Baseball

Pirates fan in the right place at the right time – twice

The best glove at PNC Park in Pittsburgh didn’t belong to one of the Dodgers or Pirates players, but fan Brian Cardis.

While most fans go a lifetime without catching a foul ball, Cardis caught two in the upper deck in a span of four pitches with the Dodgers’ James Loney batting in the ninth inning Sunday.

Both plays were nearly the same – high pop-ups that floated over the first deck, carried three rows deep into the club-level seats behind third base in the second deck and directly into Cardis’ glove.

At the same time Cardis, 34, was grabbing the second foul ball, he was using his cell phone to send a photo of the first foul ball to his parents.

“I caught it with the cell phone in my hand,” said Cardis, from Monongahela, Pa. “I’m coming to (Monday’s game) too. I caught it right with the phone in my hand.”

Cardis attended the game with family friend Dylan Callaway, who is 3. The youngster – unlike another 3-year-old, Emily Monforto in Philadelphia – resisted the temptation to grab one of the foul balls and throw it back onto the field.

“I saw them coming,” said young Dylan, who immediately alerted his friend.

Cardis described Callaway as being like a nephew to him and said the boy might get the balls when he gets older.

Remarkably, it was the second time in four seasons that Cardis – a season-ticket holder since 1999 – caught a foul ball during the Pirates’ final Sunday home game of the season, when the team gives away numerous prizes to fans. In 2006, he also caught a ball the pitch before the Pirates’ Freddy Sanchez clinched the NL batting title.

For now, Cardis wouldn’t mind getting another foul ball this season.

“I work right across town, across the (Allegheny) river, so we’re going to come to (Monday’s) game, me and my co-workers,” Cardis said. “I’d like to get ’em autographed.”

Little O wants one more

Omar Vizquel wants to extend his term as the oldest position player in the major leagues.

The 42-year-old Rangers infielder said he’s planning to play another season.

“I’m going to play. I’m going to try to give it another shot,” Vizquel said before the Rangers’ home finale against Tampa Bay. “I still feel physically pretty good. When my body feels like that, I better take advantage of it.”

Vizquel, a former Seattle Mariner shortstop, is wrapping up his 21st major league season, his first in Texas. He signed with the Rangers last winter knowing he would serve primarily as a mentor to rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus.

An 11-time Gold Glove winner, Vizquel’s 2,680 games at shortstop are a major league record. Only Ozzie Smith has won more Gold Gloves at shortstop (13), but Vizquel is the only shortstop to win the award multiple times in the American and National League.

Marlins ace out with flu

Florida Marlins ace Josh Johnson was scratched from his start against the New York Mets because of the flu. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he sent Johnson home on Sunday because the right-hander was running a fever when he arrived at the ballpark several hours before the game.

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