Dodgers bat boy saves Shohei Ohtani with incredible dugout catch

Longtime Dodgers bat boy Javier Herrera, left; Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani

Dodgers bat boy Javier Herrera has gone viral.


Yes, it's another video involving him and a foul ball. But unlike the previous time nine years ago, Herrera is being praised for his skills after he made a barehanded catch that may have saved Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani a lot of pain.

In the footage, which appears to be from the Dodgers' 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday at Guaranteed Rate Field, Herrera stands on the dugout steps, with Ohtani behind his right shoulder. When a blistering foul ball whizzes directly toward the two-time American League MVP's face, Herrera is quick to react.

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Both hands reflexively swing up to make the catch — and the 38-year-old who has been a Dodgers bat boy for 20 years prevented what could have been a catastrophic injury to Ohtani.

Not that anyone would have known by Herrera's reaction. After taking a brief look in Ohtani's direction, Herrera casually handed the ball to someone.

Ohtani, who hit his National League-leading 25th home run in the first inning, can be seen approaching Herrera with a wide smile. Meanwhile, Will Ireton, Ohtani's interpreter, stares at the bat boy with his mouth wide open.

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Herrera didn't come off looking nearly as smooth Aug. 16, 2016, while attempting to catch another foul ball. He was filling in as a ball boy during a Sunday game against the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium. During the fifth inning, Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart hit a slicing foul ball headed toward the left-field stands behind Herrera.

In an effort to protect fans, Herrera put his glove up and leaned back over the railing to catch the ball. Instead, he took a dramatic tumble over a table and onto his back on the concrete. The ball bounced into the stands.

"Oh my goodness," legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully said during the broadcast. "Is he OK?"

Herrera was — physically at least.

“I lay there thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, what did I just do?'" he told The Times' Bill Plaschke. "'I just embarrassed myself on national TV!’”

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He immediately got up, returned to the overturned bucket serving as his seat and hung his head. But he had nothing to be embarrassed about — the crowd applauded his effort.

“I thought I might get heckled,” Herrera said. “I did not think I would get cheered.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.