My father will soon be 77 years old. He has been going to baseball games since the 1940s. He saw the Cubs play in their last World Series when he was 10.
He has never gotten a foul ball at a game. Not once. And he still really, really wants to.
My fear is that one of these days, he’ll get one. But there will be a kid somewhere in the vicinity, and the surrounding crowd will angrily demand that my father give it up to the little moppet.
No, no, no. A thousand million times no.
I have three kids. I want every moment of their lives to be special. But there is no way that my kids, let alone some stranger’s kids, deserve that foul ball, that keepsake of a lifetime of attending baseball games, more than my father.
In my mind, the appeal of getting a foul ball was centered in the fact that you got the ball. If it’s handed to you, I’m not sure what makes that ball special anymore. I’m not saying that a game-used ball wouldn’t have appeal to a kid, but I don’t know where the idea grew that a kid was more deserving.
And above all, just because you get older doesn’t mean you stop being a little boy inside, especially when it comes to being a baseball fan.
All you people who are aghast at the selfishness of a grownup who would keep a foul ball rather than hand it to a child need to do a serious rethink. If someone who has never gotten a foul ball wants to keep it, and you intimidate him into doing otherwise, you’re the cruel ones.