Maybe it’s just because I’m a Cubs fan who lived through the infamous Bartman Game, but I’ve never understood why adults care so much about shagging foul balls that they’re willing to put themselves at risk to get them. It’s not a valuable souvenir, nobody you show it to is particularly impressed, and presumably if you can afford a ticket to a ballgame you can afford to go purchase your own baseball if that’s what you’re needing. It’s not quite as strange as standing in line for hours to get an autograph, but it’s up there.
At last night’s Cardinals/Pirates game in Pittsburgh, one Cardinals fan (figures) did more to prove the idiocy of the foul ball lunge than a paragraph from me ever could when he flipped face-first over the PNC Park railing, smashing his face and causing a 10-minute game delay in the process.
The fan in question was in town from New York to take his 21-year-old Down Syndrome son to see a game when the unfortunate idiocy occurred, proving that even having the correct number of chromosomes is not enough to guarantee intelligence. From MLB.COM (who also has unembeddable video of the mishap, if you’re interested):
With the game tied at 4, Pittsburgh and St. Louis endured a 10-minute delay after a fan wearing a Cardinals shirt and seated in the first row along the right-field line lunged for a foul ball that came his way. The man lost his balance and flipped over the protective railing and onto the field. He landed on his face.
Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols and Pirates first-base coach Perry Hill immediately signaled for medical help when the man did not get right back up.
Kudos to Pujols and Hill for being patient enough to stay with the man until help arrived. To Cardinals fans, this will undoubtedly be seen as more proof of Baseball Jesus’ benevolent nature, but to the rest of us, the man’s actions are just another unfortunate reminder of the state of humanity.
We should mention that the man is expected to be OK, and we wish him well in all his future non-foul-ball-related endeavours.