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Not having a ball at Dodger Stadium

April 19, 2010 |  5:24 pm
I have a message for all those in the Dodger Stadium pavilions who try to make someone throw a home-run ball back on the field when struck by a visiting player:

Back off.

This has to be one of the dumbest sporting ideas ever. Peer pressure gone very bad, in a public setting.

It's just plain goofy. I don't care who hit it. It's a major league baseball. Caught at a game. Hit for a home run.

"To me, that's the greatest souvenir in the world," said Dodgers Manager Joe Torre. "And you throw it back?"

You take that ball and save it forever. Buy one of those plastic ball covers. Display it at home.

Particularly if you're a kid, you shouldn't have to hear a bunch of beer-inspired, semi-adults jeering you until you break down and throw the ball back on the field.

If they want to keep the ball, leave them alone. Can the boos.

"Now fans feel like they're criminals if they don't throw the ball back," Torre said.

Torre grew up in Brooklyn a Giants fan and used to take in games at the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field. He can't fathom throwing a home-run ball back.

This has been going on for a few years now. I'm not sure how this complete rip-off of the Wrigley Field bleacher bums started, but I have a suspicion it could have had something to do with Barry Bonds depositing one in the pavilion.

One day someone's going to pop Manny Ramirez in the back of the head.

The funniest thing is, sometimes the ball thrown back on the field will be retrieved by security personnel, who will run back to the chair near the foul line -- and promptly toss it back to a kid in the stands.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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