Web gem catches are often reserved for the players on the field. Yet in a game that featured former Gold Glove winners like Mark Teixeira, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, it was fan Michael Kacer who was featured on all the weekend highlight reels.
Kacer, a 29-year-old war veteran who lost his left arm in a 2008 rocket attack, was sitting near the visitor’s dugout for Friday nights Yankees-Rockies matchup in New York. In the first inning, Curtis Granderson fouled a ball into the stands that headed toward Kacer. After a single bounce, Kacer managed to reach out his hat and grab the ball.
The 11-year National Guard veteran immediately placed the ball in the hands of his 13-year-old nephew, Isaiah, who was attending his first Yankees game.
“I watched it bounce and I’m like, ‘I might be able to get it,’ and it just happened to go right in the hat,” Kacer explained, “so it makes for a great souvenir for [Isaiah].”
Kacer was one of more than 20 veterans at Friday’s game as part of Achilles International, a non-profit organization based out of New York that provides athletic experiences and opportunities to people with disabilities. The group took a Yankee bus to the stadium and was escorted by the NYPD. The veterans also had an opportunity to meet players prior to the game, where Kacer was able to meet Nick Swisher and manager Joe Girardi.
Yet we can assume that it was his catch in the first inning that will linger in Kacer’s memory. Forget Endy Chavez’s one-handed grab — this one-handed catch is for real.
To see the catch, check out the video below.