HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — An Angels fan is facing heavy backlash on the internet after he was shown on television nearly dropping his infant daughter in an attempt to snag a home run ball.
Eli Strickland of Huntington Beach was holding his 21-month old daughter, Penelope, in his arm during the second inning of the Angels game Monday night, when Albert Pujols hit a home run to center field.READ MORE: Día De Los Muertos Celebrations and Others Return To LA
Strickland, who was sitting near to where the ball landed, continued to hold on to his young daughter as he reached over the barrier in an attempt to collect the ball, holding her completely upside-down at one point, when he nearly flipped over the railing.
“As I leaned over, she went completely upside down, like this,” Strickland said, as he held Penelope upside-down as a demonstration. “But I’ve been working out since I was fifteen. I had a lock on her.”
The incident was captured on television, in front of a wide audience, and quickly went viral.READ MORE: Sigma Nu Fraternity At USC Suspends Member At Center Of Sexual Assault Allegations
Strickland’s wife was at the game and described the event.
“I could not believe what was happening,” Joelynn Strickland said. “I mean, in my mind, it made perfect sense, just common sense, like set the baby down…”
Strickland already owns a collection of baseballs collected at games, but says the Pujols ball was not one he was willing to pass up.
An usher ultimately picked the ball up and was instructed to throw it to the bullpen. The Angels announcers, however, sent Strickland a signed ball, reading “Great effort my friend!”.MORE NEWS: USC Places Sigma Nu Fraternity On Interim Suspension After Reports Of 'Possible Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assaults,' Students Protest In Support Of Victims