Throwing Back the Visiting Team's Home Run Balls is a Felony

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paulsolans.jpg

Actually, it's just a misdemeanor, but only when you throw the ball at the opposing team's left fielder. That's what Cubs fan Paul Solans (pictured, left) learned last night when he hurtled a baseball at Manny Ramirez during Chicago's 7-2 loss to the Dodgers.

Solans caught Dodgers home run and, instead of immediately throwing it back onto the field, attempted to throw it at Ramirez when the Dodgers returned to the field. Security guards "grabbed him" and turned him over to Chicago Police, police said.

Here's Paul's MySpace page, in which he has so cleverly dubbed himself Hercules Rockafeller. He should be executed just for that.

In what has become a ridiculous 'tradition' at ballparks around the country, baseball fans love to catch home run balls hit by the opponent and then throw 'em back onto the field. The crowd urges them on and cheers when the ball gets tossed; if the fan decides to keep the ball, he is showered with jeers and, sometimes, plastic Miller Lite bottles.

I don't understand the practice. If I ever caught a home run ball, I'd keep it regardless of who hit it. Throwing it back onto the field will either reward the visiting player who hit it if the ballboy decides to return it to the visitors dugout or reward some dumb kid who happens to be sitting along the foul line. And if one is going to throw a ball at Manny, AIM BETTER.

Correction: it was a warmup ball, not a home run ball. Still doesn't change my ridiculous opinions.


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19 Comments

My season tickets are in first seated row (NBD) in left field at the dome. Although I have never caught one, there have been a lot of home runs hit near us. Some stupid fans always yelling at the person to throw it back, it makes me embarrassed to be a part of that fan base when they do it. It's almost as bad as the wave.

Hey muscle arm, may want to rethink that Hercules nickname.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the traditional throwing-the-opponent's-funnybone back. Just don't be a dick about it, is all.

If the person who catches it wants to throw it back that's fine but to have the whole section booing that person because they don't, that crosses the line.

BC,
NOTHING is as bad as the wave.

What about beach balls? Do other stadiums toss around beach balls?

Are beach balls acceptable at college invocation speeches?

Yes but not fucking baseball games. Wednesdays during the season are student night which is good for rubbernecking but bad for excessive amounts of beach balls that are flying around in the stands. Twice this year I have caught one and popped it with me keys. I wasn't the most popular person in the section those days.

Next season will be the first time my Yankee Stadium seats will (hopefully) be in prime tater catching territory. I'm bringing an extra ball to every game to throw back. I'll even mark it with a Sharpie ahead of time in case the ball gets back to the player: "CECI N'EST PAS VOTRE BASE-BALL"

If I got a game ball, I'd keep it. Unless Barry Bonds plays again, then I'm taking a marker and putting a * on it and throwing it back.

kwson, be careful when you throw it back as you may hit Barry in that big ol' noggin.

@Phillas:

And that would be bad how? (other than getting kicked out and/or arrested)

I would throw the ball back for a free beer, just like in little league when you could get a free freeze pop for returning a foul ball.

@ Iracane - write "Sic Semper Tyrannis" on it.

Per someone sitting in the Left Field bleachers last night, Manny had thrown his warm-up ball into the stands (as most Outfielders do) and the guy threw THAT ball back.

Also, my chick threw back a Rolen homerun ball @ Wrigley one time, and we didn't pay for a beer the rest of the night. We still get a lot of shit from her Southern Indiana/Cardinal fan family, but fuckem. She has since been taught the concept of the "replacement throw-back ball."

The story is kinda burried in that link, so here's the tidbit from Al at BleedCubbieBlue.com:

"Incidentally, perhaps only funny moment last night was provided by Manny; he threw the warmup ball into the LF bleachers just below us going into the bottom of the 9th. It was promptly flung back on the field; Manny ducked (the ball wasn't really that close to him."

Good research, The Kid. Thanks!

too good for a warm up ball? that's just a cubs fan being a cubs fan.

Too bad the police, like they do so often, got it all wrong. Mr. Rockafellar did not catch the Manny home run and hold onto it to later try to pelt Manny with it...the ball he threw had just been lobbed up into the stands by Manny between innings at the request of some Dodger fans sitting in the bleachers. Rockafellar, a Cubs fan, happened to catch it, and then, as the tradition goes, tossed it back onto the field. To the sensationalists in the police and local media departments (this includes you, Iracane, who should be the one executed btw) it must have looked like he was trying to hit Manny. And that's the accurate account, for anyone who gives a crap about the truth.

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