Tampa Bay Rays player Evan Longoria may be one of the best third basemen currently playing baseball. From a Silver Slugger Award to two Gold Gloves, he has a laundry list of accolades that attest to his baseball skills. But can he catch a ball that is hurtling towards him with his bare hands?
A viral video on YouTube appears to advance the case that he can. In the video, a reporter is interviewing Longoria near the first base line while the team is practicing. A fellow Tampa Bay Ray goes up to bat and hits a line drive at Longoria and the reporter. While the ball whizzes towards the two, Longoria spins around and catches the ball in his ungloved hand. He then tells his teammates to “Keep it on the field,” while the reporter stares in awe.
The 24 second video has been viewed more than 9 million times since it was first uploaded in 2011. Based on the comments, people who have seen the video are divided about whether or not the video is fake. According to Politifact, Longoria maintains that it is real. Longoria told the St. Petersburg Times and the Tampa Tribune that the video was filmed on a handheld camera at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla. Though Longoria maintains that the catch actually happened, Politifact and Snopes say that the video is a clever piece of advertising from one of Longoria’s sponsors, Gillette. Snopes points out that in the video, the Gillette logo is prominent on both sides of Longoria’s head. Politifact says it came to the conclusion that the video is false after looking at the video frame by frame. In one frame, the ball is on a downward trajectory, then it magically rights itself upward, which can’t happen because of gravity.