I’ve heard of the hidden ball play, but a hidden-in-plain-sight ball play? This is a new one.
It’s not uncommon for first basemen to hang on to a pickoff attempt for a few seconds too long after a fake throw back to the pitcher. Some even go all out and produce an Oscar-winning performance as if the pickoff throw got by them.
What Frisco RoughRiders first baseman Trey Hair epically pulled off in a game not only took guts, it took ingenuity. And in decades of watching and play baseball, I’ve got to be honest here: I’ve never seen this one.
Minor Leaguer’s Creative Hidden Ball Play
The RoughRiders, the Double-A minor league affiliate of the Texas Rangers, were taking on the Corpus Christi Hooks on Thursday.
Trey Hair, in a moment of brilliance, was able to steal an out after a base hit. As he caught the throw in from the outfielder, he noticed Hooks runner Justin Dirden and the first-base coach chatting up a storm — not paying attention to where the ball was.
Here’s where this gets good: Hair then wedged the ball between his finger and the outside of his mitt, so that both the runner and coach would have zero idea he still had the ball. After all, he kept his glove open and his hand, well, ball-less.
Hair then wanders over to first like he’s not about to pull a Houdini. He then makes a motion with his foot and the runner steps off the base for a brief second, and that’s when Hair lays the tag on him. The runner has no clue what just happened.
This is what baseball is all about. Silly, stupid trick plays that actually work. If this doesn’t get you going, I’m not sure what will.
Frisco lost the game, 5-9, but a legendary play was born that night. Hundreds of high schoolers and Little Leaguers are going to watch this play and try to emulate it, and I can’t wait.