Bill Dugan caught five foul balls and then gave them all away on Monday at a major league baseball (MLB) game in Detroit. ABC News reports that the odds of catching a foul ball are one in 600, but Bill Dugan said he’s actually gone home with more than five foul balls before. A video of Dugan catching all five foul balls went viral on social media following the Detroit Tigers’ home opener game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday.
According to ABC News on Tuesday, MLB fans are calling 39-year-old Bill Dugan from Roseville, Michigan, “sticky fingers” and “lucky guy” after watching him catch five foul balls on Monday at Comerica Park in Detroit. Dugan managed to catch one foul ball right after another as he sat just to the right of the home plate during Monday’s MLB game. All five foul balls were caught during the game, with one ball caught during batting practice, giving Dugan a grand total of six balls caught.
Three of the five foul balls Bill Dugan caught on Monday were pop-up fly balls, while the other two balls ricocheted off of the front of the press box. A video of Dugan catching the five foul balls went viral on social media and shows how all five balls actually landed within a 15-foot radius of his seat. The Detroit Free Press reports that Dugan caught the five foul balls near the walkway between sections 124 and 125.
Twitter users are calling the season-ticket holder a “wizard,” and the small crowd seated around Dugan erupted in cheer as he caught the number four ball at the top of the fifth inning. By the top of the eighth inning, Bill Dugan had caught the fifth foul ball. Two of the five foul balls Dugan caught were straight out of the air, and the other three were off-bounces.
U.S. News reported on Monday that Dugan had plenty of space around him to catch five foul balls, as the weather was chilly and not many people attended the Tigers’ game against Pittsburgh. The Detroit Tigers lost their first home game of the MLB season against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday with a 7-4 score, but Bill Dugan came out a winner within the first eight innings. According to Dugan, he’s actually caught more than five foul balls before, but the loyal Tigers’ fan said in an interview on Monday that he had tied his record of foul balls caught during a game by the fifth inning.
“My record’s eight — four during a game and four during batting practice. So I tied my record during a game just now.”
Minutes after the interview, Dugan caught his fifth foul ball, giving him a new personal record for the number of foul balls caught during the game itself.
“I got four once in 2002 in a game against Seattle. I actually have six today, but I got one of them in batting practice.”
Dugan became a local celebrity on Monday and was taking selfies with fans and doing interviews with the media by the end of the second inning. With a stash already at his home of 200 to 300 baseballs that he had caught throughout the years, Dugan decided to give away all of the foul balls he caught on Monday, putting smiles on the faces of six children.
“I just gave the last one away. I couldn’t deny someone I said I’d give a ball to… I’ve got a room full of them, so I can’t be too greedy.”
Dugan remembers the first ball he ever caught was in the 1980s with his dad.
“My first ball that I ever got, my dad reached out with a poster, pulled it in, hit off of Cleveland Indians’ George Vukovich.”
The secret to catching so many foul balls, says Dugan, is to sit in the stands somewhere behind home base, an area that’s usually reserved for wheelchairs. Bill Dugan’s next goal after catching the five foul balls on Monday is to finally catch a home-run ball.
[Image via YouTube/Heir Jordan]