Fan lets home run ball smack his chest so he does not drop his beers

What makes a hero?

  • Does it require cinematic or literary acts of bravery like rescuing children from a burning buildings or saving damsels in distress?
  • Or is it something more classical, like a figure who lives and dies — and overcomes personal foibles — in pursuit of honor?
  • Maybe that’s not it at all. Maybe, as in ancient times, true heroes commune with the deities and battle with the fates while providing moral examples for mere mortals.

These are all heavy questions that not only serve to help us understand what a hero is but, in reality, also serve to help us gain a better understanding of ourselves and our times via an examination of what we consider to be heroic virtue in the first place.

In possibly related news, everyone watching the World Series last night rose to their feet and cheered when they saw this dude sacrifice his body to knock down a Yordan Álvarez’s home run ball rather than risk droppin’ one of the two beers he was double-fisting (go to the :35 second mark or so to see the closeup):


And again:

And of course the folks who make the beer he saved took notice:

Maybe that’s what heroism in 2019: having a moment in the bright enough sun to where you get a commercial out of it. Hey, you do what you can when the deities and fates don’t talk to us as much as they used to.

Orioles sign OF Aaron Hicks, put Cedric Mullins on 10-day IL with groin strain

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles signed outfielder Aaron Hicks less than 24 hours after Cedric Mullins went down with a strained right groin.

Mullins went on the 10-day injured list, but the Orioles are hoping Hicks can help defensively in the spacious outfield at Camden Yards. Hicks was released last week by the New York Yankees with more than 2 1/2 seasons left on his contract.

“We had noticed that he was a free agent even before the injury,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias said. “When the injury occurred and it became pretty clear this was going to be an IL, it seemed like a good fit even more so at that time.”

The Orioles are responsible for paying Hicks just $483,871, a prorated share of the $720,000 minimum salary. The Yankees owe him the rest of his $10.5 million salary this year, plus $9.5 million in each of the next two seasons and a $1 million buyout of a 2026 team option.

The 33-year-old Hicks hit just .188 in 28 games for the Yankees this year.

“We have stuff that we look at from a scouting and evaluation perspective,” Elias said. “It’s very different from just looking at the back of a baseball card, and we hope that we get a bounceback from anyone we bring here.”

Hicks batted .216 last season.

“Hopefully that’s a good thing for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the Baltimore deal. “A lot of time here and a lot of good things happened for him here. I know the last couple of years have been a struggle. But hopefully it’s a good opportunity for him and certainly wish him well. Not too well being in our division and a team we’re chasing, but hopefully it’s a really good fit for him.”

Mullins left a loss to Cleveland after he pulled up while running out an infield grounder. Outfielder Colton Cowser – the fifth pick in the draft two years ago – is hitting .331 at Triple-A Norfolk, but he went on the IL in the past couple weeks.

“Certainly he was building a case towards promotion consideration prior to his injury and prior to Cedric’s injury,” Elias said. “We’ll just see where we’re at.”

Hicks was active for the game but not in the starting lineup. Austin Hays, normally Baltimore’s left field, was in Mullins’ usual spot in center.

When the wall in left at Camden Yards was pushed significantly back before last season, it made left field a bigger challenge defensively.

“In this park … you really need two center fielders,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Aaron’s got a lot of center-field experience. Played left field here before also. Brings the defensive aspect and then the switch-hitting.”