Check out this story: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1822940 … to sum up, basically a grown man knocked over a 4-year old kid trying to catch a foul ball at a baseball game, then refused to give the kid the ball or apologize for it. what a jerk. but this guy (who apparently is a former youth minister, what a guy) is just like countless others i’ve seen at sporting events. I mean, what possesses people to turn into animals to fight over stupid little balls? That scramble for people to grab the ball…I mean, it’s just disgusting. People are animals. When a ballplayer tosses a ball into the stands and people just climb all over each other to get it, it looks exactly like what happens when you throw a piece of bread at a flock of pigeons or a pack of rats.
-Maybe it’s being in such a large, faceless crowd that people think they can act like two-year-olds and get away with it. I don’t know what the explanation is. Game 4 of 1998 Stanley Cup Finals, Red Wings win and I’m there. As the Wings celebrate, Darren McCarty tosses a t-shirt over the glass and into the crowd directly into my friend Mike’s hands. Then, after he catches it, the short, stubby bearded man next to him grabs the t-shirt and just starts yanking. Mike is bewildered. “Hey man, what are you doing?” But the fat, ugly brute doesn’t say a word and just shakes his head and keeps pulling. Mike, being a civilized human being, decides it’s not worth it to debase himself to animal status over a t-shirt and just lets go. Some people…they just make me sick.
So maybe it’s because I’d rather not trade my dignity for a baseball that I’ve never caught one at the countless games I’ve been to, not counting batting practice. Once, I took my younger friend James to Comerica Park to educate him about the joys of baseball. Tigers vs. White Sox. I even brought my glove. Around the 4th inning, I went to get some food for us. I was standing in line at the concession stand, watching the game on the tv screen. I saw Carlos Lee slice a ball foul down the right field line. I thought, “Hm…that should be close to where we’re sitting.” I watched the tv in horror as I saw James fall over himself and the ball bounce off my recently vacated seat. And that’s the closest I’ve ever gotten. So yeah, I’d love to catch a ball. Snag a line drive with my hat, make Sportscenter. But scramble on the ground, over kids, spilling beer all over, making an idiot of myself? Not for any ball, even if it were a record-breaking home run ball and made of solid gold.