- On Sunday a video of a Cubs fan appearing to steal a ball from a child went viral, prompting a cycle of outrage from baseball fans across Twitter.
- As it turns out, the man had already helped the boy to get a foul ball earlier in the game, making clear that the video did not tell the whole story of the situation.
- In the end, things worked out for all parties involved – the man was vindicated by his fellow fans, while the child left the game with two souvenirs, including a signed ball from Javier Baez.
On Sunday one unlucky Chicago Cubs fan went viral after apparently stealing a foul ball from a child sitting in front of him during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
When going to a baseball game, DON'T be this guy. pic.twitter.com/pAeiRN6Q2X
— Cut4 (@Cut4) July 22, 2018
Understandably, baseball fans reacted strongly, with the moment quickly earning scorn across Twitter from people disappointed in the man’s actions.
The moment got so big that the Cubs sought to make things right, ensuring that the child left with a souvenir that was even more special – a ball signed by All Star second baseman Javier Baez.
It was a happy ending to what looked like a disappointing saga.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 22, 2018
But as it turns out, the video clip that was so widely shared did not have show the whole story, and the person in question had apparently acted in proper adult-fan fashion throughout the game, according to many sitting next to him.
On Reddit, user btbrian collected a number of accounts from other Cubs fans close to the situation that gave a broader picture of how the scene, and the entirety of the game, played out. One defence came from Chuck Mycoff, who was apparently the man in blue sitting just next to the incident.
He had already helped that kid get a ball. He gave two more away to kids also. He was a great guy. TV got this all wrong.
— Chuck Mycoff (@cmycoff2) July 22, 2018
I was sitting next to this guy. That ball was between my feet. The kid already had a ball the same guy helped him get. He handed it to his wife. She took a picture of it and they gave it to the kid next to them. This guy was great. This story is BAD.
— Chuck Mycoff (@cmycoff2) July 23, 2018
Jeff Rose, who was also close to the scene, told a similar story.
I was sitting the next to the boy and the same fan helped him snag a ball a few innings before this.
— Jeff Rose, CFP® (@jjeffrose) July 23, 2018
David Kaplan, who handles pre- and post-game hosting for NBC Sports Chicago, later confirmed this series of events with the team, and encouraged fans to lay off a bit.
I spoke with people from the Cubs. The man who grabbed the ball on the widely seen video had actually already helped the little boy get a ball earlier. The young man has a game used ball and a Javy Baez ball. All is well. Guy is A-OK so let it go people.
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) July 23, 2018
It’s difficult to fault those who had such strong initial reactions to the video as it first appeared – there’s few things more universally loathed than an adult robbing a child of a baseball memory that will last a lifetime, and the guy goes for the ball rather aggressively after it rolls under the first row of seats.
But as is often the case, a bit of context changed the scene entirely, and as it turns out, the man in question appears to have been much more reasonable than the some of the worst-known cases of souvenir robbery.
Still, let this series of events be a lesson to anyone with good seats to an upcoming baseball game – the cameras are always rolling.
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