Close Call: Reporter’s Selfie Reveals That a Baseball Whizzed By Her Head


Sun Sports Rays reporter Kelly Nash recently snapped some selfies atop the Green Monster, the tall left field wall in Fenway Park (home to the Boston Red Sox baseball team). Afterward, while reviewing the photos, Nash discovered the image above: it reveals that a speeding baseball whizzed by Nash, nearly slamming into her head.

Nash was visiting the park this past saturday for a future story on the Tampa Bay Rays. Here’s her account of what happened, according to Fox Sports Florida:

I was taking a picture of myself in the seats above the Green Monster during Red Sox batting practice.

Producer Art Dryce had called out ‘heads up!’ a few times while I was taking pictures around the left field section, but none of those balls actually fell close to me, so I took my chances turning my back on batting practice for a picture.

My whole family is from Massachusetts, and I knew they would be so excited to see me working at Fenway Park, and when I went to text them the picture I noticed the baseball by my head!

I laughed pretty hard when I saw such a surreal picture that I had no idea I took. I thought, you have got to be kidding me, maybe there ARE really angels in the outfield. I actually brought the movie with me on the trip and had it in my bag at the game.

Art had picked up what we think was that ball and gave it to me after we saw in the photo how close it came to my head.

Nash’s caption for the Instagrammed selfie states, “Most dangerous selfie ever. That happened.” She also followed up the selfie with a photograph of the Angels in the Outfield DVD she was carrying with her.


“Think the Angels in the Outfield saved me because I brought their DVD with me on the trip? #ThoughtSo,” she writes.

(via FOX Sports Florida via USA Today)

Image credit: Photograph by Kelly Nash

  • Mak Wa

    The ball also spins as well, you can almost see the stitching to the ball so… it seem real to me.

  • Mak Wa

    Not as much as it should, also the ball should spin too so it should just be a fuzzy blur.

  • Bill Austin Kearns

    if it’s a ‘shopped foto, the work is pretty good

  • D.G. Brown

    I love this article. Okay, first, it’s funny everyone saying that a cell phone camera cannot stop a ball in mid air (while pointed into the sun). I have pictures from similar lighting conditions from my iPhone 5 which have a shutter speed of 1/1700s. This shouldn’t be shocking since it’s an electronic shutter (although you do get the roll, as this image shows). When I shoot volleyball, I shoot at 1/800s, which is really the minimum for freezing a ball mid-spike.

    Of course baseballs often travel a lot faster than a volleyball. However, we’re not talking the speed of the pitch or off the bat, but the speed after it has travelled a ways. In 1/1700th of a second, a ball moving 40mph would go just over a centimeter in distance (I double-checked my math, but it is also 2am, so feel free to check). Now for the fun part in this whole thing. Due to the shutter roll effect, instead of just blur, that motion translates into skewing of moving objects. If that baseball is around 7.2 to 7.6cm, it seems safe to say that there is around 1cm of deformation. This is with the huge assumption that the phone’s reported shutter speed is the speed from capture start to capture end and not effective shutter speed (the amount of time each row is exposed).

    Now if it’s moving around 40mph (or even a little slower) that seems to fit in with her description since it would be fairly silent and not a disruption to the air.

    And one last detail. This picture was taken in portrait (if you look at her original off of twitter). In that orientation, the shutter roll will be left/right (can’t know directionality, though, since she could be triggering with onscreen button or volume button which appear on opposite sides). Up/down movement would cause blur (which there is a little, but not nearly as much). This means that vast majority of the ball’s movement was left/right. I think we assume little movement in the Z-axis here since she didn’t get hit with the ball :-P.

    So, given all that, the ball is passing behind her (likely left to right, but could be right to left), most likely coming from center field. Personally, my guess would be it was thrown (as others have suggestion), but it could have been hit. Though I do wonder why someone would throw the ball into the stands (though it could have been someone throwing the ball from the stands into the field).

    I’m pretty sure the picture is unaltered and I’m inclined to believe the reporter’s perspective, though I’m not sure where the ball really came from.

    Oh yeah, and I think the term “Selfie” is fine, especially when it’s a non-photographer posting random pics to instagram.

  • Destin

    I’d be inclined to say it’s the 12 year old kid in the seat below tossing the ball up and catching it. It’d also explain the lack of ‘excessive’ motion blur and why she’s looking the opposite way.

  • Mark Wheadon

    Plenty of people here think that she must have heard the ball? In a noisy environment like that? You’ve been watching too many cartoons guys — balls passing the back of your head (as opposed to ones half an inch from your ear) don’t make a loud jet-propelled noise as they pass.

  • Mark Wheadon

    You do know that bright sunny conditions like that will result in the iPhone using a fast shutter speed? Your walking subjects won’t be motion blurred in bright conditions like that unless your phone’s ancient or broken…

  • tyrohne

    10-4. This isn’t my first rodeo. My post was embellished for dramatic effect.

  • Mantis

    “Personally, my guess would be it was thrown (as others have suggestion), but it could have been hit. Though I do wonder why someone would throw the ball into the stands (though it could have been someone throwing the ball from the stands into the field).”

    This was shot during the pre-game batting practice, and there’s usually players warming up and getting loose in the outfield at this time. It’s actually pretty common for players to toss balls up into the stands during BP, especially to a kid or pretty girl.

  • Debo

    Most of the people commenting in here have little to no knowledge of baseball.

  • Mark Wheadon

    Which is forgivable (after all this is not a baseball blog). The number of people here who lack even a basic knowledge of photography is more surprising.

  • NotBuyingIt


  • FakePhoto

    It’s a poor photoshop job…

  • Scott Medley

    This ball would have hit the seats directly behind / in front of her… but she didn’t know until she sent the pic? And Yes, i have thought it through, you made an assumption that I hadn’t…. that must have been easy for you to make. Clearly, a cell phone camera can’t stop a speeding baseball unless the ball was on its way down (a towering pop-up), but it would have hit at her feet. As it’s probably a line-drive,it would have been so close to her head as to just miss and hit extremely near where she’s standing. Still calling BS. I say it’s all about coverage and now you all know this woman’s name. It’s brilliant on her part. Step out of the flock.

  • pjchooch

    Gravity only affects vertical velocity (until the ball hits the ground).

  • Mick Orlosky

    I think they’re skeptical that she never heard the ball when it supposedly landed mere feet from her. Knowledge of baseball has shown me that those balls make loud noises when they hit seats.

  • 3ric15

    I meant the friction with the air effects it horizontal velocity. Sorry bad wording…

  • JoanieGranola

    Whether the image is fake or not, as someone who stands in front of a video camera regularly, she should know enough not to backlight herself — even in a “selfie”. One of the images floating around shows the great deal of curves adjustment that was made to get her face (and surrounding area like her jacket) lightened. She could’ve gotten a good shot of herself with the field and home plate in the background from the top of the Green Monsta’ if she was facing in the other direction. She could’ve acclimated her eyes so she wouldn’t be squinting into the sun (and thus ruining her face).

  • William Campbell

    HAHAHA at this point in it’s parabola, arc for you, the ball is low and about to land. High in the parabola, I’m sorry, arc again, happened about 200 feet back.

  • hlkjhlkh

    You need a hobby fella.

  • Kenyatta Abasi


  • Me

    I’m with you!! The ball would have fallen in front of her, at her feet!! This is totally photoshopped and everyone is so gullible! There is also no one in the field in the direction where the ball would have come from. And seriously? Since when do sports reporters randomly carry around DVDs? That photo is definitely photoshopped! I wish news outlets would do some fact checking first!!

  • Mantis

    Or they make very little noise if they hit the concrete ground.
    And being BP, i’m sure there were fans around here making noise too.