There are few occurrences in sports as unexpectedly joyful as foul balls. You never know when a ball could come careening into the stands, and that bit of uncertainty adds a certain level of excitement to the game.

Some of the time foul balls are out of the reach of fans, but when fans have a chance to grab the ball, good things can happen.

Here's a review of the best (and worst) foul ball catches of 2012:

The Best Foul Ball Grabs Of 2012 Slideshow


The Facebooker

San Diego Padres fan Travis Decker was checking in to Petco Park on Facebook when a foul ball nailed him in the shoulder.


Padres Dad

With a baby in one arm, this father reached over the railing at a Padres game and picked up a foul ball with his bare hand.


Braves Dad

This guy has a message to the Padres dad: "Anything you can, I can do better." Not only was this man also holding an infant, he caught the ball on a fly. Well played, pops.


Cup Catch

Who needs a glove when you've got a brew? This crafty Chicago Cubs fan tipped a foul ball into a friends head, and it ricocheted into her beer.


No Thumb? No Problem.

This Padres fan was eating his bread bowl when someone alerted him to an oncoming foul ball. Even though he had the bread bowl in one hand and a broken thumb on the other, he somehow managed to corral the ball in his mitt.


An Arizona Diamondbacks cameraman got in on the action when he reached out and grabbed a foul ball. He didn't have much time to celebrate, however, as he had to continue filming the game.


Bucket Boy

You've got to love when fans get creative to catch foul balls. This kid used his popcorn bucket to snag a popup, and it worked to perfection.


Over-The-Wall Snag

This one is a certifiable web gem. A young fan reached over the railing for an extremely impressive backhanded catch.


Dad And Son Duo

Sometimes, it takes a little teamwork to grab a foul ball. This father and son, who are apparently the brother-in-law and nephew of Cincinnati Reds catcher Rayn Hanigan, made an excellent snag during a game at Yankee Stadium.


Between-The-Legs Grab

Sometimes your hands are full at a baseball game, so your legs come into play. This fan appears to have been returning from the concession stand when a ball bounced his way, and he used his thighs to grab onto it.

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