A bit of advice for the next time you find yourself in Taiwan: Don’t play poker with Fubon Guardians center fielder Lin Che-Hsuan. You won’t find a better bluffer.
In the sixth inning of Friday’s Chinese Professional Baseball League game, Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions second baseman Pan Chieh-Kai blasted a 1-0 pitch from Henry Sosa to dead center field. Lin raced back, put his hand up against the fence to brace himself, jumped, and came back down looking dejected.
The crowd went wild, Pan trotted around the bases, pumped his fist between second and third base, slapped five with his third base coach, accepted some more congratulations, pointed to some fans behind home plate… and then turned around in utter shock, because the ball was on its way back to the infield.
Lin had faked out everyone, even the announcer who had initially called it a catch.
It took a replay to make it clear what had happened, which was that Lin definitely did catch the ball, and then just had some fun with everyone.
The opposite situation happened in 1989 in Minnesota, when Twins catcher Tim Laudner sent a pitch from Brewers closer Dan Plesac deep to center field at the Metrodome and Robin Yount made a convincing enough play on the ball that Laudner was called out by second base umpire Durwood Merrill. Only, the ball came out of Yount’s glove and went over the wall for a home run. The Brewers still hung on for a 3-2 win.