Thursday, July 26, 2018

Whole slew of kids show off potential to be Chicago Cubs infielders of future

I have been to enough baseball games during the course of my life that I have seen similar scenes many times – a ball gets hit into the stands, a kid or kids attempt to catch it to gain themselves a souvenir.
'Kid' who got 2 baseballs at Sunday's game. Photo provided by Chicago Cubs
And one may get his (or her) fingers on it briefly, but somehow can’t hold onto it.

MEANING THAT SOMEONE else wound up going home with the baseball. Some kid gets a memory of how he “almost” got a souvenir. Or else maybe they interpret it as “evidence” that “baseball sucks!” (and they’d rather play video games in the future).

So I can’t say I was surprised by the incident at the Sunday ballgame between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals – one that has managed to gain national attention and shows the general intelligence level (not very high) of the kind of people who take to Twitter to rant about anything and everything.

In that incident, a Cubs’ coach picked up a stray ball on the playing field, saw a cutesy little kid sitting in the front row and tried flipping a soft toss of the ball to the kid.

But the kid was a klutz, couldn’t hold on to the ball, it fell to the floor under the seats, and the guy sitting behind him managed to grab the stray ball.

VIDEO OF THE incident quickly got posted to the Internet, and under headlines such as, “When going to a baseball game, DON’T be this guy,” the story quickly circulated about the over-bearish oaf who deprived a cutesy little kid of a baseball.

The Cubs, not wanting to have negative publicity stemming from a ballpark incident (even one that they were in no way to blame), found the kid and arranged for the kid to get a baseball autographed by Cubs infielder Javy Baez.

Provided moment of goodwill
They also arranged for photographs of the cutesy kid wearing a too-big Cubs cap showing off his baseballs. Yes, baseballs. For it seems that the kid already managed to gain a ball earlier in the game.

Despite the nonsense Tweets from twits who raged about the bully of a fan, it seems the guy had managed to gain several baseballs throughout the game and had given them to kids sitting in the stands surrounding him.

INCLUDING THE CUTESY kid whom he supposedly deprived of a ball on live television.

Now one can argue that there might be something overly aggressive about a fan who manages to get so many stray baseballs (personally, I have never come close to getting a ball, even though I have gone to ballgames live for more than four decades).

But what I took from this particular incident is that we probably shouldn’t pay much attention to anything anyone says through Twitter. It is too often the means for saying meaningless things.

While I myself have a Twitter account (@tejeda_gregory), I’m not about to say there’s much significance to anything said in 140 characters – and often feel like I’m surrounded by those with nothing better to do with themselves. While I’m usually the first to find something snotty to say about Chicago Cubs fans, we certainly don’t have the bully or oaf that Twitter twits claimed.

AND AS FOR people snagging baseballs at games, the usual rule of thumb is that you have to hold onto the ball in order to stake a claim to it. Otherwise, tough luck.
It reminds me of an incident years ago I saw at a Chicago White Sox game. A ball hit foul into the stands. It bounced around a bit. A kid tried to grab it but couldn’t hold on. It wound up in the next section, where a semi-drunken adult finally snagged it.

What sticks in my mind is that the guy was white, the kid was black and several adults sitting near the kid who also were black tried to shame the “white” guy into giving up the ball. He wouldn’t, and I’m sure there’s at least one individual out there with unpleasant memories about baseball as a result.

It makes me wonder if we had the Twitter twits back then if a racial incident could have been created out of what happened. Particularly if one of the kind of people who feed religiously off every word President Donald Trump spews were to have gotten ahold of the moment.


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