Inside the viral moment between Adam Duvall, a pyramid of cups and his fans

When the Braves outfielder threw a strike to topple a beer cup pyramid, it became a viral social media moment, and one the fans nearby at Truist Park say they will cherish. Here’s the backstory
Atlanta Braves' Adam Duvall celebrates after hitting a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Atlanta Braves' Adam Duvall celebrates after hitting a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

WASHINGTON – Hey there.

Baseball is the best because of stories like the one I am about to share.

On Sunday, Braves fan Katie Ewald and her close friend, Bri, were sitting in right field at Truist Park watching the Braves in their series finale versus Oakland. At one point during the game, Ewald and Bri began talking to a couple guys in front of them – men who, coincidentally, were part of a Nashville band named The Huffer Brothers. They all watched the game together from the section in front of the Chop House. They bonded over Braves baseball and beer.

This group soon found itself at the center of a fun baseball moment – one they will not soon forget. It had to do with baseball, beer and Adam Duvall. It went viral on social media. You might have seen it.

Ever heard of a beeramid?

It is a pyramid made of beer cups. And on Sunday, Ewald and her section worked together to build a beeramid with 21 (!!) cups. They did a nice job with it.

And as the Braves warmed up for the top of the ninth inning, Ewald filmed the video that went viral: Duvall, playing right field at the time, lobbed a ball toward the beeramid and … BANG. He nailed it. The cups flew everywhere. Ewald and the others near her went wild. They had a lasting memory. So did Duvall, who said he’d never done something like this during a game.

On Wednesday, I talked to Duvall about this. On Thursday, I reached out to Ewald on Instagram and, fortunately, she messaged me back. They were both great in telling the story of this hilarious and heartwarming moment of a player connecting with fans.

“They were building it up as the game went on,” Duvall said of the beeramid. “I knew they were wanting me to throw it, so by the ninth inning, it was big enough. I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m gonna hit this.’ And then out of the hand, it looked good, and then they went crazy whenever it fell. It was pretty cool.”

“Once we had people in the section willingly contributing to the pyramid, we all knew what had to happen next,” Ewald wrote to me. “Without any discussion, the two rows started chanting for Adam collectively and the excitement caught on. Adam gave us that million-dollar smile and we waited two more innings – and boy did he deliver!”

The moment almost didn’t happen: In that ninth inning, Duvall actually forgot about the pyramid. He planned on trying to hit it, but before the top of the ninth, he threw the ball he had warmed up with to a kid.

“I locked eyes with this kid and I was like, ‘Well, I gotta get him a ball,’” Duvall said. “And then I threw it, and I was like, ‘Oh, man.’ So, I had (the bat boy) throw me another ball, and then, BOOM.”

From the stands, Ewald thought Duvall was trying to trick the crowd a bit at first by throwing a ball into another section. But she saw him quickly call for another baseball – the one that decimated the beeramid. Duvall, she said, “was a great sport and is a world-class guy.”

Here’s the funny part: In speaking with both of them, they each had different expectations for the throw. Duvall seemed surprised that he hurled an on-target rocket. But Ewald had all the faith in the world in Duvall.

“I didn’t have a doubt he was going to knock it down; the delivery was effortlessly smooth and he seemed confident in the throw,” she said. “Hearing that he didn’t actually feel that same confidence is hilarious and shows what a different perception we had from our vantage points. From the second the ball left his hand it was right on target! Maybe it’s from me playing too much MLB The Show, but I felt like he was in ‘Showtime Mode’ and I could see it play out in slow motion. When he nailed it, the moment was electric! Everyone went crazy cheering and giving out high fives all around just like if he hit a go-ahead homer. It’s a moment I’ll never forget!”

Duvall said this: “It’s crazy because, like, normally whenever I throw the ball into the stands, I’m aiming for someone and it’s normally either short or long. The depth perception (makes) it hard to get it to the right person, so that’s why I was like, ‘I’ll take a shot, but I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to hit it.’ Smoked it, though.”

He sent a perfect strike into the pyramid. It toppled over.

“It was cool to see, just as a group, everybody just go crazy for something not even baseball-related,” Duvall said. “So that was a cool little connection there between the fans and I.”

Ewald has since ordered a Duvall jersey. The outfielder, after all, gave her “one of the greatest Braves moments I’ve had at Truist.”

She has a lot of those.

She and her father watched the Braves clinch a World Series berth by winning Game 6 of the NLCS over the Dodgers. She saved her then-girlfriend (now fiancee) by catching Josh Donaldson’s errant throw to Freddie Freeman.

Her latest Truist Park memory is special in its own special way.

“It’s truly amazing that Adam and the right field crew has this epic moment together and he got to show off the cannon,” she said.

Ewald’s video made the rounds on social media. MLB’s official account on X (formerly Twitter) credited her Instagram account. News outlets have asked to repost her video with credit.

By filming the moment, she allowed all of us to see something that provided another reminder of why we love this sport and the moments it brings us.

“I love that the video has really taken off and given (Duvall) some more of the spotlight,” she said. “There’s nothing as a Braves fan that I love more than supporting my team and our players. This is a team that loves to have fun and I’m glad that we were able to be a part of that in hopefully another world championship season.”

Atlanta Braves pitcher Spencer Schwellenbach delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, at Fenway Park in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Credit: AP

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Credit: AP

Extra Innings

-The Braves apparently will give Spencer Schwellenbach another start with them. He’s lined up to pitch Tuesday’s series opener in Baltimore.

In 9-2/3 innings across two major-league starts, the right-hander has allowed nine earned runs. He gave up six earned runs over 4-2/3 innings in Boston on Wednesday.

This will sound funny, but … he hasn’t been THAT bad. There’s a lot to like with him, including his stuff and repertoire.

On Thursday, I asked Braves manager Brian Snitker about how the club evaluates whether to let Schwellenbach develop in the majors versus bringing up another arm. The manager – who has seen a ton of baseball and a lot of pitchers – spoke highly of Schwellenbach.

“I think the biggest thing you look for is how handles it, and he handled it really well,” Snitker said. “He’s got a great mound presence, and I don’t see the game speeding up on him, and his stuff’s really good – he doesn’t have a whole lot to draw back on yet. He’s creating those experiences, and every time he goes out, he’s going to learn something different. He looks to be a very astute kid, he’s sharp, (with) really good stuff and the ability to throw the ball over the plate – which is huge, I think. What little (time) I’ve known him and visiting with him and all, he’ll figure things out. He’s gonna be okay. I think there’s really good upside to that guy.”

-Duvall said something interesting after Thursday’s win. (Unfortunately, it was not about the beeramid.)

He said the Nationals’ outfielders were playing deep on Thursday. The Braves had some deep or deep-ish flyouts.

“We focus on driving the baseball, and they’ve done a good job of controlling that,” Duvall said.

Now, this probably can only be done with good defensive outfielders, and the Nationals have a couple of them. But it’s one way they tried to neutralize the Braves, who had no hits through five innings before breaking through and winning.

-A.J. Minter (left hip inflammation) is feeling well, Snitker said on Thursday. He can play catch and keep his arm going.

He’s rehabbing in Atlanta. “But it’s going good, he feels good,” the manager added.

The Braves, Snitker said, will hopefully get Minter an inning of work at some point over the next week before he returns. That could come with a minor-league affiliate or in a live batting practice format. Pierce Johnson threw to his teammates at Truist Park before he came off the injured list in May, for example, but the Braves might not be home when Minter pitches. He’d likely have to throw in a minor-league game, in that case.

Minter is eligible to return as soon as June 14.