THIS guy caught
THAT ball

Cruz catch

Credit: WFAA

Ben Doskocil holds the historic ball that propelled the Texas Rangers to a huge Game 2 ALCS victory.

Print
Email
|

by SHELLY SLATER

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaashelly

WFAA

Posted on October 11, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 12 at 5:48 PM

Poll:
Should Ben Doskocil keep the Nelson Cruz grand slam ball?

It was a historic moment no Texas Rangers fan will ever get tired of seeing — Nelson Cruz slugging the first walk-off grand slam in postseason history.

It sent a crowd of more than 51,000 at Rangers Ballpark into a frenzy.

And for Ben Doskocil, catching Monday night's winning home run ball exemplifies what it means to be in the right place at the right time.

Doskocil, an Arlington businessman, is a father of 10, a grandparent of 35 and a former semi-pro ball player himself.

While he has season tickets elsewhere, for the ALCS Game 2 playoff game, Doskocil was sitting in unfamiliar territory in left field, Row 4, Seat 10.

But he was in the right place at the right time for the catch of a lifetime.

"As it bounced, I caught it," he said. "At that point, everybody dove in, not realizing I had it in my hand. They're scrambling, and scrambling saying, 'Where is the ball?' I said, 'Right here!'"

Doskocil shared the excitement with his wife, and he talked about contorting his body to reach for the ball.

"'You crazy old man, you're 73 and diving for a ball?'" people asked.

From that moment on, the cameras started flashing. Total strangers snapped photos of his good fortune.

Doskocil has followed the Rangers since they arrived in town. He has a souvenir ball is signed by all the members of the original team.

"This one I bought," he said of that original baseball. "This one I kind of earned," he said, holding the Cruz grand slam ball.

So is Doskocil planning to give the ball back to the Rangers' hero? "We don't even want to think about that right now," he said, promising to sleep with the ball, waiting for the autograph from Nelson Cruz he's been promised.

"Thank you, Mr. Cruz," Doskocil said. "Now let's 'cruise' on to the World Series, huh?"

This isn't the first time that Ben Doskocil has beat the odds. His third daughter was born in 1962. She — like the other two — were born one year apart on the same day — May 19.

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|