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Heroic Dad Saves Son From a Baseball Bat Gone Rogue

Shaun Cunningham stopped the projectile with his bare hand before it smacked into his little boy's face in the stands at a Pirates game.


During the fifth inning at the Pirates-Braves spring training game in Brandenton, Florida, Pittsburgh outfielder Danny Ortiz took a swing at a breaking pitch. As Ortiz swung, the bat slipped from his grip and went flying into the stands—and straight toward the head of an unsuspecting 8-year-old boy, Landon Cunningham.

He had just sent a picture to his mother from his phone and wasn't paying attention the pitch, or the bat that was hurtling near his head.

But Cunningham had a little luck on his side, too. As the bat shot toward his head a few rows behind the Braves dugout and fans around him ducked for cover, one man stuck out his arm to save him—Landon's dad, Shaun.

“I was just protecting my son,” Cunningham, 37, said Monday, after Pittsburgh Tribune-Review photographer Christopher Horner snapped an incredible shot of his quick thinking in action. “There wasn't a lot of time to think about it. I just reacted.”

Read the full story, including an interview with the Cunninghams, at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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