On this date: 1981
Wednesday afternoon, April 22, 1981
Cincinnati Reds versus Atlanta Braves
"Foul Ball Out of Reach, Unlike Railing"
From listener Steven Sharp:
The Reds wrapped up a short home stand with an afternoon game against the Atlanta Braves. Gaylord Perry pitched a complete game, as the Braves defeated the Reds, 7-3. George Foster stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs and the bases empty. During the plate appearance, Foster fouled a pitch back toward the second deck (green seats).
Randy Kobman (a fan) attempted to catch the ball, but could not reach it, missing it by about six inches. In his haste to reach the ball, Kobman was halted a bit too abruptly by the concrete barrier and flipped awkwardly over the railing. While dangling about 30 feet above the blue seats below, he was able to grab the metal railing with his right hand and pulled himself back up, with some help from his brother Bob Kobman and other spectators in the area. TBS was carrying the television broadcast that afternoon.
At the time Randy Kobman was an 18-year-old senior at Lakota High School and a noteworthy high school football player in the city. He had already signed and had a four-year scholarship to play football at Indiana University in the fall. Randy was okay, and he and his brother left shortly after the inning ended. Randy gained brief fame, as the story of his near fall was picked up by several news outlets. After the foul ball, Foster's plate appearance ended with him getting called out on strikes.