What is it with men and foul balls? There's something about a baseball careening in their direction that causes them to throw out all sense of logic, not to mention human decency.
If anything else in the world is flying toward a man's head at a rapid speed, his first instinct is going to be avoidance. Whether he flees the scene or employs the duck-and-cover method, getting out of the way is a priority.
There will always be those who are able to pause and attempt to aid the women and children in their vicinity, but not everyone was built to play the hero. Although, in a foul-ball situation a hero isn't usually necessary.
That being said, there's a distinct difference between "not playing the hero" and actively endangering the welfare of oneself and others when the pressure's on.
In the event of a fire, would you run over a child or push a woman into the flames in an attempt to save yourself? Probably not. Even so, at least there would be something more valuable than a foul ball on the line.
Of course not all fans who REALLY wanted that foul ball are such egregious offenders—some just make asses of themselves! Here are some of the most ball-hungry fans in sports.
At this Rays-Astros game in July 2013, which looks to have been attended by approximately three dozen Houston fans, at least one guy in the stadium seemed to care about the foul ball in the area.
Unfortunately, he takes all the room he's got for granted and doesn't pay enough attention to his footing. This is what happens when you get complacent.
This is a case of not knowing how much you want something until you actually have it. At a baseball game in Korea, a mother (decked out in what looks to be the only pink shirt in the stadium) sees a home run ball bounce off her son and seizes the opportunity for herself.
Instead of doing the lame thing and handing the ball over to the boy, she teaches him a valuable lesson about the cruelties of the real world. Mom nabs the ball and proceeds to mock her son in a celebration that is so jubilant you'd think she was waiting her entire life for that ball.
She got the ball and didn't even drop a child in the process.
You know a dude really wants to get his grubby paws on a foul ball when he uses his child as a human grabber to extend his limited grasp.
However, I'm going to give this dad credit for utilizing the kid to his advantage rather than dumping him on the ground like a plate of stale nachos and pursuing the catch on his own.
You'd think that wouldn't be something that would call for such a distinction, but it happens more times than is at all acceptable.
This poor bastard at a Blue Jays home game in May 2013 wanted that foul ball in the worst way.
My first instinct was to laugh at him, but when he reacted like someone had run over his puppy, I couldn't help but feel for the guy.
The only thing worse than never having a chance is having something slip right through your fingers. Better luck next time, bro.
For Reds fans attempting to get their hands on San Francisco Giant Pablo Sandoval's foul ball in July 2013, the scene was a comedy of errors. Everything that could go wrong, did.
As the ball bounces down several rows through grabby fans, their reactions are almost as if this all went down in slow motion. No less than a dozen people had a shot at nabbing the ball.
No one was able to secure their grasp on the ball before it rolled off the top of the dugout as the last few fans dove after it in cartoonish fashion.
There's nothing illegal about snatching a foul ball away from the opposing team's player if it makes its way into the stands. Assuming it is the opposing team, it's a good way to paint yourself the hero—if only for a moment.
That being said, I don't know that everyone would have the stones to make a legit grab with beefy Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig breathing down his or her neck. Personally, I bet I'd pull back—I'm a bit of a chicken when it comes to potential collisions.
The Cards fan in this video stood strong and made the grab. He was rewarded with cheers from the hometown crowd—it was like the end of a John Hughes movie.
This Cubs fan is a dad who obviously knows he's got a chucker on his hands. A "chucker" is a child whose first instinct is always to throw anything in his or her general vicinity.
That's the only possible explanation for how he's able to stop his son from throwing back his foul ball with one hand without averting his gaze—but for a split second—from the conversation he's engaging in with the grownups around him.
It's like God himself predestined that baseball for this Cubs fan and nothing was going to keep them apart—not even a an accomplished chucker like this one.
Obviously there's no such thing as a "foul ball" in football, but a ball bouncing or sailing into the stands at an arena football game is basically the same thing. It's up for grabs to any fan within striking distance.
The guy in this video was bound and determined to nab the ball that landed near him in the front row. The only problem being that a little kid seemed to have gotten his hands on the ball at the same time.
Human decency dictates that when a little kid and an adult get to a rogue ball at the same time, the adult yields because he (I'm not going to say she because it's always a guy) doesn't want to look like a monster.
Of course, not everyone feels bound by the laws of human decency—and neither is this dude. Someone should've reminded him it's arena football.
And here we have another grown man who is all too willing to run down a kid, if it means getting his hands on a foul ball. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not saying that adults have to yield to the children of strangers in most cases.
If the ball is heading your way and your longer arms and taller body give you the advantage in catching a foul ball—have at it. Kids need to be taught that not everything will be handed to them.
However, when the ball takes an errant bounce and children go diving for it, it's usually best to stay out of the fray. You'll probably end up with the ball, but you'll also end up with an angry mob outside your home if a kid is injured in the process.
This kid wasn't injured, but this dude sure ends up looking like a massive jag.
The guy in this video is something else. The meanie Marlins fan doesn't snatch a ball thrown up by a player directly out of the hand of the sad little girl, but he definitely robbed her of the ball—and likely a little piece of her soul.
The ball was obviously meant for her, because since when do baseball players toss anything to idiot frat bros with popped collars? Well…dude couldn't have possibly cared less. Not only did he come out of nowhere to snag the ball, it was like the girl didn't even exist in the world after he made the grab.
I'm not one to say kids deserve everything just for being kids—quite the opposite, really—but this incident was egregious and that guy ought to be ashamed of himself. The little girl said she was upset about the man's actions, but at least she ended up with a ball of her own in the end.
I don't have kids, so I'm not quite sure how to interpret the behavior of this kid (who looks to be about 12 years old) after his dad bobbles—and ultimately drops—a foul ball at an Astros game in July 2013.
I'm not really much of a drama queen, so my gut tells me he's just hamming it up for the cameras by getting in some shots on dad. You know how kids love attention—it's like heroin to them.
On the other hand, I'm trying to imagine what my dad's reaction would have been if I had started pretend-punching him in front of a stadium full of people. And I can't...because I never would have pretend-punched my dad in front of a stadium full of people.
Then again...my dad never would have dropped that ball.
Just to be clear—Cincinnati fan Curtis Staker didn't die during his pursuit of a foul ball at a Reds game in 1997, but he damn well could have.
He was at the game with his two teenage sons when he felt the ball hit his glove and immediately lost his footing, instantly sensing he was in serious trouble. Staker fell 15 feet to the concrete below, suffering a broken elbow, four broken ribs, fractures in his back and a punctured lung!
But like I said, the good news is that he survived and was in relatively good spirits within hours of the fall. And…he probably learned a lesson.
Usually you see men creating chaos chasing foul balls—it's not often you see a woman wreaking havoc like the middle-aged bruiser with a bad perm in this video.
What's crazy about this woman is that she isn't even in the mix for the ball at the beginning, opting for the hurry-up-and-wait approach instead. So rather than fight everyone in pursuit of the ball, she only has to wrestle away the ball from the person who actually ended up with it to begin with.
It's a very unorthodox strategy that doesn't pay off for her in the end, but you have to appreciate her thinking outside the box—particularly after the ball bounced off her dome on the way down.
I know I've given plenty of irresponsible adults crap for their not-so-great treatment of children in the videos populating this list. That's not going to happen here.
In April 2012 a couple at a Rangers game were completely vilified for not handing over a ball, which they acquired fair and square, to the screaming child of a pair of complete strangers.
Yes, it was thrown into the crowd by a player and, perhaps, not meant specifically for the trophy wife of a middle-aged man. But it was far from clear who, if anyone, that ball was meant for. And yes, was it a little unnecessary to rub it in the kid's face. But they were quite adamant they didn't even notice the kid.
First the announcers ripped into them, which was bad enough. But then the crybaby kid and his over-indulgent parents appeared on Good Morning America to discuss the situation. I will give the parents credit for not ripping into the oblivious couple during their appearance, but why go on in the first place?
They said their son had received a ball while sitting in the seats before and had "expected" to get another one that night. That's quite a lesson to teach a screaming-inclined fit-thrower. Expect something unreasonable, freak out when you don't get it, and you'll get to go on television to have it rectified.
That should end well.
In June 2013 a number of Astros fans literally trip over themselves—not to mention the surrounding seats—in pursuit of a foul ball against the White Sox. Granted, there hasn't been much baseball worth watching in Houston this year, so you can't really blame these guys for going overboard.
It's tough to tell exactly what happens before they slow it down for a second look, but eventually it becomes clear. The guy in the orange shirt gets tangled up with someone, trips and ends up flat on his back (with only his legs visible in the air) as the ball crashes somewhere…else.
This one has a happy ending, though. Some sappy lady who must have felt bad for this dude decided his ass-hat antics had earned him the ball, and she decided to hand it over to him.
Everyone remembers the amazing Phillies dad who caught a foul ball and gave it to his little girl, only to have her immediately chuck it back.
He was obviously a little stunned but laughed it off and gave her a bear hug, which said "I want to yell at you, but I know it's just a baseball." He set the standard for all baseball dads and managed to redeem Philadelphia sports fans—if only just a little—at the same time.
Well…that was Phillies dad. This is Dodgers dad...and Dodgers dad sucks.
Dodgers dad is pretty much the complete opposite of Phillies dad. He's holding his daughter as a foul ball approaches and drops her as naturally as you drop that slimy stuffed animal (that hasn't been stuffed in a long time) that your dog just won't stop bringing to you.
An awful display, for sure, but at least you can tell he feels like a major wang after the fact.
In this video, a couple of Giants fans chilling in an outrigger canoe outside AT&T Park—in the shark infested waters of San Francisco Bay—are surprisingly desperate to nab a foul ball, considering they're two dudes who couldn't even be bothered to buy tickets to the game.
After the ball splashes into the water, the flannel-wearing hipsters (or mountain men on an urban jaunt, like The Cowboy Way, but with mountain men) haul ass to beat nearby boaters to it. From casually sipping cans of beer to risking life and limb for a foul ball.
San Francisco may be a lot of things, but it's certainly not boring.
In September 2011, a baseball fan in Taiwan landed himself in some seriously hot water with the Mrs. after he dumped his little girl on the ground like a bag of garbage just to chase after a foul ball.
It's unclear if he actually gets the ball, but it's abundantly clear that he gets a sternly worded lecture when he returns to his seat. And deservedly so. The cameraman, who knows how to follow the action, captured the couple in a pretty heated (but mostly one-sided) discussion after the fact.
The look on the wife's face is absolutely priceless—you know that guy was in the dog house for at least a few days.
Normally, you see grown men behaving like children in pursuit of a foul ball at a baseball game. This is a case of a child behaving like a child in pursuit of a foul ball at a baseball game.
When his dad literally drops the ball at a Giants game, this angry little boy goes to town whaling on his father. If this is what acting like a child is these days, I worry about foul-ball chasers of the future.
Of all the fans within striking distance to retrieve a 93 mph foul ball at Fenway Park in June 2013, good luck finding someone who would've put money on the ridiculously old dude who came out of nowhere!
If anyone has ever earned a foul ball at a baseball park, it's this dude. Not only does he travel more distance to the ball, he's about 40 years older than his competitors—and that's a very conservative estimate.
And what does he do after nabbing the ball and basking in the glory for a brief moment in time? He gives it to a kid who, based on his mother's stunned and grateful reaction, is a complete stranger!
This guy is straight-up amazing.
Listen…everyone knows that the key to being cool is not wanting it as much. Or at least knowing how to play it off like you don't want it as much, even though you totally do.
Anyone can be a buffoon who steamrolls a little kid, or drops his own damn kid, in pursuit of a foul ball. But if you want to be remembered and score a ball, you gotta play it cool like this Phillies fan.
He's just walking by with a big-ass tray of drinks...minding his own business...and BOOM! Catch! Suddenly everyone at the ballpark knows he's the coolest mf'er in a 10-mile radius.
**Speaking of the coolest mf'er in a 10-mile radius! You should follow me on Twitter and maybe I'll introduce you the coolest person in your area. Follow @blamberr