A plate of nachos and a cheesy Dodgers fan became unlikely marquee stars of a game in Los Angeles Wednesday night.
Justin Turner’s third-inning solo home run fell through the hands of fan Brandon Lopez, sitting in the first row behind the left field wall of Dodger Stadium. The ball splashed into a plate of the baseball fondue.
Lopez, 27, of Los Angeles, came up with ball and became an instant social media celebrity thanks to images of his jacket and face covered in melted cheese.
The nachos were actually his friend’s. She had put the yummy concoction on top of the Chavez Ravine wall for a picture when Turner stepped to the plate about 375 feet away and blasted a change-up from Colorado Rockies pitcher Jon Gray.
“My first thought was, ‘Oh God, this ball is coming straight at me,’” Lopez told NBC Los Angeles early Thursday morning. “My second thought was, ‘Try not to interfere with the play. Try not to extend my hand over the wall.’ “
He tried to protect the nachos, but couldn’t come up with a clean catch or a spotless jacket.
“And yeah I put my hands above the nachos,” said Lopez, who works in the admissions department at nearby Occidental College. “I bobbled the ball. It went right trough my hands, it hit my hands and into the nachos.”
A modest Lopez said he was nothing more than a supporting actor for the real “star of” this latest baseball blockbuster.
“But I’ve been thinking, like, the nachos, the nachos is the star of the show,” the humble fan said. “Without that whole mess, I don’t think it would have been such a cool moment.”
Lopez triumphantly held the homer ball in the air, not aware he was about to be Hollywood’s next viral hit or even that he was covered in cheese.
“To be honest with you, I feel like I blacked out for a few seconds. I didn’t notice that I was covered in cheese until after putting my hand up and kind of noticing like, ‘What’s all this?’ “
The Dodgers, channeling their inner-Village People, immediately dubbed Lopez “Nacho nacho, man” and called Wednesday’s game “Nacho average night.”
The team sent Lopez a team hoodie and, of course, another plate of nachos to replace the one ruined by Turner.
The Dodgers third baseman said he knew he made solid contact but wasn’t sure it would be a round-tripper as the ball fought its way through the West Coast marine layer that so often prevents home runs at night.
“When I saw the yellow splatter all over the guy’s chest, I knew it was a homer,” Turner told Spectrum SportsNet LA after the game.
“I went into the clubhouse after and asked one of the guys if he could replace his nachos. So I ruined a meal for him so I had to replace it.”