It’s A Ball, Man

A baseball is a unique object. If you ever played the game in any form you know what I mean. It has a unique and compelling warmth to it when you hold it in your hand. It has a character to it no matter the age or condition. We all played with baseballs that were in various states of coming apart. If we had to, we’d use it sans cover with the threads/string covering it.

I’m always amazed when I go to a game at the intensity that people go after foul balls. It sickens me when I see some old dude plow over kids and women to get the balls. C’mon killer, they are available at any sports card shop for $7.00 – $9.00 including the official stamp of either league on them. A Target® $3.99 model would be just as good for you.

I guess I’m laying down the proper rules to follow when going after/receiving a foul ball:

  1. Never knock down anyone younger, or smaller than you.
  2. Never raise your arms in victory with the ball outstretched in your hand. You retrieved a ball, you did not kill a bear without a weapon. I’ve never caught a foul ball, but I know if I ever get one I will sit down like it was no thing. It’s called cool.
  3. Don’t ever keep the ball as a memento for yourself. What are you 11? If you don’t have a young fan with you, seek one out. That one’s called class. They will never forget the day they got a foul ball at the yard. I’ll never forget the time my son and I were watching warmups before a Ducks game. Jeremy Roenick tossed a puck to a kid in the crowd and some idioso full of churros dove across and snatched it out of the air. Roenick disappeared and came back with a puck and other items which he gave the kid after motioning him over. The place erupted in applause, with the mutual understanding that the Fat Flyer was getting served in the process. I’m not a huge hockey guy, but I became a Roenick fan that day.

That’s how it works.

So let’s get back on task.

I’m in Northern California on my monthly business trip checking out the end of an extra innings Giants/Mets game at the local Red Robin®. The Mets go up by two runs, the first two Giants batters get put out and Bonds, Barry Bonds comes up to the plate. Now if it was during the alleged juice era, the Mets would have either intentionally put him on base or Bonds would have knocked one in the Bay.

Proving that those alleged days are gone, Bonds bloops one in the outfield, and game over.

But Bonds did hit a homer earlier in the game which produced a graphic detailing the fact that he was at 711 homeruns bearing down the Babe’s record of 714.

I started thinking back on the hilarity that ensued when Mark McGwire hit homerun number 61 and then 70. The next year it was Bonds hitting 72.

There was drama and court cases over one of each player’s homerun baseballs retrieved by “fans” in the stands over ownership. The McGwire ball owner’s glory lasted only one year until Barry topped McGwire’s record for shooting beefroids, errr…………hitting homeruns one short year later.

This rapid shattering of the record reduced McGwire’s ball value to like $7.00-$9.00 dollars.

That’s known as justice my friends.


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