First-time Astros game attendee goes for foul ball, recalls on ESPN mixed reaction in his section

The man named Malcolm claimed to ESPN's Buster Olney he and his son were at their first game since moving to Houston.

ByMatt Guillermo KTRK logo
Monday, September 4, 2023
What the heck was up with that Astros fan interference?
A first-time visitor to an Astros game on Sunday night went viral after interfering with a Yordan Alvarez foul ball.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Unfortunate Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman remained in hiding in the immediate aftermath of a game-changing foul ball grab two decades ago that shifted momentum away from his team.

In stark contrast, a first-time Astros game attendee named Malcolm immediately drew chuckles - and, perhaps, derision - after his own attempt at a fly ball on Sunday night.

You see, it didn't take too long for ESPN, which was broadcasting the Astros' game against the New York Yankees, to track down and speak with the 'Stros fan whose try at getting a foul ball for his son, who was also there, went sideways.

In an interview with ESPN's Buster Olney, Malcolm claimed he had just moved to Houston and didn't realize that the ball flying in his direction was actually in the field of play.

In this case, Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, who was in a full count at the plate, would have remained at bat had the ball gone untouched and Yankees left fielder Emerson Pereira failed to catch it.

But since the ball was interfered, it prevented the outfielder from making a play. Therefore, Alvarez was automatically called out to end the sixth inning, even with manager Dusty Baker requesting a replay challenge.

For any other baseball fan (see Bartman), knowing that your actions may have swung momentum away from the home team would be embarrassing, but Malcolm bucked that sentiment.

When asked how the fellow folks in his section reacted to his gaffe, he certainly came up with a colorful variety of adjectives.

"The reaction was shock, disgust, happiness, sweat, a little bit of lust, baby," Malcolm, who was sporting a Kansas City Royals cap, said. "I was in there, (it) kinda hurt my fingers. It's still shaking a little bit. The ball weighed heavier than the gravity."

SEE ALSO: Astros' win vs. Rangers, Seattle loss at Cincinnati puts Houston into a tie for AL West lead

Ultimately, he said he wanted to make their time at Minute Maid Park special.

"As a father, I felt it was my job to make sure I give him the best moments," Malcolm said about his son's time at the game, while also apologizing to the Astros organization. "We did have a wonderful moment."

Typically, fans who interfere with the game are ejected from the stadium, but Malcolm was able to stay by talking his way out of the trouble.

He added that nothing would stop him from rooting on the "Asteroids" despite the tense outrage around him after the failed catch.

In the grand scheme, the Astros needed to win their game against the Yankees to avoid a sweep and to stay on pace with Seattle and Texas for the AL West division lead. At the point of the interference, Houston was down 3-1. The 'Stros would go on to lose the game, 6-1.

Internet reaction to what happened and Malcolm's response was mixed as well.

"Why is @espn interview the idiot who cost the Astros an out with 'fan' interference, when he's not even an Astros fan," X user Brian Dennis posted. "Nothing like a network being obviously pro-@Yankees."

"Is the @astros @yankees fan interference guy in the @Royals cap secretly just a chaos agent? #confused," X user Tara K quipped.

"This interview with the fan interference guy at the Astros-Yankees game is absolutely the funniest thing that's happened all baseball season," Nate Sanchez added.

With little time to shake off the bizarre occurrence, the Astros got back to business on Monday, starting a pivotal series with the Rangers in Arlington. After that, the 'Stros return home Friday to start up a six-game home stand - perhaps, free of interference.

SEE ALSO: 5 infamous fan interference cases in MLB history

Before the Astros interference call, there was none perhaps more famous than Steve Bartman and the 2003 Chicago Cubs.

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