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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Deadspin: Tony Gwynn Jr. Shows Us How Hecklers Should Be Dealt With

This video has been on YouTube for almost two years, but we’ve only just discovered it. And we are very glad that we did, because this may be the best way we’ve ever seen a baseball player handle a heckler.

JE (Jason) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:22 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: booze, dodgers, fans

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   1. John Northey Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4416781)
And suddenly Tony Gwynn Jr has tons of fans he never had before. Great way to respond.
   2. dr. scott Posted: April 17, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4416917)
Though very funny, it does not actually discourage the heckling... I mean who would not want to hear themseleves talking out of an MLB a##hole with leather lips?
   3. DA Baracus Posted: April 17, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4416931)
I've seen players do this before. It only encouraged the hecklers.
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 17, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4416963)
It also encourages the batter to swing for the Wences.
   5. eddieot Posted: April 17, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4417059)
<groan> But nice one Gonfalon!
   6. spycake Posted: April 17, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4417067)
I once saw late career (2001) Dante Bichette (Sr.) respond to hecklers by miming that he was flipping through a stack of money.

Such reactions do encourage more heckling, but I think most players generally enjoy it too (assuming it's not offensive, just loud and obnoxious).
   7. Eric Ferguson Posted: April 17, 2013 at 03:08 PM (#4417071)
If I were a baseball player, it would be really hard not to heel it up on the road.
   8. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4417173)
If I were a baseball player, it would be really hard not to heel it up on the road.


Dirk Hayhurst's books have several anecdotes about players in the minors heckling back at the hecklers (quite successfully, since the players are a lot more experienced with it than the fans) until ushers appear to whisk the fans away. I think in the majors the players are too rich to care much.
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 17, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4417197)
Tony Gwynn Jr. was too rich to care much even when he was in the minors, so his response here is inspiring.
   10. Steve Treder Posted: April 17, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4417214)
I once saw late career (2001) Dante Bichette (Sr.) respond to hecklers by miming that he was flipping through a stack of money.

How exactly does one mime flipping through a stack of money?
   11. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: April 17, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4417215)
Dirk Hayhurst's books have several anecdotes about players in the minors heckling back at the hecklers (quite successfully, since the players are a lot more experienced with it than the fans)...
Like in Ball Four: "NICE TEETH YA GOT THERE."
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:12 PM (#4417412)

After the "DAR-RYL" chants by the Fenway crowd in the 1986 World Series, Strawberry used to get the same treatment thereafter when going to Wrigley (as I did).

No matter how loud they got - and they got loud - Darryl would cup his hand to his ear as if trying to hear something. Then he would shake his head in the negative.

As it got even louder, he would 'try again' - then shrug as if he couldn't make out what the little mice in the RF bleachers were saying.

With a great smile to go with it, Straw won over a lot of Cubs fans back in the day.

   13. spycake Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:48 PM (#4417464)
As to the Bichette money mime, I believe it was quite involved. First he mimed taking it (or a wallet) out of his pocket, then counting the bills, etc., as a demonstration of superiority over the hecklers who were demeaning him. Seems odd it retrospect, but we were all pretty convinced at the time.
   14. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: April 18, 2013 at 07:16 AM (#4417684)
I was at a Marlins game in 1998, they were playing the Mets. I sat in the LF bleachers, where some kids (maybe 10 years old) were heckling Butch Huskey. They were not cruel or anything, more just being funny. I remember they taunted him with "Huskey has a big butt" which I think they copied from a kids baseball movie from back then sometime.

Anyway, Huskey played around with it in a similar fashion to Gwynn. When the chanting about his rear end picked up and had a good tempo, he would shake his butt in rhythm between pitches. Once a kid said something inappropriate and got a finger wag, but otherwise it was back-and-forth, and everyone had a good time. And since the Mets won, Huskey reminded the fans a few times to look at the scoreboard.

I also remember a time when Chuck McElroy was hanging out near the LF wall during BP (this was in San Diego), acting like he was going to toss up a souvenir ball to the fans in the stands, but every time it would be just a few feet short. In this case, he was taunting the fans.

One more - again in San Diego during BP. Woody Williams was playing catch in RF (not pitching that day), and he was throwing submarine knuckleballs, and occasionally talking to the fans about it ("Watch this!" kind of thing).

Other than reminiscing, my point here is that these were moments that were fun for everyone - the fans AND the players, everybody was smiling, having a good time, not taking anything too seriously. Gotta love it.
   15. Styles P. Deadball Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:44 AM (#4417766)
Other than reminiscing, my point here is that these were moments that were fun for everyone - the fans AND the players, everybody was smiling, having a good time, not taking anything too seriously. Gotta love it.


I can't be the only one that appreciates a good-natured, nuanced heckle.

The one that makes my skin crawl is the one you hear the most: "Hey, insert random visiting outfielder.... you suck!"
   16. GregD Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:04 AM (#4417788)
Watching Canseco flex for the Boston bleachers was my favorite response to heckling.
   17. villageidiom Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4417802)
<groan> But nice one Gonfalon!
's'alright.
   18. Moeball Posted: April 18, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4418082)
Was once at a Padres game at Jack Murphy Stadium (pre-"Qualcomm" days)- I think this was about circa '79 - my seats were down the RF line near the bullpen for the visiting team. JR Richard (pre-stroke, obviously) was warming up for the Astros down in the pen before the game and some big drunk loudmouth fan with a voice that really carried yelled out "JR, you're the ugliest mutha****** I've ever seen!"

JR just looked up at him, grinned, gave a thumbs up and said "Thank you!" That got everybody laughing. That's how you disarm your critics.
   19. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 18, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4418118)
eddieot:
<groan> But nice one Gonfalon!


villageidiom:
's'alright.


I love you, Iddie. Kiss me, eddieot.

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