ATLANTA (AP) — Kole Calhoun will always cherish his childhood memory of catching a foul ball hit by Tony Gwynn in spring training.
“I thought that was the coolest thing in the world,” the Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder said Saturday.
Now that he’s 33 and in his ninth major league season, Calhoun can still appreciate those moments — especially when he was inches away from watching another kid enjoy a similar highlight.
In the fourth inning of the Diamondbacks’ 5-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Friday night, Calhoun ran toward the stands to try to catch a foul ball hit by Austin Riley. Calhoun reached into the stands, thinking he could make the grab.
Instead, a boy wearing glasses and holding a baseball glove made what Calhoun believed was a very difficult catch near the netting that protects fans.
Calhoun and the Diamondbacks will have to wait another day to try again for a win in Atlanta. Saturday night’s game was postponed by inclement weather, forcing a traditional doubleheader to be scheduled for Sunday.
Calhoun said Saturday he initially wasn’t sure if fan interference might be called. Because the ball would have landed in the stands, it was within the fan’s rights to catch it.
Arizona manager Torey Lovullo left the dugout for a brief consultation with plate umpire Vic Carapazza.
“I know Kole said there was a little bit of a glove wrestling match,” Lovullo said Saturday. “… Kole told me he would have had the ball if not for the interaction.”
Riley, who earlier a two-run homer, got a second chance because of the wayward foul but couldn’t take advantage — he struck out.
Calhoun enjoyed the fan’s reaction to the play.
“He was almost surprised the ball landed in his glove,” Calhoun said. “… Give him the satisfaction. That was a heck of…