SEATTLE -- Many baseball fans bring gloves to the game just in case a ball is hit their way. This, clearly, is unnecessary. Johnny Turk has a better piece of equipment: a cup of beer.
Turk is the Seattle fan who caught a foul ball in his beer at Wednesday night's Astros-Mariners game, then immediately chugged what beer was left in the cup -- and what didn't shower all over his chest.
"There was maybe half a beer in it," Turk said. "As soon as that ball hit it, the cup just exploded and it started leaking and I thought, 'Well, it's time to [drink up].'"
Video of the catch quickly spread across the Internet. To give you a sense of how fast things move in our world, by game time Thursday, Turk had a website -- catchnchug.com -- that offered $22 T-shirts celebrating the moment.
"My brother-in-law has a website called highschoolclothing.com that offers any high school in the country customizable apparel and stuff, and they're about to launch their site," Turk said. "So today he was like, 'You should do a T-shirt line with the whole iconic thing, the Seattle Shower. It would be great to pay off some of your student loans that way.' So I was like, 'Dude, I'm in! I'm in!' I'm 40 grand in [University of Washington] debts, so I'm trying to climb out of that."
Turk said he had never had a ball hit to him before Wednesday night. "It was just one of those things. It bounced off the handrail and then it was right in the breadbasket. It was ridiculous."
He said he got the idea earlier in the game when a ball was hit to a fan behind him. "He got that really loud smack, like a stinger on the hand," Turk said. "And I thought, 'You know, if one comes to me, I'm going to use my cup.' And holy crap, it did."
Asked whether Mariners outfielders Michael Morse and Raul Ibanez should consider replacing their gloves with beer cups, Turk laughed and said, "C'mon boys, get rid of those mitts. You're going to want a couple of these."
A lifelong Seattle fan, Turk said the catch was easily his top Mariners moment. "It's got to take the cake. Number one. How could I beat it?"
Well, the Mariners could reach the World Series.
"I'll keep my fingers crossed for that," he said.
Of course, the downside of using a beer cup to catch a ball is the cost. Turk said he was drinking a $9.25 cup of Sculler's IPA.