Earning almost $45 million playing in professional sports is nice, but it won't help you score a foul ball.
At least not if you're former NBA center Matt Geiger, who pulled a move reminiscent of Steve Bartman during Sunday's Rays game. Geiger, sitting down the first base line, literally used his height advantage to block Tampa Bay first baseman Carlos Pena from catching a foul pop-up in the eighth inning.
Twins outfielder Josh Willingham was the benefactor as the foul ball dropped to the ground, leading to some loud boos for the former center as he was escorted up the seats to speak with ushers.
Geiger played parts of 10 seasons for the Heat, Hornets and Sixers during the 1990s.
Out of basketball since 2001, he's probably best known on sports blogs for his real estate dealings. Geiger unloaded his 28,000-square-foot estate, which included a shark tank and 330,000-gallon swimming pool with a sweet rock-diving cliff for $8 million last year.
Geiger, a father, admitted he was just trying to win some extra points by grabbing a foul ball for his son.
"I thought I was 5 or 10 feet in, easily," Geiger told WTSP-TV in Tampa. "I couldn't judge it, but I thought I was that far ... then getting a beat on the ball, I totally lost track of where I was. When I put my hands out to get it, all of a sudden Carlos' hands were in my chest. The ball hit me in the wrists, my hands hit his glove. Then I realized what happened, and I felt terrible ... he could have made that play."
In addition Geiger explained to WTSP-TV, he would have texted Carlos Pena to apologize, if only he had his phone number.
As for Pena, he told the Tampa Bay Times, "He (Geiger) blocked me; one of many in his career."
As a matter of fact, he only had 347 blocks in his career, an average of just 0.6 per game, sort of surprising for a seven-foot tall NBA player.
By the way, Geiger wasn't actually ejected from the Rays game. After a check of video, security realized he didn't actually reach onto the playing field to make the catch.
-- Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.
Check out video of Matt Geiger's Steve Bartman moment. CLICK HERE
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