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Fan snares playoff home runs at Dodger Stadium, Wrigley Field

Keith Hupp, the retired police officer who became an internet sensation after catching Justin Turner's walk-off home run in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series last Sunday at Dodger Stadium, did it again Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.

Hupp, 54, came up with the home run that Javier Baez hit in the bottom of the second inning in Game 4 of the NLCS to give the Chicago Cubs a 2-0 lead against the Dodgers. It was his second home run ball of the NLCS and 11th of the season.

"This one I did not catch. I was just the closest to it," Hupp told ESPN. "He hit it and he pulled it and I didn't know if it would stay fair. I had moved up behind the bleachers on that walkway in Wrigley and it was a couple feet over my glove, but it hit the wrought iron fence. If it cleared that it would have been on Waveland but it hit it and bounced right back to me.

"I was the first one to dive and get my hand on it and I felt a whole bunch of other hands," Hupp said.

He might have hurt himself in the process.

"I might have actually cracked a rib. I'm a little sore today and it was hurting last night but I held on tight," he said. "I was just the first one to pounce on it. There was nothing to it. It was just being in the right place at the right time. It was just dumb luck. There was nothing special about it."

You can rank your home run balls the way Hupp does when you have caught as many as he has. The Baez home run ball is his 19th during the past two seasons.
Hupp, a police officer for 33 years, retired as a captain from the South Gate Police Department a little more than two years ago. He has been a Dodgers season-ticket holder for more than 20 years and has been in the left-field pavilion for the past 10 seasons. Hupp also travels to many away games, always sitting in the outfield, and says he has attended 238 games in the past two seasons.

If Hupp wasn't in so much pain he might not actually have the Baez home run ball in his possession.

"You know how the Cubs make a big deal about throwing the opposing team's home run ball back?" Hupp said. "They threw the Turner home run back and that killed me. That's a Justin Turner home run ball! So I had planned to throw back the ball if I caught a Cubs home run but I was sore and after hitting the ground hard and I didn't have time to do it. You have to throw it back right away."

Last month Hupp gave Dodgers rookie first baseman Cody Bellinger his record-tying (35) and record-breaking (36) home runs balls when he surpassed Mike Piazza for the Dodgers rookie home run record.

Bellinger gave Hupp a couple of signed baseballs along with a jersey and bat for giving him his home run balls. Hupp said he anticipates getting something similar from Turner after giving him his home run ball after the game last Sunday. If Baez wants his home run ball, Hupp said he would gladly give it back as well.

"I don't think Javy has any interest in getting it back after hitting two, but maybe I can get him to sign it," Hupp said. "I just hope it's not the home run that starts a comeback for the Cubs. I'd hate to have a piece of anything in my collection that destroys this season for the Dodgers."

Hupp said he was recognized by some of the ballhawks at Wrigley Field when he arrived for Games 3 and 4 after the attention he received following the Turner home run catch. He said word spread fast that he was also the one who came up with Baez's home run.

"I didn't really want to be the center of anymore attention," Hupp said. "It's a little overkill to be honest. I did the interview with ESPN.com after catching Turner's home run and I didn't want to tell me people, 'no' if they contact me, but I don't want to be the story."

Hupp will be at Wrigley Field on Thursday for Game 5 of the NLCS and hopes if he catches another home run ball it's because the Dodgers are going to the World Series.

"I've been waiting for the Dodgers to get back to the World Series for 29 years," Hupp said. "I'm hoping tonight is the night. Maybe Turner will hit me one. That would be cool to catch another one from him."

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