Baseball fan Michael Haberkorn was ecstatic after making a nifty barehanded catch on the home run ball of Chicago Cubs’ rookie sensation Jorge Soler in the seventh inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field.
But, while Haberkorn held the prized baseball aloft in his right hand and emphatically high-fived his fellow bleacher bums with his left, the Chicago resident’s gold wedding band went flying off his finger and onto the field. (The white streak circled in the photo below is the ring at the exact moment it went airborne.)
WGN-TV cameras caught Haberkorn’s priceless reaction as his jubilation instantly turned to utter despair.
Fortunately, eagle-eyed fans sitting next to Haberkorn had followed the flight of the ring and were able to spot it on the warning track in left field.
Haberkorn called over a Cubs’ usher and showed him where the ring had landed. Within a few minutes, the ring had been recovered by the grounds crew and returned to its panicked owner. Fortunately, the ring didn’t get caught up in the dense ivy that covers the brick walls of the outfield.
Cubs’ announcers joked how Haberkorn might have described to his wife the exciting night at the game: “Honey, I got the Soler home run ball. And that’s the good news. The bad news is I lost my ring.”
The announcers also told the television audience how Haberkorn needed to go out and get the loose-fitting ring resized.
In a post-game interview with MLB.com, Haberkorn accepted his place in the annals of Cubs folklore: “I guess I’m the famous ring guy now,” he said, adding, “I guess it was a great catch and a great ring toss.”
Haberkorn noted that the 22-year-old Soler had agreed to sign the baseball, which represents the first Wrigley Field homer by the impressive Cuban-born prospect.