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.
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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.
BREAKING: broken pic.twitter.com/rcuNEbzytGApril 6, 2021
"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!