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Class A prospect sees father catch HR ball

SEATTLE -- Astros prospect Conrad Gregor and his father, Marty, have shared plenty of games of catch over the years, but what happened Saturday night in Davenport, Iowa, tops everything.

Gregor hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning for Class A Quad Cities -- his first homer of the season -- and, amazingly, his father caught the ball on the fly while standing beyond the right-center-field fence in a moment neither will ever forget.

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"I didn't know he was going to be out there," Conrad said. "I didn't know at the time that it happened, but after I saw him a lot of people were cheering. I spotted my dad and it was a pretty cool moment. Then I saw it on video after and I just started laughing, and that was really cool that he caught it. Didn't need a glove. Pretty good hands from the old man."

Marty and his wife, Megan, live in Carmel, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis, and decided to spend Memorial Day weekend watching the River Bandits instead of going to the Indianapolis 500, which they've done in the past. The couple took a stroll around Modern Woodmen Park about midway through the game.

"We were just standing out there watching, and the sixth inning rolled around and we knew Conrad was coming up and I thought to myself, 'Wouldn't that be something really crazy if he hit one,'" Marty said. "I was just watching his at-bat and heard a crack of the bat and watched the ball. It was pretty obvious that it looked like it was out from the moment it was off his bat, and I was just wondering, 'Can I catch it?' It was crazy."

Marty, who played football at Wabash College, caught the ball over his right shoulder and then spun around and held it up in the air with his right hand.

"I'm not known for having the most receiving of hands," he said. "I played football in college. My friends used to make fun of me and say I had stone hands. I think when your son hits one, you have to do everything you can to try to catch it on the fly."

Conrad said his dad taught him how to throw a baseball and how to hit, and he joked that maybe he knew exactly where he was going to hit the ball.

"I'm going to try to get him to come see me play more often and get some tickets to the right-center gap," he joked. "Maybe I'll hit a few more out."

Marty is going to keep the ball as a keepsake.

"We're going to put it someplace special," he said. "Over the years, we've kept a number of his baseballs that have been important or special, and this one will be one that sits right next to many others."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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