Look Ma, no pants!

Yesterday, I saw THE funniest highlight ever involving a fan and a foul ball. In case you missed it, a rather large gentleman (at the Red Sox game in Philly) was sitting in the first row down the 1st base line, right behind the rolled up tarp. When a foul grounder headed his way, the guy crawled over the railing and onto the tarp, reached down to the warning track, and scooped the ball with his glove. It was a nice play. Only problem was that his shorts got caught on something and stayed around his shins…and he wasn’t exactly quick to pull himself back into the seats. In fact, another fan had to help him. The phrase ‘beached whale’ comes to mind.

I’m trying to think of my most embarrassing moment at a game. Hmm…

Years ago at Shea Stadium, I fell onto the field and cut my arm–but that was during batting practice.

Just last month in the Bronx, I dove headfirst for a Jeter BP home run that was bouncing around in the aisle, and I got laughed at by security because there weren’t any other fans within 10 or 20 feet of me.

Once, I sprinted up a ramp at Shea, rounded a corner, and slipped on a patch of wet pavement, right in front of several dozen stadium employees. Total wipeout.

In 1992 at Shea, I was screaming my head off at Reds 1st baseman Hal Morris during BP. He was standing near the left field bullpen, and I was 75 feet away along the foul line. “HAAAAAL!!!!” I shouted, “I went to Bucky Dent’s Baseball School, too!!!!” He ignored me for a minute. I kept screaming. “HAAAAAL!!!! HAAAAAL!!!!” He finally gave me a funny look. I didn’t understand why. It was early. The ballpark was empty. He was the only player on the field. I was the only fan in the seats. “HAAAAAL!!!!” I kept shouting. Then I realized I’d been yelling at Paul O’Neill. (O’Neill was on the Reds, at least. And O’Neill, like Morris, is 6’4″, 215 pounds, and left-handed. But still…)

I can’t think of anything horrible that landed me on national television. Most of my ball-snagging bloopers have taken place before games.

What about you? What’s YOUR most embarrassing moment?

(If you see a photo of our pants-less friend from Philadelphia, let me know. I couldn’t find one.)


  1. dantv64dan@aol.com

    I’m on a grassy knoll at a Minor league park, it’s batting practice (a rarity in the minors), and the batter sends it into the knoll (which is in foul territory), it’s just me and one other kid (I was like, 6 at the time). He gets the ball, and I leap on him and lay this football-style tackle on him. He drops the ball, and I run to get it when it….. falls back onto the field. Thankfully, the kid’s parents did not sue and we both ended up getting 3 balls a piece when the right fielder started throwing them into the knoll.

  2. Zack

    I love it! Good thing you were only six. Or maybe you’re just SAYING that, even though it really happened last year. :-)

  3. drosenda@msn.com

    At Ameriquest, I ran onto the knoll for a BP HR. I’m like 27 and there’s a 10 year old kid who runs with me. I overran the ball, and slipped trying to double back. My shoulder dislocated quickly and then returned to its socket. Hurt like ****. However, I still got the ball (no, didn’t hurt the kid). It was embarassing to walk away holding my shoulder, like the kid beat me up or something.

  4. drosenda@msn.com

    Zack, Did you ever hear about the guy at Ameriquest who like dove over a kid to get an in-game foul ball? It was like huge news, and the kid became a minor celebrity. Players at the game gave him balls and bats, I think the kid even appeared on a local morning news show. Then, they tried to track down the guy, since he was easy to identify (they showed him on TV, and the announcers just lambasted him). Doesn’t it sometimes **** you off that everyone thinks that only KIDS should get balls?

    Hey, here’s a link to a story about this:


    Check out the JPEG link, it shows the guy and the kid.

  5. thegroceryman1@yahoo.com

    I haaaate calling players the wrong name more then almost anything. It’s such a preventable embarrassing miscue. Such instances have been my lowest moments.

  6. Zack

    Very big of you to admit your age. What’s the deal with that grassy area in CF in Arlington? Are the fans allowed to hang out there? Or do you have to wait for a ball to actually land there? Different rules for BP versus the game itself? I remember that crazy fan who “trampled” the kid. I still have yet to see the highlight from that famous incident. It’s a shame that one schmo like that can taint the public’s perception of baseball collectors. I think that kids SHOULD get balls, but they should also want them and earn them. Maybe I’m just bitter because I busted by buttocks for six years before I got my first ball, but when I see a ballboy hand a loose ball to a kid in a $200 front row seat…a kid who’s not wearing a glove and who’s clearly more entertained by cotton candy than the action on the field…well yes, I find that quite absurd, ridiculous, annoying, and irksome.


    Whose names have you messed up? I forgot to mention that I once mistankenly/repeatedly yelled “Vicente (Padilla)” at Carlos Silva. It wasn’t long before the two of them were laughing at me, but they DID give me a ball.

  7. drosenda@msn.com

    The grassy area is off limits, except when a ball hits out there, then it’s a war. Sometimes opposing players find it amusing to throw balls up there just to see the crazy scrum that ensues.

    Yeah, doesn’t that just drive you nuts when the ballboys shell out baseball after baseball to spoiled brats right by home plate?

  8. Zack

    Cool, that’s good to know. I was in Arlington for one game back on July 17, 1999 (vs. Arizona) and got nine balls, including a foul during the game. I remember seeing fans race out onto the grassy area, and I wondered what the deal was, but I never went to CF to find out. Instead, I stayed down the lines and near the dugouts during BP, then sat behind the plate for the game.

    Does the ballpark still open THREE hours early? I thought that was the greatest thing ever until I ran in and discovered that batting practice hadn’t even started.

    Don’t get me started again on ballboys.

  9. Zack

    Again, good to know. (I suppose I could’ve found out with a little Internet research.) Two hours seems to be the standard pre-game opening time these days. Shea opens two and half hours early. How very lucky I am. Yankee used to open 90 minutes early on weekdays until this year. Now it’s two hours for all games.

  10. markshark22@yahoo.com

    zack, ok, when I was in sixth grade I was playing ball at a ymca field. so I get caught in a rundown between 1st and 2nd base and all of a sudden I make this really sharp turn towards 2nd and I feel this twinge in my right leg. so now i am down on the ground crawling towards 2nd , but i amazingly make it and when i get to 2nd i felt like i couldn’t get up. so i am sitting on 2nd grabbing my leg and the coach comes out of the dugout.then blue comes out to see if i need a pinch runner, i tell him i think i can run.(the muscle had some what relaxed by then) so i stumble back up and both dugouts and both bleachers go nuts. they are cheering and everything and ****. blue starts the game again and one of my teammates hits a ball out to the outfield. I’m tearing around the bases like mad and then everything seems to go in slow motion.i see the ball flying towards the catcher and the catcher reaching out to catch the ball. i try taking the catcher out but he’s like linebacker size so i barrel right over him and he tags me out.two injuries in one full inning? embarrassing!

  11. Mike O'Grady

    I was in Washington last year for a meaningless series between the Mets and Nats. Before the first game, this Met with long hair is signing autographs on the third base side, so I run down there, thinking it was Robert Gsellman. So I said his name about four million times before he walked away and then I realized it was a kid they had just brought up, Kevin McGowan. That wasn’t horrible, but really weird.

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