When they go to a baseball game, everybody secretly wants to come home with a baseball. This is a situation unique to baseball: You have a chance, almost anywhere you sit (especially if you show up for batting practice), to come home with a souvenir, provided of course the souvenir doesn’t come streaking toward your head and kill you. When the opportunity to grab a baseball presents itself, the prospect is so thrilling, so unexpected, that you discard all logic, reason, and sense of propriety to grab it, whatever the cost. The dream scenario is that you catch the ball with one hand and keep your beer balanced with the other, receiving an ovation from the crowd. The nightmare situation is Steve Bartman. Or what a fan did in Arizona last night.
Deadspin linked the video early this morning of a male Diamondbacks fan who wanted a baseball really, really badly.
It’s worth noting that — and no one has tracked down the fan to find out for sure yet — that this particular D-Backs fan seems a little … well, off. (We mean that not to sound insensitive. It is just an observation, and we are attempting to give the benefit of the doubt here.) But still: That’s some serious wrestling. You gotta really want that ball.
And the thing is, even if there is some sort of condition that’s a moderate excuse for such behavior, we’re not sure such an excuse is even necessary. When you have a chance at a baseball at a game, man, you gotta take it. The problem here was not so much that the fan went so hard for the ball: It’s that he took the ball away from a pretty woman, and that he was caught on television.
But he got the ball. That’s still worth something!
Perhaps there should be some rules set down for Baseball Lunging at games. Let’s try:
1. When a ball is available, consideration should be given to children, the elderly, and the disabled. We’d say anything within their arms’ reach should be ceded to them. Their arms’ length, not yours.
2. If you happen to be on television, consideration should also be given to women. If you are a woman, there is no need for any consideration, even to children, the elderly, and the disabled.
3. Otherwise, anything goes.
We’ve never gotten a ball at a game, and we’ve been to nearly 200 games in our lifetime. Someday. Whatever it takes.