Boy distracted by phone saved by dad from flying baseball bat
Published Monday, March 7, 2016 10:44PM EST
Last Updated Friday, March 11, 2016 11:37AM EST
When Shaun Cunningham saw the black bat of Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Danny Ortiz streaking towards his eight-year-old son, Landon, his fatherly instincts kicked in.
Cunningham's left arm shot out, blocking his son's unprotected face, who was focused intently on a cellphone at the time.
It resulted in some amazing images, captured by a photographer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
"I was just protecting my son," Cunningham told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "There wasn't a lot of time to think about it. I just reacted."
The close call took place in the fifth inning of the Pirates spring training game Saturday against the Atlanta Braves in Orlando.
Ortiz lost his grip on the bat on a swinging strike, sending it into the stands near first-base. Cunningham had taken his son, who had never seen professional baseball in person before, to the game for his birthday. They were sitting a few rows behind the Braves' dugout, according to the Tribune-Review.
Just before the bat came hurtling towards him, Landon had taken a photo with his phone and was sending it to his mother.
Cunningham, a former high school baseball player who now works as a firefighter, said the bat ended up hitting him in the wrist and caught Landon on the shoulder.
"We're both fine," Cunningham, told the Tribune-Review. "I'm a little bruised, but I'll survive. I've been through worse."