When I was a kid – before I was a real fan of the game – part of the allure of the ballpark (which, for me, was Wrigley Field) was the teeny, tiny chance of catching a home run or foul ball.
I’m not entirely sure why I thought so highly of it, but to me it was like winning the lottery. I needed one of those baseballs and I planned on cherishing it forever.
Well, one fateful night in the early 2000s, I was at a Marlins game at their old stadium when a foul ball was popped up over my head and seemed to hang in the air for an eternity. In my inexperience, I grabbed the Cubs’ hat off my head and reached it out into the sky.
And to my surprise … the ball landed right in it.
I like to imagine this is what it looked like.
But about that inexperience …
My hat caught the ball alright, the only problem is that the ball took my hat with it … and onto the lap of the fan behind me. If you can believe it – and I swear this is true – this older guy grabbed the ball (in this case, my literal dream) out of my hat, pocketed it, and handed my hat back to me. I. Was. Heart. Broken.
And I shared that story with you today for two reasons. The first is that I’m secretly hoping that random Marlins fan is out there sees this post, remembers that game, and feels terrible for the rest of his life … (I’m not petty).
And the second is because something similar just happened in Minnesota!
Leave these damn kids alone, you monsters!
And that wasn’t the only one … sorta.
Later on in the week, another young fan received a game-ball from Astros’ left fielder Josh Reddick on his way back the dugout … but then the Umpire decided to have some fun with him and take it away:
When he goes over to take the ball away from the kid, you can see the collective jaw of the crowd drop … and then the prank lands and everyone – including the kid – had a good laugh.
Now THAT’S the way it’s supposed to happen.