PHILADELPHIA -- Dennis and Louise Pollock of Philadelphia had no idea they had been nominated for the Esurance Best Fan Catch in Major League Baseball in 2016.But they were and they won, and they could not be happier about it."We are shocked that we were even considered for it," Dennis
PHILADELPHIA -- Dennis and Louise Pollock of Philadelphia had no idea they had been nominated for the Esurance Best Fan Catch in Major League Baseball in 2016.
But they were and they won, and they could not be happier about it.
"We are shocked that we were even considered for it," Dennis said in a telephone interview. "When I caught the ball, I was just happy to catch a foul ball. We were not expecting to get so much coverage locally and by Major League Baseball. People catch foul balls all the time. When I did it, I just reached out and snagged it. It was right there."
:: 2016 MLB Awards winners coverage ::
The catch came in a May game at Citizens Bank Park. Dennis' barehanded catch saved his wife, Louise, from a smack in the face.
"We are becoming kind of known for that catch in areas that we go," Dennis said. "If we go to the supermarket or the store, we get, 'Hey, you are that guy who caught that foul ball.'"
The ball and tickets from the game are proudly displayed in their home.
"Our seven grandkids will be thrilled," Dennis said. "They will be proud of us."
"My husband has a big family, and his whole family was shocked," Louise said.
The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor Major League Baseball's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five groups, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at MLB.com and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) voters.
The MLB Awards are an all-inclusive program, encompassing the top players and performances from both the American League and National League from Opening Day through the end of the postseason.
Individual awards went to the Best Major Leaguer in addition to the winners in the following categories: Best Hitter, Pitcher, Rookie, Defensive Player, Manager, Executive, Social Media Personality and Postseason Performer.
Winners were also recognized for the year's best Offensive Play, Defensive Play, Regular-Season Moment, Postseason Moment, Single-Game Performance, Social Media Post, Fan Catch, Broadcast Call, Player-Fan Interaction and Trending Topic.
Voting began on Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. ET at MLB.com/awards, one hour after the inaugural Esurance MLB Fans of the Year winners were announced.
Winners of the 2016 Esurance MLB Awards were unveiled at a reception in Manhattan's Chelsea Market, on MLB social channels and during a live broadcast on MLB Network and MLB.com.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.