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Not having a ball at Dodger Stadium

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

Comments () | Archives (17)

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Yes, because only Dodger fans in the Pavilion do this.

I'm sick and tired of you trying to bash Los Angeles fans, stop being Bill Plashke, that act gets old.

been going to games since the 60's. much less so now that i live in hawaii. but i have never caught a ball yet. came close once and was booed for missing it. if i ever catch a ball, it is not going back.

Clearly you have no idea what baseball tradition is. Do what the fans do in Wrigley and bring an extra ball with you. If your lucky enough to catch a home run ball, keep the HR ball and throw the other ball into the field. It's part of the game man, deal with it

The drunken Cubs fans invented this. What are they trying to prove? They are so high and almighty that they have so much pride when the opposing team hits a homerun? It's sending a message " we don't want your stinking souvenir, we are the Cubs!".
Excuse me???? The same Cubs who have not won a championship in more than a hundred years?

Julian: Actually I have an excellent idea of baseball tradition. Its a Cubs thing. Its not something that was intended to be a national movement but unique to Wrigley. And somehow Im thinking all those fans in the pavilions arent buying a baseball and bringing it just in case they catch a home run, and throw the wrong ball back on the field.

I am a Dodgers fan stuck in the Florida Panhandle. If I ever get to Valhalla--Dodger Stadium--and catch a Dodger-hit baseball, I will have to be carried out stonecold dead before I give up that ball. Get real!

Steve: Couldn't agree with you more. I have never caught a home run, but as a kid I did corral a foul ball off the bat of Charley James of St. Louis in 1964 at Dodger Stadium. I treasured it for years until it finally disappeared. And I once got two foul balls in the same inning at a California League minor league game in Salinas. Didn't throw either of them back either. If I am lucky enough to come up with a home run ball, I will keep it , regardless of who hit it.

Terrific post, Steve. I agree 100%...Torre is absolutely correct as well. No way should anyone be told--or forced--to throw a home run ball back. It doesn't matter what happens at Wrigley Field. We go to Dodger Stadium...or Angel Stadium.

LOL! @ LA Times #1 dodger fan

"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."

LOL - that's like money laundering! At least someone gets to take the baseball home.

If I'm risking spilled beer, thrown elbows, pushing, shoving, and broken fingers, I'm certainly not throwing the ball back if I catch it, no matter who hit it.

As someone who only sits in the LFP I'll tell you, you get Boo'd for everything. Try hitting a beach ball into the ushers hands. You'll get boo'd. But it doesn't last long, no one there really cares, and everyone forgets after a minute. So if you don't want to throw the ball back, don't throw it back. If you feel you can't overcome the pressure then that's something you'll have to work on personally. Also baseball is built on traditions that start in other stadiums. Cubs or not its here just like "God Bless America" in the 7th.

I agree, Steve. I may cheer for someone to do it...but once they do, I laugh at them.

Last season, I attended a Mud Hens game in Toledo and was lucky enough to catch four foul balls. I really didn't care to keep ALL of them - one would've sufficed - but when I gave the first one to some little kid sitting next to me and neither he nor his father felt it warranted a "thank you", I turned into Scrooge after that.

I have a great idea! Every time someone hits a homerun at Dodger stadium someone should throw an L.A. Sports Writer on the field. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Julian (above) has the right idea!

It's a personal decision if you want to throw it back. Yes, the boos are designed to encourage someone to throw it back, but NEVER does it resort to violence or even anything more than playful ribbing.

I have to agree with #1 Dodger Fan's post:

"Yes, because only Dodger fans in the Pavilion do this.

I'm sick and tired of you trying to bash Los Angeles fans, stop being Bill Plashke, that act gets old."

I love the blog, Steve, but I'm also tired of hearing you rip LA fans. It's a fun tradition to throw the ball back, tell the Giants they suck, and whatever other little quirks we do that annoy you. If I didn't know better i would think that you were one of those grumpy old grandpa types that doesn't like fun.

I do want to reiterate, though, that I thoroughly enjoy 90% of your work. Keep up the (mostly) good work.

KevinB: Think Ill take 90 percent any time.

Ha,Julian thinks throwing homerun balls back is baseball tradition-laughable


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