I have been a baseball fan basically since birth. I enjoy the little things about the game. The positioning of a shortstop with a runner on second base and a bunt attempt, the type of pitch that is thrown to a power hitter in a one-ball, two-strike count, and the call to play the “infield up” are things that interest me. With that being said, there is one thing I absolutely hate about baseball: fans interfering with live baseballs.
In recent years, there have been many examples of fans with such a lust for a material object, aka an official baseball, that their actions have directly impacted results of games. I understand the glamor and allure of being able to keep a direct link to a game, but must we forget that our actions could have a negative impact?
I’m sure that it’s cool to go home and tell your girlfriend that you caught a Derek Jeter-hit baseball. It might even make you look like a superstar in her eyes, but in the end, a fan is just that, a fan. There is no need put yourself into a position that could cost a player or a team something that they have worked years for. I will go on record saying that any person who interferes with a ball in play should be kicked out of the stadium for life, no matter what the situation is. This may sound extreme, but I’ve really had enough.
After a fan interfered with a possible home run by Hunter Pence recently, I thought to myself that there should be rules for this. I came up with a guide for fans to follow in case of this situation. Here are 10 rules for every foul-ball-hungry fan to follow:
- Do not reach into fair territory for any reason!
- Do not use your hat as a glove. You are a man. Act like one, and catch it with your hands.
- Never take the ball away from a little kid.
- Always look at the umpire on balls up the line.
- If you catch an opponent’s home run and decide to throw it back on to the field, do not throw it at another team’s player.
- Do not push or shove people for the ball … it’s only a baseball.
- Even if you are a fan of the team that may be hitting a home run, do not take the chance of reaching over the wall. Looking like the goat is 10-times worse than being the hero.
- If you are on a date or have a kid with you, then you give the girl or the kid the ball after you catch it. Makes you look like a class act.
- If you are holding a beer, either chug it before the ball gets to you or place it down and attempt the catch. I know this is a difficult task, but it is better than looking like a wet loser if you spill your beer and don’t make the catch.
- Respect the game. Even if you are a new fan to the team, it is important to understand that your “mistake” may cause a volcano of emotions from players (think Moises Alou) and even other fans (think all Cubs fans).