They’re not on the level of Steve Bartman, but in some corners today the duo of Sean Leonard and Shannon Moore are just as bad — if not worse. Ok, the Texas couple couldn’t be seen as being worse than Bartman, who supposedly cost the Cubs a trip to the World Series in 2003, but they’re hated by some people for what they did on Wednesday night at the Rangers-Yankees game.
At the end of an inning Texas first baseman Mitch Moreland tossed the ball into the stands and Leonard and Moore picked it up. The ball landed right in front of them. The next seat over was some toddler who started screaming because he didn’t get the ball. Neither Leonard nor Moore realized that the kids was crying and didn’t give him the ball. Of course, the couple got ripped by the Yankees’ announcers and by many who saw the video.
I’m here to back up Leonard and Moore.
Let’s circle back to that infamous Bartman game. I covered that for the Herald-Whig. What a night that was. The next night, I’m typing away after doing some pregame interviews prior to Game 7 of the NLCS between the Cubs and the Marlins at Wrigley. Since I’m not with the Chicago papers, I’m in the auxilary press box, which is actually outside the main press box at the stadium. The accommodations were fine. I sat next to Quad City Times Sports Editor Don Doxie, who I knew from having covered many John Deere Classics.
Early in the game, Derrek Lee, then with the Marlins, came up and hit a foul ball in our direction. I’m oblivious as to what’s happening in front of me until Doxie said heads up. I took my hands off my keyboard and caught the ball on one hop off the rail in front of us. Probably the best play I’ve made on a ball in my life.
I stuff the ball in my pocket and go back to typing. All of the sudden I guy puts his kid in my face and he’s asking for the ball.
“My grandson would love the ball,” the guy said.
I was surprised.
“I’m sorry, I have a 4-year-old at home that would love the ball,” I told him.
I put my head back down and started typing away again. The kid cried but I didn’t care. I had a kid that would enjoy the ball, too. At least that’s what I told myself. Not sure that Derek, my son, ever played with it. I put it with my memorabilia collection. I’m sure it’s in a box somewhere now with leftovers from my round at Augusta National.
Catching it is a good memory for me. That little kid who wanted my baseball doesn’t even remember it. Now about 13 or so, I’m sure all he remembers what he sees from the ticket stub hanging on his wall that he was at the game when the Cubs were close to getting to the World Series.
Every whiny little kid shouldn’t get it’s way just because it wants something. If that kid in Texas wanted the ball so bad, his Dad should have made a better play on it. Don’t demonize someone else because they got something and some little kid didn’t. The Rangers, of course, gave the kid a ball to appease him.
I remember being a 12-year-old and going to a Cubs game. We were down the first-base line and Ron Cey hit a pop foul right to my dad. Of course, he muffed the play and someone else wound up with the ball. Was I ticked? You bet. But no one handed me any baseball to soothe my pain. That’s the way it should have been.
We’ve become a bunch of enablers.
Neither Leonard nor Moore has anything to apologize about.