With Father’s Day right around the corner, one dad in Queens began his final push Tuesday for Father of the Year.
Sitting in the center-field stands at Citi Field for the Nationals-Mets game, Alan Alcantara watched as Starling Marte hit a two-run homer in his direction in the bottom of the first. The ball took one big hop, and without skipping a beat, he reached over the rail and snagged it with one hand. And, oh yeah, he did it while holding his 1-year-old son Levi in the other.
“I knew I was not going to have time to put the baby down,” Alcantara told The Associated Press. “So I decided to just hold on tight to him, jump on the rail and see if I could catch the ball. And we did.”
Levi didn’t seem fazed, even as his dad — a resident of the Ridgewood neighborhood in Queens for 17 years — and the fans around them celebrated.
“As soon as it came off the bat, I knew it was coming my way,” Alcantara, 31, said. “So it was just a matter of seeing where it was going to land. It was just a quick reaction.”
The Alcantara family was at the game as part of an organized church group, he told The AP. He said he’d never caught a foul ball or home run before.
“Instinct,” he said, referring to the barehanded grab. “In the Dominican Republic, we don’t all get to have gloves, so we do play baseball barehanded, so I figured I could do it. I did it many times when I was a kid, so why not?”