Every baseball fan dreams of catching a foul ball or home run at a game. It’s one of the best souvenirs in all of sports. But one fan at yesterday’s Cubs game seemed to let his excitement get the best of him when he rudely stole a foul ball meant for the little kid sitting in front of him. At least, that’s what it looked like at first and people were quick to jump on the story and label him a jackass. But it turns out the video didn’t tell the whole story and that this so-called ‘jerk’ might actually be a pretty nice guy after all.
Initially, it was easy to assume this guy was a total douche. Without context, the now viral video appears to show Cubs first base coach Will Venable clearly tosses a foul ball to the young fan sitting in the first row but the before the boy is able to get a hold of the ball, this jackass grown man sitting behind him grabs it, briefly celebrates, and then proudly hands it over to a woman, presumably his wife.
— Arther Digby Sellers (@DiceBeck) July 22, 2018
This obviously looks like a major dick move by the adult who grabbed the foul ball. After all, one of the unwritten rules of baseball fandom is that adults are supposed to let kids have first shot at any balls that end up in the stands. The Cubs even gave the kid a ball signed by Cubs infielder Javy Baez. But it turns out there might be more to this story than meets the eye.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 22, 2018
While many assumed that this guy had robbed this kid of his one chance at a sweet souvenir because of a greedy grown-up, the real story shows that this guy had already helped the kid get a foul ball before grabbing this second one for himself. David Kaplan, a baseball reporter who covers the Cubs, said he had spoken with the team and it turns out the man had “already helped the little boy get a ball earlier,” which is why the kid is holding two balls in the photo.
I spoke with people from the Cubs. The man who grabbed the ball on the widely seen video had actually already helped the little boy get a ball earlier. The young man has a game used ball and a Javy Baez ball. All is well. Guy is A-OK so let it go people.
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) July 23, 2018
Some people on Twitter are still complaining that the man shouldn’t have taken the ball that was meant for the kid but instead of nitpicking, perhaps we should all just appreciate the fact that this is a rare news story where nobody is a jerk. The boy got a foul ball and a ball signed by a Cubs’ player. The man got a ball for his wife. Everybody goes home happy.