June 14, 2004

"Tough Guy" and "Ball Stealer" gets his. How a jerk ruined the day and Reggies Sanders, Steve Kline, and a few thousand others saved it.

posted by 86 to baseball at 08:41 AM - 32 comments

Screw Bartman, we need to know the name of this jackass, so we can harass him from here to eternity.

posted by 86 at 08:42 AM on June 14, 2004

Hope that schmuck didnt get ANYthing yesterday...especially from hopefully-soon-to-be-ex- girlfriend/wife....and THANK YOU to both the Cards and Rangers for showing some CLASS....

posted by NYSSoftballBlue at 08:44 AM on June 14, 2004

I was listening to that game. I figured it must have been a hell of an incident when the Rangers fans, down 12-0 at the time, cheered loudly for Sanders. Here's a better picture from Yahoo. Incidentally, this was the first time the Cardinals visited the Rangers. Before Dallas/Fort Worth got the Senators in the early '70s, the most popular team in the area was the Cardinals -- they were the first team west of the Mississippi and people could hear their radio broadcasts in Dallas. My dad grew up listening to them. It sounds like thousands of old-time Cardinals faithful showed up to see this series.

posted by rcade at 08:51 AM on June 14, 2004

Steve Kline wrote "tough guy" and "ball stealer" on a shirt and sent it out to the jackass? Priceless. Here's a story with a vidcap of the incident. bselig@mlb.com/bselig works.

posted by mbd1 at 08:55 AM on June 14, 2004

this is what baseball players used to be like, right?

posted by garfield at 09:59 AM on June 14, 2004

What is it about foul balls that turns people into imbeciles? I hope that guy's "female companion" realizes she's with a jerk and kicks him to the curb. Anyway, kudos to the Cards and Rangers, particularly to Sanders who I have a newfound respect for.

posted by Jugwine at 10:19 AM on June 14, 2004

Nice story! I've always enjoyed it when someone catches a foul ball and immediately hands it to the nearest kid (family member or not).

posted by dusted at 10:51 AM on June 14, 2004

I gave up watching this game after inning 2 and missed the incident, but heard about it later last night. What a shithead. It sounds like thousands of old-time Cardinals faithful showed up to see this series. I wound up going to Saturday night's game and sitting up in the $5 seats, so I had a pretty good view of the crowd. Granted, some Rangers shirts are red, but the crowd (which, for the Ballpark was pretty sizable) was probably at least 50-60% in Red. The cheering was about equal, but hell, that's Dallas fans for you.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:01 AM on June 14, 2004

ESPN dedicated a decent amount of footage to this on sportscenter & the announcers were pretty fired up. I can only imagine how poorly this guy was greeted at work this morning. Of course, I'm assuming that he has a job.

posted by usfbull at 11:41 AM on June 14, 2004

posted by rcade at 11:43 AM on June 14, 2004

So, how long before his name is leaked to the press? It only took Steve Bartman a day and a half to become a household name and all he did was take a ball away from a millionaire.

posted by Jugwine at 12:06 PM on June 14, 2004

If you haven't, watch the video (mdb1's link) to listen to the Rangers announcer just cut the obnoxious fan up on the air. If anything, this should help revive the "give the ball to the kind nearest you" response. I've never caught a foul ball (but I've had one crush my hand against a seat) but I've always planned on doing the "raise your arm to show you caught it" and then handing it to the nearest kid. I'll take the instant glory for catching the ball, but I don't need the souvenir to remind me that I did.

posted by grum@work at 12:30 PM on June 14, 2004

mdb's link demands registration. Anyone got a video of this that doesn't?

posted by squealy at 12:43 PM on June 14, 2004

squealy: use bselig@mlb.com as the email and bselig as the password. This combination works on a lot of other sites as well.

posted by mbd1 at 12:47 PM on June 14, 2004

Ta mdb. I'm still a bit "confused" after the England game yesterday. Sorry.

posted by squealy at 12:59 PM on June 14, 2004

OK after watching the video of this incident I now want a Snickers bar. Thanks so much. Seriously though, what a wanker that bloke was. I'm glad it turned out happily for the kid and well done Reggie.

posted by squealy at 01:15 PM on June 14, 2004

I don't like giving the ball to a kid. I always throw it back anyway.

posted by corpse at 01:21 PM on June 14, 2004

And if you went up and pinned this jackass to his seat with a knee to the throat, took the ball from him, and gave it to the kid YOU would be arrested? Insanity!

posted by pivo at 01:27 PM on June 14, 2004

I should also mention, I have a morbid fear of foul balls, so it would probably konk me in the head and fall safely into the kid's mitts. I would never try for a web gem in the stands. More like duck and cover.

posted by corpse at 01:31 PM on June 14, 2004

de-embedded video link - I have a question, what are Sanders and Delluci doing in the locker room or training area while foul balls are being hit (ie the game is on)? is it customary for players to watch the game on TV from the dressing room? I see that Sanders did not play so maybe he didn't dress and therefore wouldn't have been in the dugout, but Delluci was busy going 0 for 4. In any case, heart warming. Baseball seems to treat their fans right. Mostly.

posted by gspm at 01:46 PM on June 14, 2004

I have a question, what are Sanders and Delluci doing in the locker room or training area while foul balls are being hit (ie the game is on)? is it customary for players to watch the game on TV from the dressing room? Delluci would be in the training area trying to cool down and take in some liquids between innings. He was (I think) playing in the outfield so he would be roasting out in the field under the afternoon Texas sun. It's probably a requirement for most of the fielders to spend at least one half-inning in the training room to help cool down. With the score out of hand so quickly, it's possible that Sanders might have been in the training room doing some stretching in case the manager wanted to put him in to relieve a player who had played half the game already. I'm just guessing.

posted by grum@work at 01:54 PM on June 14, 2004

FWIW, Delucci didn't play in Saturday night's game, so he may be nursing a strain or something. He may have been in the training room getting rubbed down or something. His absence pissed me off, too, since I love hearing the them from the Godfather every time he goes up to the plate.

posted by Ufez Jones at 02:00 PM on June 14, 2004

I went to an exhibition tennis match when I was about 12 years old. (Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, and David Wheaton at the Target Center in Mpls.) After the matches, the players grabbed a bunch of tennis balls and whacked them into the stands. I was way up in the rafters, but one came right to me. I grabbed it and was about to celebrate when a middle-aged guy grabbed it out of my hand. Young kid that I was, I pouted and looked at the guy expecting that he'd give it back to me. No such luck. He just stared back at me for a while and then turned away. I stood there not knowing what to do other than look sad, but no one in the crowd spoke up in my favor. (It was the first big event that I got to attend without my parents.) I shuffled out feeling more than a little cheated. Sometimes adults just don't know how to behave. I give my bobbleheads, balls, hats, etc. to the kids these days. That's the way it should be. Glad to vent my story; always wished that I could have found that guy and told him off.

posted by cholstro at 03:36 PM on June 14, 2004

Welcome, cholstro! We are now bustin through 1100!!!

posted by billsaysthis at 05:47 PM on June 14, 2004

That sucks, cholstro! I hate it when a crowd is too scared or intimidated to stand up to jerks. Good thing that didn't happen in this case.

posted by dusted at 05:58 PM on June 14, 2004

When I was a kid, an Oakland As coach named Joe Romo kept rolling baseballs over the dugout to my brother, sister, and I. One of my best ballpark memories at Arlington Stadium. To me, that's what makes this guy at the Rangers game -- and Cholstro's thief -- such utter assholes. A kid remembers a significant gesture at a sports event forever, whether good or bad. Anyone who caught a baseball and handed it to the nearest kid would be remembered by that kid forever.

posted by rcade at 06:02 PM on June 14, 2004

The cheering was about equal, but hell, that's Dallas fans for you. Or that's Cardinals fans for you. :) You know, this is one of those things where you could forgive the guy if he made a mistake by leaping for the ball, then corrected it by giving up the ball. But to sit there and rub it in? What a knob. God bless Tom Grieve for calling this guy out on the air. There are any number of reasons for players to retreat to the locker room during a game -- tending to injuries, switching spikes or uniform parts, grabbing a snack, or even running back to the video room to look at the delivery of the pitcher or their last at-bat.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:34 PM on June 14, 2004

ok, as long as he wasn't playing Grand Theft Auto or something.

posted by gspm at 12:58 AM on June 15, 2004

I especially liked the clip on SC yesterday, right before commercial, ending with the ass's sweaty ass, sky up. How embarassing is ass sweat on national t.v.? Ya gotta love the fun the production crew had with ths story. i got to type 'ass' three (now 4) times in this thread. awesome.

posted by garfield at 05:22 PM on June 15, 2004

Am I the only one that noticed on the newsclips the kid was looking off to the right, the man landed in the lap of the woman on ACCIDENT in his clumsy retrieval of the ball, and even after being jostled, the kid just seemed kinda confused and didn't really seem to care? "GIVE IT BACK"??? was the chant, but the kid never had it. The woman never had it. No one caught it. The man picked it up from the ground. Yes, he looked stupid. Yes, he is clumsy. No, he doesn't deserve to be verbally assaulted and have all these horrible labels attached to him. A freaking prior youth minister, for crying out loud. He's not a childhater. _I AM_. However, just because one likes kids doesn't mean they should turn them into little demigods, practically laminating their genitals in liquid gold. Hopefully more people will realize that children aren't the center of the universe...

posted by goescrunch at 01:56 AM on June 18, 2004

He's still a collosal jackass, and it has nothing to do with the 4 year old kid he landed on (though that helps), it's just common courtesy and lack thereof. All these morons clamoring, fighting, leaping rows of seats to get a damn ball is just stupid. If it's coming to your seat, fine, grab it. If it is coming three rows in front of you don't shove people out of your way, land on kids, fight and wrestle, and be a general dickweed to get a foul damn ball. Like on Bond's record HR ball, best thing that could have happened there is if both of those idiots had drowned fighting for it.

posted by pivo at 03:49 AM on June 18, 2004

Goecrunch: You're a bit of an arse really aren't you? Whether you love or hate kids, the guy was still a shit, pinning the kid to the seats in front in pursuit of a foul ball. (Not even a worthy ball to bother with.) Any halfwit can see that. It has nothing to do with what you think of kids, unless you're a sadistic fuck and like to see kids put in physical jeopardy by some fat oaf trying to grab some worthless ball. I hope the guy gets publically lynched. The commentator was spot on.

posted by Drood at 02:03 PM on June 19, 2004

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