One Rule To Abide By

At a baseball game, there are several bits of etiquette that should be followed:

  • Limit your movement to and from your seat during at bats;
  • Stand up, don’t remain seated when people need past you to get to their seats;
  • Keep your shirt on (literally);
  • Don’t pretend to talk to the person next to you when you’re actually speaking for the “benefit” of everyone in your section;
  • Heckle players, but avoid foul language;
  • Participate in the seventh inning stretch;
  • Don’t complain about how expensive concessions are (we’re all already aware);
  • Have fun; and
  • Loudly chastise anyone participating in the wave.

However, there is only one hard rule that you absolutely must abide:

There is no crying in baseball.

Look at this entitled little child. Crying, because an adult beat you to a baseball, both fairly and squarely? What are you, like three years old? Give me a break.

I jest of course. The real rule is:

If you are over the age of twelve and you get your hands on a baseball at a game, give that ball to someone who is twelve years old or younger. They will appreciate it infinitely more than you, you cynical jerk face

This grown man, and I use the term loosely, is so pleased with himself for picking up a ball from the ground that he immediately shows it off to his lady friend, and then goes to collect bro fives from the section behind him.

If your accompaniment for the evening is more impressed with a baseball that you picked up off the ground, as a child weeps beside you, than with you actually handing over that baseball to the upset toddler, I would wager that you two deserve each other in every way imaginable. In fact, I hope you two enjoy several years of selfishness together that culminates in a messy divorce that ruins you both.

Have a nice day.

Comments (64)

  1. Bloggers are the best. Seriously, this is why GB is the best baseball blog ever. Never change.

  2. Absolutely. That ball’s going to wind up fallen behind a bookcase or used as a weapon in a domestic dispute, I guarantee it.

    • as appose to what, lost in a park or under some pile of toys the kid never plays with.

      • Agree with this comment as 100% truth!

        When did they add an age limit to being a fan, or loving a souvenir of the game?

        It’s one thing to grab something out of anyone’s hand, it’s another thing to pick it up off the ground, and think “hey cool, I got a baseball”

        • I think that the point is that being a decent human being should come before being a fan. well maybe not in all cases, but where kids are concerned. I mean honestly, how do you not give it to the screaming kid (who will be sitting in your section flicking boogers towards your popcorn for the remaining two hours of the baseball game) who obviously is heartbroken by your appropriating the ball he obviously wanted? Unless that dude is dying in several days and getting a foul ball (and/or making a child cry) were on his bucket list, there’s no real excuse. The date’s comment was probably (hopefully) “Oh look. A ball. Most men have two, but your half-way there now I guess.”

          • if someone was tossing a ball into the stands for a kid and an adult swiped it first and didn’t pass it, then they deserved to be booed. regardless of age all of the people who go to games with the intention of sitting on the baselines just to chase down balls are all morons/ball hoarders. don’t waste your time cheering or booing them. but whoever catches a foul ball or homerun has the right to keep it without any judgement or booing. most adults would appreciate a game souvenir more than any of your spoiled children ever will. this age limit and discrimination the “fan etiquette” police have is ridiculous. people like me who work for minimum wage and pay for 100 level tickets every game they go to do not care about your freeloading children. sorry, not sorry.

    • I keep all of my baseballs from games in cases…

  3. I fully agree with the rules and I will loudly boo any adult who DOESN’T give the ball to the nearest kid.
    However, one challenge arises when you have a screaming/crying child as in the case above. I’ve seen parents in this case turn down the ball because they don’t want their child to be taught the lesson that crying will get you what you want. What should happen is that you give the ball to the kid before he loses his friggin mind.
    Which is totally valid. if in the case the guy caves in and hands the ball over this kid runs the risk of being a spoiled little brat who when he’s 40 will yank the ball out of the hands of a 6 year old so he can show off to his lady friend.


    • Well said.

      Also, I’m not sure Parkes’ reasons for giving the ball to a child are altogether altruistic. I seem to remember a certain “guide” on DJF that talked about this very scenario. I think it had something to do with cats.

    • I have never seen or heard of a guy thats 40 “yanking a ball out of the hands of a 6 year old so he can show off to his lady friend.” Please show me proof.

      • Well, at a Jays game, my friend made a very nice sliding catch on a foul ball. As he gets up, some drunken idiot walks over and yanks it from his glove, and showed it to his obnoxious drunken lady friend. I had to yell at the guy for 5 minutes. The entirety of left field booed him. He eventually relented. We’re obviously not 6, but we aren’t exactly adults….

  4. great post. I dedicate this to the 2 doucebag 20-somethings who last year jumped up in front of my 11 year-old daughter in Section 126 just as Adam Lind tossed a ball to her coming into the dugout. She was standing on her seat waiving to Adam with her pink Jays foam finger and he looked right at her and tossed the ball. The guy who grabbed the ball never even looked behind as others were calling for him to take a look.

    • Feel free to “accidentally” spill your beer on them next time this happens.
      No one would blame you. – though that is an expensive sacrifice i suppose….

      • No beer spillage is too expensive when protecting the ballpark experience of one’s daughter.

        People are ridiculous about baseballs. There were two terrible incidents I remember from last season. One involving people fighting over a garbage can that a ball had gone into at Tropicana Field. And another involving a horrible woman in (I think it was Arlington) who actually took the ball out of the hand of some child before running up the stairs to show off what a hero she was.

        • This is exactky why they should allow firearms into ballparks. Some people will never learn

    • I was in LF for batting practice at Coors Field. Ball was hit directly at me. Caught it, looked to my left and saw an 8 year old boy sprinting to get it. So I did the courteous thing and handed it to him. I then proceeded to watch him walk back to his parents, and place the ball next to 3 or 4 others he had caught during BP. In that scenario is it ok to not give the kid the ball?

  5. UPDATE: Check out BOMANI JONES TWITTER PICTURE…that old dude took a picture of the hot girl holding the ball whilst the child looks on crying.


  6. Nothing teaches children about life better than just handing them something they haven’t earned rather than working hard to get it. Seriously, if I ever catch a foul ball at a game I’m grabbing my crap and running out of the stadium so not to get booed. Also, children are stupid and nothing brings me more joy than when they don’t get what they want.

  7. I enjoy the super sarcastic “way to go” and slow clap from the mom right at the end of the gif.

  8. As much as these people deserve scorn, it isn’t always as simple as that. I was at a Jays game last year sitting in the 100 level outfield and had a clear view of a race for a foul ball in a mostly-deserted section closest to the foul pole in which a guy who appeared to be in his early 30s out hustled a guy who would have been, in my estimation, at least 65. The younger guy got booed relentlessly until he walked back to his seat and handed it to what probably was his son. It’s hard to make an excuse for these idiots since the dude who got the ball is directly next to the kid who the ball was likely intended for, but I don’t think we need more shaming in the ballparks, especially when we don’t know the full story.

    I’ve never caught a ball at a game, but I have been hit in the face with a projectile t-shirt at a basketball game. I promptly turned the t-shirt over to the elementary school aged girls behind me, which was probably the only way to save face after getting pegged because I wasn’t paying attention.

    • My best friend snatched a Tshirt out of my hands when we were at a hockey game… it was my birthday.
      … I cried a little.

    • I was at that game in that section and saw this too. I can`t believe I didn`t see Dave Steib in the crowd.

    • which a guy who appeared to be in his early 30s out hustled a guy who would have been, in my estimation, at least 65

      Both these idiots deserve scorn and, at least, a beating. Running for a ball just sitting on the ground after being hit foul? Fuck them both.

      • I mostly agree, but the younger dude was getting it for his kid and the older dude is old enough to damn well do whatever the fuck he pleases.

  9. All rules are bang on. Nicely done.
    And thank you once again for bringing up the wave – people still don’t get how goddamn fuckin’ stupid it is.

    • I like it when people at the Skydome do it when the Jays are on defense and there are a couple runners in scoring position…. Ideally the wave will blow past home plate right when the pitchers is trying to make a good pitch to get out of the jam.

      .. *le sigh*

      • Wouldnt you like to, yknow, see the play? Not have the arms of the guy in front of you blocking your view during the critical instant of the game you paid to go watch?

  10. What if these two adults have a young boy/girl at home they want to give the ball to? Why should they have to give the ball to the boy whose crying. If anything now that little kid has learned all he has to do to get his way is cry.

    • THose motherfuckers left their kid at home and went to the ballgame without him/her??? those horrible horrible parents!!!

      My folks when to Game 5 of 1992 WS and THE Game 6 of the 1993 World Series and left me at home…. I’m not bitter though.

      • What if they want to give the ball to a /neice/nephew who is sick and in the hospital and therefore unable to attend the game. What if the kid is the worlds biggest Jays fan and when that 30 year old “d-bag” presents the child with a ball, he/she turns a corner health-wise and fully recovers? Keep that in mind next time you boo someone at the park who doesn’t give the ball to some spoiled brat.

      • Damn. My buddy had a choice of game 6 and 7 in 1993, and he chose to take a chance on a game 7 and let his 4 year old sister go to game 6 instead. He has, on occasion, mentioned the fact he regrets this decision just a little bit.

  11. I like this post as much as I disliked your Fenway rant Parkes. Could not agree more.

  12. Listen, I feel bad for the kid. I will say this situation is different than a straight foul ball catch in that a player tossed the ball and intended it to go to the kid. In this specific case, yes. However, I have to talk specifically about foul balls here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t give the foul balls to little kids, but to say anyone over 12 HAS TO give it away is wrong. Hear me out here, because I know from personal experience.

    I was 22 when I caught my first foul ball, two years ago at a Jays-Indians game in Cleveland. I remember it perfectly: sitting behind home plate, John Buck hit it back over the net, off the awning of the second deck, and right into my hands. I was fucking ELATED! I’ve been going to ballgames and sitting in foul ball territory since I was born, and for the first time I actually caught one! I was jumping around like I was 5 years old, and why not? Everyone wants to catch that foul ball once in their life. I don’t care if your 8 years old or 88 years old, it’s a huge thrill especially if you’ve never caught one before. Those of you who have had the chance to catch a foul ball will agree with me, I’m sure.

    And I kept that ball. It sits on my shelf. And I’m glad I did. There wasn’t a kid around that section, but if there had been he or she wasn’t getting it, I don’t care if they pouted and screamed for the rest of the ballgame. If people had booed me, pelted me with garbage, whatever, I’d have sat there and taken it because there was no fucking way that ball was ending up in anyone else’s hands. It was the first time I had ever caught a foul ball, and it was my own little kid moment. Everyone at a ballgame is just as entitled to that thrill as the 5 year old beside you. If I ever catch a second one, yeah it’s going to the nearest kid because I had my turn.

    So that’s my rule. If you catch a second, a third, a 50th, then give it up to the kids. But I’m sorry, when you catch your first ever foul ball you are entitled to keep it and cherish it, I don’t care how old or young you are, and no one should “force” you to give it up.

    Note: this rule only applies if you catch that first foul ball CLEANLY, and by that I mean you DON’T get it by jumping in front of a little kid to catch the ball. Seriously, I’ve seen people do that. If you block out a kid to catch and keep it then your just a fucking douchebag.

  13. When I started reading I thought you were going to chastise Michael Kay for being so judgemental.

  14. At the Hall of Fam Game back in the day my buddy (age 13 at the time or so) was bowled over but a 40-something guy. He was booed incessantly by everyone in the LF/3Bline stands. The Marlins LF booed him too. Wish I remember which player it was.

  15. like others have said before, am I wrong for taking the ball home for my nephew instead of giving it to whatever misbehaving scream factory happens to be sitting near me? i know my nephew’s awesome.

  16. I work for a major league team and a few years ago, I witnessed a terrific act of selflessness during a game. A foul ball was hit into the seats deep on the third-base side and a little boy, maybe 4 or 5, picked up the ball, but threw it back onto the field. His mother later told me he thought the players needed it back. When she tried to stop him from throwing it back, saying he could keep it, it was too late and he started to cry, realizing he could have kept it. A boy of maybe 9 or 10, about two sections over and 20 rows up, who had gotten a ball during batting practice, stood up, made his way down to where the mother and little boy was and gave him his ball. I was already on my way down to the little boy to tell him I was going to see if I could get a ball for him when the older boy reached him. After seeing what he did, I stopped him on the way back to his seat and thanked him on behalf of the team and the staff and, at the last second , jotted down his name and number. Giving the info to the head of our customer service department, they sent him a free pair of tickets, a hat and a new ball. I’ll never forget what a generous and selfless kid that 9 year-old was. His parents sure must have not been like the couple at that Texas game, I’ll tell you that.

  17. People’s look always have an impact on how we judge them. Just look at the dude’s assholish smile. The smile itself can potentially piss many folks off.

  18. If you’re in the age range of 25-75, and attending a game, you probably have enough disposable income to buy your own goddamn baseball.
    Give the errant balls to a kid, jerky.

  19. How about you catch a ball and give it to your daughter and she throws it back on to field?

    Double fail – how about dropping your kid trying to catch a foul ball then dropping that too?

    This is how you catch a ball while holding a child.

  20. I agree wholeheartedly with everything except your qualifier of 12 years old. If I was 13-17, I’d still be totally jacked to get a ball, and in no way would I be self-aware enough to realize that I should be giving that ball to a kid.

  21. Got a grounder foul ball at a Rangers/Jays game two years ago. Was hammered drunk before the Them Crooked Vultures concert. Leaned over the side on the 3B side and snagged it in front of the bat boy. Did a celebratory jesture and then tried to give the ball to the kid next to me. He said “no thanks, I already have bunch here from earlier.” Turned around and tossed it up a couple rows to a Dad/Son combo that looked like they needed a ball. Dad was super impressed with my moxy, bought me a tall boy from the beer guy.

    I’ll trade a foul for a $38 beer any day.

  22. I’m 14 and I have caught 8 balls in my life. One was a foul ball and that was last weekend. The others player have tossed to me.. Every time I catch a ball, I get the same feeling that I have something special. I understand if you think I’m and idiot or sometrhing like that I get it. But catching balls is how I enjoy a baseball game. If you enjoy baseball games by sitting their like a lazy butthead drink beer or whatever, I get it. But that is just how I enjoy a baseball game. Honestly I don’t focus on trying to catch balls, I focus on helping little kids catch balls. If I go to a game and don’t get a ball or two, but I helped 10 little kids get balls, or go for balls thatI could have gotten, then I have had a great day. So next time you go ragging on people for catching balls, consider that it might be their first ball. Who does not want a game-used item? I mean seriously? Do you know how much gmae-used balls are online? Balls in the store cost $30! I don’t understand how you are selfish if you want to try to snag a ball. Each person is different, so do go getting all pissed because people are different than you, ok?

  23. And for the record, if I EVER see a kid crying after I catch a ball, I WILL give it to him no questions asked. Why? Becasue I am a kind person and it is the right thing to do.

  24. f*ck that, i’m a 22 year old female fan and i’ve been going to games since i was 7 years old, no one has ever passed me a ball. if i ever managed to catch one i’d laugh in the face of any child or parent that thought they were entitled to the ball. maybe after i got my first i’d be willing to give one away. maybe.

    • All you have do do is to know the player’s first name. Ask them for a ball, don’t pester them. Just ask polietly and kae sure they an hear you. Chances are, you will get a ball.

  25. Kids these days are used to every thing being handed to them. I am always happy when my kids have a chance to work towards something they want. The go to answer at my house when my kid’s are howling for some trinket is “How does it feel to want?” I’m guessing most of the people getting riled up over this nonsense don’t have kids, and are really just venting over some perceived, and petty injustice from their own past. The final bit is that someone from the dug-out tossed the kid his own baseball a few minutes later. I’m betting it’s lost under his bed by the end of tomorrow.

    • spot on the majority of kids these days only appreciate/value toys and video games, not things like baseball souvenirs. 75% of the kids i see at games that get passed balls don’t even smile or say thank you. you’re not changing their childhood by passing them a ball. also you’re not classy or a decent human being just because you “selflessly” give up a ball to some stranger’s kid. i’ve been going to games for 15 years and no one has ever passed me a ball so i have nothing to pay forward either.

  26. Honestly, if your argument for not giving the ball to the kid ranges from “I am bitter that no-one ever gave me a ball as a kid so screw him” to “my priority in life is to spend my minimum wage earnings on 100 level seats so I can do whatever I want” you have no business commenting on entitlement.

  27. It is honestly not that hard to get a ball. Make sure to go to batting practice and know hte first names of most of the players. If you do those two things, and you bring a glove, I can almost promise that you will get a ball. Teams usually don’t have BP on day games the day after night games. When I got a foul ball, all I had to do was get a $35 front row seat at the Oakland Coliseum, and a foul ball was hit my way and I scooped it up. It is all about knowing what to do and when to do it.

  28. Oh, and to the “the spoiled brat should learn to work for it like me/my kids” brigade give your head a shake. The ball is seemingly being tossed to the kid and it only hits the ground because of the douche bags in the row ahead of him. What 3 year old kid can outwork an adult and is not going to cry when it appears they are about to receive something special only to have it snatched anyway by said adult? As a father of two, I can confirm that despite being neither spoiled or entitled, my children have cried on occasion when extremely disappointed, being after all children.

  29. That kid and his family are about to go on the Today show because of the “Controversy”

  30. US Today reported that the fine gentleman in the spotlight is demanding an apology from the yankee broadcaster for calling a spade a spade.

    What a hero.

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