A 26-year-old Allston man sprang into action Tuesday night seconds after Xander Bogaerts’s home run ball sailed over the Green Monster at Fenway Park, watching it ricochet around Lansdowne Street before grabbing it on the fly for a memorable keepsake, he said Wednesday in a phone interview.
“That was crazy,” said the fan, Anthony Espinal, one day after his lucky snag catapulted him to social media stardom.
Espinal said he and his girlfriend were walking with two other friends to the Bleacher Bar when they heard a roar go up from the crowd at Fenway, and then saw Bogaerts’s two-run homer soaring above them in the night sky.
“I said, ‘some guy’s gonna get lucky,” Espinal said, before recounting precisely how that guy turned out to be him. “It hit under a gate sign across the street on Lansdowne Street and bounced all the way back. It bounced pretty high onto the back side of the Green Monster. I had one chance to catch it” off the wall.
That’s because, he continued, a group of people positioned behind him were “ready to just pounce.”
But Espinal hauled in the souvenir. He called the catch a moment of quasi-redemption, after he failed to come up with a foul ball at Fenway during a game earlier in the season against the Rays. That ball, he said, bounced off his hands as a Rays outfielder leaned into the spectators’ side of wall to try to catch it too.
And though his beloved Red Sox ultimately lost 9-2 to the Astros on Tuesday, knotting their American League Championship Series at two games apiece, Espinal said he’s staying optimistic for Game 5, slated for Thursday evening at Fenway.
“I expect an explosion,” he said of the Red Sox offense. “I expect a turnaround.”
Walking to the bleacher bar, Xander decides to blast one out of the park and my lucky ass is right there to grab it 😍 @RedSox @Jared_Carrabis pic.twitter.com/PXj2a1w6gm— Antonito (@aespinal21) October 20, 2021
Jeremiah Manion and Katie McInerney of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
Travis Andersen can be reached at email@example.com.