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Friday, August 07, 2009

Souvenir

In ballparks across the world fans hold their collective breath waiting to see if players will make the catch. In a nifty parallel, many crowds will also cheer when fans catch foul balls and home runs. There are exceptions of course -- you better be sure it's foul or "outta there" before you go for it. If you don't it gives birth to infamous moments in which a Cub fan is hated forever or Sheffield decks a guy in the stands for getting in his space. With that in mind, if you're in the right and you catch it -- the ball is yours. A moment of glory and a souvenir that the management will let you take home. Nice. Unless you find yourself in Fenway -- where, in addition to your moment and your ball, you better be ready to be handed a critique of your catch.
What gets the biggest hand? A kid catching a ball.
What gets booed? If you drop it after catching it of course or spill your drink/hot dog/popcorn while trying. Also, if your drunken ass falls on the field while reaching for it.
Then there is a middle ground I had no idea of until I heard a discussion of the subtleties of the craft. An adult will not be given a hardy cheer if he catches the ball in a glove. At a game once, I heard fans give the raspberry to this. Apparently, for adult males -- it is bare-handed or nothing.

Having revealed the rougher side of the critique -- I must, in all fairness say that Red Sox fans will also defend their own in these moments. The night John Lester pitched his no-hitter, I was sitting way down the third base line and saw a man hit in the face by a singing line-drive foul. Another fan caught it in rebound and held it up for the cheer. He was booed. The fan-catch-code clearly rules that if a fan gets hit in a face the souvenir belongs to him/her. The rebounder would not give it up -- and everyone in my section agreed -- that was some cold shit.

7 Comments:

At 9:30 PM, Blogger Doug said...

I think the rules are variable. When a kid saved a Yankee home run by depriving the outfielder he was lauded as "the kid." Bunch of damn hypocrites, baseball fans.

 
At 10:09 AM, Blogger Mutha said...

Remember -- that happened in Yankee Stadium. Sheffield's brawl happened at Fenway.Last night's homerun by A-Rod in the 15th inning would have been thrown back on the field by a Red Sox fan. Context, my brother!

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger Clowncar said...

My favorite foul ball moment was when some guy pushed an old lady aside to get to a foul ball. He held it up to the crowd for adulation, and right then she started beating him with her cane.

They showed it on Sportscenter about 10 times that night.

 
At 7:19 AM, Blogger Indeterminacy said...

Great post! We went to the Reds/Cubs game last summer (on vacation) hoping to catch a ball (we had our gloves). Only two fouls even came close to our area :-(

I thought of you today, thinking who can I brag to about this :-) Lenny pitched his first game this weekend, five full innings, the entire game: 10 strikeouts, five walks, one hit by pitch, and allowed three hits (I think two got on base due to fielding errors). Sounds good to me for a debut, or even a non-debut. But I don't have such a strong feeling for little league stats.

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger Mutha said...

Indy! No way -- great to "see" you here. And Bravo Lenny! Nothing makes me as nervous as when my kids pitch (which is seldomly -- thank god!)The first time my older son retired a side with only one batter getting to base (on balls) I ran to the dugout -- and although parents were not allowed -- I went in and gave him a huge hug. To my delight -- he was so psyched that he let me hug him in front of the guys.

 
At 3:02 PM, Blogger Indeterminacy said...

Wish you could come and see one of the little league games over here. We found out that none of the runs scored in Lenny's game were earned runs. That means, had the defense worked, it would have been a no-hitter !! Another game coming up Friday, against the toughest team in Hamburg, and one on Sunday, against the weakest team.

 
At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever notice how alll fire departments are primarily white? Ocassional token non-white here or there, but it seems obvious they reserve these soft easy money spots for those who fit their ideal for their "fraternity".
And the pay/benefit package!!! This is an industry which needs privitization, let alone austerity.
If not for that family those three men would still be alive.

 

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