The bases are loaded with San Francisco Giants. Mets left fielder Benny Agbayani catches a fly ball and thinks it’s the third out. He hands the ball to a child in the stands. But it’s actually only the second out of the inning.
It’s August 12, 2000, and the Mets are hosting the Giants at Shea. Mets pitcher Mike Hampton is on the mound, nursing a 1-0 lead in the top of the 4th inning.
Leading off for the Giants, Jeff Kent doubles to right field. Ellis Burks reaches on a throwing error. Rich Aurilia moves the runners over with a ground out. Then Hampton hits J.T. Snow to load the bases with one out. Giants catcher Bobby Estalella follows with an easy fly pop to left field.
Benny Agbayani makes an unforgettable play. Benny makes the catch and begins to jog off the field. He reaches over the railing and gives the ball to a child in the stands. Other fans and his teammates begin yelling to Agbayani that there are only two outs. Realizing his mental mistake, Benny takes the ball away from the kid in the stands.
But the umpires rule that once the ball left the field of play it became a dead ball. So all three base runners get to move up two bases. Kent and Burks both score, giving the Giants a 2-1 lead.
“I screwed up. I’m very sorry. I had a mental lapse and it shouldn’t have happened. I told Mike Hampton, ‘I’m sorry.'”Benny Agbayani told Newsday
Related: The Rusty Staub outfield switcheroo.
Just to show what a nice guy Benny was, before the next inning he gave the kid in the stands another ball. Luckily, in the bottom of the 7th inning, Todd Zeile bailed Agbayani out, hitting a two-run double to score Bubba Trammell and Edgardo Alfonzo. The Mets won the game 3-2.