SOUTH GATE (CBSLA) — Former South Gate police Capt. Keith Hupp has done this before.
The diehard Dodgers fan who caught Justin Turner’s dramatic walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs says it may be his biggest catch so far – and that’s saying something.
“It was exciting; the Dodgers are having a historic year,” Hupp said. “Justin Turner’s having a fantastic year, the Dodgers are on the verge of going to the World Series. So for a Dodger fan and for someone who goes to all the games, it was really exciting.”
Turner and Hupp are expected to make some sort of trade for the ball.
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Hupp, 54, caught Turner’s second homer of the postseason that ended another dramatic night for the Dodgers, who remained unbeaten in these playoffs and moved within two wins of their first World Series appearance since 1988.
And Turner even did it on the 29th anniversary of Kirk Gibson’s pinch-hit, walk-off homer to beat Oakland in the opening game of the Dodgers’ last World Series victory.
While Hupp – who claims to have caught 10 home run balls this season – later returned the ball to Turner, the move probably came as little surprise to longtime Dodgers fans.
Just last month, team officials recognized Hupp for giving Dodgers rookie first baseman Cody Bellinger two home run balls that made history: his record-tying and record-breaking (35 & 36) homers that move him past Mike Piazza for the Dodgers rookie home run record.
And after doing the same with Turner’s ball, Hupp – who retired from the South Gate Police Department in 2013 – told ESPN giving back the ball was the right thing to do.
“I didn’t ask for anything, but they told me they would hook me up, and I’m sure they will,” Hupp was quoted as saying.
And while it may have a been one more step for the Dodgers in what may very well turn out to be a historic season, for Hupp, it’s all in a day’s work.