Baseball Fan Saves Boy From Being Hit in the Face by a Flying Bat

A good Samaritan’s quick reflexes – and sizable forearm – saved the face of a young baseball fan at a training game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

Pirates outfielder Danny Ortiz lost the grip on his bat during a swinging strike, sending the bat whizzing into the seats behind the Braves’ dugout, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. With violent force, the bat flew on a direct path towards the face of a boy who was too distracted by his smartphone to notice what was about to befall him.

A quick-thinking adult fan seated next to the boy stuck his arm in front of the boy’s face, deflecting the bat and preventing what would likely have been a serious injury.

Christopher Horner, a photographer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review captured the harrowing moment in a series of photographs that serve as a good reminder that it’s always a good idea to look up once in a while.

@BiertempfelTrib The two frames showing just how close the bat was to the boy’s head.

— Christopher Horner (@Hornerfoto1) March 6, 2016

The frames were then turned into a pretty epic gif.

UPDATE with more photos: Fan saves boy’s face from flying baseball bat, via @BiertempfelTrib

— (@TribLIVE) March 7, 2016

The photos even caught the attention of Ortiz’s wife. “I went home and my wife said to me, ‘You almost killed that kid!’ ” the outfielder told the paper. “I saw the picture. It was crazy. That guy took [a blow] for the kid. The father, or whoever he was, he protected that kid.”

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