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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Give foul balls to kids, you monsters

If you weren’t on the internet over the holiday weekend — and you shouldn’t have been, it was a freaking holiday weekend — you probably missed the latest in a string of ugly ballpark incidents that are staining the fine name of baseball.

Yep, another grownup stole a foul ball from a kid.

In this case, the event was an Ohio State-Minnesota game at the Big Ten championships, and the adult and the kid were both headed the same empty row to chase the ball. The adult got there first, and snapped up the ball like a pelican spearing a fish. Here’s the video

The things people do for souvenirs….

QLE Posted: May 29, 2019 at 05:35 AM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fans, foul balls, greed

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   1. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 29, 2019 at 06:50 AM (#5846383)
I hope that he's a guy who's gotten many foul balls in the past. I hope that there's no waiting grandchild who would really like the ball. I hope that he got a little thrill out of beating the kid to the ball. He got his ticket, he didn't push anyone, he got there first. It's his ball.

   2. PreservedFish Posted: May 29, 2019 at 07:43 AM (#5846386)
If you pick up a foul ball, you give it to a little kid. If you catch a foul ball on the fly, and it's your first, you can keep it.
   3. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 29, 2019 at 07:57 AM (#5846388)
#### that, I've never gotten a foul ball in the literally hundred and thirty odd baseball games I've attended in my life. I've only had one come close, and it was a hard ricochet at Fenway off of a lady's head that then literally clanked off my shitty, faithless hands and rolled down several rows to some frat bros who inevitably gave it to some worthless little snot who probably hadn't even been paying attention to the game.

If I get a foul ball, #### you, it's mine.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: May 29, 2019 at 08:08 AM (#5846390)
Catching a foul ball is an achievement. Picking up a foul ball is not, even if you had to race an elementary school kid to get there.
   5. dejarouehg Posted: May 29, 2019 at 08:32 AM (#5846393)
Went to several minor league games last year where the kids who were interested had many chances and often got multiple balls. The first two balls that I got I gave to some kids. The third, I trapped under my foot as I was walking down the aisle and a kid asked me for it. He'd already gotten 3-4 and I told him I was keeping this one. The little sh*t gave me a look that would kill.

Similar to #3, I've been to hundreds of games. Never got a foul/HR ball during a MLB game. (Moises Alou did throw a ball to me in Cincinnati when he was on the Cubs - Yes, I washed my hands.) I've gotten several batting practice balls, but now that teams are considering doing away with outdoor BP, that may become a non-starter and not the same as in game.

2 foul balls in MiLB games. Odds are a lot better there.
   6. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 29, 2019 at 08:46 AM (#5846396)
Catching a foul ball is an achievement. Picking up a foul ball is not,


Since I passed 50, picking up a ball is a lot more of a challenge than catching one.
   7. Scott Lange Posted: May 29, 2019 at 08:53 AM (#5846398)
I feel like the vocal contingent that insists that adults should give all foul balls to kids are people who don't themselves care about getting a baseball because they don't themselves care about baseball itself.

Personally, I'm fine with anyone keeping a ball they get fair and square. Now, hustling to beat a kid to a ball sitting on the ground and then celebrating like the doofus in the video did isn't a great look. And Peter King's infamous behavior regarding a Miguel Tejada foul ball is comically reprehensible. But for the most part, everybody should get to enjoy the thrill of going to a ballgame and catching a baseball, and not be shamed or feel guilty about it.
   8. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 29, 2019 at 09:02 AM (#5846401)
Catching a foul ball is an achievement. Picking up a foul ball is not, even if you had to race an elementary school kid to get there.


Similar to #6, approaching 68 with questionable knees, beating an elementary school kid to a ball on the ground would be an achievement. However, I think I would use my basketball boxing out abilities to block some other adult from getting there first.

And in 60 years of attending ball games and having captured 0 fouls, I'm keeping a catch. Punk kids have to wait like I did, and they ain't waiting on my lawn either.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 29, 2019 at 09:03 AM (#5846402)
everybody should get to enjoy the thrill of going to a ballgame and catching a baseball, and not be shamed or feel guilty about it.

Yes, but the operative word there should be "catching". Outracing some kid for a ball in an aisle doesn't fit that definition.

But it was nice to see that the kid who didn't get the ball later got another ball, this one signed by the entire Ohio State team.
   10. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 29, 2019 at 09:39 AM (#5846410)
And the world complains about entitled children.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: May 29, 2019 at 10:05 AM (#5846418)
I'd give it to a kid regardless how I got it (catch, pick up). To me, the fun would be getting the foul ball, but I wouldn't really see the point in having it.
   12. Itchy Row Posted: May 29, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5846423)
Fine, but then the parent (or coach or whatever) of the kid has to buy you a beverage.
   13. Astroenteritis Posted: May 29, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5846438)
I got a couple of foul balls at an early age, so now I always look around for kids in my seating area in case I grab a ball. I pick out two or three candidates, so I'm ready to hand over the ball. Hasn't happened yet, though.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 29, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5846439)
this one signed by the entire Ohio State team.
I think that should be "the entire The Ohio State team."
   15. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 29, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5846451)
Only if they were playing in The Yankee Stadium.
   16. oscar madisox Posted: May 29, 2019 at 02:59 PM (#5846554)
My dad got a foul ball at a game once back in the late 60s. Don't know if he picked it up or caught it. He said many kids came up to him asking for the ball and he refused to give it to them. Not sure how those kids reacted, but if cell-phone videos and the internet were around them Dad would have been shamed and unfairly criticized. Meanwhile, he came home and gave me the ball (I was probably 6 years old) and 50 years later I still have it. It's worthless, but it is a prized possession.

Personally, I'm fine with anyone keeping a ball they get fair and square. .


My sentiments exactly, whether you caught it, ran after it or it rolled to your feet.
   17. Booey Posted: May 29, 2019 at 03:23 PM (#5846566)
Thing is, you never know what the adult who keeps a foul ball is going to do with it. They might be saving it for a SPECIFIC kid they know who would appreciate it even more. I go to (AAA) games with my wife, and if either of us ever got a foul ball, we'd give it to one of our sons at home. I'd much rather my kids - who I know would love it - got to keep it than someone else's snot nosed brat.

Shaming people for not giving away a prize to a complete stranger is ridiculous. They can do whatever the hell they want with it (provided they don't shove someone else out of the way, etc)
   18. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: May 29, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5846573)
My uncle scored free tickets for a game Monday and caught two foul balls though both were on the rebound from above the second deck facing above him so nothing direct from the bat if that matters. He gave both balls away one to a group of kids sitting with their dad and the second to a girl with a glove who had been racing up and down the aisle he said all day trying to get in position for a foul but the ushers kept telling her to go back to her seat. When he gave her the ball in a flash she was like happy then not happy and he asked was their issue and she said he had been told by her brothers it didn't count if you didn't catch the ball on the fly. So he grabbed the ball out of her glove, held it up and then dropped the ball and she grabbed it with her glove. They high fived and he didn't see her the rest of the game.
   19. JAHV Posted: May 29, 2019 at 04:02 PM (#5846586)
Don't be an aggressive jerk in the process of going after it, but I have no problem with keeping a ball that you caught or got to first. I've been to hundreds of games and never gotten a foul ball, but if I was there with a friend or my wife and got one, I'd bring it home to the family where my kids could also enjoy it.
   20. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: May 29, 2019 at 04:21 PM (#5846595)
I caught a ricochet off the bat of Ryan Zimmerman at old RFK. I forgot to look for a kid to give it to, and my buddy gave me a big hug. Possibly the least manly foul ball catch in history.
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: May 29, 2019 at 04:21 PM (#5846596)
seems like the easiest thing to do is to take a quick video with your smartphone of you and your companions, while you describe what just happen and take a closeup of the ball. then if you don't have a kid at home in mind, you give it away.

there's actually a company that can get you a short clip of anything from any game's TV broadcast. I think being able to show that clip to pals, co-workers, family, etc would be cooler than the actual ball but ymmmv.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2019 at 04:49 PM (#5846608)

Screw these kids. If I ever catch or retrieve a foul ball at a game, I'm bringing it home and giving it to my cats.
   23. Lassus Posted: May 29, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5846611)
I am 100,000% on board with post #3.
   24. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: May 29, 2019 at 05:38 PM (#5846614)
If I ever catch or retrieve a foul ball at a game, I'm bringing it home and giving it to my cats.


I love baseball. I love cats.

But cats should not play with baseballs. It demeans them both.
   25. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 29, 2019 at 05:52 PM (#5846617)
I have never caught a ball in the hundreds of games I have gone to. This includes years of bringing my glove and chasing after them when I was younger. I did get one at a minor league game one time (Pitched by Roger Clemens). Point is, if I get it, I am keeping it. Now I won't grab it when the ball boy or players throws it into the stands to some kid.
   26. Cleveland (need new name) fan Posted: May 29, 2019 at 08:41 PM (#5846644)
I've got my one foul ball at a minor league game. I picked it up when it rolled to me. I didn't really care about it and only picked it up because there wasn't anyone within 30 feet. If there had been any kids chasing it, I would have let them get it. 2 innings later, I had the ball sitting in an open seat next to me when a kid stole it. I just let him have it, but I was pissed that he stole it. All he needed to do was ask me and I would have given it to him.
   27. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 29, 2019 at 09:15 PM (#5846661)
I've attended 100s of MLB games and it took me about 500 or so before I got one during a game, and then I got 3 more over the next 30 games, then a Home Run ball.
Foul balls: Marquis Grissom, Adam Kennedy,Dmitri Young, Matt Mieske.
Home Run: Richie Sexson.
   28. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 29, 2019 at 10:12 PM (#5846673)
in 1960 during BP at Municipal Stadium (as it was called then) in Cleveland during altar boy day , I had my hands on a BP home run from Mickey Mantle, but it went thru my hands and bounced 20 rows back where some kid from Immaculate Conception caught it (the bastard)
   29. dejarouehg Posted: May 29, 2019 at 10:23 PM (#5846674)
I go to different ballparks with a buddy of mine who once had an 11-game consecutive streak of getting a ball (all in BP).

It got so obnoxious that he gave me a couple of pity balls, which I had the good fortune of returning to him when I got a couple of my own.

(Was once on the phone checking in with the wife when I saw my buddy leaning over the LF fence grabbing another ball. String of expletives followed.)

Giving ball to kids? He stiffed my 7 year old when we were at the 2004 All Star Game HR Derby BP....and this was a couple of years after I gave him a ball a player I knew threw up to me in the stands in the old Astrodome. Life lesson for my son.

While I don't think it's a good look for a 6'4" 280lb+ 50+ year old guy to bring a glove to the game, it works for him.
   30. The Honorable Ardo Posted: May 29, 2019 at 10:26 PM (#5846675)
I've caught one foul ball (a lazy pop fly, Wrigley Field, first-base side, off the bat of Austin Jackson in 2015) and handled it like a talisman during the Cubs' World Series run the next year. I'll keep it as long as I live.

Should I catch another one? Here's to you, kid.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: May 29, 2019 at 10:31 PM (#5846680)
I got one during the old Hall of Fame game in 1982. I was standing outside Doubleday Field, Mike Jorgensen hit a ball that went through the tree next to me, and I picked it up. I kept it for a few decades, then my son lost it playing baseball with his friends (just as he did with the two hole-in-one balls I had saved). I realized that I didn't care about losing any of them. In some ways, a perfectly good baseball being taken out of commission is a bit of a sacrilege.

Much more unusual, I almost got a football at an NFL game. We had season tickets to the Jets for a couple of seasons in the late 1970s. In the fourth quarter, my buddy and I went down to the end zone seats (the outfield seats during baseball season). The Bills tacked on a late touchdown in a Jets' rout, and I joined a bunch of much-taller teenagers (I was 11) beyond the net in the event the kick cleared it.

This being New York in the late 1970s, a fight broke out a few feet away from me. I thought, "perfect, now when half-footed Tom Dempsey's kick comes my way, the rest of the people around me will be distracted and I'll catch it." Damn if that isn't exactly what happened. Everyone's watching the fight, and Dempsey's kick goes over the net and sails right toward me.

Sadly, I was so stunned that this unfolded exactly as I'd hoped that I never even lifted my arms to catch it. The ball hit me in the chest, bounced to the ground and I walked away in a daze as everyone else scrambled to get it.

Now, I'm confident that even if I'd caught it, I never would have gotten out of the scrum with it. But it would have been nice to have caught the damn thing.

   32. Howie Menckel Posted: May 29, 2019 at 11:19 PM (#5846691)
rough night in Chicago in the 1980s.
at Wrigley the next day for a noon game, I tell my buddy, "I'm not going to be zoned in on this game. If a ball is hit my way, I am entrusting you to catch it so it doesn't break my face."

he nods in agreement. (only time I ever said this.)

Mets scrub C Rick Cerone is hanging out in RF in pre-game. My pals yelled out to him that "c'mon, we flew all the way from New York, how about a ball?" (this was early in the era of everyone flying everywhere).

So Cerone tosses one up to us - and damned if it didn't go straight for my face. I didn't see it, but I felt my buddy's hand graze my cheek as he caught it. wouldn't have killed me, but glad we had that pact.
   33. Brian C Posted: May 30, 2019 at 12:42 AM (#5846707)
I was sitting behind the dugout in San Antonio (AA team), and the batter hit a chopper towards the dugout. It took a funny hop up over the dugout and into my hands. I bobbled it very slightly (having pencil and scorecard in my hands) but didn't drop it.

Obviously it was a MiLB game so it doesn't really count, but does this kind of play count as "catching" it? Same question as someone in the first row who reaches over the wall and picks up a foul grounder. I thought mine was legit (for MiLB) - I sort of had to make a play on it, it was in motion, it's not like I just picked it up.

No kids around at the time, so no pressure to give it away. I think I was only 22 or 23 at the time, so probably wouldn't have had any trouble telling some kid to get lost anyway.
   34. dejarouehg Posted: May 30, 2019 at 06:32 AM (#5846719)
SoSH, that's a great story. Surprised it was Tom Dempsey and not Pat Leahy. Back in the day (I had season tkts to the Jets in late 70's-early 80's), he'd miss most of his important field goals and it was often attributed to the swirling winds at Shea. Lots of opportunities for fans sitting around the sides of the net.

(I think it was game 14 in 78 against the Pats when they were contending for playoffs and he missed GW field goal due to "a sudden gust of wind," as either a Jets official or a newspaper wrote. To be fair, Shea was a wind tunnel but that was BS.)

   35. SoSH U at work Posted: May 30, 2019 at 08:28 AM (#5846728)
SoSH, that's a great story. Surprised it was Tom Dempsey and not Pat Leahy. Back in the day (I had season tkts to the Jets in late 70's-early 80's), he'd miss most of his important field goals and it was often attributed to the swirling winds at Shea. Lots of opportunities for fans sitting around the sides of the net.


Those winds were brutal in late fall, which made the idea to send a flying lawnmower up above the field as halftime entertainment one of the dumbest decisions I've ever seen, with predictable consequences.

   36. Rusty Priske Posted: May 30, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5846735)
As an adult, if I catch a ball, I am keeping it.

Having said THAT, I don't get the adults that go running and scrambling for it. If it comes to you, great. If you have to go chasing after it, grow up.
   37. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 30, 2019 at 09:59 AM (#5846746)
in 1960 during BP at Municipal Stadium (as it was called then) in Cleveland during altar boy day , I had my hands on a BP home run from Mickey Mantle, but it went thru my hands and bounced 20 rows back where some kid from Immaculate Conception caught it (the bastard)

Only baseball I ever got was off a fungo bat during pre-game fielding practice. It took one bounce over the wall and rolled right into my hands. There was nobody else within 50 feet of me at the time. I'm sure I just played with it until the cover finally gave out.

OTOH I did once get a football that rolled right into my arms after Norm Van Brocklin overthrew his receiver and the ball bounced over the Eagles' bench. In Griffith Stadium there was a wooden walkway in front of the temporary stands that ran the entire length of the field, and I was in the right place at the right time. I grabbed it and got the hell out of there before anyone could try to grab it from me.

The ball survived about two years of playing with it on all kinds of surfaces, until one day it got unceremoniously run over by a DC Transit bus, and its bladder stuck out like the goiter on one of Gandhi's former mistresses. What a way to die.
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: May 30, 2019 at 10:15 AM (#5846750)
Only baseball I ever got was off a fungo bat during pre-game fielding practice. It took one bounce over the wall and rolled right into my hands. There was nobody else within 50 feet of me at the time. I'm sure I just played with it until the cover finally gave out.


I forgot about a second ball I got, though it wasn't hit. I was at the Red Sox preseason opener against one of the NE college teams, in the area behind the bullpens. A ball kind of materialized behind the pen. My best guess was one of the Red Sox relievers was tossing the ball up in the air to himself, and tossed a little too far behind him and it caught the top of the bullpen roof and rolled into the stands. I'm pretty sure I just threw that one into the BP bag of balls I pitch to my son.




   39. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 30, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5846759)
I forgot about a second ball I got, though it wasn't hit. I was at the Red Sox preseason opener against one of the NE college teams, in the area behind the bullpens. A ball kind of materialized behind the pen. My best guess was one of the Red Sox relievers was tossing the ball up in the air to himself, and tossed a little too far behind him and it caught the top of the bullpen roof and rolled into the stands. I'm pretty sure I just threw that one into the BP bag of balls I pitch to my son.

Actually my best source for "found" balls is our local high school baseball field. My wife and I take late afternoon walks that often pass through the LF foul line, and at least 2 or 3 times we've found baseballs sitting on the adjoining hill that were never retrieved after practice. At this point we just leave them in the dugout and trust someone will find them the next day.

   40. BillWallace Posted: May 30, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5846816)
I think it was last night there was a fan in the Reds game who caught a lined shot bare-handed, juggling it a couple times but using just the one bare hand. Easily in the top 5 of fan plays I've ever seen. They showed him later giving it to a 9-10 year old boy. I'd be damned if I'd give up the ball on a play I made like that.
   41. dejarouehg Posted: May 30, 2019 at 07:28 PM (#5846952)
Those winds were brutal in late fall, which made the idea to send a flying lawnmower up above the field as halftime entertainment one of the dumbest decisions I've ever seen, with predictable consequences.


I was on the field when the lawnmower guy was practicing long before the game. I think there may have been a LIRR strike so my brother drove me and my buddy real early. We walked through the center field gates onto the field and someone from the Bob Cleveland orchestra asked us to take a tape recorder on the field so he could hear how they sounded warming up.

All of a sudden, my buddy and I are on the 40 yard line, some Patriots players (Don Hasselback, Steve Grogan, etc.) are warming up around us and then the flying lawnmower and flying snoopy are whirling around. We almost got dusted! We're thinking that this was insane given the wind.

Since my seats were upper deck in equivalent between 1B and RF corner (Section 27 Row Q, I think,) I watched the halftime show through my camera lens. All of a sudden it crashes into guy in low box seats (awful place to sit, can't see over players,) and this guy who had a light-colored shirt on was bathed in blood. When we found out he died, I told my friend we should call the family to tell them what we knew. Ended up not doing so - young and dumb - but saw an article in the Times many years later about the settlement. He was a Pats fan from New England.

Either 12/2/79 or 12/9/79




   42. SoSH U at work Posted: May 30, 2019 at 07:43 PM (#5846955)
Since my seats were upper deck in equivalent between 1B and RF corner (Section 27 Row Q, I think,) I watched the halftime shot through my camera lens.


I was on the third base side, about over the dugouts (a classmate of mine was about one section over*). Sending anything up under those conditions was insane to begin with, but once Snoopy flew behind the goal posts and then nosedived at the 20, it was criminally stupid.

* None of our friends believe my buddy and I when we told them the next day it was a flying lawnmower (on TV, they just said airplane). But the other guy finally convinced them.





   43. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 30, 2019 at 10:08 PM (#5846998)
Never had a HR or foul ball come close, but did catch 3 souvenir towels - two in the same game - at Spring Training.

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