Infamous ballhawking fan goes viral at Yankees spring training game

By , Audacy Sports

A baseball fan who made headlines for all the wrong reasons last season has resurfaced in the early days of the 2023 campaign.

Fans on social media had a good laugh at the sight of a fanny pack-clad fan in the outfield concourse pretending he was in the field for the Yankees during Tuesday's spring training game against the Tigers.

The goofy stunt even caught the attention of YES Network cameras, with announcers Ryan Ruocco and John Flaherty noting the fan's intensity and dedication.

And it wasn't the first time the fan was spotted "playing" for the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field this spring.

But as many users on Twitter pointed out, the enthusiastic spectator appeared to be Mark Kirsch, who turned heads last season when he ruthlessly snatched a Juan Soto home run ball out of the glove of a teenager at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Kirsch seems to have become something of a notorious ballhawk in at least a few different ballparks around the country over the past couple years. At Tuesday's game, he appeared to have several balls with him when he shifted from left field to right field to account for a left-handed hitter coming to the plate.

Kirsch gained some degree of recognition over the past decade or so for his displays of strength, which usually entailed towing massive vehicles such as plans, tanks and trucks by rope. He documented his exploits on YouTube in a video series called "Man vs. Impossible" and made several appearances on local news stations to promote his performances.

Last season, Kirsch tried out for the independent league Savannah Bananas, apparently to no avail. He told Baseball America that he had no previous experience in baseball but was intrigued by the sport after throwing out the first pitch at a minor league game in Charleston, S.C., in 2017 soon after performing at an airshow at a nearby Air Force base.

Will Kirsch travel with the big league team to New York when the regular season gets underway? Time will tell.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: USA Today