For Pete's Sake

Dad in viral photo from baseball game: ‘I was just protecting my son’

Shaun Cunningham save his son from an injury.
Shaun Cunningham save his son from an injury.

There’s a good chance you saw the photo that went viral this past weekend.

At a Pirates-Braves spring-training game on Saturday, a bat slipped out of the hands of Pittsburgh’s Danny Ortiz and flew into the stands.

A man got his arm in front of the bat just before it hit a boy’s face.

That man’s name is Shaun Cunningham, and Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review talked with Cunningham about the scary moment. The boy is Cunningham’s 8-year-old son, Landon.

“I was just protecting my son,” Cunningham told Biertempfel. “There wasn’t a lot of time to think about it. I just reacted.”

Apparently, Landon had used his cellphone to take a photo, which he texted to his mother. At that moment, the bat was headed for the stands and Cunningham saved the day.

The bat hit Landon in the shoulder, Biertempfel reported. Cunningham said: “I’m a little bruised, but I’ll survive.”

The photo was taken by Chris Horner of the Tribune-Review.

You can read more here, including what Landon’s mother had to say.

The Tribune-Review also made a GIF of the photos by Horner:

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Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff