On April 22, 1981, Randy Kobman skipped school to see the Cincinnati Reds play the Atlanta Braves at Riverfront Stadium. He was at the front of the second deck when a foul ball headed his way. Kobman reached out to catch it, and fell over the railing.
Thanks to some combination of fate and bench pressing, Kobman saved himself. As he was falling toward the field, Kobman tossed the souvenir ball away, reached back, and grabbed the railing he’d just cartwheeled past with his right arm. His body slammed against the facing of the upper deck, but he never lost his grip. He braced himself against the wall with his legs as his body swung around and held on. It was as clutch a play as Riverfront Stadium, or any stadium, had ever seen.
“I remember it clearly, just seeing the guy hanging up there, way up there,” Ray Knight, the Reds’ third baseman that day, tells me. “The rails at Riverfront were built so that they had an angle in toward the seats, so I saw him hanging up there, but I never knew how he actually grabbed the dang rail, the way it’s built. That was an unbelievable thing.”
The film clip of that fall was broadcast nationwide. But whatever happened to Kobman? Dave McKenna was recently reminded of the incident, and set out to find him. The result is an extensive update on Kobman, now 54, about that day he came close to dying, the publicity that ensued, and what he’s done since then. -via Digg