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

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(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.

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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. 

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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!  

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James started working in the photographic industry in 2014 as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy – successor to David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus. In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. An Olympus and Canon user, James was previously technique editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine.