Just two pitches prior to his fifth inning triple that padded Boston’s lead in their 7-4 victory, Stephen Drew pulled a seemingly innocent bouncer foul beyond the first base bag. As you already know, though, it was anything but innocent. After two normal bounces slowed the ball down, a third bounce ticketed for the first row seat occupied by Doug Crossley clipped the top of the tarp, deflected, and caught him on the mouth and chin.
A bearded chin, by the way, because it's Boston.
Thanks to the two friendlier hops, it was more embarrassing than it was painful for Crossley, but two things could have prevented both.
1. A glove — If they didn’t help, the players wouldn’t wear them.
2. A Mike Napoli beard — For thicker cushion, of course, and to knock the ball straight down into his glove.
Crossley's bruised, he's battered, and maybe a little red in the cheeks, but the good news is it wasn't a complete loss. After a ballgirl retrieved the ball, she spotted him and ran it over to keep as a memento. Cut 4 reports what he hopes to do with it next.
What's next? "I'm going to try to get it signed by Stephen Drew, because he's the one that hit me in the mouth with it," Crossley joked.
As noted before, this will go down as the third unlucky incident involving fans down that right line. On September 5, we witnessed the reckless fan who couldn’t corral a foul ball, and couldn’t stop swinging his arms and causing damage to those around him. One woman’s phone and another’s beverage paid the price for that. And then two weeks ago there was another unlucky fan who caught one of Jonny Gomes’ punted beer cans in the face during their division celebration, causing an ugly laceration above his left eye.
Seriously, if you’re sitting down the right field line at Fenway, keep your head up and on a swivel. It’s dangerous territory.