A lot has been made of the scene Wednesday night in Arlington where a couple caught a ball tossed into the stands by Mitch Moreland, seemingly stealing it from a little boy, who ended up in tears.
The couple has gone to the press to say that they didn’t see the little boy. Someone from the Rangers dugout saw the crying kid and tossed him a ball, which seems to mean that everyone left happy, but it does bring up an interesting question:
Is there etiquette for baseballs that enter the stands?
It seems to be a general consensus that there’s a difference between a ball tossed into the stands by a player and foul balls. Players usually target children when they soft-toss into the stands, meaning no adult should ever steal that away. Foul balls, however, are fair game.
But there are some that are saying any adult that catches any baseball in the stands should be handing it off to a child near them.
And frankly, that makes me a little angry.
I’ve never caught or been tossed a baseball and dammit, if I do, I’m keeping that sucker. Don’t boo me, don’t judge me – that ball means as much to me as it would to that kid. I’d put it in a place of honor in our (wo)man room. My parents didn’t introduce me to baseball as a kid – I never got the opportunity to get a ball as a child. I’d be frickin’ ecstatic over that ball and I’m not sure why I should have to give that up. Of course, that only accounts for the first ball. I’m not greedy. If I were ever lucky enough to get a second or third ball, those would, of course, go to kids around me.
Certainly I don’t mean taking a ball from a child, or pushing, shoving or trampling anyone in order to get said ball. But if I’m lucky enough to catch one of those suckers, I shouldn’t be shamed into giving it up.
The scene in Arlington is especially interesting because the child kind of had a tantrum both before and after he didn’t receive the ball. There’s an argument to be made that the kid shouldn’t have gotten a ball just because he was crying – that’s certainly not the type of behavior I’d want to reinforce in my children.
Is there also an argument to be made that at three years old, he’d never remember the incident and wouldn’t be interested in the ball in a few weeks, whereas the couple was clearly thrilled and catching the ball was a highlight for them – they immediately started taking pictures with the ball?
So clearly I’m a selfish, no-kid having bastard, but what do you all think?