What better way to spend your ninth birthday than at your first baseball game? Shaun Cunningham, 37, brought his son, Landon, to a stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Florida to see a spring training game between the Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates, and it turned out to be a birthday they’ll never forget. Pirates outfielder Danny Ortiz lost control of his bat and it flew towards the stands. While this was happening, Landon was sending a photo of the game to his mother. It turned out that the bat was headed right for the young boy’s face. Thinking fast, Cunningham threw out his arm, sustaining bruises to his wrist but successfully changing the direction of the bat. The bat ended up flying over the boy’s head. It wasn’t until later when they saw photos of the incident that they realized how serious it could have been. Cunningham is now being called a hero for his actions, and Landon couldn’t have been more pleased about how the game went.Landon Cunningham of Ocala was excited to spend his ninth birthday with his father Shaun at a spring training match against the Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Danny Ortiz of the Pirates lost grip of his bat and it went flying towards the stands, right for Landon’s face.
As a parent, you want to protect your children, and that’s exactly what Cunningham did. He extended out his arm and successful changed the direction of the bat. It flew over his son’s head. Photographer Christopher Horner of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review captured the sequence of events, revealing just how close the bat was to Landon’s face.
In an interview with WFTV, Cunningham said, ‘I didn’t have a whole lot of time to think about it. It was dad mode, you know, protecting my son. So I just did what I could.’ We also learned that he works as a firefighter and played baseball in high school, two things in which fast reflexes are integral.
Cunningham feared that son could have had a broken nose or suffered a skull fracture. His wife, Angela, felt a little nauseous after seeing the photos. Landon views his dad as a hero.
Instead of a serious injury, Landon has a fantastic story to share with others for years to come. ‘I feel like I’m gonna be famous,’ the 9-year-old revealed to CBS Pittsburgh.