Watch 90mph baseball pitch SMASH Fujinon camera lens during live TV game

(Image credit: Miami Marlins / MLB)

In a moment that will be replayed on blooper reels for years to come, a 90mph pitch was fouled directly into a $24,000 broadcast camera lens setup during a Major League Baseball game between the Miami Marlins and St Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals' second year outfielder Tyler O'Neill, who's batting a .125 average this season, was on the receiving end of a changeup from Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara. O'Neill hit a foul ball that sailed directly over home plate and smashed straight into the batting angle camera.

• Read more: Best camera for sports photography

Luckily the camera itself survived unscathed. However, the same can't be said of the Fujinon UA18x7.6BERD broadcast zoom lens and Fujinon WCV-L85 0.8x Wide Angle Converter (props to DP Review for the identification) – whose front element was shattered to smithereens. 

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"I think Tyler O'Neill owes us, what do you think that costs, Holly – maybe 50, 60 bucks?" said Marlins play-by-play man Paul Severino. "Yeah, 50, 60 bucks, no – if you add a couple of zeroes to that… hundreds if not at least a thousand I would imagine, right?" replied color commentator Todd Hollandsworth. 

In actual fact, the damage clocks in at $1,799 (around £1,309 / AU$2,355) for the destroyed wide-angle converter, though if it had nailed the lens itself it would have been a much heftier $22,495 (£16,368 / AU$£29,449) bill.

In the background, an unidentified player or official can be heard ragging on O'Neill for his stunning foul ball. "Of all the f**king places, Tyler. Of all the places you could foul out of bounds." 

It was a one in a million hit, for sure. But it's a reminder to anyone going out to shoot sports with an expensive Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, Nikon D6 or Sony A9 II – you don't just have to capture the action, you have to protect your kit from it as well!  

Read more: 

Best Fujifilm lenses
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What is a teleconverter?
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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.