My Kids Earned Their Balls

There is a video of a cute, little pissed off kid at a Giants’ game showing his displeasure at not getting a foul ball circulating the interwebs now. Someone in the Giants’ organization sent the kid a ball during the game, which is great PR move, but has to break an unwritten rule — one must earn a ball at the game.

I have some stories about my kids getting balls at games. The oldest, now in college, used to get them all the time before her brother and sister came along — from the minors on up, usually in batting practice. Once in Oakland (April 2000), Jaret Wright singled her out among a group of kids and gave her a ball during BP because (I assume) she was wearing Indians gear. The next night, during BP, she had him sign it. The next day, Wright was scheduled to start, and our seats were by the Indians’ dugout. As he was trotting from the pen to start the game, he looked up, saw her, and winked. He then pitched a complete game shutout. Not long after that, his arm fell off.

When she was five, the middle child once spent about three innings at a minor league game in San Bernardino begging the bullpen to give her a ball — to no avail. Near the end of the game, a Dominican pitcher started warming up in the eighth. After some prompting from her uncle, she started putting a curse on the pitcher in Spanish (all my kids are bilingual), using wild gesticulations. The poor pitcher, who wasn’t that good, saw this little white girl with wild, curly hair going all voodoo on him and kind of freaked, causing his mates in the pen to laugh. He entered the game and mowed down the side. After the inning, the guys left in the pen tossed her a ball.

Later in the same game, my son, who was three at the time, decided he wanted a ball because his sister had been given one. His luck was no good, so he took matters in his own hands. While we were packing up to leave, he slipped through the gate from the stands to the pen and went for a ball in the ball bag. About a 1000 people were lined up in the concourse for a post game promotion (women had been given a small shovel to dig in the infield for a buried diamond ring) and let out a roar when they saw him. I turned and saw my son with a ball in the hand and a look on his face that he knew he was busted. I scrambled to get him as a couple of laughing security guards moved towards him. He darted onto the field and tried to bowl over one of the security guards and bounced to the ground, which brought laughter from the fans and earned me a stern glare from my wife. I got him, and we walked out with no ball in his hands. However, in the parking lot, he reached down his pants and pulled out his prize. “Ball Daddy!” he shouted.

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