Dan O’Reilly, a junior at Henry Sibley High (at least for one more day, until the summer vacation before his senior year starts) was one of those 1,000.
“I was hoping I would be more known for that,” O’Reilly said with a laugh Thursday morning.
Instead, the good-natured O’Reilly learned this week that when it comes to fame, sometimes your 15 minutes come via pains instead of brains.
Playing with the section baseball title on the line Monday against South St. Paul with his team ahead 20-1 in a victory that launcheda state tournament berth, O’Reilly was up to bat in the fifth inning. He swung at a 1-2 pitch and fouled it directly — no bounce, nothing — into a very delicate area.
“I watched the slow-motion and I hit off the bottom of the bat,” O’Reilly said. “I have never done that before and I don’t think I ever will.”
His reaction was priceless. And the game was being streamed. Next thing you know, O’Reilly was “Internet famous.”
(Both videos below viaTown Square Television and www.townsquare.tv).
IM CRYING AT HIS REACTION pic.twitter.com/33glnrKiBQ
— Kent (@RealKentMurphy) June 8, 2016
After rolling around on the ground for a while, O’Reilly got up, shook it off and … dabbed? Yes, the little dance made famous by Cam Newton this past year is kind of his thing. “I wasn’t really thinking about it. I figured better show that I’m all right and I wanted to get a reaction,” he said. I just did that really quick. I’ve been known to do that. I guess that’s my go-to.”
A Deadspin post on the foulest ball has 60,000 views. “When the video came out, I was thinking it would be spread around,” O’Reilly said, adding that it is a little weird to be known for something like this.
The good news is that O’Reilly reported that as of Thursday he was feeling just fine. The bad news is that he already had a vacation scheduled and is slated to miss the state tournament, which begins next week — so there can be no encore, at least this year.
“That's a major bummer,” O’Reilly said of missing the tourney. All he can do in the days leading up to it is keep the ball fair.
“I’ll try not to do that at practice this week,” he said.