Baseball isn’t widely viewed as a dangerous sport. That’s until you’re an innocent, gloveless bystander with a screaming foul ball heading your direction.
Seattle Mariners radio voice Rick Rizzs was on the call for their game against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, and the longtime broadcaster had a close encounter with a foul ball. During Seattle’s 9-1 victory, Mariners pitcher Logan Gilbert threw a fifth-inning fastball to Angels center fielder Magneuris Sierra that was fouled straight back into the booth, inches away from striking Rizzs.
You never know what’s gonna happen when you bring back announcer cam ? pic.twitter.com/vHbTbniWFo
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) September 20, 2022
The foul ball caused a loud thud to blare through the broadcast and prompted Rizzs to offer a well-timed use of his popular catchphrase, “Holy smokes!” The 68-year-old veteran announcer was quick on his feet and managed to get out of the foul ball’s way, allowing his water bottle to absorb the brunt of the hit.
“That thing exploded up here!” Rizzs continued, noting the ball sent his water bottle flying across the booth. “All right, Mr. Sierra, I’m OK, man. That came in hot! Glad I got out of the way.”
Rizzs’ close call wasn’t an isolated foul ball incident for broadcasters this season. Earlier in the year, Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy took a foul ball in the chest. The Colorado Rockies‘ radio broadcast watched a screaming foul ball enter the booth and put a hole in the wall. And the most frightening incident occurred when Rockies reporter Kelsey Wingert took a line drive to her head while sitting in the dugout. Thankfully, none of the aforementioned foul balls resulted in serious injury.