Friday, May 4, 2012

Another Baseball...Another Holy Grail

You might have seen or heard all the hub bub in the news last week about these poor folks in Texas who had the misfortune of retrieving a ball thrown into the stands by a Texas Ranger player at the Yankee-Rangers game.  Misfortune in that they happened to be sitting next to a cute little boy who saw a ball and reacted like any 3 year old would… “Give me that ball!”

And when he didn’t get it…well, you know how that goes.

Such an outrage!  Such a crime against humanity! How could those people, the most horrible, awful people ever to attend a baseball game, not give the ball to that poor heartbroken child!

I mean…It’s just a ball!

Then this outrageous couple, this sadistic, child taunting pair of low lives, had the audacity to actually get excited about retrieving the ball, even posing for photos with it.

Luckily, for the benefit of all that’s good and decent in the world, they were publicly ridiculed and humiliated on the game broadcast, which was carried nationally on YES, by Michael Kay, who we all know is the poster boy for objectivity and someone who is not at all prone to histrionics. 

But wait a minute…it’s not like these poor vilified people snatched the ball out of the little kid’s hands, which is what some people want to believe.  They merely bent down and picked it up out of a crowd of like-minded people all trying to do the same. They had it...finally, the Holy Grail of Baseball. Who wouldn't get excited?  Who wouldn't get lost in that moment. Who wouldn't pose for a picture to commemorate the occasion.

And who wouldn't want an appology from the "know it all schlub" that made a national mockery of them in front of millions of people.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up and have a little sensitivity towards the issue is because I’ve been on both sides of this fence. As a kid, I had a ball snatched right out of my hands by an adult, who showed no remorse and received no rebuke.

Then, when I did catch one, fair and square, 44 years later, after many near misses, I was terrified that the crowd would turn on me the same way they did in Texas. I could see myself on TV, in a Larry David /Seinfeld moment, being ridiculed by jaded baseball announcers who can just grab any number of balls whenever they want them. 

They just don’t get it; at least not any more. Sure it’s just a baseball to some…but right or wrong…it’s the Holy Grail to the little boy still inside us all.

So cut those poor folks some slack, people. Even the kid’s parents said the other couple did nothing wrong. It’s just part of the baseball landscape.  Sure, you don’t steal a ball away from a kid, or anybody for that matter. But if get it fair and square, you don’t hand over the Holy Grail either; it has to be earned…and believe me, it makes it that much sweeter the longer it takes.

Way back in October, I actually wrote about this very topic and told my own story entitled “Baseball & the Holy Grail”. 

Given the circumstances, I thought you might like to check it out again and see why to so many of’s more than just a silly ball.

I hope you enjoy it….

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