league foul ball before. So, like anyone would, he pulled out his phone and began texting his friends about it.

That’s when things went from once-in-a-lifetime to downright astronomical.

“As soon as I was down looking at my phone, crack of the bat, everybody around me stands up, and I’m like, ‘Oh man,’” George said.

Because while he was mid-message, Rojas had sent Brady Singer’s 1-1 sinker into the exact same spot.

This one, George didn’t catch. More than anything, it caught him, bouncing off his arm and dropping straight down within easy reaching distance.

That allowed George to disappear for a moment into a mass of standing fans around him, as 15,000 fans at T-Mobile Park momentarily ignored the game and turned as one to stare at the stands beyond the left-field corner, wondering if some stranger had pulled off the impossible.

And after a pause, as if for dramatic effect, George rose back to his feet, one foul ball in each hand.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “I can’t believe it.”

According to Mariners manager of baseball communications Alex Mayer, the last time he could find before Monday that a fan grabbed two foul balls in the same at-bat was Aug. 16, 2009, when a lucky 12-year-old snagged two off the bat of Josh Hamilton.

On Tuesday, George was back at T-Mobile Park -- he hadn’t planned on coming, but a friend offered to take his shift at the casino after everything that happened Monday -- wearing the same teal Mariners jersey and navy Seattle Kraken cap that is apparently the luckiest outfit in the Pacific Northwest. This time, he was on the field, and after getting his interviews in, he got to meet Rojas and get those two baseballs signed.

Then, he got ready to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. And of course, the ceremonial second pitch.

As the game approached, he took his place in the stands. Not in the outfield bleachers, where he said he normally sits. Now, his domain will be in the left-field corner, where the legend of Foul Ball Guy was born.

“I think,” George said, “that’s going to be my new spot.”