On Friday, the Padres opened a set with the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field with a 6-3 win punctuated by a few well-timed homers. But it was an inspired defensive effort from Yangervis Solarte that warrants its own shout-out, for a few different reasons.
In the bottom of the eighth, Chicago's Matt Davidson lofted a popup off the first-base line. Solarte, playing first on the evening, ranged over toward the stands in pursuit of the ball, caught it, lost his balance, and fell into the stands. The act of catching the ball, though, had a fun twist: a White Sox fan had attempted his own catch with his cap, but since that's difficult to pull off, it didn't work.
Instead, the ball fell into his cap, which also fell into Solarte's glove. Crazy, right?
Solarte thought so, judging by his reaction:
If you've read this so far and think to yourself, "Hmm, this seems familiar," that's because it is. Here's a remarkably similar play from last season involving Solarte and a fan. Just substitute Guaranteed Rate Field for Petco Park, the first-base line for the third-base line and a fan's cap for a fan's container of nacho cheese:
Solarte sure has a knack for finding himself in situations like this! Friday's episode came at a perfect time, too, since fellow into-the-stands enthusiast Derek Jeter will be honored at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.
Wonder what Solarte's next edition of this play will entail ...