Teen from Puyallup catches home run ball that ended M’s 21-year playoff drought
Many Mariners fans are still reeling from the playoff-clinching win on Friday, the first time they’ve made the postseason in 21 years. But one young fan in particular will have a piece of Mariners history with them forever: 17-year-old Marchany Roman, out of Puyallup, who caught the drought-ending home run hit by Cal Raleigh.
“I never thought I could love the game more till Friday night,” Roman said.
He tells KIRO 7 that Friday was his first-ever Mariners game. He says his stepdad bought tickets as a surprise for him after he made his club baseball team. As he was sitting in right field with his family, he pulled out his phone to capture Raleigh at bat. He says he knew as soon as Raleigh made contact, it was a homer.
“Half a second after hitting the ball, we saw it coming. Everybody around me got a little quieter because everyone was so focused on catching that ball,” Roman said.
“I was not letting anybody stop me from that ball. I jumped over him, grabbed over the guy behind us and that’s when I caught that ball,” Roman said.
“And then my stepdad, in the video I took, you could see his hand come into my glove and I thought it was somebody else. I’ll never forget. I was so mad, but then I seen he grabbed it. And after that, I don’t remember a thing,” Roman said.
He says within seconds of catching, people with the Mariners organization came to him and asked if he wanted to come down to the field for the celebration.
“The first thing I did was bend down and touch the sand and the grass because I don’t know if I am ever going to get the chance to do that again,” Roman said.
That was when he got the chance to meet the man who made Mariners history.
“I wanted to ask him, ‘is it cool I hug you?’ And he was like, ‘how’s it going, man?’ And I instantly went for the hug,” Roman said.
During his encounter with Raleigh, Roman says Raleigh asked him if he wanted to keep the ball. But Roman says he didn’t want to keep it because he knew how much it meant to Raleigh and the entire team.
“I know it means a lot to him. To the team, to the players,” Roman said.
Roman says he is thankful to his family for taking him to witness and be a part of history.
“I loved every single bit of it. I’m never going to forget that,” Roman said.