Earlier this season, we had a Cincinnati Reds fan completely biff his chance at catching a souvenir baseball via a home run, delighting the masses but disappointing friends and family by fumbling it away and spraying nacho matter around a 20-foot radius. There was real concern among the fanbase that the stone-handed play would stick to them and drive the collective defensive metrics down.
But things are always darkest before the dawn. Cincinnati has a new hero in the form of a fearless youngster who singlehandedly saved the team's fielding reputation by laying out to secure Joey Votto's solo blast minutes ago.
Everyone can talk until they are blue in the face about how baseball doesn't connect with younger fans. But as long as there are those willing to lay their bodies on the line for diamond glory like Gen-Z Eric Byrnes, the sport is in good hands. Literally.
It's tough to even imagine what making a play like this could do for a kid. The afterglow must last months. Years. A lifetime?
And it should. It should be the first thing he tells everyone he meets at college. At a job interview. In a nursing home. Dine out on it forever.