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A man goes into ‘super dad mode’ to save his son from a flying baseball bat headed toward him

During a 2016 spring training game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Atlanta Braves, a potentially disastrous moment was narrowly averted when a Pirates’ player lost his grip on a baseball bat, sending it flying out of control and nearly striking a young boy in the face. 

The close call occurred as Shaun Cunningham and his 8-year-old son, Landon, were enthusiastically cheering for the Braves from the bleachers.

“I didn’t have a lot of time to think,” the man who went on super dad mode said. “Once I realized it was headed for my son, I just did anything I could to block it and deflect it.”

Christopher Horner, a photographer working for The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, snapped the now-viral photo. Positioned along the third-base line, directly across from where Cunningham and his son were seated, he witnessed the bat slipping from the grasp of Danny Ortiz, a Pirates outfielder.

While the photog recognized immediately that he had captured the moment, it wasn’t until later, when he viewed the photo on his computer, that he fully grasped the gravity of that precarious moment.

On Sunday night, the Cunninghams laid eyes on the photo for the first time.”It made me sick to my stomach,” expressed Ashley Cunningham, Landon’s mother.

During the game, her husband had informed her that there had been “a little bit of an incident” involving a bat nearly hitting their son, but reassured her that everyone was fine. Cunningham himself had sustained some bruises on his arm, which were the extent of the injuries.

The predominant topic of conversation on social media has revolved around why the child was looking at a phone when the bat came hurtling towards him. Cunningham clarified that Landon had borrowed his phone to snap a photo of Ortiz and was texting it to his mother.

“So while he was looking at the picture, I made sure I was paying attention to everything,” Cunningham added.

Despite the close call, Landon, who is also a baseball enthusiast, shared that he had a great time at the game. It was his first-ever visit to a professional baseball match, a special treat in anticipation of his upcoming birthday next week.

“It’s been crazy. The last 24 hours have been out of control.” said the quick-thinking dad from Ocala, Florida, who has been declared hero in several headlines.

Landon called his dad as his hero, acknowledging that without his quick thinking, he might have ended up in the hospital.

Christopher Horner | ABC news screenshot

A parent’s ultimate sacrifice is a testament to the deep, unconditional love they have for their children. It goes beyond mere words and often involves putting the needs and well-being of their offspring above everything else. This sacrifice can take many forms, but it all stems from a profound sense of responsibility and dedication.

At times, parenthood can feel like it grants you superpowers you never knew existed until you have to put them into action. Watch the video about this man who went on super dad mode.

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