Friday, June 17, 2011

Take that Home Run Ball and …

I was at the  Phillies game last week when Ryan Madson blew his first save of the year against the Cubs.  He allowed Geovanny Soto to hit the tying home run in the ninth inning of a game the Phillies would go on to lose in the 11th.  Madson very nearly gave up the winning run when the next batter, Tyler Colvin, hit an apparent go ahead home run putting the Phillies behind 4-3.  Charlie Manual requested a review and the umpires overturned the ruling, determining a fan had reached over the wall to pull the home run ball in. Colvin was awarded a ground rule double, Madson closed the door and the game went into extra innings. What struck me was not that replay worked (and I didn’t see the replay until I got home and watched on TV due to the ballparks restriction on showing close plays on the big scoreboard), but that the fan reached over the wall to grab the ball, potentially costing the Phillies the game, only to throw the ball back!  I understand wanting a souvenir and a home run ball is quite a prize, but throwing it back? This has long been a tradition in Chicago, but is relatively new in Philadelphia where it has only been the norm for the last few years.  What really bugs me is…we had to steal a tradition from the Cubs?   Their track record of success is that strong that we thought we’d emulate them? (Though, to be sure, until 2008 they’d won twice as many World Series as the Phils, so goat or no goat, what do they have to complain about)?  I know, if I ever catch a homerun ball hit by the opposition (a negligible prospect given that my seats are behind third base), there is no chance that ball isn’t going home with me…no matter what the peer pressure.  Let’s keep our own traditions, ringing the “Liberty Bell” for home runs, Harry Kalas singing High Hopes after victories, Kate Smith’s  God Bless America before key Flyers games, even the awful Fly Eagles Fly after touchdowns (it does pull you in at the Linc, its so bad, its good!) So, denizens of the outfield seats of Citizen’s Bank park, “Take that Home Run Ball and …Keep It!”

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