A Birthday Surprise For Ben

LOS ANGELES (August 15, 2006) — Actor. Writer. Director.

Ben Affleck is many things, but above all else, Ben is die-hard fan of the Boston Red Sox.

Ben turned 34 on Tuesday and Access Hollywood?s Billy Bush helped him celebrate over the weekend with a big birthday surprise.

On July 30, Ben and wife Jennifer Garner were in the first row at Fenway Park in Boston watching the Red Sox take on the Los Angeles Angels.

When a ball was hit in their direction, Angels rookie first baseman Howie Kendrick almost collided with Ben who was trying to catch the pop up. As Ben moved out of the way at the last moment, forgoing his attempt for his first foul ball, Kendrick made the catch.

As Billy and Ben chatted over the weekend, Billy showed Ben the TV clip of the play.

?You can see how I was going to make that catch,? Ben laughed.

?You had it!,? Billy joked. ?Was that the first time a fly ball ever came your way??

?Yes,? Ben sighed. ?It?s the closest I?ve ever come to playing Major League Baseball.?

But Billy had more than the clip in store for Ben. After the replay, the Angels player who robbed Ben appeared on the screen with a special message for the birthday boy, courtesy of Access.

?Sorry I didn?t let you grab that foul ball, but I had a job to do,? Kendrick said in a taped message to Ben. ?But nice try though, even for a Red Sox fan. So here you go, and congratulations on ?Hollywoodland.??

As the message ended, Billy handed Ben a ball signed by Kendrick.

?That is spectacular,? Ben beamed. ?Can we play that back again??

As Ben and Billy joked about the game (which the Angels ended up winning 10-4), Ben admitted that Kendrick stepping in might have been a blessing in disguise.

?The thing I secretly think is he might have done ma giant favor. Because if I had dropped the ball, that clip was going to get some play ? me dropping it would?ve been all over the place,? Ben joked.

?What did you say to Jen right when you sat down after that?? Billy asked.

?I think I was just too much in shock still,? Ben said. ?She just looked at me like ?What just happened???

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