Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kids Today / They're all the same.

This video has been getting a lot of play over the past couple of days, and apparently for good reason. The father's reaction to his little girl after she throws his foul ball back is really cute, and if I was a lady I may even go so far as to call it "precious". But it reminds me of a story that happened to me and my buddy JT when we were at a Mariners game four or five years ago. I am going to guess 2004, because the Bartman thing was still in everyone's mind.

So it was early in the season, a Sunday in April versus Texas, I believe, and if my memory serves me well it was the same day that Tiger Woods chipped in at the Masters and won the tournament. I remember the shot was so amazing that it was put up on the big screen at the game. So anyone who wants to can Sherlock Holmes the exact date out from there.

Our seats for the game are really sexy, thanks to the fact that we know people, who know people, who know people. But these are primo seats, outside the basepaths, but front row on the first base side right in the middle of the tarp. Yes a stadium with a retractable roof has a rain tarp, just in case, you know. Which makes me wonder if the Safeco Field Ground's Crew would actually know how to use the tarp in the event that it was actually needed. You know like a retractable-roof machination malfunction, or some giant windstorm blowing itlike a sail onto the I-5 on ramp directly behind the ballpark.

So anyhow there we are in the front row. And anyhow a foul ball comes sailing right over our heads, and as we look up to the see the ball coming down right on top of us, a large brown baseball mitt glides into view which the ball harmless bounces off the edge of, then bounces off the tarp and into my buddy JT's hand. We look at each other and then directly at Richie Sexson, who's glove was unable to make the play. Typical Richie, he turned and trotted his overpaid self back to first.

So there is this kid, a boy 3 or 4 years old top who has been playing in the aisle for several innings now. I tell JT to "give the kid the ball", which JT, being the a lover of the game of baseball dutifully does, in the hopes that this moment will spark a lifetime love of the game in the youngster, and inspire him to become the next Hal McRae, or something.

So the kid takes the ball from JT, takes one look at it, and throws it right onto the field. JT looks at me with a look of shock, horror and surprise on his face. They have to call time in the game and everything, and even stop Ryan Franklin in mid-motion . All I can do is laugh and say "sh**, what can you do?" When JT asked the little boy why he threw the ball back, the kid said it was because he already had one, and held up a plastic painted blue and teal ball with a M's logo on it.

What was shocking then, is less shocking now. Since both JT and I have toddlers our our own. But none the less it saddens me that toddlers of this era have no reverence for the game of baseball, and the artifacts of foul balls that are bestowed upon lucky fans throughout the course of each and every game. Commisioner Bud Selig should organize a task force to look in on the matter, maybe after he thinks about shortening the regular season about a month or so.

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