By Brad Fanning, Sports Multimedia Journalist - email
Justin Maxwell celebrates his grand slam (AP)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
After 20 years of faithfully attending Royals games, Lloyd Lockett finally got a ball.
But this wasn't just any ball. The count was three balls and two strikes. The bases were loaded. The game was scoreless in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Texas Rangers. The Royals were playing meaningful games for the first time in decades.
Justin Maxwell was staring down former Royals All-Star closer Joakim Soria.
Lockett and his friend had left an outfield restaurant when designated hitter Billy Butler came up to bat, predicting he would hit a game-winning home run.
"We were waiting for it," Lockett said.
But the Rangers walked Butler.
So Lockett, 37, and his friend were joking to each other about one of them catching a game-winning home-run ball. Then Maxwell came up to bat.
"It was 3 and 2. Two outs. The crowd was going wild. We was like, "Maaaaaaaan.' Next thing you know, I'm talking to my guy. He is saying, 'He is going to hit it right here. I'm going to snag it,'" Lockett recalled.
He remembers his reply, "We will see."
And then Soria threw the fateful pitch.
"All of the sudden you hear, "Pow!" I'm like, 'Ohhh, snap!' Lockett said.
His friend went one direction. Lockett thought a man near him would catch the ball "fair and square," and was disappointed.
But the ball ricocheted off a glass window and landed near Lockett.
"So I jet right here," he said. He then snatched up the grand-slam ball
"Done deal," he said while laughing."Man, this is crazy."
And he also got a memory that will last him a lifetime.
"That was a big deal. It was one of the best Royal games in a long time. A long time," Lockett said. "It's pretty exciting. It was the best game ever for me."
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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