Eileen Depesa, of Plainfield, displays the signed bat she received during Monday's White Sox game. Depesa has drawn national news coverage for grabbing a different bat that went sailing into the stands on a swing by Sox catcher Tyler Flowers -- saving a baby from being hit. | Frank Vaisvilas ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 1, 2014 6:23AM
Eileen Depesa believes her motherly instinct took over when she caught a baseball bat that went into the stands at Monday’s White Sox game and saved a baby behind her from being hit.
The incident has received national media attention, including ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and ABC’s “World News Tonight.”
Diane Sawyer, the “World News Tonight” anchor, mentioned how the man sitting next to Depesa ducked as the bat came barreling toward them and how quickly Depesa reacted to save the baby.
That man is Depesa’s boyfriend, who, because of all the publicity the incident has received, she would identify only as “Dan,” a Lockport resident.
“It was a natural reaction to duck,” said Depesa, 51, of Plainfield. “So he’s been getting a lot of grief for that.”
Dan had his back toward the field, and Depesa was talking to him when the bat came flying.
Depesa said she knew there was a baby behind her and had talked to the family before the incident because the baby’s great-grandfather had been honored as a World War II veteran at the game.
The bat came from the hands of White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers, who lost control during a swing in the second inning of the game vs. Cleveland.
Depesa was sitting in the first row near third base. She said a security staff member came and collected the bat, but she was presented with a different bat later signed by Flowers.
Depesa said the media attention has been “unexpected and crazy.”
“My kids love it,” she said.
The lifelong Sox fan has two adult children and works for a law firm in Naperville.