Baseball fan's expression changes from excitement to shame when he realizes he scooped up a ball in play

I appreciate, but this does not make it clearer… I assume that the ball should have been taken by a player, and the fan’s intervention made his team lose a point, or something?

The ball was still in play, which means the team playing defense (the player in the grey uniform) had an opportunity to retrieve the ball, throw it to a teammate, and get the baserunner (the team playing offense, in white-and-orange uniform) Out. But once the fan touched it, the ball is dead, and the baserunner is Safe. Basically, when the fan grabbed the ball, he gave his team an advantage to score.

Feel free to check me on that, though. I only know the most basic of baseball rules for fans, two of which are:

  1. If the ball lands, will land, or is on the field, do not touch it.
  2. If the ball is flying through the air and will land in the stands, try to catch it.

It’s tough to see (extreme right), but the guy who escorted him out took the ball from him.

Balls can be fair or foul. If a fair ball lands short of the stands, the batter runs around the bases, and the defensive team can catch the ball and use it to score an out-- get three outs, and the defense gets to play offense, and vice versa .If a fair ball lands in the stands, it counts as a home run, and the offense scores up to four runs, depending on how many batters are on the bases.

If the ball is foul, the pitcher throws another ball to the batter. Rack up enough fouls , and it’s the same as an out.

The miscreant caught a fair ball that was still in play, preventing the defense from possibly obtaining an out.

Spectators in certain areas of the stadium can catch a foul ball that doesn’t quite enter the stands. They can’t catch a fair ball in the same circumstances. It does depend where you sit.


In slow-pitch softball, that’s true. In major-league baseball, no; you can hit foul balls forever, theoretically, as long as one is not caught before hitting the ground.

Once a foul ball hits the ground, it is dead, and it doesn’t matter if a fan touches it. It’s still forbidden for a fan to reach into the playing area to touch it, but they won’t usually toss you out for doing so. To be on the safe side, fans should not reach over the railing into the playing area.

Players MAY reach over into the fan area to catch a ball, but real fans would grab an opposing player’s glove to prevent him from catching a ball, while vacating the area for a home player to make a play. Most fans probably don’t know this, because I’ve never actually seen it done. I’ve never had such a seat.

Edit: Kudos to the guy for taking it like a man. He realized what he’d done, and what the punishment was. He knew he’d have to leave. And it didn’t change the game, I believe. Double either way.


damn. back to reading bluffball.


Understand, too, that catching a foul ball is one of those things that baseball fans like to do. I go to a LOT of baseball games – some years 20+ games – and I’ve really only been close to catching a foul ball about three or times. It’s stupid – a baseball is only worth about $12 – but it’s tradition.

At least two other people leaned over to grab that ball yet they only toss out the person who demonstrated the most fielding skill.

Also how relieved were they?

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Just…no. That ball was either out of play, and he was justified, or he actually did interfere, and the umpire, who was right there, blew the call. Then he gets blamed for the Cubs playing like donkeys, losing the game by five runs for crissake, and going on to lose the next day with Kerry Wood starting. Still taking the blame, after 14 years. Enough is enough on this guy.


Phew. I probably won’t do anything as embarassing today. Probably.


Don and Jerry are local treasures, watch the whole thing.


I think ‘man’ is poor/inflammatory word choice. Might be worth considering the impact vs your intent. How about ‘adult’? Like an adult.

I don’t mean to pick or suggest, only note that in what i’ve quoted of you above, I want ‘kudos’ to be the anchor word, and ‘like a man’ turns out to be more attention grabbing. Subjectively speaking of course.

Here’s a good example of that grey area. You can see the ball was inside the field and Tarasco had it, but the kid reached out, caught it, and gave Derek Jeter a home run.


Ike Barinholtz-doppelgangers gonna Ike Barinholtz.

A ball that lands then rolls over the foul line (as opposed to a ball that lands over the foul line) is still in play. The fielder could have scooped it up and thrown it to (perhaps) get an out, but was deprived of the opportunity. Anyone on base was basically safe to reach the next base, at least (Could they run all the way? I dunno. Maybe someone who knows the sport better can say both what could have happened, and what actually did happen)

There’s some epic facepalm going on there.

True story. I grew up in L.A. and when I was in the 5th grade me and my brother who was in 7th grade were invited by our neighbors to a Dodgers game against the N.Y. Mets. They had two sons roughly our age. The seats were right behind 3rd base about 10 rows up and me, my brother and our friends all took our ball gloves hoping to get a foul ball. It was a night game and Rusty Staub was at bat for the Mets. He hit a high pop foul right toward our area and everyone stood up, all us kids looking up into the blinding lights with our gloves out hoping to catch the errant ball. When we sat down, the ball came plummeting down out of the glare of the lights and clocked my friend who invited me and was sitting beside me right in the eye. The ball hit him so hard it bounced back onto the field. He was knocked out cold and ended up in the hospital with a broken eye socket and a broken nose. He did get a visit in the hospital from Davey Lopes and Ron Cey, if you remember those guys and he received a baseball bat with all the Dodgers autographs. Moral of the story, for me at least is… you have to see the ball to catch it. His moral of the story may vary. Fun times.

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“Take it like a man” is a common expression, not meant to suggest that men are superior to women. It’s in the same vein as calling someone your ‘boyfriend’, when he is neither a boy, nor merely a friend. It conveys the concept, which is what language is supposed to do, right?

Having said that, I agree that “adult” would have been a somewhat better choice of words. Although the person in question IS a man…

I looked it up. There was no one on base, so probably no effect by the ball being touched. If there HAD been someone on first base, the umpires probably would have held him at third, any other base, and the runner(s) score. The thing is, if there were a runner on first, and the fan DIDN’T touch the ball, it MIGHT have gone past the outfielder, or he MIGHT have kicked it, allowing said runner to score. So, by fielding the ball, the fan might have cost his team a run. The, uh, adult, who hit the ball didn’t score, in real life.

ohh thanks for the clarification