Cubs fan honored with Best Fan Catch MLB Award

Cubs fan honored with Best Fan Catch MLB Award

When Krista Dotzenrod took to her seat during a Cubs-Padres matinee on April 18, she did not expect to snag a foul ball.

Well, she did. And a whole lot more.

On Tuesday afternoon at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., Dotzenrod was honored with the 2015 Esurance MLB Award for Best Fan Catch.

Dotzenrod, 25, and her longtime friend were guests at an Esurance MLB Awards party that was attended by a handful of baseball's A-listers, including three other Esurance MLB Awards winners: Best Manager (the Cubs' Joe Maddon), Best Executive (Royals GM Dayton Moore) and Best Defensive Player (Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier).

Dotzenrod made her award-worthy grab in the ninth inning of an eventual extra-innings affair at Wrigley Field, when then Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso rapped a foul ball into the seats. Snagging the foul with her full beer cup was Dotzenrod, who chugged her drink -- with pearly white floating atop -- at the behest of those around her.

"When it fell in there, and my beer started foaming, the whole crowd behind me started yelling at me to chug it. So I had to chug it," Dotzenrod said.

Dotzenrod's life has not been the same since her 20 seconds of fame on live TV, as she has been featured in numerous media interviews and even a commercial.

"My girls, every time we went out, they'd say, 'Oh my God, this is the girl who chugged the ball,'" Dotzenrod told MLB.com.

But arguably, all of the above pales in comparison to Dotzenrod's past 48 hours in Nashville, where she has been a guest of MLB. After this free trip to the Winter Meetings, she's had conversations with some of baseball's best-known faces -- and made memories to last a lifetime.

"I was amazed," Dotzenrod said of her Esurance MLB Awards nomination and eventual triumph. "The hype died down pretty quickly, about a month or so [after the catch in April], but after I received the Esurance MLB Award [in November], it started to build up again.

"I thought everyone had kind of forgotten about it, but I guess not, which is really cool."

Dotzenrod wrapped up an impressive Esurance MLB Awards haul for Chicago's National League club, which also won the Best Manager accolades, in addition to three other category wins that were announced on the live Esurance MLB Awards show on Nov. 20. Right-hander Jake Arrieta led voting for Best Starting Pitcher and Best Breakout Player, and third baseman Kris Bryant came away with Best Rookie.

The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor Major League Baseball's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five components, 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.

Individual awards were presented for 24 separate categories, including Best Major Leaguer, Everyday Player, Bounceback Player, Social Media Personality and Postseason Performer. Winners were also recognized for the year's Best Offensive Play, Defensive Play, Moment, Single-Game Performance, Social Media Post, Celebrity Fan and Fan Catch.

Nominees were judged on their bodies of work from the entire year -- from Opening Day through the postseason -- and selected after a careful review of all 30 clubs.

Zachary Finkelstein is a fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.