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The Story Behind This Viral Photo and the Hero Dad

It's a baseball fan's dream to catch a foul ball. But one dad didn't expect to catch a foul bat.

As these viral photos show, though, it's a good thing he did because the act might have just saved his son's life.

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Shaun Cunningham took his son Landon to a Pittsburg Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves spring training game as a part of Landon's early birthday present on Saturday.

When Landon looked down to text his mom, Cunningham saw the bat slip out of a Pirates' player hand and fly toward the stands.

"I didn't have a lot of time to react and I just did whatever I could to try to block it or deflect the bat and really had no idea how close it came to my son's face until I saw the picture Sunday night," Cunningham told ABC News.

Christopher Horner, a photographer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, captured the moment where the bat hit Cunningham's arm instead of Landon's head.

"My dad is a hero," Landon said.

We're pretty sure the kid will want to sit next to his dad at every game from now on. Plus, the 8-year-old will probably never look away from the field again.

We can add Cunningham to the list of all-star bare-handed dads who were ready for anything that comes out of left field, alongside Keith Hartley (who caught a ball while feeding his baby) and Mike Capko (who caught one while babywearing).

Photographs by: Christopher Horner/Tribune-Review

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