The Detroit Tigers’ Justin Upton learned a hard lesson about premature celebrations on flyballs Saturday.
Facing off against the Boston Red Sox, Upton’s Tigers were in the ninth inning with two outs when the slugging leftfielder stepped up to the plate. He came up with a solid hit that ended up being the game-tying home run Detroit was looking for… or so it appeared.
The baseball just barely missed clearing the wall in the center field, and Upton, not realizing that he had in fact not hit a home run, was busy with his celebration trot. He was snapped back to reality and barely made it to second base to scrounge out a double to keep the Tigers’ hopes alive.
We often see baseball players react like they’ve hit home runs, only to see the ball stay in the yard, but rarely does a guy make it to first base with his hand raised, like Upton did. Even the first-base coach thought the ball was gone.
Alas, Upton’s premature celebration Saturday was for naught, as the Tigers fell to the Red Sox 3-2. With the Tigers battling for the wild card, every win is important for them at this stage of the season. As for Upton, it goes to show that even veterans can make rookie mistakes.
It’s been that kind of season for Upton, who has struggled to keep his batting average above .230, but he made up for it Sunday, when he mashed two home runs in a 10-5 Tigers win.